Here are the five coolest things to do in and around Miami this week
It's a musical week in Miami. The weather is finally improving and South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is celebrating with the inaugural Backyard Bash of the season, while El Tucan are lighting up the night with their 12-piece Latin orchestra and equally extravagant menu. The holy trinity of music, art, and tech are on display in all their glory at IIIPoints festival, and if you want something a bit more straight forward, head north to JAXtoberfest.
October 9–11 | Festival
IIIPoints (pronounced “three points”) is a music, art, and technology festival in and around Wynwood that focuses on local Miami talent. This year’s music headliners include Nicolas Jaar, Run The Jewels, and The Martinez Brothers, backed up by dozens more acts. Other attractions include a gaming lounge, sound installations, yoga, film screenings, panel discussions, gallery shows, BBQs, and more. There are after-parties, too—including one with Grandmaster Flash at Basement. Check out the online schedule for a complete list of events.
5 p.m.–3 a.m. | Wynwood | From $55 per day | website
October 10 | Music
We finally got a taste of nice weather and now the number one priority is spending time outside. Luckily, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, one of Miami's best-kept secrets, is kicking off the season with their Backyard Bash. Bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets, food, and the kids, and enjoy some swing and New Orleans jazz with performances by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Hot 8 Brass Band, Aaron Lebos Reality, and Miami’s own DJ Le Spam. The weekly event is free, family-friendly, and incredibly varied: The first few weeks alone you can enjoy cabaret, Argentine folk-jazz, a production of The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl, and much more.
7 p.m. | South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center | 10950 SW 211th St., Miami | (786) 573-5316 | Free | website
New opening | Dinner & entertainment
El Tucan is a nightlife venue unlike any other in the area: They have a 12-piece Latin orchestra and two seatings nightly for dinner and entertainment. The menu, by Chef Jean Paul Lourdes, is a blend of favorites from across Latin America and the Caribbean, with an American spin. Heritage pork belly with braised coco beans and the yellowtail kingfish ceviche are must-orders. The interior, reminiscent of the glory days of cabaret in Cuba and the whimsy of Baz Luhrmann’s films, was designed by Robert McKinley. El Tucan tested the waters last weekend with a series of private events, and the curtains are going up this weekend to the public. Enjoy the sounds and style of '40s and '50s big band jazz with some Miami flare. This weekend you can catch Tito Puente Jr. on Thursday night and local dance band Afrobeta on Friday.
Thur–Sat seatings at 8 & 10:30 p.m. | 1111 SW 1st Ave., Miami | (305) 535-0065 | website
AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to Miami has you covered.
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SoBe Wine & Food Festival Tickets On Sale
February 24 may feel a long way away, but the full line-up was announced a few weeks ago for the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine—and yes, that is a mouthful! This is the nation’s biggest food event, and you don't want to miss out. Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, Michael Symon, Andrew Zimmern, José Andrés, Guy Fieri, Andrew Carmellini, and other TV stalwarts will be there cooking for parties, hosting demonstrations, battling in competitions, and hanging out for four days of nonstop eating and drinking. The festival is expanding to Fort Lauderdale, too (there was one official event there last year), with the six event Taste Fort Lauderdale series. More info and tickets on the website.
Weekend Escape | JAXtoberfest
This giant beer festival is a great excuse to visit Jacksonville, about five hours away. Last year’s JAXtoberfest was attended by 50,000 people, so this year they’re moving into bigger digs at The St. Johns Town Center. Come with an appetite because there will be loads of food vendors selling authentic German food to wash down all that beer. Don’t skip a hot dog from local favorite Hot Diggity Dogs. This is also opening weekend of Gustav Holst’s The Planets at the Jacksonville Symphony, so carve out some time for a different sort of culture and check out part of this three-night concert series. The orchestra will play the namesake piece along with two others, and will be accompanied by a planet presentation and display in collaboration with the Museum of Science. Wind down your weekend on Sunday with some time on one of Jacksonville’s beaches.
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.