Jamie’s Guide to Miami’s Best Playgrounds

As a mom of three, any playground is a good playground. I am not picky. If there is something to hang on, climb on, and slide down, you can count us in. If leaves are covering the slide and it’s a little wet, give me a baby wipe and we’ll figure it out. If it’s old, my only question is “Are there exposed nails?” If not – we’re good, let’s go!

My oldest, Zach, who is eight, when asked where he wanted to go to lunch the other day after a doctor’s appointment screamed “BURGER KING!” I quickly replied, “Ugh, really Zach, can we please go somewhere else?” To which he screamed again, “They have a playground!!!” Fine, there happened to be one around the corner and although it’s not exactly a culinary delight, convenience trumps all – plus, there’s a playground – so yup, we’re in. The playground at Burger King is more like a 30-year-old relic from the past with a playhouse to climb inside and a little see-through bubble. Nothing to hang on, nothing to slide down, yet he was still thrilled! Zach ate some fries, a sip of his milkshake, and played on this thing for a solid 15 minutes. Like I said, we’re not picky. He played, I sat, we were both happy.

With that said, there are some STELLAR playgrounds in Miami and we have been to quite a few of them and a couple on our wishlist. If you’re down this way, definitely give these spots a shot!

Pinecrest Gardens Playground/Splash Pad 11000 Red Road Pinecrest, FL 33156 – A hidden gem with a rich history – it used to be the Parrot Jungle! The grounds are simply STUNNING, making it worth every penny of the $2 admission fee. And it’s more than just your average playground here – it’s a mini world of adventures with giant lizard climbing structures, tire slides, swings, a splash pad, and so much more for the kids to discover. Don’t forget your swimsuit and towel for the splash pad fun! And if you time your visit for a Saturday, you’re in for a treat with an incredible farmer’s market – the ideal combo for a day of family fun.

Pinecrest Community Center 5855 Killian Drive Pinecrest, FL 33156 – Right next to Pinecrest Gardens is the community center where many kid’s classes are held, there is the Elia Café to grab some after-school snacks and a healthy shake, and a great little playground. There is a giant field where my kids have had many a soccer practice and my kids – all three of them – ages 2, 6, and 8, love the playground here. Don’t you just love a soccer practice or game that has a playground next to it? Such a win. There is also a running track, that I usually just stare at while I drink a shake, swelter in the heat, and watch my kids play. If you’ve gotten this far reading this my guess is you’re not going to the playground to run a lap while your kids play, but just an FYI.

Salvadore Park 1120 Andalusia Avenue Coral Gables, FL 33134 – My boys absolute favorite playground that they have turned into an obstacle course every time we go. There is so much to do, tons of space to run around, and plenty of park benches. My kids favorite attraction here would definitely have to be the zipline, a unique touch and so much fun. This park also has an amazing tennis center!

Miami Zoo Playground/Splash Pad 12400 SW 152 St. Miami FL, 33177 – Go for the animals, stay for the playground and splash pad. A hidden gem at the zoo, the playground is a must-do and the perfect way to end the day after a lot of walking. Don’t forget a towel and bathing suit for this one, though you’ll probably see a few kiddos rocking their undies, and my kids have definitely joined that club once or twice, but hey, no judgment here! Lots of interesting fixtures and fun areas for the kids to explore, everything is (of course) animal-themed and everyone always has the best time. Sure, by this point in the day, we’re all slightly tempted to wrangle each other into a lion’s den, but overall, it’s a solid 10/10 for family fun.

Alice Wainwright Park 2901 Brickell Avenue Miami, FL 33129 – More than just your average playground. It’s standout feature? The stunning views of Biscayne Bay. Perfect for an early morning stroll, the playground has interactive areas that my kids LOVE. I like to sit here and take in the views while my kids run around and explore to their heart’s content. It’s the kind of spot where you can combine leisure (me) and play (kids) seamlessly, all while soaking in the beauty of Miami’s waterfront.

Peacock Park 201 S Biscayne Blvd, Suite 2200 Miami, FL 33131 – Why are there not more restaurants with playgrounds next to them? This is the ultimate parent hack right here. Get a table at Glass and Vine right on the outside porch near the playground, order your food and your glass of wine and let those kids run free. Nothing better! A real business opportunity here for anyone looking to enter the restaurant biz: add a playground please, us parents will thank you. This playground has two different climbing and sliding structures for different age ranges. It is in the heart of the Grove and there is an amazing field for sports, basketball courts and trees to climb. Top notch.

Dante Fascell Park 8600 Red Road South Miami, FL 33143 – The “Naked Lady” park is what I still call this park that used to be my go-to playground growing up and now is one of my kid’s favorites. It’s called that because there is a giant woman-like cement structure with cement ta-tas that kids can climb on. Seems weird but it’s somehow not, just a good ol’ Miami staple. There are swings, a few structures for different ages, a giant park to run in/throw birthday parties in, basketball courts, and tennis courts. There are also a good amount of trees to climb at this park which isn’t always the case with playgrounds. This park has it all – including some beautiful art structures, an outdoor gym, and a running track.

Evelyn Greer Park 8200 SW 124th Street Pinecrest, FL 33156 – So, I stumbled upon this playground because, well, it’s soccer game central. Unless your little one has a game or you’re a local, you probably haven’t been here. But let me tell you, it’s worth it. They’ve got it all: two distinct areas divided into the under 5s and over 5s. Of course, my little under 5 is convinced she’s ready to take on the big leagues, so I spend half my time holding my breath as she dodges the cleats and elbows of sweaty boys in the over 5 area. And let’s talk about that over 5 section – it has an incredible spider web, with climbing frames, slides, and more.

Pirate Park 7601 Atlantic Way Miami Beach, FL 33141 – Honestly, I haven’t been here yet because it’s not in my neck of the woods but I have heard great things and thought I’d throw one playground in here that wasn’t in my direct vicinity. Word on the jungle gym is that this place is a hidden gem – think towering pirate ships, buried treasure (okay, maybe just sandboxes), and a sea of adventure waiting to be discovered. It’s the stuff of childhood dreams, or so I’ve been told many times! So, while I may not have personally set foot on its swashbuckling shores, I couldn’t resist including this one. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll brave the high seas of Miami traffic to seek out this legendary Pirate Park for myself! Let me know if you give it a try!

The Berry Farms 13720 SW 216th Street Miami, FL 33170 This is a bit different from the rest of the list because it’s not just a park, it’s a premiere ticketed venue but I had to mention it because there is an EPIC playground. The playground is an entire area made with wooden ships perfect for climbing, sliding and exploring and covered so there is a lot of shade. The Berry Farms also offers everything from hay rides, a pit filled with corn kernels, hayrides and hayrides to climb, an incredible market for great eats, delicious ice cream and treats and a beautiful strawberry and sunflower field where you can pay to pick your own flowers and berries! This is one of our favorite spots all year round and they also have great special events for all holidays.

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