July is National Park and Recreation Month and the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department is offering a fun variety of special offers and activities for residents and visitors to enjoy throughout the month. The invitation is in celebration of the benefits and values that parks and recreational programming bring to all communities, including Miami-Dade County, which boasts the third largest and one of the most diverse municipal park systems in the United States.
Miami-Dade Parks kicked off the celebration with free admission to Fruit & Spice Park on July 2 and a free Independence Day fireworks extravaganza with a military flyover at Black Point Park and Marina on July 4. More is scheduled.
"Every great community has a great park system and Miami-Dade's is one of the best in the nation, not just because of its spectacular county park system of 263 parks, but also because of its municipal parks, its three state parks-Oleta River, Bill Baggs Cape Florida and The Barnacle-and, because it is the only community in the U.S. with two national parks-Everglades and Biscayne," said Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Director Jack Kardys. "We want people to take a time-out with family, friends and their pets to enjoy the great outdoors in the parkscapes that give them a safe place to get fit, de-stress, reconnect with nature, and make new memories."
The fun continues throughout July with the following list of special events and activities:
July - Every Day - Zoo Miami invites you to relive your wacky youth at the Zoo by obtaining a coupon at www.facebook.com/zoomiami and Zoo Miami that will enable you to pay only the child's admission price of $11.95 plus tax anytime in July, good for up to six people in your party. While there, visit Zoo Miami's new Wacky Barn providing visitors with a petting zoo experience in a colorful, non-traditional barn, featuring a new collection of animals including miniature and Shetland horses, goats, alpaca, sheep, and other animals.
July - Every Wednesday - Haulover Beach goes to the dogs with Dog Day Afternoons in the Haulover Dunes from 3-6 p.m. Let your dog frolic in the sand and surf on the beach at lifeguard towers 2 and 3 for a $5 fee that helps maintain the Haulover Dog Park next door. This special treat lasts through August 31.
July - Weekly - Food Truck Palooza events at Tropical, Tamiami and Haulover parks offer a mouthwatering good time for connoisseurs of the delicious eats being served up by the wildly popular truck chefs. Music sets the vibe as you mix, mingle, eat, and get social live and in person-an all around good time. Tuesdays, 6-10 p.m. at Tropical Park; Fridays, 6-11 p.m. at Tamiami Park; and Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.-sundown at Haulover Park.
July 9 - SoMi Taste of the Town Rooftop Party - Savor the flavors of the best local restaurants in South Miami at a rooftop party and culinary experience al fresco under the stars, benefitting the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and the Million Trees Miami Project. Presented by Chamber South and The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, a definite "don't-miss" on Saturday, July 9, from 7-11 p.m. on the rooftop deck of the parking garage located at 5829 SW 73 Street (above RA Sushi and across from Bougainvillea's). Dance to live music, mingle and be merry while sampling culinary delights by many of the area's popular restaurants, including Segafredo South Miami, Casa Lario's, Casa Toscano, Dan Marino's, Fox's Lounge, Gardner's Market, Irish Times, OMG Burgers, Outback Steakhouse, Power Pizza, Shula's 347, Sole Trattoria, Swensen's, Whisk Gourmet Food and Catering, and many more. Products from local shops will be on display, including Aurum Collections, Foster & Clark, and Game Time. Discounted advance tickets available at Miami-Dade Parks. Pay more at the door.
July 16 - The Deering Estate at Cutler is offering free admission as part of their annual Fee-Free "P.L.A.Y." Days! There will be eco-art activities, science discovery programs, and historic house tours-all for free. Spend the entire day and have a picnic on the main lawn facing Biscayne Bay. Additional upcoming free days will be August 20 and September 17.
July 23 - The Crandon Tennis Center on Key Biscayne and Cliff Drysdale Tennis will host a clinic and round robin for adult players from 3-6 p.m. The cost is free for the first 48 Miami-Dade County residents to sign up by Thursday, July 21. For more information or to register before the deadline call 305-365-2300.
July 30-31 - Kendall Soccer Park hosts the first-ever Miami Soccer Festival. Calling all soccer fanatics, your dream event is here! Free and open to the public. Gear up for the inaugural Miami Soccer Festival scheduled for July 30-31 from 9 a.m. - 11 p.m., and help make it the biggest in the world, at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Avenue, in Kendall. Presented by Soccer 5 USA and Miami-Dade Parks, the two-day festival will feature a full range of youth, adult and co-ed teams playing in various 11v11, 7v7 and 5v5 tournaments. Register to play today! The soccer village will also feature live bands, special appearances by soccer pro athletes, Soccer 5 Live tricks, juggling, world-record attempts, international food and beverages, soccer merchandise, and more, including virtual FIFA PS3 and Xbox tournaments for sports fans. Team tournament participation costs are $175-$325. For more information or to register contact Scott Georgeson, Soccer 5 Miami President, at 1-888-575-2976. Proceeds of the event will support The Soccer 5 Foundation and The Parks Foundation of Miami Dade working together to create more spaces to play and learn the world's most popular game.
About the Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1 or visit Miami-Dade Parks