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The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Photo by Karli Evans

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend

Let's cut right to the chase: You're looking for Basel events to attend this weekend. A fair number of this weekend's best things to do are related to Miami Art Week. But here's a pro tip: Whether you're a Basel veteran or first-timer, it's always a good idea to wander off the beaten path to find hidden-gem galleries and satellite exhibits. Saturday's Galaxia Festival, for example, will present the work of promising local artists. But if your idea of a perfect Basel is no Basel at all, you still have options. Latin superstars Carlos Vives, Maluma, and Prince Royce will play Amor a la Música at the American Airlines Arena this Friday, and Thievery Corporation is set to perform Saturday at the Fillmore Miami Beach.

No sleep till Monday! Here are the best events happening in Miami this weekend.

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Start the holidays off right at Miracle Bar.
Start the holidays off right at Miracle Bar.
Photo by Melissa Hom

If you're searching for a little Christmas spirit, head to Miracle, the Christmas-themed holiday pop-up bar behind a selection of magical cocktails. Located inside Gramps' backroom, the boozy winter wonderland brims with decorations, holiday music, and staff dressed in costumes. Special cocktails ($14) include the Gingerbread Flip, made with bourbon, gingerbread syrup, Elemakule Tiki bitters, whole egg, and gingersnap cookie crumbs; and the Jingle Balls Nog, with brown butterfat-washed cognac, sherry, almond milk, cream, sugar, egg, and nutmeg. Many of the drinks are served in holiday-themed glasses available for purchase. In addition, the pop-up will offer a special J. Wakefield beer, brewed specially for Miracle in Miami. Wicked Winter Brew is a 12 percent ABV gingerbread-inspired imperial stout that's both sweet and spicy. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday through December 23 at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; miraclepopup.com. Admission is free.

Take a break from the galleries and stop by Hive, an art-focused food-and-drink village in Wynwood. During Miami Art Week, the pop-up lounge is slinging cocktails, serving a selection of bites from local restaurants, and offering rotating music performances and art installations. Plus, enjoy daily mixology presentations via the Behind the Bar Series, where Miami mixologists school guests on how to craft the perfect drink. RSVP to the all-day, all-night lounge and receive a free drink. Thursday, December 6, through Sunday, December 9, at Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-461-2700; hivewynwood.com. Admission is free.

It's going to be quite the fiesta at American Airlines Arena this Friday night. Amor a la Música is bringing together some of the biggest names in Latin music for a can't-miss concert. Headlining the show will be Colombian reggaetonero Maluma, American singer-songwriter Prince Royce, iconic Colombian singer-songwriter Carlos Vives, and Colombian vocalist Silvestre Dangond, so get ready for a night stacked with hits. 8 p.m. Friday at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; aaarena.com. Tickets cost $49 to $230.

One of comedy's leading ladies is set to stop in the 305. Wanda Sykes will hit Miami Improv in Doral for four shows in two days. Having starred in TV series such as The New Adventures of Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as big-time films such as Evan Almighty and the popular Ice Age series, she's a queen of all media. Plus, she's a hoot live, so you won't regret experiencing this show. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Miami Improv, 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; miamiimprov.com. Tickets cost $35 to $45.

Iconic DJ/producer Paul Oakenfold will throw down at Hyde Beach this Friday evening. In addition to offering tunes from the three-time Grammy winner, the evening — billed as Perfecto Basel — will boast a handful of immersive art installations. "I'll be playing an underground progressive set with some new music from my upcoming artist album," Oakenfold tells New Times. "Love Miami and Art Basel. So excited to come back." We're excited to have you, Paul. 10 p.m. Friday at Hyde Beach, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; eventbrite.com. Tickets cost $30.

Artist Almendra Bertoni, AKA Bumble.
Artist Almendra Bertoni, AKA Bumble.
Photo courtesy of Almendra Bertoni

Pro tip for you Basel neophytes: Don't spend all of your time browsing galleries filled with work created by established artists whose pieces you can't afford. Though there's great value in beholding these pieces, one of the most exciting opportunities Miami Art Week offers is a chance to engage with the work of up-and-comers. To that end, this Saturday's Galaxia Festival, organized by 18-year-old Argentine actress and entrepreneur Natasha Nutkiewicz, will present the work of high-school and college-aged artists such as Gabriela Mendez, Bumble, and Karin Mumm, along with performances by Palomino Blond, Young Arts Jazz winner Francxsca, and others. 9 p.m. Saturday at MMC, 4151 NW Second Ave., Miami; eventbrite.com. Tickets cost $10.

A 16-hour art and musical experience awaits. Rakastella, a collaborative musical and art experience presented by the kind folks at Innervisions and Life & Death, will take over Historic Virginia Key Beach Park this Saturday. In addition to enjoying sets by DJ Harvey, DJ Tennis, Gerd Janson, Job Jobse, and others, you can experience an extended, four-hour sunrise set on the beach. And because it's Miami Art Week, there will be plenty of curated art too. 3 p.m. Saturday in Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami; eventbrite.com. Tickets cost $90 to $150.

Dance, music, art, and technology have magically melded to tell one of your favorite fables. The world premiere of Sleeping Beauty Dreams, starring ballerina Diana Vishneva and Tony Award-nominated dancer Marcelo Gomes, will take place Friday and Saturday evening at the Arsht Center. To a background of tunes composed by Noisia, the tale zooms in on what our Sleeping Beauty was dreaming about while she was conked out for 100 years. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $32.89 to $161.29.

The cast of Real World: Go Big or Go Home.EXPAND
The cast of Real World: Go Big or Go Home.
Courtesy of MTV and Bunim/Murray Productions

Do you have what it takes to stop being polite and start getting real? You might just be in the right place at the right time. MTV has chosen to cast its latest season of the pioneering reality series, The Real World, in Miami. It's a sign of the times that the show about seven strangers is transitioning from cable to Facebook Watch. Does that sound like something you'd be into? Applicants are asked to bring their larger-than-life personalities and a recent photo of themselves to the open casting call. 10 a.m. Saturday at Burger & Beer Joint Brickell, 900 S. Miami Ave., Suite 130, Miami; bmpcasting.com. Admission is free.

For more than two decades, Thievery Corporation has delivered electronic goodness to the people. This year is no exception. The D.C.-bred, groovy AF group will rock the Fillmore as part of its Treasure From the Temple Tour. The tour bears the same name as the band's latest LP, which hit shelves earlier this year. For your preshow playlist, "Sweet Tides," "Until the Morning," and "Lebanese Blonde" are always delicious. 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; ticketmaster.com. Tickets cost $31 to $78.

When Zhu hit the music scene in 2014, he remained anonymous. Now he's one of the biggest names in electronic and house music. The multitalented musician will play a special show in the heart of Art Basel week at the RC Cola Plant Saturday evening. Prepare to dance your ass off to all the Zhu goodness, from "Faded" to "Working for It" (which featured Skrillex and They) and "My Life" (on which Zhu paired with Tame Impala). 10 p.m. Saturday at RC Cola Plant, NW 24th St., Miami; showclix.com. Tickets cost $30 to $45.

The entirely fun, immersive exhibit "XYZT" has arrived in Miami. The brainchild of world-renowned French digital artists Adrien M and Claire B, this "virtual playground" offers four dimensions: X (horizontal), Y (vertical), Z (depth), and T (time). Guests can manipulate light within a digital cube, watch virtual letters assemble or disassemble, and enjoy other nifty features. Trippy, dude. 10 a.m. Saturday at Artechouse, 736 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; artechouse.com. Tickets cost $17 to $24.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Courtesy of Stanton South Beach

If your Basel experience consists solely of taking photos in front of ham-fisted Instagram pop-up experiences, you're doing it wrong. Take the chance to support the artists who most need it at the Marriott Stanton South Beach's partner event with Creativity Explored, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps artists with disabilities make their mark in the art world. The exhibit opened November 30 and displays works by artists Christina Marie Fong, Camille Holvoet, Selene Perez, Evelyn Reyes, Kate Thompson, and Marilyn Wong. Through Sunday, December 9, at Marriott Stanton South Beach, 161 Ocean Dr., Miami; creativityexplored.org. Admission is free for resort guests and Art Basel ticketholders.

Donate a toy to a local kid in need and get a free beer. It's a win-win! Yacht Rock Miami and MIA Beer Company have teamed up for A Very Yachty Christmas, hosted by veteran local DJs Juan Luv and Alex Gutierrez (AKA Captain G). The DJs have mastered the art of '70s-to-'80s-esque "yacht rock," which often features the likes of the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Toto. So enjoy your voyage full of beer and tunes. Noon Sunday, December 9, at MIA Beer Company, 10400 NW 33rd St., #150, Miami; facebook.com. Admission is free.

Update: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a dancer in Sleeping Beauty Dreams.

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