What to Do in South Beach in January

The new year is starting with a bang in and around South Beach! In January, we’ve got film festivals, the circus and more art than you can point a paintbrush at. Or, why not forget your new year resolution and hit up the Fairchild’s Chocolate Festival? After all, you can always run off those extra calories at the biggest event of the month, the Miami Marathon. Of course, there’s plenty more happening around South Beach this January, so check out our full list below for more.




Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

The circus is coming to town! From January 6-15, the American Airlines Arena will be filled with colorful performances, acrobats, clowns and more. Tickets start at $16. More information can be found here.


YoungArts Week

Catch a glimpse of the next generation of Miami’s art and drama scene during YoungArts Week. From January 8 to 15, various venues around town will be hosting an array of performances including theater and live music, along with film screenings and art exhibitions – all from some of Miami’s most talented young artists. More details can be found here.


Art Deco Weekend

One of Miami’s most well-known events in January, every year the Miami Design Preservation League puts on this tribute to the Art Deco era. Classic cars, fashion and film are all on display during this three day event from January 12-14. The parade shouldn’t be missed.

More details can be found here. Entry for most events is free, making it a fun day out without busting the bank.


Miami Jewish Film Festival

Described by the Miami New Times as “one of South Florida’s best film festivals,” the Miami Jewish Film Festival always offers a great show. This year, there’s screenings at various locations across Miami, running from January 12 to 26. Find out more here.


Family Fun Fest at Biscayne National Park

If you’re looking for something to keep the kids occupied on a Sunday afternoon, head over to the Biscayne National Park on January 14. They usually put on a great array of educational activities, typically with a strong focus on appreciating Florida’s unique natural heritage. Best of all, it’s free! More information is available here.


Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day Parade

On January 16, mark Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day by attending this exciting parade through the city. Expect a classic mix of floats, marching bands and more. Find out more here.


Fairchild’s Chocolate Festival

Any sweet-tooths out there shouldn’t miss this one. This year is the 10th annual Fairchild’s Chocolate Festival, at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The festival runs from January 20-22, and along with plenty of chocolate includes cooking demonstrations, and the opportunity to learn about the fascinating cacao tree itself. More details here.


The Miami Marathon/Half-Marathon

It wouldn’t be January in Miami if we didn’t mention the biggest event of the month: the Miami Marathon. This time, an estimated 25,000 runners are expected to hit the track. There’s always a great atmosphere, with the event being very much a local favorite. The race starts at 6am on Sunday, January 28 at the American Airlines Arena. Spectators can view the race for free, while runners need to pay a $130 registration fee ($115 for the half marathon). More details here.

What to Do in South Beach in December 2017

Looking to escape the wintry weather this season? Miami is the perfect destination as it offers warm weather, cultural events, and during the month of December, you can still partake in holiday festivities without the dreaded cold. With all these possibilities awaiting you, make sure you visit Miami this December!

south beach december 2017

Free Events

When you visit Miami, you do not have to worry about spending a fortune to fill your itinerary with activities. The following events are not only wonderful experiences to partake in, but they are also free:

  • Second Saturdays at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM): From 1-4pm on the second Saturday of each month, you can explore the museum’s impressive collection of modern art. In addition to free admission into its galleries, visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy hands-on activities, guided tours, and guest performances.
  • Target Free Third Friday at the Miami Children’s Museum: This museum boasts fun, educational experiences for children. From 3-9pm on the third Friday of each month, children can partake in exhibits that explore a variety of topics – from discussions on pet ownership to learning about sustainability, it was a wonderful educational experience.
  • Free Yoga Classes: Since your visit to Miami is all about relaxation, yoga is the perfect way to channel your inner peace. Best of all, you do not have to pay a fortune to partake in yoga classes — in fact, they are free! On Mondays and Wednesdays at 6pm, head over to the Tina Hills Pavilion in Bayfront Park for “Yoga in the Park,” which is popular among locals for its unique closing prayer. On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm, Vinyasa-based classes are held at Peacock Park in Coconut Grove and Mayfair Hotel rooftop has an 8am class for you early risers.
  • Coconut Grove Historic Bicycle Tour: There is a wealth of history to uncover in Coconut Grove, Miami’s oldest community. On the first and third Saturday of each month join historian Frank Schena from 9:30am–noon for a free bicycle tour of the area. The tour begins at City Hall and includes stops at Trapp Avenue, Alice Wainwright Park, and other areas of North Coconut Grove.
  • Art Deco District Walking Tour: During your visit make sure you tour Miami’s historic Art Deco District, which was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. There are approximately 800 structures with historical importance all along Collins Avenue and other neighboring streets.


