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The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend

Congratulations, Miami: You're just about the only city in the nation where residents can leave their homes this weekend. So live it up for all your neighbors to the north who are stuck indoors and have nothing to look forward to but shoveling mountains of snow once the dreaded polar vortex is over. In the Magic City, hop on a yacht with the queens of Wigwood, nerd out at HistoryMiami's International Map Fair, or attend one of the many Super Bowl watch parties.

Here are the best events happening in Miami this weekend.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Karli Evans
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Friday

Miami's most creative queer festival is back, bitches. This year's Wigwood theme is "Deep-Sea Creatures," and there are three unique events for attendees to get their mermaid on. First, there will be a four-hour yacht party Friday evening that cruises around Biscayne Bay. Saturday, a daylong festival loaded with DJs and vendors will go down at Gramps. And Sunday, there will be a free pool party and barbecue at the Freehand. Friday through Sunday at various locations; wigwoodmiami.com. Admission prices vary from free to $55.

As if you needed another reason to look forward to the weekend, try this: late-night happy hour at Ariete. Before returning home Fridays and Saturdays, hit up the Coconut Grove restaurant, the home of killer drink specials, comfort-food-inspired bites (think fritas and burgers), and a rotating selection of pastries by Miami's own Pastelito Papi. No need to be limited to the bar, either — after-hours specials are available in the dining room and on the patio too. 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Ariete, 3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; 305-640-5862; arietemiami.com.

Inside Gianni's Suite at the Versace Mansion awaits an intimate four-seat sushi bar, complete with a self-service sake machine, a fireplace, and a 60-minute omakase experience. Think of Sushi by Bou, which includes three locations in New York City, as an incredibly small Japanese speakeasy. For $125 per person, you can engage in an hourlong meal with numerous small dishes, which might range from smoked lean tuna to uni sea urchin or a scallop topped with lightly smoked charcoal salt. Every Sushi by Bou dining experience begins almost immediately when you enter the Versace Mansion. Once you've checked in at the front desk, an attendant will hand over a keycard and escort you to the 500-square-foot Gianni's Suite, which houses the makeshift restaurant. 1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; sushibybou.com. Cost is $125 per person; reservations are required.

Atton Brickell rooftopEXPAND
Atton Brickell rooftop
Courtesy photo

Saturday

While the rest of the nation is in the throes of a frightening polar vortex, Miami is hanging poolside. Sure, you might be rocking a hoodie because you can't stand anything cooler than 70 degrees, but you're still outside. Atton Brickell wants to sweeten the deal with its Sunset Sessions at the hotel's Vista Rooftop Bar. Enjoy live music, light bites, and 50 percent off drinks in the South Florida sun. Stay for stunning sunset views: The party lasts till 7. 2 p.m. Saturday at Atton Brickell, 1500 SW First Ave., attonbrickellmiami.com. Admission is free.

Wanna get all sultry, '90s-style? A handful of the R&B artists so many people got jiggy with in the Clinton era have come together for Love in the '90s. Among the artists you can catch are the "In My Bed" and "How Deep Is Your Love" singers of Dru Hill, "What Could Have Been" smooth-ster Ginuwine, and Donell Jones, who always knows "What's Up." 8 p.m. Saturday at James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; jlkc.com. Tickets cost $63 to $122.

WDNA has another Jazz Encounter on the calendar. The series spotlights young, budding local musicians, and for this roundit's saxophonist David Leon, joined by bassist Lowell Ringel and drummer Stephen Boegehold. Born and bred in Miami, Leon is the 2017 winner of the prestigious ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. 7:30 p.m. Saturday at WDNA Jazz Gallery, 2921 Coral Way, Miami; wdna.org. Admission costs $10.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Courtesy Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

In this chaotic world, it's hard to understand how anything works anymore. So the Frost Museum of Science wants to go back to basics. Its newest exhibit, "Strange Matter," delves into the world of materials science, or the study of “stuff.” The exhibit is a mix of physics, chemistry, and engineering. But even if you're not a science or math nerd, you'll enjoy releasing some aggression: Try cranking up a bowling ball and letting it fly to smash glass, or rock out on xylophones made from various materials. On view for members Saturday and Sunday at the Frost Museum of Science, 1101 Biscayne Blvd., frostscience.org. Admission is free for members with registration.

