Things To Do

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend
Photo by Alexandra Oliva
Strap in for a busy weekend and choose wisely, because there simply won't be enough time to hop around to all the great festivals happening in Miami this weekend.

For the film- or cosplay-inclined, there's the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival and Paradise City Comic Con, happening all weekend. If you're looking for live music, head north to Boca Raton for the Sunshine Music Festival or Fort Lauderdale for Corona's Electric Beach, featuring Claptone. Or you can save yourself the drive and check out Life in Color, offering performances by Zedd and 21 Savage, at Mana Wynwood. Miami Beach's long-running Art Deco Weekend, Gables Chili Fest, and performances by dub-legend-turned-philosopher Lee "Scratch" Perry and the Tom Petty tribute band Petty Hearts round out this jam-packed weekend.
click to enlarge PHOTO BY CARINA MASK
Photo by Carina Mask

An adventure outside of reality would be a nice retreat from all the crap happening in the world. The Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival is set to take you on a magical, four-day journey. The festival will screen a number of microdocs, shorts, and full-length-films, including family-friendly options. For those in the industry, workshops will show you how to make dough in the biz and how to fine-tune your craft. Friday, January 12, through Monday, January 15, at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; Festival passes start at $45.

The Miami Design Preservation League's 41st-annual Art Deco Weekend is back once again, Friday, January 12, through Sunday, January 14, in South Beach. The free, three-day, open-air festival draws thousands of people to Ocean Drive every year for a jam-packed weekend of dozens of events ranging from live music to guided tours and shows. You can also take in some of the more eccentric events such as the Bark Deco Dog Show or the Haute Couture Retro Fashion Show, or catch a screening of classic movies like Metropolis and It Happened One Night. Friday, January 12, through Sunday, January 14, at Ocean Drive Between Sixth and 13th Streets, Miami Beach; Admission to many Art Deco Weekend events is free.
click to enlarge Concertgoers on the front lawn of the Barnacle. - JIM STAMPS
Concertgoers on the front lawn of the Barnacle.
Jim Stamps
A historic state park nestled in the middle of Coconut Grove is probably not the first place you think of searching for live music in Miami, but the Barnacle's Under Moonlight Concerts are one of the city's hidden gems. If you're looking for a low-key event you can share with friends and family, the rain should clear up in time for this Saturday's concert on the lawn with folk and bluegrass outfit Passerine. Grab some blankets, pack some 'smores and maybe a brew or two, and enjoy the glorious Miami winter weather. Friday, January 12, at the Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy., Miami; Admission costs $10 for adults, $3 for children aged 6 to 9, and free for children 5 and under. Members of the Barnacle Society receive 20 percent off the adult price and free passes to one regular Moonlight Concert.

It's never a bad time to geek out, and the Paradise City Comic Con is no exception. Running Friday through Sunday at the Miami Airport Convention Center, the show boasts cosplay contests galore, videogaming, unique parties, and other fun. This year's celeb guests include Pilou Asbaek of Game of Thrones, comedian Andy Dick, and WWE legend Mick Foley. Friday, January 12, through Sunday, January 14, at Miami Airport Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami; Admission costs $20 for Friday, $40 for Saturday, and $30 for Sunday; multiday passes are also available.
Lee "Scratch" Perry
SystemPhoto by Nataworry

It's a landmark year for one spectacle of a producer. Lee "Scratch" Perry is now in his 80th year on God's green Earth and is honoring the 40th anniversary of his iconic album, Super Ape. As part of the celebration, Perry will be joined by dub-masters Subatomic Sound System and DJ Kiva for an intimate show at the Ground. If you've ever been into Marley, the Heptones, or a number of other reggae icons, you should be there. 8 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at the Ground, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; Tickets cost $25 to $35.

Just because it's been a little chilly out doesn't mean you should forget the joys of a cold beer with a lime and salt around the rim. It's not rocket science, but Corona's Electric Beach puts together a familiar combination that always guarantees a good time — beer and music. Enjoy the Miami winter weather and beats by the mysterious Claptone and more of today's top DJs. 2 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at America's Backyard, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-449-1025; Admission is free.
click to enlarge Tom Petty tribute band the Petty Hearts. - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
Tom Petty tribute band the Petty Hearts.
Courtesy of the artist
Tom Petty broke hearts around the world when he passed away unexpectedly last year. So you'll probably want to bring tissues to America's definitive tribute show, headlined by the Petty Hearts. The Florida-based cover band will deliver spot-on renditions of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' tunes. You'll never be able to see Petty live again, but this crew is a quality stand-in for what the world lost in 2017. Don't back down — get running down to this dreamy show before it's time to move on. 8 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale; Tickets cost $15 via

Journey to the animated dystopia of planet Ygam when Coral Gables Art Cinema and the Miami Jewish Film Festival team up for a special after-hours screening of Polish Jewish writer and illustrator Roland Topor’s Fantastic Planet. The award-winning 1973 film about resistance to oppression will be accompanied by a live score provided by Mystvries from Bribery Corporation. 11:15 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; Tickets cost $8.
click to enlarge Life in Color returns to Mana Wynwood this week. - PHOTO BY GEORGE MARTINEZ
Life in Color returns to Mana Wynwood this week.
Photo by George Martinez

Known as the world's largest paint party, Life in Color is bringing a messy but bright rave to Mana Wynwood. The space is perfect for a giant audience of EDM lovers who just want to be painted neon. They'll glow in the dark to the sounds of Zedd, 21 Savage, Snails, Blackbear, K?D, Lil Pump, Parker, and Quix, presented by Disco Donnie. This party has been pumping since 2007 and never fails to impress with aerialists, art installations, and vendors. You'll have a fun, colorful night that will be stained in your brain forever. 4 p.m. Sunday, January 14, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; Tickets start at $84.99.

Sunshine Music Festival, founded by guitar prodigy and notable Floridian Derek Trucks, returns to South Florida for the fifth year in a row this Sunday. His family Tedeschi Trucks Band headlines, with additional performances by psychedelic-rock jam artists Galactic, Hot Tuna, and Mike Gordon. "We like to put together bands we'd like to pay to see," Trucks recently told New Times. "When I put together a list of bands, it can be eclectic, but I try to get people we respect both musically and personally." Noon Sunday, January 14, at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 561-544-8600; Tickets cost $35.90 to $244.95 via

Get this: Gables Chili Fest is a nonprofit endeavor. A bunch of civic, community, and religious organizations join forces to make food to support U.S. veterans at this event each year. The Chili Fest will take place alongside a caja china cooking competition — you know, the box Latinos use to roast whole pigs on Noche Buena. Organizers invite attendees to bring their own chili con carne recipes for tasting to the sounds of live music from a variety of acts. It'll be an excellent reason to eat home-cooked comfort food for a great cause. 11 a.m. Sunday, January 14, at 270 Catalonia Ave., Coral Gables; Admission is free to $20.
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Celia Almeida is the digital editor of American Way and the former arts and music editor of Miami New Times. Her writing has been featured in Venice, Paper, and Billboard; and she co-hosts Too Much Love on Jolt Radio.
Contact: Celia Almeida