What to Do in Miami in December

This post lists things to do in Miami in December, updated for 2019. We include a top 10 list, family-friendly activities, free events, and things to do at night.

If you need more ideas, check out our comprehensive post on Things to Do in Miami.


 
 

TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER 

This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Miami in December. 

For tips on the most popular activities in Miami, check out our popular posts: 

Some of the items below are already included with a Miami tourist attraction discount passThese passes can save you up to 50% off the retail prices of popular tours and attractions.


(1) Take a Sightseeing Tour

Miami is so much more than the beach. The sights are more diverse than you might think.

You can see the famous street art of Wynwood, Miami’s Cuban roots in Little Havana or the historic houses in the Art Deco District.

 

 

Here are just a few of the best Miami tours you can take in December are:

  • Wynwood Art Walk Tours – See the cultural side of Miami.
  • Little Havana Walking Tours – Learn about cultural Cuban influence in Miami.
  • Self-Guided Miami Walking Tours – Pick from a wide range of walking tours in Miami.
  • Jewish Food Walking Tour –  Hear about the history of the Jewish community and nosh on snacks!

See our post on the many tours in Miami and find one that interests you! 


(2) Sporting Events 

In December, you can catch an NBA basketball and NFL football games. 

Seeing a game is a great way to spend the evening and is also fun for the entire family.

If you are here on December 30, 2019, you can see the Orange Bowl, the college football playoff semifinal game that’s been held in Miami since 1935!

 

 

See more information on the Orange Bowl website. Buy tickets here.

Basketball

Football

College NCAA Football

Hockey

Click here to find all the games available this month.

Going to a sports event is a great idea for the family. See our post on family-friendly activities for more ideas.


(3) Go to a Concert

Miami’s diversity is reflected in the concerts lined up for November. From holiday-themed, old school rock n’ roll, Latino classics, take your pick! 

 

 

Click here to see all the concerts available in Miami this month.


(4) Go to the Theater or Ballet

In December you will find plenty of holiday classics like The Nutcracker, but you can also find other performances in Miami, a city with high-quality performing arts.

 

 

Just some of the December shows in Miami:

Find out about other performances in December in Miami.


(5) Luminosa Chinese Lantern Festival

Visit Jungle Island to see this beautiful light display of huge brightly lit silk lanterns throughout the park.

It runs from October 5, 2019, through January 8, 2020, from 5 pm-10 pm. 

 

 

There will also be thematic displays highlighting four different animal and plant life that thrive in the park.

This is a very family-friendly activity as well

Tickets are  priced at $30.80 for adults and $26.40 for children. Purchase tickets here.


(6) Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Tropical Park

This is the largest holiday theme park in the world! A visit here is the best way to experience ‘a holiday winter’ in Miami.

There are over 100 rides, shows, and activities, and of course the winter forest with more than three million Christmas lights a 92-foot tall Christmas tree.

 

 

The park is open every day (even Christmas!) from October 31, 2019 – January 5, 2020. See their website for details. 

Hours are 5 pm – 10 pm, though the park remains open until 1:30 am on peak nights and weekends, making this a great late ‘night out’ for grown-ups. 

Find more evening entertainment in our section below on things to do at night.


(7) Art Basel Fair

Art Basel is known around the world for connecting local galleries, collectors and art lovers.

This year’s exhibition will display artwork from over 4,000 artists, working in all mediums.

 

 

Works range from pieces by young artists to museum-quality masterpieces. 

December 5-8, 2019. Tickets start at $65 per person.

See their website for more information. 


(8) Deering Holiday Wonderland  

During the entire month of December, you can take a tour of the historic and majestic Deering Estate, specially decorated for the holidays.

 

 

Special events are scheduled throughout the month. 

Visit their website for more information. 


(9)  New Year’s Eve in Miami

A popular way to spend New Year’s Eve is to head over to watch the free fireworks at Miami Beach’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration

You can also join the free festivities at Bayfront Park and see the Big Orange rise! 

 

 

Instead of dropping a ball, Miami rings in the New Year by hoisting a giant LED orange 400 feet up the side of the InterContinental Hotel next to the park.

Big Orange reaches the top of the building at exactly midnight accompanied by a fireworks display.

Get more information here.


(10) Save Money with an Attraction Discount Pass

If there are multiple attractions you want to see, getting a tourist attraction discount pass is the way to go.

These passes work by bundling attraction tickets to give you the best prices possible, often saving up to 45% of retail costs.

 

 

Attractions Included in Various Passes: 

  • Fort Lauderdale Half-Day Tour
  • Wynwood Art Walk Tour
  • Gator & Wildlife Park Safari
  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour

Find our full comparison post on the Miami passes available here.

 


Back to top


 

THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN DECEMBER

Miami is known for its vibrant nightlife.

Below are just a few of the best nighttime activities. You get the added bonus of festive holiday evening events as well. 

 

 

Find even more nighttime activities from our post on things to do at night in Miami


Take a Night Bus Tour

What better way to kick off a night in Miami, than by hopping on a 90-Minute Big Bus Night Tour all around the city?

You’ll get to see the Magic City all lit up with its colors and vibrancy on this tour.

Better yet, you can save money on this tour if you have the Go Miami Card, a discount tourist pass.


Mistletoe & Martinis

Held at the elegant Deering Estate on December 13, 2019, at 7:30 pm-10:30 pm, this holiday event is a special way to spend an evening in Miami.

