The standout features of Merrie Christmas Park in Miami's classic Coconut Grove neighborhood are its trees. Ficus and banyan trees with thick, twining trunks dominate the park, growing in groves punctuated by bright red flame trees. In the shade of broad canopies, children hide among dangling tendrils and vines, imagining themselves in realms of fantasy. In one spot in the park, tall trees grow in a circle, their branches reaching sideways toward each other like kids playing a game of merry-go-round.
The park's fantastic atmosphere lends itself to families with two-legged children, but it's perfect for puppy parents too. Unlike many Miami parks, Merrie Christmas Park focuses simply on providing open green space, with only the smallest portion of land paved for sidewalks and playground equipment. Its rolling lawns make it a great spot for an on-leash romp or a gentle meandering walk. The sunken park sits in a natural bowl, safely containing all kinds of play. It's also the perfect place to go when you and your pup are hoping to find some shade on a hot day. Picnic tables and benches are placed under, near, and in front of trees all over the park, providing places to rest and give your good dog some pets.
Playfully named for the daughter of Randy Christmas, mayor of Miami in the mid-1950s, the park has been around for five decades, allowing its trees to flourish and grow old. Officials have updated the sidewalks and playground, giving this classic park a fresh reboot. Have clean up bags on hand to pick up after your pup, and bring water for warm days.
Whether you want to romp up and down the park's small hills, gaze up into the maze of a banyan tree's branches, or bring a treat and something to read, Merrie Christmas Park is an ideal place to spend a beautiful Miami afternoon with your pup.