Fun Things to Do for Memorial Day 2018

By Lori Kahn | May 8, 2018
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 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. This year, Memorial Day lands on Monday, May 28. In Miami, there are a number of ways to enjoy and celebrate the three-day weekend. Here are a few options.

The Miami Beach Air & Sea Show and Music Explosion

This year's second annual family-friendly Miami Beach Air & Sea Show and Music Explosion will be sponsored by Hyundai on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, 2018. "The Greatest Show Above the Earth" will showcase the men, women, technology and equipment from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines and the Coast Guard, as well as local police, firefighters and first responder agencies. This two-day spectacular event will feature civilian aerobatic acts, offshore powerboat racing demonstrations, extreme water sports and more, all on the beautiful shores of Miami Beach. There will also be music by the USAF and US Army bands along with other top musical acts and iHeart DJ’s on the Music Explosion Stage inside the Display Village.

Poetry Reading With Reginald Dwayne Betts

Writer, Poet, Lawyer and Activist, Reginald Dwayne Betts, will be presenting a poetry reading at The Atrium at the Betsy Hotel. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, won a 2010 NAACP Image Award for non-fiction. His books of poetry are, Shahid Reads His Own Palm and Bastards of the Reagan Era. Saturday, May 26 from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Concert on the Beach

Free concert on the beach featuring breakout artist MAX, Hip Hop and R&B performer Kent Jones and Grammy Award-Winner Shaggy. All performing under the stars in beautiful Lummus Park in South Beach. You won't want to miss this exciting event!  Located at 11 Street on the sand, east of the dune. Saturday, May 26 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Jazz with Nicole Yarling Duo

The Betsy Hotel lobby is the venue for an evening of sultry, smooth jazz with the Nicole Yarling Duo. The incomparable Ms. Yarling, an Assistant Professor of Music, Coordinator of Instrumental Studies and Director of the Florida Memorial University Pop Ensemble, has toured with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Jimmy Buffet. This is going to be an unforgettable musical event you won't want to miss. Saturday, May 26 from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Youth Poetry Slam with Silent Revolution and Dranoff 2 Pianos

The Youth Poetry Slam features 12 winners of Piano Slam, which utilizes music as a tool and inspiration to give youth a voice through artistic expression. It is a poetry writing competition that asks students to compose works of poetry inspired by their reactions to a selection of music. This event takes place at The Atrium at The Betsy Hotel and is hosted by youth advocate Octavia Yearwood, an arts educator, motivational speaker, choreographer, and entrepreneur, and features social justice poet, Andrea Assaf, with program elements curated by YA Author Pablo Cartaya and Piano Slam founder Carlene Sawyer. Sunday, May 27 from 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Gospel Concert and Junkanoo Parade

Enjoy a gospel concert presented in partnership with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and featuring Miami Mass Choir and Second Chapter. The serenading will take place directly across from the Hotel Victor on Ocean Drive, between 11th and 12th Streets. The Junkanoo Parade follows the concert on Ocean Drive as a finale to the weekend's festivities. Sunday, May 27 starting at 4 p.m.

Annual Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival

Head to the James L. Knight Center in Downtown Miami for the 11th Annual Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival. This year’s line-up includes lots of laughs. Past comics included greats such as Bruce Bruce, Bill Bellamy, Luenell, DC Young Fly, Lavar Walker & Malik S. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster. Sunday, May 27 at 8:00 p.m

BBQ At The PAMM

Perez Art Museum Miami honors our heroes with a special Memorial Day Bar-B-Que and Celebration on the terrace overlooking Biscayne Bay. There will be live music and tasty barbecue specials, as well as a special appearance by Coast Guard Air Station Miami. Admission is free for all active duty military personnel, veterans and their families. The Museum opens at 10:00 a.m. and the Memorial Day celebration is on Monday, May 28 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Memorial Day Ceremony Honoring All Military Personnel

Ceremony takes place at the Miami Beach Police Department Headquarters located at 1100 Washington Avenue. Monday, May 28 at 3:15 p.m.

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. 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.

Family Fun on Key Biscayne

Kick-off summer with a family-friendly weekend at the beach. 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 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Sizzling Nightlife

Urban Beach Week is May 25 - 28, 2018 and the ultimate beach party for Hip Hop culture, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. This adults-only event is actually a series of concerts, parties, fashion shows and more. This weekend will also host the Annual All-White Yacht Party aboard the South Beach Lady and cruising Biscayne Bay on Saturday, May 26. Sizzle Miami is also happening May 24 - 28, and America’s most celebrated and anticipated urban gay event, attracting people from around the world for a five-day party, is packed with things to do each day and pulsating nightlife after dark.

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

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.

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. 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 our events calendar for more Memorial Day happenings.

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