The recent dip in temperature must have tipped you off: It's coquito season in South Florida. It wouldn't be the holidays in the Magic City without some homemade coquito. Miami is a unique place to spend the holidays: Unless a cold front rolls though, it's just as warm as any other time of the year, people party harder on Christmas Eve than on Christmas Day, and snowbirds flock here to escape the nuisances that come with white winter wonderlands.
While our neighbors up North get up early to salt their driveways, we sit beachside licking salt off our margarita glasses. Old friends come back to town for the holidays too, so we can celebrate the season with family and party with friends after the parents pass out in lechón-induced comas. And because Miami never passes up an opportunity to party, there are plenty of clubs and bars throwing holiday pachangas. Pregame at home with the parents and head out to these holiday parties afterward — but, please, try to stay off the "naughty" list.
X-Mas at the Penthouse at W Brickell Rooftop. Cloc Events, the team behind Miami's Wake 'N Brunch, specializes in daytime events, but it's taking over the rooftop at the W Hotel in Brickell Christmas Eve for X-Mas at the Penthouse. Admire the even more brightly lit Miami skyline and bring a special someone or a group of friends to dance till 5 a.m. Christmas Day. Then it'll be time to go home and open presents. Get your tickets early — prices will increase at the door. 11 p.m. Sunday, December 24, at W Brickell Rooftop, 485 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-503-4400; wmiamihotel.com. Tickets cost $20 to $30 via eventbrite.com.
Christmas & New Year's Eve Party at the Hangar. Christmas and New Year's Eve are coming to the Hangar early this year. Charged Up Entertainment is throwing a joint holiday blowout the Friday before Christmas with a chance to win a cash prize for your twerking skills. Bump some Cardi B and start practicing now — you might score some extra money to spend on last-minute Christmas gifts. 9 p.m. Friday, December 22, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 786-480-4203; thehangar305.com. Tickets cost $13 to $300 via eventbrite.com.
Yoli Mayor at the Wynwood Yard. Fresh off her successful stint on America's Got Talent, Miami's Yoli Mayor will put you in the holiday mood when she delivers her husky, soulful, powerhouse vocals onstage at the Yard. Let's hope the cool weather sticks around for Christmas week, because Mayor's voice will warm you right up and make you want to snuggle with the ones you love. Her profile has risen since she made her national TV debut, so RSVP now, because the Yard will likely be at capacity. 9 p.m. Saturday, December 23, at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-351-0366; thewynwoodyard.com. Tickets are free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
MASS: The Nightmare Before Christmas Edition. The slogan for MASS's goth, postpunk, darkwave events is "Alternative sounds for alternative minds," so it's no surprise they're putting a darker spin on their Christmas festivities with the theme The Nightmare Before Christmas. Make a brief escape to West Palm for sets from DJ Nemesis and DJ Dino of Jolt Radio, as well as performances by dancers Ella Bella and JoyMajik. You'll be glad you got away before cabin fever with the family sets in over the weekend. 10 p.m. Friday, December 22, at Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-832-9999; sub-culture.org/respectable-street. Admission costs $5 at the door.
Miami Punk Rock High Xmas Party at Las Rosas. Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean you need to listen to cheesy carols all day. Instead, join Miami rock 'n' roll and punk royalty at Las Rosas the night before Christmas Eve. Enjoy acoustic sets by Rob Elba of Shark Valley Sisters and cult legend Charlie Pickett, among others, at a spot that's quickly becoming Miami's favorite new dive bar. 9 p.m. Saturday, December 23, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-780-2700. Admission is free.
Holiday Party at Lilt Lounge. As part of its ongoing party series Select Wednesdays, Lilt Lounge will let you pregame for your holiday parties with its midweek holiday celebration. DJ GQ of Y100 and iHeartRadio will be on the decks playing the best of today's hits. Drinking, dancing, and singing along to the songs you love to blast in your car — do you really need any more than that? You can call it "Lit" Lounge after the party is over. 10 p.m. Wednesday, December 20, at Lilt Lounge, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way., Miami; 305-351-7403; liltlounge.com. Tickets cost $10 to $225 via eventbrite.com.
Jingle Bell Rock Festival at Churchill's. Having a great time watching a day festival's worth of bands while helping out a great cause is the ideal Christmas situation. At Churchill's Jingle Bell Rock Festival, you'll get both, plus the chance to win 50 bucks in the late-night ugly-Christmas-sweater contest. The festival will also double as Xotic Yeyo's album-release party, plus you'll get another chance at surprise Christmas cash when they hand out Florida Lottery scratch-offs every half-hour all night. You can also give back by participating in the festival toy drive, so your karmic bank will remain in balance going into 2018. 8 p.m. Saturday, December 23, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com.
New Times' Sips and Sweets. It's not a proper holiday party without plenty of eats and drinks. At Sips and Sweets, devour all manner of desserts and treats from restaurants such as 180 Degrees @ the DRB, Ali's Sweet Treats, Amour de Miami, Cao Chocolates, the Brick Miami, Dough Miami, Dunkin' Donuts, Dylan's Candy Bar, Kravy Jerky, Pilo's Street Tacos, and Segrado Pastry. Then sip adult beverages provided by Voga Italia Wine, Prescribed Spirits, Zamaca, Gemma di Luna, Diplomatico, Koloa, Fireball, Russian Standard, and Chila Orchata cinnamon cream rum. 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, December 14, at the Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection, 2000 NE 146th St., North Miami; 305-354-7680; dezercollection.com. Tickets cost $30 to $55 via newtimessipsandsweets.com.
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Chrismukkah Chinese Food Takeout Pop-Up at the Broken Shaker. One of Miami's party hot spots is taking a surprisingly low-key approach to its holiday celebration. The folks at the Broken Shaker are keeping it inclusive with a "Chrismukkah" celebration. They know that once the presents are opened, you spend the rest of the day watching movies on the couch, so they're getting you out of the house with Chinese food by Chef Jimmy, who will serve a special menu that includes local smoked fish/coconut fried rice and apple-pie wontons. 6 p.m. Monday, December 25, at the Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami, 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-2727; freehandhotels.com. Admission is free.
MatzoBall. Once dubbed "The #1 holiday party of the year" by USA Today, MatzoBall has been going strong for more than three decades. The year-ending blowout, geared toward young Jewish singles, has taken place at LIV in past years, but this year the bash is taking over Story on Christmas Eve. Of course, for the folks who'll be partying it up at MatzoBall this year, December 24 is just like any other day, four days after the last day of Hanukkah. 9 p.m. Sunday, December 24, at Story Nightclub, 136 Collins Ave., Miami; 305-479-4426; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $50 to $100 via ticketspice.com.