Things To Do

The 21 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday: Irie Weekend
Thursday: Irie Weekend Courtesy of Irie Weekend

Thursday, June 29

If you grew up in a Cuban family, birthdays and Noche Buena always involved the maturer relatives retreating to lawn chairs and breaking out the dominoes. Whether or not the game makes any sense to you, the clacking of tiles and bursts of argument are nostalgic and, probably unbeknownst to many of us, rich in history and cultural significance. "Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles" is an exploration of these themes by artists from all over the United States and Latin America. The exhibition's opening reception includes a talk with artists and cocurators, plus music from PAMM's resident DJ Phaxas. 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; Admission costs $16.

DJ Irie has fingers in the most Miami of pies. He spins at Heat games, on Carnival cruises, and in various clubs. He also happens to have 12 years of fundraising for his foundation under his belt via his Irie Weekend. This year, the star-studded event has been extended to four days for Kevin Hart's birthday party at the River Yacht Club Sunday. But the pregame for that bash includes performances by Lil Yachty at LIV Friday, O.T. Genasis and T.I. at an Eden Roc pool party Saturday, plus a post-pool-party appearance by Future at E11even. 10 a.m. Thursday through Sunday at various locations; Tickets vary from $25 to $100 per event.

Of all the tales of young men growing up in the hood, Juice stands out not only as Tupac Shakur's acting debut but also as the directorial debut of Ernest Dickerson, who previously worked as Spike Lee's cinematographer and later won awards for his episodes of The Wire. For the 25th anniversary of Juice, O Cinema Wynwood has set up a screening, followed by a Q&A with Dickerson via Skype. Show up to watch the late Shakur spiral into violence while a young Omar Epps defends his honor, and for the Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah cameos. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at O Cinema Wynwood, 90 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-571-9970; Tickets cost $12.

Did you miss Radiohead's stunning concert at the AAA in March? Well, Thom Yorke and crew likely won't be back to Miami for a while, but a few Radiohead-obsessed local bands want to offer you the next best option. When Drawing Bored's Ralph Arana heard about the album OK Computer's landmark anniversary and its special-edition June re-release, he put out an open call on Facebook for bands interested in collaborating for a tribute night. Members of Snowmoon, Dama Vicke, and Off Orbit signed on, and An Interstellar Burst: A Tribute to Radiohead's OK Computer was born. They're taking over 1306 to do Thom Yorke proud. 9 p.m. Thursday at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; Admission costs $5 at the door.

Despite Miami's particular vulnerability to rising seas, environmental issues are often ignored by the Sunshine State. Perhaps the best example of this is Gov. Rick Scott's alleged banning of the term climate change in discussions within and among several government agencies. This seemingly small act of censorship inspired the play Firemen Are Rarely Necessary, the tale of an environmental journalist investigating toxic waste eroding Florida's limestone bedrock. But how do we talk about government conspiracy and corporate interests when the words have been banned by the same people we're trying to talk about? 8 p.m. Thursday at the Sandbox at Miami Theater Center, 9816 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores; 305-751-9550; Tickets cost $30.

click to enlarge Thursday: Impact 17 - ERIC T. WHITE FOR FAST COMPANY
Thursday: Impact 17
Eric T. White for Fast Company

The schedule for the Impact 17 Conference reads like the wet dream of every aspiring club promoter/producer/Instagram-model-turned-reality-TV-star with ADHD. The tightly packed evening will include six panels with titles like "Creating a Wave in Music" and "State of Entrepreneurship," a fashion show, a dozen performances, and the opportunity for one-on-one sessions with YesJulz and Tonio Skits. The longest segment lasts about 40 minutes, not including DJ Khaled's grand finale (that's one hour). So strap in, kids: Here's your crash course in all things showbiz. 1 p.m. Thursday at the Watsco Center, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables; Tickets cost $35 to $245.

