When most think of the holidays, they don’t picture palm trees, perfect beaches and a nice, even tan. If you’re headed to Miami for a cruise vacation for the holidays, there’s no better place to get into the spirit of the season! Miami has a number of fantastic family-friendly events running now through the New Year, so make sure you check out what’s happening before or after your cruise vacation!
First Stop: Bayfront Holiday Village
Most like to stay at a hotel close to PortMiami the day before cruising and that means Bayfront Holiday Village is close by as well. Located just a few blocks south of the PortMiami entrance, Bayfront Park transforms itself into a winter wonderland each December complete with a 50-foot Christmas tree, ice skating (without the ice!), an assortment of food trucks, local shops, an adults-only beach club, Santa’s photo studio and more! Bring the kids and they can even write a letter to Santa and send it at the North Pole Express Post Office!
The most popular attraction at the park is the Christmas tree which features its own magical light show. It’s also a new theme every day through December 25 so enjoy ugly sweater night, mistletoe mingle Mondays, sugar & spice Wednesday, Santacon and a whole lot more! The Bayfront Holiday Village is open every day starting at 4pm on the weekdays and 11am on the weekends. It’s open until 10 or 11pm every day so you have plenty of time to explore.
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After spending all day on the beach or exploring the uniqueness of Miami, catching a show in the evening is a great way to get the whole family into the holiday spirit. The Nutcracker, one of the most iconic Christmas performances of all time, is playing at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and there are tons of show dates throughout the month of December. The performing arts center is just a few blocks south of several popular Downtown Miami hotels and makes for an easy evening for those unfamiliar with the city.
Choreographed by George Balanchine, this festive rendition of the classic play has been performed all over the country since the 1950s with the most famous renditions on Broadway in New York City each holiday season. The two-act ballet features beautiful choreography, a robust orchestra and plenty of holiday spirit perfect for your holiday vacation. There’s also a performance of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Arsht Center on December 23rd that visitors are encouraged to see.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Plenty of people choose to stay at a hotel by the Miami airport when they fly in for a cruise vacation. If that’s you, then you aren’t far from one of the biggest holiday attractions in all of Miami, Santa’s Enchanted Forest. Located at Tropical Park south of the airport, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is the largest holiday theme park with over 100 rides, games, shows and attractions. Enjoy dazzling light displays, fun holiday rides and of course, visit with Santa and let him know what you want for Christmas! The park is open everyday from 5pm to Midnight and has something for families and thrill-seekers. Belt out some holiday karaoke or indulge in some festive treats before taking pictures next to South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree!
While there might not be snow falling on Yuletide carolers, Miami is still a very festive city when it comes to celebrating the holiday season. If you’re cruising from Miami this December, don’t forget to check out some of the most popular Christmas-time attractions in the area!