One of the great things about living in Miami is that in winter, when the rest of the country is bundled and stuck inside much of the time, we're out and about, enjoying flawless weather and hitting the outdoor parks with the kids. But what about summertime? Going to the park for a couple hours can leave you drenched in sweat, sunburned, and HOT.
My favorite park in the summer is Evelyn Greer Park in Pinecrest. The playground is 80% shaded (swings are not shaded), and that counts for a lot. Aside from that, the play equipment in over wood chips rather than sand, so it's not too messy. The City of Pinecrest provides free wifi, the bathrooms are really clean and have a changing table, the water fountains are under a shelter, so the water is cool, and....what else....oh yeah, the park is never that crowded when I go on weekday mornings, but there are always a few kids and parents there, so you don't feel like you are out there alone.
The main drawback is that the playground is right next to the parking lot, and there is no fence. My toddler has never been one to bolt, but I know plenty of other moms who have toddlers that do take off running, and whenever we are at that park, they are never comfortable taking their eyes off the little one, even for a second.
The park is right off US 1 at 8200 SW 124th St (33156), which is right around the corner from the more popular Suniland Park. I prefer Greer park because of the shade, though.
There is also a large gazebo with several tables that are great for picnics, that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also smaller tables and benches bordering the playground, but for a more "formal" picnic or party, the gazebo tables would be better.
GoCityKids has a great writeup, with map, here.
photo credit: sxc.hu/adrl