Nestled between Coral Gables and Glenvar Heights, South Miami is a city in the Miami metropolitan area. Families staying in South Miami vacation rentals have a multitude of attraction and activity options nearby including beautiful beaches, parks, and zoos. Check out these fun kid-friendly activities and attractions.

1. Go to Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami isn‘t your typical zoo. It‘s massive. In fact, over 700 animals call Zoo Miami home. Rent a Safari Cycle — a bicycle built for five to eight people — to peddle your way around the zoo, or take a tram or monorail tour. Let the kids feed the giraffes, parrots, rhinos, and pelicans. Before leaving, take the kids on a camel ride and let them play at the park‘s splash pad playground.

2. Go Swimming at Venetian Pool

Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is one of the most glamorous municipal pools in the world — it‘s actually a historical limestone quarry turned tropical oasis. The spring-fed pool is lined with waterfall rock formations, a cave, and palm trees that create a stunning, natural-looking atmosphere. Not surprisingly, this pool gets busy. Pack a picnic lunch before leaving your vacation home, and arrive early to snag a good parking spot and a picnic table. Also, children have to be at least 38 inches tall or three years old to swim here.

3. Visit the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science spans 250,000 square feet — it houses two wings full of year-round exhibits, an aquarium, and a planetarium. Tour the three-story aquarium to see the sea creatures housed in its 500,000-gallon Gulf Stream aquarium, and check out the MeLab exhibit, which is an interactive exhibit that teaches kids about health.

4. Tour the Miami Children‘s Museum

Encourage your kids to learn while they play at the Miami Children‘s Museum. The My Green Home exhibit teaches kids about sustainability and the importance of conserving energy by letting them play in a replica of a modern South Florida home, while the floor in the Music Maker‘s Studio houses a giant piano similar to the one Tom Hanks played Chopsticks on in the movie “Big.“ Let the kids play in a two-story sand castle at the Castle of Dreams exhibit and climb the rock wall in the Mount MichiMu exhibit before heading back to your vacation rental.

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5. Spend the Day at the Beach

South Beach is the most-popular beach in Miami — it‘s known for its turquoise water and soft sand. Even though it‘s not the most kid-friendly beach in the area, it does have some kid-friendly amenities. The Lummus Park area — which sits near 12th Street and Ocean Drive — houses a playground, volleyball court, and a nice walking path for riding bikes or scooters.

Local moms recommend Matheson Hammock Park because the man-made atoll pool has calm, shallow water. The park does employ a seasonal lifeguard, but floatation devices — even wearable ones — aren‘t allowed in the water, so you might want to keep your littlest ones close to shore. The park also features picnic tables, bike trails, and plenty of shade.

More adventurous families enjoy Crandon Beach Park. The two-mile beach has pristine sand, calm water, and multiple picnic areas, as well as the opportunity to enjoy several water sports. When the kids tire of swimming and building sandcastles, visit the north concession area to rent kayaks or kite boards, or head to the marina to charter a fishing boat. Crandon‘s Family Amusement Center sits right near the beach, making it easy for families to spend the morning at the beach and the afternoon riding the carousel and roller skating in the park‘s old-fashioned roller rink.

6. Ride the Miami Trolley

Create your own self-guided tour of the city using the Miami’s free trolley for Hop-on, hop-off transportation. Ride the Miami Beach trolley down the famed Collins Avenue to awe at the street‘s historic art deco hotels. Take a short stroll through the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, and stop at the Lincoln Park Mall for lunch and shopping before heading back to your vacation home. Trolleys also run through Coral Gables, Doral, and Miami Gardens, making it easy to tour various Miami neighborhoods for free.

7.Visit the Miami Seaquarium

Shake hands with a dolphin and swim with seals at the Miami Seaquarium. It features several animal encounter attractions that let families interact with penguins, manatees, sting rays, and turtles. Put on a state-of-the-art dive helmet, and walk through the water in the park‘s 300,000-gallon tropical reef to get an up-close look at tropical fish and sting rays. Keep in mind, the seaquarium‘s animal encounters do have age and height requirements, but several allow children as young as five to participate and as young as three to observe. The Seaquarium also houses several permanent exhibits — a seal and sea lion feeder pool — and hosts several shows each day such as the killer whale and dolphin show. Additionally, the park has a zip line obstacle course and a pirate-themed playground.

8. Take an Amphibious Tour of Miami

Duck Tours South Beach offers an amphibious tour that takes people from land to sea. The 90-minute tour takes your family through the historic art deco district and down millionaire‘s row before splashing down in Biscayne Bay to explore Star, Hibiscus, and Palm Island. Guides narrate the tour, regaling visitors with fun facts, stories detailing the local history, and trivia.

9. Feed the Monkeys at Monkey Jungle

Explore Monkey Jungle for an up-close encounter with several species of monkeys. The natural 30-acre jungle park is a subtropical forest where jungle wildlife live as they would in their natural habitats. Walk through the park‘s Amazonian Rainforest — the only semi-natural tropical rainforest in North America — to watch the monkeys roam as they please, and feed them by placing their food in the provided buckets. Then, get an up-close look at the gorillas and orangutans before touring the Wings of Love sanctuary to see the rescued parrots.

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