Actually Fun Things To Do in Miami This Weekend

Celebrate Mardi Gras at The Wharf, V-Day with a drag dinner, and Lunar New Year with a light installation.

Photo Courtesy of The Wharf
Photo Courtesy of The Wharf
Photo Courtesy of The Wharf

In a normal city, we might start off by saying something like “Most years, this would be an absolutely insane weekend, with Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year, and Mardi Gras all happening. But this year…something something Zoom Parade.” But guess what? You live in South Florida, which means it actually is gonna be a pretty insane weekend, with a full-on Mardi Gras party at The Wharf, an epic V-Day drag dinner show at R-House, and a trippy Asian light-art installation in the Gables. All that and a chance to elope on Old Cutler highlight 2021’s biggest weekend in Miami. Of course, we need to remind you to practice social distancing measures, wear masks when required, and generally don’t be a jerk.

Sip and scarf your way through Sistrunk Marketplace 

Friday, February 12
Sistrunk Marketplace and Brewery
Perhaps you’ve heard about the exceptional empanadas and fine fried chicken at Sistrunk Marketplace, but were a little overwhelmed by the choices to try it out. From 5-7 pm Friday, the on-site Shady Distillery pairs cocktails with food from a handful of Sistrunk spots, so you can sample multiple restaurants and the booze made inside.
Cost: $53.10 per person. Includes 18% gratuity.

Attending the opening of a new barbershop and beauty bar

Friday, February 12 – Sunday, February 14
The Spot Pembroke Pines
South Florida’s favorite hot towel shave-and-beauty bar opens a brand new location at Pembroke Gardens this weekend, and to celebrate the opening (and Valentine’s Day) all Spot locations will offer a Couples Day package, where she gets a mani/pedi, scalp scrub and blowdry, and he gets a hot towel cut and shave for $200.
Cost: $200. Other service prices vary.

Hit what might be the South’s biggest Mardi Gras party

Friday, February 12 – Sunday, February 14
The Wharf Miami
While New Orleans is being responsible and celebrating Mardi Gras safely and virtually this year, we don’t care about health or rules here in Miami. The Wharf has all your Mardi Gras action this weekend, with a seven-piece brass band, a crawfish boil, and beads like you won’t believe. Plus plenty of New Orleans-style cocktails.
Cost: Free to attend. Food and drink prices vary.

Bask in a Downtown Gables light show 

Friday, February 12 – Sunday, February 14
Downtown Coral Gables
This Chinese New Year also marks the first weekend of Illuminate Coral Gables, a light installation exhibit from noted Asian art curator Lance Fung. The program will include film projections, interactive art, and light sculptures covering the buildings and streets of Downtown, from now through March 14.
Cost: Free

Stream a concert from one of the world’s great trombonists 

Saturday, February 13
Eight-time Jazz Journalists Association Trombonist of the Year Wycliffe Jordan takes the Banyan Bowl stage in the latest installment of Pinecrest Gardens’ JazzAid concert series. The Tom Brady of Trombone plays a live-streamed show at 8pm, with proceeds benefiting Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen.
Cost: $15

Watch Frida and Crazy Rich Asians with a cool tropical breeze

Saturday, February 13 – Sunday, February 14
WYN 317/Novotel Miami
COVID-friendly Valentine’s Day dates abound this weekend, with not one but two outdoor screenings of very different kinds of love stories. On Saturday, WYN 317 shows Frida, with a special tasting menu from g.l.o.w. On V-Day, head to the Novotel in Brickell for a 7 pm screening of Crazy Rich Asians on the hotel’s swanky rooftop.
CostFrida tickets start at $12 per person. Crazy packages are $50, including a romantic fondue for two.

Gain closeness with your partner during a guided sound bath 

Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14
1 Beach Club
The 1 Beach Club will host two guided meditations and sound baths this weekend at 11 am Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s event will offer a love note exercise and heart chakra meditation, while Sunday’s event will be couples’-focused, and offer guided letter-writing and heart-opening meditation. Both include a glass of rose.
CostSaturday is $33 per person. Sunday is $50 per couple.

