MIAMI CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR
This year's celebration will include a cast of more than 500 with colorful scenes, glittering costumes, high-stepping choreography, live animals and lasers. The performance will show angels and shepherds as they proclaim the glorious message of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrections. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 West Flagler St., Miami. $15-$28. Details: (305) 444-7464 or www.miamichristmas.com.
HOLIDAY GIFT DRIVE
Baptist Health is sponsoring a holiday gift drive to benefit Safe Space South. Safe Space South is an emergency shelter for women seeking to escape domestic violence. Suggested donations are toiletries, clothes for children and adults, entertainment items and foods. Donations can be made at one of their three locations. Through Monday at Baptist Medical Plaza at Westchester, 8820 Bird Road, Suite 400, Miami; Baptist Medical Plaza at West Kendall, 13001 North Kendall Dr., Suite 300, Miami; Women's Health Resource Center, 8950 North Kendall Dr., Suite 105, Miami. Details: (786) 596-5981 or (305) 247-4249.
TWENTY DAYS OF GIVING
Van Michael Miami Salon will host a holiday food drive to benefit the Daily Bread Food Bank, a non-profit service dedicated to feeding South Florida's less fortunate and improving their lives. Members of the community are asked to bring non-perishable items to the salon's food drive. Through Dec. 24 at Van Michael Miami Salon, 1667 Michigan Ave., Miami Beach. Details: (305) 534-6789.
FESTIVAL OF TREES
The Festival of Trees exhibition will feature a compilation of works of dozens of South Florida design professionals. Through Dec. 26 at One Brickell Square, 801 Brickell Ave., Miami. RSVP required. $40-$50. Details: Geisha Garcia, (305) 348-6101.
The University of Miami will host an awards banquet recognizing the 2004 senior class. Various awards will be granted - including team most valuable player. Don Bailey Jr. will be master of ceremonies. Proceeds will benefit the UM Hurricane Club and the Miami Touchdown Club's Operation Scholarship program. At Radisson Mart Plaza Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami. $65-$80 per person; $1,000 per table. Details: (305) 284-6699 or (800) 462-2637.
JAM AT MAM
Every third Thursday Miami Art Museum presents happy hour with an artful twist. This event provides art lovers an opportunity to meet and socialize. Includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dj music. 5-8:30 p.m. at Miami Art Museum, 101 West Flagler St., Miami. Free for members; $5 others. Details: www.miamiartmuseum.org.
The Seminole Paradise will host a VIP charity event to benefit the Dan Marino Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports programs and intervention services for children with medical, emotional and behavioral needs. Featuring a silent auction, local and national celebrities, illusionist, live reggae and calypso bands and comedy. The evening will end with an animation and fireworks extravaganza. 6-11 p.m. at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. $50. Details: (954) 583-3681.
BUSINESS HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
The Florida Foreign Trade Association, Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association, Miami Free Zone and Doral Business Council will host a holiday celebration. The event will include complimentary hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, music, door prizes and raffles. The celebration will be held to benefit Neighbors for Neighbors. 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Miami Free Zone, 2305 NW 107th Ave., Doral. Cost is one unwrapped toy (value $5 and up). Details: (305) 471-0737 or email@example.com.
GUAYABERAS GRAND OPENING
A celebration will be held commemorating the grand opening of the first store ever on Miracle Mile dedicated primarily to Guayaberas, the classic pleated Cuban shirt. A portion of the sales at the grand opening will benefit Easter Seals Miami-Dade. Event will include a giveaway raffle, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. 5-10 p.m. at Guayaberas Etc., 270 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Details: (305) 441-9891 or www.guayaberashirt.com.
The third Friday of every month, the Shores Performing Arts Center presents Jazz at the Shores featuring Nicole Yarling and local jazz musicians. 6-8 p.m. at the Shores Performing Arts Theatre, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores. Adults $15; Seniors and students $10. Details: (305) 751-0562 or www.shoretheatre.org.
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University will present the opening reception for the 2004 B.F.A. Fall Exhibition. The exhibition will feature a range of dynamic new work by the 2004 graduating class of the University's Department of Art and Art History. 8 p.m. through Dec. 26 at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, FIU, University Park, 11200 SW Eighth St., Miami. Free. Details: (305) 348-2890 or www.frostartmuseum.org.
WINTERFEST BOAT PARADE
The Seminole Hard Rock Cafe and Casino presents the Winterfest Boat Parade. The 100 parade entrants will be adorned with lights, music, entertainment, celebrities and beauty queens. The boats will take an hour-and-a-half to pass each point along the route. This year's grand marshal will be Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat. At Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Details: (954) 767-0686 or www.winterfestparade.com.
HOLIDAY BLOCK PARTY
The city of Coral Gables celebrates the holiday season with a block party. Featured activities include music, inflatable climbing walls, bounce houses, arts and crafts, face painting, pictures with Santa Claus and a 50 foot Saber Tooth Slide. 2-5 p.m. along the 400 block of Biltmore Way, in front of the City Hall, Coral Gables. Details: Fred Couceyro, (305) 460-5600 or www.coralgables.com.
CHAI LIFELINE GALA
Chai Lifeline Southeast will present its 12th annual gala event. The event will feature dinner and a private tour of the "Diana, A Celebration" exhibit. 8 p.m. at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, One East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. $150. Details: www.chailifeline.org.
HIGH DIVE SHOW
The Miami Seaquarium, will unveil a new show, Diveworks, for the holiday season. Featuring professional divers from around the country who will take a 75-foot high dive into just 10 feet of water. Divers will show off their Olympic diving ability, along with comedic antics, during the three daily performances. Through Jan. 2 at the Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway on Virginia Key. $19.95 children 3 to 9; $24.95 others. Details: (305) 361-5705 or www.miamiseaquarium.com.
The South Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and District J teachers and students will use six hundred yards of ribbon and garlands to transform the Deering Estate at Cutler. Event will feature music from the Old Cutler Presbyterian Church Music Department's Celebration Choir and a special appearance by up and coming acoustic guitarist, Hope Littwin. The whole family can enjoy cookies and cider while visiting with Father Christmas. 1-3 p.m. at the Deering Estate at Cutler, Stone House Ballroom, 16701 SW 72 Ave., Miami. $7 adults; $5 children 4-12. Details: (305) 235-1668 ext. 233.
The city of Coral Gables will celebrate the installation of a marker dedicating the Ruth Bryan Owen Waterway Park. Daughter of orator and Democratic presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan, Owen was the first woman elected to Congress from the South. Owen also helped to shape environmental developments in Florida by working with Marjory Stoneman Douglas in the creation of the Everglades National Park. 4 p.m. at the Ruth Bryan Owen Waterway Park, 3940 Granada Blvd., Coral Gables. Free. Details: (305) 460-5093.
BILTMORE HISTORIC TOURS
The Dade Heritage Trust offers three free one-hour tours of the Biltmore Hotel detailing its history and architecture. If it's vacant, the Al Capone Suite on the 13th floor could be shown. 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Sundays at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Details: Ruth Jacobs, (305) 667-5222 or www.biltmorehotel.com.