According to Love Actually, Serendipity, and every Hallmark Channel Christmas movie ever, nothing is more romantic than the holidays. Glittering lights, goodwill toward men, bourbon-laced eggnog — these seasonal ingredients create the perfect storm for fluttering hearts.
So if you're attached (versus forever alone), now is the time to up your romance efforts and show bae your soft side. Here's a list of ten things to do with your honey this holiday season in Miami. (And be sure to stock up on mistletoe.)
1. Hear Scrooge sing at A Christmas Carol: The Musical.
Given that it's been performed approximately 1,270,090,987,980 times since the days of Dickens, A Christmas Carol can get a little stale. But in musical form? That's a different story. Listen to Tiny Tim and the rest of the Cratchit gang join musical forces with the famous trio of spirits to inspire Ebenezer to lighten up. Happy endings are so romantic.
The show plays Saturdays at 2 p.m. through December 24 at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Tickets cost $20 for adults and children. Visit actorsplayhouse.org or call 305-444-9293.
2. Paint a Christmas palm at Painting With a Twist.
Nothing says sexy and sensitive like unleashing your inner artist. Grab a bottle of bubbly and buy some tickets to a Christmas-themed session at Painting With a Twist. You get to drink while painting a seasonal masterpiece, all with guidance from an art instructor. Take home your magical creation or give it to someone you love (or hate). It's a creative bonding experience your sweetheart will love.
Classes are offered throughout the week at various times and with different themes. Prices range from $25 to $35 per seat at Painting With a Twist, 7657 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Visit paintingwithatwist.com/miami or call 786-375-6620.
3. Help make world peace happen at Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker.
The world needs a little more peace right now, and this edition of The Nutcracker is dedicated to just that. Act II is dubbed “The Land of Peace and Harmony,” and it features a rose-shooting cannon and a giant two-person "Dove of Peace." Plus, you'll find all the other trappings of the iconic Nutcracker everyone adores, including a 60-foot growing Christmas tree.
The show begins at 7 p.m. Friday, December 30, at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Visit nutcracker.com/buy-tickets or call 800-745-3000.
4. Get sauced at Jack Frost happy hour.
For relationships both new and old, social lubricants tend to loosen everything up. So bring your SO for a cocktail at Bar at LvL 25. While you're sipping elegant libations such as the Belvedere Pomegranate Royale (made with Belvedere Red, Chandon Brut, and pomegranate juice), you'll be dusted with snowflakes while gazing out at palm trees and tranquil blue water. Romantic much?
The happy hour is offered daily from 4 to 7 p.m. through December 30 at the Conrad Miami's Bar at LvL 25, 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami. Visit conrad.hilton.com/miami or call 305-503-6500.
5. See snow at Dolphin Mall.
Every classic holiday movie makes one thing clear: Snow is a must for a proper Christmas celebration. And while Miami is sadly short on ice crystals, Dolphin Mall makes the magic happen anyway. The shopper's paradise hosts a delightful snowfall all season long.
Snowfall occurs at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 and 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday until January 8 (no snow December 24, December 25, December 31, or January 1) in Ramblas Plaza at Dolphin Mall, 11401 NW 12th St., Miami. Visit shopdolphinmall.com or call 305-365-7446.
6. Have a fancy waterfront dinner at Full Bloom Vegan Cuisine.
With a waterfront view and Italian-accented owners, Full Bloom is as romantic as restaurants get. The Miami Beach spot is offering a holiday-themed menu that includes items such as shiitake mushroom soup with wilted kale; truffle ricotta and mushroom ravioli in butter sage sauce under shaved black truffle; and the couples-favorite tiramisu. And with no animal products involved, there'll be no postdinner bloat, an ideal scenario for evening calisthenics.
The holiday menu will be served from noon to 10 p.m. December 25 at Full Bloom Vegan Cuisine, 11 Island Ave., Miami Beach. It's $50 per person and reservations are required. Visit fullbloomvegan.com or call 305-397-8018.
7. Relive the past at the Fire & Ice Holiday Reunion and Toy Drive.
Back in the day, Fire & Ice was the hottest ticket in Miami's nightlife scene. The iconic New-Wave-meets-disco-meets-rock-party was populated by a diverse group of partiers. And though it was retired ages ago, it's returning to Churchill's for one night only. Relive the Miami Vice era and bring an unwrapped toy for kids in need. Show your date you can rock a Don Johnson blazer and totally nail the running man.
The party starts at 10 p.m. Friday, December 23, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $5 at the door. Visit churchillspub.com or call 305-757-1807.
8. See the Sugar-Plum Fairy in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
It's not Christmas without The Nutcracker, and George Balanchine's version of the classic is as iconic as it gets. Sit with your sweetie and get lost in the magic of the Sugar-Plum Fairy, dancing snowflakes, sparkling costumes, and all the tutus you can take.
The show runs at various dates/times through December 24 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, and through December 30 at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets start at $25. Visit miamicityballet.org or call 305-929-7010.
9. Visit the Christmas Castle.
If you ever wanted to experience a real-life version of the Griswold family home, Miami's Christmas Castle is as close as you'll get. This glittering ode to all things yuletide can probably be seen from space. Bring your babe and bask in the glow of more than 50,000 twinkle lights (on the castle alone). Think of it as mood lighting.
The castle is open from 6 to 10 p.m every night through December 30 at 12331 SW 109th Ter., Miami. Admission is free. Visit christmascastle.us.
10. Take a staycation at the Lantern Lights Festival.
China's lantern festivals are the stuff of Instagram legend. But no need to travel across the world to capture the experience for your 112 followers — the Southwest Miami-Dade is far enough. Take your Bumble date to the Lantern Lights Festival, a six-week celebration of Chinese culture featuring massive, glowing, custom-built Chinese lanterns shaped like reindeer, dragons, flowers, and other objects. It's readymade holiday romance.
The festival funs from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. It's open every day from December 21 through January 1 and then Wednesday through Sunday through January 8 at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center, 10901 SW 24th St., Miami. Tickets cost $23 for adults; prices vary for children, seniors, and students.