38 Festive Things to Do at Christmas in Miami

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Parades, light shows, shopping, events and partying! This guide to Christmas in Miami details the most festive things to do for everyone including family-friendly activities and big kids only fun.

Miami in December is the perfect time to visit for those seeking sun, sand and Santa. Forget snow and skiing, Miami is all about beach life by day and Christmas movies or cocktails by night.

For ease, we’ve split our guide on things to in Miami in December into outdoors, indoors, family and adult sections.

You may also like our article, how to spend one day in Miami, 3-day and weekend itinerary, and things to do in Miami, and Miami Beach.

Traveling to Miami in December: What to Know

Miami in December Weather

Escape the dreary, cold winter and head to Miami in December for a vacation filled with beautiful weather. 

Temperatures usually hover in the upper 70s and rarely dip below 50 degrees.

Expect to pay a little more for tickets for your tropical Miami vacation – winter is considered the peak travel time for the Sunshine State, but it’s well worth the extra expense.

Start planning your trip about three months in advance to get the best deals. 

If you visit around the holidays, don’t be surprised if someone wishes you a “Merry Chrima.” 

It’s the standard holiday greeting in Miami. 

You might also like our guide to the best things to do in Florida in the winter for suggestions beyond Miami.

Things to do at Christmas in Miami

Outdoor Winter Activities in Miami 

1. SoundScape Cinema Series

The City of Miami Beach hosts weekly outdoor movies at SoundScape Park every Wednesday evening from November to May. 

Grab a blanket and head to the park for an outdoor movie night.

2. Miami Shores Living Nativity 

See a live reenactment of Jesus’ birth set in Downtown Miami at the Miami Shores Presbyterian Church‘s free live nativity performance. 

3. Parasail over Biscayne Bay

End your year with a rush of adrenaline as you soar 400 feet above the deep blue waters of Biscayne Bay on a once-in-a-lifetime parasailing experience

The experience includes a one-hour boat ride, parasailing session, and photos. 

4. Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Take advantage of Miami’s tropical climate at the famous Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

For just $5 you can explore the 3-acre urban garden filled with lush flowering trees, palms, and fountains during a quiet winter morning.

5. Winter Fishing

Forget ice fishing in the winter. 

Miami offers endless fishing opportunities year-round and plenty of deep-sea fishing trips for the most dedicated anglers. 

6. Check Out Some of the Swankiest Miami Real Estate

Ever wonder how the rich and famous decorate for the holidays? 

The City Cruise to Millionaire’s Homes & Venetian Islands boat tour will give you a chance to gawk at the finest Miami real estate as you enjoy a beautiful day on the water. 

This is one of the best things to do on a date in Miami!

Check out our guide to romantic activities for more.

Venetian Causeway Mansion in Miami Beach Florida

7. Snorkeling

If you have some time on your hands, head down to Key West for a day of snorkeling in Florida’s warm tropical waters and exploring the local community. 

The Key West Full-Day Trip with Snorkeling tour gives travelers a chance to beat the winter blues and admire colorful coral reefs and Caribbean vibes.  

8. Head to a Miami Beach for Winter Sun

With temperatures still comfortably warm in December, visitors can have a nice day relaxing on one of Miami’s many public beaches such as the popular South Beach and Biscayne Bay or the quieter North Beach.

Visit Sunny Isles Beach for a stroll along Newport Fishing Pier or Hobie for windsurfing.

Miami Beach Lifeguard Tower

Christmas in Miami Kid-Friendly Activities

9. Pinto’s Farm

A Miami family favorite, Pinto’s Farm Winterland at the Farm annual event is a great way to spend an afternoon with the little ones. 

Take them to meet Santa and a few of his friends, explore the twinkling forest, and go on exciting rides all at this family-friendly destination. 

Visitors can sip hot chocolate and explore the grounds and maybe catch a glimpse of Santa Claus. 

There are also adult-only events with cocktails and live entertainment, but you’ll want to check the schedule before you go. 

10. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Like the Deering Estate, the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is another relic of Miami’s past that’s still shining today. 

The Italian-style estate has immense gardens and special holiday events.

Arial view of mansion Villa Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami

11. Catch a Game

Watch a basketball at the home of the Miami Heat, Kaseya Center.

13. Santa’s Enchanted Forest

For an all-out Christmas extravaganza, take the kids to Santa’s Enchanted Forest theme park for tons of rides, live shows, holiday displays, and much more. 

Santa sitting by the fire holding a stocking in grotto

Miami Light Shows and Parades

14. NightGarden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Every year, the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland filled with impressive holiday light displays. 

The annual NightGarden exhibit features talking trees, ethereal sound effects, and even an augmented reality game. 

15. Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

See some wild animals and a wild light display at Zoo Miami’s annual holiday celebration.

Visitors can go on boat rides, get a photo with Santa, and enjoy live entertainment.  

16. Nights of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens

Pinecrest Gardens decks its botanical garden out with thousands of twinkling lights for the holidays. 

17. King Mango Strut Parade

The annual King Mango Strut Parade in Coconut Grove is perhaps the weirdest parade you’ll ever attend.

It’s full of oddballs and outcasts who meander through Coconut Grove on the last Sunday of each year. 

18. Bayfront Park

If you happen to be downtown, head over to Bayfront Park to see the city’s massive Christmas tree decorated in a unique Miami style. 

December Art and Culture

19. Luminosa Chinese Lantern Festival 

The Luminosa Chinese Lantern Festival at Jungle Island features 13 acres of illuminated Chinese Lanterns for a beautiful nighttime experience. 

Visitors also get food, cocktails, and live entertainment. 

20. Art Basel Fair

The annual Art Basel Fair in December at the Miami Beach Convention Center is a huge contemporary art fair that displays work by more than 4,000 artists from 36 countries. 

21. Wynwood Art Walk and Market

Take a tour of the Wynwood Art District’s unique graffiti-lined streets or explore the 75,000 square-foot open-air shopping venue called Wynwood Marketplace that’s filled with dozens of local vendors. 

22. Miami City Ballet Nutcracker Performance

Need to get in the holiday spirit? 

Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker features world-class dancers performing a classic Christmas production on stage. 

23. Winter Shorts at City Theater

If you don’t want to sit through a long performance, head to City Theatre Miami for its famous winter shorts performances. 

The shorts only last for about 10 minutes before the next show starts. 

24. Art Outside

Public artworks dot the landscape in Collins Park and around The Bass Museum of Art thanks to the Art Outside outdoor exhibition that was curated in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Adult-Only Christmas Events in Miami

25. Ugly Christmas Sweater Bar Crawl

Grab your ugliest Christmas sweater and join in on a holiday-themed bar crawl through Miami

26. Matzoball 

Single on Christmas? Not a problem.

Singles are welcome to attend the Society of Young Jewish Professionals’ annual Christmas Eve Matzoball in Miami that features live entertainment and plenty of chances to meet someone special. 

27. Noche Caliente Latin Night

Every Thursday night the Clevelander Hotel makes way for a Latin-themed party called Noche Caliente that features Latin music, drink specials, food, and plenty of dancing.

You may also find our guide things to do in Miami at night helpful.

28. A Romantic Private Airplane Tour

Enjoy an unforgettable night flying above downtown Miami on a 45-minute private airplane tour for two as you sip on a complimentary bottle of champagne. 

Festive Restaurants and Bars in Miami

29. Matador Room

Christmas Eve at the Matador Room takes you back to the swanky side of Miami in the 1950s. 

Diners are served a four-course meal featuring locally sourced produce and Caribbean-inspired recipes.  

Be sure to make reservations ahead of time to get a table. 

30. Fiola

Treat yourself to a Michelin-starred Christmas meal at Fiola

The Italian restaurant presents a five-course Feast of the Seven Fishes traditional Christmas Eve meal with fresh seafood and Italian dessert. 

