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...
Because of Covid-19 which continues to present challenging circumstances, the number and formats of the events are more limited this year to comply with social distancing and enhanced health and safety measures.
This year's Art Week will be a bit different starting with the cancellation of Art Basel Miami Beach, but Miami Art Week is very much ON! Most of the action has moved to the Design District and Wynwood where it is a delight to roam outdoors this time of the year.
And it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Bayfront Park will kick off the holiday season with the official Tree lighting and Bayfront Holiday Village. The Nutcracker is back and has moved to Downtown Doral Park. The annual Ft. Lauderdale Christmas Boat Parade is another casualty of the pandemic and has been cancelled for 2020.
Always double-check with the organizers prior to purchasing tickets or heading out to any events as conditions may change at the last minute. We will continue to monitor closely this rapidly evolving situation and provide relevant updates. Here's the latest.
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!
Recurring December Events Cancelled/Suspended in 2020:
Art Basel Miami Beach
Santa's Enchanted Forest
Winterfest Boat Parade
NightGarden Magical Light Spectacular at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens
Jungle Island's Luminosa! Festival of Lights
King Mango Strut at the Grove
Activities, Tours, Attractions that are OPEN
It's time to get out! You can book with confidence as there is a free cancellation policy for most of the activities listed here, if your plans change and you cancel up to 24 hours in advance you will receive a full refund.
Segway Tours are a great way to discover the Art Deco District, Ocean Drive, Fisher Island... You see a lot more gliding around than on foot while enjoying the breathtaking views and some fresh air! These Segway Tours are running daily
This long weekend in early December is traditionally the unofficial kick-off to the city's busy art and cultural calendar. Even though Art Basel Miami Beach, the epicenter of Miami Art Week, has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid concerns, some of the satellite fairs and pop up events are back this year, with enhanced health and safety measures of course and with events that can be safely enjoyed outdoors.
Confirmed to be back this year are Design Miami (see below) and the Basel House Mural Festival. Some of the satellite fairs have moved to virtual exhibitions only, including PINTA, NADA, and Untitled.
When? First Week in December
Where? With Art Basel cancelled for 2020, Satellite fairs and events will pop up in and around the city, keep an eye specially
in the up-and-coming districts of Wynwood and the Miami Design District.
Design Miami/ is the global forum for design with annual shows in Miami and Basel and this year, it is back at the Miami Design District, where it all began! In no less than the gorgeous historic Moore Building which features front and center the iconic Zaha Hadid Elastika, this should be reason enough not to miss Design Miami this year!
What?: At the core of the Design Miami/ is a marketplace for collectible design, amid which the most reputable international design galleries present curated exhibitions of museum-quality furniture, lighting and objets d'art, attracting the highest level of private and public collectors of historical and contemporary design. The exhibition contains works by pioneering modernists to one-off and limited-edition pieces by cutting edge contemporary designers.
The galleries invited to exhibit in Design Miami/ deal mainly in exceptional design objects from the advent of Modernism (circa 1900) to the present day, with select galleries specializing in outstanding 18th and 19th century antiques.
Where?: The Moore Building at the Miami Design District at 191 NE 40th Street Miami, FL 33137 USA
When?: November 27 - December 6, 2020
How much?: One day pass $22.50
New Year's Eve: Big Orange Ball Drop 2021 Countdown and Fireworks
Miami might not be Times Square, but we do have our very own "Ball Drop" and spectacular fireworks over
our beautiful bay.
Due to Covid concerns, this year's events however are likely to be on a smaller scale as in previous years, with an emphasis on local community events. The regular live event with Miami's global superstar Pitbull leading the countdown to welcome the new year in Bayfront Park has been suspended this year.
Fireworks over Biscayne Bay for the countdown to 2021 HAVE NOT BEEN CONFIRMED. Stay tuned!
When?: Thursday, December 31, 2020
Where?: Countdown celebrations TBC
Adrienne Arsht Center Reopening: Deborah Cox Holiday Show "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
Award-winning singer-songwriter and South Florida’s own Deborah Cox will be the first to take to the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center since COVID-19 forced the facility to close. Cox will be performing her first-ever holiday show, especially created for the Arsht Center.
