December 2021 Miami Events: Fun Things To Do and Holiday Magic plus Christmas and New Year Specials
Dec 03, 2021 December 03, 2021
It’s starting to feel a lot like the holidays in Miami. There weather is bit crisper, the sky is that beautiful blue, Hanukkah came early, and there’s a ton of cheerful holiday events to indulge in, including Holiday Cheer Christmas trees, lighting displays, and holiday-themed wonderlands worth visiting this month. We even have you covered with a long list of New Year’s Eve fireworks viewing parties to ring in 2022 on the right note.
Not to forget, Miami Art Week is back along with its hero – Art Basel, giving art lovers lots to discover, buy, talk about, celebrate, and photograph for an entire week. There’s also plenty of options for high-powered entertainment to more soulful evenings and holiday-themed fun as our lineup includes exciting picks from the FTX Arena, Adrienne Arsht Center, Deering Estate, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, and more this month.
Read on for the full list of the Top Things to Do in Miami this December below:
Things to Do in Miami - December Events at a Glance
December 2021: Miami In-person Events
- Miami Arts, Culture & Heritage Months: December through January
- Art Basel Miami Beach and Other Miami Art Week Fairs: Now – December 5
- Design Miami/ 2021: Now – December 5
- PAWLIDAYS at The Underline: December 4
- North Beach Music Festival: December 10 & 11
- Alex Sensation’s MiamiBash 2021 + Andrea Bocelli at the FTX Arena: December 17 & 18
- Monthly SOBEWFF Artisan Market: December 19
- Miami Sweet at Aventura Mall: December through February 22
- SoundScape Cinema Series, Season 2021-2022: Throughout December
- Performances at the Fillmore MB: December 10, 16, 17, 30-31
- Kid-friendly Lineup at Frost Museum: December 12, 20-23 & 27-30
- Events at Design District: Throughout December
- Events at the Adrienne Arsht Center: Throughout December
- Holiday-themed Events at the Deering Estate: Throughout December
- Events at the Fairchild Gardens: Throughout December
December 2021: Miami Virtual Events
- FilmGate Miami x PAMM - Breonna’s Garden: December 5
- Mindful Movement Virtual Yoga X Friends of the Underline: December 11
- Run Run Rudolph Virtual 5k Run Walk: Throughout December
Miami may not have a traditional white holiday, but we more than make up for it with our Christmas tree lighting and holiday-themed events around town. Here’s a list of some top places to visit in Miami, where you can experience the best of holiday magic, lights, music, food, and really get into the spirit:
- Santa’s Enchanted Forest, December – January 2. With over a million dazzling lights visible from the expressway, legit Santa Time, more than 100 rides, kid-friendly attractions, family-friendly shows, and great food, this one should be a must-see on your list.
- Night Garden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, December – January 2. Come and experience Miami’s award-winning holiday tradition for yourself. Spectacular illumination, special effects, a talking Wise Tree, interactive light and sound, plus an AR FairyScope app make it a night to remember.
- Historic Holiday Décor - Gilded Age, December – January 6. Get a taste of history as you stroll through the glittery, holiday-ready rooms at the Deering Estate. Each room exhibits décor from the ‘The Gilded Age’ of American history plus amazing photo-ops for your Insta story.
- Zoo Lights Miami, Select nights in December. Their Christmas tree is lit and ready to welcome you to the jungle like never before. Enjoy a lighting display with over one million lights, Santa time, river boat rides, animal appearances, holiday arts & crafts, and much more at the zoo this December.
- Annual Santa's Cabana at Lincoln Road, December – January 3. The whole family is welcome to tell Santa their gift list for the holidays at Santa’s Cabana. This holiday photo booth will feature a tropical Santa and photo-ops are free.
- Holidays at the Brickell City Centre, December – January 1. Follow #HolidaysInTheCentre2021 and take the entire family for Santa time, to attend a secret speakeasy, and enjoy plenty of surprises at Brickell’s City Centre.
- Christmas Celebrations at Coconut Grove, December 11 & 12. Head down to Coconut Grove to enjoy a very tropical Christmas tree lighting and winter market on the 11th, a Christmas in the Grove community holiday event the same day, or a Christmas on Commodore orchestra performance on the 12th.
