Christmas is a holiday, which essentially means it's a holy day. And in the U.S., this most holy of days essentially shuts down the whole town. Unlike our northern relatives' ugly sweater gatherings by the fireplace, Miamians aren't cooped up with family, powering through the cold. Instead, we're looking for things to do in the sun - and hopefully, there's a 60-degree "cold front" headed our way. This year, it's time to get more creative than a blockbuster and a serious helping of Chinese food. And, here's how you do it...
Flea Market bargain
Let's be real: It's tough to find a decent flea market in Miami -- one that's
not all about golden grills (both for your teeth and your ride). So
take a field trip up to Pompano Beach and hit Festival Flea Market. Grab
that stack of coupons and go buck wild on bargains. Complete with a New
York bagel deli, a salon, Oriental rugs, high-tech gadgets, and tons of
glitzy garb, a stroll through FFM is an organized hoarder's
dream-come-true. It's likely you'll end up with heaps of unique,
unnecessary treasures, but that's the fun of it all.
2900 West Sample Road, Pompano Beach; 954-979-4555. Open Christmas Day from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From Flea to Farmers
The famed Lincoln Road Farmers Market will be stocked with fresh
produce, flowers, jams, jellies and home-baked goodies. Splurge on local
treats and take in the best people watching in Miami. Surely, there'll
be some interesting folks out and about on Christmas Day. If you're
lucky, you'll stumble upon an open resto or two along the strip, but it
might take some heavy hunting.
Lincoln Road, between Meridian Avenue and Washington Avenue. Open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
A Jungle Island adventure
Go beak to beak with some crazy creatures at Jungle Island. Christmas
Day marks the second week of Winter Wonder Island, which includes all
sorts of wildlife novelties, like an interactive show by Humanimals, an
interactive Cirque troupe, and gratis camel rides on Jungle Island's own
La Playa. It might be a little immature for you out there, especially if you're not
chaperoning a grade school gang, but at least you'll get a hump out of
it - from the camel ride, you sicko.
1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; 305-400-7000. Open from 10 a.m. to 6
p.m. Admission ranges from $24.95 to $32.95, children under the age two
enter for free.
Sometimes, a night at sea is the ideal getaway to, well, get away. Board
the Biscayne Lady for a feast-filled, booze-packed journey around the
Atlantic. A dinner buffet awaits with all your favorite seasonal
goodies. But don't contract a case of the 'itis,' because you'll want to
take full advantage of the three full bars and additional cocktail
service. The three-hour sunset excursion will have you back on dry land
before you get too seasick. Keep it classy - try and hold in the hurl
until after the vessel docks.
Bayside Marketplace, 401 Biscayne Blvd., Downtown Miami, 305-379-5119.
Boarding begins at 4:30 p.m. for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. cruising. Tickets are
Get your rave on
As night falls, there's only one place that can cater to your all-night
electro craving. Head to Space Miami for the annual Space Christmas.
Trust us, the only thing Christmas-y about this shindig will be a few of
Santa's scantily-clad helpers sporting some holiday accessories. Hit the
terrace and get loose to sets by Edgar V, LP, Patrick M and more. And
don't forget those hater blockers -- sunrise can be brutal after a night
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of merry raging.
34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-375-0001. Doors open at 11 p.m.