Lauren Patterson, founder of Little Swappies, is a New York mama and entrepreneur, but she's a Miami girl by birth. We asked for her hometown favorites, and she mapped out the places she always hits with her babes, ages 2 and 3. (P.S. Check out one of her upcoming events to trade toys and clothes to prepare for your trip south!)
"I love the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. That area of Key Biscayne has the most pristine beaches, where the water is clear and calm, perfect for kids to enjoy. The hotel has all of the amenities that your family would need, and it’s close enough to hotspots like South Beach, the Design District, Downtown, and Coconut Grove."
"The Biltmore in Coral Gables has a beautiful pool, and you can eat in a cabana by the pool or sit in one of the hotels great restaurants."
"One of our favorite things to do is visit Matheson Hammock Park, a beach within a national park right in the middle of Coral Gables."
"This museum is a great rainy day activity. It has activities for children of all ages."
"For dinner with the kids, Lincoln Road on South Beach is perfect. It’s an open-air mall with restaurants and shops lining blocks and blocks. There are so many restaurants to choose from, and the kids love to sit outside and people watch as much as we do."
"Jungle Island has animals galore, and many of the parrots are cage-less so visitors can feed them seeds, which our kids love. Employees walk around with animals for children to pet, like baby alligators and bunny rabbits, plus they have animal shows and an adorable petting zoo which engages the kids for hours."