Here at Aventura Mall, we’re all about creating holiday magic and memories that will last a lifetime. As we continue our annual transition into one of Miami’s top holiday destinations, we’re thrilled to share 25 festive “moments of joy” guests can enjoy this season, from traditional (and new!) installations and exhibits, to some of our favorite places to shop, dine and indulge. We encourage you to take time out of your busy holiday schedule to relax and create special moments with loved ones.
1. Santa’s Workshop
November 27 – December 24
Santa returns for meet-and-greets and professional photo opportunities for all, including pets! A crowd favorite, the magnificent Santa’s Workshop is highlighted by a mountain of glistening gift boxes stacked 60 feet high, 10-foot teddy bears, classic English-style rocking horses, 12-foot-tall toy soldiers, and 13-foot candy canes. It is topped by a storybook 19th century sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, and a rotating, 140-point Millennium Star. Every hour, an elaborate, five-minute holiday light and sound show will dazzle visitors. Santa’s Workshop is open November 27 through December 24 on the lower level near Bloomingdale’s. Photo reservations can be made online at https://www.whereissanta.com/florida/aventuramall. Santa visits will be contactless, and Santa will be distanced from visitors.
2. The Aventura Station
November – January
Family fun awaits at The Aventura Station! The largest and grandest model train in Florida, Aventura Station features dozens of scenes including snow-capped mountains, small towns, Mel’s drive-in, an ice-skating rink and even a few of our Aventura Mall stores and restaurants. This 18-by-30-foot display spans over 100 scale-miles of track and features more than 500 figurines, over a dozen animated accessories, a working drawbridge, party yacht, towns with lighted buildings and more. The Aventura Station is located on the lower level next to Zara through January.
3. Santa’s Topiary Reindeer
November – December
Throughout the shopping center, whimsical, topiary reindeer sit on lacquered red benches in fun and engaging positions, serving as festive photo opportunities and a sweet Instagram backdrop. Locations include:
o Upper Level above Santa’s Workshop
o Upper Level near Victoria’s Secret
o Upper Level near Godiva Chocolatier
o Upper Level near XimiLife
o Upper Level near Abercrombie Kids
o Outdoor Dining Area near Pubbelly Sushi
o Lower Level near The Aventura Station
o Upper Level near Ferrari Store
4. Twinkling Snowfall LED Installation
November – January
Part of The Arts Aventura Mall collection, which features 20+ museum-caliber pieces in a range of mediums, this unique installation provides guests with the sensation of being swept into the middle of a snowfall. The spectacular continuous motion LED display appears to be floating down through the skylight of the three-story atrium in front of Nordstrom. Created by Snarkitecture, the immersive display features over 16,000 LEDs within 4,000 frosted LED spheres, which also lets visitors “feel” as if the snow is being blown past their face as it falls.
5. Chanukah Menorah
December 10 – 18
From December 10 through 18, our unique, eight-foot-tall menorah will mark the Festival of Lights. Complete with faux candles that flicker as if being blown by the wind, the menorah is made entirely of bent oak wood using a novel technique to alter the wood on a cellular level. Like everything about Aventura Mall’s holiday experience, it’s special and a must-see.
November – January
After the sun sets, approximately one million white lights and 175 giant snowflakes will spread a glow over the entire shopping center’s exterior as Aventura Mall’s annual Illumination brightens the night sky.
7. Santa’s Sleigh & Mailbox
November – December
Make a wish and snap pictures with the whole family in Santa’s shiny red and gold sleigh, which is set against a bundle of frosted, lit Christmas trees. A few steps away, a smiling red-nosed reindeer guards Santa’s Mailbox, where kids are encouraged to drop off their letters! The installation is located on the Upper Level in front of Zara.
8. Spark Your Kids’ Imaginations at Their Favorite Stores
Shop kid-approved clothing, accessories and plush toys at Peppermint Park, Lego and the Disney Store. Each offers a fun-filled experience that will engage and excite the little ones from the moment they walk inside.
9. Laugh Off Your 2020 Woes at The Grinch’s Grotto
November 27 – December 31
From the creators of The Dr. Seuss Experience, step into The Grinch’s Grotto and commemorate the Grinchiest of years with our favorite green resident just north of Whoville. After reserving a spot online, you and your loved ones will get a rare opportunity to visit the Grinch in his special cave and strike a pose with him. This imaginative take on holiday photo shoots is a fun way to show off a bit of your 2020 grumpiness during what is still the most wonderful time of the year. The grotto backdrop includes a burlap sack full of presents, a Grinch stylized holiday tree, a backlit fireplace with hanging stockings, and signs with 2020 appropriate slogans. Each group will receive professionally shot photos and a few extra surprises. Space will be very limited to ensure social distancing, so make sure to reserve your spot early! Purchase tickets in advance at https://www.grinchgrotto.com/. Grinch’s Grotto is located in Treats Food Hall.
10. Upgrade Your Social Feed’s Aesthetic at The Selfie Station
November – April
Aventura Mall was already one of the most Instagrammable spots in South Florida. Now, we have a dedicated space to immerse yourself in fun, eye-catching, interactive photo backdrops!
Selfie Station is a dream come true for anyone looking to revamp or enhance their social feed’s aesthetic. The immersive, 6,300 square-foot space features more than 30 unique backdrops, ranging from vibrant and holiday-themed to avant-garde and abstract. General admission tickets are available at www.selfiestation-usa.com. To prepare for their hour-long photo session, guests are encouraged to sanitize upon entry and must wear facial coverings at all times when not taking photos. For more information, please call (786) 320-5001. Selfie Station is located on the Lower Level near Bloomingdale’s.