- Vizcaya Late - Holiday Evening, December 16. Turn back in time to experience what the gardens looked like during the holidays in the 1920s. Lit with historically accurate décor, a Christmas Tree in the Main House, a holiday table in the Dining Room, and much more - it’s a great way to spend a magical winter evening.
- North Miami Beach Snow Fest, December 18. Who says Miami can’t have snow? Head out to the North Miami Beach City Hall to enjoy a winter carnival, complete with food, games, rides, live music, and most importantly – snow!
- Caribbean Christmas Cruise, December 23 – January 3. Set sail aboard the Norwegian Joy to escape the chaos of the holidays with this 11-day cruise. Stopping at 8 ports across the Caribbean, come back relaxed and fully recharged to take on the new year with gusto.
New Year’s Eve is incomplete without fireworks and a good party. Below is a list of all the best hotspots, rooftops, and cruises you can catch a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration from in Miami:
- Fireworks at Fairchild’s NightGarden. With a rocking DJ, amazing food and champagne, plus complimentary hats and tiaras, the fireworks at NightGarden are scheduled to go off at 10 p.m.
- Ultimate Miami NYE 2022 Gatsby's Yacht. Get aboard the SeaFair Mega Yacht for a special midnight fireworks viewing party, complete with welcome bubbles, a New Year’s toast, live DJ, festive hors d'oeuvres, raw seafood bar, and a culinary array of global cuisine.
- Miami Under the Fireworks Yacht Party. The South Beach Lady mega yacht will set sail from Downtown Hyatt for a fireworks viewing party taking place across 4 decks, with 2 live DJs, a premium open bar, and buffet dinner.
- Pier Pressure Yacht Party 2022. Another great fireworks viewing yacht party setting sail from Downtown, the Catalina will feature live DJs, 4 hours of premium open bar, delicious spread, and a spectacular countdown experience.
- New Year’s Eve Fireworks on a Yacht. Setting sail from Dinner Key Marina, this 2-story yacht will take you around town to watch over 5 different fireworks shows around South Beach, Fisher Island, Downtown, Coconut Grove, and North Miami. There will also be a professional DJ, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts at this family-friendly yacht party.
- NYElectric 2022 (W Hotel Brickell Rooftop). The W Hotel in Brickell is hosting this rooftop New Year’s Eve bash, complete with top DJs, a premium open bar, complimentary party favors, and a splendid view of Downtown’s fireworks.
- Fireworks, Paddle, and Dinner. Head to the Virginia Key Outdoor Center for a lively, family-friendly New Year’s Eve dinner party. You will further have the option to paddle out to watch 360 fireworks from the water or enjoy the spectacular display beachside.
- NYE Party at Hilton Miami. Turning their elegant International Ballroom into a high energy party room, you get to enjoy a deluxe evening with unlimited name brand drinks, multicourse dinner, confetti, laser lights, dance music, and more.
- NYE with Doja Cat at the Fontainebleau. Close 2020 with an unforgettable oceanside pool party featuring one of the top acts in international music these days. Doja Cat will be performing live with Alesso as special guest.
- NYE 2022 at the Mondrian. Choose how you want to party, as The Mondrian South Beach will let you select from 4 seating options – waterfront, balcony, poolside, or ballroom. There will be live DJs and midnight fireworks to ring in the New Year right.
- Cheers to You, 2022 at The Wharf. Get ready to welcome the good times with live music, eats from the likes of Sake Room or Spris Artisan Pizza, cocktails, and more at The Wharf Miami.
- New Year's Eve at MO Bar & Lounge. This plush evening hosted by the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key will feature a sit-down dinner with a lavish seafood platter, a bottle of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, and decadent desserts.
- A Night In Tokyo at the Clevelander. Your chance to say Moshi-Moshi (hello in Japanese) without catching a flight! The Clevelander on South Beach is hosting this Japanese-themed New Year’s Eve bash, complete with inventive cocktails and Japanese indulgences such as sushi to cherry blossoms. They even have 3 dedicated decks for mind-blowing entertainment - Tokyo Drift Deck (1st floor), Cherry Blossom Terrace (4th floor Rooftop), and The Pink Sushi Club (6th-floor rooftop).
