As you may have well figured out by now, I have lately been on a mission to find low-cost things to do here in Miami. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important is that I am going to Italy in the next few days for two weeks and I am trying to save my money for that. So El Hombre, who sadly has to stay behind and find his own misadventures, and I have been taking advantage of all the free parks, gardens, fests, etc. On our way back from Fairchild one day, we passed by the Pinecrest Gardens and decided to put that on our list of things to do.
The Pinecrest Gardens, located on 57th Ave., is the former location of Parrot Jungle Island, or whatever they decide to call themselves this month. After PJ moved, The city of Pinecrest took it over, maintained and restored some areas, and made it free to the public.
As you walk in, you have a choice of windy paths through lushly landscaped plants. It's much less manicured looking than Fairchild, not to say that it's overgrown, because it's not. As it formerly had "jungle" in it's name, it's intended to look as such. You can still see remnants of it's former owners, in the signs, bowls and play areas for children. Which, as we were winding through the plants, and looking at the fish and turtles, we overheard some teenagers making out in a hidden bowl (ah.. young love.. because it was really hot to be all smooching up on someone) and the joyful shrieks of children playing in the "water park" area. We sat and watched the kids for a bit, me reminiscing about how great it was to run through sprinklers with my friends and family in the summer, how that was the ultimate awesomeness for any little kid.
Then as we winded around we found a lookout of the park, a concession stand, some swings (my fav), a playground and a petting zoo. The petting zoo had a few pigs and goats. And was kind of disappointing. But overall it's a nice way to spend an afternoon.