11. Find Your Dream Tree and Holiday Décor
Transform your home into a cozy, Pinterest-worthy holiday retreat with items from the Deck the Halls Shoppe by The Christmas Palace, a new whimsical pop-up filled with elegant ornaments, jaw-dropping pre-decorated Christmas trees, and enchanting décor. Located in a glass atrium and “guarded” by whimsical 10-foot-tall Nutcrackers, Deck the Halls Shoppe features pieces from over two dozen holiday-themed categories, as well as a “tree forest” from which shoppers can select a tree for home delivery. Deck the Halls Shoppe is located on the Lower Level.
12. Take A Picture With A Loved One At The LOVE Sculpture
Add some cheerful vibes to your social feed by posing in front of the seasonably appropriate, red LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana. There’s a reason this piece is an influencer favorite! The LOVE sculpture is located on the Upper Level, next to Tap 42 Craft Kitchen + Bar and is one of Aventura Mall’s TikTok stations.
13. Manifest Your Dreams At The Wishing Garden
Beginning November 12
Our new Wishing Garden provides a tranquil area for you to reflect on and share your wishes. As natural sanctuaries, trees have served as a source of inspiration and beauty since the beginning of time. Around the world, people have shared their wishes and dreams by writing them on a card and hanging it on a tree. We invite you to join in this tradition by visiting our Wishing Garden, located in the outdoor area next to the Gorillas in the Mist fountain. Simply visit the wish table inside the mall entry between Emack & Bolio’s and Joe & The Juice, write or draw your wish on a card, tie your card to one of the designated trees in our Wishing Garden, and take a moment to wish it true.
14. Indulge in Ladurée Paris’ Holiday Macarons – And Purchase Customized Macarons For Your Friends!
Fulfill your French getaway dreams with a visit to Ladurée, the beloved Parisian restaurant known for its delicious macarons. The new holiday collection features a cozy vanilla caramel flavor, as well as a unique clementine, rose and saffron option. Better yet: the store offers a printer so shoppers can customize macarons – perfect for a holiday gift! Ladurée is located on the Lower Level across from Gucci.
15. Enjoy A Fun Holiday Meal with Friends At Pani
Located in the Outdoor Courtyard, Pani, the new Instagrammable, one-of-a-kind restaurant features a vibrant, eclectic aesthetic. The menu is comprised of 20 cakes, a range of breakfast and lunch items, including croissants, omelets, sandwiches, salads and quiche, as well as an array of dinner options ranging from pasta and meat to fish. The colorful décor and custom art make an excellent backdrop for capturing fun memories like a Secret Santa exchange.
16. Host a Holiday Gathering at Ornos Estiatorio
Searching for a place to enjoy a family holiday dinner? Look no further than Ornos Estiatorio. Created by Award-Winning Chef and Restauranteur Michael Mina, Girair “Jerry” Goumroian and Chef Nikolaos Georgousis, the restaurant offers traditional yet flavorful Greek cuisine in an authentic environment that makes guests feel as though they are dining at a restaurant in Greece. The menu features family-style dishes, a raw bar, traditional menu options, classic spreads and South Florida’s first Fish Sommelier. Ornos Estiatorio is located in the Outdoor Courtyard across from Apple.
17. Caffeinate at Naughty Coffee, Coffee Bike Gourmet, Nordstrom e-Bar & Starbucks
Enjoy a cozy cup of joe before or during your visit at one of our many coffee shops. Pro tip: purchase holiday-themed cups where available for a festive touch – then get one for a friend!
18. Get Boozy Ice Cream To-Go at Aubi & Ramsa
Adults 21 and older can enjoy Aubi & Ramsa’s decadent and unique, locally-made ice cream infused with liquor for an added punch of flavor. Our favorites include Agave Dulce de Leche and The Highland Truffle.
19. Shop Local Vendors At The Aventura Farmers Market
For over 20 years, The Aventura Farmers Market has functioned in support of the local community, giving shoppers the perfect setting to explore exotic foods and handmade goods from local businesses while escaping the Florida heat. From sweet to savory and everything in between, The Aventura Farmers Market showcases a diverse array of cuisine, fresh produce and desserts from dozens of vendors — many of whom prioritize the use of natural and organic ingredients – in addition to handcrafted clothing, décor and accessories for the whole family. This holiday season, The Aventura Farmers Market will continue every weekend – plus, there will be a Black Friday Edition from November 27 – 29 and a Holiday Edition from December 19 – 27 to provide you with even more locally sourced gifting options! Click here for more information on The Aventura Farmers Market vendors.
20. Select The Sweetest Gifts To-Go at Godiva, Kilwins, It’Sugar, And More
For the loved one with a sweet tooth, stop by Godiva, Kilwins and It’Sugar to pick up beautiful assortments of chocolate morsels, homemade fudge and caramels, and sugary candies. You may just be tempted to treat yourself, too.
21. Discover The Newest Aventura Mall Retailers
There’s no time like the holidays to welcome new stores! Familiarize yourself with some of the newest brands to join the Aventura Mall family, including BLENDED, Garota, Mavrans, Castañer, IRO, The Inspiration Co., and XimiLife.
22. Enjoy A Classic Holiday Movie At AMC Theaters
Looking to wind down during the holidays? Enjoy a cozy night out with family or friends at AMC Theaters, where several holiday classics are making a temporary return to the big screen.
23. Treat Yourself to a Pre-Holiday Blow Out at Marie Robinson Salon
Whether you’re preparing for photos, a special event, or are simply seeking a little pampering during the holiday rush, Marie Robinson Salon will help give your mane a boost of holiday flair. To book an appointment, call 305-974-2553.
Don’t forget to share your fun holiday photos with us! Tag @AventuraMall and #AventuraMall for a chance to be featured on our social channels.
For more information on holiday happenings at Aventura Mall, call 305-935-1110.