- Gatsby Rooftop Party @ Amara at Paraiso. Ring in the New Year Gatsby-style as you head over to Amara at Paraiso condo’s themed rooftop lounge. This glamorous rooftop bash will come complete with a genuine open bar, live DJ set, festive hors d’oeuvres, complimentary party favors, and much more.
- NYE Black & White Affair. Party for a cause as you head to the Historic Hampton House. Have a good time at this New Year’s Eve bash and lend your support to 10 students from Miami Central Senior High School, so they get the opportunity to travel to Africa.
- Ode to Joy- NYE Celebration Concert at Collins Park. Those looking to ring in 2022 on a soulful note with a spectacular orchestra will appreciate this evening affair. This free, family-friendly beachfront concert will be led by an all-star line-up of soloists featuring Beethoven’s Symphony N. 9.
Miami Arts, Culture & Heritage Months: December through January
Multiple locations across Miami
Besides various Miami Art Week discounts, this Temptations Program lets you explore Miami’s rich heritage and diverse cultures at attractive prices. Grab the opportunity to visit your favorite museums, theaters, or cultural centers these two months with buy one, get one savings, free walking tours, 25% off tickets, and much more. Check out this complete list of participants and fill your holiday calendar with enriching experiences.
Art Basel Miami Beach and Other Miami Art Week Fairs: Now – December 5
Multiple locations across Miami
It’s tradition! Miami’s annual Art Week is back this December to give art lovers what they’ve missed for almost two years. The centerpiece of the week, Art Basel, will take place Dec. 2-5 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, displaying art from 253 of the world’s most renowned galleries. UNTITLED, Scope, AQUA, INK, CONTEXT, NADA, Red Dot, SPECTRUM, and all the other art fairs we’ve come to love and look forward to over the years will be making a comeback at this largest international art fair in the country. Here’s a quick guide to all you need to know and everything that’s happening for Art Week 2021.
Design Miami/ 2021: Now – December 5
Convention Center Drive & 19th Street, South Beach
Playing alongside Miami Art Week is the premier design event of the year. Design Miami brings together the best of the best in interior design, lighting, furniture, and collectibles of all shapes and sizes, making this one of the most anticipated events for collectors. Curated by Wava Carpenter this year, the program will explore the theme of Human•Kind, looking to highlight the ways in which design can impact the world for the better. Read more about our top picks for Design Miami/ 2021 here.
PAWLIDAYS at The Underline: December 4
Brickell Backyard Sound Stage, SW 8th Street - SW 1st Ave, Underline Promenade, Brickell
Come by for a holiday photo booth and walk out with your next (furry) best friend! For this month’s edition of their pet adoption and animal welfare drive, PAWS will be hosting a fun holiday photo booth, arts & crafts for the family, music by DJ Lexiterrz, and a whole lot of other fun activities you can enjoy with your new or current pets.
North Beach Music Festival: December 10 & 11
North Beach Bandshell, 7276 Collins Ave, North Beach
Join in the first-ever North Beach Music Festival for an intimate and exciting festival experience on the beach! Featuring a combination of renowned artists from the jam, funk, and improvisational music scenes, along with delicious local food, listen to your favorite bands like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Spafford X2 ( All Improv Set + Spafford & Friends), The Motet and more at Miami Beach’s picturesque North Beach Bandshell & Bandshell Park.
Alex Sensation’s MiamiBash 2021 + Andrea Bocelli at the FTX Arena: December 17 & 18
FTX Arena (formerly AmericanAirlines Arena), 601 Biscayne Blvd, Downtown Miami
Peppered between NBA’s regular season, you will find the biggest live MiamiBash of the year by Alex Sensation and Maestro Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Believe World Tour’ playing at the FTX Arena this December.
Monthly SOBEWFF Artisan Market: December 19
Michigan Avenue, between Lincoln Lane North and Lincoln Lane South, South Beach
In honor of the most mouthwatering event of the year, Lincoln Road will be hosting monthly artisanal food markets. Stop by to indulge in the most delicious to iconic artisanal creations by over 75 vendors from around South Florida. Supporting your local community of small food and restaurant entrepreneurs was never so satisfying!
