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Mother Hoods

Mother Hoods: Miami, Florida

Written by

Tali Minor

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Photo by Annie Schlechter for New York Magazine

Though family-friendly may not be the first descriptor to come to mind when talking about Miami, those who know how to navigate the city’s waters have an arsenal of activities to keep the little ones engaged—rain or shine. We asked Miami native and gallery owner/director Nina Johnson-Milewski for the lowdown on where she likes to eat, play, shop, and escape with her two boys, Lee, 4 and Cy, 3—and where she manages to squeeze in the occasional date night with her husband of 8 years, Daniel.

What are your favorite places in Miami to…

1. Eat with the kids?  “Our favorite go-to—with or without kids—is Mandolin. Our kids call it the ‘french fry and lemonade restaurant,’ though it’s usually known for its incredible Greek/Aegean menu that is always fresh and a comfortable place to dine. The owners’ son also goes to school with Lee, so we like to keep it in the family.”

2. Eat with adults?  “Thomas Keller’s restaurant at the Surf Club. It’s so indulgent, but it’s beautifully designed, and the bar is perfect for a couple’s night out on the town: oysters, scotch, and live jazz—you can’t go wrong.”

3. Shop for kids?  Genius Jones. The owner Daniel has an incredibly clean eye and the best way I can describe this spot are in his words, ‘It’s like Moss for kids.’”

4. Shop for yourself?  “4510/Six is around the corner from my gallery and has brought all my favorite lines to Miami: Rachel Comey, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Batsheva… The owners are lovely and I am thrilled that they’re now in Miami.”

5. Play with your sons?  The Poppet Project is great for a rainy day as they have all kinds of indoor activities without too much structure. Our boys love going there, and usually leave with a little something they’ve made for their grandfather or their nanny.”

6. Play with your adult friends?  “The Miami Design District is the most enjoyable neighborhood in Miami. Craig Robins and his team have done an incredible job in bringing architecture, design, and art all together in one place. It’s walkable, there are great restaurants—you can often find us grabbing a bite from La Pollita—and all kinds of programming, including Family Day at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, that are enjoyable for our whole crew.”

7. Get out in nature?  “Greynolds Park is such a hidden gem. It’s one of Miami’s oldest parks and has incredible old growth trees. Our youngest son attends Wise Hearts nature program there and it’s been a very special experience for him.”

8. Any good flea markets or thrift shops?  “The best is the Lincoln Road Antiques Market, where we always find good furniture, clothing, and gifts. I also love Fly Boutique—it’s a great spot to go if you need an outfit in a pinch.”

9. Visit museums and galleries? “My gallery, Nina Johnson, is comprised of three separate exhibition spaces where we show artists from around the world, and always have something on view that will challenge you. Of course, ICA Miami, PAMM, and The Bass are all great museums, as well as our neighboring galleries, Bill Brady, Emerson Dorsch, and Primary.”

10. Where do you take out-of-town visitors?  “I love taking out of towners to the Standard for breakfast and a spa morning. It’s a beautiful property that feels so natural in Miami.”

11. Any touristy places that are worth the visit?  “Vizcaya.”

For more on Nina, follow her eponymous gallery on Instagram. And for more wanderlust, check out our stories on what to do with kids in Portland, Vancouver, Turkey, Joshua Tree, and more locales.

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