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The ultimate Miami birthday guide

Plan the best day ever (!) with our tips on where to shop, what to eat, where to party and how to say “happy birthday” just the right way. Start with the card, and it all flows from there.
Hallmark
Photograph: Shutterstock
Time Out in association with Hallmark and Walgreens |
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We love birthdays here at Time Out. The parties. The people. The gifts. The cards. And we’re here to share that love with our ultimate guide for making the most of yours or your loved one’s special day in Miami. Together with Hallmark and Walgreens, we’ve scoured the city to find the perfect gifts, activities and places to celebrate the big day, and we’re tailoring them specifically to the people in your life. Got a laugh-loving best friend? A chic mom who demands only the very best? A creative brother with an appreciation for the quirkier side of life? We’ve got you covered. Start with the perfect card—the perfect sentiment, expressed the perfect way—and follow us all the way until the candles are blown out.

Find the right card

Shoebox Hallmark

For the BFF who likes a joke—especially one that goes too far

Sometimes edgy, sometimes irreverent, often inappropriate and always hilarious, Shoebox cards offer a unique view on all the occasions that life throws your way. From cats that harness the power of lightning to unicorn poop, you’ll find the funniest selection of oddities you can cram into an envelope. To find out where to get the perfect, or perfectly weird, Shoebox birthday card, click here.

Hallmark Signature

For the showstopper

Hallmark Signature cards make an immediate impression and express your personal style. Each is handcrafted (some are dotted with little gems, others have bows, linen or dimensional paper flowers) and designed for maximum wow factor. To find out where to get the perfect Signature birthday card, click here.

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Hallmark Studio Ink

For the true original who likes their roads less traveled

Unexpected. Uninhibited. And oh-so unforgettable. These cards totally get you. They even speak the way you do. Except they can’t talk. Because that would be super weird. So if you’re looking to give someone the realest of the real, the cutest of the cute, or the fanciest of the schmanciest, Studio Ink cards are the perfect way to express yourself to those who know you best. To find out where to get the perfect Studio Ink card, click here.

Hallmark Vida

For the family guy or girl who tells it straight from the heart

Find love, tradition and celebration of family in Hallmark’s VIDA collection. These touching, fun and powerful Spanish-language cards are here for all birthdays, from baby’s first to her quinceañera to mom’s 50th. To find where to get the perfect VIDA card, click here.

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Hallmark Mahogany

For the soulful friend

Got a friend whose perfect birthday involves spending it with good food, fascinating cultural experiences and family? Hallmark’s Mahogany collection has a card for them. Featuring life-affirming and spiritual messages, these cards resonate with big, bold declarations of love and designs that pop right off the shelf. To find where to get the perfect Mahogany card, click here.

Get the right gift

Coffee table book and slippers
Photograph: Shutterstock

For the BFF who likes a joke—especially one that goes too far

The word curated gets thrown around a lot these days, but Babalu (1121 Lincoln Rd) truly does uphold its meaning, with a vast selection of handpicked perfumes, beauty products and a collection of irreverent lifestyle products you won’t find anywhere else. Designer napkin rings? Check. A gold pineapple tumbler? Check. A lucite tic-tac-toe set? Check. Fancy candy and sweet treats? Double check!

Wynwood Letterpress
Photograph: Courtesy Wynwood Letterpress/Rodrigo Moreno

For the showstopper

Gift her a one-of-a-kind item from Wynwood Letterpress (2621 NW 2nd Ave, #21) that is as special as her. She’ll flip for vintage hotel keychains numbered and embossed with the names of different Miami neighborhoods and love the confetti combination you’ve picked out at the shop’s DIY confetti bar.

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purse and watch
Photograph: Shutterstock

For the true original who likes their roads less traveled

Discovery is a part of shopping at Respice (5760 Sunset Dr), a South Miami boutique stocked with leather goods and handmade accessories by emerging designers from all over the world. Give her something that’s eye-opening and inspiring even if it looks like a simple piece of jewelry to the untrained eye.

Peruvian clothes
Photograph: Shutterstock

For the family guy or girl who tells it straight from the heart

If you're shopping for a gift that says how special they are, and has an eco-friendly edge, they will appreciate a piece from one of the many artisan labels on sale at The Nomad Tribe (2301 NW 2nd Ave), known for its inventory of fair-trade clothing. Whether it’s shoes made with recycled rubber in Brazil or organic-cotton handbags, every item is literally a good gift.

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Vinyls
Photograph: Shutterstock

For the soulful friend

From vinyl records of their favorite songs to coffee table books to grow their collection, find all sorts of poignant presents at Lost Boy Dry Goods (157 E Flagler St). The downtown Miami shop’s diverse selection of lifestyle items, like old-fashioned rotary phones and hard-to-find hot sauces, will make shopping for that special friend surprisingly easy.