Your significant other who is horrible with directions might not enjoy this one. But for everyone who loves maps, the 2019 Miami International Map Fair will be way too cool. This year's show boasts more than 30 map dealers from around the world, presenting antique maps, books, and atlases. Expect noteworthy speakers as well, including guests from the MacLean Collection, Queen Mary University of London, and Arizona State University. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; historymiami.org. Adult nonmember admission costs $15; various discounts are available.

Get ready to drink up, because the WakeFest Invitational, the annual festival that celebrates the craft of independent brewers, is set to return to Wynwood. More than 120 independently owned craft breweries from across the globe are expected to participate. Of those 120, eight of the top ten craft brewers in the world (according to RateBeer) will be in attendance. Almost all of the breweries are from out of state and have been individually selected and invited by the J. Wakefield Brewing team, and most brewers pouring at WakeFest come to South Florida only for this festival. General-admission tickets include unlimited samples and a collectible acrylic sample glass. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami. Tickets cost $75 to $350 via jwakefieldbrewing.com.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Photography by Monica McGivern

Mark your calendar: Dessert Wars is scheduled to return with more than 20,000 sweets ready to be devoured. The late-afternoon event will present about 50 vendors. Expect numerous stands stocked with cupcakes, cookies, brownies, doughnuts, and other confections. Several vendors will offer gluten-free and vegan options. Participants include One Love Cakes, Twice as Sweet Cakes & Cupcakes, and Sweetz by Niyaah. As with previous editions of Dessert Wars, guests will receive a ballot to rank every vendor on a scale of one to three. The vendor with the highest score will win. Tickets cost $20, which includes a limited number of vouchers that can be traded for dessert samplings. A $40 VIP ticket includes samplings from all vendors and early entrance at 4 p.m. Each ticket also includes a to-go box to stash a few treats for the road. 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Ocean Bank Convocation Center, 1180 SW 113th Ave., Miami; dessertwarsmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 to $40 via eventbrite.com.

Sunday

LGBTQ BBQ. That's a lot of letters. But beyond having a great ring to it, the LGBTQ Family BBQ is an event happening Sunday at Greynolds Park. Families of all backgrounds are invited to join the fun, which includes drinks, a face painter, a bounce house, live entertainment, and other diversions in a comfy setting. The event was created by the Aqua Foundation for Women, which has helped thousands of local women through grants, scholarships, and various initiatives. Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Greynolds Park, 17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach. Admission is free; RSVP via eventbrite.com.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend
Photo by George Martinez

Looking for big fun while you watch the big game? The Black Archives and Black Smoke are bringing back the annual Super Bowl Watch Party. Sponsored by the Southeast Overtown Park West Community Development Association, this free community gathering will offer much more than football. In addition to watching the big game, enjoy billiards, beanbag toss, a cigar lounge, and cash bars. 6 p.m. to midnight Sunday at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex, 819 NW Second Ave., Miami; eventbrite.com. Admission ranges from free to $500 with VIP options.

It's hard out there for a woman. But it's especially hard for the women of The Girlfriends (Le Amiche), the classic Italian drama screening at Miami Beach Cinematheque this week. The story follows Clelia, who simply wants to move back to her hometown of Turin and open a fashion boutique but ends up befriending a trio of women suffering woes ranging from relationship troubles to suicidal tendencies. Viewers can also catch the Wolfsonian-FIU's "Made in Italy: MITA Textile Design" exhibition, in partnership with the Cinematheque, across the street. 6 p.m. Sunday, February 3, at the Miami Beach Cinematheque at Historic City Hall, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; mbcinema.com. Tickets cost $11.

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