It may be hot, but it's also the easiest time of the year to kick back and enjoy South Florida like a tourist. Here's the ultimate list of everything to do with the kids during the long break.
There's no excuse for boredom (though a little navel-gazing never hurt anyone - and those closets won't clean out themselves!).
Here are the best 8 answers to the plaintive wail, 'Mom, I'm booorrrred!'
1. 'Let's go swimming!'
Here are some of the South Florida water parks and pools that are open to the public. There are many more run by various cities.
900 N. Flamingo Rd. Pembroke Pines. Call 954-357-5170.
Open 9:30 a.m.- 5:20 p.m. Admission is $9.50/person. After 3 p.m., $6.50/person. In addition, there is a gate admission fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) on weekends and holidays.
3300 N. Park Rd. Hollywood. Call 954-357-8811.
Open 9:30 a.m.- 5:20 p.m. Admission is $8; $5 after 3 p.m. In addition, there is a gate admission fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) on weekends and holidays.
401 S. Powerline Rd. Deerfield Beach. Call 954-357-5100.
Open 9:30 a.m.-5:20 p.m. daily. From June 9-Sept. 3, admission is by sessions of one hour and 50 minutes. $5 a session; free for kids 1 year and younger. In addition, there is a gate admission fee of $1.50 a person (children 5 and under free) on weekends and holidays.
3700 NW 11th Pl., Lauderhill.. Call 954-357-5400.
Open 9:30 a.m.- 5:20 p.m., split into two sessions: 9:30 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. and 1:30 to 5:20 p.m. Admission is $5 a session. In addition, there is a gate admission fee of $1.50 a person (children 5 and under free) on weekends and holidays.
1550 NW 37th Ave., Miami. Call 305-960-2950.
Open 9:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $7 for kids age 2-13; free for kids 1 and younger; $12 for Miami-Dade County residents 14 and older; $15 for non-residents.
McDonald Aquatic Center
7505 W. 12th Ave., Hialeah. Call 305-818-9164.
Open 12:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $7 for kids 4-17 and $10 for adults. Hialeah residents can get discounted rates if you register with the city.
2701 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables. Call 305-460-5306.
Open 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission is $11.50 for adults, $6.60 for kids 3-12; for Coral Gables residents, it's $5.25 for adults, $4.15 for kids 3-12. Children under 3 not admitted.
2. 'Let's go to the beach!'
Find a guide to South Florida's best beaches at Miami.com.
3. 'Let's go explore the great outdoors!'
Located along the edge of Biscayne Bay, the 444-acre Deering Estate at Cutler is an environmental, archeological and historical preserve -- and a Miami-Dade County park. Its many activities include canoe rides, butterfly hikes and guided nature tours. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last ticket sold at 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children 4 to 14 years old.
Everglades National Park
For a quick trip, head west on U.S. 41 to Shark Valley. It has a 15-mile bike path and a 65-foot observation tower. Or take Florida's Turnpike to Florida City, then follow the signs to the Everglades Royal Palm Visitor Center for ranger-led tours and a look at alligators, birds and reptiles. The Shark Valley entrance is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Main park (Florida City) entrance is open 24 hours. Fees vary: $10 car (good for seven consecutive days), $5 pedestrian/bicycle (good for seven consecutive days), $25 annual pass.
Crandon Park, 6767 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne. Call 305-361-6767.
The center has nature exhibits, saltwater aquariums and a spot for snorkeling and kayaking. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Guided tours with a naturalist vary from $3 to $12 a person. Nature center admission is free, but there is a $5 parking fee during the week and $6 on weekends.
4. 'Let's play tourist!'
Summer Savings Pass
The Summer Savings Pass is good for entry to four South Florida attractions: Zoo Miami, Miami Seaquarium, Museum of Discovery and Science and Lion Country Safari. The pass is $55 plus tax for adults and $45 plus tax for kids ages 3 to 12. If you already have an annual pass to one of the venues, you can get the Summer Savings Pass at a discount: $30 plus tax for adults and $20 plus tax for youngsters. The pass is good for unlimited visits through Sept. 30, 2013. Buy at a participating attraction.
Miami-Dade wildlife attractions
(Zoo Miami, Miami Seaquarium, Jungle Island, Monkey Jungle, Everglades Alligator Farm)
2003 Lion Country Safari Rd., Loxahatchee. (Southern Boulevard 18 miles west of Interstate 95). Call 561-793-1084.
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends. Admission: $28.50 (ages 10-64); $25.50 (seniors 65+); $21 (children 3-9); Free for toddlers (0-2). Parking is $6 per vehicle. Check the website for available coupons.
5. 'Let's go to the museum!'
