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Tree lightings and Santa events happening in Miami

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There’s nothing like a tree lighting or a visit from Santa to put you in the Christmas mood.

This year, there are undoubtedly fewer events, but we’ve found several holiday events taking place throughout Miami. We will be sure to keep track and update this list accordingly!

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Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops: Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops with several social distancing guidelines and mask covering requirements in place. Visits are by appointment only this year. Through Dec. 24. Click on the link above for full details.

Events at Miami MallsPhotos with Santa, snowfalls, tree lightings and a meet and greet with Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch are just some of the holiday festivities happening at local malls.

Dec. 4

Coral Gables Holiday Spectacular:  This year’s socially-distanced event will include a two-hour with socially-distanced pods as well as a socially-distanced visit from Santa. Access to Holiday Park will be in 30 minute intervals to avoid large crowds. Held from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $20 for a group of four and include a bucket of snacks, crafts, souvenirs, a hot beverage and green screen photo booth opportunity. There will also be Hot Chocolate with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 12 and 19, Tickets are $14. All are Coral Gables resident exclusive events. Mask coverings required and temperature checks taken. Holiday Park across from Coral Gables City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables.

Dec. 5

Palmetto Bay Light Up Your Holidays Celebration:  Tree lighting, holiday treats, gingerbread  house and craft activities, live music and a family show. 7-9 p.m., Village of Palmetto Bay City Hall Courtyard, 9705 E. Hibiscus St., Palmetto Bay. Tickets are $5 and limited quantities available. They must be purchased before Dec. 2. Call 305-259-1234 to purchase.

City of Miami Springs Winter Wonderland: Venture through their Winter Wonderland and visit with Santa through the socially-distanced festivities. 6-9 p.m., Miami Springs Aquatic Center, 1401 Westward Dr., Miami Springs. Tickets are $2 and available only to Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens residents. Click here for details.

Dec. 7

Bayfront Park Tree Lighting:  International pop icon Paulina Rubio will be the guest of honor at the lighting of the 50 foot Rocky Mountain pine tree Christmas tree. Santa Claus will make a special appearance! Social distancing guidelines will be followed and face coverings required. 6 p.m., 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Free.

Dec. 12

Merrick Park Holiday Traditions: Sponsored by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the drive-thru celebration will feature Christmas lights and their 50′ Christmas tree, holiday music, entertainment, free giveaways from participating stores and a visit from Santa. 6-8 p.m., Shops at Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables.

Dec. 19

Santa at Southland Mall: Santa Claus is making a grand entrance in a luxurious Mercedes-Benz by Mall’s main entrance by DSW store. Arrival is at 1 p.m. and festivities go until 1 p.m. 20505 S. Dixie Hwy., Cutler Bay. Click here for details on this and other mall activities.

Holiday Stroll on the Plaza: Listen to holiday music, watch a live art show and find unique gifts at the Artisan Market pop-up. Noon to 5 p.m., City Place Doral, 8300 NW 36 St., Doral. Click here for details on this and other mall activities.

Dec. 19 & 20

Santa Meet & Greet at Fantasy Theatre Factory: Kids get to meet and greet Santa at his workshop and watch holiday classics during this fun all weekend event. Dec. 19 from 1-5 p.m., Dec. 20 from noon to 4:30 p.m., 6103 NW 7 Ave., Miami. Click here for details.

Santa rides through Coral Gables: Santa gets a ride from the City of Coral Gables Fire Department on Saturday and Sunday to hand out candy canes and greet kids along three different routes. Dec. 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Dec. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Click here to view routes for each day.

Holiday displays

Miami Lakes Main Street: The Main Street Merchants and The Graham Companies this year have dressed up the shop windows with New-York style holiday displays. Also, the giant oak tree lights are choreographed with a light show every hour from Thursday through Sunday between 6 and 10 p.m. 6700-6855 Main St., Miami Lakes.

City of North Miami: MOCA Plaza is adorned with it’s annual more than 50-foot-tall Christmas tree and hanging Christmas decorations. 770 NE 125 St., North Miami, FL 33161.

Canceled for 2020

Tree lighting at Mercy Hospital

TBA

CityPlace Doral Tree Lighting: This event was postponed from late November due to weather and has yet to be rescheduled.

Miracle on 136th St. Holiday Parade: This annual event has yet to be announced.

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More free and cheap holiday events

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Friday, November 5, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Monday, November 8, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Friday, November 12, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Monday, November 15, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Friday, November 19, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Monday, November 22, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Friday, November 26, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Monday, November 29, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Friday, December 3, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Santa's Parade of the Elves

2:00 pm | FREE | South Miami Downtown

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $24.00-34.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Monday, December 6, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

All Day | Discounted | Tropical Park

Josie Gulliksen

About Josie Gulliksen

Josie Gulliksen is a freelance writer and major arts advocate and enthusiast who loves everything cultural and is excited to live in such a thriving community as Miami. A Miami native, aside from Miami on the Cheap, she currently writes for Artburst Miami, Edible South FL, Legacy Miami and Legacy South Florida and Miami New Times. She worked for nearly a decade at Miami Today covering the arts community and restaurant scene and served as Calendar Editor. She has also worked in public relations for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, in travel and tourism for Newman PR and at the Miami Science Museum. She has written for Florida Travel + Life Magazine, Florida Monthly Magazine, Miami.com, Indulge Miami and MiamiCurated.

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