31. Sugarcane

With special seasonal drinks, holiday specials, and a Christmas Ice Cream Bar, a trip to Sugarcane for the holidays could be all you need to get in the Christmas spirit. 

32. Miracle Christmas Pop-up Bar

Holiday pop-up bars have become the latest winter trend to hit Miami. 

Try heading to Gramps for the famous Miracle Christmas pop-up bar

Miami is a hotbed of Christmas pop-up bars every year, so there will probably be a few more timely options to choose from during your December vacation. 

Christmas Shopping in Miami

33. Miami’s Design District 

Spoil everyone on your Christmas shopping list with something special from the Miami Design District

The District is home to luxury boutiques, excellent dining options, and contemporary art installations. 

Big red art called SOLO Cup by Paula Crown 10 ft Design District Miami

34. Lincoln Road

Get your Christmas shopping done at some of the trendiest shops in South Florida’s open-air shopping destination called Lincoln Road

From Gucci to H&M, Lincoln Road has gifts for a variety of budgets.

Plenty of places to eat around here too.

Al fresco dining at Tapeila Lincoln Road Miami Beach Florida

35. Sunset Corners

Get in the holiday spirit and pick up some spirits at Sunset Corners – considered the best shop for wine and spirits in Miami. 

36. Miracle Mile at Coral Gables

Just South of Miami is historic Coral Gables, a pedestrian-friendly shopping destination full of boutiques, restaurants, and other hidden gems outside the hustle and bustle of Downtown Miami. 

37. Coco Walk in Coconut Grove

For shoppers who still want to spend a little time in nature, the Coco Walk in Coconut Grove is the perfect urban oasis that features a variety of local boutiques among lush, tropical gardens.  

Grab a drink at Panther Coffee and pizza at Harry’s to refuel.

38. Aventura Mall

Aside from great shopping, Aventura Mall also offers several world-class art installations that guests are free to explore as they shop.

39. Coconut Grove Artisanal Market

Every Friday night vendors, musicians, and chefs come out to St. Stephen’s Church for the Coconut Grove Artisanal Market where guests can shop around for hand-made products, unique jewelry, art, and more. 

40. Brickell City Centre

Shop, dine and work out at the trendy Brickell City Centre in keeping with the shiny skyscrapers around this neighborhood.

Hop on the Miami Metromover to get between Brickell and Downtown, the free Miami trolleys which cater for multiple neighborhoods such as Little Havana and Coral Gables, or the public bus service which connects neighborhoods.

Find out more about the area in our guide, things to do in Brickell.

Miami Travel Information

What to Eat in Miami

  • Cuban sandwich
  • Crack stone crab
  • Alligator Bites
  • Miami Vice cocktail
  • Brunch, so many options!

Where to Stay in Miami

For more historic hotels, check out our guide to Art Deco hotels in Miami Beach.

Parking in Miami

Like most US cities, parking is at a premium rate in Miami so it is advised to the leave car if you are staying a beach or city hotel.

Hotel parking rates tend to be around $40 per night.

Download a parking app like PayByPhone or SpotHero to help you find street parking or parking lots.

Drinking and driving is not tolerated in Miami and there have been sobriety tests around the city for big events.

If your group needs a car at night, designate a driver or use ride shares such as Uber or Lyft.

Getting Around Miami

You can get around Downtown, Miami Beach and Brickell using public transport such as the bus, rail or Metromover and trolleys but crowds can create long wait times.

Download the transit tracker before you arrive to the 305.

Alternatively, consider e-scooters or e-bikes for Downtown.

If you are visiting Miami for the first time and fancy a tour that saves your feet, there is a hop on a half-day bus tour with a multi-language audio guide.

Arriving in Miami

There are two airports which visitors fly into Miami via – Miami International which is 7 miles from Downtown and Fort Lauderdale, 25 miles from Downtown.

Miami has three train options.

Amtrak‘s station is located 8303 NW 37th Avenue and the South Florida local link Brightline is located at 600 NW 1st Ave.

Miami Map

Here is a map of Miami with attractions, hotels, bars and restaurants.

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