751 SW 121st Ave., Davie. Call 954-424-0085.
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission $12 for ages 1-18; $13 for 18 and up; free for kids under 1. Family membership $135.
401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-467-6637.
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission (not including IMAX) $14 for adults; $13 for seniors; $12 for kids 2-12; free for kids 1 and younger. Memberships start at $85.
IMAX Theater Click here for movies and showtimes. Tickets are $7-$14; or $15-$20 for ticket to both the exhibits and IMAX.
980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami. Call 305-373-KIDS (5437).
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission $16; $12 for Florida residents, $6 city of Miami residents, children under 12 months are free. Admission is free 3 to 9 p.m. on the third Friday of the month. Parking is $1 an hour.
6. 'Let's go to the movies!'
Get reviews and showtimes at Miami.com
Summer Movie Clubhouse at Cinemark
Dollar summer movies at area Regal cinemas
7. 'Let's pretend it's winter!'
4601 N. Federal Hwy., Lighthouse Point. Call 954-943-1437.
Regular sessions from 9:40 to 11:50 a.m. and 1:40 to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7:30-10 p.m. Friday; 1:40 to 3:50 and 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and 1:40-3:50 p.m. Sunday. Cheap Skate sessions, which include skate rental, are 6:40 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday. Admission is $9; $3 skate rental.
Saveology.com Iceplex (formerly Incredible Ice)
3299 Sportsplex Dr., Coral Springs. Call 954-341-9956.
Summer public skating schedule starts June 11: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8:30 to 11 p.m. Friday; 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10; skate rental $4. (On Wednesday nights, it's $7, including skate rental)
12425 Taft St., Pembroke Pines. Call 954-704-8700.
Open for public skating 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ($10) or 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ($8) or 12:30 to 3 p.m. ($8) Monday-Friday; 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday ($10); 10 a.m. to noon ($8), 1 to 5 p.m. ($10), or 3 to 5 p.m. ($8) Saturday and Sunday. Skate rental $4, premium skate rental $5.
10355 Hammocks Blvd., Miami. Call 305-386-8288.
Open for public skating Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ($7 plus $3 skate rental); Wednesday 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. ($7 plus $3 skate rental) and 4:30 to 6 p.m. ($7 includes skate rental); Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 6:30 to 10 p.m. ($7 plus $3 skate rental); Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ($7 plus $3 skate rental) or 8:30 p.m. to midnight ($10 plus $2 skate rental); Saturday 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 7 p.m. ($7 plus $3 skate rental) or 8:30 p.m. to midnight ($10 plus $2 skate rental); Sunday 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 10 p.m. ($7 plus $3 skate rental.)
2700 Sheridan Ave., Miami Beach. Call 305-673-7767.
Open for public skating 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 8 to 10 p.m. Friday (teens only) and Saturday. Admission is $6 for kids, $9 for adults; $3 for Miami Beach residents. Skate rental is $4, $2 for Miami Beach residents.
8. 'Let's play indoors!'
12265 SW 112th St. Miami. Call 305-270-9386.
Sessions are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, $10 plus $2 skate rental for regular skates; $3 for inline skates. Sessions and specials nights and weekends for families, adults only, ladies night, etc.
3737 N. Davie Road Ext., Davie and 7500 Southgate Blvd., North Lauderdale. Call 954-721-0580.
Admission is $8-10, plus skate rental. Specials for various groups, adults, tiny tots, etc., on various nights and weekends.
Arcades and playrooms
18821 NE 29th Ave., Aventura. Call 305-974-0189.
It provides an indoor playground for children and imported European food and wine for parents. Open daily 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free for babies under 6 months old; $8 for toddlers 6-18 months; $10 for kids 18 months and up.
3073 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach. 305-944-1566.
Upscale coffeehouse with colorful play area for young children. $6.50 admission to play area. Open 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Two locations: Shops at Sunset Place, 5701 Sunset Dr., Miami. Call 305-446-1686. And Dolphin Mall, 11401 NW 12th St., Doral. Call 305-477-5505.
An entertainment center for parents and kids, with dining, arts, blocks, games and more. Sunset Place open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Sunday. Dolphin Mall open noon to
9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $13.50 for kids 3 to 12; $6.50 for kids under 3; free for parents and teens.
1700 NW First St., Dania Beach. Call 954-921-1411.
Arcade, open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. Monday – Thursday, noon to 1 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. Price varies according to amusement ride package, from $24 to $40.
Kabooms Amusement and Party Center
9130 State Road 84, Davie. Call 954-452-2800.
Roller rink open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Attractions also include bounce houses, paint ball, laser tag and an arcade. Price varies according to amusement package, from $3 to $19. Unlimited skate is $9.
Chuck E. Cheese's
Kiddie pizza parlor and arcade with locations all over South Florida.
