THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3
Those Lights! Santa’s Enchanted Forest
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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, food and South Florida’s tallest Christmas tree.
Details: 5 p.m.-midnight daily, through Jan. 3, at Santa’s Enchanted Forest (Tropical Park), 7900 SW 40th St., Miami; www.santasenchantedforest.com; $30.84, $21.49 for seniors and kids 3-9.
Merrick Festival: 2015 Caroling Competition
Join the excitement and jaw-dropping talent of South Florida’s youth community as 30 public and private schools compete for $20,000 and perform free holiday concerts in the 29th 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, DECEMBER 4
Holiday Fun: Barry Special Christmas
As part of Barry University’s 75th anniversary celebration, the campus will be transformed into a winter wonderland of lights where children can marvel at Santa’s toy shop, visit the “North Pole Post Office” to write a Christmas wish list and then share it with Santa at Santa’s Village, watch the classic Christmas flick “Elf,” get their faces painted and participate in puppet-making, cookie/stocking/ornament decorating and snack on seasonal goodies and hot chocolate.
Details: 5-10 p.m. Friday at Barry University, 11300 NE Second Ave., Miami; www.barry.edu/75; free.
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 1990 Christmas comedy classic “Home Alone,” starring Macauley Culkin as a boy who is left behind by accident when the family goes on a trip to Paris, and ends up giving two would-be burglars more than they can handle. Film is from 8-10 p.m., weather permitting.
Deering Estate: Tree-Lighting Ceremony
Enjoy holiday music performed by the Yuletide Carolers and handbell group performances by Cornerstone Church at the annual ceremony of the lighting of the tree in the historic Stone House Ballroom (kids can participate, too).
Details: 7-9 p.m. Friday at Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami; www.deeringestate.org; $12, $7 kids 4-14.
It’s A Hard-Knock Life: Annie Sing-Along Party
Slap on your curly red wig and head for the hottest orphanage in town as the movie musical “Annie” will be shown with all the words to your favorite songs on-screen, including “Tomorrow,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street” and, of course, “Hard Knock Life.” Don’t forget to dress up for the costume contest.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Miramar Cultural Center / ArtsPark, 2400 Civic Center Pl., Miramar; www.miramarculturalcenter.org; $15.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum: The Polar Express
A magical holiday tradition is resurrected as this 60-minute train ride based on the classic children’s story departs the Gold Coast Railroad depot and 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 be served warm cocoa and other treats while listening to and reading along with the enchanting story.
Details: 7:45 and 9:15 p.m. Friday; 6:15, 7:45 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday; and 6:15 and 7:45 p.m. Sunday; at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami; www.gcrm.org; $35; VIP tables also available.
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.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
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. Saturday and Sunday at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; www.miamichildrensmuseum.org; free.
Pinecrest Gardens: Holiday Festival
Ring in the holiday season with this all-day extravaganza featuring performances including the Nutcracker Ballet, Miami Children’s Theater and the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Plus, kids can write letters to Santa and have their pictures taken with him. There are also cookies and hot chocolate, pony rides, face-painting, wild animal shows, arts and crafts, midway rides, model trains and more.
Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at the Pinecrest Gardens Banyan Bowl, 11000 SW 57th Ave., Pinecrest; www.pinecrestgardens.org; $5, kids under 2 free.
Family Fun Series: A Christmas Carol
Musical production of the Charles Dickens classic brings Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Scrooge to life onstage for a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with the family. Come early for pre-show face-painting and art activities, and stick around afterward for free snacks.
Musical Theatre For Young Audiences: 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.
Family-Friendly Musical: Hairspray
Last chance to catch this adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway classic about one girl’s unstoppable dream to dance, which is piled bouffant-high with romance, great ’50s-style moves and infectious songs.
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.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6
Holiday Gala Concert: Greater Miami Youth Symphony
Orchestra program dedicated to training young musicians between the ages of 5 and 18 presents a concert of “Classics and Carols.”
FREE FOR ALL
Free Concert Series: Stars In The Park – Noches Tropicales
Family-friendly concert series kicks off with a salsa-style show by Grammy-winning pianist and composer Marlow Rosado, who has written hits for superstars including Ricky Martin, Jon Secada, Tito Puente Jr., Elvis Crespo and Yolandita Monge. Feel free to bring blankets, chairs and snacks to enhance your evening.
Details: 8 p.m. Friday at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., Miami; 305-480-1717; free.
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