To round out your evening, you may be able to catch a Pulitzer prize-winning play at Alley Theatre (615 Texas Avenue, 713-228-8421, www.alleytheatre.org), with the venue hosting such productions as David Auburn's renowned Proof and Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog.

MIAMI DAY ONE

A Miami Beach landmark serving a hot, happy morning brew, Puerto Sagua (700 Collins Avenue, 305-673-1115) is the way to get your engine revving when you're visiting South Florida.

Afterward, give the kids a dose of culture by visiting the Miami Children's Museum (980 MacArthur Causeway, 305-373-5437, www.miamichildrensmuseum.org). It's a top-notch playground for the little ones, with dozens of exhibits, classes, and day camps. The museum also features a film program for budding artists.

For some adult playtime, myriad showrooms and countless shops in the Miami De-sign District(305-573-8116, www.designmiami.com) showcase antiques, ceramics, art glass, textiles, and more. At lunchtime, feed your need for a Cuban sandwich at Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop (186 Northeast 29th Street, 305-573-4681), where they pile on the ham, cheese, pork, and pickles between two pieces of bread, dot it all with butter, and grill it to perfection.

After such a scrumptious lunch, one can't help but want to be pampered. RikRak ­Salon and Spa (1428 Brickell Avenue, 305-371-5577), a combination clothing store/­salon, is literally a one-stop shop. Do yourself right - massage, mani and pedi, hair, and makeup - then shop the racks of designer clothes, shoes, and accessories. Plus, with fine wine, gourmet coffee and tea, and yummy snacks on hand, you could easily spend all day without desiring a change of locales.

When you do decide to move on, though, Salero, in the Firehouse Four building (1000 South Miami Avenue, 305-371-3473), offers hot and cold tapas for a very cool price - between $2.50 and $9 per plate (which explains its success with the after-work crowd). Try Serrano ham, Spanish almonds, fried Camembert, or a tuna empanada accompanied by a fun selection of wine flights perfect for sipping with your small bites.