The Biscayne Times

Dec 12th
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Events December 2019 PDF Print E-mail
December 2019

IfSantaHadaPlaygroundforHisElvesIf Santa Had a Playground for His Elves…

Oh, wait, he does! It’s Santa’s Enchanted Forest, and while you may not see the forest for the lights, your kids (and you, eventually) will be squealing. Now in its 37th year, this holiday tradition features carnival game arcades and foods, plus scores of rides for all thrill and age levels (some rides cost extra), plus holiday music, displays, light shows, entertainment, Santa himself, and “South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree.” It runs now through Sunday, January 5, at Tropical Park (7900 SW 40th St.). Hours: 5:00 p.m. to midnight nightly, closing at 1:00 a.m. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, and 11:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve. Adult (ages 9 through 64) day pass: $35.51; kids (3-8) and seniors: $21.49. Season passes available. Free parking and shuttle service are available.


Fairchild Brings Back Its NightGarden

Now here’s an enchanted forest of unearthly delights. At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables), the gorgeous NightGarden reveals its flying fairies, a Wise Talking Tree, floating orchids, holographic butterflies, music, and other sound-and-light effects and interactive surprises along the garden paths. In its second year, NightGarden has tripled in size, has expanded guest parking, and features food and drinks from Miami restaurants and food trucks. The spectacular runs most nights now through January 15 (with fireworks and more New Year’s Eve). Check online for daily/holiday hours and for some blackout dates due to private events. Online ticket pricing depends on date and entry time: $20-$29 and $15-$12 for members and member children under 10; $29-$33 and $22-$26 nonmembers and children under 10. 

Nu Deco Does Nutcracker

Having just released its debut album -- and on the verge of its youth ensemble orchestra launch -- Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble returns to the Arsht Center’s Knight Hall (1300 Biscayne Blvd.) for a Miami-inspired holiday performance Thursday, December 12, at 8:00 p.m. The program features holiday arrangements from co-artistic director Sam Hyken, including the première of the Nu Deco Nutcracker. Also appearing: Maroon 5 keyboardist, composer, and 2018 Grammy winner PJ Morgan; and the Miami Mass Choir, longtime veterans of the Arsht’s free Gospel Sunday Series. Tickets $35-$85.

NextStopEnjoytheBuskersNext Stop, Enjoy the Buskers!

The seventh annual street performance Buskerfest takes place Friday, December 13, 4:00-6:00 p.m., with Comic Cure’s own Comedy Corner, artists, musicians, and other performers working through their sets at various stops along the Metromover Inner Loop, as well as some satellite stops. As usual, at 6:00 p.m., the Buskextravaganza heads to Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.) for a free family-friendly finale featuring Cleaveland Jones, Inez Barlatier, and SHENZI at the Tina Hills Pavilion. Buskerfest “passports” offer downtown discounts and raffle prize opportunities.


Wallcast’s “Sounds of the Season”

The New World Symphony performs its annual Sounds of the Seasons concert, which you can watch free as a Wallcast Concert on the NWS’s huge (and upgraded) outdoor projection wall Saturday, December 21, 7:30 p.m. The program includes Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “A Christmas Festival”; selections from The Nutcracker; Anthony DiLorenzo’s “Latin Holiday Medley”; John Williams’s selections from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Overture to his ballet Der Schneemann (The Snowman), written when he was just 11; and the NWS’s 2015 commission by Nu Deco’s Sam Hyken, “Chanukah 5776.” NWS Fellows turn out for a pre-concert chat in SoundScape Park (400 17th St., Miami Beach). Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and holiday munchies.


Step Back in Time Along the Miami River

Paul George of HistoryMiami will regale you with true stories of the 19th-century Miami River waterfront, its transformation, and what we now know about its much, much earlier residents, the Tequesta, as you ride aboard an Island Queen vessel for the upriver-downriver Miami River cruise. The boat tour takes place Sunday, December 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. HistoryMiami members $50; nonmembers $60; children 12 and under: $25. Light snacks and drinks available for purchase onboard. Meet at Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace (401 Biscayne Blvd.).


Doctor’s Rx: Laugh Off That Holiday Guilt

Comedy-trained entertainers and singing brothers Will and Anthony Nunziata bring their two-part harmonies onstage alongside Comedy Central’s Jessica Kirson (she’s just taped an hour-long special for the network) for The Italian Jewish Christmas Show! It’s a night of music and good humor that includes holiday and Italian classics and enough Italian-Jewish “holiday guilt” to remind you that yours likely isn’t the craziest family on the block. The touring show runs one night only, Saturday, December 21, at 8:00 p.m. at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St.). Tickets $62.50-$67.50.


Will You Dine and Dance with the Fishes?

Latin and Caribbean food and culture are on the menu during Miami Seaquarium’s Tastes of Miami, running Thursday through Monday, December 26-30. Music, food, Latin dance (including instruction), and special kids’ activities (including a Conservation Fun Zone) highlight the schedule, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Miami Seaquarium (4400 Rickenbacker Causeway) hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, so you’ll have extra of time to wander through the exhibits. The fair is included in regular admission price. Discounts available at


Mangoheads Strut Again

The crowd along last year’s King Mango Strut parade route cheered “Ruth Bader Ginsburg” and her medics; booed “Red Tide Rick”; applauded a python exorcist and the Electile Dysfunction contingent; and hooted at Political Pinnochios, among them “Melania” and her “Marry for Love” signage. Get the idea? Nothing from the 2019’s headlines is safe from parody so long as attendees keep in mind that little Miss Mango and her tiara-wearing cohorts all help make the Coconut Grove tradition a family-friendly event. The parade starts at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 29 at the corner of Commodore Plaza and Main Highway, where things also wind up with a party, bands, dancing, and food and drink.


BayfrontNYEBashGreets2020Bayfront NYE Bash Greets 2020

South Florida’s largest outdoor party takes place New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31, at Bayfront Park (301 N. Biscayne Blvd.). Leave your car at home, and join the 150,000 people expected to turn up for a free dance party with Funky Frank in the amphitheater, fireworks over the bay, and the countdown for Miami’s “Big Orange” ascent on the side of the InterContinental Hotel. Festivities begin at 8:00 p.m. and end at midnight. No bottles, cans, coolers, or personal fireworks, please. Free. Happy New Year!


Compiled by BT contributor Dinah McNichols. Please send information and images to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 


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