Cultural family travel is right in Miami’s own backyard during the winter months. The mild weather invites a variety of outdoor organizations to set up tents, prepare delicious food and sell unique goods. Fairgrounds, church parking lots and community parks throughout Miami host these gatherings and ensure a great time for the entire family.
Although the Hispanic population holds the majority of ethnic backgrounds in this area, one can find fantastic cultural festivals that celebrate Greek, Asian, Brazilian and German heritages! Two of my favorites are the St. Sophia’s Greek Festival and the Miami-Dade Asian-American Festival.
This annual President’s Day weekend festival provides the chance to enjoy yummy gyros, use a pottery wheel, watch Greek dancing, and of course, let the kids blow off some steam with the standard amusement park rides that fill the church parking lot. The cathedral doors are opened during the festival, and attendees are encouraged to enter and look around. You will be so impressed with the opulence and ornate décor within the church walls. Take the time to sit in during one of the tours.
An impressive selection of Greek delicacies, beyond the fan favorite gyro and grape leaves, are ready for purchase. Indoor and outdoor seating is set up for families. Cooking demonstrations are performed at scheduled times – here’s your chance to finally learn how to make a gyro at home!
Vendors line the outdoor hallways of the church with jewelry, clothing, hair accessories and other traditional and non-traditional items. The parking lot has a great assortment of kid rides. An additional fee is required.
The Asian Cultural Festival
Fruit Spice Park
24801 SW 187 Avenue
Children under 12 FREE
Typically held in March, this festival reminds the families of the broad differences and similarities within Asian cultures. A Global Kids Village provides space and activities for children, including kite flying, pony and dragon “rides.”
The “food court” has an abundance of delicacies from across the Asian continent with foods from Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Laos, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Limited seating is available, but there is plenty of room to unroll a blanket and have a family “Asian picnic.” Traditional parades and dancing – yes, the dragons come out – will have you feeling like you are strolling the streets of Asia. Local martial arts schools demonstrate their remarkable talent. Beautiful artwork, crafts and other Asian treasures are set up by vendors for your shopping pleasure.
Artsy Miami for Families
The arts come out, too! A family’s visit to an indoor museum isn’t as necessary when over 100 artists line the streets at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in February. South Miami, Coral Gables and other areas also hold arts festivals, similar to Coconut Grove, just smaller in size.
Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Streets of downtown Coconut Grove
Children under 12 FREEThis President’s Day weekend annual festival provides art from across the globe, entertainment that will make you dance and foods that will leave you full and satisfied! It will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year – proving its tremendous success and tradition in the community. This may be the most popular arts festivals in South Florida as it is always packed with area residents and tourists enjoying the unique works of art.Funnel cakes, crab cakes, Cuban sandwiches and much, much more can be found in the center park area. A culinary pavilion provides cooking demos and an opportunity for kids to get their hands in the pot. At the most recent festival, ShortChef™, a chef dedicated to educate today’s youth on the importance of healthy living, especially healthy cooking, shared his knowledge and passion with children and their parents.A musical stage is used throughout the 3 days, as performers provide great entertainment of song and dance. As standard with most festivals, an amusement area with bounce houses and bungie jumps is set up to entertain the younger ones.
The traditional Coconut Grove Arts Festival poster is a top seller that highlights a lucky artist. We have 4 posters in our home!
Fantastic outdoor festivals and celebrations remind Miamians and tourists that family travel in Miami isn’t just the beaches and resorts.
Here are some more of my favorites:
• International Boat Show
• South Beach Food & Wine Festival
• Miami International Film Festival
• Deering Seafood Festival
• Miami’s Art Basel
• South Miami Arts Festival
• International Mango Festival
• Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival
• Cuba Nostaglia