December is here, and with it the holiday season. Miami may not be the most traditional place to spend the holiday season, with its warm weather and lack of snow and all. But if you’re interested in spending the holidays in a warm climate with plenty to do, Miami is the perfect place. In addition to beautiful beaches, warm pools, and a great nightlife, there’s a lot going on in Miami this time of year. Here are a few events happening in Miami this December that you should know about.
Winterfest Boat Parade, December 12
Everyone loves driving around this time of year and looking at the Christmas lights people have assembled on their houses and in their yards. Well, this is Miami’s version. On December 12, there will be sailboats, yachts, gondolas, and kayaks of all shapes and sizes making their way through the intra-costal waters from Fort Lauderdale to Pompano Beach decked out in Christmas lights, not to mention other forms of decoration that fit this year’s theme of “Passport to Paradise.” If you take up residence for the day anywhere along the intra-costal waters, you are sure to see some spectacularly decorated water vessels, which is why the Winterfest Boat Parade has become one of the favorite holiday events in South Florida. The best part is that it’s completely free; you just have to sit by the shore and enjoy.
King Mango Strut at the Grove, December 27
The King Mango Strut is another wonderful parade to enjoy during the holiday season. This parade was originally conceived as an answer to the King Orange Bowl Parade and has now blossomed into an event nearly as big. The King Mango Strut takes place the last Sunday of the year and allows anyone to participate. The floats aren’t professionally made; participants simply find a way to parody or poke fun at anything that has happened or been relevant over the past year. The result is a fun, laid-back parade surrounded by a party atmosphere. If you don’t want to participate, which you’re free to do if you please, simply come to the Downtown Coconut Grove between Green Street and Coco Walk, and enjoy the most unique parade you’ll ever see. The parade starts at 2:00 p.m. with a street party afterwards.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, December 27
Few things say Christmas like the Nutcracker, and being in Miami during the holiday season will afford you the chance to see it firsthand. If you like ballet, great dancing, or you’re just a big fan of Christmas, going to see the Nutcracker is a great idea. There is both a 1:00 p.m. and 5 p.m. show on December 27 at The Fillmore Miami Beach in the heart of South Beach. Ticket prices are quite reasonable, starting at $44.
Orange Bowl, December 31
If you’re a sports fan and planning on being in Miami in late December, you have to check out this year’s Orange Bowl taking place at 4:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. This year’s Orange Bowl will be a little different because it’s acting as one of two semi-final games for the College Football Playoff, which is in its second year of existence. The game matches up the top-seeded and undefeated Clemson Tigers and the Big 12 champion Oklahoma Sooners, a rematch of a bowl game last year that Clemson won 40-6. This is shaping up to be the second most important game of the college football season and a can’t-miss event for any Miami sports fan.