The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Monica McGivern

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend

It's the weekend before Miami Art Week, meaning the Magic City's streets are about to be inundated with tourists from across the globe. As glamorous as that might seem from the outside, we all know it'll be a nightmare. But much like the Glee episodes your significant other insists on making you watch, you grit your teeth and smile through it, all for love — or the ensuing perks. Either way, enjoy South Florida while it's still ours by catching the Drums at Gramps, Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami, and Riptide Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. You won't really appreciate it 'til it's gone.

"Raw" by the Young Artist Initiative at the Historic Post Office Building. 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 spectators to touch, smell, and even taste. The bar opens ahead of the exhibit's debut Tuesday. 8 a.m. Friday, December 1, through Saturday, December 9, at the Historic Post Office Building, 100-118 NE First Ave., Miami; youngartistinitiative.com. Admission costs $10 to $100

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend
Fredrik Nilsen Studio

The Institute of Contemporary Art Grand Opening. 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, December 1, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, 61 NE 41st St., Miami; 305-901-5272; icamiami.org. Admission is free.

The Mavericks at Parker Playhouse. 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, December 1, at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; parkerplayhouse.com. Tickets cost $34.50 to $67.50.

The Drums at Gramps. 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 dancing while crying sounds like a good time. 9 p.m. Friday, December 1, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Tickets cost $20.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend
courtesy of Zoo Miami

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami. 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.

Dark Basel at the Ground. 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, December 2, at the Ground, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; thegroundmiami.com. Admission costs $15.

Riptide Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. 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, December 2, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, December 3, in Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-889-0875; riptidefest.com. Tickets cost $60 to $400.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Artburst Miami

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker at the Adrienne Arsht Center. 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, December 2, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $25 to $75.

Jarabe de Palo at North Beach Bandshell. Miami sees its fair share of international music, whether it be from the Caribbean, South America, or Europe. But Jarabe de Palo has been blending rock, funk, and jazz with Afro-Caribbean and Latin influences for 20 years, bringing a level of sophistication and experience to the genre you might not be used to. Eight albums and 15 Latin Grammy nominations later, the band is celebrating with a low-key show under the twinkly lights of the North Beach Bandshell. 7 p.m. Saturday, December 2, at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-453-2897; northbeachbandshell.com. Tickets cost $46.95 via eventbrite.com

Women Run Wynwood 5K at the Wynwood Yard. 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, December 3, 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.

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