Coraled Gables

Party at the Merrick House

SAT 12/11

Inflatable gingerbread men, supercharged light displays, digital gadgets, and the ubiquitous Sponge Bob are basic trappings. They define the holidays. For festivities of a simpler sort, the historic Coral Gables Merrick House (907 Coral Way, Coral Gables) is throwing a holiday event today to mark the grand reopening of the freshly restored two-story landmark. As is tradition, Coral Gables Garden Club members are festooning the house with adornments appropriate to its history. The family of the city founder built the home almost 100 years ago. Its gabled roof and coral rock structural features offer insight into the city's moniker. Decorating chair Vann Thomson says her committee is working on holiday displays crafted from grapefruit, oranges (the home originally was part of a citrus plantation), apples, and nuts. Those touring the house need not sneak a nibble. The free event, from 2:00 to 5:00, includes a buffet of snacks and desserts on the lawn, along with a concert performed by the Juan Areco Trio. Call 305-460-5095. -- Patti Roth

Waiting Strain

SAT 12/11

When people think of adopting, rarely do they dream beyond babies in their hopes for creating a family. "The Waiting," an exhibit sponsored by Fotomission and the Miami Children's Museum (380 MacArthur Cswy.), features portraits of 36 children currently up for adoption taken by nine Miami photographers. These adolescents have been remarkably captured by the photographers, and a sense of their personality and verve shines through in the poignant display. Organized by Chendo Perez, the exhibit brings awareness to the plight of foster children older than infants by placing a face on the issues of adoption. Local photographer Michelle Sas expresses amazement at how her subjects warmed up in front of the camera. "They are no different than any other children, basically real sweet kids like Paul, for example, who was very polite, and wanted to be dressed up for his portrait." Today through January 9. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-373-5437 or visit -- Carlos Suarez de Jesus

Bronzing Power

Acres of Art

SAT 12/11

Art lovers who find themselves weary of the same old South Beach, Coral Gables, and Design District haunts, fret not. You haven't yet seen it all. For a unique gallery experience, head down to ArtSouth's second Saturday. This three-and-a-half-acre creative haven plans to showcase its resident artists' skills with a concert by the ArtSouth Ensemble, followed by a bronze pour by the foundry guild. The day will culminate in opening receptions for five different exhibitions, including paintings, sculptures, and a live auction. The fun begins at 3:00 p.m., at ArtSouth, 240 N. Krome Ave., Homestead. Admission is free. Call 305-247-9406. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik


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