Memorial Day Weekend

By Kara Franker | Apr 12, 2017
Miami Beach Air & Sea Show
Pay tribute to America's heroes at The Miami Beach Air & Sea Musical Explosion

What to do for Memorial Day Weekend in Miami.

Not only is Memorial Day a federal holiday dedicated to remembering those who gave their lives while serving in the armed forces, it’s also the unofficial kick-off for summer vacation season. In Miami, there are a number of ways to commemorate the three-day weekend. Here are a few options.

Special City-Wide Memorial Day Celebrations

Many neighborhoods host their own Memorial Day ceremonies to pay homage to American service men and women who gave their lives while serving their country. To kick-off the National Salute to America's Heroes initiative, members of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard, and local police, firefighters and first responder agencies will come together for the Miami Beach Air & Sea Show and Music Explosion May 27-28. The American Legion Miami Beach Post 85 and VFW Miami Beach Post 3559, for example, typically host a wreath-laying ceremony and 21-gun salute at the War Memorial Cenotaph in front of Miami Beach Police Headquarters. Other cities like Surfside, Hialeah, Coral Gables and North Miami Beach also usually host remembrance ceremonies. Check with each city for details.

Sizzling Nightlife on South Beach

For endless nightlife options for the party crowd, head to South Beach for a variety of 21+ style events during Memorial Day Weekend. Ready to dance the night away? Head to the Urban Beach Week, the largest urban hip-hop festival in the world for those who are 21+. Board a spacious yacht for the annual All White Yacht Party presented by Miami Nice on Saturday, May 27 at 11:30 p.m. Or head to Ocean Drive in South Beach’s vibrant Art Deco District, where you’ll find hotels like the Breakwater and the Clevelander hosting parties all weekend long. Happening alongside the festivities, Sizzle Miami is an event celebrating gay men of color.

Family Fun on Key Biscayne

Kick-off summer with a family-friendly weekend at the beach. While Miami Beach sets the stage for the 21+ crowd, families might want to head over the Rickenbacker Causeway to Virginia Key and Key Biscayne for more of a laid-back, kid-friendly vibe. Both islands offer a wide array of beach locales perfect for soaking up some rays and playing in the surf. Key Biscayne is the home of Crandon Park Beach at the entrance to the island and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park at the end. Both beaches are perfect for families and offer some of the most tranquil ocean views in the area. For the best vistas, climb to the top of the Cape Florida Lighthouse, originally built in 1825. Free guided tours are available Thursday through Monday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Comedy Festival in Downtown Miami

Head to the James L. Knight Center in Downtown Miami on Sunday, May 28 at 8 p.m. for the 10th Annual Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival. This year’s line-up includes lots of laughs courtesy of greats like Bruce Bruce, Bill Bellamy, Luenell, DC Young Fly, Lavar Walker & Malik S. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster and start at $33 per person.

Eco Tour at Oleta River State Park

For the outdoorsy types, the three-day weekend is a great opportunity to explore one of Miami’s most expansive state parks. At Oleta River State Park, ride a bicycle through the winding bike trails, hop on a stand-up paddle board for a view above the water, or book one of the guided kayak tours for the chance to see manatees, fish and other wildlife. Admission to Oleta River State Park is $6 per vehicle and fees for guided tours start at $35 per person.

Grapeland Water Park Near the Airport

Perfect for the whole family, Grapeland Water Park opens Memorial Day Weekend. With 13 acres of water slides, lazy rivers, and pools, there’s plenty of splish-splashing to be done during a day here. Rest assured that you’re in good hands, as the park is staffed with 24 lifeguards and shallow water attendants on duty at all times. Entry is $15 for non-Miami-Dade County residents, $12 for residents, $7 for children age 2-13, and free for infants.

May is Miami Museum Month

Celebrate the city’s rich cultural history and participate in Miami Museum Month. Institutions like HistoryMiami, Miami Children’s Museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami and many more, are offering special deals throughout the entire month of May and Memorial Day Weekend is one of your last opportunities to score those special deals like buy one admission and get one free. See the entire list of participating museums.

Check out more Memorial Day events happening in Miami.

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