It’s all about art in Miami this month, which is gearing up for its winter mega-festival Art Basel next month. Catch exhibits, plays, and music now before hordes of visitors flock here in December.
AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
November 1 - 19 | Theatre
Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play, Our Town, has been reimagined for a modern-day audience by local theater nonprofit Miami New Drama. The play is set in the 21st century with partial translations into Spanish and Creole. The result is a production that feels very much rooted in Miami, but that’s not the only notable thing about it: This is also the first time that the Wilder Estate has allowed this much change to the author’s original text.
Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach | From $45 | website
November 1 - February 19 | Art
“Good Evening Beautiful Blue”
Swiss mixed-media artist Ugo Rondinone’s colorful art is taking over the entire second-floor gallery space of the newly redesigned Bass Museum, which opened its doors to the public in October after a $12 million renovation. Upgrades include 4,100 square feet of exhibition space and 4,000 additional square feet for educational events and programming, plus a full overhaul of the museum’s second floor, where from now till February visitors will have the chance to walk through three decades of Rondinone’s work. Don’t miss the multi-wall mirror installation or the life-size drawings.
Bass Museum of Art, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach | website
November 2 - January 7 | Holiday event
Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Santa’s Enchanted Forest is a two-month-long pop-up holiday theme park and carnival just off Highway 976. It may surprise you that this annual tradition in tropical paradise is also the world’s largest holiday theme park. Complete with a huge lights display, live entertainment, rides, and holiday music, it’s easy to see why it’s been a Miami winter must for 35 years strong.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest, 7900 SW 40th St., Miami | From $45 | website
November 4 - 5 | Art festival
South Miami Art Festival
Kick off the countdown to Art Basel with the more accessible South Miami Art Festival. Back for its 46th year, the South Miami Art Festival will take over Sunset Drive with over 100 vendors, including local artist booths, live music from students and professionals, and international food stands. Pick up a new piece of jewelry, paintings, photographs, or a wooden sculpture to take home with you.
ChamberSOUTH Miami Art Festival, Sunset Dr. btw. U.S.1 and 57th Ave., Miami | Free | website
November 5 | Performing arts
My Favorite Murder Live
Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, the comedic geniuses behind the cult-favorite podcast “My Favorite Murder,” are coming to Broward Center for their live show. The podcast is all about true crime drama, and the hilarious live retelling is sure to leave you both cracking up and on the edge of your seat.
7:00 PM | Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale | From $30 | website
November 6 | Fund-Raiser
12th Annual Claws for Kids Luncheon
Three weeks into stone crab season, the Florida Foster Care Review is hosting its 12th annual Claws for Kids Luncheon at the world-famous Joe’s Stone Crab, established in 1913. Florida Foster Care Review is an advocacy organization that raises money for the foster care system in Florida, and proceeds from your ticket to the stellar lunch will benefit the kids and the organization itself—making this a tasty way to get into the spirit of giving.
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM | Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach | $250 | website
November 11 - 12 | Music festival
House of Creatives Music Festival
Alt-J and MGMT are headlining the House of Creatives Music Festival on Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, where you can jam out just steps away from the sand. Buy a single-day ticket or go all in with the weekend pass to see Washed Out, Metronomy, Sir Sly, Wild Belle, WhoMadeWho, Surf Curse, and many more acts that have already been announced—plus many more that are still being added to the lineup.
4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Key Biscayne | From $120 | website
November 12 - 19 | Literature
Miami Book Fair International
The Miami Book Fair is a can’t-miss event that features far more than your average book talks and author panels. This year’s programming includes the Kitchen, a culinary stadium set up for cookbook authors to demonstrate their skills; live panels broadcasting on local NPR affiliate WLRN; and storytelling performances. Authors Dan Rather, Patti Smith, and Joe Biden will all be in attendance to share their own takes on literature and the world.
Times, locations & prices vary | website
November 18 - 19 | Art festival
Mad Hatter Arts Festival
Coconut Grove was once the epicenter of Miami’s hippie movement. Now, any normal day in the neighborhood still gives off that laid-back vibe, but it’s the weekend of the Mad Hatter Arts Festival that will really transport you to the Old Grove. This eclectic neighborhood arts festival, held at the Barnacle Historic State Park, features an artisanal and vintage marketplace, drum circle, a screening of Alice in Wonderland, and crazy hat contests to pay homage to the festival’s namesake.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM | The Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy., Miami | From $35 | website
December 7 - 10 | Plan ahead: Art festival
Start sifting through the huge schedule of events that comes with Art Basel, and buy tickets for your favorites before they inevitably sell out. This festival includes all the scores of art and music events during the week of December 7th. Plus, there are hundreds of satellite events taking place throughout the city during the concurrent Miami Art Week, as well as a music festival, OFF Weekend, with headliners including Iggy Azalea, Wu-Tang Clan, and the Kills.
Times, locations, and prices vary | 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.