By Jennifer Agress and Yours Truly
There’s so much going on this month, that Things to Do in Miami in December is a two part series. And Art Basel will get its own special attention in a separate post. Here, part 1.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
All Month Long
All aboard! “‘Tis the season” on South Florida’s Brightline train, which is honoring the holiday season with a 62-minute, Polar Express-themed journey. Starting and ending at Brightline’s Fort Lauderdale station, this magical train ride relives the classic Christmas story with special performances, dancing chefs doling out trays full of hot chocolate and cookies, Santa and his elves, Christmas gifts and more. The Fort Lauderdale station is joining in the fun with a “Letters to Santa” writing center and other holiday goodies, and Polar Express passengers are encouraged to wear their favorite Christmas pajamas. Brightline’s Fort Lauderdale station is located at 101 NW 2nd Avenue. Tickets start at $55 per adult and $50 per child age 2-11, and can be purchased here. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride will run on select dates through January 1st, with all weekend performances at 10 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. There is a Brightline parking garage that costs $6 daily or $1 for the first hour and $2 per additional hours.
The Bellhop Bar
All Month Long
Available now through mid-January 2019, The Bellhop Bar has popped up at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. This unique cocktail activation, designed to take you back to the golden age of travel, was inspired by old-school expeditions, when jetsetters would fill huge wardrobe trunks with their belongings and embark on weeks- or months-long journeys. Every night, let the bartender “unpack” you two pre-batched cocktails or red or sparkling wine from a retrofitted steamer trunk. Both cocktails are served in apothecary-style glasses and influenced by the flavors of Miami; there’s an Old Fashioned con Mango with Angel’s Envy Bourbon and mango, and a Miami Startini, made with Hangar One Vodka and star fruit. Loews Miami Beach Hotel is located at 1601 Collins Avenue. Drinks are priced a la carte. While here, The Bellhop Bar will pop-up in the lobby every night of the week, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hotel valet is available and public parking garages are nearby.
The Art of Banksy Miami
Opens Saturday, December 1st
Known for his signature graffiti-stencil technique and for creating works with bold, anti-establishment messages, “Banksy” is the art world’s best-kept secret—no one knows his identity. Starting this month, leading into Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami will play host to the largest curated collection of his work: The Art of Banksy. An unofficial Banksy exhibit (meaning it wasn’t sanctioned or curated by Banksy, himself), this collection was curated by Steve Lazarides, the artist’s former agent, and has made its way around the world, generating excitement in Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Toronto and soon, South Florida. Fans of Banksy can expect more than 80 of his hottest works on display at Magic City Studios, including “Girl with Balloon,” “Flower Thrower,” Laugh Now” and “Monkey Queen.” Magic City Studios is located at 6301 NE 4th Avenue. Tickets start at $34.99 and can be purchased here. This exhibit will be open to the public everyday, from Noon to 8 p.m., with 8 p.m. being the last allowed time of entry. Weekend hours may vary. The end date of this exhibition is currently unknown, but it will only be open for a limited time. Parking is available onsite.
“Make Your Own Menorah” Workshop
Sunday, December 2nd
Getting ready for Hanukkah this year? Let the team at Home Depot, in Coconut Grove, teach you how to build your very own menorah! Bring the kids and get creative—at this free workshop, there will be light refreshments and expert craftsmen showing you what to do every step of the way. This Home Depot is located at 2999 SW 32nd Avenue. The workshop is free and open to the public. The workshop will start at 10:30 a.m. Free parking is available onsite.
Now through December 23
Thought provoking, beautifully acted, and timely best describes Actually, the new play at GableStage. Coming from a successful run at the Manhattan Theatre Club, it’s a story of sexual consent, gender and race that takes place at Princeton University. Suffice it to say that at the opening party after the play, our table couldn’t stop talking about it. Don’t miss it!
The Miami Design District Performance Series with Emily Estefan
Friday, December 7th
Make it a Friday night to remember with a concert from singer, songwriter and musician, Emily Estefan. Start with happy hour at Estefan Kitchen—which is located in Palm Court, and conveniently owned by her parents, Grammy winner and superstar duo, Gloria and Emilio Estefan—and wander right outside for her concert in Palm Court. Known for her smooth vocals and jazzy, R&B hits, Emily produced and directed her debut album, Take Whatever You Want, which earned her nods on four different Billboard Charts. Palm Court is located at 140 NE 39 Street. This event is free and open to the public, but guests are encouraged to register here. Happy hour at Estefan Kitchen will start at 5 p.m., with the concert following at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served. Those who wish to have guaranteed seating can reserve a VIP table at Estefan Kitchen by calling (786) 843-3880. Valet parking is available and a public parking garage is connected to Palm Court.
The Nutcracker Tea
Saturday, December 9th
There’s afternoon tea… and there’s The Nutcracker Tea. Those who want to get in the holiday spirit can enjoy hot tea, bite-sized sandwiches and a show! While you sip and eat, The Coconut Grove Ballet will put on an exclusive showing of the magical Christmas classic, The Nutcracker, at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami. The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami is located at 3300 SW 27th Avenue. This event will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing email@example.com. Hotel valet is available.
And this just in…..Little Haiti Arts District is having an arts week party December 2 from 11 to 4 with twelve galleries participating. Here’s a link to the list and map. Click here.