11 Things You Must Do in Miami During the Holidays in 2023

11 Things You Must Do in Miami During the Holidays in 2023

Nov 30, 2023 November 30, 2023

The holidays in Miami are extraordinary, offering a stark contrast to the snowy weather in northern cities. Instead of a typical winter wonderland, Miami in the winter boasts exceptionally gorgeous mild sunny weather in a setting that includes the dazzling ocean and palm-tree-lined streets against bright blue skies.

It’s also a busy time, with plenty of fun events going on around the whole city, with options for every age and interest to get you into the holiday spirit. From a reimagined Nutcracker ballet to a classic holiday boat parade, here’s a curated compilation of the things you must do in Miami during the Holidays in 2023. With it, we hope you can make the most of your vibrant holiday season!

1. The Nutcracker by the Miami City Ballet 

The Nutcracker by the Miami City Ballet

One of the most traditional
things to do in Miami in December 2023 is attend the Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, which runs from December 8th through December 30th. Take your pick of shows in various locations, such as Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center, Miami’s Arsht Center, and West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center. 

Over 100 dancers perform this captivating display of Balanchine’s choreography against spirited Tchaikovsky music, dazzling costumes, and glimmering sets while incorporating an exceptionally unique Miami flair. The spectacular winter show is two hours long, with a 20-minute intermission, and is suitable for the whole family. Tickets are currently on sale through the Miami City Ballet

2. Miracle in Miami: A Pop-Up Bar in Brickell

Miracle in Miami: A Pop-Up Bar in Brickell

What better place to celebrate the holiday than at your local dive bar?
Miracle in Miami, presented by Drink Miami, runs from November 25th until December 23rd, every day from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. at Better Days in Brickell. The quirky pop-up bar, outfitted in over-the-top Christmas decor, showcases a creative lineup of holiday-inspired cocktails with even more creative names you won’t want to miss. 

3. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Immersive NightGarden

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Immersive NightGarden

From November 10th until January 7th, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens hosts
a spectacular immersive NightGarden event in the Coral Gables neighborhood featuring thousands of lights in an augmented reality experience. The 23 acres of lush gardens are transformed into an illuminated fairyland with technicolor flowers, sculptures, and over twelve stations enhanced through lighting effects, outdoor holograms, and motion-sensing technology.

All ages will enjoy the rainbow-colored pathways, interacting with the Fairchild’s wise, talking tree, joining a Fairy Quest, and more. Plus, some of Miami’s most popular food trucks will serve plenty of delicious food along the way! So, if you are looking for things to do in Miami in January 2024, ticket prices range from $25 to $40 depending on the date and time selected. 

4. Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade is back with its 52-year-old holiday tradition in South Florida, captivating over 12 million viewers along a 12-mile water parade route. This year, the festive event falls on December 16, starting at 6:30 p.m. along The New River in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Traveling all along the Intracoastal Waterway, catch the sites of beautifully lighted and decorated boats all the way up to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach

Waterfront condos on the Intracoastal have prime viewing options, often having holiday parties at the same time. Boats and yachts can register to join the special event, so long as they cater this year's “Reflections Afloat” theme as a tribute to the past 20 years of themes. Or, if you’d rather watch the show dining on seafood and sipping hand-crafted cocktails, make waterfront reservations at Mastro’s Ocean Club or Blue Moon Fish Co. 

5. Hanukkah Celebration in Miami

Hanukkah Celebration in Miami

Celebrate the Festival of Lights and the start of Hanukkah on Thursday, December 7th, with a special event at the annual Hanukkah celebration in Vogel Park, with the Chabad of North Bay Village. Join in for the lighting of the first candle on the city's largest Menorah, accompanied by food trucks, engaging activities, live music, and inspiring words from a rabbi. Stay tuned for the event's schedule release, and mark your calendar for a memorable start to the Festival of Lights.

On Sunday, December 10th, starting at 5 p.m., join the Village of Key Biscayne for their Chanukah Celebration at the Village Green for lighting of the menorah, live music and entertainment, and all of your favorite Chanukah delicacies.

6. Holiday Evening at the Vizcaya

Holiday Evening at the VizcayaHoliday Evening at the Vizcaya

If you’re living in Coconut Grove, or anywhere in Miami for that matter, you’ll get the chance to enjoy a vintage-inspired holiday evening at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Wednesday, December 13th, from 6 to 9 p.m. The elegant estate grounds will be fully illuminated, and the Main House will be decorated as it might have been 100 years ago for the holidays, complete with garlands strung from the balconies inside the courtyard. 

