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Vizcaya
Courtesy Vizcaya Museum and Gardens/Bill Sumner

The best things to do in Miami this month

It’s the first full month of fall and the best things to do in Miami this month are here to get you in the autumn mood.

By Virginia Gil
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It’s October in Miami—and we’re just as incredulous as you are about how we got here. We won’t harp on how it was spring five minutes ago because there’s so much to get excited about this month. For one, we’re in the throes of a new season! We don’t have orchards to go apple picking but fall is ripe for other types of seasonal activities. Pumpkin patches are popping up across the city, as are haunted houses you can experience safely from your car. With plenty of warm-weather weekends still ahead of us, it’s an ideal time to go for a dip at a Miami beach or book a treatment at a Miami spa that lets you use one of Miami’s glorious swimming pools. Or perhaps you’d rather kick back and enjoy the breeze from one of the best rooftop restaurants in Miami before moving indoors for a virtual concert or digital performance. The best things to do in Miami this month are yours for the taking.

RECOMMENDED: Miami events calendar

Things to do in this month

 Hard Rock Stadium
Photograph: Courtesy Hard Rock Stadium

1. Hit up the Hard Rock Stadium for an outdoor movie

Things to do Miami Gardens

While the enormodome has reopened to fans, the fountain plaza continues its run of movies under the stars. The outdoor cinema has weekend showings planned throughout October, like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on the second and Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the ninth. Bummed you can’t sit in the stands? You can also watch every single Dolphins game this season from the plaza. Various dates and times. 

Pumpkin Patch
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Not-So-Spooky Halloween

Things to do Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo Center, University Park

Fall activities may look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be fun. The Not-So-Spooky Halloween adventure is a drive-through event that’s perfect for families. Taking place over the next few weekends leading up to the holiday, the kid-friendly happening features interactive storytime, a pumpkin patch and a trick-or-treating alley—all of which little ones can enjoy from the safety of their parents’ car. Costumes are encouraged.

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Vizcaya
Courtesy Vizcaya Museum and Gardens/Bill Sumner

3. Vizcaya First Fridays

Things to do Vizcaya Museum & Gardens | Miami, FL, Coconut Grove

Miami’s most famous estate stays open late on the first Friday of the month, inviting visitors to explore its grounds and its interiors. There’s always live music or DJ-spun tunes and some sort of cocktail available for purchase or offered for free to enjoy on the waterfront courtyard with Biscayne Bay as your backdrop. Talk about a view! Oct 2

Pumpkin Patch
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Pumpkin Patch at Pinto’s Farm

Things to do Pinto’s Farm, Redlands

Pretend that it’s actually fall in Miami for a minute at this charming farm near the Redlands. Besides selecting the perfect pumpkin to carve from the patch, kiddos get to ride pedal boats, tractors and even ponies. There’s also a petting zoo for little ones looking for more hands-on fun. The price of admission includes a guided tour and a pumpkin to take home. Add-ons like a photo in the patch and a feeding experience are available.

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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Photograph: Courtesy Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

5. Eat. Drink. Garden.

Things to do Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Coral Gables, FL, Miami

Fairchild Garden’s monthly dinner series, held on the last Saturday of each month, continues with a spooky, candlelit feast on Halloween. Dine in darkness amid Fairchild’s lush, tropical grounds with the howling winds as your eerie soundtrack. Dinners are limited to 30 guests per seating (5:30pm or 8pm) to allow for an intimate yet socially distanced experience under the stars.

The Horrorland
Photograph: Courtesy the Horrorland

6. The Horrorland

Things to do Miramar Regional Park,

This new drive-through haunted house experience rolls into Miramar Regional Park on most evenings in October. The first of its kind, 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.

 

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Gustavo Oviedo: “Symbiosis”
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Graffiti

7. Gustavo Oviedo: “Symbiosis”

Things to do Exhibitions Museum of Graffiti, Wynwood

While other graffiti artists turned toward urban decay, Gustavo Oviedo gravitated to the ocean and the aquatic life beneath the surface of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. “Symbiosis” is the 39-year-old artist's ode to the sea with vivid works as colorful as the brightest coral reefs plus mixed-media sculptures made up of found objects both marine and otherwise. The exhibit features large, seemingly abstract paintings that resemble sea creatures, collages and more.