Miami Sweet at Aventura Mall: December through February 22
Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura
Your sweet tooth will thank us later! TLC’s “Candy Queen” Jackie Sorkin is writing Miami a love letter, and it’s full of everything sweet and edible. With 12 uniquely designed environments completely made out of candy, you’ll be treated to the likes of a Confetti Carnivale Dance Party, a Butterfly World, Pineapple Pit, Zoo Tropical, and more. The 1-hour experience is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth and a love for Instagram-able immersive experiences.
SoundScape Cinema Series, Season 2021-2022: Throughout December
SoundScape Park, 400 17th St, South Beach
Catch the last leg of these free, weekly outdoor screenings projected on the 7,000 square-foot wall of the New World Center before they close to return next year. Curated by the American Black Film Festival, this month’s lineup includes The Karate Kid (Dec. 5), This Christmas (Dec. 15), The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (Dec. 22), and The Outsiders (Dec. 29).
Performances at the Fillmore MB: December 10, 16, 17, 30-31
The Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave, South Beach
There’s plenty of concerts to watch out for at the legendary Fillmore theater this month. From Dime Como Hago’s premiere concert on the 10th to Lolita Flores’ power-packed performance on the 16th, Lasso’s Un Cuento de Navidad on the 17th, and Umphrey McGee’s three-day showcase starting 30th, you have a diverse set to indulge in.
Kid-friendly Lineup at Frost Museum: December 12, 20-23 & 27-30
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Downtown Miami
Let your little ones develop a curiosity for the different avenues of science, as they attend one of these at the Frost Museum in Downtown Miami:
- Mini-Me Science: Igloo Engineering, December 12. Help your budding engineer solve snowy problems for animals in the coldest corners of Earth, as they build and test habitats in this eco-igloo design challenge
- Tech Lab: Exploring Mars, December 12. With technology you can take home after each workshop, your little one will be exposed to how the world of tech and renewable energy helps reach new worlds. Kids will get to explore coding to electrical engineering, design, and robotics.
- Winter Camp: Star Light, Star Bright, December 20-23. This winter break help your little one appreciate the night sky on some of the darkest nights of the year.
- Winter Camp: Science of You, December 27-30. Experiments with DNA, analyzing brain chemistry, dissecting the mysteries of the human body – what else could you ask of winter camp?
Events at Design District: Throughout December
Multiple Venues at Design District
For Art Week and beyond, Design District is hosting a variety of events. Here’s looking at our top picks for you to visit:
- LV Objets Nomades Showcase, December 1 – January 31. For two whole months, Design District’s Louis Vuitton store will be wrapped in an immersive experience that pays homage to the brand’s collection.
- Shantell Martin X B&B Italia, December 2 - January 3. Visual artist Shantell Martini, known for her black and white drawings, will take over one of the windows at the B&B Italia flagship store in Design District. The centerpiece of the artistic display will be the re-edited version of the Camaleonda sofa designed by Mario Bellini in 1970.
- Wellness in the District, December 3-5. Art Week keeping you on your toes? Stop by this refuel and relax station hosted by Preview, where you’ll be able to catch a breath and indulge in healthy treats.
- State of Kid X Bambini Basel, December 3-5. Why should kids be left out of Art Week? State of Kid will be hosting a weekend full of art & sensory activities for little ones aged 1-8. There will even be a surprise visit by prominent guests from the art world.
- Rag & Bone Holiday Shopping Party, December 4-5. Walk in for a fun shindig and walk out with their latest collection? This fun weekend affair will feature the brand’s 2021 collection, live DJ, piercings by Iris Tattoo, and a complementary Suja Juice bar.
- Sleepover at Odds, December 5. Wear your best artsy sleepwear to this sleepover party with designer Liza Naumova. Get in bed with the founder as you enjoy some Indie music, check out the custom-designed bedroom set, and have a fun Q&A.
Events at the Adrienne Arsht Center: Throughout December
1300 Biscayne Blvd, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Arts & Entertainment District
It’s raining events at the Adrienne Arsht Center this holiday season. Here’s looking at what’s in store:
- Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, December 2-19. Book yourself a spot at the Carnival Studio Theater for this spin-off from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that focuses on Scrooge’s long-dead business partner, Jacob Marley.
- Pictures at an Exhibition, December 4. This immersive evening of music and art will be conducted by the Frost Symphony Orchestra, pairing contemporary art with music compositions from 1874.
- Nu Deco Ensemble ft. Masego, December 10. You can’t miss this Knight Concert Hall performance that has been hailed the "chamber orchestra for the 21st century" by The New York Times.
- Make Your Own Snow Globe, December 11. In this month’s edition of ‘Pour Your Art Out,’ learn how to make your very own snow globe with artist Carolina Blanco, just in time for the holidays.
- The Hip Hop Nutcracker, December 11. How can any holiday season be complete without a Nutcracker performance? Check out this contemporary version that “turns Tchaikovsky on his head, in the coolest possible way” according to CBS.
- AleMor Concert, December 14. Catch Latin Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter AleMor live on stage, as she fuses R&B, soul, jazz, and bolero harmonies through her rich voice.
- Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time Is Here, December 17. Ring in the holiday season with the multi-Grammy Award-winning Dianne Reeves, as the diva performs jazz renditions of holiday favorites.
- The Nutcracker: December 16-26. Celebrate the classic Christmas ballet with the Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s festive, magical and heartwarming story of the holidays.
- Hairspray, December 28 – January 2. Catch Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy Hairspray at the Ziff Ballet Opera House this new year’s. Watch how this all-new touring production spills the magic with this “exhilaratingly funny and warm-hearted musical comedy,” according to The New Yorker.
Holiday-themed Events at the Deering Estate: Throughout December
Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Avenue, Palmetto Bay
Besides Winter Camp Adventures, the Deering Estate has some amazing holiday events up its sleeve this December:
- Mistletoe & Martinis, December 10. This signature holiday event is back this year for one night only, complete with designer-led holiday décor, live entertainment, plus food and drinks from some of Miami’s finest restaurants.
- Story-Time & Photos with Santa, December 11. This ‘photos with Santa’ event will also feature holiday-themed story-times, songs, and activities that the entire family can enjoy.
- Historic Holidays Evening Strolls, December 15. This leisurely stroll time will take you through the estate’s main grounds and historic holiday décor. There will also be a campfire, holiday films, and bedtime stories with Mrs. Claus.
Events at the Fairchild Gardens: Throughout December
10901 Old Cutler Road, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
Although Fairchild’s holiday calendar will be dominated by its wildly popular NightGarden presentation, complete with special effects and AR experiences, here’s what else you can do at the botanic garden this December:
- To Draw or Paint | Painting Portraiture: Made Simple from Dec. 1 to 15, Sketching with Watercolor from Dec. 3 to 17
- To Create | Design Thinking for Kids! on Dec. 4, Laser Etched Wood Art For Adults on Dec. 4, Holiday Wreath Building Experience on Dec. 11, The Art of Orchid Arrangement on Dec. 18
- To Photograph | Sunrise Photography - Macro / High Detail on Dec. 4, Master Your Digital DSLR / Mirrorless Camera on Dec. 10, iPhone Photography: The World In Black And White on Dec. 11, Sunrise Photography - Macro / High Detail on Dec. 18, The Art Of iPhone Photography on Dec. 18
- To Grow | Growing Orchids in South Florida on Dec. 9, How to Grow Tomatoes Like a Farmer on Dec. 11, Butterfly Gardening with the Miami Seed Share on Dec. 11, Composting and Worms | With The Worm Queen on Dec. 18
FilmGate Miami x PAMM - Breonna’s Garden: December 5
Join the creator of Breonna's Garden, Lady PheOnix, along with Alex Kipman (head of Microsoft HoloLens), Kenneth Walker, and Joanna Popper (HP's Global Head of Virtual Reality) as they discuss the augmented reality experience on YouTube Live as well as in-person at the Perez Art Museum.
Don’t let the holidays get the better of you! Join fellow yogis (of all ages), as they practice some calming poses and discover your Zen together at this Zoom session.
Run Run Rudolph Virtual 5k Run Walk: Throughout December
Challenge yourself this holiday season to a virtual 5K run or walk! Register to compete in this virtual competition for a shot at winning the coveted Run Run Rudolph Finisher Medal (its nose lights up), a long-sleeve finisher’s t-shirt, reindeer antlers, and more.
How are you celebrating the holidays and new year’s? Drop us a comment, we’re all ears on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Are we friends yet?