This may not be your most productive week at work, since most of Miami is in mental vacation mode. But when it comes to parties and festivities, this city has almost too many options over the next few days. Start your week off with ice skating and (artificial) snowfall at CityPlace Doral on Christmas Eve, then start your New Year's celebrations at Double Stubble on Thursday. And if you need some downtime before the madness of NYE hits, catch a movie in the park with family at the Barnacle.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.
It's like Rockefeller Center without the tourists. We may not get freezing temperatures and a nationally televised tree-lighting ceremony every year, but ice skating has come to Miami. Just head out a little further west than you might be used to and hit the rink at CityPlace Doral. Enjoy ice skating from noon to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and from 1 to 9 p.m. from Wednesday, December 26 to Sunday, December 30. For some added holiday magic, stay for the nightly snow falls. 12 p.m. Monday, December 24, at CityPlace Doral, 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; cityplacedoral.com. Admission is free.
The crowd at Las Rosas' weekly Words and Wine open mic night has become one big family over the last year. If you're a regular at the Allapattah dive bar, you may see the same familiar faces week after week. For the final edition of 2018, listen for sets by the Poppies, Bear, and Sid Blake. Arrive early in case you work up the courage to get up onstage yourself. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 26, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.
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Gramps is hosting double the Double Stubble sets at the final 2018 edition of the weekly drag series this Thursday. Get your New Year's Eve weekend started early with sets at 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30 p.m. This week's performers include Aurora Whorealis, Dang Ho Yu Sickning, King Femme, and FKA Twink, who is celebrating a birthday (so bring extra tips). 10 p.m. Thursday, December 27, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; gramps.com. Admission is free.
Tucked away behind your favorite Coconut Grove brunch spot is the Barnacle Historic State Park, a gem merging old Florida views with modern community-building experiences. One such event is this Friday's installment of their ongoing Movies in the Park series. Bring a blanket, snacks, and the whole family for a screening of Rise of the Guardians, featuring Chris Pine and Alec Baldwin. Screenings are always free, but take the opportunity to make a donation to this Grove treasure. 6 p.m. Friday, December 27, at the Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy., Miami; thebarnacle.org. Admission is free.
Whenever some hipster out-of-towner tells you "there wasn't culture" in Miami until recently, kindly point them in the direction of the Miami Big Sound Orchestra, which has been making music in our city since 2006. The players in this ensemble regularly play with legends of the music world, including Chaka Khan and Gloria Estefan to name a couple. This Friday, head to MOCA in North Miami to catch a free set by the band as part of the museum's monthly free jazz series. 8 p.m. Friday, December 27, at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, 770 NE 125th St., Miami; mocanomi.org. Admission is free.