A guide to the best parks in Miami

Randy ‘the Kite Man’ Lowe with part of his Kite collection at the Kite Festival at Haulover Park on Sunday, October 18, 2015 This is the 23rd annual “Kitetoberfest” kite festival Haulover Beach Park, located at 10800 Collins Ave., is a designated Miami-Dade “Heritage Park”, for its vital role in this community's history, environment and recreational and cultural experiences.Hector Gabino

The List: Playful Parks

1. Lummus Park
The perfect spot for a game of volleyball, rollerblading in bikinis or hanging with the kiddies on the many playgrounds.
Ocean Drive, from 5th-15th Streets, Miami Beach; 305-673-7006.

2. South Pointe Park
A touch more family-friendly than Lummus Park, tons of kids’ amenities plus view of the ocean.
1 Washington Ave., South Beach; 305-673-7730.
 

3. Heritage Park
Two playgrounds, a splash pad, a dog park and band shell round out this sprawling space.
19200 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles; 305-792-1706.
 

4. Greynold’s Park
This 249-acre park consists of hiking trails, campgrounds and play areas.
17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach, 305-945-3425.
 

5. Oleta River State Park
The destination for kayakers and mountain bikers.
3400 NE 163rd St., North Miami; 305-919-1846.
 

6. Tropical Park
Football, basketball, tennis and baseball facilities, running trails and track, spaces for parties and an equestrian center.
7900 SW 40th St., Miami; 305-226-8316.
 

7. Amelia Earhart Park
Bike trails, skateboarding and fishing facilities, and a petting zoo.
401 E. 65th St., Hialeah; 305-685-8389.
 

8. Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park
Pony rides, picnic areas, nature trails and a playground.
1725 NE 135th St., North Miami; 305-895-1119.
 

9. Haulover Beach Park
This is the place to fly kites, either bring your own or purchase from the Skyward Kites stand.
10800 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-893-0906.
 

10. Peacock Park
A popular park for kickball and softball teams.
2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove; 305-416-1318.

Get Wet: Top 5 Splash Parks

1. Pinecrest Gardens
Cool off in the former Parrot Jungle with their refreshing water playground located in the shade of the lush botantical garden.
11000 S. Red Road, Miami; 305-669-6990.
 

2. Zoo Miami
Don’t get heat stroke wandering the 300 acres of Miami’s zoo; stop by several waterplay locations like Ocean Voyage or the Fiesta Fountain at Amazon & Beyond Village Plaza.
12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, zoomiami.org.
 

3. Founders Park
The SplashPad is located in the northern section of the park with a variety of jets and nozzles to keep the kids cool.
3301 N.E. 190 Street, Aventura; 305-466-8008
 

4. Grapeland Water Park
Miami’s real deal water park with slides for the big kids and splash areas for the tots.
1550 N.W. 37 Avenue, Miami; 305-960-2950.
 

5. Venetian Pool
Get refreshed in Coral Gables’ historic pool’s 800,000 gallons of water.
2701 DeSoto Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-460-5306.
 

Don’t get burned by your sunscreen
Don’t hit the parks without the proper skin protection, but keep in mind that all sunscreens are not created equal. The perfect sunscreen blocks most UVA and UVB rays without breaking down in the sun and also contains active ingredients that are proven to be completely safe for both adults and kids. While such a miracle cream is still in the works, there are several that come close as ranked by the Environmental Working Group, a research firm that investigates exposure to toxic chemicals. Here are a few of their top picks. More available at www.ewg.org.
 
Kiss My Face, Kids Natural Mineral Sunblock Lotion SPF 30  (4oz. $14.99 at amazon.com)
 
All Terrain TerraSport SPF30 Natural Sunscreen Lotion  (3 oz. $15.99 at amazon.com)

Monkey Mat
No picnic tables left? Stake your claim at the park with a Monkey Mat, an ingenious idea that won over “Shark Tank” billionaires Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner with its simplicity. A water repellant blanket with loops that can be staked to the ground, the Monkey Mat will give you a place to set up your picnic, take a breather or sneak in a snooze. ($19.99 at Monkeymat.com, stakes $5.99)

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