December is such a pleasant time to be in Miami, it is not only the cooler sunny skies that are the magnet but also the barrage of top line events that start kicking off in and around the city...
...the art and music festivals...
...the food fairs...
...the boating events...
...lots of high-caliber entertainment...
Featuring this month: Hamilton, the hit musical, opens at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts as The King and I ends its round.
And of course, lots of fun events are
getting under way in the midst of the Christmas frenzy and New Year fireworks, including some beloved recurring events... the Nutcracker, the TransSiberian Orchestra, the Wizard of Oz, the Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert... In addition, the Christmas boaters and the wacky Mango Strutters come out in full force just in time for the holidays and we get ready to welcome college football fans for the Orange Bowl.
For our nature lovers, this is the perfect time
to get out and soak it all up, our State and National Parks are teeming with wildlife... enjoy!
Art Basel Miami Beach is without a doubt one of the premiere events in the world art scene and certainly one of the most prominent in the U.S.
This long weekend in early December is traditionally the unofficial kick-off to the city's busy art and cultural calendar and is quite unique in that it spawns so many other events and satellite exhibitions, if you are into arts and design, this is definitely the time to be in Miami.
When? Thursday through Sunday December 6 - 9, 2018
Where? Main Exhibition Hall at Miami Beach Convention Center
Satellite fairs and events will pop up in and around the city, keep an eye specially
in the up-and-coming districts of Wynwood, the Miami Design District and the Faena District.
Sailboats, Yachts, Barges, Gondolas, Kayaks... ANYTHING that floats, all decked up with thousands of lights and a merry spirit, traversing the
waters of the intracoastal, what could be more fun this holiday season?!
On its 47th year, the Winterfest Boat Parade has become
one of the most awaited events, this year the Ft. Lauderdale shoreline will be coming alive once again.
Some fantastic entries and surprises in the past have included a floating bus, the Galleria Mall reindeer barge, a fire truck, Mickey and Minnie... can't wait for this year's parade!
When?: Saturday December 15, 2018
Where?: Intracoastal Waterway from Ft. Lauderdale to Pompano Beach
How Much?: Free along parade route, Grandstand viewing areas available.
This Winter, Fairchild transforms into The NightGarden: an enchanted, illuminated experience full of fantasy and wonderment where things like the Wise Talking Tree, Flying Fairies and a Sunflower Maze come to life.
Come experience this inaugural year event and marvel at unbelievable live effects such as holographic butterflies and floating orchids throughout multiple acres of dazzling magic.
A spectacular evening of dazzling lights, colors, shapes, and themes.
The Lantern Light festival is a six week celebration of Chinese culture featuring massive lanterns, inspiring performances, and incredible cuisine.
Each Chinese lantern is custom-built by Chinese artisans and typically takes four weeks and a team of seven to complete.
The lanterns are handmade from hundreds of pieces of silky cloth. Some are over 30 feet high and others are up to 300 feet long.
When? November 30, 2018 to January 20, 2019 - Thursdays through Sundays 5:00 - 10:00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays open until 11:00 pm
Where? Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds at 10901 SW 24th Street,Miami, FL 33165
How Much? Adults $23, Children (3-12) $18, Seniors and Active Military $20, Children activity packages and group packages available.
The King Mango Strut is the wackiest of the wackiest, it's a parade that was born as the antithesis of the
King Orange Bowl parade way back, when struters were rejected by King Orange for being too "irreverent" so they decided to start
their own King Mango parade, and irony of ironies, the King Orange Bowl Parade does not exist any more.
So what is it? It's a parade with a party atmosphere on a fun and laid back afternoon the last Sunday of the year.
The theme or rather themes of the parade are anything and everything that made the headlines this year, Mango style of course, meaning, it is a parody of the year's highlights all in the name of fun. Like for example? Everything and everybody is fair game, the TSA, the Pope, twinkies, the Royal Family, politicians, specially politicians ...
