‘Tis the season: Your ultimate guide to family-friendly holiday events and activities

The holidays are different in Miami. There’s no doubt about that. While it seems like God himself will hear everyone else’s prayers for a White Christmas, in Miami, our holidays are marked by more sun.

But what we lack in winter weather during the holidays, we make up for in a great number of festivities for the entire family. Miami’s holidays include festivals, concerts, theater productions, faux snow and boat parades.

Not feeling touched with the holiday spirit just yet? Don’t be a scrooge, make plans to attend any of these upcoming holiday events.

For other holiday guides, check out these useful links:

READ: Ultimate Guide to New Year’s Eve 2018 Parties in Miami

READ: These are the best Chanukah events, parties and festivals to attend this year

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

An institution of Miami’s holiday cheer for 35 years,  the carnival boasts more than 100 rides, shows, games, attractions, and Christmas trees.

What: Santa’s Enchanted Forest
When: Nov. 2, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018
Where: Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St. in Miami
Tickets: $33.64 and up for adults
Website: www.santasenchantedforest.com

7900 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

A family admires a Snow Globe display at Dolphin Mall in Doral.

The annual tradition returns to Dolphin Mall: snow in South Florida! Children receive magical wands to make the snow appear every evening in the Ramblas Plaza.

What: Magic Snowfall at Dolphin Mall
When: Nov. 22, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018, except on Nov. 23, Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1
Time: 7 p.m. daily, with an additional 9 p.m. snowfall on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Where: Ramblas Plaza at the Dolphin Mall, 11401 N.W. 12th St. Miami, FL 33172
Cost: Free
Website: www.shopdolphinmall.com/

11401 N.W. 12th St. Miami, FL 33172

The Symphony of Lights

Visit the park’s holiday village with a 50-foot Christmas tree, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a DJ, stilt jumpers, jugglers, tattoo artists, train rides, and thousands of lights coordinated to music every day at 5 p.m.

What: The Symphony of Lights
When: Nov. 24 – Dec. 31 from
Time: 6 – 11 p.m.
Where: Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach
Cost: Free
Website: www.gulfstreampark.com

901 S Federal Hwy, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Zoo Lights

The animals of Zoo Miami are aglow for the holidays! Wander through the property on Fridays and Saturdays in December to experience different themed evenings, and every night from Dec. 26 to 30.

Families can enjoy lit up trees and animal shapes, hot chocolate and cookies, photos with Santa, and holiday music at Zoo Lights.

What: Zoo Lights
When: Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 1-23; Everyday Dec. 26-30
Time: 7-10 p.m.
Where: Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St. in Miami
Tickets: $7.95 members, $9.95 non-mmembers
Website: http://www.zoomiami.org/Zoo_Lights_2017

12400 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177

Annual Tree Lighting & Coco Village Market

CocoWalk is transformed into a Christmas village with a holiday pop-up market, Santa Claus, music, entertainment, crafts and a tree lighting ceremony at 8 p.m.

What: Annual Tree Lighting & Coco Village Market
When: Dec. 2
Time: 4 – 9 p.m.
Where: Cocowalk, 3015 Grand Ave. in Coral Gables
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/131577697505609/

3015 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove, FL 33133

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

A twist on Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet, Clara’s dreams of mice and sugar plum fairies are morphed into a hip-hop story drawing on 1980s New York City.

What: The Hip Hop Nutcracker
When: Dec. 2
Time: 1:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami
Tickets: $80 and up
Website: www.arshtcenter.org

1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Breakfast with Santa

Even Santa needs a good breakfast. Take the kids to Miami International Mall where they can enjoy the most important meal of the day with St. Nicholas. The morning will include crafts, games and holiday goodies. Plus Santa will be accepting wish lists.

What: Breakfast with Santa
When: Dec. 2
Time: 8 – 10 a.m.
Where: The Knife at Miami International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave in Doral
Tickets: $5 or an unwrapped toy

1455 NW 107th Ave, Doral, FL 33172

Caring Santa

This event was specially created for children with special needs. Meet Santa in a calm and welcoming setting.

What: Caring Santa
When: Dec. 3
Time: 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Where:  Santa House, Center Court at The Falls, 8888 SW 136th St. in Miami
Tickets: http://www.simon.com/mall/the-falls

8888 SW 136th St, Miami, FL 33176

Winter Shorts: America’s Short Play Winter Festival

Short plays no more than 10 minutes long get a dash of holiday cheer. The actors of City Theatre perform naughty and nice pieces by the country’s best playwrights.

What: America’s Short Play Winter Festival
When: Dec. 7-23
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami
Tickets: $39
Website: www.arshtcenter.org

1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Cutler Bay's Winter Holiday Celebration

The whole family is invited for an evening with Santa, story time with county leaders, crafts, holiday choruses, and a backyard lawn screening of “The Santa Clause.”

What: Winter Holiday Celebration
When: Dec. 8
Time: 6 p.m.
Where: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay
Cost: Free
Website: www.smdcac.org

10950 SW 211 St, Cutler Bay, FL 33189

Mouse King

“The Nutcracker” is retold through the eyes of the mice, fit with master actors, puppeteers and a set built by James Wojtal, Jr. who is known for his work with the Jim Henson Company.

