Broward County

Family-friendly things to do: Holiday in South Florida

Thursday

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL VOLTA

The latest acrobatic spectacle of beauty and power from Cirque du Soleil presents a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail, inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports.

Details: 4:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sunday, running through Feb. 4, next to the Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; www.cirquedusoleil.com; $30-$130.

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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.

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LIVE LIKE BELLA NIGHTS OF LIGHTS

See the magical Pinecrest Gardens transformed into a holiday wonderland illuminated by thousands of sparkling holiday lights in this event presented by Live Like Bella, a foundation for childhood cancer. Enjoy pictures with Santa every night, plus Christmas music, story-telling, mechanical rides, pony rides and much more, plus tasty treats available for purchase. Check website for performances happening each evening.

Details: 6 p.m. daily, running through Jan.1, at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave., Pinecrest; www.pinecrestgardens.org; $5, free for 2 and under.

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A CHRISTMAS TRADITION GEORGE BALANCHINE’S THE NUTCRACKER

Miami City Ballet presents an all-new production by Cuban-American artistic power couple Isabel and Ruben Toledo, featuring a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, magnificent scenery, elaborate costumes and magical music by Tchaikovsky.

Details: 7 p.m. Thursday, 2 and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon Sunday, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org; $50-$150.

Friday

OLD-FASHIONED FUN WINTERLAND AT THE FARM

Enjoy the Illuminated Forest, petting zoo, paddleboat and hay rides, bounce houses, snow, hot chocolate and treats, pony rides and face-painting, plus meet Santa Claus and his magical friends as they stop by every two hours.

Details: 5-9 p.m. Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, and 5-9 p.m. Monday (Christmas Day), running through Jan. 7, at Pinto’s Farm, 14890 SW 216th St., Miami; www.pintofarm.com; $19, $13.30 presale online.

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GOLD COAST RAILROAD MUSEUM THE POLAR EXPRESS

Last weekend to catch this magical holiday tradition, during which a 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, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 6 p.m. Sunday, 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).

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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. every Friday and Saturday 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).

Saturday

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MIAMI SEAQUARIUM PENGUIN HOLIDAYS

Waddle over to the Seaquarium for the ultimate penguin experience! Guests can enjoy roaming penguin costume characters, daily penguin presentations, and meet-and-greets with Pepe the Penguin. Plus, each guest 12 and under will receive a free penguin plush toy.

Details: Opens 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, running through Jan. 7, at Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Cswy., Miami; 305-361-5705 or www.miamiseaquarium.com; $45.99, $35.99 kids 3-9.

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, take an interactive, behind-the-scenes journey through the art of ballet with the Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami. Take a class with a ballerina, help create an original ballet, and dress up for a special family-fun performance onstage at the end of the day.

Details: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday 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.

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LIVE ONSTAGE A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

One of the most-beloved holiday TV shows comes to life onstage. Celebrate the season with Charles Schulz’s heartwarming yuletide tale, featuring Vince Guaraldi’s magical jazz score and “Peanuts” pals Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the gang discovering the true meaning of Christmas.

Details: 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Dreyfoos Hall, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-832-7469 or www.kravis.org; $18-$89.

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CHRISTMAS MUSICAL RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

The beloved stop-motion TV classic soars off the screen and onto the stage with all of your favorite characters — including Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snowman, Sam the Snowman and, of course, Santa — in an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can also be what makes you special.

Details: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Charles F. Dodge City Center, 601 SW City Center Way, Pembroke Pines; Ticketmaster; $30-$50.

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After confronting her greatest temptation, Lucy (Georgie Henley) seeks counsel from Aslan the Lion. Photo credit: Courtesy 20th Century

FINAL WEEKEND NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

Based on the beloved story by C.S. Lewis, this adventurous musical adaptation features popular songs and unforgettable characters, including the White Witch; the great and majestic lion Aslan, King of Narnia; and four children transported into their world.

Details: 2 p.m. Saturday at Actor’s Playhouse, Balcony Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293 or www.actorsplayhouse.org; $20.

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FLAMINGO GARDENS SANTA’S LITTLE HELPERS

It’s a day of holiday fun for kids of all ages at Flamingo Gardens: Meet Santa, then help Mrs. Claus and the elves decide which animals have been naughty or nice, then pass out the animals’ presents. Plus, kids can ride the Animal Train, play in Santa’s Snow Mound, and stay late for the Garden of Lights show from 5-8 p.m.

Details: 2-5 p.m. Saturday at Flamingo Gardens, 3750 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie; www.flamingogardens.org; $19.95, $12.95 age 3-11, free for 2 and under.

Sunday

POSITIVE VIBRATIONS REGGAE SUNDAYS

Kulcha Shok presents weekly live musical performances and DJs in a family-friendly setting — this week, enjoy the Miami-kissed Christmas Eve edition, with an all-day set by the Kulcha Shok crew.

Details: 2-8 p.m. Sunday at Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-351-0366 or www.thewynwoodyard.com; free.

Free For All

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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.

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