Who participates? Anybody can participate, as in, "be on the parade". This is not an over the top parade, the "floats" are not fancy structures or designs, it is all
very relaxed with hilarity and fun as the only requirement.
Is it ok for kids? Yes, the Pre-Mango Strut activities begin with the Little Miss Mango Pageant for kids 5 to 12, it is a VERY competitive pageant and all contestants are expected to win, the winners get to ride in the opening "float" of the parade!
So take part or just come to watch, bring a cooler, a folding chair, and be ready to spend the funniest and craziest time, check it out:
When?: Sunday December 30, 2018, parade starts at 2:00 p.m., after-strut street party and dancing afterwards
Where?: Downtown Coconut Grove from Green Street to Coco Walk then back to Commodore Plaza
How Much?: Free!
New Year's Eve: Big Orange Ball Drop 2019 Countdown and Fireworks Pitbull
s New Year Revolution
Miami might not be Times Square, but we do have our very own "Ball Drop" and spectacular fireworks over
our beautiful bay.
As in prior years, Miami's global superstar Pitbull will be hosting the smashing live event to welcome 2018 in Bayfront Park.
Bayfront park will be the place to be for the largest FREE New Year's Eve party in South Florida!
When?: Monday, December 31, 2018 - Times and program TBA
Where?: Bayfront Park 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132
Where to Park?: There is limited, paid parking at Bayfront Park. You can also park at Bayside Marketplace nextdoor or
take the Metrorail to the Government Center Station then transfer to the Metromover Inner Loop to Bayfront Park.
How Much?: FREE!
Private events and VIP area: Pitbull's Worldwide VIP Food & Wine Party - $295, Couples $495, Center Stage VIP $395. All prices plus fees and taxes. Age 21+ only. More info and Worldwide NYE 2019 tickets.
No bottles, cans, coolers or personal fireworks are allowed at the park.
A contemporary art exploration of the age-old fable, features global prima ballerina Diana Vishneva performing as Princess Aurora and Tony Award nominee Desmond Richardson as Prince Peter in a fusion of dance, music, art, and revolutionary 3D digital technology never seen on stage before.
From glen to glen and down the mountain side, Celtic Thunder rolls back into South Florida by popular demand! Known internationally for their larger-than-life performances and frequently featured on PBS, Celtic Thunder mixes traditional Irish folk songs with hot contemporary hits.
Backed by the Celtic Thunder Band, the charming all-male singing group ignites the stage and promises audiences an eclectic, engaging and electrifying theatrical experience.
When? Friday December 14, 2018 - 8:00 pm
Where? Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts
How Much? $40+
Find Celtic Thunder Tickets
Kansas - The Point of Know Return Tour
When? Saturday December 15, 2018 - 8:00 pm
Where? Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Lin-Manuel Miranda's acclaimed musical, HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation's first Treasury Secretary.
Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.
When? December 18, 2018 - January 8, 2019
Where? Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts
How Much? Likely to sell out
Find Hamilton Tickets
Christmas Day, is a public holiday throughout the country. Federal government offices, schools and some National, State, and Local Parks are closed on Christmas Day and store hours and restaurant and businesses holiday schedules may vary. Likewise on Christmas Eve, early closings and holiday hours will be in effect at most businesses.
You can expect the following to
be open and closed on Christmas Day:
Visitor Centers at the following Parks (trails and boardwalks remain accesible): Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress, Loxahatchee NWR
(check for special holiday schedules)
Most Fast Food and Restaurants
Public Transportation (Limited schedules and routes)
Most Parks: Everglades National Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Oleta River State Park, Bill Baggs State Park
Here are some of this year's Holiday highlights and events:
Santa's Echanted Forest
The largest Christmas-Themed Amusement Park and Carnival is back on its 26th year with its 3 million lights, 92" christmas tree, and the carnival rides
for little ones and those wanting a little more extreme.
Located in the heart of Miami in Tropical Park, you will no doubt see the lights from the highway as you drive past.
It is a huge
sprawling lively event, just coming to see the lights is worth the trip. Tons of entertainment for kids and families round it all up. There are the many
live shows, games, magic acts, mazes, all sorts of rides, from carrousels to roller coasters and drop towers and of course, the carnival food!
