The holidays in South Florida can get weird. A longing for sleigh bells can burn a melancholy pang into your sun-tanning bliss. What's Christmas without snow? Young folks who crave respite from the interminable warmth can find it at the Miami Seaquarium's Winter Kids' Fest. The event offers a chance to ride an inner tube down a 50-foot slide of white powder. If that's not enough to get children into the holiday spirit, perhaps a stretch in the belly of a giant fish will do the trick: The festival also offers a Killer Whale bounce house. Your young'ns can laugh it up as you reflect on the deeper mystery of Jonah's peculiar purgatory. Winterfest opens at 9:30 a.m. through Sunday, January 4, at the Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Cswy. Tickets cost $24.95 for adults, $19.95 for kids. Call 305-361-5705. -- By Victor Cruz
A Stray's Story
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Perennial favorite Annie makes it to Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre (280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables) in time to close out 2003 with a hopeful tale about the importance of family and overcoming adversity. This 1977 musical based on the long-running comic strip, Little Orphan Annie, won beaucoup awards including the coveted Tony for Best Musical. The memorable (okay, obnoxiously memorable) songs complement the timeless story of a girl seeking the parents who abandoned her at a cruel orphanage. Annie's cheery (all right, obnoxiously cheery) personality wins her important friends including millionaire Daddy Warbucks, President FDR, and a homeless pooch named Sandy. The curtain rises at 8:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and at 7:00 p.m. closing night Sunday, January 4. Tickets for Friday and Saturday cost $40; other shows cost $35. Call 305-444-9293. -- By Margaret Griffis
So your kid just can't stop singing. In the car, during basketball, or while trolling the mall, Little Miss Golden Tones won't be stifled. The folks at Miami Children's Theater could have a place for your bundle of talent. The troupe is looking for young actors for its production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. All it takes is a monologue, a song, and a dance and your little ham may have a chance. Auditions start at 6:00 p.m. at the Russell Theater at the Alper JCC, 11155 SW 112 Ave. Call 305-233-2206. --By Juan Carlos Rodriguez