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HOLIDAY MAGIC SANTA’S ENCHANTED FOREST
The world’s largest Christmas theme park, a must-see for kids of all ages, celebrates its 35th year with its millions upon millions of dazzling lights, more than 100 rides (love that Crazy Mouse), festive music, great food, and South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree.
Details: 5 p.m.-midnight daily, running through Jan. 7, at Santa’s Enchanted Forest (Tropical Park), 7900 SW 40th St., Miami; www.santasenchantedforest.com; $33.78-$44.79.
GULFSTREAM PARK SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS
Get into the holiday spirit with this nightly event featuring thousands of lights, a 50-foot tree, selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus, face-painting, jugglers and stilt jumpers, tattoo artists, train rides and much more.
Details: 6-11 p.m. daily, running through Dec. 31, at Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach; www.gulfstreampark.com; free.
MERRICK FESTIVAL 2017 CAROLING COMPETITION
Join the excitement and dazzling talent of South Florida’s youth community as 30 public, private and parochial schools compete for more than $20,000 in prizes and perform free holiday concerts in the annual Caroling Competition, with five or six schools presented nightly on the half-hour.
Details: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 3-6 p.m. Sunday, at the 550 Biltmore Way Building in Coral Gables; www.merrickfestival.net; free.
THEATER FOR KIDS PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
Five-time Tony Award-winning musical play based on the bestselling novel by Miami’s own Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is a grownup’s prequel to Peter Pan that asks the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?
Details: 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Aventura; 305-466-8002 or www.aventuracenter.org; $20-$49.
GOLD COAST RAILROAD MUSEUM THE POLAR EXPRESS
A magical holiday tradition is resurrected as this 50-minute train ride based on the classic children’s story ventures through the quiet wilderness for a special visit to the North Pole and a meeting with Santa Claus. Guests on board, who are encouraged to wear their PJs, will enjoy warm cocoa and other treats while listening to and reading along with the enchanting story. Plus, each child will receive a silver sleigh bell for the first gift of Christmas.
Details: 6:30 and 8 p.m. Friday; and 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; running through Dec. 24; at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; www.gcrm.org; $42.80-$74.90; children under 2 free (must sit on adult’s lap).
ZOO MIAMI ZOO LIGHTS
See the Zoo at night like you’ve never seen it before, as half a million animal-shaped lights create a spectacular, festive atmosphere, enhanced by free 3D glasses, hot chocolate and cookies, photos with Santa, free Snowman’s River boat rides, yuletide carolers and carousel rides.
Details: 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in December, plus the week of Dec. 26-30, at Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami; www.zoomiami.org; $9.95 per person ($7.95 members).
MIAMI YOUTH BALLET THE NUTCRACKER
The ultimate Christmas classic show features a little girl’s dreamlike journey to the magical Land of the Sweets with the Sugarplum Fairy, dazzling costume characters and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score.
Details: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211th St., Miami; www.smdcac.org; $26-$41.
OLD-SCHOOL MEETS NEW RIPTIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL
Massive, two-day blowout features the best in modern pop-rock bands on Saturday (Weezer, Cage the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Joywave, Iration and Saint Motel) and classic-rock, R&B and funk acts on Sunday (Boyz II Men, KC & The Sunshine Band, Foreigner’s Lou Gramm, Salt-N-Pepa, Morris Day & The Time’s tribute to Prince, Loverboy, Shannon, Lime, Tito Puente Jr.).
Details: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday at Fort Lauderdale Beach, Harbor Drive & A1A, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; www.riptidefest.com; $70, $110 two-day pass, VIP $250-$350.
HOLIDAY MUSICAL A CHRISTMAS CAROL
The Charles Dickens classic takes a musical turn in this festive holiday favorite written especially for family audiences that will warm your heart as it reveals the true meaning of the holidays. Watch as Tiny Tim and the entire Cratchit family join three unearthly Spirits in trying to convince Ebenezer Scrooge to change his “Bah-Humbug” ways.
Details: 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Amaturo Theater, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org; $16-$20.
HOLIDAY FUN BARRY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS
The campus of Barry University will be transformed into a winter wonderland of lights where children can marvel at Santa’s toy shop, visit Santa at Santa’s Village, enjoy arts & crafts and a petting zoo, go Christmas shopping in the Holiday Marketplace, hear children’s choirs from local schools, and snack on seasonal tasty treats.
Details: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday at Barry University Campus: 11300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; www.barry.edu; free.
JUST FOR KIDS WINTER WONDERLAND EXTRAVAGANZA
Annual community event brings holiday cheer with snow fun, crafts and games, live music, pictures with Santa, a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and plenty of sweet treats.
Details: 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Kendall Regional Medical Center, 11750 SW 40th St., Miami; register at www.kendallmed.com or call 305-222-2200; free.
SCHOOL EDITION LES MISERABLES
Broadway masterpiece is adapted so that children can enjoy the long-running musical based on the 1862 novel by French poet Victor Hugo.
Details: 4 p.m. Saturday at Showtime Performing Arts Theatre, 503 SE Mizner Blvd., Royal Palm Plaza, Boca Raton; www.showtimeboca.com; $14, $10 kids.
MIAMI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM SEASON OF THE ARTS
This series will introduce children and their families to a different form of art every Saturday during the month of December. This week, explore the world of opera with Florida Grand Opera through hands-on activities, live performances, interactive experiences and the thrill of live theater. The day concludes with the family-friendly opera, “Hansel and Gretel.”
Details: Noon-4 p.m. Sunday at the Miami Children’s Museum, 980 MacArthur Cswy., Watson Island, Miami; www.miamichildrensmuseum.org; $20, $15 for Florida residents, free for kids under 12 months.
FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS MARTHA MUNIZZI
Grammy-nominated, Dove and Stellar Gospel Award-winning superstar known for her hit worship songs, “Because of Who You Are,” “Say the Name,” “Glorious” and “Excellent,” performs in support of her upcoming third CD, which was recorded live in Miami. Munizzi will be accompanied by the Miami Mass Choir, while ABC Local 10 evening news anchor Calvin Hughes returns to celebrate his 10th anniversary as host.
Details: 5 p.m. Sunday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org; free, check online for First-Access Passes.
Free For All
HOLLYWOOD BEACH CANDY CANE PARADE
Thousands of holiday revelers will line the Broadwalk for the 62nd-annual parade featuring marching bands and dozens of lighted floats and vehicles, with its participants tossing out candy canes and starlight mints.
Details: 7-9 p.m. Saturday at the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, from Scott Street south to Harrison Street; www.visithollywoodfl.org; free.
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