The 21 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday: Brika.
Thursday: Brika.
Courtesy of the artist
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.


A beautiful marriage of talent and place is going down at the lush Pinecrest Gardens with artist Patrick Dougherty's installation Stickwork. The gardens, once home to Parrot Jungle, are a beautiful representation of the area before people encroached on the landscape. Dougherty creates haunting but homey structures from bent sticks. Sometimes the sculptures are almost like nests. But you'll have to show up to the opening to see what he, with the help of volunteers, crafted by hand out of tons of locally sourced saplings. The work will likely be on display for two years, but a show like this deserves multiple visits. 6 p.m. Thursday at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd., Pinecrest; pinecrestgardens.org. Admission costs $5.

We all know Peter Pan, the ethereal child who swoops Wendy and her brothers out of their beds and into a fantastical land where they never have to grow up. But what created the boy who can fly by merely thinking happy thoughts? Peter and the Starcatcher is a theatrical adaptation of the 2004 children's book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson that posits the origin story of Captain Hook's nemesis. Watch as an orphan becomes the leader of the Lost Boys in this Tony Award-winning play. 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St., Aventura; 305-466-8002; aventuracenter.org. Tickets cost $20 to $49.

Two years ago, graphic designer Diego Orlandini jumped on the adult coloring book craze by compiling a collection of outlines based on murals in Miami's ultracolorful Wynwood neighborhood. The result, The Wynwood Coloring Book, was a hit. Now Orlandini is back with a second edition, containing pages by mural artists such as Ron English, Okuda, and El Seed. He'll celebrate the sequel's official launch with a party at the Wynwood Yard, offering music, live painting, coloring stations, and artist signings. For every book sold, a free textbook will be given to a child in need. 6 p.m. Thursday at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; wynwoodyard.com. Admission is free.

Relationships are drama. Simply ask Brika, the Miami singer whose latest release, "Just Wanna Be Single," recalls overhearing two lovers quarreling. Brika's vibe is far too chill for that nonsense. Since her debut album, 2014's Voice Memos, her sultry alt-soul stylings have earned her an increasingly devoted fan base. Expect to see plenty of converts in the audience when she performs during RnBae. 8 p.m. Thursday at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Tickets cost $10 to $12.

Do we even deserve Lady Gaga? The 31-year-old has brought a kind of legitimacy to pop music that's capable of overshadowing the out-of-touch and two-dimensional child's play of artists such as Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, on top of being a powerful advocate for sexual assault survivors and the LGBTQ community. Her show is sure to be an onslaught of light shows, costumes, and musicianship, even if Mother Monster is living a little closer to Earth these days. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-777-1000; aaarena.com. Tickets cost $46 to $251.

Thursday: Debut of Wynwood Coloring Book, Second Edition.
Thursday: Debut of Wynwood Coloring Book, Second Edition.
Courtesy of Diego Orlandini/Wynwood Coloring Book


Art Basel doesn't technically begin until next Thursday, but Young Artist Initiative, whose pop-up exhibit "Raw" pairs 15 emerging artists with 15 musicians for a ten-day run, is getting an early start. Its pop-up bar, the Sixth, will open Friday to prepare viewers to interact with works by Stereotank, Anja Marais, and others, which promise elements that invite viewers to touch, smell, and even taste. The bar opens Friday, ahead of the "Raw" exhibit debut Tuesday. 8 a.m. Friday through December 9 at the Historic Post Office Building, 100-118 NE First Ave., Miami; youngartistinitiative.com. Admission costs $10 to $100. 

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) had a fantastic fling at the Moore Building, its former Design District home. It was a perfect rebound building for the former Museum of Contemporary Art staffers who founded ICA: historic, unique, and located in a flashy, creative neighborhood. But the Moore Building was never long-term-partnership material. Instead, the ICA will open its newly constructed, hotly anticipated permanent museum this Friday, just in time for Art Basel. Few outsiders have gotten a look at the space, but all signs indicate it's a marriage made in art heaven. A grand-opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will take place at 9:30 a.m., before the museum opens to the public at noon. Noon Friday at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, 61 NE 41st St., Miami; 305-901-5272; icamiami.org. Admission is free.

