Miami events calendar

Plan ahead with our guide to the biggest and best annual Miami events, festivals, art fairs and concerts

Photograph: © Rob215 / www.design215.com
Drawing crowds from all over the world, the Ultra Music Festival is one of the biggest Miami events of the year

Consult our Miami events calendar to find the best things to do in Miami. Magic City never misses a chance to party, from high-profile winter events like Art Basel and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, to fall's annual White Party, to Calle Ocho, the world's largest block party, held every spring in Little Havana.

Spring

Miami International Film Festival

Run by Miami Dade College, MIFF showcases the best of world cinema. Some 70,000 people attended the 2013 festival (the 30th edition), including scores of award-winning writers, directors and actors. There’s a special focus on Ibero-American cinema, and prizes are handed out for documentary and dramatic categories. 305-237-3456, miamifilmfestival.com.

WGC-Cadillac Championship

Once host to the PGA’s Ford Championship, the swanky Doral’s Blue Monster course is now home to the WGC-Cadillac Championship, featuring top professional male golfers from across the globe. Case in point: Tiger Woods took home the top prize at the 2013 event. worldgolfchampionships.com/cadillac-championship.

Winter Party Week

A benefit for the local gay community, this week-long bash attracts celebrity DJs and thousands of revelers, and includes music, dance, art, film and comedy at South Beach nightclubs and hotels. It all culminates with a beach dance party. As with the White Party, you’re best off booking tickets in advance. winterparty.com.

Carnaval Miami/Calle Ocho

Each spring, Latino Miami struts its stuff to the max with a full slate of beauty pageants, sports activities, domino competitions, food events and concerts. The grand finale is Calle Ocho, a 23-block street festival in Little Havana—the largest block party in the world. More than a million revelers watch live entertainment on 30 stages featuring salsa, merengue and Caribbean music. 305-644-8888, carnavalmiami.com.

Miami Music Week

Miami gets melodic during March when a series of events, including the Ultra Music Festival (ultramusicfestival.com) and the Winter Music Conference (wintermusicconference.com), bring first-class concerts, special events, demonstrations, educational workshops and the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle to Magic City. miamimusicweek.com.

Miami Beach International Fashion Week

South Florida’s answer to the industry shows in NYC and Europe’s fashion capitals takes place over three days. A global gaggle of designers converge for one enormous event, with a focus on Hispanic hemlines. miamifashionweek.com. Transport: Bus A, M, R, S.

Miami Taste of Brickell Food & Wine Festival

More than 40 Downtown restaurants and bars now take part in this gourmet showcase, which was created in 2010 to accommodate Brickell’s bustling culinary scene. The event includes tastings, demonstrations and shopping, plus art exhibitions and live music. 305-200-8892, tasteofbrickell.com.

Dade Heritage Days

Miami-Dade County celebrates its history with eight weeks of events, including open houses, lectures, and guided walking and canoe tours of sights such as the Deering Estate and Barnacle site. 305-358-9572, dadeheritagetrust.org.

Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition

One of the largest county fairs in the U.S., this 18-day event features rides, food, entertainment and lots of exhibits. Food ranges from all-American corn on the cob and barbecues to Hispanic treats. 305-223-7060, fairexpo.com. Transport: Bus 24.

Sony Open Tennis

This prestigious two-week tennis tournament is one of the world’s largest, in terms of players, prize money and attendance, with 200 of the world’s top competitors taking part. 800-725-5472, sonyopentennis.com. Transport: Bus B.

South Beach Comedy Festival

South Beach hosts world-famous jokesters, plus newbies, during this four-day event presented by Comedy Central. southbeachcomedyfestival.com.

Summer

International Mango Festival

Indulge in mango smoothies, chutney, sweets and even a mango-themed brunch made by celeb chefs (must be booked online in advance). 305-667-1651, fairchildgarden.org. Transport: Bus 65.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim

There are few better places than sun-soaked South Beach to show off what’s hot in bikinis, tankinis and beyond. The Raleigh’s world-famous art deco swimming pool makes the perfect backdrop for this annual fashion extravaganza. miami.mbfashionweek.com. Transport: Bus C, G, H, L, M, S.

Miami Spa Month

Experience Miami’s happening spa scene with a tempting array of discounted treatments and days of glorious pampering at some of the city’s most serene relaxation spots. miamispamonth.com.

Miami Spice Restaurant Month

Dinner at Mr. Chow for less than $40? Yep. To spice up business during the summer doldrums, many top Miami restaurants offer upscale meals at reasonable prices. Three-course lunches cost $19–$23 and dinner will set you back $33–$39. ilovemiamispice.com.

Fall

Festival Miami

The University of Miami provides the stage for a five-week festival of world premières, symphonic concerts, masterclasses and lectures. 305-284-4940, festivalmiami.com.

