Savor the summer, while you still can

 

Summertime bucket-list cheat sheet

Parks

What: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Address/hours/cost: 120601 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., daily. Entrance fees range from $2 to $8.

More info: Call 305-451-6300 or visit www.pennekamppark.com.

What: Everglades National Park.

Address/hours/cost: Entrances in Homestead, Shark Valley and Naples/Everglades City. Open 24/7, although some entrances are closed in the evening or seasonally. Entrance fees range from $5 to $10. Tours and trams may be an additional cost.

More info: Visit www.nps.gov/ever.

What: Oleta River State Park.

Address/hours/cost: 3400 NE 163rd St., North Miami. 8 a.m.-sunset, daily. Entrance fees range from $2 to $6. Cabin rentals are $55 a night.

More info: Call 305-919-1846 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/oleta.

What: Venetian Pool.

Address/hours/cost: 2701 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables. Until Aug. 18, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. From Aug.19-Sept. 8, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. FOR NON-RESIDENTS, $11.50 for adults and children over 13; $6.60 for children ages 3-12; children under 3 are not allowed. FOR CORAL GABLES RESIDENTS, $5.25 for adults and children over 13; $4.15 for children ages 3-12.

More info: Call 305-460-5306 or visit www.venetianpool.com.

Museums

What: Miami Children’s Museum.

Address/hours/cost: 980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Sunday. $16; $12 for Florida residents; free for children under 1.

More info: Call 305-373-5437 or visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org.

What: HistoryMiami.

Address/hours/cost: 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students with ID, $5 for children ages 6-5, free for children under 6.

More info: Call 305-375-1492 or visit www.historymiami.org.

What: Bass Museum of Art.

Address/hours/cost: 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students with ID, free for children under 6.

More info: Call 305-673-7530 or visit www.bassmuseum.org.

What: Miami Science Museum.

Address/hours/cost: 3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. $14.95 for adults, $10.95 for seniors and students with ID, $10.95 for children ages 3-12, and free for children under 2. Miami-Dade residents receive a discount.

More info: Call 305-646-4200 or visit www.miamisci.org.

Ice skating

What: Scott Rakow Youth Center.

Address/hours/cost: 2700 Sheridan Ave., Miami Beach. 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays; 3 pm.-5 p.m. and 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Freestyle 60-minute sessions start at $10; $2 skate rental.

More info: Call 305-673-7000 ext. 2530 or visit www.miamibeachfl.gov.

What: Kendall Ice Arena.

Address/hours/cost: 10355 Hammocks Blvd. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.-12 a.m. On Fridays, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-10 p.m. $7 regular admission; $3 skate rental.

More info: Call 305-386-8288 or visit www.kendallicearena.com.


kkallergis@MiamiHerald.com

For some kids, the end of the summer can feel like one long Sunday-before-school night.

But it’s a great time to have one more summertime blast, getting out and exploring South Florida’s parks, pools, waterways, ice-skating rinks and museums.

Linda Friar enjoys boat rides on Florida Bay.

“You get out on the bay and think, “This is why I live here,’” she said.

Friar, a spokeswoman for Everglades National Park, encourages families to “consider their comfort levels” when planning any outdoor activities in August.

“Like anything in Florida, you need to be cautious of the weather,” she said.

Boat tours are available at the park’s Gulf Coast Marina area and the Whitewater Bay backcountry of Florida Bay. The park has seven canoe trails, including the Nine Mile Pond to the Mud Lake Loop. You can bring your own canoe or rent them, Friar said. “It’s a great way to stay fit for the whole family.”

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is another affordable, family-friendly option. Pennekamp, the first undersea park in the United States, extends about two miles into the Atlantic and is about 25 miles long. Park-goers can go as far as six to seven miles away from the shoreline via glass-bottom boat, snorkeling and diving tours, park manager Pat Wells said.

“We provide affordable, resource-based activities the whole family can do,” Wells said.

Kalyn James has explored the park with her family and agreed with the park’s manager.

“It’s good for families on a budget, but it’s also a great way to take advantage of the natural resources we have here in Florida.”

While she and her family were snorkeling, dolphins approached them. “That was a really unique experience, to have the dolphins swimming so close to us,” she said.

This summer, they visited the Venetian Pool for the first time.

“Our family loves the water — the beach, the pool, it doesn’t matter,” James said. “We had never been [to the Venetian Pool], and we’ve lived in Miami for 10 years. We thought it was really special.”

Anywhere from about 500 to 800 people visit the pool daily from June to August. It’s drained and filled daily and maintains a temperature of about 76 degrees, Venetian Pool aquatics supervisor Carolina Vester said.

The pool, which was carved out of a rock quarry, is the only public pool featured in the National Register of Historic Places. Waterfalls, caves and a sandy beach area are all part of the appeal, Vester said.

Miamian Maryan Firpo enjoys museums, art festivals “or just going to the pool,” she said. Firpo loves exploring different parts of South Florida. Her regular outings include the Miami Science Museum, the Miami Children’s Museum and the Venetian Pool. Her advice is to follow the crowds.

“The tour buses are the best,” she said. “They will certainly take you places you’ve never been, they will tell you more than you ever thought you knew about Miami, and you’ll mentally highlight new places you want to go in the future.”

The summer is the busiest time for the Miami Children’s Museum, CEO and executive director Deborah Spiegelman said.

The Dino Island exhibit transports children back to the prehistoric age, where they learn about dinosaurs, their habitat and how they were named. The museum is open to children of all ages, but those 8 and younger are its primary audience.

For those looking to cool off, ice-skating is available in Kendall at the Kendall Ice Arena and in Miami Beach at the Scott Rakow Youth Center.

“It gives you an opportunity to get out of the heat in a family environment,” youth center ice-rink manager Anthony Scallo said.

You can also cool off at HistoryMiami, the museum in downtown Miami. Check out “Opa-locka: Mirage City,” an exhibit that is on display until Sept. 8. The exhibit presents original drawings and architectural models that show the city as it was originally envisioned — a romanticized, Hollywood-like Middle Eastern oasis.

This article includes comments from the Public Insight Network, an online community of people who have agreed to share their opinions with the Miami Herald and WLRN. Become a member at MiamiHerald.com/insight.

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category