Holiday Activities in Miami, FL
Billed as the world’s largest Christmas theme park and carnival, Santa’s Enchanted Forest boasts more than 100 rides, shows, games and attractions. Multiple roller coasters plus Ferris wheels, a water flume and three funhouses are favorites. There’s also a paintball field, petting zoo, pony rides and a bungee jump. And nightly shows feature tigers, alligators, sea lions and circus performers. Santa’s Enchanted Forest is open from early November through early January each year and boasts South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree. Make it a family outing, a fun date with your guy or a girls’ night out after a day of holiday shopping.
Each holiday season, the Deering Estate at Cutler hosts a Holiday Wonderland event featuring beautifully decorated historic homes and gardens. The century-old Richmond Cottage and Stone Mansion were the home of businessman and philanthropist Charles Deering from 1922 until his death in 1927. They sit on a 444-acre environmental, archaeological and historic preserve featured multiple times in the 1980s TV series Miami Vice and The Amazing Race All Stars in 2007. Decorations in the Richmond Cottage along include over 600 yards of ribbon, 900 feet of garland and thousands of handmade ornaments. Stroll the property at your own leisure or join one of the daily guided house tours. Other annual holiday events include a tree lighting ceremony, story time and crafts with Santa and a holiday bay cruise.
The Miami Children’s Museum hosts an array of holiday themed events that both teach and tickle the kiddies. Two week-long sessions of the annual Winter Camp keep kids entertained from morning through the afternoon, giving you plenty of holiday shopping time. Christmas and Hanukkah story times, gingerbread house and ornament making workshops and holiday-themed puppet shows are scheduled throughout each December. And you’ll want to join them for holiday cooking workshops featuring healthy holiday recipes you and the kids can make at home. Each December 31, there’s a Noon Year’s Eve celebration complete with a countdown and balloon drop.
If you’re a sucker for the bright lights of the season, you’ll love the Holiday Fantasy of Lights at Tradewinds Park. From mid-November through early January, the park literally glows with three full miles of giant animated holiday displays and illuminated trees. This drive-thru event attracts more than 150,000 visitors in 35,000 cars, trucks, motor homes and busses annually. Pick up a pair of 3-D glasses on your way in for an enhanced view. Holiday Fantasy of Lights is open nightly throughout the event’s run, including on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Check the calendar for the annual bike night and 5K run and walk.
Take a walk on the wild side this holiday season at Jungle Island. The annual Winter Wonder Island event features an interactive cirque production by Humanimals, a troupe of stilt walkers, contortionists, dancers and acrobatic performers decked out in the coolest animal-inspired costumes you’ll ever see. And here’s a holiday celebration idea you haven’t thought of: A romantic camel ride down Jungle Island’s private La Playa beach. After all, if it was good enough for the Wise Men, it’s good enough for you and your man. Jungle Island is open 365 days a year and is home to some of the world’s rarest animals.