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The Best Things to Do in Miami This WeekendEXPAND
Anastasiya Yurkevtch

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend

If you're headed to Ultra this weekend, get ready for three days of non-stop music and partying. And if you're not planning to be among the revelers this year, you should still prepare for traffic hell. You might want to stay north of the mess and head to Nu Deco Ensemble's shows with Tune-Yards and Magda Giannikou on Friday and Saturday night. Or skip the EDM madness and celebrate the music of yesteryear at this Sunday's Love-In Music Festival at Greynolds Park. Whether you're in the thick of the chaos or staying away, you've got plenty of options in Miami this weekend.

Here are the best events happening in Miami this weekend.

Ultra returns this weekend.
Ultra returns this weekend.
Photo by George Martinez

Friday

What is that loud thumping in the distance? It's Ultra Music Festival. It's back and has a new home, spanning Virginia Key Beach Park and Miami Marine Stadium. How will it compare to its years at Bayfront Park? There are many questions, but regardless, the lineup is absolutely stellar. David Guetta, Marshmello, the Chainsmokers, Tiësto, Zedd, Deadmau5, and others will rock the three-day affair. Friday through Sunday at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach, Miami; ultramusicfestival.com. Three-day tickets start at $399.95.

Comedy, drag performers, and lots of dough. Season 8 of Ultimate Miami Weekend has arrived. It kicks off Friday with a comedy competition, where contestants will have four minutes to impress audience members before they vote on their faves. The winner will take home a cool $5,000. This Saturday, drag performers will bring their A-game in an effort to wow a panel of judges and take home five grand too. 8 p.m. Friday and 9 p.m. Saturday at Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami; theultimatemiami.com. Tickets cost $25 to $100.

Orlando loves the Sh-Booms, and Miami will too. The band has been named "Best Soul Act" by Orlando Weekly and since its 2011 inception has shared the stage with the likes of the B-52s, the Roots, and Of Montreal. This Friday at Las Rosas, the nine-piece will rock with the local pop-punk band Donzii, the psychedelic Haute Tension, and the Spanish punk-rock outfit Antifaces. 9 p.m. Friday at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.

Miami Marlins players already get their exercise at Marlins Park. Now it's time for everyone else to get healthy and well there too. The second-annual Miami Health & Wellness Expo will offer health screenings, vendors, and interactive stations galore. Those who register in advance can also enjoy cooking demos and samples. 3:30 p.m. Friday at Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami. Admission is free. RSVP via eventbrite.com.

See women's rights pioneer Cecile Richards at Books & Books this weekend.
See women's rights pioneer Cecile Richards at Books & Books this weekend.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

A leading lady is coming town. For more than a decade, Cecile Richards was president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She's also the daughter of the late Texas governor Ann Richards. So she's used to the spotlight and has been on the frontlines of activism for much of her life. Her new book, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead — My Life Story, documents her wildly interesting life, and this Friday she'll talk about it. 8 p.m. Friday at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $16 via eventbrite.com.

Saturday

It's not every day you get to see a free show at the Arsht Center. Now here's your chance. As part of the venue's Family Fest, Miami City Ballet's Ballet for Young People will perform the first act of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Pro tip: Though admission to the fest is free, you will need a "First-Access Pass." To get one and get in on the fun, buzz the number below or visit the Arsht's website. 2 p.m. Saturday at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org.

Contemporary dance company Dance Now! has called the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center home for three awesome seasons. Now in its fourth season, the company is presenting quite the spicy production: Contemporanea 2019. The show will feature the world premiere of (B)orgia: Decadence & Decay, an ode to the famed Italian Renaissance-era family, as well as a reconstruction of the Daniel Lewis classic There's Nothing Here of Me but Me. 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th Street, Aventura; aventuracenter.org. $35.

Nu Deco Ensemble plays Sting and the Police's hits this weekend.
Nu Deco Ensemble plays Sting and the Police's hits this weekend.
Photo by Alex Markow

We've said it before: the genre-bending Nu Deco Ensemble is one of Miami's best-kept secrets. If you haven't made it out to one of their shows yet, you won't want to miss this weekend's back-to-back concerts with special guests Tune-Yards and Magda Giannikou of Banda Magda, who returns for a second collaboration with the ensemble after teaming up with Nu Deco in 2017. As always, composer Sam Hyken will reimagine the work of a pop music institution. This time, he'll offer a classical take on the music of Sting and the Police.  8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami. Tickets cost $35 to $85.

Sunday

A stellar way to raise funds to kick cancer's ass: Host a comedy night. That's just what Debbie's Dream Foundation will do Sunday when it hosts its first Miami Night of Laughter. Headlining the comedy show is Carl Rimi, who'll be joined by a number of other funny folks. There will be plenty of raffles to get your bid on too. Proceeds will benefit the local nonprofit and its diverse research initiatives designed to find a cure for stomach cancer. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Miami Improv, 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; miamiimprov.com. Tickets cost $40 to $60.

OK, Japan is a jaunt from Miami. But a special event this Sunday will bring many awesome things from the Land of the Rising Sun right to you. The Japanese Spring Festival will present taiko drumming, ikebana flower design sessions, tea ceremonies, and other diversions. There will even be a sushi demonstration sponsored by the consulate-general of Japan in Miami. Not traveling all the way to Asia is one thing, but not making it to this festival? No excuses! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach. Admission is free; register via eventbrite.com.

Every queen needs a crown. And this weekend, the creative women behind the Goddess Collective want to celebrate the natural crown with which Black women are gifted: their hair. The collective's “Crowns and Glory” exhibition will celebrate different hair textures and hairstyles in six categories: Bald, Pixie, Afro, Bantu, Locs, and Braids. 8 p.m. Sunday at Creator Connect, 164 NW 20th St., Ste. 101, Miami. Tickets cost $5 or $7 with a free drink.

Good vibes only, dude. The Love-In Music Festival is bringing '60s, '70s, and '80s goodness to Greynolds Park. Expect Journey, Led Zeppelin, and Rolling Stones tribute bands Never Stop Believin', In the Light of Led Zeppelin, and U.S. Stones. Also, don't miss the performance by Havoc 305, food trucks, craft beer stations, and an eco-village with environmental activities. Plus you'll have all of the park's 249 acres to explore. Groovy. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Greynolds Park, 18501 NE 22nd Ave., North Miami Beach. Tickets cost $15 via eventbrite.com.

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