Miami's rich history and eclectic population can bear some peculiar fruit. Take, for instance, the Mavericks. With a blend of old-school country crooning, horns that range from mariachi to salsa, and even surfer guitar riffs, the four-piece band plays Americana that might make sense only to all the Southerners marooned here in Caribbean- and South American-drenched South Florida. The band is touring in support of Brand New Day, its latest studio effort. 8 p.m. Friday at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; parkerplayhouse.com. Tickets cost $34.50 to $67.50.

Once a duo but now the sole work of leading man Jonny Pierce, the Drums is heading south to grace us with indie-pop angst. Abysmal Thoughts was released this summer and has been celebrated as a return to form for the New York-based project. Exploring heartbreak and the balance of darkness and light, the album could be an indication of a good time — if you think simultaneously dancing and crying sounds like a good time. 9 p.m. Friday at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Tickets cost $20.

Every Friday and Saturday night in December, Zoo Miami will dazzle with dozens of twinkling animal sculptures and foliage decorations during Zoo Lights. Karaoke, films, and photos with Santa will provide added holiday cheer, but the real dream fulfillment comes with themes such as PJ and Snuggie Nights (this Friday and Saturday), Ugly Sweater Nights (December 8 and 9), and Star Wars Galactic Nights (December 15 and 16). Show up in your favorite jammies, a crocheted monstrosity, or Stormtrooper costume, respectively, and get a chance to win some prizes and generally be awesome. 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in December and every night December 26 through 30 at Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami; 305-251-0400; zoomiami.org. Admission costs $9.95.

Friday: ICA grand opening.
Friday: ICA grand opening.
Photo by Iwan Baan


All the color and spectacle of Art Basel week can make a goth kid feel isolated. Is there no place in this town untainted by champagne-fueled revelry and garish pop art? Just one: the Ground, which will host Dark Basel, a celebration of South Florida's darker subcultures. Expect a handful of live performances headlined by L.A. bands 3teeth and Vowws, plus a show by fetish performer Val Vampyre and DJ sets by DJ DeadHead and Rippin Kittin. Oh, and a roomful of anti-Baselites in their finest rubber, leather, and fetish regalia. 9 p.m. Saturday at the Ground, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; thegroundmiami.com. Admission costs $15.

While the kids of today spend another weekend elbowing their way through nightclubs and talking themselves past velvet ropes, the 30-plus set will head to Fort Lauderdale to relive their own misspent youth. Riptide Music Festival has lined up a two-day series of heavy-hitting nostalgia acts, throwing it all the way back to the disco era with KC & the Sunshine Band and progressing through the classic '70s guitars of Foreigner, the '80s arena rock of Loverboy, and the '90s R&B of Boyz II Men and into the '00s with Cage the Elephant, Weezer, and Portugal the Man. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday in Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-889-0875; riptidefest.com. Tickets cost $60 to $400.

Sitting through hours of serene, snooze-inducing ballet can be a hard sell for most kids, especially when they're hopped up on Christmas cookies. Even ballets created with children in mind, such as the holiday classic The Nutcracker, can be challenging for tiny wannabe dancers. So why not let rap legend Kurtis Blow, the guy behind the 1980 hit "These Are the Breaks," turn up the volume? That's the idea behind The Hip-Hop Nutcracker, updating the traditional Tchaikovsky ballet via remixes, onstage musicians, and hip-hop dancing set to the sounds of Blow's verses. 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $25 to $75.


Wynwood will be abuzz with the art world's nosiest and most in-the-know during Miami Art Week. But another event will coincide with the art fairs: the Women Run Wynwood 5K. So lace up your sneakers and get to the area to remind the art snobs that the bodies hidden under all of that asymmetrical clothing can do amazing things. This Triple Threat Fit event is an empowerment run, giving women drive through exercise and nutrition. It'll also include guest speakers, vendors, food trucks, and other diversions. 9 a.m. Sunday at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; triplethreatfit.com/women-run-wynwood. Admission is free. Sign up for the run at triplethreatfit.com/run-5k.


