JUNGLE ISLAND KIDS IN FREE
Through Friday, South Florida residents have an even better reason to visit the tropical paradise of Jungle Island, as each child 10 and under receives free admission with each paid adult admission (must mention promotion). Explore the 18-acre park and marvel at all kinds of exotic wildlife, from twin orangutans, Australian red kangaroos, Aldabra tortoises, big cats, reptiles and colorful parrots. Plus, enjoy three animal shows including Winged Wonders, Wild Encounters and Wild Adventures, then cool off by taking a salt-water plunge at Parrot Cove, Jungle Island’s private beach oasis.
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Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; 305-400-7000 or www.jungleisland.com; regular park admission is $39.95 per adult and $32.95 per child.
MIAMI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM THOMAS AND FRIENDS
All aboard! The MCM welcomes the Thomas and Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit, a 1,500-sq.-ft. playground where kids can use their creativity by climbing into Thomas’ cab and exploring the engine’s inner workings, fixing Percy’s wobbly wheel by removing and replacing parts, suiting up as the conductor to exchange money and sell tickets to other visitors, and much more.
Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, running through Jan. 8, at the Miami Children’s Museum, 980 MacArthur Cswy., Watson Island, Miami; www.miamichildrensmuseum.org; $20, $15 for Florida residents, free for kids under 12 months.
GET SPOOKED HOUSE OF HORROR AMUSEMENT PARK
Why wait till Halloween for thrills and chills? South Florida’s largest haunted house brings more than 30 rooms of terror, two acres of new rides, live music (including the New York DJ duo The Chainsmokers on Oct. 6), games and great carnival food such as elephant ears and fried Oreos.
Details: 6-11 p.m. Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, and 5:30-11 p.m. Sunday, running through Oct. 31, at Miami International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave., Doral; www.houseofhorrorpark.com; $29, $15 kids 6 and under – includes unlimited rides.
KIDS’ HAPPY HOUR FUNTASTIC FRIDAYS
Enjoy a DJ, face-painting, games and bounce houses and see why Local 10 (WPLG) viewers ranked this event No. 8 on their "Top 10 Places to Take the Kids in South Florida” list. Bring a blanket, stick around and watch the original 1984 spooky comedy classic “Gremlins,” starring Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates, who must deal with strange, destructive creatures called mogwais. Film is from 8-10 p.m., weather permitting.
Details: 5-8 p.m. Friday at Arts Park at Young Circle, Hollywood Boulevard and US 1, Hollywood; 954-921-3500 or www.visithollywoodfl.org; free.
DIVE-IN MOVIES INSIDE OUT
Every last Friday of the month, enjoy a family feature film after a day of pool fun. At 7:30 p.m., the slides close down and everyone moves to the recreation pool (Captain’s Lagoon) to grab a float tube or lounge chair for movie time. This month’s selection is the mesmerizing 2015 Disney/Pixar instant classic “Inside Out,” about five personified emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear) trying to lead a young girl through life.
Details: Park opens for swimming at 5:30 p.m. Friday; movie begins at 8 p.m.; at Grapeland Water Park, 1550 NW 37th Ave., Coral Gables; 305-960-2950; $5, under 2 free.
SOUTHLAND MALL FESTIVE FRIDAYS
Kick off the weekend with entertaining cultural performances and activities. This week, the Cutler Bay Community Theater thespians bring the drama to the stage with a performance that is sure to bring the house down.
Details: 6-8 p.m. Friday at Southland Mall, 20505 S. Dixie Hwy., Cutler Bay; www.mysouthlandmall.com; free.
CHILDREN’S CLASSIC ANNIE JR.
Enjoy this adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical by Miami Children’s Theater featuring the adventures of everyone’s favorite little redhead Little Orphan Annie as she finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Plus, sing along to the timeless songs “Tomorrow,” “Easy Street” and “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”
Details: 7 p.m. Friday, and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave., Pinecrest; www.pinecrestgardens.org; $15, $10 seniors and kids.
BUILD, LEARN, CREATE HOME DEPOT WORKSHOPS
Kids — wanna learn to be handy around the house just like Mom and Dad (and the professional workers they inevitably end up calling to finish the job)? These workshops teach children do-it- yourself skills and tool safety, plus instill an early sense of pride and accomplishment.
Details: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at all Home Depot stores; free.
THE KAMPONG FAMILY DAY FESTIVAL
Enjoy an afternoon of tribal games, body-painting, sacred songs and traditional dance while celebrating the Yawanawa's traditional Mariri Festival in this intimate, once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a people still living in true harmony with nature. Funds raised will go toward establishing the Traditional School of Mutum (TSM) in the Mutum Village of Acre, Brazil, for Yawanawa children ages 7-14.
Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, 4013 S. Douglas Rd., Coconut Grove; www.eventbrite.com; $15, $5 kids 4-12, free 3 and under..
BEATS AND BBQ HOMESTEAD ROCK ‘N’ RIBFEST
Pig out on succulent ribs at this family-friendly event with live rock bands and dance music by DJ Leroy, plus a kids’ play area and more entertainment.
Details: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday at Harris Field Pavilion, 1034 NE 8th St., Homestead; 305-224-4570; $10, kids 10 and under free.
FUN IN THE SUN 5K PARK FEST
All-day event benefits your choice of cause while inspiring others to Perform Acts of Random Kindness (PARK), and features family-friendly activities including a Mini Run for the kids, a bounce house, a rock-climbing wall, volleyball, face-painting, carousel rides and a mini-train, plus live music by Problem Kids 305 and dancing to celeb DJ Robin Louis.
Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Key Biscayne; www.5kparkfest.com; event is free; $40 registration fee to enter Mini Run and 5K.
FIESTA! PERUFEST USA
As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, the whole family will enjoy delectable Peruvian food, fun arts & crafts, and entertainment by singer Julie Freundt, singer and guitarist Pisko, and Nando y Su Banda.
Details: Noon-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition, 10901 SW 24th St., Miami; www.perufestusa.com; $15, kids 12 and under free.
FUN ART CLASSES CREATIVE ARTS 4 KIDS
Monthly series for kids 6-12 offers different themes to teach about the elements of art through painting, drawing and sculpting activities in the style of renowned artists. This month’s topic: Helen Frankenthaler: Water & Movement, with the activity Water Color Abstract Paintings.
Details: 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; www.mocanomi.org; $18 per class, $60 four-class series; $12 per class, $40 four-class series for MOCA members, NOMI residents and City employees; $2 discount for each additional child in the household.
NEW WORLD CENTER CONCERT FOR KIDS
From the glowing moon to the rings of Saturn, Atlanta Symphony Assistant Conductor Joseph Young explores the final frontier with musical favorites by Holst, Debussy, Strauss, Goldsmith and more. Arrive early for the instrument petting zoo, where children can meet the Fellows, play instruments and hear a fun pre-concert chat about the northern lights phenomenon.
Details: 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; www.newworldcenter.com; $15.
Free For All
GOLD COAST RAILROAD MUSEUM ALL ABOARD!
Train lovers unite as Free First Saturdays offer a day of fun at the museum with no entrance fee and plenty of choo-choos to explore, plus a pizza food truck.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; www.gcrm.org; free.
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