As most of you know small kids and museums aren’t the best combination. However, while doing research for things to do in Miami with my family I found Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and loved it. Before I married and had my kids I traveled to Europe a couple of times. While doing so, my favorite things to do were to visit historic places and castles all over the continent. Since it was such a great experience I thought it would be fun to visit this modern-day European palace in Miami.
Visiting a place where there would be old, delicate stuff that my boys couldn’t touch was not appealing to them at all. But I found a way to get them exited. I told them about the labyrinth this house had in the garden.
1. From 1916-1925 this property was home to the American Industrialist James Deering.
2. The beautiful gardens and estate where a handful of work. It took around 4 years to build them.
3. To maintain the house and gardens he didn’t just have staff, he had a village of people working there.
4. Most of the furniture and fountains are authentic antiques, brought from Europe, some date back to the 1500 – 1800?s
5. The gardens took more time to be 100% finished than the house, in total it to 7 years for it to be perfect.
6. You can get an idea of the amount of staff that used to live here through the fact that 12 out of the 34 rooms in the house were used by servants.
7. Back in 1952 the whole property was sold to Miami by James Deering’s heirs. It was sold at a reasonable price, but what is truly amazing is the fact that the furnishings, priced at millions of dollars where donated. So everything you see at this public museum is authentic.
As fun as these facts are, nothing beats actually being there!
Here’s a taste of what you’ll see and do when you’re at Vizcaya Museum:
Don’t forget the Labyrinth / Maze on one of the gardens
Ocean front area
The Boat for Cocktails – The cocktail area was built without a bridge on purpose; they wanted guests to take small boats during sunset for cocktails.
The beautiful view you get of the house from the bridges.
When we walked in to the main house we didn’t know that photos were not allowed, so we took one. The place is amazing!
My Take On It:
This museum in Miami was among the best things we did on our tip to Florida. I love how a place that didn’t seem very kid friendly ended up being a fun place for us all. The gardens had my boys entertained, excited and burning off energy.
My parents had the opportunity to take the audio tour and were able to fully appreciate the things found in the house and gardens. I wasn’t able to finish the tour because of the kids, so I got the abbreviated version from my parents.
Tips to Help You Enjoy Vizcaya Museum and Gardens:
1. Audio Tour – This is a must do if you are not coming with kids. It is the best way to learn about the place and to understand how things worked, and how people lived back in the heyday of this estate.
2. Stroller and wheelchairs – One thing to keep in mind is that the place is not wheelchair accessible. Therefore strollers aren’t recommended either. There are ways to maneuver around the garden and in some parts inside of the house, but there is no way to get upstairs. If you are on a wheelchair call the museum, they might have some options for you.
3. Food and treats – There is a café, but if you want to, you are also allowed to bring your own snacks.
Important Information for Vizcaya Museum:
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Hours: daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Tuesdays
Address: 3251 South Miami Avenue / Miami, Florida 33129
Child 6-12 $ 6
Children 5 and under Free
Seniors 62 and older with ID $ 10
Students with ID $ 10