Family Friendly Holiday Events In Miami

Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

Nutcracker Ballerina

The Nutcracker! performed by Miami City Ballet

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By: Shayne Benowitz

The holidays are a time for families to come together and Miami is a wonderful place to celebrate! Instead of a wintery wonderland, we offer a subtropical paradise where you can visit Santa at the zoo, marvel at holiday lights in a botanical garden and watch the Nutcracker performed outside beneath swaying palm trees. Read on for some of our favorite family-friendly 2020 holiday events in Miami.

Santa’s Spectacular at Tamiami Park

Grab the kids and make your way to Tamiami Park in Doral for a one-of-a-kind holiday extravaganza designed specifically for safety while COVID-19 is a concern. Santa’s Spectacular is a drive-through, sing-along musical sensation featuring costumed actors, singers and dancers performing all of your favorite holiday tunes, and it runs through December 23. There’s a holiday market where you can get a head start on gifts, as well as festive family photo opps, a gingerbread station for the little ones and a cocktail lounge for the grown ups. With social distancing and health protocols in place, you can enjoy some holiday fun along with peace of mind.

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

Take a walk on the wild side—head to Zoo Miami in South Dade for the kick-off of their annual Zoo Lights spectacular. Stroll through the zoo beneath a million dazzling holiday lights, including a 26-foot tall LED lit Christmas tree. Kids can write letters to Santa, indulge in cookies and hot chocolate, enjoy arts and crafts activities and embark on a river ride. Jolly old Saint Nick—along with plenty of zoo animals—will make appearances throughout the evening. You must purchase tickets online in advance as capacity is limited. Once inside, you’re asked to wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

The Miami City Ballet performs George Balanchine's The Nutcracker!
The Miami City Ballet performs George Balanchine's The Nutcracker!

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker in the Park at Downtown Doral Park

It’s simply not the holidays without The Nutcracker! Opening Dec. 18 and running through New Year’s Eve, Miami City Ballet will perform a very special production of George Balanchine’s classic ballet in a socially distanced outdoor setting at Downtown Doral Park. Set to Tchaikovsky’s soaring score, dancers will perform before a digitally animated backdrop while your family safely enjoys this new spin on a beloved holiday tradition beneath the palm trees.

Grinch’s Grotto at Aventura Mall

Commemorating 2020 as the Year of the Grinch, Aventura Mall is hosting Whoville’s grumpiest green resident, none other than the Grinch himself. At the Grinch’s Grotto, your family will visit the Grinch inside his cave for photo opps and special treats. Dr. Seuss’s beloved holiday book and merchandise will also be available. Social distancing guidelines will be in place and guests are asked to reserve tickets online in advance, and wear masks while inside the mall.

The Troll That Stole Hanukkah via the Arsht Center

While it’s still a challenge to safely enjoy an evening at the theater, there are more online virtual performances than ever. Logon to the Arsht Center for a virtual puppet theater production of The Troll That Stole Hanukkah, running through December 19. The interactive show centers around the mystery of a stolen menorah by a greedy troll and the unlikely hero who must save the day. The play explores themes of kindness, friendship and how to calm down. Tickets include a complimentary puppet workshop so kids can learn about the magic and fun of puppetry and theater.

Nights of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens
The whole family will enjoy exploring Nights of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens

Nights of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens

Now through January 3, Pinecrest Gardens is transformed into a dazzling subtropical wonderland with their Nights of Lights celebration, perfect for the whole family. Thousands of twinkling holiday lights are strung throughout the botanical landscape and special performances and holiday concerts are held on the Banyan Bowl stage. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make appearances and delicious treats for young and old (such as a signature holiday cocktail!) will be on offer. Due to COVID-19, capacity is limited, so it’s strongly recommended that you reserve your tickets online in advance.

Madeline’s Christmas at Actor’s Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre

Bring your family to beautiful Coral Gables and the Actor’s Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre for a special children’s theater production of Madeline’s Christmas, starring the beloved character from the classic French children’s book series by Ludwig Bemelmans. In this tale, Madeline has to save the day so all the girls in the boarding house will be able to go home for Christmas. Performances are scheduled through December 20.

Holiday Décor at Deering Estate

Each year the Historic Holiday Décor at Deering Estate is put on display for all visitors to enjoy. A team of top designers have created a feeling of nostalgia inspired by Florida's pioneer days and each building has its own theme to explore and appreciate. The Stone House library gives tribute to Charles Deering's love of the sea. The Richmond Cottage was designed to resemble Miami's first Christmas celebration in 1896. Explore daily through January 8, 2020 from 10:00a.m. - 4:00p.m.

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