Hey Mommies and Daddies, I’m Juan, a highly involved daddy to my identical twin girls Gabriela and Olivia. We live where most people vacation, the crazy great city of Miami. My wife and I were born and raised in Fort Lauderdale and have spent practically all our lives in South Florida except for few post-college years in the big apple. I founded a blog titled doubledutydaddy.com to chronicle life as a hands-on dad of twins as well as how to travel for pennies on the dollar with credit card rewards points and miles. I’m also the Miami host for the highly acclaimed ‘foodie’ toddler-parenting dining club, Nibble and Squeak.
We live for the weekends since my wife and I work the standard Monday through Friday schedule. Our weekends are usually jam-packed with events and family and friend obligations but when we have a moment to ourselves, we still like to keep things exciting.
On a typical weekend day, we will all wake up at 7am and have breakfast at home.
Breakfast is usually the only meal we have at home on the weekend and that’s because either a yummy brunch/lunch spot awaits or I’m sourcing my list of ‘haven’t been to yet’ restaurants for the next ‘foodie’ dinner spot.
After breakfast, we usually head to the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, one of the top ‘hipster’ neighborhoods in the U.S. according to Forbes and one of the few ‘very’ walkable neighborhoods in Miami. Visual senses overload when in Wynwood as there’s a ton of art galleries and the famous ‘Wynwood Walls’, large spray-painted murals on buildings that’s aesthetically pleasing and very family friendly. You can spend hours in Wynwood and not touch the surface on seeing all the art work around the neighborhood.
After walking and window shopping a bit, we usually make a pit-stop at Panther Coffee, a coffeehouse that has transformed the way in which Miamians drink coffee. Tourists come here from all over the world to have their cup of joe and baristas here are not of the starbucks variety (I worked at starbucks in college, I can say it), they’re artists and passionate about their coffee.
After a fun morning walking around Wynwood, we head to the Midtown shops in Midtown Miami, just a few blocks from the Wynwood Walls and purchase a few things at Target for the home. Before having lunch, we head to Margaret Pace Park, 1 mile from the Midtown Shops, and the girls enjoy the playground for a bit. With views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, it’s a gorgeous park for adults to daydream and kids to have fun.
Now it’s time for lunch! Because we’re already in a great area, we decide if we should have lunch in Miami Beach, Brickell or go back to Wynwood, as all these neighborhoods have a plethora of ‘foodie’ options for kids and parents alike. Once we determine we want a casual pizza/pasta, we go back and forth between our two favorite pizza joints, Proof Pizza or Harry’s Pizzeria, owned by James Beard award winning chef Michael Schwartz. Both are located in the Wynwood/Design District sector of Miami so we can literally spend an entire half day in what’s arguably Miami’s trendiest area and not need to drive more than a few minutes from place to place.
After lunch and a busy morning of walking, playing and shopping, we head towards the Miami Beach Whole Foods and Fresh Market for a little grocery shopping to get ready for the work week. The drive from Wynwood to Miami Beach is about 15 minutes but with parking and traffic at times, the girls nap for about 30-40 minutes and my cranky-less twins are ready for some afternoon fun. If it’s a rainy day in Miami (which tends to happen a ton), the recently opened and buzzworthy Frost Museum is the ideal respite for the kids (and adults) on a bad weather day in Miami. With a Planetarium, Aquarium, and Science Museum, it’s truly one of Miami’s most proud cultural gems. If the day is nice, we’ll bring our bathing suits and in the late afternoon, we’ll head to the beach for some R&R. I prefer North Beach which is just a few miles north of South Beach as you’ll find a quieter, more family friendly beach environment and ample parking options.
If my little ladies are tired after the beach, we’ll head home where I’ll put on my chef hat and make dinner on the barbecue grill. If the girls are in good spirits, we’ll go to our favorite Peruvian restaurant Sabor A Peru for fresh fish ceviche and lomo saltado. There are a ton of high-quality trendy Peruvian restaurants in Miami but Sabor A Peru is bar none our favorite and it’s super casual compared to other restaurants so the kids can be kids with no side-eye from other patrons.
After eating out, we’ll finally head home after a long and productive day in the magic city. Once home, the girls are bathed and are ready for bed. I’ll provide them with a recap of the day and ask them what they enjoyed the most from today which helps with memorization. Long day filled with errands, activities, meals, sun, fun is now in the books and we look forward to the following weekend in paradise.
Where to stay when visiting Miami? Bebe Voyage team member Kendal has stayed at the Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach and shared her feedback with us.
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