The Ten Best Arts Experiences for Kids in Miami

Even when it’s not Art Basel, Miami holds its own as a cultural epicenter. Although Magic City arts events are notorious for free alcohol and late-night beats, the arts in Miami can be family-friendly when seen in a new light – namely, daylight.

The 305's ever-flourishing and diverse community of creatives has resulted in a mosaic of opportunities for even our tiniest residents to enjoy theater, history, literature, and more, and truly enjoy it. Check out these kid-tested, parent-approved activities that introduce cultural aspects of Miami with a spoonful of sugar.

10. WALLCAST™ concerts at SoundScape Park

Although toddlers and teens have little in common, it will be a cold day in Miami before you get either to sit in quiet enjoyment through a classical music concert. The solution: Embrace the chaos and try a more relaxed format, like the WALLCAST™ concerts at the New World Center's SoundScape Park.

These functions take the open-air concert format to new heights with a 7,000-square-foot projection wall and a built-in, state-of-the-art sound system. It’s like paying for front-row tickets for the entire family, but better because it’s free. Plus, there’s the added benefit that if little Timmy wants to wear flip-flops or take the family dog, that’s not a problem. Everyone is welcome, flip-flops and all.

The first concert of the season will take place October 15 at 7:30 p.m. with Michael Tilson Thomas and American classical pianist Emanuel Ax, presenting selections by Brahms, Mozart, Schoenberg, and Strauss.

9. Walking and Biking Tours

Parents are always telling their children to unplug and go get some fresh air. In Miami, it's easy for kids and adults alike to do just that while taking in some local color. A number of cultural institutions have walking or biking tours to regale visitors with the history and architecture of iconic South Florida neighborhoods.

The Miami Design Preservation League, for instance, offers daily tours of the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District for $25 per person, highlighting prominent examples of art deco, Mediterranean revival, and MiMo styles. The Coral Gables Museum hosts monthly walking tours of downtown Coral Gables for $10 per person.

For a more scholarly approach, HistoryMiami’s tours are hosted by real-life historians, such as Paul George and Pepe Menedez, who dive deep into each district, from Little Havana to Stiltsville. The outings include a variety of formats, from walking and biking to boat and coach tours. Prices range from $30 to $60 and take place year-round.

8. Viernes Culturales

Viernes Culturales is more than a free festival. It’s an immersive experience that lets attendees take in the iconic and endangered neighborhood of Little Havana.

Happening the last Friday of every month, this epic multiblock party takes over Calle Ocho from 13th to 17th Avenues. Here, families can witness an amalgamation of cultural mediums, from live music and performances to art exhibits. There’s no better place for little ones to practice rolling their r’s while taking in the sights and sounds of Miami’s signature blend of Hispanic cultures.

For busy downtowners, the City of Miami offers a free trolley service to transport eager culture vultures from Mary Brickell Village and the Brickell Metrorail station every 15 minutes beginning at 6:30 p.m.

7. Micro Theater Miami

With a unique format and content catering to a truly multicultural audience, Miami Micro Theater has succeeded in setting itself apart from cineplexes. Though evening shows sometimes include sex, intrigue, and four-letter words, weekend afternoons are strictly for the kiddies.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m., Micro Kids turns seven shipping containers into colorful worlds filled with fairies and animals brought to life, in both English and Spanish, by more than 20 resident artists. As in the adult edition, the theater stays true to its name by staging five 15-minute miniplays, allowing children to sample a variety of stories while also hopping from one interactive element to the next, such as coloring and face painting, leaving no chance of boredom.

The new season begins Saturday, September 10, with the Best of Micro, a three-week engagement featuring staff and crowd favorites. Each play costs $5 per person (adult or child), and kids under 2-year-old are free as are all the hands-on activities in the courtyard.

6. Family Days at O Cinema

For the little film buff in the family, a trip to O Cinema Miami Beach is in order. The monthly series Family Days at the Movies aims to expand horizons for children, and the occasional parent, through an eclectic selection of all-time classics and rare finds of various genres.

Showing September 24 and 25, the first flick in the current lineup is Ernest & Célestine, an animated movie based on a classic Belgian book that tells of the unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse. All screenings begin at 11 a.m., and tickets cost $5 for kids and $8 for adults.
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