Miami's 10 Best Holiday Attractions: From Family-Friendly Carnivals to Festive Performances

While the rest of the country enjoys (or laments) their white christmas, Miami (as usual) marches to the beat of a different holiday drum. Locals here have a certain set of traditions they follow, and the snowbirds who land here to escape the frigid cold of the north are more than welcome to join in.


Holidays in Miami mean three things: surviving marathon shopping at places like the Dolphin Mall, attending various Noche Buena parties (at which you will surely either enjoy a glass of coquito or some lechon), and a trip to Santa’s.


This list won’t include much about the former two (you’ll have to read our 10best list for holiday shopping in Miami), we can tell you a thing or two about Santa’s, which is short for Santa’s Enchanted Forest. This long-standing Miami tradition is almost like a rite of passage. Thousands of twinkling lights and festive displays followed by carnival rides and games in the only Christmas-themed carnival in Florida make this a must-attend event.


And then there are other, family-friendly events to choose from, like the Christmas tree lighting at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami. Kids will love adventuring into the center of town via MetroMover and then walking around the park while taking in all the pretty lights.

Plus events like the Miami City Ballet’s The Nutcracker or Zoo Miami’s Zoo Lights spectacular that are sure to please children of all ages. Use this list as a guide, nay, a check list of all the things you must do this holiday season!

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Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
Photo courtesy of Arsht Center

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Watson Island
Jungle Island
Photo courtesy of used in book.

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Photo courtesy of Winterfest PR.

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New World Symphony at the New World Center
Photo courtesy of NWS

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Miami City Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

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Little Haiti
Bayfront Park
Photo courtesy of Bayfront Park Facebook.

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South Dade
Deering Estate
Photo courtesy of used in book.

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South Dade

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Santa's Enchanted Forest
Photo courtesy of Santa's Echanted Forest Facebook

Santa's Enchanted Forest, the world's largest holiday theme park, pops up annually in Miami's backyard. Situated in Tropical Park, the amusement park-meets-Christmas extravaganza welcomes the masses every year from late October to early January....  Read More


Meet Priscilla Blossom

Pris Blossom is a freelance writer and feminist mama with a love for travel, writing, music, film, craft beer, yoga, museums, cultural anthropology, and her awesome kid.

She spent the bulk...  More About Priscilla

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