The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill
Photograph: Courtesy The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill

8. Oktoberfest at the Butcher Shop

Things to do Festivals

With Oktoberfest festivals canceled throughout the city, there’s still one we can count on this year. The Butcher Shop’s annual celebration of all things German food and beer returns for two weekends of drinking, eating and competing in Wynwood. Ready to get festive in person? Dust off your lederhosen for a feast at the German beer garden, featuring specials on sausage samplers, loaded pretzel bites, apple strudel and more Bavarian delights. Interested in bringing the party home? Get your meal delivered and participate in one of two contests happening virtually, the liter chug and the stein hoist. Details on those are to come, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start training now.

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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden wedding
Photograph: Courtesy Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

9. Date Night at the Garden

Things to do Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Coral Gables, FL, Miami

It’s been months of rom coms on the couch and romantic dinners for two—and now it’s time to up the ante on date night. Fairchild Garden makes it easy with a month of swoon-worthy programming that will get you tackling fun projects together (terrarium building on October 2), learning a new dance (swing dancing classes on October 16) and more. Dates and times vary. Tickets are $10 per person for members and $25 for nonmembers.

Massage
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Miami Spa Months

News City Life

Miami Spa Months, the yearly celebration of the county’s excellent luxury spas, is running through October. (See, 2020 isn't all bad news?) Take up to 50-percent off treatments—from facials and massages to manicures and body polishes (yes, that’s a thing). Treatments are priced at $109, $139 or $199 and typically include access to the facility’s amenities like saunas, pools and steam rooms.

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Pinecrest Gardens
Photograph: Courtesy Pinecrest Gardens/ARDZPhotography

11. JazzAid Live from the Banyan Bowl

Things to do Pinecrest Gardens, Pinecrest

Forced to cancel its anticipated all-star jazz series this fall, the botanical garden reimagines it as JazzAid Live from the Banyan Bowl—an eight-part virtual event that helps raise money for nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen. It features Grammy-winning artists and international superstars, beginning with hometown talent Jon Secada singing live from the Banyan Bowl at the gardens on October 17. 

Spoken Soul Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Spoken Soul Festival/Angel E. Valentin

12. Spoken Soul Festival

Things to do Festivals

Lockdown or not, the powerhouse women in this year’s Spoken Soul Festival are taking their message of empowerment and unity to the digital stage. Ten female artists from across South Florida will participate in the online showcase, performing new interdisciplinary works commissioned exclusively for the evening. This year’s theme celebrates women’s suffrage and pays tribute to the ladies who paved the way for all who followed. Visual artist Alissa Christine and vocalist Nova Quartz are among the women slated to perform.

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Meraki Greek Bistro Downtown
Photograph: Courtesy Stillwater & Co

13. Meraki Greek Bistro Wine Tastings

Restaurants

Getaways don’t always require you to travel. Every Thursday evening, Meraki Greek Bistro whisks you away to the Mediterranean with nothing more than a short drive to Downtown Miami and a few glasses of vino: This weekly tasting, featuring a changing selection of natural wines and mezes, will transport you to the Greek islands. In-house expert Constantino Papdiotis leads the experience, peppering in information about what you’re sipping and its origins. Tastings are $10 per person and can count as credit toward your dinner if you decide to stay. You don’t need a visa for this kind of travel, so why not? Reservations, however, are required.

Zoo Miami Run 5k virtual
Photograph: Courtesy Zoo Miami/Gustavo Maccio

14. Zoo Run 5K

Things to do

Kids and adults of all ages and fitness levels gather each fall for Zoo Miami’s annual fundraiser, and lockdown isn’t holding them back in 2020. This year, the 5k marathon goes virtual, encouraging participants to go the distance in their neighborhoods, track their performance and share the results online. Registration is just $12 and includes a $4 discount to the zoo when it reopens, a themed Spotify playlist to get you moving, a personalized bib, a finisher certificate and other digital swag. Proceeds from the event benefit West Kendall Baptist Hospital and Zoo Miami Foundation.

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Ballyhoo Float In
Photograph: Courtesy Ballyhoo Media

15. Ballyhoo Float-In Movies

News City Life

If you’re not ready to head back inside to watch a movie, might we propose a more Miami alternative: the boat-in. The pop-up floating cinema made a brief appearance this summer with a screening in Key Biscayne, and now it’s back for a month of programming. Showings take place in Key Biscayne near the Miami Marine Stadium and off Bill Baggs State Park, and land-viewing tickets are also available. What’s on deck? Halloween, Jumanji and others.

Things to do always

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