Jungle-IslandMiami is a city often associated with clubs, perdition and a frenetic nightlife. But this doesn’t quite paint the whole picture: Florida’s beating heart also has so much on offer for families. These five family attractions will let you see all that stretches behind those palms and sandy beaches in a different light.

1) Jungle Island

Miami stands right where the Caribbean meets America: it’s no surprise Jungle Island, an oasis of wildlife right in the core of the city, embraces the exotic influences from across the seven seas and turns them into a top-notch urban attraction for the whole family. Here you will encounter the massive free-flying condor, alligator snapping turtles and a liger, a rare hybrid between a lion and a tiger. But Jungle Island is not just like any zoo: you can also sit down and relax on a private beach, or enjoy various activities such as the wild VIP Safari Tour or interactive group encounters.

2) The Miami Seaquarium

Miami-SeaquariumThe waves of Miami family fun go all the way from the ocean to the Seaquarium, where wildlife is typically aquatic and dolphins take part in spectacular shows along with fellow sea lions and killer whales. The Seaquarium shows its best side with the Dolphin Odyssey, during which you can swim with dolphins for half an hour and even enjoy a thrilling dorsal pull.

3) Miami Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum was established to enrich the lives of children through creation, play, interaction and arts. Across its 56,500 square feet, children will be to able to climb sandcastles, learn to limbo or take a pretend cruise and play in in kid-sized ports, banks and recording studios. With dozens of attractions this museum, a proper all-rounder, is as educational as entertaining.

4) Monkey Jungle

This is the place where ”humans are caged and monkeys run wild.” Jumping through a luxurious 30-acre forest here are about 400 wild primates, which you’ll even get to feed and observe up-close. Among the most exciting species to observe here are gibbons, spider monkeys and Java monkeys.

5) Venetian Pool – Coral Gables

venetian-pool-coral-gablesNot all kids’ attractions have to be educative: more often than not, your children will be happy just swimming about in blue waters. When the waters call, why not bring them to Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, just southwest of downtown Miami? Not only this is a stunning place for a dive, but it is also the largest freshwater pool in the US. As the name testifies, this public pool recreates Venetian architecture and includes everything else a family needs, from a smaller pool and waterfall for kids, to cafés and relaxing walking paths for mum and dad.

What are some of your favorite attractions in Miami for families you’ve come across in the South Florida city? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Amandine Laurent is a French traveller and full-time mum settled in the UK. She also writes for Thomson.co.uk.