The 14 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Little Joe: See Friday
Little Joe: See Friday
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
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Thursday, December 12

For definitive proof there is such thing as a funny gene, look no further than the Wayans family. The famous brood made its mark on the entertainment world with the likes of the Scary Movie franchise and comedy classic In Living Color. And there's no doubt that Saturday Night Live alum and My Wife and Kids star Damon Wayans is the leader of the pack. Known for his no-holds-barred observational style, Wayans is bringing his standup set to Miami's Improv Theater this Thursday for the latest stop on his comedy tour, It's Personal. 8 p.m. Thursday at the Miami Improv, 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; 305-441-8200. Tickets cost $40 to $50 via miamiimprov.com.

Having launched his music career through a weekly video series on Instagram, #getTWISTEDsundays, Tobe Nwigwe boasts a tapestry of homegrown charm, creative excellence, and distinctive vocals that sets him above his online peers. With the internet ablaze while fans tout his 2018 album, The Originals, as one of their favorites in recent memory, the former NCAA football star-turned-rapper is embarking on a short December run of dates in support of the Ivory Tour, his first formal trek as a touring artist. Catch the Houston-based musician, along with his wife and creative partner Fat, at the Ground this week. Pop duo the Amours will perform an opening set. 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ground, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; thegroundmiami.com. Tickets cost $25 to $75 via eventbrite.com.

Friday, December 13

If you've ever been to New York, you're probably well-acquainted with the wonderful tradition of "showtime." No, not the cable network — showtime is when dancers, musicians, and other performers break out in spontaneous performance for commuters on the subway, who are usually so bored with it they don't even bother looking up. But Miami isn't bored! Not yet anyway. That's why Buskerfest is taking over downtown this Friday. Artists will perform throughout the Metromover's Inner Loop from 4 to 6 p.m. before heading to the grand finale in Bayfront Park. Spectators can pick up a Buskerfest passport at any stop to document their experience. 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Metromover Inner Loop stations and Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Admission is free.

Little Joe is the latest indie sci-fi gem to captivate audiences without the benefit of a blockbuster-size budget. Directed by Jessica Hausner, the eerie story centers on a plant breeder, played by Emily Beecham, who's works for a futuristic corporation. After she breaks company policy to give her son an experimental flower that carries a scent that is supposed to make him happy, she begins to see there might be a sinister side to the new species. 6:30 p.m. Friday through Wednesday, December 18, at Bill Cosford Cinema at the University of Miami's School of Communication, 5030 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables; cosfordcinema.com. Tickets cost $8 to $10.

SantaCon: See Saturday.EXPAND
SantaCon: See Saturday.
Photo Amadeus McCaskill

Saturday, December 14

Ever heard of SantaCon? You've probably seen the footage: Every year, thousands of red-suited, drunken miscreants terrorize the people of New York City in the unholy name of "holiday cheer." It's like St. Patrick's Day, and though the clothes are a different color, the upchuck always looks the same. Now Miami has to deal with all of that. SantaCon will take over the Bayfront Holiday Village this Saturday, and there will be plenty of beer, cocktails, and other beverages to be had. Participants will receive a free drink before 5 p.m. and are encouraged to bring a toy for Miami's children in need; it might get you back on the "nice" list after all that boozing. Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday in Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Admission is free.

It might be the most ridiculous, high-stakes rivalry of the year: Who has the better spicy chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A or Popeye's? The latter chain introduced its take on the dish earlier this year, and it promptly sold out at locations across the nation. Nevertheless, there are some noble souls who believe fast-food chains have no right deciding the best chicken sandwich. That's the idea behind the $1,000 Chicken Sandwich Battle, sponsored by the food blog Hungry Black Man. Locals can enter and vote on who really has the best fried chicken on a bun (the best in Miami, at least), with $1,000 in prize money up for grabs. 3 p.m. Saturday at a Space Called Tribe Co-Work and Urban Innovation Lab, 937 NW Third Ave., Miami; spacecalledtribe.com. General admission is free; competitor and vendor fee is $50 via eventbrite.com.

Sunday, December 15

It may seem like being obsessed with Seinfeld is old hat nowadays (current trends indicate everyone has moved on to Frasier), but fortunately, Festivus is here to remind us all of the show's absurd greatness and that we don't have to conform to the standard goings-on of the holiday season. If you'd like to air your grievances, head to the Abbey Brewing Company for its Festivus Party, complete with food, drink specials, and the Feats of Strength, of course. And remember: Even though it's a made-up holiday, when you really think about it, everything else is made up too. 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday at the Abbey Brewing Company, 1115 16th St., Miami Beach; 305-538-8110; abbeybrewinginc.com. Admission is free.

