Memorial Day is a time to honor the members of the U.S. Armed Forces who gave their lives serving our country. Their passion, dedication, and bravery will never be forgotten. In Miami, the federal holiday also means the city will turn up so hard it will be running on zombie mode for the next week. But the good times will be worth the hangover. From South Beach pool parties to concerts, here are the ten best Memorial Day weekend events that'll give you the most bang for your buck. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it's a good place to start. When in doubt, head to Ocean Drive. Shit is about to get wild.
1. Pool parties. If you aren't spending your Memorial Day weekend in a bathing suit, are you even partying in Miami? If there's one thing the 305 isn't short of during Memorial Day weekend, it's raucous pool parties. On any given weekend, you can check out New Times' best pool-party spots in Miami Beach, which are sure to be crazier than usual during the holiday weekend. You also have a few other options: There's the 2KPoolParty, Soak Fest, and, if you're looking to stay on the mainland, the Do Not Disturb After Dark Night Swim Pool Party in Brickell.
2. Best of the Best Music Fest. For more than a decade, Best of the Best has brought the biggest names in Caribbean music to the stage. This year, the highly anticipated fest is celebrating its 13th year with a stacked lineup of favorites, including Shabba Ranks, the Don Dadda, Super Cat, Alkaline, Jahmiel, Stylo G, and many others. According to a Best of the Best Instagram post, Shabba Ranks and Super Cat are gearing up to share the stage for the first time in the United States, so don't miss this historic moment happening right in our backyard. Parents, be sure to bring the little ones along too — kids under 12 get in free with an adult. 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday, May 26, at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets cost $50 to $399 plus fees via bestofthebestconcert.com. All ages.
3. Rock the Yacht All-White Party. No matter how much you want to believe paddling on a canal in your cousin's canoe with a six-pack constitutes an aquatic party, it doesn't — especially if you're in Miami with access to a four-level luxury yacht equipped with a live DJ, a buffet, bottle service, and other swanky fixings. Don your best white threads and hop aboard the South Beach Lady for a maritime bash. The yacht will depart from the Hyatt Regency hotel dock at 7:30 p.m. sharp. 6:30 to 11 p.m. Sunday, May 26, aboard the South Beach Lady, at the Hyatt Regency hotel dock, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; 347-581-4943. Tickets cost $75 to $1,000 plus fees via eventbrite.com. Ages 21 and over.
4. Miami Jouvert Block Party. Paint the town red, pink, blue, and green Memorial Day weekend at Miami Jouvert, the Magic City's festival of paint. The block party at Mana Wynwood will offer music by Selecta AJ, Dr. Esan, Platinum Kids, DJ Thunder, DJ Big Ralph, and DJ Oso City. Free drinks will flow all night long at the colorful fete. To all revelers descending upon Miami Beach in search of a good time, we recommend taking a break for one night and try raging on the mainland. Rolling into work Tuesday with paint remnants in your hair is a good sign of a successful holiday weekend. 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Wynwood. Tickets cost $30 to $75 plus fees via eventbrite.com. All ages.
5. Teen Divorce and Snacking. Some of y'all were raised in cities without a kick-ass DIY venue hosting killer shows. And if you aren't soaked in sweat with your best friends while jamming with Teen Divorce, Snacking, Palomino Blond, Two Point Conversion, Handsome Thing, and Shred Danson, you aren't properly raging this Memorial Day weekend. Support your local music scene at Space Mountain Miami and bring cash for merch. And please don't ruin it for everyone else by acting like an idiot — respect the space. With Palomino Blond, Two Point Conversion, Handsome Thing, and Shred Danson. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Space Mountain, 738 NW 62nd St., Miami; spacemountainmia.org. Admission costs $5 to $10. All ages.
6. Henny & Waffles Brunch & Day Party. As the holiday weekend comes to a close, you could probably use a well-balanced meal. Everyone knows part of a complete breakfast is Hennessy and waffles. The brunch and day party at Cameo Nightclub will offer all of the essential fixings: Hennessy chicken wings, waffle and omelet stations, home fries, crab balls, cherrywood hickory bacon, turkey sausage, cornmeal-crusted fried fish, six-cheese mac, garden salad, a dessert station, fresh fruit, $15 Hennessy drinks all day, and more. The all-you-can-eat brunch will take place from 1 to 4 p.m.; then the club will turn up the party till 8. 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Cameo Nightclub, 1445 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; hennyandwaffles.com. Tickets cost $40 plus fees via eventbrite.com. Ages 21 and up.
7. Four Tet, Ben UFO, and Anthony Naples. One of the many great things about Miami is that it's not uncommon to stay up past bedtime and party into the next day. This Memorial Day weekend, the team behind LinkMiamiRebels is bringing you a lineup that'll be one for the books. Party into Sunday on the Terrace at Space with a DJ set by Four Tet, as well as Ben UFO and Anthony Naples. Better take a disco nap first. 11 p.m. Saturday, May 25, to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at Club Space, 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-495-8712; clubspace.com. Tickets cost $10 to $40 plus fees via eventbrite.com. Ages 21 and up.
8. Memorial Day Weekend Kickoff at the Wharf. If there's one thing Miamians take seriously, it's partying hard on holiday weekends. From pool parties to concerts, there's something to do in every corner of the Magic City. And we'd probably all agree the revelry is worth the consequences of having to crawl into work Tuesday morning. But before you clear out your bank account on overpriced South Beach drinks, kick off your Memorial Day weekend on the mainland with a cheaper option. The Wharf's riverside party starts at noon Friday, but the deals are from 4 to 7 p.m., when pints cost $1 and glasses of wine are $3. Enjoy live music, cocktails, and bites by Lung Yai Thai Tapas, Spris Artisan Pizza, Mojo Donuts, La Santa Taqueria, and others. Dogs and children are welcome before 5 p.m. Noon to 3 a.m. Friday, May 24, at the Wharf, 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; 305-906-4000; wharfmiami.com. Admission is free; register via eventbrite.com. Ages 21 and up after 5 p.m.
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9. Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival. The grueling 9-to-5 is a bummer, especially when your boss' hellish antics make it hard for you to remember the last time you had a good laugh. Tony Roberts, Pretty Vee, Benji Brown, Steve Brown, Shawty Shawty, and Prince T Dub are bringing the LOLs to the James L. Knight Center for the 12th-annual Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival. Miami's Trick Daddy is set to deliver a live music performance, so don't miss out. 8 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; 305-416-5970; jlkc.com. Tickets cost $40 to $100 via ticketmaster.com. Ages 21 and up.
10. Memorial Weekend KidzFest. Just because the city is one gigantic rage fest this weekend doesn't mean the little ones can't enjoy the holiday too. Parents, it's time for your kids to get down at the opening of the exhibit "Lost World of Dinosaurs." Visitors can experience 27 life-size dinosaur replicas, dinosaur crafts, a scavenger hunt, presentations and guided tours with paleontologist Robert DePalma, and other fun activities. This isn't exactly a raging party, but your children will thank you later, so pack up the minivan and head to Davie. 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27, at Flamingo Gardens, 3750 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie; 954-473-2955; flamingogardens.org. Admission is $19.95 for ages 12 and up, $12.95 for ages 3 to 11, and free for Flamingo Gardens members and ages 2 and under.