Holiday Happenings

Ah, the magic of the holidays… From frosty festivals to playful parades, there are so many ways to celebrate the season.


The Nutcracker 

Friday-Sunday, December 6-8  

Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida performs the story of the Nutcracker. $40. Showtimes vary. Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188 St. 

Coconut Grove

Snowflake Craft

Saturday, December 7

Celebrate the winter season by creating a beaded snowflake. Materials provided. Call to pre-register. Ages 5-12. 11am-noon, Coconut Grove Branch Library, 2875 McFarlane Rd., 305-442-8695

Coral Gables

Merrick Festival Caroling Competition

Wednesday-Sunday, December 4-8 & Tuesday, December 10

The festive sound of children’s voices will fill the air as kids from 30 different schools compete with free performances. The event culminates with an awards show on Tuesday. See website for a schedule. The 550 Building, 550 Biltmore Way, 305-491-4180

Tree Lighting & Photos with Santa

Friday, December 6

Celebrate the season with a fun-filled evening of music, carnival rides, games, food, photos with Santa, arts and crafts, a bounce house and more. The tree lighting and arrival of Santa takes place at 7 pm. 5-10pm, Merrick Park, 405 Biltmore Way

The Coral Express at McBride Plaza

Saturday, December 14

A fun holiday event for the family featuring ugly sweater contests, holiday caroling, trolley rides, a festive film, treats and more. 2-10 pm, McBride Plaza, 150 Miracle Mile

Voices of Angels

Sunday, December 15

All three ensembles of the Miami Children’s Chorus presents a captivating holiday performance. $25/adult, $10/child. 4-6 pm, First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables, 536 Coral Way

The NightGarden

Through January 11

Experience the fantasy and wonderment of effects including the wise talking tree, flying fairies, and holographic butterflies at this magical light spectacular. $19-$55. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., 305-667-1651

Cutler Bay

Winter Holiday Celebration

Friday, December 6

A festive event for the whole family with a visit with Santa, holiday crafts, an outdoor screening of The Grinch and more. 6 pm, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St.,

The Nutcracker

Friday-Saturday, December 6-7

This classic Christmas ballet about a little girl’s journey to the Land of Sweets is performed by the Miami Youth Ballet. $26-$41. 8 pm, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW
211 St., 786-573-5300

Holiday Golf Cart Parade, Toy Drive and Winter Celebration

Saturday, December 14

It’s a unique take on a typical parade as a procession of decked-out golf carts glide by. Additional holiday activities included. Bring along a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to a child. 6-10 pm, Cutler Ridge Park, 10100 SW 200 St., 786-573-5502


Park & Tree Lighting

Friday, December 6

Be dazzled as twinkling lights add holiday cheer to the night. While there, the family can watch performances, sip some hot chocolate and write a letter to Santa. 6-9 pm, Downtown Doral Park, 8395 NW 53 St., 305-593-6611

Holiday Lights & Ice

Friday, December 13

Doral Central Park is transformed into a winter wonderland with snow, rides, food and live music. All ages. $10, cash only. 6-10pm, Doral Central Park, 3000 NW 87 Ave., 305-593-6611


Santa’s Snowblast

Saturday, December 7

The kids can have lots of wintery fun at this an event that includes a mountain of snow to play in, carnival rides, games, live entertainment and more. 6-10pm, Milander Park, 4700 Palm Ave.,


It’s a Wonderful Life

Friday-Sunday, December 20-22

Experience this holiday classic based on the 1946 film. Friday 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 7pm; Sunday, 3pm & 6:30pm. Seminole Theatre, 18 N. Krome Ave., 786-650-2073

Key Biscayne


Sunday, December 2

Get into the holiday spirit by listening to local choirs and bands, watching live performances and spending a little time with Santa. 4-7:30pm, Village Green, 450 Crandon Blvd.

Winterfest Boat Parade

Saturday, December 8

Celebrate the holidays South Florida-style by watching decorated boats float by. 6-8 pm, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, 1200 Crandon Blvd.