When? November 1, 2018 to January 6, 2019 - 5:00pm to Midnight
Where? Tropical Park, on the Palmetto (SR826) and Bird Road (40th Street) 7900 SW 40th Street, Miami, FL 33155
How Much? Adults (10-64) $33.64, Children (3-9) $24.30, Seniors (65+) $24.30 Season and express passes available.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra 20th Anniversary "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve" 2018 Tour
Presented by the Hallmark Channel, the Rock Holiday tradition on its 20th year comes once again to BB&T Center.
This dazzling multimedia production brings us our favorite holiday classics... O Come All Ye Faithful, Christmas Cannon, O Holy Night... like you've never heard them before combining enthralling music and delightful story-telling, a holiday classic!
The holiday tradition you love will become even more magical...
A vibrant and animated winter wonderland comes to life, featuring appearances by The Sugarplum Fairy, toy soldiers, and mischievous mice, all while retaining George Balanchine's iconic choreography and Tchaikovsky's timeless score.
Irving Berlin's White Christmas tells the story of two showbiz buddies putting on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn, and finding their perfect mates in the bargain.
Full of dancing, romance, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, including "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," "Happy Holiday," "Sisters," "Blue Skies," and the unforgettable title song, Irving Berlin's White Christmas promises to be a merry and bright experience for the entire family!
Cirque Dreams Holidaze - The Family Holiday Spectacular
A multi-million dollar stage production with soaring acrobatics, gravity defying feats, ellaborate illusions, holiday music... it's a Broadway musical, cirque spectacle and family show all in one!
A 2-hour theatrical adventure BroadwayWorld proclaims "The Perfect Holiday Gift... a show that everyone will enjoy... colorful, festive, imaginative, inventive, and thoroughly entertaining."
One of the world's most magical adaptations of Tchaikovsky's holiday classic, the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker pirouettes its way into The Fillmore Miami Beach with close to 40 renowned dancers that bring to life the timeless story of young Masha (Clara), who receives the gift of a nutcracker one Christmas Eve and dreams that night of a grand adventure with her Nutcracker Prince.
Filled with larger-than-life puppets and nesting dolls, handmade Victorian-style costumes, gasp-inducing special effects and sets created by La La Land designer Carl Sprague, this perennial favorite is sure to cast its seasonal spell over the whole family.
Salute to Vienna New Year's Concert recreates the beauty of Vienna's golden era and this year's concert will feature a brilliant new program of Strauss waltzes and sweeping melodies from beloved operettas performed by acclaimed European singers, champion ballroom dancers, ballet, and live symphony orchestra.
The first effortless notes of the eternal Blue Danube Waltz will welcome you into a triumphant 2019!
For Stanley, Christmas has lost some of its magic. Stanley, along with his sister SuSu, sets out to find out about Christmas for himself by traveling to the North Pole. Trapped in a blizzard, they wind up in a dilapidated gas station run by a mysterious old man named Nick who shows them the wonders of imagination and helps to bring his rundown gas station to life as a magic toyshop. One of the silliest villains you'll ever see, Mr. Gasket J. Wasket shows up and tries to spoil the day.
In the end, Stanley finds a renewed Christmas spirit and the real meaning of the holiday...
The Annual Living Nativity at Miami Shores Presbyterian Church
Let's herald the Christmas season with a live, open-air reenactment of the Christmas Story.
Featuring live camels, donkeys, goats and sheep, along with an innovative mix of digital and live-action characters, including Mary, Joseph,
Jesus, the prophets, angels, the Wise Men and more!
This spectacular depiction, complete with narration, digital projections and a choir, is fun for the entire family!
When? December 14 and 15, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Where? Miami Shores Presbyterian Church, 602 NE 96th Street, Miami Shores, FL 33138
How Much? FREE and open to the public. Volunteers for set up and spot participants: angels, shepherds, villagers, etc. welcome!