Consult our Miami events calendar to find the best things to do in Miami, no matter the season. There are always killer events in Magic City, from high-profile winter events like Art Basel and the South Beach Wine to Food Festival, to fall’s annual White Party, to Calle Ocho, the world’s largest block party, held every spring in Little Havana. Looking for events in Miami? Put these down in your diary.
Winter events in Miami
Art Basel Miami Beach
Miami Beach is better known for its interminable partying than cutting-edge art, except during Art Basel when it’s recognized for both. Since 2001, the stateside version of Switzerland’s annual sophisticates’ jamboree, Art Basel, has pulled more than 50,000 collectors and 250 galleries annually across the main fair alone. 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.
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.
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, 37.Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Bob B. Brown
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 103, 120, South Beach Local.
Beaux Arts Festival of Art
The Lowe Art Museum of the University of Miami puts on this family-friendly weekend affair featuring work from more than 200 artists, to view and purchase, in more than 10 types of media. A range of food vendors and food trucks stick around all weekend to satiate any cravings. Admission is free. 305-668-8499, beauxartsmiami.org. Transport: Bus 52, 56.
International Chocolate Festival
It’s a chocoholic’s dream! Immerse yourself in all things cacao: hear lectures on chocolate making, see demonstrations from local chefs and chocolatiers and sample a variety of artisanal treats. 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 American Airlines Arena and ends back in Bayfront Park. ingmiamimarathon.com. Transport: Metrorail to Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Stop.
Miami Beer Festival
Marlins Park becomes a veritable beer garden, where brewers from across the country, including South Florida, set up tents an offer up samples of their specialty beers. Food trucks and DJs round out this outdoor party. Miamibeerfestival.com. Transport: Bus 17, 22, 28.
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.Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/August Burrichter
Spring events in Miami
Miami International Film Festival
Run by Miami Dade College, MIFF showcases the best of world cinema. The 33rd edition of the festival promises scores of award-winning writers, directors and actors, competing across six categories that include prizes for work in Ibero-American cinema, documentary achievement and screenwriting. The festival’s film school competition, CinemaSlam, celebrates the work of undergraduate and graduate students in South Florida. Most screenings are open to the public. 305-237-3456, miamifilmfestival.com.
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: PGA player Dustin Johnson took home top prize in 2015. worldgolfchampionships.com/cadillac-championship.
Winter Party Week
A benefit for the local gay community, this week-long bash under the leadership of the National LGBTQ Task Force 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, including Carnaval on the Mile—Coral Gables’ family friendly answer to the citywide party. The grand finale is Calle Ocho, a 23-block street festival in Little Havana—billed as 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 and the Winter Music Conference, bring first-class concerts, special events, celebrity DJs spinning poolside, educational workshops and the EDM lifestyle to Magic City. miamimusicweek.com.Photograph: Courtesy MSOPR/Seth Browarnik
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 Latin American designers, local talent and creations by students from Miami International University for Art & Design. miamifashionweek.com. Transport: Bus A, M, R, S.
Miami Taste of Brickell Food & Wine Festival
More than 40 Downtown restaurants and bars converge for this 5th annual gourmet showcase that celebrates 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 events spanning March through May, including open houses, lectures, and guided walking and canoe tours of sights such as the Deering Estate and the Barnacle Historic State Park and the Ancient Spanish Monastery. Programming is organized in partnership with the Dade Heritage Trust—the leading preservation organization in the county. 305-358-9572, dadeheritagetrust.org.
Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition
One of the largest county fairs in the U.S., this 18-day event—most popularly known as the “Youth Fair”—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.Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/yosoynome
Take advantage of BoGo admission to 25 of Miami’s top museums or splurge on a month-long pass and see them all. From the modern marvel that is the Perez Art Museum Miami to the family favorite Miami Children’s Museum, there’s something to satisfy all sorts of cultural enthusiasts. miamimuseummonth.com.
Miami 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. 2016 marks the start of the Miami Open Experience: a series of events taking place during the second week of the tournament. Non-tennis enthusiasts will relish in the Tori Praver Fashion Show, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tournament and Taste of the Open—culinary programming from chefs such as Michelle Bernstein and Scott Conant. 800-725-5472, miamiopen.com. Transport: Bus B.Photograph: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Christophe95
Summer events in Miami
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.
Miami Swim Week
There are few better places than sun-soaked South Beach to show off what’s hot in bikinis, tankinis and beyond. Art Deco swimming pools, and beachside catwalks make the perfect backdrop for this annual fashion extravaganza that coincides with SwimShow, the largest swimwear trade show in the world. swimweek.com.Photograph: Courtesy John Parra/Getty Images for Maaji
Coral Gables Restaurant Week
Feast on discounted multi-course dinners and lunches across Coral Gables’ most popular eateries. The week, which is typically extended to include a full month, kicks off with a grand tasting—enticing patrons with samplings from all participating restaurants. restaurantweek.shopcoralgables.com.
Miami Spa Month
Experience Miami’s happening spa scene with a tempting array of discounted treatments—from facials to body wraps to muscle-soothing therapies—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 run you $23 while dinner will set you back $39. ilovemiamispice.com.
Fall events in Miami
The University of Miami Frost School of Music provides the stage for a five-week festival of world premières, symphonic concerts, master classes and lectures from Grammy award-winning artists, world-renowned performers, and more. 305-284-4940, festivalmiami.com.Photograph: Courtesy Versatile Light Studio
Junior Orange Bowl
This popular youth festival combines a range of sports tournaments and cultural workshops. The signature Junior Orange Bowl Parade, with floats and bands, marches through downtown Coral Gables Thanksgiving weekend. 305-662-1210, jrorangebowl.com.Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Jupiter Firelyte
Columbus Day Regatta
To commemorate Christopher Columbus’s voyage in 1492, hundreds of sailing boats race around Biscayne Bay, off Coconut Grove, Saturday and Sunday mornings. A rowdy sandbar party off Elliott Key concludes the weekend. columbusdayregatta.net.Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Ines Hegedus-Garcia
Miami Book Fair International
Miami’s premier literary event since 1984 lures more than half a million people for a week’s worth of readings, lectures and world premieres from renowned writers and celebrity authors. There’s a street fair too. 305-237-3258, miamibookfair.com. Transport: Metromover Government Center.
This renowned HIV/AIDS benefit, which celebrated 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.
iii Points Music Festival
At the convergence of art, music and tech is this three-day festival that brings together DJs from around the world, installations from renowned artists and cultural programming to Wynwood. iiipoints.com.