Sing Miami “Fa La La”

Saturday, December 7

Bring your singing voice and holiday cheer for a holiday sing-along presented by Miami Children’s Chorus. 2-3 pm, Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722

The Nutcracker

Saturday, December 7

Miami’s oldest presentation of the holiday classic is performed by The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet and features TAYB students, advanced dancers from New World School of the Arts and special guests. $20-$40. 7 pm, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., 305-547-5414

Winterland at the Farm

December 8-January 7

Have some old-fashioned holiday fun with snow, hot chocolate, holiday treats, an illuminated forest and more. $20. Pinto’s Farm, 14890 SW 216 St., 305-258-6067

Holiday Market and Toys for Tots

Sunday, December 8

A holiday extravaganza featuring more than 20 craft vendors, holiday lights, Santa, a toy drive and more. 11 am-6pm, Cauley Square, 222400 Old Dixie Hwy., 305-258-2565

Yuletide Carolers

Sunday, December 8 & Saturday, December 21

Get into the holiday spirit as The Yuletide Carolers evoke the memory of yesteryear with their authentic Victorian costumes, harmonious voices and infectious holiday spirit. Free. Sunday 4-5 pm, Saturday 1-2 pm, Mall of the Americas, 7795 W. Flagler St., 305-261-8772

Miami City Ballet’s The Nutcracker 

December 13-22 

The Miami City Ballet presents George Balanchine’s dazzling choreography. Showtimes vary. Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722

‘Tis the Season

Saturday, December 14

A Sensory Friendly Saturday seasonal event with an environment created especially for children with sensory processing disorder and general development delay along with their families. 9-11am, Miami Children’s Museum, 980 MacArthur Causeway, 305-373-5437

Hanukkah Celebration

Sunday, December 15

Celebrate Hanukkah by making marshmallow dreidels, creating Hanukkah-themed crafts and listening to stories, music and more. 11am-4pm, Miami Children’s Museum, 980 MacArthur Causeway, 305-373-5437

Holly, Jolly Holiday Event

Through December 24

Celebrate the holiday season with storytelling, live entertainment, holiday characters, performances and more. Select evenings through Dec. 24. $30. 6-10pm, Gold Coast Railroad Museum, 12450 SW 152 St.

Zoo Lights

Through December 29

During select nights in December, visitors can see the zoo twinkle with dazzling lights. See the website for details. $15.95/person. Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152 St., 305-251-0400

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

Ongoing through January 5

Lights, rides, food, games, entertainment and more make this holiday wonderland glow. Tropical Park, corner of Bird Road and the Palmetto Expressway, 305-559-9689

Miami Beach

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Monday, December 30

A holiday spectacle featuring world-class Russian artists, stunning sets, towering puppets, soaring birds and more. All ages. 3 pm & 7 pm, The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave., 305-673-7300

Miami Lakes

Jingle Bell Jog 5K

Saturday, December 21

Participants of this themed race receive Santa suits to run in, jingle bells for their sneakers and a holiday-themed finishers medal. The event also includes a Little Elf Dash for kids. $35/adult, $20/child. 5K begins at 7:30am, Little Elf Dash at 8:30am. 6701 Main St.

Miami Shores


Friday, December 6

A community festival featuring a tree lighting, photos with Santa, rides, inflatables, crafts and other family-friendly activities. Miami Shores residents only. $8/advance, $11/day of event. 6:30-9pm, Field House, 9825 Park Dr., 305-758-8103

Barry Special Christmas

Saturday, December 7

A winter wonderland awaits with a holiday marketplace, seasonal fare, live performances a Santa’s Village with children’s activities. Free admission. Noon-4pm, Barry University, 11300 NE Second Ave., 305-899-3057

Caroling Hayride & Light up the Village

Wednesday, December 18

Bring the family and a flashlight and join the fun by taking a hayride to sing at neighborhood homes. Miami Shores residents only. Luminaries for those who would like to light up their lawn
for caroling, visits are $8 at the Community Center. 6:30-9pm. 305-758-8103 

Miami Springs

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Sunday, December 1

Holiday festivities include a tree lighting ceremony and photos with Santa. 6-8pm, Gazebo at Curtiss Parkway, 305-805-5075

