11401 N.W. Twelfth St., Space E610
Doral, FL 33172
Price: $13.50 for kids 3 to 12/$6.50 kids younger than 3/free for parents and teens
Cool-de-Sac is Miami’s answer to Chuck E. Cheese. It provides arts, crafts and games for your tots in an open space area. Parents and older family are seated in the center of the playroom so their tot never leaves their sight. Cool-de-Sac offers two locations for your convenience in Sunset Place Mall and in Dolphin Mall. Cool-de-Sac is a great place for kids, but it’s even better for parents. Choose from a full gourmet restaurant menu featuring items like tuna tartare, gourmet pizzas, café-style paninis and alcoholic beverages. To add to the convenience, Cool-de-Sac is open for 12 hours daily, so parents can schedule their playdates around any playgroup’s schedule. For transit, take bus 7 or bus 238 for Dolphin Mall.
Grapeland Water Park
1550 N.W. 57 Ave.
Miami, FL 33125
Price:$6 for kids 6 to 10/$10 for Miami-Dade residents 14 and up/$12 for non-Miami-Dade residents 14 and up/Free for kids under 1
Grapeland Water Park is a favorite of kids in Miami. They may run through run through Shipwreck Island, slide down Pirate’s Plunge or meander down the Lazy River. There is even a pool for kids to cool of on hot summer days. Lifeguards are always on hand to ensure your child’s safety. Grapeland Water Park is usually a great playdate place for stay-at-home and night-shift parents, and nannies because it closes when most parents are working. During the summer, it offers dive-in movies, meaning that your kids can swim while watching a family friendly film. It’s even at a convenient time for working parents who want to give their kids a treat. Since they only offer this event once a month, it’s ideal for the occasional, special playdate. For transit, take bus 6 or bus 7.
14805 S.W. 216 St.
Miami, FL 33170
Price: $29.95 adults/$23.95 kids 3 to 9/$27.95 seniors 65 and older/free for kids younger than 3
Monkey Jungle is just one of many animal attractions Miami has to offer. Here the monkeys run wild and the people are caged. This location is great because not only do kids learn about these playful primates, but they may also feed them. The Safari Base Camp program is normally reserved for birthday parties, but it also makes a great destination playdate. The package includes admission for the child, all Monkey Jungle presentations, a reserved seating area, monkey food, and hostess, chips, drink and choice of pizza or hot dog meal for each child. This playdate is ideal for nannies and stay-at-home parents during weekdays. It’s also great for working parents if they want to plan a weekend playdate. For transit, take bus 35.
Related: Best Indoor Party Places for Kids
Amelia Earhart Park
401 E. 65 St.
Miami, FL 33160
Price: $6 per car
Amelia Earhart Park is an expansive playdate option, reminiscent of the country but located in the city. It features plenty of picnic areas, a concession area at the front of the park, a lake where visitors may learn how to wakeboard, bike trails, a dog park and playgrounds for the little ones. It’s a great place to relax and to try something daring. Nothing beats the simplicity of a park for a great playdate except for when that park has farm with a petting zoo. Not only may your children play all day on the swing sets located in Amelia Earhart Park, but they may pet and feed cows, horses, ponies, chickens and pigs at the Bill Graham Farm Village. Food for the animals cost only costs 50 cents, and at that rate, this might be one of the best deals around to entertain a group of children on a budget. For transit, take bus 135 or bus 37 to make it a super-cheap day out for everyone.
999 Eleven St.
Miami, FL 33139
Price: free for residents and kids younger than 6/$10 for adult non-residents/$6 for kids 4 to 7
Located in South Beach, Flamingo park is another alternative to the seashore. It features a waterpark with a swimming pool, a raquetball court, basketball court, tennis court, track and playground. It is ideal for kids and adults of all ages and offers a great opportunity to keep the whole family fit. Plus, there’s no place better for parents to relax than in South Beach. Flamingo park has the charm of South Beach and provides nothing but the best for your child. Be sure to hit the Tot Lot, a dry playground, first and once the children have had their fill there, take them over to the Aquatic Center to cool off. It features a water playground and a pool. For transit, take bus 120, bus 119 or bus 123.
Related: Best Water Parks in South Florida
Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.