Blending the harmonies of groups like Mountain Man with Ana Tijoux-style rapping and guitar stylings ranging from Latin folk to reggae to funk rock, Fémina is an Argentine trio that isn't afraid to do its own thing. Their first show in Miami will also kick off their latest U.S. tour. Get there early to grab a drink and situate yourself near the action for local opening acts, but you'll truly be in for a treat when these multitalented singers, poets, and musicians take the stage. 7 p.m. Thursday at Basement Miami, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-641-7119; Admission is free with RSVP at 

Friday, June 30

Don't suffer through another random open mike ever again. Instead, head to SpeakFridays' semimonthly events to see a mix of curated acts and spotlight hopefuls in disciplines ranging from music to comedy to poetry and beyond. This month's show is themed "Elevate" and will include appearances by comedian Esther Ku, poet and musician Aja Monet, and bands Pazmal and E.L.E.M.E.N.T.S. Show up early with your talents to sign up for the open mike and snag a seat in the intimate Light Box theater. 8 p.m. Friday at Miami Light Box, 404 NW 26th St., Miami; 786-252-1424; Tickets cost $15 to $20 via

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click to enlarge Saturday: Kali Mah Tina - COURTESY OF 1310 BANDITS PRODUCTIONS
Saturday: Kali Mah Tina
Courtesy of 1310 Bandits Productions

Saturday, July 1

Female-led production team the 1310 Bandits has been taking South Florida film by storm since its debut at the 48 Hour Film Project in 2015. Kali Mah Tina is the group's first feature-length film, and it was shot exclusively in South Florida. You'll probably recognize Kreepy Tiki and maybe (but we hope not) Miami-Dade College's mortuary school. The film follows two characters dealing with loss and confusion who are auspiciously connected through an online guru. A Q&A with the cast and crew, including Kali Mah Tina herself, will follow the screening. Pizza Craft will provide light bites. 5:30 p.m. Saturday at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-8190; Tickets cost $15 via 

Few things are worth braving Miami's July heat. But even sweat-matted hair and armpit stains shouldn't stop you from sampling the seemingly endless array of tropical goodness at the International Mango Festival. Whether you're there to buy a mango tree, sample mango beer, earn your mango master's degree, or just gorge on this sweet and juicy summer treat, this two-day celebration of everything mango will open your eyes to a brave new world of cooking, pairing, and drinking with this nectar of the gods. 9:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; 305-667-1651; Admission costs $25.

The name is misleading: Miami Spa Month is, in fact, two months of deals on your most essential nonessential needs, such as mani-pedis, massages, and facials. The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau has gifted the city with these months to get us through the meltingly hot, existential-crisis-inducing summer. And it works: With packages like the Spa Day at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne (which includes a 50-minute facial, a 50-minute massage, and all-day access to saunas, steam rooms, and a whirlpool for $199), why would you want to live anywhere else? Saturday through August 31 at various locations throughout Miami-Dade; Pricing varies.

Sunday, July 2

If you do it week after week, brunch can get a bit boring. But Providores & Publicans on Brickell is bringing some bang back to this in-between meal with Afrobeats n Brunch. DJ Krazy Touch will spin all sorts of rhythms originating from the African continent and its diaspora. Electroheads will enjoy Afrohouse, while those in need of Caribbean flavor will revel in soca and reggae. And in case you need a little liquid courage to get in the mood to munch, for only $40, you can indulge in bottomless mimosas. Noon Sunday at Providores & Publicans, 141 SW Seventh St., Miami; 786-618-2841. Admission costs $10 to $40.

One of the best things about summer is that it gives you an excuse to get glam and drunk to memorable soundtracks at a hotel where you can't afford to stay. On the 50th floor of the W on Brickell, British DJ Kryder will spin you into a tizzy with his hit song "Aphrodite." The Americana Pool Party, put on by the promoters of Vice District, allows you to let it all hang out. The house producer and beatmaker will get hearts thumping as you take a dip in the pool of love (or at least lust) this Fourth of July weekend. Noon Sunday at Whisper inside W Miami, 485 Brickell Ave., 50th floor, Miami; 305-503-4400; Admission costs $10.

Monday, July 3

1306 is one of Miami's most physically diverse venues. It has clean and modern gallery spaces, but also a sense of history in its old structure. There's a decidedly romantic outdoor area that screams to be ground zero for a blushing bride or, if you're into something a little harder, a dubstepper like Boogie T. Promoters Diligent Entertainment, Phreequency, and Massive Ideas have chosen this special downtown venue for their event Dub Day, where the New Orleans beatmaker will bring the major bass alongside Funk De La Cueva, the Supra, Niko Javan, and resident DJs Serious Jorge, Skoom, and Ders. 9 p.m. Monday at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; Admission costs $10 to $20.

