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Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Coconut Grove Arts FestivalCoconut Grove Arts Festival

The best events in Miami to look forward to this winter

All the concerts, parties, festivals and more best events to book in Miami this winter

Falyn Wood
Written by
Falyn Wood
Contributor
Time Out Miami contributors
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Winter in Miami: Blink, and you might miss it. After gorging on Thanksgiving food, partying every day of the week during Art Basel and filling up our happy tanks over the holidays, you’d think we’d be ready for a break. But crisp, sunny days on Miami’s best beaches, primo people-watching at the hottest new Miami restaurants and a lineup of the year’s most exciting events dictate otherwise. Ever heard of a disco nap? That’s all you’ll have time for if you really want to make the most of Miami’s fleeting high season. From immersive art and theater to major music and food festivals, here’s our guide to all the can’t-miss events in Miami this winter.

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Miami right now

Winter events in Miami

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Miami

Fairchild Garden's psychedelic neon playground returns for a limited time this fall. The whimsical holiday spectacle, presented by Kilburn Live, transforms a portion of the 80-acre property into an illuminated wonderland for guests of all ages to wander through. Expect technicolor mazes, scavenger hunts led by virtual fairies, glowing dandelion fields, and, yes, the infamous talking tree. This year, Fairchild ups the interactive factor with a free companion app called Fairyscope. Sounds fun, huh? We agree.

Presale tickets on sale now for Fairchild Botanic Garden members and previous NightGarden ticket buyers. Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday with early bird pricing of 20-percent off until October 8. Admission is $29 for adults and $24 for children 10 and under.

NightGarden has been extended through January 9, 2022. Hours are 6pm to 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 6pm to 11pm Friday and Saturday.

  • Things to do
  • Sport events

The million-dollar horse race ($3 million, to be exact) returns to Gulfstream Park this January. Not into horses? Come for the atmosphere, which borders on South Beach nightclub thanks to a day party and live musical performances: DJ Cassidy will bring his famous "Pass the Mic" to the new trackside Carousel Club. Plus, Faena Live's sexy cabaret show, Tryst, heads to the Flamingo Room.

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  • Things to do
  • Performances

For her first-ever live show in Miami, Icelandic avant-pop goddess Björk will be backed by a 32-piece orchestra who will join her in a mesmerizing performance of original acoustic arrangements of her works at the Knight Concert Hall. Presented as a limited collaboration between local electronic heavy-hitters III Points music festival and Club Space with The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the special performance will be conducted by Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason. 

 

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South Beach Wine and Food Festival
  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Celebrity chefs (hundreds of them) and hungry people from around the U.S. descend on South Beach for Miami’s largest and most famous annual food festival, proceeds from which benefit Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management school. It’s major, and expect it to be even greater back at its regular date.

For its 21st year, SOBEWFF expanded its offerings with more big-ticket events, including the new Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives LIVE! hosted by Guy Fieri, and additional intimate dinners hosted by culinary luminaries. Plus, you can expect increased safety measures. 

There will be burger battles, dessert towers, tiki competitions and more food and drinks than you’ll know what to do with. Break out your stretchy pants, and buckle up, people. Various locations

  • Things to do
  • Performances

The title character in Steven Levenson’s Tony-winning musical is a teenage boy with a broken arm and severe social anxiety who, after the death of a classmate, tells a lie that brings him unusually close to the victim’s family. Bring a handkerchief for this one; it’s a landmark musical, both for its exploration of such mature themes as mental illness and youth suicide and for its revolutionary design elements.

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Relive all things Jazz Age at the Miami Design Preservation League’s annual festival, with live music, talks, an artisan market, an antique car show, food vendors, and walking tours that gloss Miami Beach’s unique architecture. Paying homage to one of the world's greatest technological advancements, the theme for this 45th edition is "Art Deco Celebrates the Radio." Fifth to 15th Sts and Ocean Dr, Miami Beach at various times

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Coconut Grove comes alive with music, food and art for the three-day Coconut Grove Arts Festival. This family-friendly outdoor event is a great way to spend Presidents’ Day Weekend. Peep work from over 360 artists while you stuff your face with local bites. In 2022, the 59-year-old festival introduces dozens of live art activations to watch and participate in.

  • Things to do
  • Festivals

Ten stages with a variety of live performances, drunken revelers reppin’ their country’s flag and all the croquetas and arepas you can stuff into your face: It’s time for Miami’s massive street fair, Calle Ocho, where thousands of people gather across the iconic 20 blocks every year to celebrate Latinx pride. SW 8th St between SW 12th and 27th.

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  • Things to do
  • Play spaces

Do you have a serious sweet tooth? Are you, like so many of us, on a constant quest for your next fix of digital accolades in the form of likes, comments and reposts? Get your cameras ready: Miami Sweet’s glistening candy jungle, massive pineapple pit and other over-the-top interactive confections are taking over Aventura Mall’s third-level Treats Food Hall all holiday season long. Crafted by global candy artist Jackie Sorkin (who once starred in a TLC reality show called “Candy Queen” so you know her stuff is camera-ready), Miami Sweet already delighted us last year as Candytopia, and now it’s back with a new twelve room sugar-coated adventure. Ogle iconic pop art installations done up made up entirely of candy, walk through a Versace-themed sugar gallery and sway with samba dancers in the Candy Carnival room. Oh, and did we mention you can swing from giant ice cream sandwiches too? It’s happening! Look, but please don’t lick the impressive edible candy art and bring on all the super-sweet selfies.

Miami Sweet at the Aventura Mall runs from October 15 through February 22: Mon–Fri 11am–9pm; Sat 10am–9pm; Sun noon–8pm. Tickets are $29.

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  • Things to do
  • Festivals

This annual promises to make President’s Day Weekend gay again. Hosted by 4Ward Miami, a non-profit that connects many of South Florida’s diverse LGBTQ communities, Gay8 comprises an irreverent street festival on Calle Ocho that’s been dubbed the largest Hispanic/Latino LGBTQ festival in America. More than 80,000 partiers are expected to fill the famous Little Havana thoroughfare to enjoy live music and performers, fashion and drag shows, free movie screenings at the historic Tower Theater and food and shopping from more than 70 vendors. Admission to the celebrations is free, but VIP passes will earn you perks like access to an air-conditioned area next to the main stage, an open Bacardi bar, Latin bites and more.

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