Splurge on Valentine’s Day Omakase 

Sunday, February 14
Uchi Miami
Miami’s most ballyhooed new sushi spot is the odd place that actually lives up to the hype, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to see what Uchi is all about. This love-themed omakase menu will start with oysters served with a champagne mignonette, and finish with a chocolate candy bar, with some spectacular crudo and caviar along the way.
Cost: $250 per couple

Dress up for a drag-tastic Love Ball 

Sunday, February 14
R House
Nothing will make you forget being single on Valentine’s Day-or celebrate it even more-like dressing up in your Sunday best and partying with Athena Dion her drag friends at R House. This year, in addition to their usual brunch, R House is hosting a Love Ball starting at 7pm, where you’ll get a three-course dinner and Miami’s best drag revue.
Cost: $50 per person, optional unlimited drink package for $30

Elope to Fairchild Gardens…or maybe just go for a walk 

Sunday, February 14
Fairchild Tropical Gardens
Fairchild knows big weddings are soooo pre-pandemic, and now all the cool kids are having tiny ceremonies at the last minute and shocking everyone on their Instagram. So on Valentine’s Day they’ll be offering Garden Elopements all weekend long for $825. If that’s a little too much commitment for you, opt instead for the Sweetest Stroll, where all weekend bakeries, confectioners, and other sugar purveyors will be offering their wares throughout the park.
Cost: Admission is $24.95. Weddings are $825

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Matt Meltzer is a contributing writer for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.


Bad Bunny and David Grutman's Sexy AF Miami Steakhouse is Finally Here

The rapper does whatever he wants.

Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis

David Grutman is back at it again, and this time the hospitality guru is bringing a new partner into the fold-award-winning recording artist, Bad Bunny. Located in Miami’s trendy Brickell neighbourhood, Gekkō, which translates to “moonlight” is a Japanese-inspired steakhouse that will serve fancy cuts of Wagyu alongside a bevy of sushi offerings. In true Groot Hospitality form, this isn’t your basic steakhouse, it’s also got a lounge that very well may play the sounds of Bad Bunny and the like into the wee hours of the night.

“Gekkō is the result of so many of my obsessions in food,” says David Grutman, Founder of Groot Hospitality. “It’s a steakhouse inspired by Japanese cuisine. There are delicious, innovative sushi rolls. There’s a lounge. I knew I wanted to do something that combined these worlds, and once I started speaking with Bunny, I knew he’d be a great partner. Gekkō is about having an incredible meal while having an equally incredible night.”


To celebrate the opening of Gekkō (not so coincidentally the same weekend Bad Bunny has two shows scheduled in South Florida), the crew hosted a massive grand opening party that attracted dozens of A-list celebrities and friends of both Grutman and Bad Bunny. Upon arrival, in his white Bugatti, mobs of fans who spent the entire evening swarming the restaurant began chanting “Benito! Benito!” as he exited his car in an all black suit paired with black sunglasses.

The night went something like this. A-list artists of every genre came out to celebrate. Future and Lil Wayne were seen on a couch in deep conversation and catching up with Mack Maine. Bad Bunny and Karol G were spotted running from table to table together, while DJ Khaled was seen embracing Bad Bunny and congratulating him on such a beautiful new restaurant. Timbaland and Andy Garcia were spotted hanging out for a long period, while Sophie Turner and her husband, Joe Jonas, hung with Victoria and David Beckham. Amidst that hundreds of average joes mixed and mingled while attempting to make their way to the bar so they could get a peek at some of the restaurant’s cocktails and sushi bites. It was quite a scene.

Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis

Okay, so back to the restaurant. Gekkō was designed by New York City-based architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, and is made up of three different rooms with seats for up to 185 diners. It’s centred around sultry jewel-toned decor with plush and stylistic elements like a custom gold and red dip-dyed rope installation, graphic wall coverings, and velvet drapery.

Now you might be wondering about the food, because that’s really why we’re going to a restaurant, right? Gekkō’s menu begins with shared plates where diners will find things like a signature Japanese milk bread, “Lava and Ice” Kumamoto Oysters, lobster dumplings, and a wedge salad. When it comes to raw plates there’s sushi and sashimi classics as well as an opulent 24k Otoro, that’s exactly what it sounds like-deliciously tender fatty tuna covered in a layer of 24k gold leaf.

Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision

Then there’s the steaks which include a Tomahawk cut, an olive-fed filet mignon from Kagawa, Japan, and a snow beef strip from Hokkaido, Japan. Specialty preparations include Wagyu skirt steak and a bone-in ribeye. And because Grutman is always sure his restaurants cater to the tastes of everyone, there’s even some plant-based chicken options and more.

“Sitting down with friends to enjoy a good meal is one of the moments I value the most,” says Bad Bunny. “I am thrilled that now I will have a hand in creating this experience for others.”

Gekkō opens tonight at 8 SE 8th Street in Brickell. The dining room and lounge serve customers from 6 to 11 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and 6 pm to 12 am Friday and Saturday. Valet parking is available for $20 or you can attempt to find a street parking on Brickell. Visit for reservations.

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Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.


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