Florida is a huge state with so many great places to visit. Miami is one of the many cities that stand out as a terrific Christmas destination.
Miami sits on the coast of southeastern Florida. It features sandy beaches, a vibrant nightlife and a thriving financial and cultural community. It is known for its warm climate and fantastic cuisine.
If you are thinking of visiting Miami for the Christmas season, there will be plenty to see and do. Here are some things that are worth checking out.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Santa’s Enchanted Forest is considered to be the world’s largest holiday theme park. It is open from November 1 to January 6. It offers fun for the whole family. Come to ride the rides, enjoy the shows and take in the attractions. The Park offers plenty of terrific restaurants, dazzling lights, and of course, Santa will be on hand. Highlights include the tallest Christmas tree in South Florida and Christmas themed karaoke.
Winterfest Boat Parade
The Winterfest Boat Parade takes place in Fort Lauderdale which is just to the north of Miami. It is hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and it has been called the “Best Show on H2O”. People from all over the world come out to see the many beautifully decorated boats that travel the 12-mile parade route.
The parade travels along the New River and goes east to the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale and North to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. The best place to see the parade is the Grandstand Arena just north of Sunrise Blvd. However, there are various bridges and downtown locations which also provide a terrific view. It is also livestreamed on the internet.
Deering Estate is the former residence of Charles Deering. It opened in 1900 and it is a historic and cultural site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also home to the Festival of Trees. Guests can come to stroll the decorated ground and see the interior of the house where cookies and hot chocolate are served.
Bayfront Park is a great place to enjoy nature. It is also home to one of South Florida’s most recognizable Christmas trees. The 50-foot tree overlooks Biscayne Bay and was designed to look like a Rocky Mountain Pine. It is decked out with thousands of bulbs, flowers and ribbons.
The Christmas season kicks off with a tree lighting ceremony led by the mayor. Other political figures and entertainers also attend the event which is full of terrific family friendly activities.
Bayfront Holiday Village
After the tree lighting, Bayfront Park transforms into a shopping and entertainment destination. Vendors will be on site offering unique artisan goods. Other attractions include Bayskate, Miami’s answer to ice skating, and Bayfront Bites, a food, beverage and entertainment area where guests can enjoy the park and waterfront.
Miami Ballet’s The Nutcracker
For some people, it’s just not Christmas without a performance of The Nutcracker. The Miami City Ballet does it right with a Miami style version of the famous show. The dancers are dressed in bright tropical colors giving a cultural edge to the classic tale.
Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami
Zoo Miami is a great place to visit but it’s especially fun during Christmas time when the Zoo Lights event takes place. It includes one million animal shapes lights and a 26-foot-tall LED holiday tree. There will also be visits from Santa, Snowman’s River boat rides, hot chocolate and cookies, letters to Santa, entertainment and holiday shopping. A tree lighting takes place on black Friday to kick is all off.
Nightly themes take place on the weekend including PJ Nights, Ugly Sweater Nights, Galactic Nights, Santa and Elf Look Alike Nights and Superhero Nights.
Winter Shorts is an annual show put on by the City Theater. It’s an 80-minute-long drama divided into 8 parts each of which describes various aspects of human life and the journey of mankind. The Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore short is a highlight.
Matzah Ball is a singles’ event hosted by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals. Guests are welcome to drink, dance and mingle.
Tri-Rail Winter Celebration
The Tri-Rail Winter Wonderland is a free family event. Hosted by Tri-Rail at Miami Airport Tri-Rail station, guests are welcome to enjoy the 20-ton snow playground, bounce houses, food trucks, face painting, arts and crafts, coloring station and holiday carolers. Event go-ers may ride the train for an additional fee.
Christmas Party of Kiwanis
This Christmas party was first held at the Miami Aquarium but has since moved to the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. Guests can buy unlimited drinks and delicious foods. There is also free access to exhibits by salsa legend Oscar de Leon and Los Tres de la Habana.
Luminosa at Jungle Island
Jungle Island is an eco-adventure park located on Miami’s Watson Island. It lights up for the Christmas season with a Chinese Lantern Festival after dark event. It takes place year-round and it is sure to make your season bright.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a beautifully decorated garden that goes all out for the holiday season. Come by to check out the grounds, participate in arts and crafts activities and drink hot chocolate.
Miami is a terrific holiday destination for escaping the cold and having tons of fun. What will you be doing first when you visit?
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