Miami’s Breathtaking Beaches

There is a reason so many people flock to Florida during the winter: it offers some of the most picturesque beaches in the country. In Miami, there is no shortage of amazing beaches, and because each one offers something different, you will definitely find the perfect place to soak up some sun. To help you narrow down your choices, here are three recommendations:

  • 21st-45th Street Beach: This stunning beach is frequented by locals as it offers quality eateries, is surrounded by luxurious hotels, and has the Miami Beach boardwalk.
  • Lummus Park Beach: The perfect destination if you enjoy volleyball, thatched huts, and people watching.
  • Haulover Beach: These dozen miles of white sand, ocean surf, landscaped dunes, and shaded picnic areas rank as one of the area’s most scenic stretches of beachfront. Tuesday nights bring a small food truck festival with local vendors, live music, and programming for the whole family.


Holiday Activities

When you visit Miami during the month of December you truly get the best of both worlds: holiday festivities and warm weather.

  • Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari: On Wednesday, December 20th at 10:30am visit Hwange National Park for an unforgettable experience. Santa will make a special appearance to hand-deliver presents to the park’s chimps, giving visitors a unique opportunity to leave their vehicles to watch the chimps receive presents.
  • Santa’s Enchanted Forest: This is the world’s largest holiday theme park and it features over one-hundred rides, shows, games, and attractions. To partake in all the holiday fun, visit between November 2nd and January 7th!

Art Basel Miami 2017

The year might be coming to a close, but in Miami 2017 ended in a writhing mass of beauty, terror, political fury, artistic serenity and, of course, an insane amount of money changing hands. How else could anyone sum up Art Basel, one of the world’s largest art festivals. As Eric Minh Swenson at HuffPost put it, Art Basel is “where the Museums come to shop.” It’s also where some of the art world’s biggest spenders come to stock up on new additions to their collections. As for the artists themselves – well let’s just say you never quite know what to expect at Art Basel. One moment, you might be admiring some delicate sculpture; the next, a few toilet bowls suspended a few feet from the floor, or a painting of Ronald Reagan vomiting everywhere. You never know what’s around the next corner, and that’s the beauty of it.

art basel

What Just Happened?

Despite its current degree of pomp and eclectic grandeur, Art Basel Miami actually started from humble beginnings. In 2002, Switzerland’s biggest art festival in Basel was looking for an event to wrap up the year on a high note. A relatively small satellite festival was organized for Miami. At first, this end of year event was mostly just a taste tester aimed at whetting the art world’s appetite ahead of the following year’s main festival in Switzerland.

Fast forward a decade and a half, and Art Basel Miami is today easily the most notable annual art festival anywhere in the Americas. An estimated 82,000 people attended this year. To illustrate Art Basel’s explosive growth, in 2015 attendance was closer to 77,000. Over that time, the festival has garnered a controversial reputation. On one hand, it’s often seen by Miami locals as excessively elitist; indeed, the festival can feel like a grocery store for the richest of the rich collectors, and investors eager to snap up works from the next up and coming artists before they hit their peak value. Small fortunes change hands, artists are made, destroyed, enriched and rejected.

Art Meets Technology

This year though, the classic confusion and insanity of previous events was noticeably toned down and focused. If Art Basel Miami 2017 could be summed up succinctly, it’d be something along the lines of art-meets-tech.

“For the core of the art world, most digital art seemed overly enamored with its own technology, and often felt conceptually lightweight,” global director of Art Basel, Marc Spiegler recently argued in a CNN editorial.

That’s something many artists at this year’s event seemed determined to change, and the question of how to integrate emerging technology with art was one that came up time and time again.

That question reminds me of a Far Side cartoon where two cavemen artists are standing in front of their cave drawings and they look over at another caveman who’s painting on a canvas and easel,” artist Brian Bress told Los Angeles Confidential.

“One cavemen artist says to the other, “Sure, it’s cool, but is it art?” There are no lines,” he said.

One example of this was the eye-catching display put on by Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta. Late night visitors to Miami beach would have been surprised to see hundreds of drones rising over the shoreline. Against the inky night sky, they glowed as they danced in an arching formation. Cynically dubbed “Franchise Freedom,” the display was nonetheless awe-inspiring. The 300 drones appeared to imitate a flock of migrating birds, swirling and dancing in a sophisticated pattern that was as much a mathematical beauty as it was an aesthetic delight.

Art Basel Miami takes place every December. More information about the next festival can be found here.