Miami-Dade County

South Florida spring breakers find fun near home

Julia Lavito, 7, draws on the playground at Alice Wainwright Park in Coconut Grove Sunday afternoon with her 10-year-old sister, Silvana, left. They are both on spring recess from St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove.
Julia Lavito, 7, draws on the playground at Alice Wainwright Park in Coconut Grove Sunday afternoon with her 10-year-old sister, Silvana, left. They are both on spring recess from St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove. Miami Herald Staff

With a week of spring break beckoning, some South Florida students are keeping the fun close to home.

They’re spending time with Mom and Dad. Hanging out at the park. Seeing friends. Heading to an area camp.

With the warmer weather, Miami’s green space drew throngs of students on Sunday. Typical of the scene: Kids rode bikes and chased their dogs around David. T. Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove.

And with a week off from school, they’ll be doing more of that for the next five days.

Coral Gables High senior Cyrus Zeldman, 17, started his vacation playing Frisbee with his dad, Jamie, in the sun at Kennedy Park, 2600 S. Bayshore Dr.

“I am just going to hang out with my family and mostly relax in Miami this week,” Zeldman said.

This marks his last high school spring break and he says some of his friends have left town. But he wants to take advantage of being home with his parents.

“He’ll be off to college soon and we want to spend time with him,” his dad said.

Over at the fitness equipment, a group of young sailors got in some play time before they went back to the Coral Reef Yacht Club next door for some more serious business: practice.

“We’re going to sail all week because we have a regatta next weekend,” Ransom Everglades sixth-grader Adam Kaplan said.

Kaplan, 12, says he and his friends usually train on the weekend but plan to use the time off to fit in some extra practice time on the water.

Students also converged at Alice Wainwright Park, 2845 Brickell Ave. in Coconut Grove, where they could enjoy the weather with sparkling Biscayne Bay as a backdrop.

St. Stephen’s fourth-grader Silvana Lavito, 10, came equipped with a box of chalk to draw on the playground concrete with her sister, Julia.

While she sketched out a tree, Silvana shared her mixed feelings about the days off from school.

“It feels good to be on vacation because in school we are always taking tests since I am in fourth grade,” she said. “But it’s sad because I’ll miss my friends.”

Their father, Vince Lavito, says the day at the park is just the beginning of the staycation he has planned for his three children. His daughters will attend camp at Art Box in Coconut Grove and his 13-year-old son wants to visit some local golf courses.

Beneath one of the park’s bungalows, a group of high schoolers celebrated a friend’s birthday with a barbecue. Some said they would use the week to sleep late.

“Maybe I’ll have some sleepovers with my friends,” Miami Killian junior Emie Marin said.

But for others, the vacation won’t be all leisure all of the time.

“I am taking an SAT course all week,” said Aidan Neal, a New World School of the Arts junior. “I knew I needed to sacrifice this break for that.”

Aidan says he’ll make time to blow off steam from the studying with some yoga.

“I am enjoying being outside this one last day before the torture.”

Spring breakers can look forward to hot temperatures this week, with highs in the 80s and sporadic showers Wednesday through Friday.

Skies are predicted to clear up again before Miami-Dade and Broward public school students return to school next Monday.

More things to do nearby during spring recess this week can be found at events.miamiherald.com.

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