The Ziff Ballet Opera House will be at 10 percent capacity and instead of the usual theater-style seating, there will be private tables for families to sit together, 6 feet apart from other tables.
When? December 19, 2020
Where? Ziff Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center
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.
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker - Christmas Stream
One of the world's most magical adaptations of Tchaikovsky's holiday classic, the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker pirouettes its way into your living room! Take this opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and experience the smash-hit Holiday tradition in this ground-breaking debut.
See the full performance as captured on stage plus an up close look at the behind-the-scenes action. Take a trip backstage with the cameras for a look at how the magic is made. Hear it first-hand from world-class artists, designers, and the creators of this cherished production. Make this Christmas special; don't miss this celebration!
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:
Bayfront Holiday Village
The official kick off to the holiday season in downtown Miami takes place as Bayfront Park unveils its 50-foot tree
covered with glittering lights at the new Bayfront Marketplace popup: Bayfront Holiday Village.
The Village will be open throughout the holiday season and host great entertainment options: a collection of hand-picked shops where you can pick out that perfect gift, roller skating rink around the tree and fountain, top eating options, photo with Santa, scavenger hunts and even a Santa Paws Dog Park so you can bring your furry friend along to the festivities.
New this year is Family Movie Nights! Bayfront Holiday Village will host daily Christmas classic movies and family favorites from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. These movie nights are open to the public and are absolutely FREE to attend for all ages. Movie lineup include ELF, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Home Alone, etc.
When? December 10 - 25, 2020
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!
Symphony In Lights Holiday Celebration at Gulfstream Park
The entire property will be illuminated with more than 250,000 LED lights, all set to the sounds of holiday favorites from yesterday and today.
A 10-minute light show will begin at the top of every hour from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, selfies with Santa and snow show on opening night November 12.
"Symphony in Lights" is not only the perfect opportunity to experience some holiday magic, but also to enjoy shopping, dining and boundless entertainment at Gulfstream Park Village's open-air setting.
When? TBA November - December 2023
Where? Gulfstream Park at 901 S. Federal Hwy, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
How Much? FREE
A magical atmosphere awaits at CityPlace Doral as the entire place is decked with multi-colored LED lights... the palm trees lining the outdoor shops and the center's Christmas tree will welcome you as well as a striking and colorful water fountain show choreographed to everyday favorites and holiday classics.
The Opening Night Celebration on November 21st will feature live entertainment by Latin singer and DJ Dayana Falcon and will kick off at 8:00 pm.
The holiday lights and fountain shows will be on display until December 31, 2020.
When? November 21, 2020 - December 31, 2020 - 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm Holiday Fountain Show at the top of the hour.
Where? CityPlace Doral at 8300 NW 36th Street, Doral, FL 33166
How Much? FREE
It's that magical time of the year as the park transforms into a fabulous array of shimmering trees and dazzling (animal-shaped of course) lights that adorn every corner of this fantastic animal kingdom.
What else? Appearances by Santa (until December 23), animal presentations, arts & crafts and letters to Santa (limited spaces available), hot cocoa and cookies (fee), Snowman's River Boat Rides ($5 per person)
When?: Select nights TBA November - December 2023 - 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where?: Zoo Miami at 1 Zoo Boulevard, 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, FL 33177
How Much?: $20.95 per adult and $18.95 per child age 3 - 12 plus tax
Pinecrest Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland dotted by thousands of twinkling lights that go up, through and around the whimsical botanical landscape. This year they are adding a whole new section of sparkling holiday lights and a bigger than last year's holiday-themed maze in the gardens.
Eat yummy treats, have a signature Pinecrest Gardens cocktail and enjoy magical Story Time with Mrs. Claus. Stay tuned for Santa Claus special appearances.
On select evenings, admission includes a holiday concert performance in the historic Banyan Bowl.
When? TBA mid-December to early January - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where? Pinecrest Gardens at 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest, Florida 33156
How Much? $15 - $20
Join us at the Sandrell Rivers Theater for a socially distant Stage-to-Screen performance that teaches children about diversity and acceptance through theatre!
