The Ultimate Guide to 2019 Holiday Events in South Florida

Whether you want to eat, shop, or just get in the holiday mood, find something to fill your calendar this season.

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Celebrating the holiday season with family and friends in South Florida?

Whether you are interested in evening light displays, daytime activities or an entertaining show to make your December more festive, we have put together the ultimate list of holiday events taking place all over South Florida this year.

Scroll down to find lists of events that will be running all month long, one-day celebrations and entertainment. 

Long-running events

Bayfront Holiday Village

Where: 301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 33132

When: November 29th-December 25th, Monday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

What: Bayfront Park has been transformed into a festive market for the holidays, including artisans and vendors, roller skating, and food trucks. It will be open every day until Christmas, and will have various themes every day, such as 'Ugly Sweater Night' and 'Sugar & Spice Wednesdays' with $1 churros. There are also activities for kids, like a photo studio with Santa, and even a dog park. Admission is free.

Until Christmas, Bayfront Holiday Village will be open seven days a week in downtown Miami. With local vendors, roller-skating, a dog pen, photos with Santa and a daily light show, it’s Christmas fun for the whole family.

The NightGarden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Where: 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables 33156

When: November 15th-January 11th, Wednesday-Sunday (also includes Dec. 23, 30 and 31)

What: NightGarden is back this year at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, featuring a holiday lights extravaganza spread out throughout the whole park. Food and beverages are available for purchase, and displays include interactive surprises such as an augmented reality "Fairy Quest challenge." On New Year's Eve, there will also be a fireworks show. Tickets must be purchased for a specific time slot. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors, $12 for children 6-7 and free for children 5 and under and Fairchild members.

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Santa's Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park

Where: 7900 SW 40th Street, Miami 33155

When: October 31-January 5th, Monday-Sunday 5 p.m. to Midnight

What: Santa's Enchanted Forest has practically become a staple of Miami's holiday season. With the largest Christmas tree in South Florida, rides, entertainment and food galore, the park will be open until the first week of January. Single day tickets are $38 for kids, $47.50 for adults and $35.33 for seniors, and a "Santa's express pass" can be purchased as an add-on for $18.69 to skip long lines for the rides and attractions.

The Hanukkah Factory Pop-Up

Where: 8770 Southwest 131st Street, Miami 33176

When: December 18-January 5, Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

What: The Hanukkah Factory is an immersive Hanukkah pop-up experience that aims to celebrate the festival of lights with eight themed rooms, interactive activities and a Hanukkah-themed life-size game room. Take a self-guided tour through the rooms to explore the traditions, foods and symbols of Hanukkah, or try your shot at the Menorah Madness treasure hunt that takes guests through the entire venue. Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for kids, teens and seniors, and must be purchased for a specific time slot.

Courtesy of the Hanukkah Factory.

Luminosa Chinese Lantern Festival at Jungle Island

Where: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami 33132

When: October 5-January 8, Sunday-Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

What: With over a million LED lights, 13 acres of illuminated trails and live music and acrobat shows, Jungle Island's Luminosa exhibit is surely one of the brightest ways to celebrate the holiday season this year in South Florida. Chinese lanterns have been crafted with a Miami twist to bring the city's culture to life, including lantern marine life, lantern flamingos and lantern parrots. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for children, and include admission, two Chinese acrobat shows, live music and a Moet lounge.

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Zoo Lights Miami

Where: 12400 SW 152nd Street, Miami 33177

When: Select nights November 29-December 29, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

What: For the 11th year in a row, Zoo Miami will open at night on select evenings throughout December for a special holiday event that features one million animal-shaped tree lights. Other attractions include after-hour animal encounters, hot chocolate and cookies for purchase, and photos with Santa Claus. The full schedule is available on the Facebook event page, and tickets are available for $15.95 or for a dollar cheaper if purchased online.

The spirit of the holidays has officially arrived, and Zoo Miami is lighting up in a magical way for people of all ages to enjoy.

Winterland at Pinto's Farm

Where: 14890 SW 216th Street, Miami 33170

When: Sleect nights December 14-January 5, Monday-Friday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What: Pinto's Farm will be featuring its annual Winterland again this holiday season, with treats, hot chocolate, a petting zoo and light displays. Admission includes unlimited rides, including the race track, pony rides and paddle boatting. On Saturdays and Sundays, there will also be magic shows and photo opportunities with Santa. Tickets are $15 for all ages, and children under 1 enter free.

Night of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens

Where: 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest 33156

When: December 13-January 1, every day from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

What: A winter wonderland will take over Pinecrest Gardens, with twinkling holiday lights winding all around the botanical landscape. Mechanical rides and pony rides are available every evening, and story time will take place every night from December 13 to 22 and 26 to January 1. Photos with Santa will be available until December 24. Select evenings will also feature holiday films or chorus and orchestra performances; check out the website for a full schedule of events. Tickets are $5 online, $7 at the door and free for members and kids under 2.