Junior Orange Bowl

This popular youth festival combines a range of sports tournaments and cultural workshops. The Junior Orange Bowl Parade, with floats and bands, marches through Coral Gables between Christmas and New Year. 305-662-1210, jrorangebowl.com.

Columbus Day Regatta

To commemorate Christopher Columbus’s voyage in 1492, 200 sailing boats race around Biscayne Bay, off Coconut Grove. A rowdy party off Elliott Key concludes the weekend. columbusdayregatta.net.

Miami Book Fair International

Miami a cultural backwater? You must be kidding. Half a million people turn out each year for this literary event, with 250 renowned writers giving lectures and readings. There’s a street fair too. 305-237-3258, miamibookfair.com. Transport: Metromover Government Center.

Ford Championship Weekend—NASCAR

Three days of racing on the track, plus beer, excitement, car-racing celebs and more beer. 305-230-5000, homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

White Party

This renowned HIV/AIDS benefit, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014, attracts an estimated 12,000 people for a week of events and parties. Highlights include the legendary White Party itself and the Muscle Beach open-air dance party bash (dress code: swimsuits and shorts). Expect DJs and gay celebs aplenty. 305-576-1234, whiteparty.org.

Winter

Art Basel Miami Beach

Miami Beach is better known for interminable kitsch than cutting-edge art, so it seemed odd when the organizers of Switzerland’s annual sophisticates’ jamboree, Art Basel, chose Miami for its first American sortie in 2001. Despite widespread initial cynicism, by its tenth year the fair was pulling in 50,000 collectors and there were more than 250 galleries across the main fair. Art world figures from as far afield as New York, Berlin and Tokyo had quickly discovered the joys of schmoozing over cocktails on the sand and alfresco power dining, not to mention a pre-work swim. Now dealers could go home boasting a profit and a tan. This being Miami, showbiz culture and celebrities are also part of the equation. Spotting stars buying up art, and then spotting them again at exclusive galas, is all part of the fun. Satellite fairs, such as Pulse and Design Miami/ now garner almost as much attention as the main event. artbasel.com.

Design Miami

The design equivalent of the fabulous Art Basel. Expect a great range of talks, exhibitions, international dealers and parties. designmiami.com.

Art Miami

One of South Florida’s major art fairs, this has been a fixture on the calendar for nearly a quarter of a century. More than 125 international galleries participate, with a strong Hispanic flavor. 305-515-8573, art-miami.com. Transport: Bus C, G, H, K, L, S, W, South Beach Local.

King Mango Strut

What began as a parody of the old Orange Bowl Parade continues to poke tasteless fun at the year’s events and newsmakers. Its tagline is ”Putting the NUT back in CocoNUT Grove since 1982.” 305-582-0955, kingmangostrut.org. Transport: Bus Coconut Grove Circulator.

Art Deco Weekend

Organized by the Miami Design Preservation League, the massively popular Art Deco Weekend celebrates the city’s tropical art deco and Mediterranean deco heritage. Events include walks, bicycle and boat tours, lectures, movies, street theater and live music on the beach. 305-672-2014, artdecoweekend.com). Transport: Bus C, H, K, W, South Beach Local.

Beaux Arts Festival of Art

A family-friendly weekend affair featuring work from more than 200 artists, to view and purchase, in more than ten types of media. Admission is free. 305-668-8499, beauxartsmiami.org. Transport: Bus 52, 56.

International Chocolate Festival

Everyone’s favorite sweet gets the royal treatment at this festival. Expect to learn about, cook with and taste plenty of cacao. 305-667-1651, fairchildgarden.org. Transport: Bus 65.

ING Miami Marathon

Test your stamina or just watch as some of the fittest folks on the planet compete in this 26.2-mile run. The race kicks off at AmericanAirlines Arena and ends back in Bayfront Park. ingmiamimarathon.com.

Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Serious foodies and wine connoisseurs should book early for this festival, which attracts superstar chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Bobby Flay, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Emeril Lagasse. Expect tastings, culinary seminars, parties, parties and more parties. 877-762-3933, sobefest.com.

Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail

Here’s your chance to see what a $7m aqua juggernaut looks like. This popular event showcases the latest in powerboats, yachts, engines, electronics and accessories. There’s also a Sunset Celebration with street performers, contests and drinks specials. The show takes place at three enormous venues, including the Miami Beach Convention Center. 954-441-3220, miamiboatshow.com.

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

This immense beer—sorry, arts—festival attracts more than 120,000 people to view the works of 350-plus artists and craftspeople. Take the shuttles from Metrorail to avoid traffic. 305-447-0401, cgaf.com. Transport: Coconut Grove Circulator.

South Miami Art Festival

Music, food and art from 150 juried artists around the country take over Sunset Drive (the nicest bit of South Miami) during this two-day festival. 305-769-5977. Transport: Metrorail South Miami.

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