What: Mouse King
When: Dec. 8 – 10
Time: Shows at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Mandelstam Theater, 8530 SW 57th Ave. in South Miami
Tickets: $25 and up
Website: www.mousekingtickets.com

Mandelstam Theater, 8530 SW 57th Ave. in South Miami

Milk & Cookies with Santa

Get social with Santa over his favorite snack combo: milk and cookies.

What: Milk & Cookies with Santa
When: Dec. 9
Time: 9 a.m and 11 a.m.
Where:  Santa House, Center Court at The Falls, 8888 SW 136th St. in Miami
Website: http://www.simon.com/mall/the-falls

What: Milk & Cookies with Santa
When: Dec. 16
Time: 3 – 5 p.m.
Where:  Macy’s Men Court at Miami International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave in Doral
RSVP: http://bit.ly/2AoISfn

1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

North Miami Beach Snow Fest

Usher in the holiday season with a snow mountain, ice skating rink, bounce houses, letters to and photos with Santa, and a parade.

What: North Miami Beach Snow Fest
When: Dec. 9
Time: 9 – 11 p.m.
Where: North Miami Beach’s Main Corridor, along NE 19th Avenue between 163rd and 182nd Streets in North Miami Beach
Cost: Free
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/192397087987227/

17051 NE 19th Ave, North Miami Beach, Florida 33162

Pet Photo Night

Pets are family. If you take being a pawrent seriously, you already have a stocking hanging for your furry pal. Now they can pose with Santa.

What: Pet Photo Night
When: Dec. 10
Time: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Santa Set, Center Court at Dadeland Mall, 7535 N Kendall Dr. in Miami
Cost: Free
RSVP: http://bit.ly/2Bp9qfL

What: Pet Photo Night
When: Dec. 10
Time: 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Where: Santa House, Center Court at The Falls, 8888 SW 136th St. in Miami
Cost: Free

What: Pet Photo Night
When: Dec. 10
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.
Where: Center Court at Miami International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave. in Doral
Cost: Free

301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Menorah Lighting

What: Chanukah Celebration at The Falls
When: Dec. 12
Time: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Center Court at The Falls, 8888 SW 136th St. in Miami
Cost: Free

What: Menorah Lighting
When: Dec. 17
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Dadeland Mall, 7535 N Kendall Dr. in Miami
Cost: Free
RSVP: http://bit.ly/2Bp9qfL

10950 SW 211 St, Cutler Bay, FL 33189

Holiday Evening in the Vizcaya Village

(Photo by David Almeida, courtesy of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Archives)

Explore the holidays as they were 100 years ago with caroling, arts and crafts, holiday treats, tours, and a mini tuba concert.

What: Holiday Evening in the Vizcaya Village
When: Dec. 13
Time: 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: Vizcaya Museum & Garden, 3251 S. Miami Ave. in Miami
Tickets: $20 adults, $15 children, free for children 5 and younger
Website: http://vizcaya.org/programs-holiday-evening.asp

3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129

Miami City Ballet Presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

The Miami City Ballet presents its new production of “The Nutcracker” with mesmerizing choreography by George Balanchine and the classic score by Tchaikovsky.

What: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
When: Dec. 15 to 24
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami
Tickets: $40 and up
Website: www.arshtcenter.org

1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Sounds of the Season by the New World Symphony

Conductor Dean Whiteside leads the New World Symphony through a program of holiday songs by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Hyken, Bass and Anderson.

What: Sounds of the Season
When: Dec. 16
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Where: New World Center, 500 17th St. in Miami Beach
Cost: Free
Website: www.nws.edu

500 17th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Miami Outboard Club Holiday Boat Parade

In its 20th year, Miami Outboard Club’s Holiday Boat Parade offers views the holiday lights and boats from Bayfront Park, fit with food vendors, bounce house, music, and a fireworks show.

What: Miami Outboard Club Holiday Boat Parade
When: Dec. 16
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd. in Miami
Cost: Free
Website: www.bayfrontparkmiami.com

301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Seraphic Fire's Christmas Carol Concert

The enchanting choir performs traditional English Christmas carols and Gregorian chants that will leave you in a trance.

What: Seraphic Fire
When: Dec. 17
Time: 4 p.m.
Where: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay
Tickets: $20-$55
Website: www.smdcac.org

10950 SW 211 St, Cutler Bay, FL 33189

Victorian Christmas at Stranahan House

Travel back in time to the Victorian Era with Frank and Ivy Stranahan, the founders of Fort Lauderdale, in their decadent home with guides in period clothing, live music, photos, and other classic fun.

What: Victorian Christmas
When: Dec. 18 to 23
Time: 7 p.m.
Where: Stranahan House, 335 SE Sixth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.
Tickets: $30
Website: www.stranahanhouse.org

335 SE 6th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

The Ten Tenors: Home for the Holidays

Three tenors? Try 10. The group from Australia performs both traditional and contemporary holiday songs, including “Joy to the World,” “White Christmas,” Amazing Grace,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Feliz Navidad” and more.

What: The Ten Tenors: Home for the Holidays
When: Dec. 22 at 8 p.m.
Time: 8 p.m.
Where: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami
Tickets: $30 and up
Website: www.arshtcenter.org

1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

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