World Culture for Kids: Miami, Florida

The kids and I are in Florida right now, so it’s perfect that today we are visiting Miami, Florida with Kelly of Little Wonders’ Days! Kelly is a stay at home mom who raising 3 young children in the south (an 8 year old son, and 5 year old boy/girl twins). She and her children enjoy arts and crafts, cooking, conducting science experiments, and just general family fun. Little Wonders’ Days is a host of the After School Link Up. Drop by Kelly’s blog and read these three fun posts: Party Prop Box, Rainbow Shaving Cream Painting, and Making a Sensory Garden with Kids!

exploring geography at mama smiles

We recently returned from our spring break trip in Miami.  I spent a few years living there as a teenager and my mother and stepfather (Nana and Papa) still live there.  We love to visit! 

Latin culture influences so much of the city, anything from the language, color of the buildings (my kids call Nana and Papa’s house “The pink house”), and the food.  Ooooh the delicious food.  My favorite dinner is churrasco steak with chimichurri sauce, frijoles negros (black beans and rice), platanos maduros (sweet plantains) finished off with some flan and a cortadito (a Cuban espresso).  The kids like the plantains and rice the best.

CubanFood

This is the list of places we visited this trip, but I’ll also include a list of places we hit on our last trip.  All are great for kids and lower in cost than a lot of touristy places in Miami.

This Trip

Everglades National Park

Robert Is Here

Biscayne National Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (beach and lighthouse):

BillBaggsStatePark

Pinecrest Gardens:

PinecrestGardens2

Zoo Miami (there is a big splash park, so let the kids bring or wear their swimsuits):

zoomiami

Knaus Berry Farm

A drive through Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and Miami Beach

Past Trips

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

Miami Science Museum

Miami Children’s Museum

One place you just can’t miss, in my opinion, is Everglades National Park.  There is no place like it on earth. 

If you go, stop by the visitor’s center first.  You can pick up a park map, get Junior Ranger Guides, and tour the museum.  We also stopped by the gift shop and picked up a few books and an Everglades Wildlife Pocket Guide.  The guide came in handy when trying to identify the many birds we saw. 

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Junior Ranger guide for Everglades National Park
Anhinga
Anhinga at Anhinga Trail
AnhingaDrying
Anhinga drying its wings. The anhinga has webbed feet and dives to find fish to eat. It spreads its wings to dry them afterward.

It is said that there are two seasons in the Everglades, dry and wet. The wet season starts in May and runs through hurricane season.  During the dry season, migratory birds come to nest and other animals are forced into smaller areas to find water and food. It also means cooler temperatures and fewer mosquitoes! 

WaterLevel

Alligator
Florida alligator (a little too close for comfort)
AlligatorandVultures
Vultures and alligator

We have been to the Everglades many times before, but this was the first time that we encountered Vultures. These Vultures have started attacking parked cars trying to pull the windshield wipers and other pieces of rubber off of them.  We had to cover our car with a tarp.  I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen them trying to attack one of the cars in the lot.

GreenHeron
Green Heron fishing

Heron

Little J watching a Heron take flight. 

It was overcast and slightly drizzly the day we visited, but there were so many birds, alligators, and turtles to see!  It really was a great experience for us.  We walked Anhinga Trail and Gumbo Limbo Trail.  A couple of other birds we saw that aren’t pictured were a Purple Gallinule, a Red-winged Blackbird, and a Great Egret.

AirPlantsinBloom
Air plants in bloom

After leaving the park, it was a short drive to Robert Is Here, an infamous fruit stand with to die for key lime milkshakes as well as amazing tropical fruit.  The last time we were in Miami, the kids each picked a fruit to bring home for a tasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RobertIsHere

 

Thank you, Kelly, for this post! What an amazing place to visit!

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