Santa’s Parade and Festivities at the Gazebo

Saturday, December 7

See Santa, a holiday parade and participate in festivities featuring rides, snow and more. $15/non-resident, $5/resident. 5:45-9pm. The parade begins at City Hall, 201 Westward Dr., and proceeds to the Gazebo. 305-805-5075

North Miami Beach

Snow Fest & Community Safety Day Parade

Saturday, December 14

A winter wonderland of children’s activities, music, rides, rock climbing walls, games, a snow mountain and more. Free admission. 6-11pm, North Miami Beach City Hall, 17011 NE 19 Ave.,

Menorah Lighting Ceremony

Monday, December 23

Bring the family for a Hanukkah event that includes a Menorah lighting, traditional music, Kosher refreshments, and children’s activities. 7:30-9pm, North Miami Beach City Hall, 17011
NE 19 Ave., 305-948-2957

Palmetto Bay

Holiday Lights and Dine

Friday, December 6

Have a magical night with holiday lights, food, music, and a family show under the stars. $10/adult, $5/child, plus one unwrapped toy per family. Pre-register online. 7-9pm, Village Hall, 9705 E. Hibiscus St., 305-259-1234

Story Time & Photos with Santa

Saturday, December 14

Stop by for photos with the big guy, holiday arts and crafts and storytime with Santa’s elves. Included with paid admission of $15/adult, $7/child. Additional fee for photos. 10 am -noon, Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72 Ave., 305-235-1668

Historic Holiday Decor 

Through January 3

See the historic houses of the Deering Estate decorated in elegant holiday decor. Included with paid admission of $15/adult, $7/child. 10am-4pm, Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72 Ave.,


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Sunday, December 8

Get in the holiday spirit with a Christmas medley sing-along, live symphonic music, and narration of T’was the Night Before Christmas featuring illustrations drawn by local fifth-grade students. $15/adult, $5/child. 4 pm, Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd., Pinecrest

Nights of Lights

December 13-January 1

Be enchanted as Pinecrest Gardens transforms into a holiday wonderland featuring thousands of sparkling lights, rides, Christmas music, storytelling and pony rides. Stop by December 13-24 for a visit with Santa. $7. 6-9 pm, Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd., 305-669-6990 

South Miami

Santa’s Parade of the Elves

Sunday, December 1

See a procession of elves and entertainment wend their way through South Miami. 2 pm, Sunset Drive from US-1 to Red Road, 305-668-3873

Mouse King

Fridays-Sundays, December 13-15 & 20-22

This family-friendly performance is a unique take on the story of The Nutcracker as told from the point of view of the mice. $25 and up. Showtimes vary. Mandelstam Theater, 8530 SW 57 Ave.

Monroe County

Holiday Festival 

Friday, December 6

Bundle up to play in 30 tons of the frozen stuff at this Islamorada tradition that includes a holiday parade, tree lighting, a gift bazaar, Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, a silent auction of hand-crafted ornaments and more. 4-10 pm, Founders Park, 86800 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada, 305-664-4503

Broward County

A Christmas Story The Musical

December 13-29

Have some laughs and warm your heart as this holiday movie is brought to life on stage. Showtimes vary. $49-$65. Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale,

Santa’s Little Helpers 

December 14-15 & 21-22 

Help Mrs. Claus pass out gifts to all the good critters, visit with Santa and play in the snow from 2-5 pm. Stick around after 5 pm to see the Garden of Lights display. Included with daytime admission of $19.95/adult, $12.95/child. Flamingo Gardens & Wildlife Sanctuary, 3750 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie, 954-473-2955

South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival 

Wednesday, December 25 

Music, free Chanukah gelt and goodies for children. Free admission; food available for purchase. 7 pm, Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach, 954-458-1877

Rock’n Noon year’s Eve Party 

Tuesday, December 31 

A New Year’s Eve party with kid-friendly activities including a Balloon Drop at noon, entertainment, New Year’s activities and more. Free with admission of $12/Broward resident. 10 am-3 pm, Young At Art Museum, 751 SW 121 Ave., 954-424-0085

Symphony in Lights 

Through December 31 

A spectacular dancing light show with thousands of animated lights and a 50-foot Christmas tree all synchronized to music. Free. 6-11 pm, Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach,