Break out your favorite ugly holiday sweater and get creative with themed props in the photo booth at New Times' Sips and Sweets. Rock out to your favorite songs spun by DJs inside the Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection after it's been transformed into a winter wonderland brimming with treats, cocktails, holiday music, and fun. Skip the mall and shop for holiday gifts in the Vendor Village, and bring a new, unwrapped toy valued around $10 to receive a commemorative cup allowing you to enjoy larger sips at the event. All toys will benefit the Little Lighthouse Foundation. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 14, at the Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection, 2000 NE 146th St., North Miami; 305-571-7579. Tickets cost $25 to $50 in advance via newtimessipsandsweets.com and $45 to $75 at the door while supplies last.
Classical often takes a back seat to pop, trap, and house music in this city because no one feels like snorting lines of coke to the sounds of a symphony orchestra. Designer drugs aside, Nu Deco Ensemble strives to bring classical into the 21st Century through innovative programming. For its latest show at the Light Box, the ensemble will adapt Daft Punk tunes to string instruments and perform the work of contemporary composers Paul Dooley, Kevin Puts, and Guillaume Connesson. The violin and double-bass trio Time for Three will assist. 8 p.m. Thursday, December 14, through Saturday, December 16, at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th St., Miami; nu-deco.org. Tickets cost $40 to $90.
If your idea of a holiday party stops at unintended blackouts and free cookies, try CCEMiami's Come to Esta Fiesta. The Paula Marfil Band will play Spanish pop before sets from local DJ Eveava and DJ Terence Tabeau. Before getting down, you can peruse the Christmas Bazaar's collection of jewelry, accessories, and beauty products and chow down on offerings from food trucks. Get there in time for the open bar, which will run until 9:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 14, at CCEMiami, 1490 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-448-9677; ccemiami.org. Admission is free.
Nobu is so synonymous with luxury that Future can rap a whole bar of that word and get away with it. If you're not sure what he was talking about, Taste of Nobu is a high-end introduction. Forty chefs from various Nobu locations will serve canapes from their unique menus, paired with sake and champagne. A silent auction benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will round out the night. If you're feeling especially decadent, purchase a VIP ticket and enjoy early access, a meet-and-greet with chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and an afterparty on the Nobu Terrace. 7 p.m. Friday, December 15, at Eden Roc Miami Beach, 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-0000; edenrochotelmiami.com. Tickets cost $200 to $250.
You can hear "Baby It's Cold Outside" only so many times before you think, We're in Miami — where's "Feliz Navidad"? Well, you're sure to get that song and others at Ready for Christmas with Jose Negroni and Sonido Tre. The returning jazz pianist and the Latin-pop trio hail from Puerto Rico, so you won't be tortured with the shrill sound of a children's choir or dogs barking jingle bells (yeah, it's a thing). Afterward, pour some coquito and toast to the most wonderful time of the year. 8 p.m. Friday, December 15, at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-547-5414, ext. 226; miamidadecountyaudtorium.org. Tickets cost $43.
Everyone should witness The Nutcracker at least once in their lives. Not only is George Balanchine's choreography a famous and classic example of the precision and beauty of ballet, but also the tale brims with Christmas clichés that give you the warm fuzzies. It's also one of Tchaikovsky's best-known group of compositions. Whether you have little ones waiting to be wowed or you're ready for an intense shot of holiday nostalgia, Miami City Ballet's new production of this classic is a perfect fit for the season. 8 p.m. Friday, December 15, through December 24 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $30 to $125.
Holidays be damned — the real reason you're excited for December this year is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Baptist Health Foundation and Coral Gables Title & Escrow are taking advantage of the film's holiday release by throwing a premiere party and benefit for the Miami Cancer Institute. On top of your ticket to see one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, admission gets you a T-shirt and entry to a raffle. Sure, you're mostly interested in watching Rey kick ass, but doing some good for humanity at the same time won't hurt. 7 p.m. Friday, December 15, at AMC Sunset Place 24, 5701 Sunset Dr., Suite 300, South Miami; facebook.com/coralgablestitle. Tickets cost $30 to $60 via eventbrite.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 305-400-8802.
For 30 years, generations of gamers have been bequeathed the Legend of Zelda, so folks of all ages, stripes, and gaming-console preferences will converge for the return of the classical homage to the videogame's soundtrack. Symphony of the Goddesses includes a new movement for Skyward Sword, a new arrangement titled Breath of the Wind, and the return of Ballad of the Windfish. Get ready to salute Koji Kondo and relish flashbacks of Link's many adventures. 8 p.m. Saturday, December 16, at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $55 to $150.
Music has an uncanny way of recalling images of a specific time and place, like the way "Jingle Bells" transports you to the long, painful lines at retail stores in December. The New World Symphony's Wallcast concert Sounds of the Season will take you to much happier places, though. Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev will accompany Hanukkah and Christmas tunes, so bring Grandma, the kids, and everybody in between for a festive night under the stars. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16, in SoundScape Park, 400 17th St., Miami Beach; 305-673-3330; nws.edu. Admission is free.
Perhaps you've been suffering from naughtiness withdrawal since Halloween ended. The most wholesome of seasons can do that to even the chastest among us. But you can have your holiday cake and eat it too at Erika Moon's Holiday Spectacular, a cabaret, burlesque, and variety show guaranteed to turn the heat up on your frigid week. Show up for the music, the talent, or the chance to win a free gift courtesy of Erika Moon's Boutique, but most of all, show up because we all know the holidays deserve a dose of nipple pasties. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16, at the Fillmore, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7300; fillmoremb.com. Tickets cost $35 to $75.
The high-rise condos, international restaurants, and late-night clubs can make you forget about Miami's most alluring feature: the water. But Miami Waterkeeper hopes you remember the bay surrounding your city, because the nonprofit's main goal is to advocate for and educate the populace about clean water in South Florida. Bay Day, with kayaking, fishing, pontoon boat rides, and sailing, is a fun-filled approach to that mission. Plenty of educational activities will make you aware of the importance of the Magic City's most prized natural resource, while food, drinks, games, and yoga will entertain throughout the day. 10 a.m. Saturday, December 16, at Shake-A-Leg, 2620 Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove; 844-847-2295; miamiwaterkeeper.org. Tickets cost $25 to $30 for adults and $10 to $12 for children.
Tired of spending all of your time drinking? Want to use what's left of your brain while you indulge? The third-annual Wynwood Arts District Crawl is both a beer crawl and scavenger hunt. The four breweries and two craft beer bars along the route of this leisurely crawl will offer discounts such as 15 percent off all 16-ounce pours at Wynwood Brewing Company and $1 off suds at Concrete Beach Brewery. Wear comfy shoes, arrive with a full belly, and don't forget to tip the bartenders as you would on a full-priced tab. Oh, and have fun, you crazy mammals! 12:30 p.m. Saturday, December 16, at Wynwood Brewing Company, 565 NW 24th St., Miami; facebook.com/SFLHops. Tickets cost $9.50 via eventbrite.com.
There's nothing quite like a tropical holiday. The seasonal feeling is still there, but without the oppressive cold. Miamians can munch on swine roasted in a caja china under the stars and wear shorts to holiday gatherings. SoundBite magazine is harnessing that unique seasonal playtime with Tropic Winter. Jam to Brazilian alt-rock band Red Light Motel, the soulful PJ Aviles, rockers Castafellas, and the pop of Rick Moon — all under the Wynwood moon and likely in perfect weather. 9 p.m. Saturday, December 16, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; gramps.com; soundbitemagazine.net. Tickets cost $5 presale via eventbrite.com and $7 at the door.
Head to Y100 Jingle Ball for a whiff of adolescence — not the stinky, just-started-getting-body-odor kind, but more of a young, hopeful essence. Everything at Jingle Ball is geared toward those idealistic days of yore. This year, the massive concert will offer heavy-hitting pop stars such as Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony, Logic, and Halsey. So get back in a happy-days, fevered-fan mindset (and wear comfortable shoes, because this show runs long); then let the ball jingle. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 17, at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets start at $46 via ticketmaster.com.
