The Ten Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

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Wine is the elixir of creativity. It unlocks artistic whimsy and lowers inhibitions. Are you doing this right? Hell, there's no wrong way to paint a beach at sunset or a cabin in the mountains or a demure cocktail glass like the one in your hand. Painting-and-drinking classes are all the rage, and why wouldn't they be? Nothing is more fun than expressing yourself among friends and strangers when adult beverages are involved. It's even cooler when the event takes place inside Drinkhouse Fire & Ice — Miami's first "ice bar and experimental cocktail fire lounge." It's a monthly gathering called Canvas Club, and it invites you to chill out, sip on, and paint it out. Your host and instructor, Asa "Ash" F. Charles, will bring out your inner artist, no judgments allowed. Everything is included in the fee, from the apron to the paints, the canvas, and the brushes. A glass of wine or specialty nonalcoholic beverage is included for $35. For $45, you get a faux fur coat and gloves to paint and sip in the 23-degree Ice Bar. Bring a special someone for the "Perfect Date" package, which includes two glasses of wine, entry to the Ice Bar, and two icy beverages for $100. Canvas Club starts Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and lasts two hours. Call 305-297-8534 or visit sobefireice.com

From Shakespeare to Whitman, Hunter S. Thompson to Nicholas Sparks, writing has long been considered a white-guy's game. But VONA/Voices is working to change that. The only multigenre workshop for writers of color takes over the University of Miami for two one-week sessions each year, with experts teaching the finer points of fiction, poetry, memoir, travel writing, and others. This year, VONA/Voices added specialties in essay writing, led by writer, editor, and associate professor of English and Africana studies at Vassar College Kiese Laymon; and young adult fiction, in which Daniel Jose Older, author of Half-Resurrection Blues, teaches writers how to pen the next Twilight (but, y'know, with robust characters of color and also less embarrassing in general). This Thursday, Books & Books will host VONA/Voices writers for an evening of readings from its talented faculty — Laymon and Older, along with Reyna Grande, Tananarive Due, M. Evelina Galang, David Mura, and John Murillo. The readings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free. Visit booksandbooks.com.


According to science, the universe is ever expanding. It has been growing ceaselessly at an exponential rate since the Big Bang. The same can be said about a different variety of universes. DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the like have been very busy the past decade or so filling the night sky with new stars, and once again, it's time to gather those who have been studying these distant, fantastical bodies to gaze lovingly at them up close. Florida Supercon returns this Friday through Monday to the Miami Beach Convention Center for another massive weekend of celebrities, comic books, and cosplay. The state's largest con (notching more than 50,000 attendees in 2015) seems to only get bigger and bigger every year — and with good reason. Every few months, new properties are rolled out or revamped and an entirely new generation of fans is hooked. Some of this year's guests are a clear indicator of that, including Morena Baccarin of Deadpool, a character who was already wildly popular at cons and is now at stratospheric heights; Elizabeth Henstridge, better known as Agent Jenna Simmons on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; and Ben McKenzie, who plays James Gordon in Gotham.  They are just a few of the bright spots in these latest constellations. And as always, there will be the Florida Supercon staples: Geek Film Festival, cosplay competitions, various videogame events, Revenge of the Nerds Comedy Show, and much more. A four-day pass starts at $85. Call 305-673-7311 or visit floridasupercon.com

When you think about it, the United States of America is just one big zoo. You've got all kinds of creatures inhabiting various environments with different weather, plant life, and cultures. No two are the same, but they're all connected. And if Donald Trump has his way, America will soon have the same literal wall separating us from the outside world. So perhaps it's fitting that Zoo Miami is offering discounted $10 admission all Fourth of July weekend. For just a ten-spot, visitors can swing by the chimpanzees, slink through the emerald tree boa habitat, and crane their necks up at Titan, the zoo's baby giraffe. At the Children's Zoo, kids can pet and comb animals like goats and sheep, ride camels, and check out a family of meerkats. And because it's absurdly hot out there, you can also take advantage of water-play areas designed for kids of all ages. Think of it as your patriotic duty. Ten Dollar Days at Zoo Miami begin this Friday and run through Monday. Visit zoomiami.org


"Vacation, all I ever wanted!/Vacation, had to get away!/Vacation, meant to be spent alone!" The Go-Go's had it right when they sang those words in the '80s, but there's one vacation you won't want to go on alone: National Lampoon's Vacation. Secret Celluloid Society kicks off July with a screening of the classic Chevy Chase flick as part of its midnight movie series. If you don't know Vacation, it's the 1983 classic Harold Ramis film about the Griswold family that spawned a multitude of sequels. In this first installment, Clark and Ellen Griswold take their two kids on a road trip from Illinois to a California theme park known as Walley World, and the film chronicles all the delightful and ridiculous situations they encounter along the way. It was written by John Hughes, of all people. For $10, you can score entry to O Cinema Miami Beach for this late-night screening. It takes place Saturday at 11:30 p.m. and, best of all, instead of just your average digital showing, it's on 35mm. Get your tickets at the door or at o-cinema.org

Celebrate the Fourth a few days early in the most American way possible: with an overabundance of bacon and beer. Dress in your most patriotic apparel for an afternoon and evening filled with local and national brews paired with a variety of juicy, meat-filled bites from beloved neighborhood spots. The tour begins at Blue Martini, and attendees will stop at all participating restaurants as they walk through downtown Miami. Miami's Bacon and Beer Crawl takes place Saturday from 3:30 to 9 p.m., beginning at Blue Martini. General admission costs $30 and VIP is $50. Visit eventbrite.com

Last time Justin Bieber was in Miami, he was throwing $75,000 inside King of Diamonds before getting arrested for drag racing on residential SoBe streets. It was eventful, to say the least, and people really started to hate him, to say the most. It's amazing the 180 he's made in the public eye. It seems working with Skrillex and Diplo can really change a young pop star's career, especially when the tracks that result are as infectious, lovable, and downright danceable as "Where Are U Now?," "Sorry," "Love Yourself," "What Do You Mean?," and many, many others. The fresh-faced young man was tattooed and ego-bruised, but he put his feelings into the music and turned out a chart-topping album. That album, Purpose, is grade-A pop music, and no matter how you feel about the Biebs, you can bet your bottom dollar the Purpose Tour, hitting American Airlines Arena this Saturday and Sunday, will be nothing short of headline-grabbing. Watch him dance with his demons while you sing along to the biggest hits of the year. Doors open at 7:30 both nights, and tickets cost $50.50 to $126 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Call 786-777-1000 or visit aaarena.com


America the Beautiful has graced the world with many a cultural wonder. The great experiment of democracy is one that caught on to great success, sure, but we'd say the Founding Fathers would have to admit that the USA's additions to the world of music have been this nation's truest and most generous offering. Americans gave the world soul, jazz, Delta blues, rock 'n' roll, funk, and hip-hop, to name only a few, and Georgia boy Zach Deputy wraps all of those sounds into one Southern-fried selection without nobody's help at all. Deputy is a one-man band unlike anything you've ever seen. He uses loop pedals and samplers to capture drums, guitar riffs, handclaps, mouth-made beats, harmonica, and any other noise he deems appropriate to create layered, moving sonic masterpieces that audiences can't help but groove to. There's a nostalgic, laid-back vibe to his sound, a total college festival kind of wave. That is to say, it's the perfect music for kicking back with friends, grilling some burgers, and drinking a few beers. So that's the plan at BBQ & Chill this Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Wynwood Yard. It's free to hang out, and tons of food and drink options will be offered à la carte. Call 305-771-4810 or visit thewynwoodyard.com


Most Fourth of July events take place in the evening: barbecues, fireworks, your inevitable trip to the hospital when one of those fireworks blows up in your face. So this year, consider an activity that's both earlier and healthier: SoleRunners July 4th 5K and 10K. Kicking off at 7:04 a.m. — see what they did there? — the races give runners the opportunity to burn off a few calories before spending the rest of the day devouring grilled meats and drinking beers for 'Murica. Both the 5K and 10K races are open to adults and children, with a kids' run reserved for ages 10 and younger and an under-18 option for the 5K and 10K races as well. Just make sure those youngsters keep a little energy in reserve so they can run for cover later that night when their drunk uncle makes a grab for the stash of explosives. The SoleRunners race takes place at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park. Registration for the 5K costs $25 for adults and $16 for ages 18 and under. Registration for the 10K costs $35 for adults and $21 for 18 and under. The kids' race costs $10. Call 305-595-RUNS or visit eventbrite.com/o/we-run-miami-8177517711

Happy birthday, 'Murica. Given the nation's current mood, we need a celebration more than ever. So gather the crew and celebrate Uncle Sam's special day at Bayfront Park, home of the largest free fireworks show in South Florida. Fireworks — the ultimate collective national mood-booster. For adults, there will be a Budweiser Beer Garden, and the underage set will enjoy the Kids' Zone. Plus, there'll be music, food, and so many fireworks. The beer garden runs from noon to 10 p.m. and the kids' area from 3 to 7 p.m. The explosions of awesomeness kick off at 9 p.m. sharp. Get there early if you want a prime spot, because nothing says patriotism like watching stuff blow up while drinking a cold Bud. It's a helluva country, you guys. The event begins Monday at noon and runs until 10 p.m. Call 305-358-7550 or visit bayfrontparkmiami.com/Events/July4th.html

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