College campuses are generally known for celebrations of a decidedly lowbrow nature. You can certainly have a blast downing Jell-O shots of grain alcohol at a kegger, but folks seeking a little class with their intoxicants need look no further than the University of Miami's gallery night. Tonight's evening of art begins with Bonne Anne 2000 Zan, a celebration of Haitian culture and striking work by respected island artists. Feast on delicious Haitian-style home cooking, and imbibe freely at the open bar. Entertainment will come courtesy of the exotic sounds of Muzik Etc. After browsing this exhibit, wander across the street to the New Gallery in the Wesley Foundation Building (1210 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables) for more art and even more drinks. Have a sweet and LoweDown night starting at 7:00 at the Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-284-3535, or visit www.lowemuseum.org. (PEGY)
Take a trip back to 1987. Your hair is permed, and you look mighty foxy in those high-waisted acid-washed jeans. You run your fingers through your boyfriend's mullet as he slouches down in the bucket seats of his bitchin' Camaro and lights a skinny little mosquito-leg joint. You take a few tokes and one last swig from that can of Milwaukee's Best before heading into the planetarium. It's Friday night, and they've got a Pink Floyd laser light show. Sweet. Now, come back to 2005. You have better hair and will only drink imports, but you still think laser shows rock. The Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami) has the coolest shows around. The lights start swirling to the college angst-ridden electronic melodies of the Best of Radiohead at 9:00, followed by A Perfect Circle at 10:00. Admission is seven dollars. Call 305-646-4200, or visit www.miamisci.org. (LO)
We've seen some big bugs before, but this is ridiculous. At the Towering Termite Tour, visitors are welcome to prowl the insides of a two-story-high insect that could eat your house in a single bite, if it wasn't inflated. The belly of this bug is chock full of interactive, educational materials, including random and strange things that have been attacked by termites, games about these hungry creepy crawlies, and live colonies. Scary fact: Entomologists calculate that for every human on Earth, there may be as many as 1000 pounds of termites. Every year Americans spend billions of dollars to protect their homes from these destructive little bastards, and much of the worst damage is done right here in Miami. Learn how to protect your abode at the Metrozoo, 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami. Tour the termite for free, once you've paid the zoo's admission of $11.50. Visit www.toweringtermitetour.com. (PEGY)
You've been doing yoga, filling your home with aromatherapy candles, and stuffing your pockets with crystals, but you still can't relax. Maybe it's time to engage in a totally tranquil weekend. The Body, Mind, and Spirit Expo has more than 60 holistic exhibitors and plenty of free lectures on natural healthcare topics and metaphysical wonders. After getting a massage, you can wander over to the psychics and astrologers for guidance on where to go next. Maybe they'll see shopping for hemp clothing and crystal jewelry in your future, or perhaps they'll suggest herbal supplements and angelic counseling before sending you on a spiritual journey into Glenn Kolleda's "Mystic's Garden" lecture. Prepare yourself for an aura-cleansing experience (and maybe even get an aura photo taken) today from noon to 6:00 at the Coconut Grove Expo Center, 2700 S. Bayshore Dr., Miami. Admission is eight dollars. Call 541-482-3722, or visit www.bmse.net. (LO)
Funded through the Community Capacity Building Coalition (a nonprofit organization started by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of HIV/AIDS Prevention), the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day was created in 1999 to test and educate individuals with the hope of ending the spread of the disease in the African-American community. According to the CDC, "African-Americans make up twelve percent of the United States population, and account for half of the new HIV cases reported...." Education and entertainment come together tonight from 6:00 to 9:00 during the HIV/AIDS: Expression Through the Arts event at the Joseph Caleb Center (5400 NW 22nd Ave., Miami). Queen Rogers will emcee an evening of local artists performing poetry, dance, and music. The North Miami Beach High School drama club will present the HIV play Living On, and there will be on-site HIV testing and preventive education booths. Call 786-318-2337, or visit www.blackaidsday.org. (LO)
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In Miami, we accept any excuse to get down and party. Who cares that Carnival is bigger and done better in Caribbean islands like Trinidad? There's a knockoff parade right here in the fall that's wild and wicked enough to appease any West Indian transplant and delight locals seeking opportunities to drink in the street. Also the much anticipated Calle Ocho festival attracts about a million partiers to Little Havana every spring. Tonight, steal a little Louisiana thunder at the Mardi Gras celebration, where you can experience the magic of New Orleans right here in Miami. Reap the delectable rewards of the crawfish boil, feast on bayou tidbits, drink yourself silly, win prizes, and scream to get yourself some beads. But try not to expose yourself at the behest of wasted merrymakers. Party N'Awlins style at The Fish House, 10000 Miller Rd., Miami. Call 305-595-8453. (PEGY)
Are you ready for some kickball? You know you totally kicked ass all over your elementary school field, but you lost interest once you realized that chicks dig football and soccer players, not dudes who bean them with a red rubber ball as they're trying to steal second base. Dodge ball has been getting all the attention lately, but did you know that kickball is the sport of the future? The World Adult Kickball Association claims to have "started the adult kickball craze seven years ago," with teams from Vegas to Prague. Registration for the Miami Coastal League is under way, but the game days and times are still being finalized. The season runs from April to August, and involves lots of partying and socializing in addition to competition. Registration fees range from $60 to $70, which gets you a nifty T-shirt and covers operational costs of WAKA. Call 866-350-1710, or visit www.worldkickball.com. (LO)