Miami Children's Museum
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The Miami Children's Museum is a three-level museum with some unique interactive exhibits. The building itself is interesting with a tall cone-like entrance, and two open levels above the first that take you higher and higher. The giant sandcastle takes advantage of this architecture- it is beautiful though there's not much to do in it. The slide in the sandcastle is too dark and no kids attempted it while I was there. There is a cruise ship on the second level with toy boats you can steer in the water and a puppet play area and hula dancing dress-up inside the ship. Some of the areas had broken exhibits, such as in the music area, or exhibits that didn't inspire much play, such as in the teddy bear area. The best area was the construction zone, where you could pop fluffy balls into clear tubes. The balls were sucked in and then moved through the tubes which each represented a freeway in the Miami highway system. The balls popped out at your head. It was a blast! Also in this area was a screen with videos of water being manipulated, such as a person diving into the water or pouring water into a cup, and you could turn a wheel to make the video go forward or backward in slow motion. My daughter (and me as well!) would have watched this for an hour if we hadn't been moved along by all the kids waiting to have a turn. The music area has a great idea- you can press buttons to hear the different instruments in a Jazz piece highlighted. There was a karaoke room but it wasn't working completely. The art section has some clear squares and triangles made of magnets that you can arrange into 3D creations of your own.
The best part of the museum is the dinosaur area, where life-like dinosaurs move their heads. The atmosphere is so well done! There are baby dinosaurs hatching from eggs. And at the exit there's a cool room with lights spinning around in a circle. I think the adults like this area even more than the kids, since kids only like things they can touch.
There is an imaginary play supermarket, fire truck, police motorcycle that lights up, emergency room, and veterinary clinic. At the "piggy bank" you can enter a vault and see glittery coins and gold blocks. A fairly large rockclimbing wall is in the museum, as are two playgrounds, both outside but fenced in. At the everglades playground there is a nice shaded hut with benches where parents can sit.
For some reason, children's museums are always super cold, and this one is too. Also the air smells kind of musty like the AC has mildew. That, plus the noise, make you really want to leave after an hour or two.
There isn't anything much to do outside the museum, as this is an industrial area. But if you continue on the causeway you can have a dreamy swim at Miami Beach!
For another children's museum that I like more than this one, check out Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast.
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Miami Children's Museum is located at 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami FL 33132, call (305) 373-5437.
Head east on Highway 395. After you cross the bridge, take the exit lane on your right to the Miami Children's Museum. There are signs.
Open daily 10-6, except opens noon on Jan 1, closed on Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov), closes at 4pm on Dec 24, closed on Dec 25, and closes at 4pm on Dec 31.
Admission is $16, $12 for Florida residents, and free for children under age 1. Discount admission for military and Miami residents.
Parking is $1 per hour in the lot directly beside the museum. Pay at the machines.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.