BEST KIDS' THRILL

Pelican Island Nature Preserve

 BEST KIDS' THRILL Pelican Island Nature Preserve Pelican Harbor Marina

1275 NE 79th Street Causeway

Miami

305-754-9330 Although it sometimes seems the kids have become irrevocably attached to their computers and game consoles, there's still the lure of nature to snap them back to our world now and then. Pelican Island, part of the Miami-Dade County park system, is ten acres of nature preserve and bird sanctuary sitting 400 yards offshore in Biscayne Bay. It's accessible only by water, but the marina provides water-taxi service to transport boatless merrymakers. The island's facilities can be reserved, which renders it an almost private playground for a few hours (and a few bucks). What kid wouldn't put down the Nintendo to play Tom Sawyer in real life? Chickee huts, picnic tables, barbecue grills, a sand volleyball court, and trails keep the island from being totally wild, but so does the bathroom on the water taxi, if you catch our drift net.

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