10+ Things to Do in Miami in Winter 2017 – January Events & More

If you’re looking to escape the chill of winter, then we’ve got just the place for you. Head to sunny South Beach for warm weather, beautiful beaches, and cool drinks.

Miami is the perfect destination for a winter getaway and we just know you’ll love the amazing combination of nature and culture that Miami brings to the table.

If you’re looking for things to do in Miami in Winter 2016-2017, check out our list of some of the best holiday activities and attractions.

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these attractions are included on the Go Miami® Card.

Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

See all available Miami passes, attractions & prices.

Please note, some of these special Winter events may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go Miami Card.

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

When: December 16-30, 20167:00 pm-10:00 pm (closed December 24-25)

Celebrate the holiday season with a fun and family-friendly event at Zoo Miami.

Hundreds of thousands of lights adorn the entire park, many in the shape of some of the zoo’s most beloved residents. You’ll also be able to marvel at magnificent trees and other fun holiday décor.

There are plenty of great seasonal activities in store for the kids, too, from carousel rides and photos with Santa to yummy holiday treats and cheerful carolers. Be sure to stop by the Zoo gift shop for some special gifts!

Getting in: Zoo Miami tickets are included with the Go Miami Card, however, Zoo Lights admission is a separately timed and ticketed event.

Wild Holidays at Jungle Island

When: December 24, 2016 through January 7, 2017

Kids will especially love the Wild Holidays series of events at Jungle Island. Until January, Jungle Island will turn into a festive winter wonderland of the Floridian variety.

The little ones will enjoy fun seasonal activities from crafts to scavenger hunts, and whole family will appreciate the energetic animal holiday parades that traverse the park daily.

Getting in: Jungle Island tickets are included on the Go Miami Card and Wild Holidays attractions and events are included with admission, unless otherwise noted.

Holiday Evening at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

When: December 14, 2016; 6:00 pm-9:00 pm

Visit Vizcaya decked in period-accurate holiday decor and enjoy an evening of live music from Vizcaya’s pipe organ, hot chocolate, light appetizers, deserts, and arts and crafts.

Getting in: Vizcaya tickets are included on the Go Miami Card, however, Holiday Night is a separately ticketed event and not included on the Go Miami Card.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

Where: 7900 SW 40th Street
When: November 3, 2016 through January 8, 2017

It’s the world’s largest holiday theme park and carnival and a popular South Florida tradition for the whole family.

In addition to your favorite rides and attractions like roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and all kinds of thrilling speed rides, there are also a number of special shows and events at this festive theme park.

Participate in Christmas karaoke, stroll down Mistletoe Lane, and check out South Florida’s tallest Christmas Tree.

Getting in: admission to Santa’s Enchanted Forest is a separately ticketed event and not included on the Go Miami Card.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Image credit: Miami City Ballet.

Image credit: Miami City Ballet.

Where: Miami City Ballet
When: December 9- 30, 2016

For a few days this month at the Adrienne Arsht Center, you can a see spectacular production of the famous Nutcracker Ballet, filled with beautiful scenery, costumes, and talented dancing.

Kids and adults alike will love this classic holiday attraction, with its unforgettable dance numbers and timeless story. It’s not called the Number 1 holiday spectacular for nothing!

Christmas with the Chimps at Lion Country Safari


When: Thursday, December 22, 2016; 10:30 am (arrive by 9:30 am to allow time to get through the preserve)

Visit America’s first cageless zoo and celebrate the holidays with Christmas with the Chimps, when Santa Claus visits the chimpanzees and comes bearing gifts. This is the only opportunity throughout the entire year that guests can get out of their vehicles to watch the chimps.

Getting in: Lion Country Safari tickets are included with the Go Miami Card.

Holiday Celebrations at the Miami Children’s Museum


When: Various dates in December, 2016 – check the online calendar

The Miami Children’s Museum hosts a bunch of events throughout the month of December to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year. All events are geared towards kids and include fun and festive activities. Check online for a full list of events and dates and times. Some upcoming things to do include:

  • Tropical Christmas Eve Special – Kids will have the chance to meet Santa, create seashell ornaments and Christmas leis, and catch a special performance: The Extraordinary Explorers and the Search for Santa!
  • Noon Year’s Eve Special – 3, 2, 1 – HAPPY NOON YEAR! Ring in 2017 a few hours early with the kids at the Miami Children’s Museum for a fun and festive end to 2016. There will be a countdown and a balloon drop (scheduled for noon), and special activities like a ballet class and a presentation from Miami City Ballet Dancers.
  • ‘Tis the Season Sensory Saturday – geared toward children with sensory processing disorders and their families, enjoy holiday-themed activities with the lights and sounds dimmed to make for a more comfortable environment for you little one.
  • Mini Merry Monday – kids will have a chance to meet Santa, listen to carolers, paint snowflakes, and more.
  • Hanukkah Celebration – activities include: design your own dreidel, create your own Star of David sunglasses, storytime, and more.

Getting in: Miami Children’s Museum tickets are included on the Go Miami Card and all holiday events are included with admission, unless otherwise noted.

Get out on the Water

When it comes to leisurely sails and cruises, Miami has options! Hop on board a relaxing cruise on Biscayne Bay, where you’ll get the best sightseeing, including the downtown Miami skyline, Fisher Island, Miami Beach, and Millionaire’s Row.

If you’re more interested in what’s under the sea than what you can see on land, the Glass Bottom Boat Cruise is for you. Aboard the Key Largo Princess, you’ll sail off to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is the only undersea park in the United States.

In the colorful coral reef, keep your eyes open for sea fans, sea plumes, and hundreds of fish from the small and exotic to the big ones that fishermen are after.

Getting in: Biscayne Bay Cruise tickets and Glass Bottom Boat Cruise tickets are included on the Go Miami Card.

Marvel at Nature

everglades alligatorFor the truly adventurous, travel inland a bit and you’ll get to experience the amazing Everglades in a way as unique as the ecosystem itself.

An Everglades Airboat Tour immerses you in the lush vegetation, among the exotic wildlife, so you can see animals like the Florida alligator in their natural habitat. Sure beats shoveling back home, am I right?

Getting in: Everglades Airboat Tour tickets are included on the Go Miami Card.

Explore Architecture

Miami attractionsWintertime brings unbeatable mid 70s temperatures in Miami, perfect for strolling along the beautiful Art Deco District in South Beach for which Miami is known around the world.

If you’ve not been before, or if you’re interested in art history or architectural design, take the Official Art Deco Walking Tour to get the full experience.

Getting in: The Official Art Deco Walking Tour tickets are included on the Go Miami Card.

Relax on the Beaches

Miami-South-BeachNo, we didn’t forget about the #1 reason you’re visiting Miami this year.

Soaking up the sun on the beach all day (while protecting your skin with sun block, of course) is probably one of the activities you’re most looking forward to, and we don’t blame you!

If you’ve got the winter blues, it’s nothing a game of beach volleyball or a quick dip in the ocean can’t fix.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

So there you have it. Our list of a few things to do in Miami in the winter, including holiday events, other seasonal activities in December, January, and more.

Remember, many of these options are included on the Go Miami Card, where you can save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Please note, the Winter events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go Miami Card.

We hope you plan to add a few of these fun options to your winter vacation itinerary.

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