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The best Christmas events in Miami

Find out where to get festive, see holiday shows and experience snow with our guide to Christmas events in Miami
Christmas in Miami
Photograph: Shutterstock

Spending Christmas in Miami? Brace for a different kind of holiday celebration, one where swimwear is totally acceptable to wear to Christmas events. While much of the country looks forward to snow and sleigh bells, yuletide in the 305 promises sunshine, frolicking in South Beach and parties at every turn—from Key Biscayne to Coral Gables to downtown Brickell. Overwhelmed by the number of things to do in Miami? Relax, put on some Christmas tunes and peruse our list of the best Christmas events in Miami.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to Christmas in Miami

Best Christmas events in Miami

Nightmare Before Christmas
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Charles Rodstrom
Things to do, Performances

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Fans of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas are in for a real treat—and it’s not leftover Halloween candy or Christmas cookies. Watch the cultish, bi-holiday film while listening to the haunting Danny Elfman-penned score performed live by South Florida Symphony Orchestra.

Santa's Enchanted Forest
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Bob B. Brown
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

The world’s largest holiday theme park (at least according to the website) returns for its 36th season with more shimmering lights (more than two miles of bulbs!), bigger carnival rides (including the tallest traveling Ferris wheel in the United States) and only-in-Miami experiences. The county-fair-meets-winter-wonderland is chock-full of amusement rides, carnival games, photo ops with Santa and his helpers and an assortment of fair food—think fresh doughnuts, funnel cakes and more.

Winter Shorts 2018
Photograph: Justin Namon
Things to do, Performances

Winter Shorts

City Theatre’s Winter Shorts is a fast-paced, 85-minute program comprising eight short plays, each running no more than 10 minutes. The eccentric assortment of holiday-themed productions includes Santa Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Miracle of Chanukkah, and Becky’s Christmas Wish, Ashley Lauren Rogers’s dark short about a fraught sibling relationship.

Miami City Ballet: The Nutcracker
Photograph: Courtesy Miami City Ballet
Things to do, Performances

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

For 28 holiday seasons, Miami City Ballet has been producing an identical version of the Balanchine/Tchaikovsky fairy tale. This year, the company reinvents the Nutcracker with brand-new sets and costumes. The purists, meanwhile, can put down the pitchforks: It’s still Balanchine and it’s still Tchaikovsky.

Holiday Evening at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Photograph: Courtesy Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Things to do, Walks and tours

Holiday Evening at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Spend an evening strolling the grounds, specially decorated for the holidays just as they would have been 100 years ago when James Deering called the museum home. Wander through the Main House after dark (an opportunity that comes but twice a year), gather round the organ for traditional holiday tunes and celebrate the season with complimentary cocktails and sugary treats.

Story nightclub
Photograph: Simon Hare Photography
Nightlife, Clubs


Because eight nights of celebrations aren’t enough, the Society of Young Jewish Professionals and JDate are throwing the ultimate singles event. Dance, drink and connect with old friends and new prospects at Story nightclub.

Photograph: Unsplash/Damian McCoig
Things to do, Quirky events

Tri-Rail’s Winter Wonderland Celebration

Riding the train is usually a necessity, but the Tri-Rail sets out to make it a festive occasion this holiday season, bringing in 20 tons of snow and turning its Miami airport station into a veritable winter wonderland. Stay put and enjoy bounce houses, food trucks and music, or ride the train to West Palm Beach for just $5 while costumed characters entertain you across county lines. (Tri-Rail’s Miami Airport Station, 3861 NW 21 St)    

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
Photograph: Courtesy Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
Things to do, Performances

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

This production, choreographed and devised by Stanislav Vlasov in 1993, features a twist among its traditional elements. Rather than visiting the Land of Sweets, our two leads find themselves in the Land of Peace and Harmony in Act II. The change is tied to the company’s mission to promote international unity. 

Nutcracker Magic Children’s Soirée
Photograph: Courtesy World Red Eye
Things to do, Cultural centers

Nutcracker Magic Children’s Soirée

Has your little one been a good boy or girl? Perhaps the smallest ballerina in your brood deserves an extra something this holiday season? If so, spring for the VIP performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, featuring brunch, a meet-and-greet with the show’s performers and photo opps backstage. 

Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida
Photograph: Brian Bowen Smith
Things to do, Performances

Holidays at the Hard Rock!

Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe-nominated artist Matthew Morrison joins the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida for their highly anticipated holiday concert. Maestro Harold Dioquino leads the 135-member ensemble in a festive performance.

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Not feeling the holiday spirit?

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