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Where to Get Playful in Miami This Winter (and Holiday Happenings!)

Where to Get Playful in Miami This Winter (and Holiday Happenings!)

The Polar Express Train Ride

JAI ALAI IS BACK!
In Miami, the Basque sport jai alai skyrocketed in popularity, then fell by the wayside. But guess what? It’s back! “The world’s fastest game,” a featured sport at both Calder Casino and Magic City Casino, sees skilled players ricochet a ball off the walls of a “fronton” with distinctive wicker cestas, not unlike racquetball. caldercasino.com, magiccitycasino.com

A FUN SEA LIFE SANCTUARY
Miami Seaquarium is a must-visit attraction that combines education, conservation and just plain fun. See and learn about manatees, sea turtles, penguins, rays, sea lions and cetaceans; find out how the facility is helping vulnerable sea life; and actually get in the water with dolphins. 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami; 305.361.5705; miamiseaquarium.com

Miami Sweet at the Aventura Mall
Miami Sweet at the Aventura Mall

A REAL-LIFE CANDY DREAM
Want to swing on licorice vines? Surf with candy dolphins? Miami Sweet provides all this and more. The kid-friendly, interactive, multisensory and ‘Gram-worthy “shoppertainment” experience is a tribute to the city in candy art, set to tropical music and plenty of confetti. And of course, there’s an on-site candy store! Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; miamisweet.com

ICE CREAM TO SCREAM ABOUT
Wynwood’s Dasher & Crank is officially Florida’s best ice cream, awarded the honor by Food & Wine. This craft ice cream shop makes everything in-house and from scratch, using high-quality local ingredients. Try their most popular flavor, Ube Macapuno, a vegan combo of coconut ice cream and Filipino purple yams. 2211 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305.640.8579; dasherandcrank.com

Pop-up and Shop Up at Lincoln Eatery
Pop-up and Shop Up at Lincoln Eatery

ONE-STOP SHOP FOR SUPPORTING LOCAL
Check out The Lincoln Eatery food hall’s first retail establishment, Pop Up & Shop Up. The permanent boutique fosters community, highlighting local, small, minority-owned businesses who create such products as cosmetics, artisan goods, homemade jewelry, art, sustainable fashion and more. 723 N. Lincoln Lane, Miami Beach; thelincolneatery.com

A MIAMI FILM HISTORY ROAD TRIP
Miami became a beloved filming location back in the silent movie era, and the Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment has made it easy to visit the spots that made it on-camera across more than a century by providing a convenient mapped tour on their website. So jump in your car and have an entertaining history-themed road trip! filmiami.org

The Polar Express Train Ride
The Polar Express Train Ride

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
Miami has some unique and fun ways to celebrate the holidays.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a fun-filled rail journey to meet Santa based on the classic childrens’ book. Themed rides run from Dec. 11–30. miamithepolarexpressride.com

At the Shops at Brickell City Centre, big holiday shopping spenders get exclusive access to the South Pole Speakeasy, a pop-up bar serving cocktails. Meanwhile, Santa’s Post Office lets wee ones mail letters to Santa or meet the man himself for a photo. brickellcitycentre.com

Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Hialeah Park is the world’s largest holiday theme park. Join the fun now through Jan. 2, 2022. santasenchantedforest.com

Ring in 2022

There’s more than one way to welcome the New Year! Visit Bayfront Park and see celebratory fireworks fill the sky. Make it a staycation in one of central Miami’s lauded lodgings, you can’t go wrong with any one of these: 1 Hotel, Mondrian, Kimpton EPIC, EDITION—all offer prime rooftop views of the pyrotechnics. If you want to usher in 2022 with a toast at home, drop by Abaco Wines & Wine Bar in the Design District, Wine by the Bay in MiMo, or 305 Wines in Palmetto Bay and pick out a fine vino vintage.

This story is from our Winter 2021-2022 issue. Read more here.