(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- Throughout December the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is offering lots of special holiday cheer to share with family and friends at Miami-Dade County Parks, from festive activities and seasonal light displays to unique shopping experiences, and fun and adventurous Winter Break Camps for kids. Here are a few suggestions to keep everyone happy and entertained all month long.
Discover Gift-Giving "Outside The Box" at the Parkstore
Visit Miami-Dade County Parks' Parkstore and give that special someone fun, health-minded and adventure-packed gifts that they'll remember for years to come, such as an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Zoo Miami, a catamaran cruise on Biscayne Bay, an Everglades airboat ride and swamp tromp, trap and skeet rounds at Trail Glades Range, a backcountry kayak fishing trip, and all-inclusive tennis, golf and soccer packages, and much, much more.
The Deering Estate at Cutler
December 10 & 17 - Santa Story-Time, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Ongoing through December 31 - Deering Holiday Wonderland,10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Celebrate the Holiday Season at the Deering Estate at Cutler! Enjoy Santa Story-Time and tour the Deering Holiday Wonderland as the historic homes are also decorated for the holidays! The holiday decorations will be on display daily through December 31, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Deering Estate is Closed Christmas Day. These activities are free with regular Estate admission: $12 for adults and $7 for children (ages 4-14). For more information, visit Deering Estate or call the Deering Estate Ticket Office at 305-235-1668 ext. 233. The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue in Miami.
December 18 - Holiday Bay Cruise, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hop aboard the Pelican Island Skipper and enjoy a relaxing cruise on beautiful Biscayne Bay. Participants are advised to arrive at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $35 per person. For more information, please visit Deering Estate or call the Deering Estate Ticket Office at 305-235-1668 ext. 233. The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue in Miami.
December 16-23 - Zoo Lights, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
December 17 - Dinner with Santa, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Come see zoo animals open their specially-made holiday gifts every weekend in December. See dozens of bright animal-shaped lights, and enjoy ice-skating, camel rides, the Hippo Slide, hot chocolate, cookies, holiday music, and more. Have a delicious classic holiday Dinner with Santa during Zoo Miami's Zoo Lights this December 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Children will receive a holiday plush gift and will get to make their own holiday ornaments! Don't forget to bring your camera to take lots of pictures when Santa makes his special appearance. It will be an experience you and yours won't soon forget. Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 St., Miami. For information on prices, menu, location, and other activities, and to purchase tickets online, visit Zoo Miami.
Gourmet Food Truck Events
December 9, 16, 23 & 30- Food Truck Nights at Tamiami Park, 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
December 30 - Kite-Flying Food Truck Nights on the Bay, 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Take a break during the busy holiday season for some fun-time and good eats at Miami-Dade County Parks' food truck events. It's a family night that is easy on the wallet, offering dining al fresco with the popular gourmet food truck chefs. "Kite-Flying Food Truck Nights on the Bay," takes place from 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. on Friday, December 30 at the Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Park, 10800 Collins Ave., Miami. This event is held on the last Friday of each month and includes music and kite-flying activities for the kids and young at heart. To contact Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Park, call 305-947-3525. Food Truck Nights take place every Friday from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. at Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24 St., Miami (The Fair's main entrance.) To contact Tamiami Park, call 786-315-5395.
Special Holiday Note: Food Truck Nights at Tropical Park are temporarily suspended for the holidays and will return on Thursday, January 5, to kick-off its new schedule, Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Farmers Market Days, Sponsored by Wells Fargo
December 14, 21 & 28 - Goulds Park, 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
December 10, 17, 24 & 31 - Naranja Library (Royal Colonial Park), 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Enjoy holiday meal planning and make it nutritious! Purchase fresh seasonal produce direct from local growers, and enjoy a bounty of free community activities during Farmers Market Days throughout December, Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Goulds Park, 11350 SW 216 St., Miami, and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Naranja Branch Library (Royal Colonial Park), 14850 SW 280 St. Miami. For further details about Farmers Market Days the public may call Goulds Parks at 305-255-2399, or the Naranja Branch Library at (305) 242-2290.
Miami-Dade Parks' Winter Break Camps
Weekdays, December 19 - January 2, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Give your children a fun-filled and affordable Winter Break Camp adventure! Sign them up for a Miami-Dade Parks Winter Break Camp, being held December 19-January 2, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with early drop-off available at 7:30 a.m. and late pick-up until 6:00 p.m. Kids stay fit and thrilled outdoors with activities like sports, arts and crafts, games, field trips, and more! There are also Specialized Camps, which focus on a specific interest or need, like Zoo Miami's Winter Break Daze (Weekdays, December 19 - 23/ December 26 - 30, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.); the nature-based EcoAdventuresTM Camps and the Deering Estate's Discovery Camp; the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center's Arts, Fitness and Wellness Camp; the Country Club of Miami's Junior Golf Camp; and camp programs for children with disabilities. Parents may register their child by visiting the specific Miami-Dade County Park where they wish their child to attend. Some parks offer online registration at Miami Dade Parks, where the entire list of camp sites is also found. The public may also dial 3-1-1 for the Miami-Dade County Information Hotline. Prices for camps vary.
About Miami-Dade Parks:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1, or visit Miami-Dade Parks.
To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.
Miami-Dade Parks' Disability Services office will order information in accessible formats and provide information on access for persons with disabilities. In order to do this, it is imperative that you send a copy of the item you are printing to: Miami-Dade Parks' Disability Services, 275 NW 2nd St., Suite 507, Miami, FL 33128.