If you want to forget that American democracy is dwindling away by dancing the Fourth of July away, you can start the day before at Electric Karnival. The sizable Virginia Key festival offers the time and place for electronica and Caribbean beats to come together in harmony. It headlines Diplo's cohort in Major Lazer, Walshy Fire, as well as Trini soca legend Bunji Garlin. There's no place in the world where these two genres meet more fully than Miami, so catch some local acts alongside the long list of international artists. Noon Monday at Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Key Biscayne; Admission costs $55 to $5,000.

click to enlarge Tuesday: Old-Fashioned Picnic - PHOTO BY JIM STAMPS
Tuesday: Old-Fashioned Picnic
Photo by Jim Stamps

Tuesday, July 4

The Miramar Amphitheater at Regional Park will celebrate its grand opening this Independence Day with fireworks provided by Memorial Hospital Miramar and a concert featuring a heavy lineup. You can catch R&B singer Kelly Price, Cape Verdean soul siblings Tavares, John Elephante of the band Kansas, Canadian disco queen France Joli, reggae artist Wayne Wonder, and salsa singer Eddie Santiago. The Kids' Zone will keep your little ones occupied while you explore the newest outdoor venue in South Florida. The city spent $7.4 million to build this amphitheater, which will be its crown jewel and likely draw many visitors to festivals and concerts of all kinds. 3 p.m. Tuesday at Regional Park, 16801 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar; 954-602-3325; Admission is free.

Not many cities inspire quite like Hialeah. The quirkiness of this West Miami-Dade town has fostered a generation of musicians and artists proud of their city and dedicated to figuring out ways to bring people there. The budding Leah Arts District is a good example of the power of the town's identity. The "City of Progress" will celebrate the birth of the nation with fireworks presented by Leon Medical Centers, a kids' area, food trucks, and live music. So if you want to go home to the city that made you so great, or if you want to see where your favorite new artist was raised, hit the Hialeah Independence Day Celebration and expect to be impressed. 5 p.m. Tuesday at Ted Hendrick Stadium, 4800 Palm Ave., Hialeah; 305-883-5800; Admission is free.

While the executive branch continues to disregard the beauty of democracy, we Americans can tell the president and his cohorts to shove it by celebrating the real Constitution this Fourth of July. And the way real Americans like to show their patriotism is by blowing up fireworks and slapping hog and cow on a hot grill. After the burgers are gone, head to Bayfront Park during America's Birthday Bash to be hypnotized by a dazzling array of color in the sky. The Kids' Zone will be open from 3 to 7 p.m., and fireworks will begin at 9. Just remember: Leave bottles, cans, coolers, and fireworks at home; the City of Miami has your back this time. 3 p.m. Tuesday at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; Admission is free.

Tell the colonists to stick it by celebrating the Fourth of July with some of the actual first Americans' descendants, and support Miccosukee culture in the process. Miccosukee Resort & Gaming brings families together to enjoy Florida at its finest and most interesting through the Freedom Festival. Where else can you enjoy "independence" with airboat rides and alligator wrestling shows? Nowhere in the world. There will be water slides and carnival rides for thrill seekers. 10 a.m. Tuesday at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, 500 SW 177th Ave., Miami; 877-242-6464; Admission is free.

In the days before iPhones, people spent holidays looking at one another and their surroundings. Though Independence Day is often spent taking shots of Fireball and downing hot dogs while screaming at fireworks, there's a more wholesome way to honor the birth of our dear nation. The Barnacle is putting on its Old-Fashioned Picnic, offering live tunes, chow, games, and crafts — all family-friendly and a perfectly safe way to enjoy a Tuesday off from work. 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; 305-442-6866; Admission costs $3 to $5.

Wednesday, July 5

It's pretty cool that right in Miami Beach, there's an organization and annual festival dedicated to enabling the creation and enjoyment of experimental music and sound art. It's pretty progressive as far as the arts go, providing residencies, platforms, and recording services to artists, as well as its biennial Subtropics XXIV Summer Festival. The nearly monthlong marathon concert will take place this week through July 22 at a variety of locations. There will be installations, performances, and even workshops. Get a taste of the subtropical sounds this Wednesday at the openings of the exhibitions "Listen" and "Microcosmos," and then don't forget to return for the full experimental meal. 7 p.m. Wednesday at Project 924 and Studio 209, 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; Admission is free.

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Taylor Estape
Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy