Best Kids' Thrill Miami 2011 - Amelia Earhart Park
There's nothing like a trip to the park in the summer when you're hurting in the wallet and your kids are driving you bananas. Unfortunately, most parks around town are flat, raccoon-infested wastelands where there's nothing much for tots to do but broil their flesh all day on unkempt playgrounds. Sure, parks are pretty. But you didn't bring them here to compose a sonnet. You came here to pry them away from their PlayStation games and SpongeBob episodes and give them a thrill that takes place outdoors. That's where Amelia Earhart Park comes in. What Earhart lacks in beauty, it makes up in activities. There's a barn where youngsters can meet a real-life pony and then ride it. They can pet goats and donkeys and see sheep get sheared, horses get their shoes changed, and cows milked. For older kids (or moms and dads), there's a huge lake where the family can water-ski, wakeboard, or rent paddleboats. There are plenty of open picnic areas, including tables and barbecue pavilions. There's also a convenience store selling refreshments. The entire park is an oasis from the humdrum, hot summer days, and best of all, it won't burn a hole in your wallet. Weekend pony rides cost $2 per child. Park entrance costs $6 per car on weekends.