The steering wheel burns your hands. Sweat slicks the back of your neck. Parking lots are an asphalt inferno.
There’s nothing like a steamy, sweltering Miami summer day to plunge you into the kind of cranky, existential crisis known only to people who have decided to carve out their homestead on what is essentially drained swampland.
Everything is a blinding, white-hot misery. Except when the heavens open up, without warning, for a torrential downpour. Better to just stay inside, at least until September.
Here are some of our best bets for a cool summer.
It’s hard to muster the enthusiasm for physical activity when it’s two degrees shy of Hades outside. But enter the air-conditioned, well-padded sanctum of Sky Zone (pictured at top) and you will feel the irrepressible urge to bounce your face off. Even the most ungainly, uncoordinated among us (and by “us” I mean “me”) can appreciate the gravity-defying joy of a big-ass trampoline. They even have something called a “Foam Zone,” which is basically you versus a pit of foam noodles.
5450 NW 82nd Ave., Doral; 305-640-5424
10200 SW 186th St., Cutler Bay; 305-640-5424
Experiencing the human body in various states of undress is one of the wonders of summer. And also of riding the MetroRail, where pants and sanity are apparently optional this time of year.
Why not ponder the human form in a more refined, well-curated experience?
Founded by the late art patron Naomi Wilzig — wife of a Holocaust survivor and banker — South Beach’s World Erotic Art Museum is home to an impressive array of erotica that spans 20 rooms, 12,000 square feet, and centuries of human sexual expression dating back to ancient times. You have to be 18 or older to enter, though, so leave the kids at home. (Why would you even think about bringing your children, you weirdos?!?!)
1205 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-532-9336
3. Dolphin Mall
You probably think that summer means every mall in town is likely overrun by screeching, oversexed middle-schoolers.
You are, of course, absolutely right.
But Dolphin Mall is so much more than a teenage wasteland. With nearly 250 places to drop some dough, a movie theater and – most importantly – a Churromania , there is really no earthly reason to ever leave. Feeling outdoorsy? Go hang out at Bass Pro Shops, which is generously stocked with taxidermied wildlife and a massive indoor aquarium with (live, non-taxidermied) aquatic life.
11401 NW 12 St., Sweetwater; 305-365-7446
What’s a summer vacation without indulging in a few (lots of) vices? With gaming available at all hours of the day – ranging from slot-style machines to serious-money poker tables — this is the place where you go when you seriously just need to hunker down and forget there was ever a thing called sunshine in the world.
There is even something called “high stakes bingo”, which sounds slightly dangerous but probably is not. We hope.
500 SW 177th Ave., Miami; 305-222-4600
Long, long before there were fancy places where you could swing overpriced lattes and pretend to read pretentious books about the Bauhaus movement, there were places with zero coffee but actual reading going on. These places were called “libraries,” and despite the best efforts of marketplace forces and municipal budget cuts, they actually still exist.
So go to the library, fools!
With nearly 50 branches scattered across the county, MDPL offers a host of activities ranging from financial advice seminars to manga workshops for teens to storytime for toddlers. And also books, which you can check out for free. Because it’s a library and that’s how libraries work, young people. If you’re feeling motivated, venture to the Main Library branch in Downtown Miami, which shares a courtyard with the adjacent HistoryMiami museum.
Main Library, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305‑375‑2665. (Click here for a library near you.)
Staying cool is thirsty business. Run by a team that includes the owner of LoKal in Coconut Grove and Kush Wynwood, Miami Brew Bus takes you on a sudsy tour of Miami’s burgeoning craft brewery scene. Depending on the tour you pick, stops include Funky Buddha Brewery, Wynwood Brewing, J Wakefield Brewing, and M.I.A Brewing — as well as Miami Club Rum, just for good measure.
Ticket price includes behind-the-scenes tours of each and a beer flight or pint of the brewery’s flagship beers. And, of course, a safe ride in between watering holes.
Tours are e
2003 N. Miami Ave., Wynwood; 786-558-3860