During the event, enjoy a waterfront sunset, explore the illuminated floral gardens at night, and participate in holiday lantern-making. At the end of the evening, bring the lantern you created to the main garden, where the Children’s Vocal Chorus will perform music celebrating the winter season and lead sing-alongs, drawing from various traditions worldwide. Get your tickets for $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, free for children ages 5 and under, and members get discounted tickets. 

7. Luminosa


If you’re wondering
what’s on in Miami in January 2024, take note: Luminosa will be returning to the city after four years on hiatus. This spectacle will transform Jungle Island into a dazzling festival of lights, illuminating the lush surroundings with hundreds of intricately crafted lanterns. Created by 150 artisans using 120 tons of steel and 150,000 feet of silk, the captivating scenes showcase the spirit of Miami, from mythical jungles to submerged Atlantics and Asian dynasties to Latin culture. 

Set against the backdrop of the coveted Venetian Islands, this enchanting event offers over 40 stunning displays, acrobatic performances, traditional Chinese food vendors, craft cocktails, live music, and more. Tickets, priced between $26 and $34 based on date and time, are already on sale, welcoming all ages to experience this vibrant celebration from January until the end of February.

8. Carolers in Downtown Coral Gables

Carolers in Downtown Coral Gables

Experience the magic of the holiday season from December 7th to December 16th as you stroll, shop, and dine in downtown Coral Gables to the angelic voices of festive carolers. Local high school choirs will enchant the atmosphere along the Miracle Mile and Giralda Plaza from 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday through Saturday. For precise locations of these joyful performances, refer to the
Carolers in Downtown Coral Gables website.

9. Ice Skating

Ice SkatingIce Skating

We may not have snow, but Miami still has ice skating! Experience the unparalleled joy of gliding on ice with the breathtaking ocean backdrop at the
Barbara Medina Ice Rink within the Scott Rakow Youth Center in Mid-Beach. This state-of-the-art, 12,885 square-foot ice skating haven invites children and adults to embark on a frosty adventure, and since it’s around all year long it can be one of the things to do in Miami in January 2024

Immerse yourself in the magic of public skating sessions on Mondays (12-2 p.m.), Fridays (2:15-4:15 p.m. & 6-8 p.m.), and Saturdays & Sundays (3-5 p.m.). For those skilled in figure skating, indulge in freestyle skating sessions, private lessons, group lessons, and the thrill of ice hockey. Complete with bleacher seating for spectators, the Barbara Medina Ice Rink is the ultimate destination for an enchanting and icy escapade. 

And if you’re into the more adult style of ice skating, and want to get on the ice with friends later in the night, Basement at the Miami Beach Edition Hotel has just what you’re looking for!

10. Classical New Year’s Concert

Classical New Year’s Concert

Still wondering
what to do in Miami for New Year's Eve 2023? Elevate your celebration with the glamorous Salute to Vienna concert, presented by Attila Glatz Concert Productions and hosted at the Adrienne Arsht Center's Knight Concert Hall in Downtown Miami on December 30th at 8 p.m. 

Ring in the new year with the Strauss Symphony of America's performance where tickets ranging from $29 to $159 will grant you access to an evening of timeless music, dazzling costumes, breathtaking dance, and stunning floral designs. This annual spectacle, updated with a fresh cast and musical program each year, brings the exuberant melodies of Johann Strauss and his contemporaries to life.

11. Historic Holidays Evening Strolls at the Deering Estate

Historic Holidays Evening Strolls at the Deering Estate

Enjoy an enchanting
Historic Holidays Evening Stroll at the Deering Estate just outside of Coral Gables on Friday, December 1st, and Wednesday, December 13th, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Experience a family-friendly holiday evening wandering through the main grounds and historic museums adorned with the exquisite historic holiday décor: Holidays in Wonderland, A Lewis Carroll Story, curated by South Florida’s top interior designers under the guidance of Alfredo Brito, the Deering Estate’s designer.

During this event, immerse yourself in the warmth of a campfire, catch holiday film showings, and witness the joy of children dropping off their letters to Santa. For a magical finale, Mrs. Claus arrives to read bedtime stories to the little ones. Tickets are available now with special prices for early birds.

Don’t Miss a Beat During This Holiday Season

As the season grows closer, many more events are bound to pop up but here we’ve rounded up the things you must do in Miami during the Holidays in 2023 so you have a starting point. Look out for more things to add to your personalized list, and tell us on social media which ones are your favorites. We’ll make sure to include them on next year’s list!


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