While the Brits may be busy boxing up their unwanted gifts, you are one step ahead of them and as such, have plenty of free time to relax and bask in the afterglow of Christmas and the pre-hype of New Year’s Eve by taking in a performance of the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, which makes that other version you saw seem like, well, small peanuts. The performance takes place at 7pm Friday, December 26 at The Fillmore and features, in addition to 40 human performers, some seriously large puppets, Christmas trees, and matryoshka dolls massive enough to house the population of a small developing nation. Tickets start at $48.50.
Paint the Town
If Tchaikovsky is a bit too highbrow for your musical tastes, there’s always the Life in Color Festival, billing itself as the world’s largest paint party. Technically it’s an EDM fan’s dream come true with a two-day, 60,000 fan fest of some of music’s biggest names including Kaskade, Borgore, Juicy J, Diplo, Nervo and more. If you have to Google those, do not even go near the Sun Life Stadium on December 26 and 27. In addition to the musical talent, there will be stilt walkers, contortionists, fire shows, aerial acts and assorted side shows all leading up to the reason for the show’s namesake—a “famous paint blast.” Take that, New Year’s Eve (more on that distraction later). Doors open at 4pm Friday, December 26, and two-day passes are still available.
As overstimulating as the aforementioned music festival may or may not be, Santa’s Enchanted Forest is a dizzying, dazzling display of lights, sounds, carnival rides and fried foods that doesn’t end just because Christmas has. In fact, the day after is an ideal time to check out the place where Christmas vacations before it packs up and goes away until you barely have a chance to recover from this year. You’ll have the chance to check it out through January 4.
As kitschy as Santa’s Enchanted Forest may be, it’s got nothing on the annual King Mango Strut, an annual tradition in which people send off the year decked out in kooky costumes tied to some of the year’s biggest political and cultural absurdities that may or may not have anything to do with things ending in ‘dashian.’ The parade starts at 2pm on December 28 at Commodore Plaza and Grand Ave. An after-party follows with live music.
Out With the Old
Should you still feel the need to party like it’s 1999 on December 31, 2014, there are plenty of places glad to pilfer your pennies, but only a few things better than watching the ball drop to a mashup of Anderson Cooper’s giggles and Pitbull’s barking. Among them, the family-friendly party at Serendipity 3, 1102 Lincoln Road, where kids finger foods will be served along with party favors and mocktails. Best of all, you get to count down to 2015 before everyone else, starting at 6:59pm. Not too much later at Tongue & Cheek, 431 Washington Ave., a speakeasy-themed party with live music and seatings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. A mere $85 will get you three courses, but if you feel like splurging, a five course menu from 9pm to midnight at $150 per person featuring fancy fare from foie gras to Waygu steak should make the evening feel extra special. Both seatings include Krug Grand Cuvee champagne toast. Call 305-704-2900 for reservations. Oh, and dress code is “Prohibition-style attire.” Moonshine not required.
Last, but definitely not least–for those of us who can always appreciate a stellar house party on New Year’s Eve that’s not at our own house, check out the Ultimate House Party at The Garret, 697 N. Miami Ave., where, from 10pm to 5am you’ll get to explore all sorts of “activations,” as the hipsters call it, from a living room concert and “hang outs in the kitchen,” to “lounging in the bedrooms,” confessionals and mixology cocktail bars. And what house party is a good one without a live performance by the raunchy electronic rocker known as Peaches? Yep, she’ll perform along with artists Jessy Nite and Brian Butler and a surprise guest whom we can ensure you is not Miley Cyrus. And here’s the rub: there is none. Literally. No cover. Free. Click here to RSVP. Desperados, a tequila, is the event’s sponsor, and will be offering itself up at $5 all night with a free 3am shot if you so desire. And remember: should old acquaintance be forgot, don’t worry, there’s always Google. Happy New Year!