It can be rough celebrating the holidays in Miami, especially if you love the idea of a traditional white Christmas. We're more than half-way into the fall and we still haven't gotten a single cold front in town.
And goodness knows it never snows this far south. Fortunately, there are a few select places at which we can get into the spirit of the season. One of the best spots for this is at the Deering Estate out in Palmetto Bay.
The historic 420-acre property is one of Miami's most beautiful locales, with a rich history and profound archaeological and ecological importance. Year-round, it serves as a venue for weddings, moonlit concerts, food festivals and even lectures.
A trip to the Deering Estate Holiday Wonderland is just the thing to put you in the Christmas spirit — Photo courtesy of Deering Estate
During the entire month of December, it's transformed into a gorgeous winter wonderland, with holiday decor tucked into every corner of every house located onsite – all of which is created by local garden clubs and other organizations.
Holiday-themed programming abounds at Deering, starting with the official tree lighting ceremony on Friday, December 4th from 7 pm to 9 pm.
The Yuletide Carolers will be present along with the Cornerstone Church Handbell Group, both of which will be performing throughout the night. Admission to this event is $12 for non-members, $7 for children ages 4-14 and free for members.
Pet-owners will be thrilled at the chance to capture the holidays with their furry friends at the Wags 'n' Whiskers Furtography event on Saturday, December 6 from 10 am to 2 pm.
Santa will happily pose with dogs and cats for photos, and those who adopt a pet at the event will get their Santa photos free of charge. If you're considering gifting a pet for Christmas, this would be the ideal opportunity to find and adopt your new best friend.
For a special treat for the ears, make sure to mark your calendar for the Greater Miami Youth Symphony Holiday Concert on Friday, December 11 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm. Tickets for this festive night of music are just $7.
Kids will love sitting with Santa and Mrs. Claus for stories and photos — Photo courtesy of Deering Estate
Kids will love attending Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Saturday, December 12 and also on the 19th, from 10 am to noon. The event is free with admission and includes holiday-themed arts and crafts activities. Those wanting a chance to pose with Santa can do so for a small fee ($5 with your own camera or $10 for a professional shot).
If you're looking for something a little different, the Holiday Bay Cruise might be just the thing for you and your family. Anyone age 4 and up is welcome with purchase of a $35 ticket which includes a two-hour trip on a 45-foot Corinthian Catamaran. There will be two opportunities to set sail, both on Sunday, December 13 at 11 am and again at 2 pm.
Those on a tighter budget may want to consider visiting on Wednesday, December 16 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm for the Youth Arts Exhibit and Holiday Wonderland Design and Build Exhibit, both free for the entire community.
Beautifully adorned trees are found in every house at Deering — Photo courtesy of Deering Estate
Holiday fun is guaranteed no matter when you visit the Deering Estate this month. Drop in any day of the week from 10 am to 4 pm and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. Regular admission is just $12 for adults, $7 for kids 4-14 and free for the littlest ones in your family. Make a day of it and bring some friends to spread the cheer.