Pick an activity

Go-Kart
Photograph: Shutterstock

For the BFF who likes a joke—especially one that goes too far

You will have a thrilling—and laugh-filled—good time chasing each other around at K1 Speed Miami (8600 NW South River Dr), the city’s only indoor go-karting facility. You’ll battle it out for the top spot, racing head to head at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Make sure you attempt multiple laps—it’s only fair you let the birthday boy or girl win at least once.

Sugar at East
Photograph: Courtesy Sugar/Michael Weber

For the showstopper

Take the celebration sky high at Sugar (788 Brickell Plz), Brickell’s hip new rooftop bar atop the EAST hotel. At 40 stories above downtown Miami, the view from Sugar is as breathtaking as you’d imagine and the cocktails spirited and inspired—just like the birthday boy or girl themselves.

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Bowling at Basement
Photograph: Courtesy of The Edition

For the true original who likes their roads less traveled

When you can’t decide whether you want to bowl, ice skate or dance, celebrate the big day doing all three at Basement (2901 Collins Ave). You’ll start the evening with a few laps in the indoor rink, followed by a game of bowling before putting on your dancing shoes and grooving the night away on the dance floor adjacent to the lanes.

Ball and Chain
Photograph: Gil Bitton

For the family guy or girl who tells it straight from the heart

Plan a birthday outing that will make them feel like they’re on Dancing With the Stars. Grab the gang and head to Ball & Chain (1513 SW 8th St) for live music, lots of salsa dancing and even a few impromptu lessons from the club’s pro dancers—it's great for family birthday bonding. Break from the action inside and head outdoors to catch local acts such as Suénalo and Spam Allstars performing live on the pineapple stage.

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Lyric Theater
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phillip Pessar

For the soulful friend

Do more than gift them their favorite vintage record. Take the birthday boy or girl on a journey through historic Overtown, where some of the country’s greatest jazz musicians performed. You’ll start at the ninth street pedestrian mall, admiring artist Gary Moore’s African Kente-inspired designs, and end up at the Lyric Theater (819 NW 2nd Ave), where Aretha Franklin, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald once performed.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phillip Pessar

Time to eat

Eating House
Photograph: Eating House/Mario Davila Quijano

For the BFF who likes a joke—especially one that goes too far

We’ve all been out to dinner with the person who orders dessert first or asks for a side of marshmallows with his or her meal. Save the side-eye for another day and treat them to Eating House (804 Ponce de Leon Blvd), where you can have an out-of-this-world pasta carbonara while your friend with the weird eating habits goes to town on tater tots served with Coca-Cola ketchup or a dirt cup for adults.

PB Station
Photograph: Courtesy PB Station/Juan Fernando Ayora

For the showstopper

Trust the Pubbelly Boys to deliver a crowd-pleasing birthday experience. Dinner at their newest restaurant, PB Station, inside the Langford Hotel (121 SE 1st St) is an experience worthy of a celebration. Dishes are deceptively elaborate and complex but with simple, straightforward ingredients even non-foodies will appreciate. A shareable spread of seafood charcuterie and a light octopus Bolognese pasta are perfect birthday meals for the discerning friend.

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27 Restaurant
Photograph: Justin Namon

For the true original who likes their roads less traveled

Give your globe-trotting friend a taste of what he or she really wants: everything. At 27 Restaurant at the Freehand Hostel (2727 Indian Creek Dr) the menu is a sampling of flavors and preparations from different regions and cultures—from their signature shakshuka to a heaping helping of kimchi fried rice, every dish is inspired by a different corner of the world. It's like backpacking without leaving the city.

Ceviche
Photograph: Shutterstock

For the family guy or girl who tells it straight from the heart

Treat the guest of honor to what looks and tastes like an authentic, Peruvian home-cooked meal without any of the work. CVI.CHE 105 (105 NE 3rd Ave) offers a modern vibe, trendy variations of pisco cocktails and a menu packed with true South American classics. Start the meal with one of their famous ceviches before moving on to a heaping serving of Peru’s quintessential dish, lomo saltado. Great for sharing.

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Zest Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Zest/Michael Pisarri

For the soulful friend

When a trip to the islands isn’t in the plans, a visit to Zest (200 South Biscayne Blvd) in downtown Miami will help curb the craving for yummy Caribbean food. Chef Cindy Hutson’s “Cuisine of the Sun” takes locally sourced ingredients and infuses them with flavors from Jamaica, Cuba, Puerto Rico and neighboring sun-soaked countries for a tasting journey that will instantly transport your pal to their favorite beachside escape.

More to explore

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