Thanksgiving can be a Dickensian tale of two holidays. Seeing family and scarfing down a feast of stuffing, turkey, pumpkin pie, and whatever surprise your mom has in store this year is the best in life. But then there's the inevitable cabin fever of an extra-long weekend and the family fights that ensue after too much of Grandpa's whiskey or tío's ron. Today's tendentious culture virtually assures that if you veer into political territory during family dinner, someone will end up with pie in the face.
Luckily, Miami has plenty of options for escape during the holiday weekend, such as DJ sets from Steve Aoki and Lil Jon, karaoke at Ball & Chain, block parties, and even a very special quinceañera-themed edition of '80s Prom at Gramps. Here's a look at some of the best parties happening during the long Thanksgiving weekend.
1. Turkey TurnUp. A block party at Mana Wynwood has become the go-to way to spend a holiday or long weekend in Miami. DJ Irie will headline the inaugural Turkey TurnUp on the eve of Thanksgiving, and if you're not helping in the kitchen, this is something interesting to do. Admission is free, but RSVP for a complimentary drink to get your long weekend started right. 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, at Mana Wywood, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free with RSVP via turkeyturnup.com.
2. Thanksgiving Eve Party at Jezebel Bar + Kitchen. You'll probably be spending a substantial part of the weekend with family, and Miami Beach's new Jezebel Bar knows the company of relatives can be both good and bad news. On Thanksgiving eve, the cozy setting will provide a home away from home. If there's a certain someone you're dreading to see, try the Thanksgiving-inspired cocktail the Mother-In-Law, a blend of ginger, apple cider, and maple, that'll remind you of everything you love about the holidays. 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, at Jezebel Bar + Kitchen, 1625 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach; 786-275-6324; jezebelmiami.com. Email email@example.com for table reservations.
3. Bougie's Annual Thanksgiving Block Party. If you've been spending way too much time in Wynwood lately, this Thanksgiving eve will be a great opportunity to head south instead and spend some time at Bougie's. The annual block party has become as much a tradition as your mom's Cuban-American hybrid Thanksgiving dinner. DJs Edward Caminos and Proof will hit the decks indoors, while 30Vice and Millionyoung play an outdoor show. 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, at Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern, 7221 SW 58th Ave., South Miami; 305-669-8577; bougiesbar.com. Admission is free.
4. '80s Prom Quinceañera. You might be more stoked for Gramps' '80s Prom than you are for Thanksgiving stuffing. Channel that excitement into putting together an extra outfit, because the annual celebration turns 15 this year, and a quinceañera blowout is planned. Relive the poofy pink dress in all its glory. Dust off that cupcake dress you swore you'd wear again when your parents bought it for you back in the day, or hit up the Goodwill party dress racks for this one. And if you're feeling really extra, pregame with a quinceañera Instagram photo shoot at Wynwood Walls for posterity. 9 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Tickets cost $10 via eventbrite.com.
5. Lil Jon at LIV. Once Turkey Day is over, Friday is spent either in a miserable dash for discounted holiday gifts or in bed in a food coma. Either way, Friday night after Thanksgiving isn't exactly family night. Get lit with the Crunk King himself, Lil Jon, as he takes over the DJ booth late Friday night at LIV. It's a long weekend — turn down for what? 11 p.m. Friday, November 24, at LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4680; livnightclub.com. Tickets are $30 via tixr.com.
6. Steve Aoki at Story. Miami is no doubt Steve Aoki's favorite playground, because he's always here on the biggest nights of the year. He returns this year for Friday's post-Thanksgiving bash at Story. Black Friday will threaten to empty your wallet, but save some money to treat yourself to a set by Aoki, who always guarantees a good time. 11 p.m. Friday, November 24, at Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-479-4426; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $30 via tixr.com.
7. Wild Turkey Party. Foxhole's hole-in-the-wall is a great place to hide out before the chaos of Thanksgiving weekend. The annual Wild Turkey Party is back this year with DJ Rascal spinning until 5 a.m. There's no cover, so you can save your cash for Foxhole's delicious cocktails. But watch your liquor intake — a hangover with a loud house full of family would be a hellish combo. 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, at Foxhole Bar, 1218 14th Ct., Miami Beach; 305-534- 3511; foxholebar.com.. Admission is free. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for table reservations.
8. Omnidisc Showcase at Electric Pickle. Danny Daze returns to the stage after his set at this year's III Points to curate a night of music featuring sets by Omnidisc label artists Anshaw Black, Deroboter, AAAA, and Diego Andres. You'll be thankful after learning of the promising, still-on-the-rise music emerging from your hometown. 10 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, at Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-456-5613; electricpicklemiami.com. Tickets cost $10 to $15 via residentadvisor.net.
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9. Thanksgiving Eve Bash. Ball & Chain has been giving Wynwood's holiday celebrations a run for their money since the Little Havana hot spot reopened in 2014. This year's Thanksgiving festivities include a DJ set by Danny Stern and karaoke on the iconic Pineapple Stage. If you have family visiting from out of town, karaoke — with some liquid courage by way of Ball & Chain's signature cocktails — sounds like the right way to start the long weekend. 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, at Ball & Chain, 1513 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-643-7820; ballandchainmiami.com. Admission is free.
10. MASS: Thanksgiving Weekend Edition. OK, it's a bit of a drive, but if you're feeling the need to commiserate with people you can understand, MASS's post-Thanksgiving party might be the perfect fit. Enjoy DJ sets by Rippin Kittin, DJ Dino, and Paul Klov and live performances by Sci-Fi Affair and Seven Shadows. 10 p.m. Friday, November 24, at Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-832-9999; sub-culture.org/respectable-street. Admission costs $5 at the door.