Explore America's Campgrounds
Miami has a reputation for being the city that never sleeps or leaves the beach. However, this tropical locale is also home to many family and teenager-oriented activities and attractions. No matter if you visit Miami during hot and steamy August or cool and rainy February, there are plenty of entertaining distractions for even the grumpiest teenager.
Because of Miami's rich environmental resources and quirky beach lifestyle, you won't get stuck at boring museums here. Give your teenager a choice between swimming with dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium, watching a live alligator show at Jungle Island and snorkeling at Biscane National Park. Also check out the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium.
Jolt your teen out of family vacation boredom with a fast-paced air boat tour of the Everglades. Whip through this expansive natural wonderland at great speeds and keep your eyes open for alligators and other wildlife. Visit the Everglades Safari Park for a guaranteed up-close look at more than 100 alligators and the opportunity to hold one for a photo your teen will want to send to her friends.
Miami Sports Teams
If your teen is a sports fans, he's likely seen the Miami Heat play basketball on television. Show him the real deal and purchase tickets to a game at the American Airlines Arena. The season lasts from November to May. Also check out the happenings at Sun Life Stadium, home to Miami Dolphins football and Florida Marlins baseball. See the stadium schedule for off-season events as well.
What better time to relax on the beach than while your teen gives surfing a try? The South Florida waters are warm enough so wetsuits aren't necessary, and surf schools abound. Find a pro on the beach or research beforehand and set up an afternoon or morning session. Make sure there is adequate land instruction before your teen heads out into the water.
Take advantage of the usually mild Miami weather by visiting one of its many parks. Keep in mind that these aren't typical suburban parks; the term is used loosely to include pools and big attractions. Try rollerblading at the rink at Crandon Beach Park, playing tennis at Dante Fascal Park and riding the water slides at Flamingo Park. The Fruit and Spice Park is aptly named and includes more than 500 varieties of rare fruits, herbs and spices. Yo can also take your teen to Bayfront Park for trapeze lessons.
Stephanie Barlow is a freelance writer living in New York City who has been writing professionally since 2005. Her articles about food, restaurants and New York living have appeared in the "New York Press," the "Detroit Free Press" and at GourmetScoop.com. Barlow holds a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.