The Miami Auto Show is the leading car event event in Florida. Every car manufacturer displays their newest models for attendees to enjoy. Visitors climb into models, learn what’s new, and participate in fun car and driving related activities. Miami Auto Show family attendees find a full day of air conditioned entertainment.
The Miami International Auto Show opened on Saturday, September 10th and will run through September 18th at the Miami Beach Convention Center. It is a fantastic family event, not just for car enthusiasts but also for those seeking a new car in the next few years, or parents just dreaming of that new car smell and a cleaner back seat.
Children of all ages will find a few things to engage them, and parents will appreciate the car environment that an auto show offers, which is quite different than the floor of a dealership.
Kids can freely climb into any car they choose. When my son was two, he would ask to go sit in one of our cars in the driveway and would be content for hours as we watched him climb from front seat to backseat, touching everything. He was enamored with the dashboard and all of its buttons. But imagine doing that at a dealership!
Most manufacturers are on display and there are more cars than you can possibly imagine: the fantasy family cruisers for carpool and car seats, fantasy 16th birthday cars, fantasy empty nester cars, and fantasy collector cars you’ll only own the Matchbox versions of. They’re all there.
Another cool things about the auto shows are that each car manufacturer has designated product specialists inside exhibit areas to answer any questions about the cars. They couldn’t sell you one if you wanted them to.
This is about browsing freely and getting lots of information (with no pressure!) for your next car purchase. It’s the difference between browsing Sephora and trying new lipsticks in peace or having to go to a traditional department store with the hard-sell of the woman behind the counter pointing bottles of perfume at you.
Many of the exhibitors have special educational or entertainment features that will be of interest to children who are starting to grasp that they will be driving within 10 years.
Toyota has a car dummy and additional presentations on car safety; Ford has a coloring station for children, who can stare at the rainbow pallets of every one of the Ford models color options and grab provided crayons and coloring sheets to color their ideal their fantasy Ford.
One of the biggest highlights is called Millionaires Row, which is predominately a display of Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, and other high-end collector cars. Both children and parents can appreciate the exotic beauty of these cars. There’s even a toy Lamborghini your kids will try to ride in.
Finally, Camp Jeep is a must do for families and the closest thing to an amusement park ride after with its simulator experience.
Camp Jeep is an off-road track located outside the front of the car show. Families can line up and step into one of Jeep’s different models: the Wrangler Rubicon, Cherokee Trailhawk, Renegade Trailhawk and Grand Cherokee.
Each car is driven by a professional driver who will take your family up and down steep hills, 30° inclines, uneven terrain, and very large road bumps. The Jeep’s impressive off-road features master the course with ease. Families will find this exciting and even though it looks like a roller coaster ride, the passenger experience is very tame.
New this year is a staircase obstacle called the Grand Clearance Stair Climb that will give you the feeling of a slow motion chase scene down the Spanish Steps in one of the movie franchises starring Matt Damon.
The camera mounted on the windshield can capture the experience, and— like a proper theme park— a family can look at their photographs from their Camp Jeep ride afterwards and share them on social media.
But unlike those in Disney World, these photos are free and participating gives visitors an entry into a $45,000 sweepstakes towards the purchase of any FCA car.
New Cars To Look For
For those in the market for new cars, Nissan revealed two new models at the show: their smaller SUV, the Rogue, which is one of their best selling models, as well as the 2017 Nissan Sentra.
For those with luxury leanings, be sure to check out the Genesis exhibit nearby. It’s the first luxury car brand to launch in the United States since Tesla.
Genesis is fusing luxury car ownership with many concierge level services. Its integration with the Amazon Echo gives us a peek into our Jetsons-like future. The incredibly comprehensive concierge service that come with each new Genesis is an interesting look ahead into where the luxury car market is headed. Valet pick up for the owners for scheduled maintenance means that Genesis owners never have to go back to the dealership again during their first three years of purchase.
Planning to visit
Adult tickets are $15 and children between the ages of 6 and 12 are $6, while those 5 and under are free. The show is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends and 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays.
If you are looking for family-friendly Art Deco accommodations near the convention center, the Sagamore is an all-suite hotel that works well for families. Their beachfront location, extensive art displays, and spacious suites give families options and comfort for a Miami Beach vacation. For something a little more luxe, Teaching Traveling Mom Kirsten Maxwell recently stayed at the InterConintental Miami with glowing reviews.