What to do this December in Miami

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Tropical December in Miami

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By: Kara Franker

Don’t miss these Miami events in the month of December.

With the holidays in full swing, the month of December offers plenty of fun and family-friendly events to celebrate the season.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest: Dec. 1-Jan. 6

The largest holiday theme park in the world, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is back for another season at Tropical Park. Enjoy carnival rides, shows, games, a 92-foot tall Christmas tree and more than three million Christmas lights. Ride the ferris wheel, race speedy cars, or risk it all on the “Mega Drop.” The park is open until the beginning of January. Single day and season passes are available.

Deering Holiday Wonderland: Dec. 1-31

Tour the elegant and historic Deering Estate located on the edge of Biscayne Bay when it’s festively decorated for the holidays and decked out in beautiful Christmas lights. Highlights include story time and photos with Santa Claus (Saturday, December 8th), Festival of Trees evening stroll (Wednesday, December 12th), as well as the Holiday Champagne Bay Cruise (Sunday, December 16th). Additionally, the Deering Estate is hosting a pop-up holiday gift shop managed and operated by Aloré Event Firm. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the preservation of the historic houses and grounds. Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for children ages 4 to 14. Special events like the Holiday Bay Cruise are $35 per person.

Art Basel, Art of Black Miami & additional art fairs: Dec. 4-9

Every year during the beginning of December, the entire city of Miami transforms into an international art hub. The main event, Art Basel Miami Beach draws more than 73,000 art dealers, artists, collectors and aficionados to the Miami Beach Convention Center and beyond. Celebrating art, culture and diversity, Art of Black Miami is a year-round event that shines a spotlight on local, national and international aspiring and renowned artists of multicultural heritage. Special exhibitions and art installations take place around the city during as well as pre- and post Art Basel Miami Beach. Additionally, the city is now home to more than 20 distinct pop-up art festivals like Art Miami in Downtown, Pinta Miami in Wynwood, and Scope in Miami Beach. Ticket prices vary.

The Nutcracker: Dec. 7-29

Watch as Clara and Fritz gather together with family and friends for a Christmas Eve celebration that turns into an epic fairytale complete with toy soldiers, a sugar plum fairy and, of course, the Nutcracker himself. Miami offers plenty of opportunities to watch live performances of The Nutcracker. See Miami City Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, December 14 through Monday, December 24, 2018. Or watch Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Fillmore Miami Beach’s Jackie Gleason Theater on Saturday, December 29, 2018. In Aventura, check out Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida’s Nutcracker production at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center on Friday, December 7 through Sunday, December 9, 2018. Ticket prices vary.

Pinecrest Gardens Nights of Lights: Dec. 14 – Jan. 1

Pinecrest Gardens transforms into a holiday wonderland illuminated by thousands of spectacular and sparkling holiday lights. The event presented by Live Like Bella, a foundation for childhood cancer, features pictures with Santa, carnival activities, pony rides, story time, performances by the Miami Royal Ballet and Christmas music by the Greater Miami Youth Symphony and FIU Chorus. Tickets are $5 per person and children under 2 are free. Pinecrest Garden members are also free.

Holiday Concert at the New World Symphony: Dec. 15

Every year, the New World Symphony's Sounds of the Season concert celebrates the holidays in a festive way that's fun for the whole family. This is a free WALLCAST concert, so make sure you bring your blanket and lawn chairs. Enjoy musical selections from a variety of cultural heritages on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at SoundScape Park at the New World Center on Miami Beach.

Capital One Orange Bowl: Dec. 29

This is a game you won't want to miss! The 2018 college football playoff game at the Capital One Orange Bowl will take place at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. While we won’t know which teams are playing until closer to the date, it’s a historic game and always a fun time. Just as an FYI, the Orange Bowl Committee was created in 1935 with the mission of generating tourism for South Florida through an annual football game and supporting events like the annual Junior Orange Bowl Parade in Coral Gables (December 2) and the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta in Coconut Grove (December 26).

King Mango Strut Parade: Dec. 30

Coconut Grove’s wacky King Mango Strut Parade has been called “the weirdest parade in the universe.” Every year on the last Sunday in December, witty locals dress up in crazy costumes and build floats that parody current events and pop culture. The parade starts at the corner of Main Highway and Commodore Plaza and struts its way through the lush and tropical streets of the eclectic Coconut Grove neighborhood. The parade is at 2:00 p.m., but get there early to stake out a good spot. The event is free.

New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31

Every year Miami offers a wide variety of glitzy New Year’s Eve parties and celebrations, like the City of Miami Beach New Year's Eve Celebration featuring fireworks at midnight, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s annual poolside concert and more.

Search all Miami & Beaches events and check out our line-up of family-friendly holiday happenings.

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