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Things To Do In South Florida With Kids That Are Fun & Cheap

Check out these fun things to do in South Florida with kids that won’t break the bank!

Purple sky sunset things to do in south florida with kids

Affordable kids activities in South Florida can be hard to come by.

While some things to do in the greater Miami area are ultra-expensive, other cheap places to explore are just as much if not more fun for your family!

In this post, I’ll share a collection of fun things to do in South Florida with kids. These activities are affordable alternatives to pricey tourist activities!

Crandon Park & Beach

Crandon Park and Beach kids activities in south florida

South Beach is the main attraction in Miami, but it is crowded and parking can get VERY expensive.

A great alternative is Crandon Park, just minutes from downtown.

You access it via the Rickenbacker Causeway. All-day parking at Crandon Park is budget-friendly on both weekdays and the weekend. 

little girl playing in the ocean

For a minimal price for the entire family, you get access to a gorgeous beach, playgrounds, nature trails, restrooms with changing areas and more.

This beach was the most perfect I’ve ever been to and straight out of my dreams! Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day here.

Click here for more details on visiting Crandon Park. 

Things To Do In South Florida With Kids: Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park trail things to do in South Florida with kids

I was really excited to visit the Everglades on this trip. The entrance was only a 10-minute drive from our hotel in Homestead.

The cost of a visit is by the carload so if you have a large family this is a great deal even if you are only visiting for a day!

Little girl at Everglades National Park

We only visited a small portion of the southern part of the park.

There is SO much more you could do here, but on our first visit we just got a taste of the unique ecosystem.

little girl at interactive exhibit

We made a quick stop at the small Ernest P. Coe Visitor’s Center, which had great interactive exhibits that my daughter loved.

Everglades Alligator kids activities in south florida

Then we went to the Royal Palms area and did two short hikes – the Anhinga Trail and the Gumbo Limbo Trail.

They were perfect for kids and we saw tons of wildlife, including the famous Anhinga birds and a huge alligator right off the boardwalk trail!

little girl at Everglades National Park

We also visited the Mahogany Hammock and the Pa-hay-okee Overlook, both which we enjoyed.

We had a fantastic day experiencing the Everglades and went back for a swim in the hotel pool before dinner.

I can’t wait to go back to see more of the park – click here for more details on visiting the Everglades

Key Largo & John Pennekamp State Park

Key Largo Beach with cannon

My next suggestion for kids activities in South Florida is to take a glass-bottom boat tour in Key Largo to see the world-famous coral reefs.

Unfortunately, all of the tours were cancelled for our entire visit due to poor visibility in the water.

Fortunately, I had a backup plan to visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

For a budget-friendly price, you can gain access to the many sights of this great park. 


The beaches here are tiny and nothing much to speak off, but we did catch this cool little crab at Cannon Beach.

visitor center and aquarium

The visitor’s center had a large saltwater aquarium and some nice exhibits.

There is camping, fishing, kayak rentals (closed during our visit due to weather), snorkeling and scuba tours, and more offered at this park.

The state park offers very affordable snorkeling tours . I’d love to do this on our next trip!

little girl at restaurant table
outside dining area with glass windows on the floor looking into the ocean

Since I didn’t spend anything on our glass bottom boat tour I felt entitled to a visit to the next best thing – a glass-bottom bar!

We had some appetizers (plus mama had a much-needed cocktail) and RC got to feed the fish right off the side of the deck.

key lime pie

And of course we couldn’t leave the Keys without some famous Key Lime Pie!

We got this slice to-go from Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen II. We ate it back in our hotel room and it was incredible.

A visit to Key Largo should definitely be at the top of a list of things to do in South Florida with kids. 

Frost Museum of Science

little girl at the aquarium

One of my top tips for finding kids activities in South Florida is to take advantage of a local museum membership if you have one.

We have a membership at our local science museum, which gives us free or half-price entry to thousands of museums all over the country through the ASTC passport program.


We were able to get free admission to the incredible Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami by showing my membership card and ID.

It would have been very pricey for us both to get in out of pocket.

view of downtown from the top of the museum

There were tons of hands-on activities that my daughter loved.

And check out this view of downtown from the top of the museum!

Kids Activities in South Florida: Zoo Miami

tiger at the zoo

The day we arrived we went straight to Zoo Miami, which is located between Miami and Homestead.

We got in for half price (again thanks to our home museum membership’s AZA Reciprocity). 

It is the only sub-tropical zoo in the continental US and had great exhibits.

chicken basket lunch

We split a chicken basket for lunch along with some fruit I brought into the park.

I find we are often able to share meals if I supplement them with something from my backpack.

mommy daughter selfie

We had a fantastic time checking out some affordable fun things to do in South Florida with kids!

For advice on where to stay on your trip, check out my post on visiting Miami on a budget here.

And if you are driving, be sure to check out this east coast Florida road trip itinerary

Any questions? Leave a comment below or send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page!

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[…] If you have visited some of America’s national parks before you might be expecting to stop at a booth and pay an entrance fee to visit the park (for example, we paid $25 to visit Everglades National park earlier this year). […]

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