A beacon of hope
We don't know if it's the heat, humidity, or constant tropical storm tracking, but summer in Miami can induce a lot of craziness. Sometimes you need to just get away. If you don't have the time or the bankroll to jet off to an exotic destination, you can escape without even leaving the city.
After a short drive to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (1200 S. Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne), you will see nothing but the beauty of the natural Florida landscape. No high-rise condos, billboards, or velvet ropes will obstruct your view of sea oats, sunbathing iguanas, and the aquamarine Atlantic. Whether you walk the trails, relax on the beach, or climb to the top of the Cape Florida Lighthouse, you can easily lose a day in this tranquil oasis. And when you think about that lighthouse standing tall through heat and hurricanes since 1856, you'll realize you can make it through the madness as well. The park is open 8:00 a.m. to sunset, 365 days a year. Lighthouse tours are available Thursday through Monday at 10:00 and 1:00. Park admission is three dollars for a solo driver, and five dollars for carloads up to eight. Call 305-361-5811, or visit www.floridastateparks.org/capeflorida. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Bed heads hit the park
It's okay to stay in your pajamas all day. In fact we're encouraging you to do it today. The City of Miami and Comcast are inviting families to come as they are to the PJs in the Park event for children ages three to eight at Kennedy Park (2400 S. Bayshore Dr., Miami). There will be plenty of activities and games, including "Diaper the Mommies" and "Open Wide, Daddies," in addition to three-legged races, a bounce house, and a cooling station with mist machines. Artists will draw free family caricatures, storytellers will spin magical yarns, and you can even score some cool prizes. "I think it will be a crazy day," says Lara de Souza, public relations agent for the City of Miami Parks and Recreation. "The kids won't know what to do first." Put on those bunny slippers and hop over to the park from 4:00 to twilight. Admission is free, and there will be no sleeping allowed at this pajama party. Call 305-642-1271. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Just Do It Yourself
Families can bond with sticks and glue
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Seek some shade from those sizzling rays this weekend by doing crafts with your child under a canopy of trees in an old-fashioned setting that dates back to the 1800s. At Cauley Square Historical Village (22400 Old Dixie Hwy., Goulds), Workshop Day is an opportunity for kids to paint ceramics or decorate picture frames, and a chance for you to make some cool stuff too. Adults can create an astrological mystic angel basket, a handy parasol, and even learn basic lighting and shadow techniques for painting. Get crafty today from 11:00 to 2:00. Workshops range from $10 to $45, which includes the cost of all materials. Call 305-258-3543, or visit www.cauleysquareshops.com to reserve your space. --Christina Kent
Summer weather can wreak havoc on even the sleekest hairdo. For curly locks, the frizz situation can be off the meter -- as in the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Frizz-O-Meter. Because Miami ranks among the most humid cities in America, Frieda's frizzologists will be at the Miami Beach Cinematheque (512 Española Way, Miami Beach) from 10:00 until 5:00 to hand out samples of their mane-taming formula. Call 305-673-4567, or visit www.johnfrieda.com. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik