It seems as though Christmas events and festivities begin earlier and earlier each year. Several malls around town and a few parks host their Santa arrivals as well as tree lighting and holiday festivities in November. All events listed are free.
Here’s a schedule of what’s happening in November:
Now through Dec. 11: Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops: Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro Shops and Miami-area families are invited to enjoy this magical Christmas village offering free photos with Santa and free family holiday activities including fun crafts and games. Features include rustic Christmas cabins, holiday characters and live elves set amongst a dazzling backdrop of snow-covered hills and illuminated Christmas trees. The Santa’s Wonderland Christmas village offers remote control trucks, laser/ foam toy arcade, Lincoln Logs building area and much more. Kids can also spend time at one of the activity tables where they can write a letter to Santa, color and do fun crafts, all for free. Families can enjoy the wonder of Christmas inside Bass Pro Shops with Santa’s Wonderland through December 24 including free photos with Santa. Guests can schedule their Santa time using the free Bass Pass system. Visit the Bass Pass Ticket Depot located at the entrance of Santa’s Wonderland to pick up a time-stamped pass. Santa’s arrival coincides with Veteran’s Day and the start of a holiday round up program where customers can help support service members, military families and veterans through a donation program. Bass Pro Shops will donate 100 percent of customer contributions to USO Care Packages, which are shipped directly to active service members overseas, and AMVETS. 10 am-9 pm. 11551 NW 12 St., Miami, FL 33172 305-341-4200.
Now through Dec. 24: Santa’s Flight Academy at Dolphin Mall: Each child becomes a member of the flight crew and enjoys a special visit with Santa, and • Receives a personalized Cadet Badge • Tries on a virtual flight suit • Learns how to operate the sleigh • Dances under magical lights and snowfall. Located on the 2nd floor of Las Ramblas at the Dolphin Mall, 11401 NW 12th St, Miami, FL 33172.
Tree Lighting Celebration at Shops at Merrick Park: Families and children of all ages are invited to attend a spectacular annual tree lighting ceremony sponsored by The Lennar Foundation Medical Center of University of Miami Health System on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 6:30–9 pm. The evening’s free festivities include the grand tree-lighting reveal, live entertainment by Miami Royal Ballet, retailer pop-up stations and a special arrival by Santa Claus. The Shops at Merrick Park are located at 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33146.
Triangle Park Tree Lighting Ceremony: The event runs from 6-10 pm with live entertainment and various food trucks. Guests of honor will include Santa and Mrs. Claus for anyone wanting to capture a picture perfect moment, all leading up to the moment of the official welcoming of the holiday season to Hialeah with lights. 290 Palm Ave., Hialeah, FL 33010. 305-883-5701
CityPlace Doral Hosts Inaugural Tree Lighting Celebration CityPlace Doral welcomes locals and guests to the property’s entertainment plaza for the first annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 18. The family fun begins at 4 pm with dance performances by local troupes such as Dance South Florida, strolling entertainers and will continue on with live entertainment by Flavio Amador & The Playtime Band. Guests will enjoy a special “Holiday Fiesta” performance by Dance South Florida that tells the story of how different cultures in the world celebrate the holidays. The festivities will lead up to the lighting of the 30-foot tree as well as the debut of a new set of holiday-themed fountain shows, including hits like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” “Feliz Navidad” and “Last Christmas.” 4 pm-1 am at CityPlace Doral, 8300 NW 36 St., Doral, 33166.
21st Annual “Miracle on 136th Street” Holiday Parade: Benefits Live Like Bella. The parade begins at 1 pm and then from 2-7 pm is the live entertainment, musical performances, meet and greets. Miami-Dade dignitaries and celebrities alike will ride through the streets in vintage and convertible cars. In addition to local dignitaries and celebrities, the parade will be filled with glee featuring music from local marching bands, holiday-themed floats, bag pipers, stilt walkers, junkanoos, community groups and internationally recognized costumed characters. Listen for jingling sleigh bells and a jolly, magical laugh because after the parade, Santa Claus will be available for photographs at his holiday house to capture the magic of the season. The fun continues with a special interactive activation by our holiday parade sponsor, HITN TV, in Center Court, as well as live entertainment every hour and musical performances. Additionally, the first 200 people to visit the Macy’s Kids department will meet PJ Mask – night owl, cat, and gecko. As nighttime arrives, guests can marvel at the thousands of twinkling lights and giant animal topiaries throughout the mall and gardens. Shops at The Falls is located at 8888 SW 136 St., Miami, FL 33176.
Santa comes to Aventura Mall. Festivities begin at 10 am Nov. 18. Families are invited to participate in various holiday activities including face painting, and arts and crafts at Santa’s Workshop on the lower level near Bloomingdale’s. Santa will arrive at the mall at 11 am and make his way to Santa’s Workshop to greet and take photos with children. Guests will also enjoy a performance from the Girl Choir of South Florida and M.I.A. Dance Factory. Through Dec. 10. Also, see Gingerbread House Fantasy: Watch Executive Pastry Chef Danny Malone from Turnberry Isle Miami Resort decorate a 10 ft. tall gingerbread house. Lower Level between Blue Bottle and Zara in the New Wing. Nov. 18 from 10 am-4 pm. Gaming at the Nintendo Holiday Pop Up: Visit the Holiday pop-up to try out the hit Nintendo Switch system and the portable Nintendo 3DS family of systems, along with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, FIFA 18 and Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch and Metroid: Samus Returns and Mario Party: The Top 100 for Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo Holiday Experience has something for everyone and will be an event the whole family can enjoy. JCPenney Wing, Nov. 11 – Dec. 18. All Day. Aventura Mall is at 19501 Biscayne Blvd.
Nov. 24-Jan. 7, 2018: Winter Fairland. Indoor event. Ice skating, country western line dancing, Santa visits, face painting, basketball, bungee jumping, rides, Rudolph’s barnyard petting zoo, elf craft-making area, market shops and more. Click here for hours. Santa’s Garden: Buy Christmas trees from Nov. 13-Dec. 20 from 10 am-10 pm. Miami Dade Fair Expo at Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24 St. Free admission.
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