As college students, it can be quite hard to resist splaying out on a couch or bed during the holiday break, attempting to make up for all of the sleep lost during the semester. However, while getting some much-needed rest is important, students should also try their best to enjoy the many events that South Florida has to offer during the Christmas season. Here are a few events to check out over the break:
State of the art
Sometimes going to an art exhibition can be intimidating, especially when security guards scrutinize your every move, or when you don’t have context for the artwork that you’re viewing. Enter: Art Basel Miami; one of the largest — and greatest — international art fairs that breaks the status quo of stuffy, clinical-like exhibition spaces. Rub elbows with the artists from more than 250 of the world’s top gallery spaces or join the crowd of visitors and explore the outdoor landscape near Collins Park and SoundScape Park beginning on Dec. 7. Students can buy discounted one-day tickets and find additional information about the event atartbasel.com/miami-beach.
Let it snow
Although our friends up north in areas like Jacksonville receive a few inches of snow each year, according to the National Hurricane Center, it hasn’t snowed in South Florida since Jan. 19, 1977. The City of North Miami Beach wants to change that. On Dec. 9, the city is inviting the general public to the Snow Fest & Community Safety Day Parade beginning at 6 p.m. Visitors can enjoy the snow mountain, ice skating rink, rock climbing wall, take pictures with Santa and eat edible artworks. Admission to the event is free. For additional information, call 305-948-2957.
Ball(et) of Fun
Be transported to a world filled with snowflakes, mouse kings, sugarplums and magical dolls through a rendition of Ernest Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker” complemented by Tchaikovsky’s infamous score. The Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, directed by famed ballet master Vladimir Issaev, will be performing the timeless classic at the Parker Playhouse nightly from Dec. 15-17. For more information, visit browardcenter.org.
Forget the jingle bells; hit up Jingle Ball
Want to see your favorite chart-topping artists like Demi Lovato, Charlie Puth, Why Don’t We and Logic but only have enough funds to buy one ticket? Well, think of Y100’s Jingle Ball as an early Christmas present because on Dec. 17, you can see these all-star performers and more live at the BB&T Center. Visit thebbtcenter.com to find a complete list of entertainers and to purchase tickets.
Winter Wonderlands can be hard to come by in South Florida, which is why many look forward to the annual reopening of Santa’s Enchanted Forest, described as “the world’s largest holiday theme park.” The park boasts activities for people of all ages so make it a family event and enjoy taking pictures with Santa, animal shows, thrill rides and light shows. Plus, if you manage to work up an appetite, there are many booths throughout the fairgrounds where you can purchase fare like candied apples, turkey legs, elephant ears, corn on the cob and cotton candy. The park is open from Nov. 2 to Jan. 7. Visit santasenchantedforest.com for more information.
Light ‘em up!
Not planning to put up a tree this year but want to experience an awesome tree lighting? Or, do you just fancy watching the lights go up on an impossibly tall tree? Either way, the organizers over at Gulfstream Park have got you covered. Through Dec. 31, from 6-11 p.m., at the top of each hour, audiences can marvel at the park’s light show synchronized to loved holiday music and featuring a 50-foot Christmas tree. While waiting for rotating light shows, guests can also enjoy juggling acts and stilt walkers, train rides, live DJ entertainment and enter to win Cirque Du Soleil “Volta” tickets. For additional information, visit gulfstreampark.com/events-and-entertainment.
Luckily for us, classes won’t resume until Jan. 8, which gives college students the perfect opportunity to get some last minute sightseeing in. On Jan. 6 and 7, Las Olas Boulevard will transform into a free art walk for the 30th Annual Las Olas Art Fair where more than 1200 artists will display and sell their works. Take a stroll down the boulevard on either day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to see the artwork, meet the artists, learn about their techniques, chat with the curators or snap up some unique pieces. Visit artfestival.com/festivals/las-olas-art-fair-part-i for more information.