Any pinball wizards out there? You're in luck, you little Tommys, because the Magic City has a Miami Pinball IFPA Tournament. Wannabe champs can show off their skills at the competition and practice beforehand at the Miami Pinball Company, AKA the Miami Pinball Museum & Bar. Who knew this city was blessed with such a fantastically fun and vintage-style place to play? 1 p.m. Sunday, December 17, at Miami Pinball Museum & Bar, 2000 NE 146th St., Miami; facebook.com/miamipinball. Admission costs $20.
Connecting through sport is a great way to create community. This Sunday at Gibson Park, Miamians will come together for Overtown during the One Love Run. The Christmas edition of this run will spread love through generosity. The neighborhood will get a holiday makeover when the runners hand out gift cards and other presents to Overtown residents. Celebrate the season of giving while also getting a workout. 4 p.m. Sunday, December 17, at Gibson Park, 401 NW 12th St., Miami; miamigov.com. Admission is free.
Need a last-minute gift that's original and freaking cool? Miami Flea Holiday Bizarre has just the thing for your loved ones or your office Secret Santa. The greatest thing about Miami Flea is you're buying local products, not stuff that was mass-produced. And when you need a break from browsing the treasured items, you can munch on food from local restaurants. Master Feathers will spin tunes, and Freddy's Son Trio, Dama Vicke, and Shensi will perform live. Bring the kids for some crafty entertainment too. Even dogs are welcome. You have no excuse to buy that gift on Amazon. 1 p.m. Sunday, December 17, at 1445 N. Miami Ave., Miami; aedistrictmiami.com. Admission is free.
Monday night can be boring, or it can be loud. Choose the latter and hit up B-Side for quadruple-whammy performances by A.S.M. (Antichrist Siege Machine), Caveman Cult, Dozier, and CND. Presented by Alternative MIA, this metal Monday is just the thing your chilled-out holiday needs. A.S.M. will bring a brutal assault of death metal, Dozier will deliver the thrash, Caveman Cult will keep it primal, and CND will swirl in some hardcore crossover. Wear earplugs and make the season count. 8 p.m. Monday, December 18, at B-Side, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; facebook.com/alternativemia. Admission is free.
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Erik Deutsch's grandfather was a musician, his father was a barroom pianist, and his nanny was an opera singer. So, naturally, he became a music man himself. The D.C.-born pianist and composer began at the age of 6 on a Suzuki. He formed the band Fat Mama in Boulder, Colorado, and later the Americana band County Road X and the piano trio Triangle. Now in Brooklyn, the keys man is making music solo, touring with Citizen Cope and Charlie Hunter, and joining the Cajun crew Leftover Salmon. Catch him tickling the ivories at the Corner, a perfect place to sip a whiskey in dim light and soak in some piano genius. 10 p.m. Tuesday, December 19, at the Corner, 1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami; hammerandstring.com. Admission is free.
Have you ever seen Katy Perry sing her Sesame Street version of "Hot N Cold" with Elmo? She maintains her living-gingerbread-house style with a revealing getup, even on morning kids' TV. But that's Katy Perry. She's just sweet and honest and funny, and she knows how to pull off an outfit that a slutty cake-topper couldn't wear with class. She's on the road for Witness: The Tour, stopping in Miami with Canadian dream-pop duo Purity Ring. 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 20, at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; aaarena.com. Tickets cost $46.50 to $196.50 via ticketmaster.com.
The two best holidays are Halloween and Christmas, and Halloween wins because you don't have to spend it with the whole family in an enclosed space. The Gay Vista Social Club (GVSC) knows the holiday struggle, so it's hosting its annual December potluck with the theme "The Nightmare Before GVSC... Halloween vs. Christmas Holiday Party." Expect punch, buffets, sing-alongs to tunes from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and a screening of the film. Guests will be assigned to dress in either Halloween or Christmas attire and can compete in the best-dressed contest. 7 p.m. to midnight Wednesday, December 20, at the American Czech-Slovak Cultural Club, 13325 Arch Creek Rd., North Miami; facebook.com/GVSCmiami. Register for free admission at eventbrite.com.