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Family-friendly things to do: Get into the holiday spirit

Thursday

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BEAUTIFUL BUGS AMAZING BUTTERFLIES

Stunning new exhibit takes visitors on a fantastic but challenging journey in which they face both friends and foes of the most beautiful insects in the world. You’ll see first-hand the unusual relationship between caterpillars, butterflies and their natural surroundings in this interactive experience for the whole family.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (Monday-Saturday) and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, running through Jan. 8, at the Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-467-6637 or www.mods.org; $16, $13 kids 2-12.

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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.

Friday

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: Opening 5-10 p.m. Friday and running through Dec. 31 at Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach; www.gulfstreampark.com; free.

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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).

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BAYFRONT PARK HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING

You know Christmas is on the way when this spectacular, 50-foot artificial Rocky Mountain Pine Tree is officially lit up with more than 14,000 lights at the annual ceremony open to the public.

Details: 7 p.m. Friday at Bayfront Park Amphitheatre, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550 or www.bayfrontparkmiami.com; free.

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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: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Abdo New River Room, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org; $45.

Saturday

CHRISTMAS CLASSIC “HOME ALONE”

Come early to write letters to Santa, play games, make holiday crafts and take pictures with Santa, then enjoy this 1990 comedy starring Macauley Culkin as a boy accidentally left at home over Christmas vacation who must protect the house from bumbling, would-be burglars Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.

Details: Doors open at 12:30 p.m. (movie starts at 2 p.m.) Saturday at the Seminole Theatre, 18 N. Krome Ave., Homestead; 786-650-2073 or www.seminoletheatre.org; $6-$10.

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IN CONCERT HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

Relive the magic of J.K. Rowling’s mesmerizing film — and introduce your little ones to the world of classical music — as a live orchestra performs John Williams’ unforgettable score while the movie plays in high-def on a giant screen.

Details: 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org; $39-$105.

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ONE GRRR-IFIC SHOW DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE!

The gentle legacy of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” lives on in this live theatrical production as Daniel and his friends hop aboard the trolley for the interactive musical adventure “King For a Day” in their much-loved Neighborhood of Make-Believe filled with singing, dancing and laughter.

Details: 2 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Dr.; 954-344-5990 or www.coralspringscenterforthearts.com; $26.50-$47.70, $79.50 VIP.

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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, running through Dec. 2, at Showtime Performing Arts Theatre, 503 SE Mizner Blvd., Royal Palm Plaza, Boca Raton; www.showtimeboca.com; $14, $10 kids.

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SPIRIT OF THE SEASON FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Annual tree-lighting ceremony has been a family tradition for more than 30 years, transforming Main Street into a holiday wonderland complete with meet-and-greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday shopping with the Main Street Merchants, beloved children’s characters, performances by local schools, games, prizes and a live DJ. Hosted by 93.9 FM and Y100.

Details: 5-9 p.m. Saturday at Main Street, 6709 Main St., Miami Lakes; www.miamilakes.com; free.

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CONCERT IN THE PARK INNER CIRCLE

Bring chairs and blankets to help celebrate the grand opening of the Shirley Branca Park with this concert featuring Jamaican reggae legends Inner Circle (“Bad Boys”), plus the Old Skool Gang and Pos-C Famafia. Kids can play in the new splash pad and bounce houses.

Details: Ribbon-cutting ceremony 5:30 p.m. Saturday, concert at 6:30, at the Shirley Branca Park Bandshell, 6900 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar; www.miramarfl.gov; free.

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FAIRY-TALE BALLET CINDERELLA

The Open World Dance Foundation’s production of this timeless, enchanting fairy tale of Cinderella’s transformation from servant girl to princess features Devon Teuscher and Cory Stearns — guest artists and principal dancers from American Ballet Theatre — as Cinderella and the Prince, as well as children from the Boys & Girls Club.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale; www.parkerplayhouse.com; $36-$201.50.

Sunday

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VEGGING OUT KIDS’ FOOD PLAY

Fun, interactive event for children ages 3-12 playfully brings tasty, organic vegetables of all sizes and textures to their hands for them to arrange, build and create art masterpieces. Kids are encouraged to munch and parents can enjoy lunch and adult beverages while watching or helping the children create. Then, create a ”’Food Play Character” to take home.

Details: 1-3 p.m. Sunday at Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; www.eventbrite.com; $25.

FAMILY CONCERT FLORIDA YOUTH ORCHESTRA

To kick off its 30th season, the FYO presents “ClassiCool,” featuring its Principal Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and Flute Choir.

Details: 3 p.m. Sunday at Bailey Hall, 3501 Davie Rd., Bldg. 4, Fort Lauderdale; www.floridayouthorchestra.org; $15, under 5 free.

Free For All

SOUTHLAND MALL KIDS’ CLUB HOLIDAY EVENT

Festive afternoon features the chance to take pictures with Santa, plus the Hip-Hop Holiday dance fest (the first 100 kids who enter will compete onstage for an opportunity to win a scholarship for classes with the nationally recognized Hip-Hop Kidz), arts & crafts, face painting and more.

Details: 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Southland Mall, 20505 S. Dixie Hwy., Cutler Bay; www.mysouthlandmall.com; free.

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