3000 Oakwood Blvd., Hollywood. Call 954-923-5505. 11481 NW 12th St., Miami. Call 305-468-1555. Open 11:30 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday.
5855 Wiles Road, Coral Springs. Call 954-755-2000. Indoor playground and gourmet cafe. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission is $10.95 for kids age 2-6, $8.95 for ages 6 months-2 years; $5.95 for siblings. Discounts available for package of 10 visits and yearly memberships are available.
1455 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-1816 or email email@example.com.
Indoor playground includes a toddler zone, a laser maze, sky ropes challenge, interactive game floor, rock-climbing wall and more. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission is $9.95 for babies up to age 3 (no charge if baby is accompanied by older sibling); $14.95 for kids age 3-5; $19.95 for ages 5 and older. Multi-day passes and monthly memberships offer discounts.
1401 Green Road, Deerfield Beach. Call 954-428-3386.
Indoor play space includes a trampoline park, ropes course, aeroball, bungee trampoline, rock climbing walls and more. Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., Friday from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Wednesday. Admission starts at $10 for a single attraction. Combination tickets are $36 to $59.50.
9980 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, 954-442-8777; 3445 N. Hiatus Rd., Sunrise, 954-748-4123.
Indoor playground includes inflatable slides, bounce houses and obstacle courses. Open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission for kids is $7.99 weekdays and $9.99 weekends; ages 2 and younger, if playing, is $5. Adults are free.
5891 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, 954-380-8600.
Indoor playground with laser tag, arcade, ropes course, climbing wall and toddler area. Summer hours are Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Packages range from $10 to $55.
2403 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-573-1379.
The three-story open play area has slides and obstacle courses, a toddler area and arts and crafts. Hours are Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Open play is $10 for 6 months to 8, and $7 for siblings.
2501 NW Second Ave., Miami, 305-576-7604.
Three play areas of multi-sensory experiences, including climbing, slides and zip lines. There is a ball pit and arts and crafts. Open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 ages 3 and younger; $15 for ages 4 and older.
9025 SW 72nd Place, Miami, 305-514-0248.
Open-play areas separated by age group. The infants to age two play area focuses on activities that develop children’s motor skills. The ages 2 to 5 has areas to climb and jump. The area for kids ages 6 to 12 has rock-climbing walls, trampolines and a vertical drop slide. Open Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $9.95 for kids up to age 2, $11.95 ages 2-5, and $18.95 ages 6-12. All prices include two adults.
20505 S. Dixie Highway, Cutler Bay, 305-238-5867; 6830 N. University Dr., Tamarac, 954-721-5867.
Indoor inflatable playground includes obstacle courses, slides, games and toys. Hours vary by location. Admission $5.99 for kids under 2; $9.95 for ages 2 and older. Free for adults.
(formerly Strike Miami)
Second floor, Dolphin Mall, 11401 NW 12th St. Miami. 305-594-0200.
Open 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Monday–Thursday; noon-3 a.m. Friday; 11-3 a.m. Saturday; 11-1 a.m. Sunday. Must be 18 or older on Thursday nights.
Shops at Sunset Place, 5701 Sunset Dr. Suite 202, South Miami. 305-665-LANE (5263). Summer hours, June through August, weekdays open from noon – til; weekends open from 11 a.m.-til. Dress code enforced after 8 p.m. Age policy: 21 and older after 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and after 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
9275 SW 40th St. Miami. 305-221-1221.
Open 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday–Thursday; 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Prices vary with daily specials for certain hours. Shoe rentals $3.75.
Lucky Strike Lanes
1691 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach. 305-532-0307.
Open 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday–Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday. Must be 21 or older after 9 p.m.
1517 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors. 954-566-7457. Open 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; until 3 a.m. Saturday; until midnight Sunday and Wednesday. Prices: After 6 p.m., $5; before 6 p.m., $3.50; $3.25 for kids 18 and under. Shoe rentals $3.25. Call ahead during weekdays to be sure it's not full of campers.
1940 N. University Dr., Pembroke Pines. 954-432-5500; 8200 W. State Road 84, Davie. 954-473-8822.
Open 9 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Summer Unplugged will allow registered children to bowl two games a day for free all summer.
5325 S. University Dr., Davie. 954-434-9663; 8034 W. Sample Rd., Margate.
Open 9 a.m. - 1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Davie: Pizza Bowl family special 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, $59.95 plus tax. Up to six people in a lane, shoes, pizza, soda.
For doll lovers ...
The Falls, 8888 SW 136th St., Miami. 877-247-5223.
The store has a doll salon and bistro, complete with doll chairs - and even loaner dolls. The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The bistro is open 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 11a .m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Book "tea" reservations online.