Local Family-Friendly Fun: 4 Things to See & Do in Miami

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When people think of Miami, they often think of the nightlife on South Beach. But the Magic City is also a great place to explore with the family! Whether you’re a tourist or a local, we have no doubt you’ll enjoy checking out these local family-friendly spots. They’re also great places to go when family or friends visit from out of town 😉

Tidal Cove

Bella and her son enjoying the pool at Tidal Cove

I have never been a fan of any type of swimming pool–mainly because of the lack of cleanliness and food options. That was until I went to Tidal Cove! At Tidal Cove you get a luxurious water park experience like no other. The park is part of the J.W. Marriott Turnberry in Aventura. Hence, it is held to the same standards and in impeccable condition.

Everything is very clean, and you can get excellent food as well as frozen drinks delivered right to your lounge chairs. The friendly pool attendants will set you up with towels. The park features a Kids Cove, a small water park with fun slides. For the bigger kids, there are a lot of thrill rides as well as the surfing experience FlowRider. Moreover, there’s a huge lazy river where you can relax as well as a bigger and quieter pool. You can also cool off with the amazing gelato they sell at their Freestyle Cafe. And on weekends, an on-site DJ will create a great atmosphere! Admission varies from $65 to $200 depending on the day. However, J.W. Turnberry guests have admission to Tidal Cove included in their stay. 

Bella Behar

Versailles

A crowd of people gathered at Versailles in Little Havana

“I like it like that.” Those song lyrics always come to mind when I think of going to eat at Versailles, The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant. From the ventanita with pastelitos and Cuban coffee as their luxury items, to their bakery shop loaded with sweet and salty treats, to their extensive menu ranging from appetizers to soups and salads, sandwiches, to entrees, delectable desserts, and weekly items, Versailles is a must visit for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between!

The atmosphere is vibrant, the people are welcoming, and the diversity overwhelming, leading you to all things Miami. Oh, and if you want to learn some quick Spanish, you gotta wait your turn to order at the ventanita, and surely, you will learn a new word, a phrase, but surely, someone will share with you a personal story. I guarantee you will leave with a new friend, whether it is another local, a tourist or even a long, lost cousin. There is never a dull moment at Versailles- that’s for sure. 

I find it worthwhile to share my favorite items on the menu with you:

Restaurant
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with chopped ham, potatoes, and Cuban toast with a cafe con leche, add in a croquette for fun.
Lunch: Pan con bistec with a side of mariquitas
Dinner: Vaca frita with arroz moro and plantains

Bakery
Empanadas de carne y de pollo (and don’t forget, un cafe con leche)

Ventanita
Pastelito de guayaba y queso with a cafe con leche

Daniella Trujillo

Skyviews Miami

Bella's son looks out over the city from Skyview Miami

Every big city needs its signature Ferris wheel! Skyviews Miami is located in Bayside Marketplace. This Ferris wheel is almost 200 feet high offering you gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay and Downtown Miami. All gondolas are fully enclosed and climate-controlled allowing for a safe and comfortable experience. I love that you get to do several rounds which allows you to enjoy the different views from every angle. Afterward, you can take a stroll around Bayside, the outdoor waterfront mall. Skyviews is open daily and kids under 4 ride for free.

Bella Behar

Design District

An outdoor art installation in the Design District

Think runway. Think fashion. Think Miami.

Yup. Design District is the place you want to be. The outdoor, upscale shopping mall is on another level. Believe it or not, it’s not the main reason why I like to visit, but it’s everything else. The relaxing ambiance is perfect for a savory lunch, sweet treat, or stroll with friends and family. In the Miami Design District, there are many opportunities for pop-up shops, farmer’s markets, etc. Many different fashion houses and artists set up exhibits throughout the district, depending on the season. These all give way for really awesome pictures, and even when the designer pop-ups are not there, the different props around the district make it a place for any photographer to delight themself. There is also an upstairs food hall with exquisite dining or a place to grab a snack, which makes for a well-rounded place to visit and a must for Miami first-timers.
 

In addition, you are bound to spot one or more famous persons in the area. For example, last month Miami Heat’s star player, Jimmy Butler, featured his coffee brand Big Face at the Miami Design District. He set up a trailer, selling his branded coffee and merchandise. I actually had the opportunity to greet him when I went to the district to order a coffee. Shout out to Instagram for giving the heads up! One last, special place to mention: the top floor of the garage, the one with the hanging cars attached on the outside. It is a unique spot for taking shots and getting a spectacular view of the 305.

Daniella Trujillo

What are some of your favorite places to go for local family-friendly fun?

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