Ten years ago, the Knight Foundation began funding cultural projects in Miami through the Knight Arts Challenge, a program that awarded grant money to nascent creative endeavors while coaching organizers in the subtle art of fundraising. A decade later, it's hard to find a cultural program in Miami that hasn't benefitted from the Knight Arts Challenge. That's an achievement worth celebrating, and local creatives plan to do exactly that with a free Monday-night party combining music by Spam Allstars and Locos por Juana, art, and dance in the plaza between Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Frost Museum of Science. The foundation will also announce the winners of this year's awards. 7 to 10 p.m. Monday in the plaza adjacent to PAMM, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; knightfoundation.org/arts-10. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.

Saturday: Dark Basel.
Saturday: Dark Basel.
Coutesy of Dark Basel


Hollywood birthed some of the 20th Century's most iconic styles. But now, in the new millennium, it can be hard to feel a connection with films from back in the day. The graphic designers of Jacober Creative are bridging the gap with "IRL (In Reel Life): From Celluloid to Cellular, Recasting the Classics Through Graphic Design." The exhibit shows a collection of movie-inspired designs of ordinary objects, from a Carrie-themed water canteen to 12 custom cigarette boxes imprinted with a graphic from Desperately Seeking Susan. Browsing the show just might reignite your love of film classics. 6 p.m. Tuesday through December 31 at Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-672-3293; jacobercreative.com. Admission is free.

Atlanta is synonymous with R&B. So it's no surprise that female R&B sensation of the '90s and early '00s Xscape hailed from that Southern city. The group is made up of Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, and sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott. Their first album, Off the Hook, went platinum. They worked with Keith Sweat, Da Brat, and MC Lyte and even sang the background vocals in Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" remix. The ladies are returning to the road for their Great Xscape Tour; talented chanteuses Monica and Tamar Braxton will open. Their sensual songs will break the Art Basel madness. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; aaarena.com. Admission costs $44.

No so-called weird girl has captured the world's collective attention quite as long or as deeply as Björk. From her time with the perfectly poppy indie band Sugarcubes to her role in the heart-wrenching film Dancer in the Dark to her most recent album about her breakup with artist and film director Matthew Barney, Björk offers the kind of quirky stardom the world needs. III Points is bringing the icon to Mana for a DJ set as part of the festival's annual Art Basel Concert Series. She'll probably spin a wide range of danceable tunes, but attendees will probably just gaze upon the eternal fabulousness that the Icelandic queen emits. 9 p.m. Tuesday at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $55 to $111 via showclix.com.


The recent rise of the right in England and Europe makes for poignant and impactful work from Tania El Khoury, an artist working out of London and Beirut. It's also timely and important work for Miami viewers. In both of her performance pieces, Gardens Speak and As Far as My Fingertips Take Me, Khoury implicates audience members in the specific and personal stories of refugee Basel Zaraa and resistance fighters in Syria. Through intimate sound and gallery performance, Khoury makes it more difficult for us to forget the consequences of our willful ignorance. 7 p.m. Wednesday through December 9 in the Gleason Room at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, and the Clinton Room at the New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; mdclivearts.org. Tickets cost $28.

It looks like something out of a Tim Burton film: a white, treelike sculpture rising as tall as three people, with branches curving downward in perfectly circular arcs. At the tips of those branches, mist-filled bubbles grow and then detach, floating toward spectators below. The bubbles bounce off your clothing but burst at the touch of your hand, leaving a globe of mist that dissipates seconds later. It's not a fever dream; it's New Spring, a public art installation born out of a collaboration between the design firm Studio Swine and the clothing label COS. Catch it as part of Design Miami/ before it disappears after Art Basel. 11 a.m. Wednesday through December 10 at the Temple House, 1415 Euclid Ave., Miami Beach; cosstores.com. Admission is free.

Based in Miami and Manhattan, former Pink Elephant nightclub owner Shawn Kolodny pulls from his experiences with addiction and materialism to create artwork. He'll present a provocative, immersive installation, Fake Fulfillment Center, December 6 through 10. Guests enter the 5,000-square-foot space with multisensory works through a pharmacy and slap on a lab coat. The work investigates issues that are appropriate for South Beach, such as class, wealth, status, drugs, and, as the title suggests, the not-so-authentic nature of it all. Ironically, the installation will be social-media-friendly, so prepare to click and hashtag away. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Boulan South Beach, 220 21st St., Miami Beach; fakefulfillmentcenter.splashthat.com. Admission costs $25. RSVP is suggested.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.