You are spoiled for choice for where to celebrate New Year's Eve in Miami, a town that's tailor-made for amping up the party. The main celebration is in Bayfront Park and hosted by Pitbull (plus Big Orange, of course), but there are also options that include Billy Joel, Drake, and Questlove. Speaking of talent, some 160 teenagers will be showing off their arts skills during the intensive YoungArts Week, which kicks off on January 3. Before then, you need to have visited Santa's Enchanted Forest, and hit up Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutracker at The Fillmore Miami Beach—it's just one day only, so plan around it.
December 27 | Ballet
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker comes to Miami’s The Fillmore Miami Beach for two performances only. Catch the matinee or the evening performance of the beloved Christmas ballet featuring the music of Tchaikovsky and the precise dancing of the Moscow Ballet and ten-foot-tall puppets. This year, the ballet incorporates new sets by Carl Sprague, the designer behind the look of many Wes Anderson films.
1 & 5 p.m. | The Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach | (305) 673-7300 | From $30 | website
December 31 I New Year’s Eve
Big Orange, Pitbull, and more at Bayfront Park
Miami is a New Year’s Eve kind of town: We do champagne, late nights, and midnight kissing all year round. This year’s celebrations are particularly glamorous, with Drake at E11even, Questlove at Basement, and Billy Joel at the BB&T Center. But the classic celebration is at Bayfront Park, where Pitbull is hosting a televised party at the Amphitheater from 8:00 p.m. and Big Orange will be creeping up the side of the InterContinental ahead of the midnight fireworks. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., though you can get a jump on the crowds by coughing up the $99 to attend the Norwegian Worldwide Food & Wine Party from 4 p.m.
From 4 p.m. | Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami | From free | website
January 3–10 I Young talent
YoungArts is a Miami-based program that finds, mentors, and develops talented teenagers, aged 15 to 18, in literary, visual, performing, and design arts. One of the country’s premier arts programs for young people, the highlight of the year is YoungArts week in early January. Some 160 finalists participate in a week of intensive workshops and training before giving performances to the public—most of which take place at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, and all of which are just spectacular.
Times, locations & prices vary | website
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Through January 3 | Holiday theme park
Santa’s Enchanted Forest
This is the last week to catch Santa’s Enchanted Forest, a uniquely Miami holiday tradition. Located just off the highway, this holiday theme park is an annual event that bills itself as the “World’s Largest Holiday Theme Park.” Back for the 33rd year, Santa’s Enchanted Forest includes 100 rides, shows, games, and more. If you can’t fit a full evening in during this busy week, be sure to drive by on your way to Dadeland Mall and at least catch sight of the lights from the comfort of your car.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest, 7900 SW 40th St., Miami | (305) 559-9689 | From $21 | website
Through January 10 | Outdoor ice skating
Miami on Ice
We’re always dreaming of a white Christmas around here, but the closest you’ll ever get is the outdoor ice skating rink at the InterContinental in Downtown. The only outdoor ice skating rink in Miami has a bay view, serves coquito (like a Puerto Rican eggnog), and is open through January 10th, so get there soon.
InterContinental, 100 Chopin Plaza | $15/hr adults, $10/hr kids (including skates) | website
Through January 30 | Holiday market
La Feria del Mercado de San Miguel
Mercado de San Miguel is a Madrid institution, but came to Miami as an al fresco pop-up in Downtown. This week, they’ve added a bit of holiday cheer to the usual Spanish meats, seafood, paella, cheese, and wine stations in the market. There is artisanal jewelry, art, and crafts for sale, too.
10 a.m.–10 p.m. (till midnight on weekends) | La Feria del Mercado de San Miguel, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami | Free | website
Patricia Guarch Wise is a Miami native and the blogger behind Miami Nice. Her interests include paella, paranormal activity, Proenza Schouler, and her Pekingese named Bonnaroo.