Sneaker Games Interactive Culture Convention: See Sunday.
Sneaker Games Interactive Culture Convention: See Sunday.
Photo by Kristin Bjørnsen

Taking over Hard Rock Stadium this Sunday, the Sneaker Games Interactive Culture Convention is a mecca for any serious shoe collector. More than 200 vendors will set up shop, meaning you'll likely be able to walk away with those coveted kicks you've been salivating over on StockX. Also on the itinerary is the Gaming District, offering live tournaments, competitions, raffles, and other fun activities. The cherry on top: Every attendee will receive a ticket to the Miami Dolphins' December 22 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; 305-943-8000; hardrockstadium.com. Tickets cost $35 to $179 via eventbrite.com.

For too long, soccer lovers in Miami have had few ways to experience the exhilaration of a live pro match. Sure, we get an international game at the stadium every once in a while, but it's not enough. Luckily, Inter Miami will begin MLS play next year, but to really get an idea of the highest heights of pro soccer, you need to experience the English Premier League, where the most talented players in the world compete to massive stadiums full of fans. NBC Sports will give Miami a taste of the madness at its Premier League Mornings Live Fan Fest at the Clevelander. Festivities will begin at 6 a.m., an hour before the first game kicks off across the pond. Come for a chance to be on TV while supporting your favorite club or to learn more about the sport the rest of the world calls football. 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Clevelander South Beach, 1020 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-532-4006; clevelander.com. RSVP via nbcsports.com/PremierLeagueMorningsLive.

Tiki drinks are Esotico's specialty.
Tiki drinks are Esotico's specialty.
Photo courtesy of Esotico Miami

Monday, December 16

It's time for Trivia Night at Concrete Beach. Every Monday at 7:30, you can wrangle a team of trivia buffs and put your otherwise useless knowledge of pop culture to use. Are you a secret Harry Potter nerd? Now is your chance to impress, if not slightly weird out, your friends in the hopes of claiming a prize. Sip your craft beer of choice and let the games begin. 7:30 p.m. Monday at Concrete Beach Brewery, 325 NW 24th St., Wynwood; concretebeachbrewery.com. Admission is free.

Conceived by renowned mixologist Daniele Dalla Pola, Esotico Miami, situated in the heart of Miami's Arts and Entertainment District, is the new must-try tropical-themed bar and craft cocktail spot. With a rum-centric menu of creative tiki drinks, the bar's masterminds are taking things up a notch with the launch of their new event series, Rum Dinner. Take a seat with your resident rum expert and enjoy an all-inclusive dinner, cocktails, rum master class, and tasting. At your next dinner party, you can even try to impress your friends with everything you learned here — if you can remember it. 6:30 p.m. Monday at Esotico Miami, 1600 NE First Ave., Edgewater; esoticomiami.com. Tickets cost $95 via eventbrite.com.

Patti Smith: See Tuesday
Patti Smith: See Tuesday
Photo by Steven Sebring

Tuesday, December 17

Rock legend Patti Smith has been in a reflective mood as of late. In 2015, she followed up her acclaimed 2010 memoir, Just Kids — which explored her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe — with M Train, which she presented at the 2017 Miami Book Fair. This year, she's back with yet another memoir, Year of the Monkey, and she'll tell us all about it during An Evening With Patti Smith at the Arsht Center. A copy of the book is included with ticket purchase. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 2Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $37.

Fernando Botero "has certainly earned his place in history," world-renowned Miami gallerist Gary Nader says. Thirteen of the artist's famed bulbous bronze works have been installed along Lincoln Road Mall, where they will remain until spring 2020. Botero's visionary outdoor sculptures have been exhibited along the Champs-Élysées in Paris, at Yebisu Garden Place in Tokyo, and in the Lustgarten in Berlin. Don't miss your chance to stroll along Miami Beach's famous promenade while feasting your eyes on these modern masterpieces. Through March 31, 2020, on Lincoln Road between Washington Avenue and Alton Road, Miami Beach; lincolnrd.com. Admission is free.

Wednesday, December 18

What is disco Frisbee, you ask? Take your standard game of Ultimate Frisbee, infuse it with nightclub-worthy visuals, and — voilà! — you have disco Frisbee. Accentuated by neon and LED lights, the friendly game (which is certainly not regulated by the World Flying Disc Federation) is lax on rules, packed full of action, and will go down after the sun sets. The meeting point will be at the Freehand Hotel at 7:30 p.m. sharp, at which point players will move to the beach to play. Head back to the Freehand's 27 Restaurant & Bar afterward for some late happy-hour food and drink specials. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Freehand Hotel, 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-2727; freehandhotels.com/miami. Tickets are free via eventbrite.com.

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