Destination Miami - With Kids
By Jennifer Michaels
In a city known for wild beaches and wilder nightlife, where can a family find their own bit of Miami adventure?
Miami may not be the first place that comes to your mind when you think about a trip with your young ones. There is plenty to do, surprisingly, for all ages.
The Doral Golf Resort & Spa offers such a variety of activities that you don’t even need to head to the city for entertainment. Just getting kids in and out of the car can be a chore and this place makes it easy to keep it simple. Luckily, there are restaurants, a coffee shop, an Internet café and plenty of kid-friendly activities right on the property.
Start each day with buffet breakfasts at the Terrazza Restaurant. The selection is great for little, picky eaters who just wanted fruit or cereal, as well as not-so-picky ones who piled up the individually-made omelettes and Eggs Benedict with sausage and bacon!
For dinner, opt for the family-friendly Champions Sports Bar & Grill, which overlooks the putting green and offers stickers, crayons and outdoor seating. Sitting outside may lessen the chaos of dining with a bunch of little hungry kiddos.
Trying to navigate kids' bedtimes in hotels is never easy. It's always nice to have a place for the parents to go when they all crash—even if it’s at midnight! The Doral’s two-bedroom suites make perfect sense when traveling with your family so you can stay close in proximity, but have the option to close the door when you want your space.
The suite’s balcony overlooks the expansive golf course, which is very enticing to children. Fortunately, the Doral has Kids-Golf-4-Free, a program after 3 p.m. for any young golfers.
You may find yourself spending most of your days spent at the Blue Lagoon pool which pumps more than a million gallons of water daily through its multiple pools and waterfalls. Not only is there a beach-entry pool, great for the younger set, but another pool featuring a 125-foot Blue Monster waterslide with a 35-foot drop.
If your kids are all between the ages of five and 12, you can sign them up for Camp Doral. Take a peek at the 1,200-square-foot indoor facility, where you’ll find the camp equipped with enough counselors, video games, craft supplies, fishing rods and basketballs to make any kid happy.
After your kids dart off to their first activity and you leave your cell phone numbers with the babysitters, gave kisses and hugs, head off to check out The Spa. The kid-free spa zone was unbelievable. The marble, the garden, exercise center and the adult-only pool leaves you in awe!
Spa at Doral has become recognized as one of America‘s best with reason. They even offer Latin dance classes.
The Doral is home to the Greg Norman-designed Great White, and the famous TPC Blue Monster. You can find 180-hole championship courses here.
Drive about 10 minutes to the nearby Dolphin Mall to do some major shopping in all of their versatile shops. You’ll find all types of shopping, from designer to amazing deals.
Take advantage of your awesome location and check out the native species at the Miami Seaquarium. This 38-acre tropical paradise, which has been operating for more than 50 years, is home to sharks, crocodiles, manatees, birds and plenty of fish.
After you listen to careful instructions by the trainers, you will immerse yourselves into the water to rub the dolphins' tummies and shake “hands” with your new friends. The final finale and highlight of this memorable experience is holding the fin for a fast ride across the entire pool – just like the pros.
For those who choose to stay dry, there are plenty of other shows and activities at the Miami Seaquarium. A “Top Deck Dolphin Show” features the high-flying antics of bottlenose dolphins. Salty the Sea Lion and the 7,000-pound Lolita the Killer Whale also perform daily.
Miami offers some great sightings of Florida’s natural landscape. My kids taught their cousins how to catch lizards and logged plenty of time just watching bright pink sunsets. Who cares about the “beautiful people” when you are watching your own “beautiful people”—your kids.