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Family-friendly things to do: Enjoy the magic of the holidays

Thursday

MIAMI CHILDREN’S MUSEUM PRESENTS ARTKIDS AT ART BASEL

Who says Art Basel is just for grownups? Kids can get in on all the artsy action at this great event, featuring a variety of art exploration stations, from mixed media to building blocks and beyond, for budding young artists to create their own original works of art. Recommended for kids 4-12; those younger may attend with supervision.

Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; RSVP with arodriguez@miamichildrensmuseum.org.

THOSE LIGHTS! LANTERN LIGHT FESTIVAL

Six-week celebration of Chinese culture features massive lanterns, inspiring performances and delicious cuisine. Kids young and old will marvel at these enormous, colorful lanterns, custom-built by Chinese artisans, that typically take four weeks to complete. The lanterns appear to be three-dimensional stained glass, and are handmade from hundreds of pieces of silky cloth. Some are more than 30 feet high, others up to 300 feet long, and all of them will take your breath away.

Details: 5-11 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, running through Jan. 8, at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo Center, 10901 SW 24th St., Miami; www.lanternlightfestival.com; $25 ($23 advance), $21 children 2-15 ($19 advance), under 2 free.

HOLIDAY MAGIC SANTA’S ENCHANTED FOREST

It’s back! The world’s largest Christmas theme park is a must-see for kids of all ages, with its millions upon millions of dazzling lights, more than 100 rides, festive music, great food, and South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree.

Details: 5 p.m.-midnight daily, running through Jan. 8, at Santa’s Enchanted Forest (Tropical Park), 7900 SW 40th St., Miami; www.santasenchantedforest.com; $31.40-$43.32.

MERRICK FESTIVAL 2016 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 30th-annual Caroling Competition, with six schools presented nightly on the half-hour.

Details: 7-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 3-6 p.m. Sunday, at the 550 Biltmore Way Building in Coral Gables; www.merrickfestival.net; free.

Friday

GOLD COAST RAILROAD MUSEUM THE POLAR EXPRESS

A magical holiday tradition is resurrected as this 45-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 Sunday; running through Dec. 24; at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; www.gcrm.org; $35; VIP tables also available; children under 2 free (must sit on adult’s lap).

DEERING ESTATE TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

Enjoy some of your favorite holiday music performed by the Yuletide Carolers at the annual ceremony of the lighting of the tree in the historic Stone House Ballroom (kids can participate, too).

Details: 7 p.m. Friday at Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami; www.deeringestate.org; $12, $7 kids 4-14.

RESCHEDULED SHOW FUSHU DAIKO - SPIRIT DRUMMERS

South Florida's taiko drum ensemble is back with an original adaptation of the famous Japanese legend of the Gojinjo drummers of Nafune. The show blends original compositions with Kiriko-style taiko, the traditional style and rhythms of the Noto area, with the sounds of Japanese koto (harp) and shinobue (flute) adding depth and beauty. Tickets for the original Oct. 7 show will be honored.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Amaturo Theater, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org; $25-$35.

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; 786-573-5300 or www.smdcac.org; $26-$36.

HOLIDAY CONCERT ALHAMBRA ORCHESTRA

Get into the holiday spirit with this wonderful family concert conducted by Robert Keating and featuring guest vocalist Lisanne Lyons. Seasonal tunes include “Sleigh Ride,” “White Christmas,” a Chanukah medley, excerpts from “The Nutcracker” and more.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave., Pinecrest; www.pinecrestgardens.org; $10, $5 children under 12.

Saturday

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, go Christmas shopping in the Holiday Marketplace, hear children’s choirs from local schools, and snack on seasonal tasty treats.

Details: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday at Barry University Campus: 11300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; 305-899-3000 or email Amy Deutch at adeutch@barry.edu for more info; free.

MUSICAL THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES A CHRISTMAS CAROL — THE MUSICAL

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: 2 p.m. Saturday, running through Dec. 24, at Actor’s Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-9293 or www.actorsplayhouse.org; $13-$20.

DISNEY CLASSIC THE LION KING JR.

Final chance to enjoy this adaptation of the 1994 Oscar-winning film with music by Elton John and Tim Rice featuring the young African Lion Prince Simba, who faces great danger in the African Pride Lands, learns about the “Circle of Life” and fulfills his destiny to follow his father, King Mustafa, as king.

Details: 4 p.m. Saturday at the Showtime Performing Arts Theatre, 503 SE Mizner Blvd., Royal Palm Plaza, Boca Raton; www.showtimeboca.com; $14, $10 kids under 12.

HOLLYWOOD BEACH CANDY CANE PARADE

Thousands of holiday revelers will line the Broadwalk for the 61st-annual parade featuring 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.

Sunday

FIRST U.S. TOUR OCTONAUTS LIVE!

Explore. Rescue. Protect! From the children’s hit TV show on Disney Jr. comes “The Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure,” an action-packed and interactive theater show featuring fan favorite and brand-new songs from the eight-man crew. Kids will love seeing characters such as Captain Barnacles, Lieutenant Kwazii and Medic Peso come to life onstage.

Details: 5 p.m. Sunday at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; LiveNation.com; $26.50-$42.50.

Free For All

KIDS’ HAPPY HOUR FUNTASTIC FRIDAYS

Enjoy a DJ, face-painting, games and bounce houses and see why Local 10 (WPLG) viewers ranked this event No. 8 on their “Top 10 Places to Take the Kids in South Florida” list. Bring a blanket and stick around for the hilarious 2003 Christmas comedy classic “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell as one of Santa’s elves who learns of his true identity as a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father. Film is from 8-10 p.m., weather permitting.

Details: 5-8 p.m. Friday at Arts Park at Young Circle, Hollywood Boulevard and US 1, Hollywood; 954-921-3500 or www.visithollywoodfl.org; free.

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