Free Things To Do With The Kids

children's museum

Miami Children's Museum

pamm blue

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

nws

SoundScape Park at New World Center

South Beach

Spend a day at the beach

south pointe

South Pointe Park's amazing views

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By: Shayne Benowitz

From miles of pristine beaches to parks, museums and even a symphony under the stars, there are more free things to do with kids in Miami than you might think. If you’re planning a budget-friendly trip to Miami with the whole family, take advantage of this handy guide for the best free things to do with kids.

view of the South Beach jetty
You can't go wrong with a day spent in the beautiful blue waters of Miami Beach

A Day at the Beach

The beautiful thing about one of Miami’s biggest attractions is that it’s absolutely free. You don’t need much more than a beach blanket, a bathing suit and sunscreen to enjoy a day at the beach. Of course, you can always pack a cooler, chairs, an umbrella, a good book and beach toys to add to the fun. With miles of shoreline stretching from the tip of South Beach to Sunny Isles Beach and all along the island of Key Biscayne, there are plenty of beaches to choose from.

Surfside is home to one of the best laid back, family-friendly stretches of Miami’s beaches. For a fun-filled afternoon with the kids playing under the sun, look no further! Surfside hosts a robust calendar of free community activities open to visitors, including beach picnics, wellness activities and events on the water.

exterior of institute of contemporary art
Admission is always free at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA)

Museums

Free Admission

Take your pick from a wide variety of Miami museums that offer free admission. The Design District’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA) is one of the destination’s newest museums and admission is always free. It showcases thought-provoking contemporary art exhibitions that are great for older kids, highlighting under-recognized and emerging artists inside its museum and sculpture garden. The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum also provides free admission to view its collection at Florida International University’s main campus.

Free for Kids

Part of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, HistoryMiami in Downtown Miami entertains and educates with more than 13,000 artifacts dating back to pre-Columbian times. With fascinating exhibits highlighting the region’s history, admission is always free for children under age six. Admission is always free for children under 12 at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College, located in the landmark Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami.

outdoor patio at Perez Art Museum
Interactive art exhibits and acres of open space make Pérez Art Museum Miami a great place for kids

Free Hours & Days

Many of Miami’s top museums offer free days and extended hours, so plan your visit with their calendars in mind to save a buck. The Pérez Art Museum Miami is free on the second Saturday of every month, as well as the first Thursday of every month when the museum is also open for extended hours until 9 p.m. It’s always free for children under six. Train enthusiasts can explore the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, which offers free admission the first Saturday of every month except March. For the young—and young at heart—head to the Miami Children’s Museum, which is filled with activities that emphasize art, culture, community, communication, imagination and creativity. The Wolfsonian–FIU is dedicated to design from the Industrial Revolution to the present day and offers free admission during specific hours on special days. You should contact each museum prior to your visit to confirm free admission information.

family on airboat tour in the Everglades
Explore the Everglades, one of Miami's national parks

Discover Miami’s Parks

There’s more to Miami’s great outdoors than the beach. A stroll through the region’s many parks makes for a great free thing to do with kids. While Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, as well as state parks require a nominal entrance fee, there are plenty of smaller parks that are absolutely free and perfect for a family outing.

Head to North Beach and check out North Shore Open Space Park with the kids. You’ll find a lovely, shaded oceanfront park with jogging trails, picnic tables and a dog park. At the tip of South Beach, South Pointe Park is beautifully landscaped. It boasts views of the Atlantic Ocean that wrap around PortMiami and the Downtown Miami skyline. Take a stroll out on the pier, let your kids run around on the playground and take in public art along the paved path while cruise ships enter and exit the port. In Coconut Grove, Kennedy Park is another excellent bayfront park boasting jogging trails, beach volleyball, a dog park and wooden docks where you can sit and enjoy the gentle bay breeze.

crowd watching concert at SoundScape park
Enjoy a free concert at New World Symphony's SoundScape Park

Free Movies & the Symphony

The New World Center, designed by award-winning architect Frank Gehry, is home to SoundScape Park and its 7,000-square-foot wall that acts as a screen for simulcasts of symphony performances and movie screenings. Adjacent to Lincoln Road, it’s an enchanting way to spend an evening in South Beach with the family under the stars. Lounge beneath the palm trees while listening to Bach or watching “The Pirates of the Caribbean.” Movies are typically screened on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. during the fall and winter. Live symphony “Wallcasts” occur at various times throughout the season. It makes for a memorable evening out with the kids that can only be found in Miami.

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