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

Where: 11401 NW 12th Street, Miami 33172

When: November 27-January 5 (not including December 24, 25, 31 and January 1), 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. every evening

What: Miami's forecast for the holidays may not include snow, but twice every evening at Dolphin Mall, kids will receive a complimentary light-up wand while magical snow flurries fall from the ceiling at Ramblas Plaza. The event is free and is being sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger. Snowfall times may vary, so check the full schedule online.

One-day celebrations

Holiday Evening at Vizcaya

Where: 3251 South Miami Avenue, Miami 33129

When: December 18, 6 p.m.

What: Miami's historic Vizcaya Gardens will be covered in twinkling holiday lights for one night in December, when families are invited to come and enjoy with complimentary hot chocolate. Guests of all ages and skill levels can also create colorful stain-glass-style lanterns, or help color a giant scene on an illuminated set of doors. Tickets are $10.

Miami Beach Community Chanukah Festival

Where: 4221 Pine Tree Drive, Miami beach, 33140

When: December 15th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What: The Miami beach Jewish Community Center is hosting a Community Chanukah Festival for one day in Miami Beach. Attractions includes rides, inflatables, games and arts and crafts for kids, as well as a menorah lighting with community rabbis. Tickets for families are $50 if purchased beforehand, and $60 at the door.

Coral Express at McBride Plaza

Where: 150 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables 33134

When: December 14, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

What: For an entire Saturday, McBride Plaza in Coral Gables will be full of holiday activities, ending with an 8 p.m. screening of the movie Elf. Other attractions include a performance by a magician, festive trolley rides, storytime with Mrs. Claus, holiday caroling, and an ugly sweater competition. Admission is free, and the full schedule of events is available online.

SnowFest & Lighting Ceremony at Charles F. Dodge City Center

Where: 601 City Center Way

When: December 7, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

What: The City of Pembroke Pines Recreation and Cultural Arts Department hosts this annual free event, which features 75 tons of snow to play with. There will also be games, attractions, live music performances, and a 35-foot-tree lighting taking place at 6:30 p.m. Entry, parking and most activities are free, but tickets for the Snow Area must be purchased ahead of time at City Hall, Monday through Thursday during regular business hours on the third floor in the Recreation and Cultural Arts Offices.

Miracle at Schenley Park and Gift Market

Where: 2750 SW 57th Avenue, Miami 33155

When: December 7, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

What: Schenley park is celebrating the holiday season for one day in December. Kids can enjoy a bounce house, face painting, games and photos with Santa in the afternoon. There will also be a Holiday Market featuring local vendors and a raffle, as well as an annual toy drive benefiting Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Food trucks will also be present, and admission is free. 


George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the Adrienne Arsht Center

Where: 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 33132

When: December 13-December 222

What: Celebrate this Christmas classic with the Miami City Ballet at the Ziff Ballet Opera House. With more than 100 dancers, special stage effects and a live opera, Tchaikovsky's music serves as the soundtrack for an imagination-filled show. Tickets start at $30, and the show lasts an hour and 35 minutes.

The Italian Jewish Christmas Show! at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center

Where: 3385 NE 188th Street, Aventura 33180

When: December 21, 8 p.m.

What: Internationally acclaimed singers and songwriters Will & Anthony join Comedy Central comedian Jessica Kirson for a night of music and comedy celebrating holiday family craziness. The show will premiere for one night at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, and may include adult language and content. Tickets range from $58.41 to $63.08.

The Ten Tenors Home for the Holidays at Parker Playhouse

Where: 707 NE 8th Street, Ft. Lauderdale 33304

When: December 19, 8 p.m.

What: The Ten Tenors is an Australian music ensemble that features a combination of classical and contemporary music featuring ten-part harmonies. Their holiday show, which will be featured for one night at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, includes renditions of Joy to the World, Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, Amazing, Grace, Winter Wonderland, Feliz Navidad and more. Tickets start at $54. 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Adrienne Arsht Center

Where: 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 33132

When: December 23, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

What: The holiday TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be turned into a musical event for one night in the Ziff Ballet Opera House. It is a timeless Christmas story that "speaks to the misfit in all of us." The show runs 90 minutes with one intermission, and tickets start at $25.

Cirque du Soleil's ALEGRÍA at the Big Top

Where: 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens 33056

When: December 13-February 17

What: Cirque du Soleil's ALEGRÍA was created in 1994, and has been one of the circus's most popular touring shows, having been performed over 5,000 times around the world. The company describes the show as "an operatic introspection of the struggle for power and the invigorating energy of youth." It will take place under the Big Top beside Hard Rock Stadium. Tickets start at $42.

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