There will be festive music, sumptuous hors-d’oeuvres, and delicious desserts and of course,  samplings of flavorful martinis.

Tickets are $100 per person. Click here for more information. 


SoundScape Cinema Series

This free movie series takes place on Wednesdays at SoundScape Park at the New World Center. Movies begin at 8:00 pm.

Bring along a beach chair or blanket.

This series runs from October 2, 2019 –May 27, 2020, so if you are in town another time, you can still take advantage of this free activity. 

See their website for information on location, times and movie line-up.


Free Concert at MOCA

On the last Friday of each month, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) offers free entry from 7 to 10 pm and together with a free jazz concert.

The music starts at 8 pm. See MOCA’s website for more details and who is playing in December.

For lots more ideas, be sure to take a look at our post on things to do in Miami at night.

 


Back to top


 

FREE THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER

There is no shortage of free entertainment in Miami.  

 

 

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our post, Free Things To Do In Miami.


Take the Free Wynwood Art Walk

The Wynwood Art Walk is one of the most popular events in Miami. Held every second Saturday of the month, it offers free evening tours of the murals, graffiti, and galleries that dot this area.

You can enjoy various live performances, music, food from vendors and a variety of food trucks.  


Miami Beach Botanical Garden

This 2.6-acre (10,522 sqm) lush botanical oasis has native Florida plants and trees, and even a Japanese garden. 

The plant life is beautiful as if the price of admission: free!

Well, they do ask for contributions, and special events may require tickets. Still, take advantage of this free paradise.

The  Miami Beach Botanical Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 am to 5 pm. Note: They are closed Christmas Day. 


King Mango Strut Parade

Every year on the last Sunday in December, local folks come out to watch or partake in this unique and wacky parade in Coconut Grove.

Floats and costumes parody current events and pop culture. 

The parade starts at the corner of Main Highway and Commodore Plaza and winds its way through the streets of the eclectic Coconut Grove neighborhood.

In 2019, the parade is on December 29, at 2:00 pm, but go early to get a good viewing spot. See here for more details.


Free Gospel Sundays at the Arsht Center

As part of this free performance series, you can attend a free gospel performance by Jonathan McReynolds on December 15, 2019.

You can reserve First-Access passes to get early access to general admission seats.

Sign up here to join the Arsht Center email list to get notified when passes for this and other Free Gospel Sundays will be made available.


Go to the Beach

Kind of a no brainer, but with so many other activities you can enjoy, we wanted to make sure you save time for Miami’s beautiful beaches!

Miami beaches are simply perfect and the nicest during winters. You will love the cool fresh breezes under the comfortable temperatures.


Free Friday at the Wolfsonian

Every Friday from  6 pm to 9 pm, the Wolfsonian Museum is free to visit and free tours are given between 6 pm – 6:45 pm.

Sometimes there will be free music as well. Visit their website for details. 

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our post, Free Things To Do In Miami.

 


Back to top


 

FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES 

Your family may have come to Miami for the beach, but in December, you can find many ways to celebrate the holidays

 

 

For even more ideas, see our post on kid-friendly activities available in Miami.


Zoo Lights

In 2019, this seasonal light display and festival takes place every Friday and Saturday in December from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Your kids will love the animal shapes sparkling with Christmas lights, the Snowman’s Riverboat ride, a photo-op with Santa and hot chocolate and cookies.

Here are the dates and special themes. Come dressed for the occasion!

  • December 6 & 7 – Galactic Nights
  • December 13 & 14 – Ugly Sweater Nights
  • December 20, 21 & 22 – Superhero Nights
  • December 27, 28 & 29 – Santa and Elf Look-a-Like Nights

Click the Miami Zoo’s website for more information.


Nights of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens

From December 13, 2019, to January 1, 2020, thousands of lights turn these gardens into a winter wonderland.

Your kids can take pictures with Santa, enjoy pony rides and mechanical rides every night.

Select nights offer Christmas music and storytelling. The hours are from 6 pm-9 pm. Tickets are $5 (children under 2 years, free). Visit their website for details. 


Miami Children’s Museum

This is a fantastic museum for kids every month of the year!

The museum has hundreds of interactive exhibits where kids have access to hands-on learning materials related to art, culture, community, and communication.

Get more information on the museum’s website. This museum is included for free for Go Miami Card holders.

TIP: Entry is free the third Friday of the month from 3 pm-9 pm.


Santa Delivers Presents to the Chimps at Lion Country Safari

Not only will Santa be in Florida, but this is the only day of the year when visitors can leave their vehicles and watch the chimps receive their wrapped holiday gifts.

The date has yet to be announced so be sure to check their website for more information.


Take a Picture with Santa

Head over to one of the best Miami shopping malls to have your child pose for a photo with Santa.

You can also squeeze in some shopping for yourself.

Here are some malls that usually have a Santa photo opportunity: Dolphin Mall, Aventura Mall, and Dadeland Mall.

See our post on things to do in Miami, which has a section dedicated to family-friendly activities.

 


Back to top


 

RELATED POSTS:

 

 

 

About the author

Nichole's love for Miami began when she chose the Magic City as her future home, after living overseas in Singapore. She cannot get enough the city's food scene, culture and 'multiple boroughs,' each unique in their own way. She is an avid worldwide traveler and thrives on learning about new cultures in each place her feet land.

She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2017, first as a part of administration and then later as a writer. She's a chiropractor and yoga teacher with a full-time business in Miami. Her motto is "Peace, Love, & Travel.”