Sure summer in Miami might be known for rainy days and high humidity. But frizzy hair aside, your kids are out of school and you’ve got to find something to do with them for the next three long, hot months. Luckily, there are state-of-the-art (read: air-conditioned) museums, splash pads, water parks, and free movies and music (in the evening, of course) just waiting to be explored by you and yours!
1. First off, consider getting a Summer Savings Pass for each of your family members. It gets you unlimited visits to Zoo Miami, the Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Discovery and Science and Lion Country Safari from May 12 to September 30. It’s just $58 for adults and $48 for kids.
2. The new Rescue exhibit opens at the Museum of Discovery and Science on May 19! Visitors will learn about high intensity rescue scenarios performed on land, in the air and at sea through interactive components like a rescue helicopter simulator and role-playing as a news team covering a rescue story. Plus, you can visit the new Science Park while you’re there!
3. Catch free movies in ArtsPark in Hollywood every Friday night this summer. See Lion King on May 25, Princess Diaries on June 8 or Monsters University on June 29—just to name a few. If you arrive early before each movie, you can also catch face painting, live music, games and bounce houses as a part of Funtastic Fridays.
4. Frost Museum of Science launches a huge new exhibit, The Power of Poison, on May 26! The exhibit explores poison’s role in nature, culture and literature through immersive scenarios like a Colombian forest where the dart frogs, toxic caterpillars and spiders live, or in theatrical exhibits that highlight poison’s role in stories like Snow White and Harry Potter.
5. Still looking for summer deals that will keep you cool? TopGolf in Miami Gardens has its own family fun pass, valid from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which will get your crew unlimited play at this gloriously air conditioned spot. The $199 pass covers play on weekdays until 5pm for up to six people.
6. Kick off summer at Ft. Lauderdale’s Great American Beach Partyon May 26. There will be a DJ, Kids Zone, sand castle contest and life size beach games all day long at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard at Fort Lauderdale Beach.
7. See fairytale creatures in Flamingo Gardens this summer. From May 26 to September 3, more than 70 imaginative works of glass art from the Borowski studio will be installed throughout the garden for you to find. The exhibit’s opening weekend (May 26-28) is also the garden’s KidzFest.
8. Per usual, The Wynwood Yard is the place to be this summer. Attend a Mama & Me bootcamp on May 30, Reggae Sundays (with karaoke and beach balls for littles!) and plenty of happy hours.
9. Don’t skip a trip to Miami Children’s Museum to see the one-of-a-kind Lion Guard exhibit which is only up through September 9. June 2 is Space Explorations day, when you can meet scientists to learn about space through coding and design. And RSVP now for Sensory-Friendly Saturday on June 9 to enjoy the recently re-opened Snoezelen Room full of multi-sensory activities to reduce anxiety and agitation in kids with autism.
10. Fort Lauderdale families won’t want to miss the annual Starlight Musical series, free on Fridays in Holiday Park from June through August. Check back on the city’s website for the complete line up of performers.
11. Miami has no shortage of splash pads. Whether you want to cool off during your trip to the zoo, or just hit up the neighborhood park right around the corner, we’ve got a few favorites to help keep you cool.
12. There’s no place like home, or The Frank Gallery in Pembroke Pines, which will play host to a cinematic Wizard of Oz exhibit beginning June 7. Visitors will explore the Land of Oz using literacy, visual and performing arts as well as science in Warner Brothers only educational exhibit, co-created with the Miami Children’s Museum.
13. West Palm Beach is pulling out the stops with their interactive public art this summer. Summer in Paradise will debut 15 child-sized playhouses on June 7, themed around global fairytales and brought to life by local artists, along the Great Lawn of the WPB waterfront. At the end of summer (July 26) they’ll be auctioned off to raise money for various non-profits. Other Summer in Paradise events include storybook photo opps, croquet games, fairytale trivia and more.
14. Speaking of West Palm Beach, the second Friday of every month is Screen on the Green at the Waterfront Commons. Upcoming flicks include Beauty and the Beast (June 8), The Greatest Showman (July 13) and The Last Jedi (August 10). Pompano Beach also hosts free outdoor events on the Great Lawn, including the Music Under the Stars series.
15. The Young at Art Museum welcomes its new summer exhibit, Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Story of King Kapow, on June 9. Guests will be transported to a cartoon world ruled by a candy-crazed king and find that everything is made from sugary goodies. The exhibit is packed with activities for all ages, and will interest both art and cartoon lovers.
16. The PAMM hosts their regular family events like Art Story Time throughout the summer, but you’ll also want to check out The World’s Game: Futbol and Contemporary Art, especially if you are a family of soccer players/fans.
17. Don’t forget about dad! On Sunday, June 17, the Boca Raton Museum of Art hosts a Father’s Day detective event, and Deering Estate will host a Father’s Day Bay Cruise to see wildlife and beautiful views.
18. Once a month, ImprovU hosts a family drop-in (for grade six and up) where the whole gang can get their belly laughs in, plus bond in a really unique way. Improv games and exercises are a proven way to boost kids’ (and adults!) confidence and self esteem. The next sessions are June 23 and July 28.
19. If you’ve got a mini-maker on your hands, you don’t want to skip Building the Baywalk, Moonlighter Makerspace‘s free family fest on the last Sunday of every month (coming June 24!). Kids can build anything they want to see the city install at Museum Park (next to PAMM), like benches, vendor stands and playgrounds, from Everblocks.
20. Celebrate the 4th with barbecue, beachfront festivals and fireworks, of course. There are celebrations on Miami Beach, Bayfront Park, a parade on Key Biscayne and tons more.
21. For comic book, fantasy, sci-fi and pop culture nerds, the Florida SuperCon (July 12-15) is the season’s biggest can’t-miss event. Held at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, the weekend is packed full of opportunities to get photos and autographs and hear from creators.
22. Farmers’ markets are a super fun way to get kids involved in trying new foods and incorporating fresh produce, meat and more into the family kitchen. These are our favorites, most of which also have cold treats available to eat on your way home (you’re welcome).
23. Mark your calendar for July 14 and 15 when the International Mango Festival takes over Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Kids can learn about the discovery of the mango and get their faces painted, while adults can learn some kitchen tricks and taste mango-infused brews in the beer garden.
24. If you’re ready to upgrade from the tot-friendly splash pad, head to a local water park for rides on slides and floats down lazy rivers. But don’t worry, they all have toddler-approved water playgrounds, too!
25. Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure hits the stage at The Broward Center July 28 and 29. You’ll want to snag tickets to see Ryder and the pups ASAP as these shows usually sell out.
26. When a long, hot summer day calls for an ice cold treat head to spots like Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor in Hollywood or the quirky nitrogen ice cream spot Lulu’s in Edgewater.
27. Visit any of the fresh-to-the-scene art destinations to cool off indoors this summer, like The Bass in Miami Beach and ICA Miami, which is always free to visit.
28. Whether it’s raining cats and dogs, or the humidity’s just too much to handle, these indoor play destinations have South Florida families covered. One of our favorites also has space for you to get your nails done. Insert the praise hands emoji here.
29. From story times for toddlers to canoeing and fishing expeditions for the older bunch, South Florida’s extremely affordable and robust line-up of nature centers are a great resource to lean on for cheap summer fun.
30. Our other newest (air-conditioned) obsession? FunDimension in Wynwood. The indoor play space takes gaming to a whole new level with laser tag, a bungee dome, spin zone and arcade, plus The Galley for parents to hang out (and have a beer!) together.