Winter in Miami sure is something. While the rest of the country shivers, we slowly crawl out of the air-conditioned dens where we hid from summer and begin to reclaim our city. Honestly, we feel for you, America. You have to hide under a blanket while we’re spreading one at the best Miami beaches. You have to survive on hot soup and tea while we get to throw back some rosé on the best rooftop bars in Miami. Plus, the biggest festivals, concerts and parties of the year all happen in a short three-month span. We hope you got some rest during that lazy summer. Because you’re going to need every ounce of energy this winter.
Winter events in Miami
The Miami-born music festival, now in its sixth year, moves to the winter in 2019 in order to avoid that pesky Hurrican season. Now we don’t have to worry about the rain ruining what’s sure to be an epic year thanks to headliners A$AP Rocky, SZA, Beach House, Tyler, the Creator, James Blake and many more. Expect plenty of art, trippy installations and tropi-goth fashion throughout the three-day festival.
Celebrity chefs and hungry Miamians take to the sands of South Beach for Miami’s biggest and most famous food festival. Seriously, this thing is huge. Prepare for a week’s worth of burger battles, tasting villages and more calories than you’ll know what to do with. Plus, Guy Fieri! Wash it all down with wine, of course.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is changing into a psychedelic neon playground this winter. Its NightGarden pop-up will convert 23 acres of the 80-acre property into an illuminated wonderland complete with talking trees, mazes, scavenger hunts, and glowing dandelion fields. Sounds fun, huh? We agree.
Whether you want to gawk, check out some marine gear or actually buy a yacht, the Miami International Boat Show is the place to be. Get nautical at the five-day boat show, which takes place at the historic Miami Marine Stadium. Really want to unleash your inner yachtie? Grab a VIP pass for access to the special VIP tent. The rosé is free, baby.
Miami's explosive queer festival is back this year—with a twist. The first day of the festival dedicated to the 305’s drag and queer culture takes to the sea. Yup—Wigwood has rented a 300-person boat to sail around Biscayne Bay for the first day of its three-day celebration. If you get left on dry land for that, don’t pout. The next two days see parties at Gramps and Broken Shaker with the all-stars of Miami’s drag scene.
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 260 artists while you stuff your face with local bites.
Eight stages with a variety of live performances, drunken revelers reppin’ their country’s flag and all the pork and arepas you can stuff into your face. It’s time for Miami’s massive street fair, Calle Ocho, where thousands of people gather every year to celebrate Latin pride. It is truly a celebration of everything that makes Miami special. Don’t miss it. SW 8th St between SW 12th and 27th.
The million dollar horse race ($9 million to be exact) comes to Gulfstream Park. Not into horses? Come for the atmosphere, which, if anything like last year’s, will likely border on a South Beach nightclub thanks to a day party hosted by LIV’s David Grutman. Details on 2019’s entertainment to come.
For the fourth year in a row, Gay8 takes to the streets of Little Havana for a one-day festival celebrating Miami’s Latino LGBTQ culture—and what a remarkably vibrant culture it is. Expect food, art, music and more proudly marching down Calle Ocho in a glorious rainbow of colors. 2436 SW 8th St.
Love art deco? Who doesn’t? The architecture and design style that’s made Miami famous around the world gets its very own celebration during Art Deco Weekend. Commemorate the city’s beautiful facades with over 80 events including live music, lectures, walking tours, a fashion show and art exhibitions. At Ocean Dr between Fifth and 15th Sts.
The self-proclaimed world’s largest paint party comes back to Miami. The lineup has not been announced yet but it’s safe to expect the usual EDM superstars and rappers. Past years saw Zedd, 21 Savage, Lil Pump and more soak masses of young Miamians in swimming pools worth of shiny neon paint. Those poor, poor showers.
Lace up for Miami’s most popular racing event. Now in its 17th year, the run winds through the city’s most scenic neighborhoods, from Bayfront Park to Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne. Your cardio not quite up to marathon levels? You can still partake! Supporters are encouraged to cheer along the way.
Let the snowbirds hit the beach. You have more important things to do in December, like go on a hike. Explore Deering Estate’s backwoods on foot during a guided walking tour. It’s especially beautiful during sunset. Afterward, end your night toasting marshmallows and eating s’mores around the campfire.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden dedicates three full days to the beloved cocoa bean for this annual event. The main star of the show—if you couldn’t guess—is chocolate. Don’t miss your opportunity to taste samples from artisan chocolatiers, sit in on lectures and participate in all sorts of sweet demonstrations.
Between Waze and Google, do you remember the last time you used a paper map? What a shame! Maps are cool. You can’t throw darts at an iPhone. At the Miami Map Fair, one can recall the simple pleasures of thumbing through an atlas, spinning a globe and seeing colorful antique versions at the largest map fair (take that, other map fairs!) in the country.
Eric Carle’s famous storybooks come to life from this production by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. The show stops by Miami’s Aventura Arts & Cultural Center and should be a perfect family-friendly outing.