Thanksgiving Day is a public holiday observed every year on the fourth Thursday in November.
This holiday has its roots in the early pilgrim days as a celebration to the end of a fruitful harvest season.
For many americans it means time with family, turkey and mashed potatoes,
a weekend of football, and naturally, the shopping.
A big part of Thanksgiving Weekend is now the sales in what has now become the largest shopping weekend of the year, which includes "Black
Friday" or the Friday after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, the Monday after.
More recently, some malls and stores are beginning to open on Thanksgiving Day, now dubbed "Gray Thursday",
but many still remain closed, so check before you head out, and needless to say, if you don't like crowds, avoid the stores on these days.
Thanksgiving is also the "unoficial" start of the holiday season. Christmas and Hannukah decorations will be popping up all over town, and many holiday events and concerts kick off right around this time.
A fantastic line-up awaits this Thanksgiving Weekend as Broadway comes to Miami with two smash hit musicals, the all-time classic Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King And I and Tony Award winner Hello, Dolly! and Elton John is in town on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour!
For sports fans, the Miami Hurricanes meet the Pittsburgh Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium as hockey fans also have a chance to catch a game or two at BB&T Center.
As in all public holidays, government offices, schools, post offices, banks and public libraries will close on Thanksgiving Day. Many restaurants remain open and offer special dinners to celebrate the Holiday.
And this is the perfect time to head outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and cooler temperatures as we wave goodbye to the
scorching heat of summer. And as migrating birds are heading back our way, this is a good time for a visit to the Everglades, enjoy the beautiful wildlife or a thrilling airboat ride!
Here's what's happening this Thanksgiving in Miami as well as some popular see's and do's to take advantage of the long weekend!
Rolling Stone calls it "a must-see event. A musical comedy dream. If you're lucky enough to score a ticket, you'll be seeing something historic. Wow, wow, wow, indeed!"
Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in HELLO, DOLLY! - the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls "the best show of the year!" Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks' "gorgeous" new production (Vogue) is "making people crazy happy!" (The Washington Post).
Elton John's most anticipated 300-date Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour will bring him to South Florida early on the round this November on what is expected to take about 3 years to complete. If you can't catch him this time around, he will be returning in March 2019 for a second appearance in South Florida.
After almost 50 years of performing, he has amassed fans all over the world, and he expressed the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour is his chance "to say thank you to all my fans around the world and then to say goodbye"
The dry season is approaching, meaning our migrating birds are coming back, manatees take refuge in our warmer
waters, alligators are easier to spot as they congregate around the waterholes, in short, this is the season for visiting the Everglades and enjoying nature and the outdoors. Why not spend a couple of hours walking off all that turkey along
the boardwalks and trails?
Our favorite short walks are:
Anhinga Trail at Royal Palms near the Main Park Entrance at Florida City by Homestead
Gaze down upon the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the only underwater state park in the United States and enjoy
panoramic views of the Florida Keys!
$45 for a two-hour glass-bottomed-boat cruise for two aboard the Key Largo Princess (Reg. $70)
Tours typically depart at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Leaves from Key Largo
This IS a long weekend! Why not spend some time exploring our surroundings? The Florida Keys are at our doorstep and you can be there within an hour from Miami. Get out your snorkel or dive gear and head south! John Pennekamp Park in Key Largo is a fantastic destination for all sorts of water sports and outdoor activities, snorkeling, diving, kayaking... And of course, Key West, as far south as you can go, famous for wonderful sunsets, its street art scene, shops, outdoor cafes, restaurants and historic sites has also much to offer.
Heading north, you can stop at the Kennedy Space Center or spend a couple of days at the theme parks in Orlando.
And the Bahamas are equally accesible, there are regularly scheduled ferries to bring you to the Islands.
Don't have a car? Check out these hassle-free offers that take care of your transport and sightseeing:
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.
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.