The holiday season is officially here. For many, Miami doesn’t seem to be the most festive place to celebrate, but despite our lack of snow and sweater weather, there are still tons of fun things you can do to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas.
Hanukkah Menorah Lighting: Join the Hillel center each night of Hanukkah (Dec. 1-10) as they light the menorah and celebrate.
LatkePalooza: On Tuesday, Dec. 4th, Hillel will be hosting LatkePalooza from 4-6 p.m. Go with your friends to enjoy some delicious traditional latkes and donuts.
Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas on the water at Oleta River State Park: While it is a bit of a drive, you won’t want to miss this holiday event! Pack some friends into a car or split an uber and head up to Oleta to sit in inner tubes, enjoy some Grinch Juice and watch this holiday Christmas classic. The event will take place on Dec. 8 from 6:30-9:30 PM, and tickets and tubes together are $15. Make sure to buy ahead because this event usually sells out!
Go watch a holiday movie: Every Saturday at noon, through the end of December, participating Regal theaters (Kendall, Southland, South Beach, and UA Falls) will be playing fan-favorite holiday movies for only $5! For an additional $5, Regal Crown Club members can get a popcorn and drink combo, too. (To register for Regal Crown Club, visit https://www.regmovies.com/register#/account/register.) Movie selections are as follows:
- Dec. 8th: A Christmas Story
- Dec. 15: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- Dec. 22: Elf
Try some gourmet hot cocoa: Who says 80-degree weather should stop you from enjoying this classic holiday drink? Try any one of these great spots near campus for a yummy hot chocolate experience.
- Chef Sucre Café- Spanish Blend Hot Chocolate
- Chocolate Fashion- Traditional Hot Chocolate
- Honeybee Doughnuts- Hot Cocoa bar with over 15 toppings, including fresh whipped cream and torched marshmallows
Zoo Lights: Every Friday and Saturday in December, Zoo Miami will be decked out in holiday lights. For $15.95, you can get into the zoo, check out some adorable animals, and walk around, looking at their light displays while enjoying special performances, holiday music, hot cocoa, and cookies. Each of the Zoo Lights Nights has special themes for guests to dress up. Themes are as follows:
- Dec. 7-8: Ugly Sweater Contest
- Dec. 14-15: Superhero Night
- Dec. 21-22: Santa and Elf Look-a-like Contest
- Dec. 28-29: Holiday Lights Night
Coral Gables Tree Lighting Ceremony: Dec. 7 from 5-10 p.m., go to see the Coral Gables annual Holiday Spectacular, as the community gathers to see the giant tree at city hall light up Biltmore Way. Enjoy musical performances and food vendors.
Hanukkah Chabad: Take a break from studying for finals and go to Hillel’s special breakfast themed Hanukkah Chabad for some comfort food and a great time!
Attend a Holiday Concert: If you love music or just want something to do right here on campus, head to one or both of these concerts.
- Winter Wonderland: A Celebration of Holiday and Seasonal Music by the Greater Miami Symphonic Band — Dec. 11th at 7 p.m. in Gusman Hall. Tickets are $15.
- Swinging for the Holidays with the Stephen Guerra Big Band — Dec. 14th at 8 p.m. from Gusman Hall. Come to hear some of your favorite classic holiday songs FREE to all UM Students.
Bark the Halls: Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Wharf from 12-7 p.m. Either bring your own dog, or just come to hang out with adorable puppies, and enjoy delicious food from a variety of food truck vendors.
Frost Science Museum Laser Friday Special Holiday Edition: If you’re still around on Dec. 21, head to the Frost Science Museum at 7 p.m. to watch a festive laser show in the planetarium while listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Fantasy. Entrance is $10.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest: At Santa’s, enjoy fair style rides, tons of food vendors, games, and beautiful displays of lights. This is a must-do for many Miami natives every Christmas season. Tickets are $35.
Head to the Beach: To truly have a Miami Christmas and make all your friends up north jealous, take a break and head to the beach to enjoy your last few days of warm weather before the break. After all, isn’t that why you came here in the first place?
While all of these events are fun, the holidays are less about what you are doing and more about who you are with. So, to really enjoy this season, make sure you spend it with the friends, family, and people you love.