The best time of the year is finally here — New Year's Eve weekend. Welcome 2017 with music, art, parties, and boozy beverages galore. From Coral Gables to Little Havana to South Beach, these are the best places to be until the sun comes up Monday morning.
- 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium: Let’s be honest. Most years, the Capital One Orange Bowl game features the Nebraska Cornhuskers versus some other team they throttle by 56 points. But this year, the football gods have deemed it fit to give us arguably the best matchup of all the bowl games outside the College Football Playoffs, when the tenth-ranked Florida State Seminoles host the sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines at Hard Rock Stadium.
- WWE Live Holiday Tour at American Airlines Arena: A knock-down, drag-out fight seems like an entirely appropriate way to say so long to 2016. This was a year of epic disappointments, and everybody is bubbling over with simmering aggression. So why not spend one of the last days of the year watching adults in spandex perform a choreographed beatdown? The WWE Live Holiday Tour is coming to American Airlines Arena, and none other than Saturday Night Live all-star (and Amy Schumer’s most memorable fictional boyfriend) John Cena will headline.
- Wild Holidays at Jungle Island at Jungle Island: Furry creatures, feathered friends, and candy canes galore! Join in on Wild Holidays, a two-week family-friendly wildlife celebration at Jungle Island. Explore an oversize candy-cane jungle, watch the daily animal parade and animal shows, and enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, and story time. You can even take pictures with Santa among the critters.
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- New Year's Eve Parties in Miami: You could freeze your ass off in New York's Times Square watching a crystal ball drop, or you could enjoy the warmer climes of Miami and welcome 2017 without the North Face apparel. Miami might not do a lot of things rights (see: real estate, climate change, politics), but it certainly knows how to party. And New Year's Eve just so happens to be the day Miami's party prowess really shines. With every nightclub, hotel, and music venue hoping you'll come ring in 2017 with them, there's definitely no shortage of options.
- New Year's Eve 2017 Fireworks in Miami: It's possible people haven't been this excited about the arrival of a new year since the turn of the millennium. The death of George Michael was the final, crushing blow in a year that's been a total fail for everyone except Donald Trump. But there's hope in the promise of a new beginning, so we've got serious cause for celebration. And if you want to watch things go kablooey (like all of your naive dreams for 2016), here are the best places to watch fireworks on NYE.
- New Year's Eve 2017 Dinners for Less Than $100 in Miami: You easily cough up $200 on the night when sitting on your couch and watching the ball drop is just as entertaining and doesn't cost a small fortune. But do a little digging and you'll find options, whether it's dining out or grabbing a group a friends for some drinks, that won't require a credit card to hold your reservation. Check out these under-$100 picks to welcome 2017.
- King Mango Strut at Commodore Plaza: Are you willing to bet money on a crowned mango boxing a horde of colossal mosquitoes? The largest satirical parade in the Southeast, the King Mango Strut, is themed “Zika Mania” this year, critiquing mosquito-whisperer Gov. Rick Scott’s ordering of the insects not to fly outside his set boundaries. So if you’re still feeling weird and angry about 2016’s faux pas, join the Strut this Saturday on Commodore Plaza between Main Highway and Grand Avenue in Coconut Grove.
- Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium: The Miami Dolphins have been through a gauntlet of poop when it comes to head coaches in the past two decades. But in Adam Gase, they finally seemed to have found a really good one. In just his first year as the boss, Gase has seemingly done the impossible by not only making the Dolphins decent again, but also making quarterback Ryan Tannehill look like a bonafide NFL QB. The Dolphins, who have had some awful luck in finding a coach who knows football, lucked into Gase. Other teams passed on hiring the Gase, a rising-star assistant in Denver. The man made his name by making some mediocre QBs, such as Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton, look competent. But when other teams failed to sign Gase, the Dolphins pounced. The result: Miami is on the verge of reaching the playoffs for the first time since color TV was invented. This Sunday, the Fins will host hated rivals the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium to close out the regular season.