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III Points Festival
Photograph: Jason Koerner

The best October events in Miami

Raise a stein to Octoberfest, get your costumes ready for Halloween and make plans for more October events in Miami

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil
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Welcome to the beginning of what’s known as the high season in Miami. Events in October double in scale and excitement as the city celebrates everything from Octoberfest to Halloween to the return of local favorites like III Points Music Festival and the South Beach Seafood Festival. It’s a busy month of visiting pumpkin patches in Miami, assembling the perfect costume for whatever spooky Halloween party you’ve got lined up and making plans to check out one of many haunted places in Miami. Seasonal curmudgeons have plenty of evergreen activities to choose from too, including hitting up a Miami waterfront restaurant or escaping to a neighborhood park. Whatever your social leanings, there are plenty of October events in Miami to keep you entertained.

Best of the city under one roof

  • Time Out Market

For this edition of Time Out Market Miami’s Sip & Learn series, we’ve enlisted Mijenta cofounder and master mixologist Juan Coronado to lead a tasting session, featuring several types of agave spirit. Guests will be transported to the heart of the Highlands in Arandas, Jalisco as they sip blanco and reposado tequila and learn how to make specialty cocktails using Mijenta. All materials will be provided for the mixology classes.

  • Time Out Market

Swing by Time Out Market Miami we are getting ready for Halloween with a fun art project! Kids of all ages are invited to participate in a freestyle art session, where they’ll get to learn how to decorate their own ceramic pumpkin. Easels and painting materials will also be on hand should your brood feel extra creative. Plus, grown-ups and kids can give their home libraries a boost—or pass on tomes they’ve read and loved—at the community book swap happening simultaneously. We will provide you with all materials.

October events in Miami

  • Things to do
  • Conventions

Take a peek under a hood or two at the annual Miami International Auto Show. Stroll down Memory Lane to peep nostalgic rides; experience true 4x4 capabilities during a Camp Jeep outing; and experience Ride & Drives, where select manufacturers invite attendees to get behind the wheel of their brand-new vehicles. Merely shopping around for your next mini-van? The show has those too, plus countless other makes and models on the market. 

When is it? Oct 16–24 at various times. Where is it? Miami Beach Convention Center.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Formerly known as the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, OUTShine returns for a hybrid edition of the fest, screening dozens of films online and in person. The internationally acclaimed event is one of the largest LGBTQ+ cultural arts events in South Florida, spanning comedies, romances, musicals, thrillers and more plus live-streamed special events and Q&A sessions people can experience safely from home. On opening night, attendees will be treated to a screening of Firebird at the Museum of Discovery & Science, followed by a party in the museum's Aviation Exhibit. There will be a total of 35 physical screenings and 39 virtual, all of which are open to the public and take place at various locations.

When is it? Oct 14–24 at various times. Where is it? The festival takes place at various locations. 

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Our beloved, homegrown indie music festival continues to outdo itself, even after rescheduling led to an involuntary two-year hiatus. Now on its seventh run, the Miami-born music, art and tech festival will serve up oodles of trippy, immersive installations and tropical-goth fashion alongside a cutting-edge lineup of indie, electronic and hip-hop heroes.

The Strokes, Wu-Tang Clan, Eric Prydz and Rufus du Sol comprise a rather legendary top-of-bill for III Points 2021. And even though III Points moved again, this time from May 2021 to October, and reducing its number of days from three to two since it won’t fall on a three-day holiday weekend this time around, the late-night fest will still go down at its longtime home, Mana Wynwood. 

When is it? Oct 22, 23 at various times. Where is it? Mana Wynwood. Tickets are available online.

 

  • Things to do
  • Play spaces
  • Miami Shores

Hay Maze brings all the fall feels to Miami. The immersive pop-up combines the best of autumn in the northeast into one compact, festive experience. It comprises a large hay maze similar to the winding cornfields you expect to find during Halloween in states with cooler climates. But unlike those, Hay Maze sprinkles in photo opportunities positioned throughout the path—think sunflowers and scarecrows—plus there’s a large leaf pit at the center for that must-have Instagram moment. 

Once you’ve found your way out of the maze, celebrate with a drink. The adults-only beer garden sells a long list of seasonal brews as well as fall-inspired bites, including pumpkin bread, pies and candy corn. Local vendors like Tacos & Tattoos and Cheeseburger Baby will be on site selling their full menus as well.

When is it? Oct 21–Nov 6. Where is it? Hay Maze takes place in Downtown Miami along Biscayne Boulevard. Tickets are available online.

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  • Movies
  • Action and adventure

Deviating from a formula as well-ironed as one of its hero’s tuxes, No Time to Die bids goodbye to Daniel Craig with so many surprises, it’s tough to know where to start. There are big, unprecedented storytelling decisions; Bond relates to not one, but several women as equals; and at one point, he makes pancakes for a small child. The nicest surprise of them all, though, is just how good it is. In US theaters Oct 8 

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  • Shopping centers
  • Brickell

Leader in ghost kitchens REEF brings its most popular virtual concepts IRL to its first-ever night market. The outdoor food bazaar pops up in Brickell for two weeks, giving folks plenty of time to try such concepts as Timon Balloo’s Balloo Wallah Indian Street Food, Michael Schwartz Genuine Burger, Truffalo Wing Shop and Alla Vodka Shop. Wander the lush, lantern-lit grounds designed to emulate Asia and Europe's popular street-food fests while sipping a cocktail from the full bar.

When is it? Through Oct 14. Sun–Thu 11am–10pm; Fri, Sat 11am–11pm. Where is it? 626 S Miami Ave.

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  • Movies
  • Musical

The reception that the movie musical Dear Evan Hansen has received so far, on social media and in the press, might make you feel a little protective of the young man at its center: Not Evan himself, a painfully awkward high schooler who rises to popularity over the dead body of a fellow student, but Ben Platt, the talented actor who plays him. Platt delivered a truly exceptional performance in the 2016 Broadway musical on which the film is based. Now he is giving the same star turn, and that’s the problem. Now in theaters

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Like seafood? If you’re in South Florida, you don’t have much of a choice. And even if your taste buds dwell more on land, South Beach Seafood weekend might convert you thanks to a week’s worth of showcases featuring dozens of our city’s tastiest seafood restaurants, such as Joe’s Stone Crab and RED South Beach. It all culminates with the giant ninth annual South Beach Seafood Festival’s main event on October 23. Bring an appetite and possibly a bib. Here’s what’s on tap this year.

When is it? Oct 21–23 at various times. Where is it? Events take place at the Shelborne South Beach and on the sand. Tickets are available online.

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  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • Design District

Sip your way around the world as Total Wine brings Wine and Wanderlust to the Miami Design District. The globally inspired vino experience includes more than 100 wines from 40 different countries around the world. 

When is it? Oct 26, 5–9pm. Where is it? Moore Building. Tickets are $150–$200 online.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Our beloved, homegrown indie music festival continues to outdo itself, even after rescheduling led to an involuntary two-year hiatus. Now on its seventh run, the Miami-born music, art and tech festival will serve up oodles of trippy, immersive installations and tropical-goth fashion alongside a cutting-edge lineup of indie, electronic and hip-hop heroes. The Strokes, Wu-Tang Clan, Eric Prydz and Rufus du Sol comprise a rather legendary top-of-bill for III Points 2021. Oct 22, 23

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Design District
  • price 2 of 4

We're chomping at the bit for the return of Michael's Genuine, following its temporary closure for some much-needed renovations. In the meantime, chef Schwartz's beloved pizzeria is tidying us over with a month-long pop-up featuring dishes the restaurant's forthcoming menu. Head to Harry's Pizzeria on select dates to experience some of the highly-anticipated creations, including the caviar croustade and grilled short rib. 

When is it? Oct  2, 9, 23 and 30 at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Where is it? Harry's Pizzeria in the Miami Design District. Dinner is $95 and reservations can be made via email at reservations@michaelsgenuine.com or by calling 305-573-5550.

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  • Things to do
  • Performances
  • Aventura

A night at the circus—but make it spooky. Fresh off a worldwide tour, the Vampire Circus returns to Miami for a month-long stint of hair-raising performances, mesmerizing illusions and all kinds of chilling, entertaining fun.

Set in 19th century Bohemia, the story centers on Count Dracula, who's hatching a plan for world domination. His cover? A traveling circus starring his gypsy bodyguards and gang of misfits charged with turning all humans into an army of vampires. Audiences will be entranced by the glittering moon and the creepy cast of characters who will descend on stage throughout the night. Each 90-minute show packs in death-defying acrobatics and boundary-pushing gymnastic routines that'll thrill and amaze. 

When is it? Oct 1–31. Where is it? Under the big tent at the Aventura Mall. Tickets start at $40 and are available online.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • Ludlam / Tropical Park

From the company that brought us the Museum of Illusions comes the Haunted Circus Festival, a traveling sideshow and carnival filled with all kinds of freakish characters. There’s a chilling circus and an unsolved mystery at the center of the spectacle and it’s up to the audience—you!—to help find the star who’s gone missing. You’ll go home with a creepy souvenir if you successfully break the spell!

Spellbinding quests, pumpkin carving sessions and tarot readings also take place while bizarre acrobatics go on and ghouls and ghosts overtake the ring. The Haunted Circus Festival promises a spooky experience just in time for Halloween, but organizers assure that it’s not too scary and safe for the whole family.

When is it? Through Oct 31. Where is it? Tropical Park. Tickets are $39.90 online.

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  • Things to do
  • Performances
  • Omni

One of the Arsht Center's most popular music series returns with four weekends of outdoor performances. Live on the Plaza! kicks off on October 5 with a show by Negroni's Trio and continues with Scone Cash Players (Oct 12), LaVie (Oct 19) and Doctor Nativo (Oct 26). The doors open at 6pm for light bites and drinks and the show begins promptly at 7:30pm. 

When is it? Oct 5, 12, 19, 26 6–9pm. Where is it? On the plaza outside of the Adrienne Arsht Center. Tickets are $20 online.

  • Things to do
  • Aventura

For those still avoiding crowds, The Horrorland delivers serious fear factor right to your car.

Returning for a second year, this drive-through haunted house experience rolls into Aventura on most evenings in October. Horrorland is a totally contactless, immersive horror game where guests get to participate from their cars. You’ll drive up and while going at an unhurried three miles per house watch as a freaky horror movie unravels around you. Monsters, ghosts, zombies and all kinds of frightening creatures will jump up when you least expect it as you make your way through seven themed passages. Think a creepy carnival, a zombie apocalypse and a Christmas nightmare. The whole thing takes about 35 minutes—if you can handle it.

Folks are welcome to dress up and bring their pets but absolutely no one or nothing is allowed to exit the vehicle. Advanced ticket purchase is also required (the dead don’t like it when you show up unannounced).

When is it? Oct 1–31. Where is it? Adjacent to the Aventura Mall at Corner of Country Club Road and Abigail Road. Tickets start at $48 per vehicle online.

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