Visiting South Florida with kids was on our list for quite some time and so glad we made it happen! South Florida can be expensive but there’s many things one can do to still have a fab experience. Our holiday was even more special as this was our second babymoon 😊 Read on to see our experience and see how you can save money for your next trip to South Florida.
Best time to visit South Florida with kids:
Florida is a year long attraction with great weather, lots of action and great food. In colder months, you won’t be able to get into the water and in the super hot months, you would surely not want to get sun burnt. Spring and fall would be the best seasons to visit South Florida according to me.
Try apps like Hooper and sky scanner and watch google flights for daily updates on changing prices. You can also try low cost carriers like Frontier and Spirit, where you may get no-frills tickets for super cheap.
We always book our car rentals online and get the basic car. We luckily got upgraded to SUV and thoroughly enjoyed the extra space during the entire time on the road. A great way to travel in Miami is to utilise the free Miami public transport services like the trams that line the city. This is a relaxing way to travel and to also get a flavour of how locals do it.
Stay in a South Florida with kids:
Stay was at AirBnb across the journey. With a baby on hand, it’s what works best for us. Since we had a packed itinerary, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy any hotel amenities anyway. And the ambience of living in a home makes it much easier on the kids. We preferred staying in the comfort of a home setting.
We chose to stay in the heart of attractions, keeping in mind parking prices and traffic. Read on below for details on where and we chose to stay and why.
Things we did in South Florida with kids
Mama tip: We chose to skip staying at Key West and stayed at homestead which saved us some good $$$. Key West was crazy expensive and we dint seem to find it worth the buck.
We drove from Homestead early in the morning straight to Marathon. We stopped over for a couple of hours at Dolphin Research Centre where we had a blast. Pregnant women aren’t allowed to participate in any of the activities so I was the official photographer. I thoroughly enjoyed programs before and after meeting the Dolphin. Dad and Baby V had a fab 15 minutes with the dolphins and they got to touch them and watch them from super close.
We then drove towards Key West, but not before a quick stop on the old seven mile bridge.
Key West was super enjoyable and we’re definitely going back for another exclusive vacation, preferably without the kids 😅 Key west is famous for its water activities but we still managed to have a blast here.
Read my detailed post on visiting Florida Keys with kids.
Activities: Everglades is super enjoyable for families and there’s a lot to see. I would’ve added on another day here if I could’ve. We spent a great day in wilderness and did the Everglades alligator park. We had an airboat ride and watched snake and alligator shows. Unlike a zoo or closed enclosures, the animals looked quite free and well looked after. We had an opportunity to touch the alligators but I was pretty upset as their mouths were taped shut. On enquiring, they explained how well they look after the alligators. Hope this is true, I do take their word at face value.
We missed out on the Everglades safari ride as we ran out of time. But it looks super interesting especially for the littles.
Mama tip: Stay for a couple of nights for an interesting change of space from the beaches.
Activities: Miami is a world in itself and by far one of my most favorite cities ever. I’m a total beach bum and ever since we moved from Dubai, I’ve been longing for a great beach experience. Miami has so much to offer, no wonder people keep going back! Just as much fun it is, it is crowded and can get intimidating. Do not miss Wynwood, North Beach, Mid Beach along with South Beach, of course.
Mama tip: When traveling with kids, make sure to stop by the splash pad and play area at South beach park. It’s the southernmost tip, not tough to park at and has plenty of photo ops while you’re on foot.
Pro tip: You don’t necessarily need to rent a car. The public transport is SO easy to manouver. But be prepared to spend many hours on the road and calculate that when planning your itinerary.
Activities: If you are looking for the perfect offset to a happening Miami vacay, turn towards Hollywood. With a kid along with us, we truly enjoyed getting away from the hustle and bustle of South Beach. We stayed right near the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, which is lined with fab restaurants, bars and live music. The 2.5 mile walk also features the Hollywood Beach Theatre, a children’s water playground at Charnow Park, and many other attractions that are all perfect for the family.
Sunny isles beach
This was again a great offset from South Beach. It gave total Dubai feels, with its high rise buildings overlooking the beautiful beach. There’s not much to do here as such but driving around is quite fun. There are some swanky restaurants to try out in the area and you can also enjoy at an almost-private beach experience.
Pro tip: We traveled during terrible twos and managed to be subjected to many tantrums. If not daily, at least every other day, take the kids to an exclusive free play space for a couple of hours.
Check out other destinations in the US for you to explore. Coming up next is special tips on traveling with a bump and a toddler!
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