Top five hidden gem parks in Miami-Dade

When you get bored of the usual little parks with only a playground on-premises, you itch for something new to experience and enjoy. That’s where we can help. There are many green spaces and parks in Miami to enjoy but the ones below might have some things that pique your interest.

Entrance to the park with the butterfly garden to the right. (Giuliana Restrepo/SFMN)

Kendall Green Park
14975 SW 80th St, Miami, FL 33183
Hours of Operation: Sunrise to Sunset

Nestled between several lakes and also surrounding one is Kendall Green. It might not be seem to be special at first. There is little parking and its entrance is nestled between neighborhoods. But it offers some activities to get your mind off your day-to-day life. At its entrance you’ll find a quaint little butterfly garden with the lake to your left. A fun fact about this lake is that up until a few years ago, you could find a tree with a swinging rope about halfway through the trail. It was known as “Rainbow Tree” to the teenagers of the area. The rope has since been cut down to prevent injury.

  Top of the slide with the cargo net gym and playground in view. (Giuliana Restrepo/SFMN)

Camp Matecumbe
13841 SW 120th St, Miami, FL 33186
Hours of Operation: Sunrise to Sunset

This hidden, out-of-the-way park, carries some history that most people might not know. It is located on land that was previously part of Operation Pedro Pan, where young Cuban immigrants brought to the United States, sometimes without their parents. They were hosted in a living facility that included a high school. The actual park has some unique features including a lengthy slide that’s built into a stone hill, a wooden playground, a climbing cargo net, musical instruments, and more.

Aerial shot of the soccer field and the park in the background. (Giuliana Restrepo/SFMN)

Westwind Lakes Park
6805 SW 152nd Ave, Miami, FL 33193
Hours of Operation: Sunrise to Sunset

 If you’re looking for variety, you came to the right place. From a skate park to a splash pad for the younger kids and trails, you can find a multitude of things to do at this spacious park. For the younger crowd, you have a padded playground, and for others a walking trail on the perimeter as well exercising stations dotted around it and a sandy volleyball court.

Wide shot of the park. (Giuliana Restrepo/SFMN)

Tree Island Park
14700 SW 10th St, Miami, FL 33184
Hours of Operation: Sunrise to Sunset

Being one of the newer parks in Kendall and surrounded by a protected nature preserve, this one is tiny but mighty. It has a little bit for everyone, including your furry friends. A dog park is placed in the back, separated by two sections for bigger and smaller dogs respectively that include water stations. A small playground in the middle area has a swing set and slide along with other features, Right next to it is a free outside gym with various machines available to use. Its parking lot charging stations for electric vehicles.

Panoramic shot of the pier and lake. (Courtesy of

Larry and Penny Thompson Park
12451 SW 184 Street, Miami, FL 33177
Hours of Operation: Sunrise to Sunset
Park Office: 305-232-1049

Located on 270 acres right next to Zoo Miami, this park is big. For those who are into camping, it has 240 sites that include electrical/water hookups as well as bathroom and laundry facilities. If you’re a fan of nature, you might be fond of the many trails that surround old groves of lychee, mango, and avocado trees as well as a large freshwater lake paired with a beach and a pier that’s open seasonally for swimming. And if you’re not into that, there’s a pool open for use as well.

Giuliana Restrepo is pursuing a bachelors in Digital Media-Broadcasting and hopes to one day have a career in the media industry. She loves to travel to different places, specially her family in Colombia. Restrepo would also like to start her own blog for content creation.