THE LEGEND OF THE PINK ELEPHANT is an enhanced story reading by Miami native, Luckner Bruno, of his beautiful book, "The Legend of the Pink Elephant". Complemented by video stills and clips from the stage production of the same name. In this story, an elephant is born different from the rest of his herd - he is born with pink skin. Because of his difference, he is bullied out of his herd. After running away, he finds other colorful characters who love him as he is. When he returns, he finds his home is not how he left it. A timely and important story for all, THE LEGEND OF THE PINK ELEPHANT STORY TIME should not be missed.
Face coverings are required on all individuals and social distancing requirements will be enforced.
When? Saturday, December 12, 2020 - 8:00 pm
Where? Sandrell Rivers Theater at 6103 NW 7th Ave Miami, FL 33127
Safe and secure parking at 6104 NW 7th Ct. Miami, FL 33127
Sponsored by the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs & National Endowment for the Arts.
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, baby 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? This year's Covid-Safe edition will make life-size cardboard cutouts of all Nativity characters to be placed around the manger in the lead up to Christmas
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!
When? The Miami Heat is back on! The NBA has announced the start of the 2020-2021 season this December, the Heat's 37-game schedule will consist of 18 home games at AmericanAirlines Arena and 19 away games. Home opener on Christmas Day against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ticket information will be released at a later date. A limited number of season ticket memberships are still available. Visit heatseasontickets.com or call 786-777-HOOP.
Miami Design District Free Outdoor Concerts - SUSPENDED
The Miami Design District Performance Series kicks off in the fall and is a fantastic chance to enjoy live FREE outdoor concerts, our marvelous weather as it starts to cool off all wrapped in a fantastic South Florida atmosphere. The events are put together by the Knight Foundation, Design District developer Craig Robins and our very own Emilio Estefan and are free for all to enjoy. (THANK YOU!!!!)
The season normally starts in October and runs through the Holidays. Taking the stage on Friday evenings are performers in all sorts of genres from classical, pop, salsa... last year we had Gloria Gaynor, Jose Luis Rodriguez (El Puma), the Miami Symphony Orchestra... it's an eclectic bunch and regardless of who appears at Palm Court, it is always an enjoyable evening and a great way to kick start your weekend. And did I mention it's FREE?!!!
These are live classical music performances by the New World Symphony which are projected into a 7,000 square-foot wall at the New World Center for thousands to enjoy in a fantastic outdoor atmosphere.
The concerts are typically on the third Saturday of the month and the season runs from October through May.
WALLCAST® Concerts utilize 4K Ultra High Definition visual technology for projections on the wall at the New World Center.
December WALLCAST Concerts: SUSPENDED
Where? SoundScape Park at 500 17th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Every second Saturday of the month, the Wynwood Art Walk Block Party is one of the most iconic events in the city in this up and coming neighborhood which has been transforming the art scene in Miami.
Wynwood which is best known for its street art and splashy murals puts together a live art show, pop-up shop & gallery experience where you can mingle among the artists and creators, drink in hand, watch as art is being created in front of you and purchase directly from them.
And beyond the fantastic art there's plenty of gourmet food trucks, cocktails, live music and vendors, yes, it's a party!
When? Saturday December 12, 2020 and every second Saturday of the month, doors open at noon
Where? The Wynwood Marketplace at 2250 Northwest 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127 at the Wynwood Art District How Much? FREE! RSVP for a free drink!
More Info: www.wynwoodartwalkblockparty.com
WAVE Wine + Beer Taste on Washington Avenue
The Washington Avenue Business Improvement District Presents a Live Music Series Featuring a Wine & Beer Taste!
15 wine, beer, and live music locations over a 1 mile stretch on Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
A diversity of live music everyone can enjoy! Grab a friend and come enjoy your favorite wines, beers, and try something new while sitting back with locals and tourists alike to take in all the live music. Must be 21+.
When? Thursday December 17, 2020 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and every 3rd Thursday of the month.
Where? Along Washington Avenue in South Beach
How Much? General Admission $15 (entitles you to 12 wine / beer tastes), VIP $25 (entitles you to 24 wine / beer tastes, for 2 people)
More Info and Tickets: WAVE Wine & Beer.