It's 80 degrees out, there's no break in humidity, and the ladies of Miami haven't had a single chance to break out their assortment of Uggs. This winter's been a bit of a bummer in the seasonal spirit department thus far.
But no worries. Even if the unseasonably warm temperatures and perpetual sunshine continue through Christmas, we can get our holiday jollies at the Coconut Grove Candy Cane Village going up the weekend before.
The festive event will offer carnival rides like teacups, bumper cars, a ferris wheel and a giant fun slide (plus others), as well as giant holiday-themed balloons hovering above. Think nutcrackers, candy canes and gingerbread men (sadly, inedible).
"I'm born and raised in South Florida. The Grove growing up for me was always the "it" place, but people have kind of lost sight of that lately with Wynwood and the Design District taking over in popularity. The Grove has a phenomenal central, beautiful location that's perfect for events; we wanted to bring a little bit of magic to Coconut Grove," said Vanessa Goodis of Promo Moxie, the organizers of the event along with the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District.
In addition to rides and all the holiday accouterments you can imagine, there'll also be everyone's favorite indulgence: carnival food. They'll have eight different vendors selling everything from hot cocoa and hot apple cider to kettle corn, caramel apples and corn dogs.
And for those of us homesick for a little of the white stuff, snow will fall on the village every night from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Four towers will spray the disintegrating flurries on giddy crowds below.
To kick off the first snowfall on Friday, Christina Christian (of American Idol, season one), Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and Julie Guy from 97.3 The Coast will host a countdown to snow at 8 p.m. Once the snow starts falling, Christian will sing Winter Wonderland, her version of which was featured on the American Idol CD.
And what goes better with snow than ice? A faux ice skating rink will be set up on site, and for $5, attendees can score some skates and slide across a slippery surface -- but without the cold factor.
In addition, there'll be a whole host of other performances throughout the weekend, including a Jazz Ensemble by Mays Conservatory of the Arts; a holiday dance show by Miami Dance Theatre; an interactive animal showcase by Jungle Island, a Happy HulaDays Aloha Kalikimaka Polynesian dance show by Polynesian Proud Productions and lots of others.
Most importantly of all, Santa himself will be on site. He'll be taking up residence in a giant gingerbread house and posing for pics with kids and kids-at-heart.
In the words of everyone's favorite elf, Will Ferrell: "SANTA!!!!!!!!!!!"
The festival runs Friday, December 21 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday December 22 and 23 from 2 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, and kids two and under are free. Check out coconutgrovecandycanevillage.com for all the holiday deets.