Our Guide to Avoid the Clammy, Oppressive Heat of the Mean Season in and Around the Gables That Will get you off the Couch, but Keep you Cool
By Lizzie Wilcox
1. THE VENETIAN POOL
Opened in 1924, the Venetian Pool was created from a 4-acre coral rock quarry used for many of the city’s public structures at the time. “A lot of people tell me this is the place to go because every other pool is like a hot tub,” says Carolina Vester, assistant director of Community Recreation. That is because the 820,000 gallons of water that fill the pool are drained and replaced every night from an underground aquifer. The pool opens weekdays at 11 am and weekends at 10 am. Non-residents pay $20 for entry ($15 if you are 15 or younger), locals pay just $5.75 and $4.75 respectively. No children under 3 years of age are allowed. Closes at 6:30 p.m. weekdays, 4:30 p.m. weekends.
2701 De Soto Blvd. (305) 460-5306
2. CORAL GABLES ART CINEMA
A quintessential way to escape the blazing sun for a couple of hours has always been to retreat to the dark recesses of a movie house. But catching a flick at the Coral Gables Art Cinema is a movie-going experience like no other. Gables Art Cinema shows independent and international films, classic movies and film festivals. The theater has only one large screen and the films are rotated frequently, with some movies being shown for about a week at a time and others just once. So, don’t miss the movie magic.
260 Aragon Ave. (786) 472-2249. www.gablescinema.com
3. BIRD BOWL
Bowling is for everyone. And the Bird Bowl – now in its 62nd year on Bird Road – has an alley for everyone, 60 in all. Opening at 9 am daily, it also stays open late, till 1 am on weeknights and 3 am on Friday and Saturday. The basic rate is $31.95 per hour per lane, but Bird Bowl has deals almost every night. On Tuesday night, or “College Night,” two hours of bowling costs $9.99 per person including shoe rental. On “Wacky Wednesday,” each game is only $1.50 per person not including shoe rental.
9275 SW 40th St. (305) 221-1221. www.birdbowl.com
4. SKY ZONE
This indoor trampoline park has several different attractions, and can even count as your workout for the day. A wall-to-wall trampoline, the “Freestyle Jump,” is nothing short of bouncing heaven. Always wanted to dunk, but could never get enough height? Using their trampolines, you can “SkySlam” like Lebron. Sky Zone also has ultimate dodgeball and a foam zone. “A kid’s favorite is being able to jump and bounce and run on the walls,” says Gables resident and owner Juan Brandt. “They can literally bounce off the walls.” $15 per hour, $23 for two hours.
5450 NW 82nd Ave. or 10200 SW 186th St.
(305) 640-5424. www.skyzone.com
It’s a driving range, but better. Instead of sweating in the Miami heat, you can practice your swing in a climate-controlled “hitting bay.” It is also a restaurant and bar. On top of the 100+ bays, you can also hang out in the lounges or on the rooftop terrace. It’s everything that you love about golfing, without the country club “golf pros” impatiently waiting for you to tee off. Opens at 9 am daily, stays open till 1 am weeknights and 2 am weekends.
17321 NW 7th Ave., Miami Gardens
(305) 357-6151. www.topgolf.com
6. BOOKS & BOOKS
Maybe we’re biased being in the publication business, but nothing compares to reading a printed copy of a book. Books & Books, however, is more than just your average bookstore. On top of having a massive collection of titles and genres, it also has a café and on many evenings authors come to talk about their work. It also has a courtyard that serves wine and beer, but if you want to stay cool inside, buy a book, grab a café con leche, and listen to that author your friend won’t stop talking about – all without breaking a sweat. A locally owned Coral Gables institution. Opens at 9 am, closes at 11 pm weeknights and midnight on weekends.
265 Aragon Ave. (305) 442-4408. www.booksandbooks.com
7. CORAL GABLES MUSEUM
A building that is as vintage as the exhibits within, the Coral Gables Museum explores architecture, urban design and sustainable development through exhibitions, programs, art and history. In what used to be the Old Police and Fire Station, visitors can view the former jail cells and courtroom. The museum offers audio tours as well as exhibit tours on Sundays at 1 p.m. or by appointment. The museum now includes a 5,000 square foot public plaza and a courtyard off of the main lobby, but you’re going to want to stay inside until the summer is over. Opens at noon most days, open till 6pm weeknights, 5 pm Sat. & Sun. Closed Mondays.
285 Aragon Ave. (305) 603-8067
8. THE GLASSHOUSE CAFÉ AT FAIRCHILD
Yes, it’s a jungle out there. That’s what Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is all about. But inside the gloriously air-conditioned Glasshouse Café, you can enjoy salads, sandwiches and ice cream while listening to live music performed by local artists. For that matter, you can also grab breakfast there after it opens at 9:30 am; the music starts daily at 1 pm.
10901 Old Cutler Road (305) 667-1651
9. ON MIRACLE MILE
Sometimes it just takes an icy drink or a cold bite to cool down while you walk the summer streets of Miracle Mile. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy solutions. For adults, there is the Starbucks next to the Miracle Theater, where they now serve their Nitro Cold Brew, in which the coffee is infused with nitrogen to keep it cooler longer. For kids (okay, for some adults, too) there is Morelia Gourmet Paletas, Mexican-style fruit and ice cream pops on a stick that are as inventive (from banana filled with Nutella to strawberry filled with condensed milk) as they are cold and delicious.
Starbucks, 292 Miracle Mile, (305) 442-4179
Morelia Gourmet Paletes, 76 Miracle Mile, (833) 423-7677
10. FROST SCIENCE MUSEUM
The new Frost Science Museum in downtown Miami is as vast as it is fascinating. From its Planetarium to its Aquarium, it is a cornucopia of entertaining and instructive exhibits. Among the current displays are the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and an exhibit on the power of nature’s poisons, something your kids will be fascinated by. There are also interactive exhibits, such as the Design Lab and the MeLab. Here’s your chance to explore the frontiers of innovation and technology, all while staying cool. Tickets for Miami-Dade residents are $17 for kids, $24.65 for adults, open 9:30 am to 6 pm daily, except open till 8:30 pm Saturdays.
1101 Biscayne Blvd. (305) 434-9600 www.frostscience.org