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 throughout the city...
...the art and music festivals...
...the food fairs...
...the boating events...
...the Christmas and holiday bashes...
...lots of high-caliber entertainment...
The month kicks off with Art Basel as holiday happenings are
getting under way in the midst of the Christmas frenzy and New Year fireworks, including some beloved recurring events... the Nutcracker, Santa's Enchanted Forest, and Nightgarden are back, Andrea Bocelli is in town, the Christmas boaters and the wacky Mango Strutters come out in full force 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!
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
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 Saturday December 2 - 4, 2021
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.
Design Miami/ is the global forum for design with annual shows in Miami, Basel and Shanghai.
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.
This year, experience and shop the fair in-person and online at designmiami.com.
Where?: Adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center and just a short walk from Art Basel at Meridian Avenue and 19th Street
When?: December 1 - 5, 2021
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 50th 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 11, 2021
Where?: Intracoastal Waterway from Ft. Lauderdale to Pompano Beach
How Much?: Free along parade route, Grandstand viewing areas 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 as the King Mango Parade lives on...
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?: TBC Sunday December 26, 2021, 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 2022 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.
Program and events for this year's bash at Bayfront Park are not out yet, stay tuned!
When?: December 31, 2021
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.
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:
Miami City Ballet's The Nutcracker
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.
The Nutcracker performances will be at two venues this year:
When? December 10 - 12, 2021 , December 16 - 26 at the Ziff Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center
Where? Au Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts
When? December 16 - 26
Where? Ziff Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center
The largest Christmas-Themed Amusement Park and Carnival is back with its millions of dazzling lights, South Florida's tallest christmas tree, and the carnival rides for little ones and those wanting a little more extreme.
Santa's new home in Doral is bigger than ever with more than 40 acres of attractions, plus 3 entrances and expansive parking. 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 9, 2023 - January 7, 2024
Where? 7400 NW 87th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33166
How Much? Adults (9-64) $44.86, Children (3-8) and Seniors 65+ $36.45. Season Passes, military discounts, group discounts and express passes available.
With this 60-degree weather, what better way to warm up and get ready into the holiday spirit with family and friends than with
some Snow, Holiday Treats, Hot chocolate and much more while you can meet Santa Claus, Nix the Snowman and Sprinkle the Gingerbread Cookie
at a beautiful illuminated Forest.
Holiday treats, hay rides, paddleboat rides, Santa, pony rides, and many more activities for kids!
When?: Weekends from November 24, 2023 to January 1, 2024
Where?: Pinto Farm at 14890 SW 216 Street, Miami, FL 33170
How Much?: $27.10, children under one free, includes paddle boat rides, tractor rides, pony rides, race track, petting zoo, hay maze, and of course you get to meet Santa.
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) and Grinch, animal presentations, arts & crafts and letters to Santa (limited spaces available), hot cocoa and cookies (fee), Snowman's River Boat Rides ($5 per person)
Opening Night & Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 24, 2023
When?: Select nights November 24 - December 30, 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 (online $18.95) per adult and $18.95 (online $16.95) per child age 3 - 12 plus tax, Snowman's River Boat Rides $5
"Holidays in Wonderland", a Lewis Carrol Story - Historic Holiday Decor: This season, the Deering Estate celebrates the holiday season through the looking glass with décor inspired by the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll. Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts, will be featured in several historic rooms, galleries, and hand-decorated holiday trees.
When? November 24, 2023 - January 7, 2024
How Much? Adults $15, Children (4 - 14) $7
Holiday Evening Strolls: Stroll the main grounds and the Historic Homes as they light up in the night. Enjoy the warmth of a campfire and showings of holiday films! Children can also bring their letters to Santa to drop off. Wrap up the night as Mrs. Claus arrives to read bedtime stories to the children from afar.
When? December 2023 TBA - 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
How Much? Adults $15, Children (4 - 14) $7
Story Time and Photos with Santa: Enjoy story-time with Santa's elves and photos with Santa (for an additional fee) inside the Great Hall. Children can participate in holiday arts and crafts activities.
When? TBA December 2023 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
How Much? Adults $15, Children (4 - 14) $7
Where? The Deering Estate at 16701 SW 72nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33157
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 and marvel at unbelievable live effects such as holographic butterflies and floating orchids throughout multiple acres of dazzling magic.
When? Select dates November 10, 2023 to January 7, 2024
Where? Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156
How Much? Weekday prices starting at $25. General Admission $35, Children 10 and under $30, plus service fees. Discounts for Fairchild members, students, senior, military, group (min. 6) bundle available.
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 11.
"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? November 11 - December 31, 2023
Where? Gulfstream Park at 901 S. Federal Hwy, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
How Much? FREE
Pinecrest Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland dotted by thousands of twinkling lights that go up, through and around the whimsical botanical landscape.
Eat yummy treats, pictures with Santa, Story Time nights, face painting, train display, pajama nights, carolers, brewery nights and much more...
When? Select nights from December 9, 2023 to January 6, 2024 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where? Pinecrest Gardens at 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest, Florida 33156
How Much? $18 - $22
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!
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!
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!
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 second or third Saturday of the month and the season runs from October through May.
When? Second or third Saturday of the month
Where? SoundScape Park at 500 17th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139
For our Residents, if you have a Miami Dade Library Card, check out the FREE Museum Pass Program where you can get passes to many of the most popular museums and attractions in the city. Passes are good for a family of 4 and can be easily "checked out" with your library card. Passes are first-come-first-served and as you can imagine, some of the most popular ones get snatched as soon as they become available, each library branch gets a limited number of passes for each attraction.
The Museum Pass Program offers free entry to the following:
Miami Children's Museum
Perez Art Museum (PAMM)
Frost Museum of Science
Frost Art Museum
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Lowe Art Museum
Fruit and Spice Park
... and many more!
Miami Beach Live Music Series - Currently Postponed
The Washington Avenue Business Improvement District Presents Miami Beach Live Music Series. From upscale hotels, museums, restaurants to clubs Washington Avenue is the new hotspot on Miami Beach. Explore each venue or settle at one while enjoying great music from all around the world. Enjoy the best live Jazz, Latin, Blues, Reggae, Soul, Pop and Rock music in South Florida every 3rd Thursday of the month... FREE of charge!
Fantasy Theatre Factory at the Sandrell Rivers Theater Series
Fantasy Theater Factory is a non-profit organization that manages the Sandrell Rivers Theater, a state of the art black box theater in Miami. FTF places its greatest programmatic emphasis on Theater for Young Audiences which place a primary focus on childhood literacy and ecology. Other focus areas of programming include: fitness, history, diversity, self esteem, peer pressure and bullying prevention. FTF also produces cultural arts workshop residency programs that serve at-risk youth, children with disabilities and general population students.
Monthly lineups include a bi-monthly film screening series, a bi-monthly live music series, an art exhibition series and a new play competition, where playwrights can have their new works performed as staged readings in front of live audiences.
Each year FTF produces well over 500 programs, many are FREE and open to the public, some offered for a low nominal fee, in many cases if you are unable to afford a ticket, please call their box office, and they will be happy to reserve up to four (4) free tickets for your party.
When? Various throughout the month
Where? Sandrell Rivers Theater at 6103 NW 7th Ave, Miami FL 33127
How Much? Many FREE or offered for a low fee.
More Info and this month's lineup: Fantasy Theater Factory Shows.