Best. Beer. Garden. Ever. Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Yes, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden closed briefly earlier in the month because of Zika. But it's open again – ready for your visit – and planning a great Oktoberfest Sept. 23 with a live polka band.
First, let's address the Zika issue. The water-carrying plants have been removed as a precaution against mosquito-breeding. So it's safe, says director Sandy Shapiro. "The CDC's recommendations have been to wear repellent whenever people are out," she says, and suggests fashionable garb: "In addition to light long-sleeve clothes – I’d like to think of that as flowy boho chic in the garden."
Sounds ideal for their upcoming second annual Oktoberfest, featuring South Florida's best local beers, live polka music, sausages, pretzels and empanadas (this is South Florida, after all) and other food, lawn games and communal tables. Participating breweries include Concrete Beach Brewery, Miami Brewing Company, Barrel of Monks, Holy Mackerel, Edukos Miami, J. Wakefield, Wynwood Brewery and Black Point Brewery. The $45 ticket ($55 at the door) includes unlimited beer, food, live music and polka dancing with Nestor Zarita and the International Polka Band. Buy tickets for the event (21 and over) here. Our advice: Gather a group of friends and make it a polka party.
Here are more reasons to plan to visit this lush patch of green in Miami Beach:
• FEAST Miami #8 on Oct. 2, the next installment in the series of vegan pop-up events to support new and emerging creative projects.
• Edukos pop-up beer garden Oct. 23, with two seatings, each offering a four-course beer menu (including beer from Goose Island, 10 Barrel Brewing and Elysian Brewing), food and a souvenir glass.
• Family Halloween on Sat., Oct. 29 – Enjoy a fun day jam-packed with awesome activities for the entire family
For Plant Lovers
Gardeners can get their hands dirty, learn more about plants and compost and find the perfect gift for fellow aficionados. On the second Saturday of the month, there are timely seminars. The next one, Preparing Your Edible Garden, is scheduled for Oct. 8. Horticulture volunteers get the chance to spend time in the garden on Mondays, when the gates are locked. You can also volunteer to meet and greet visitors and help with tours. "We need people!" says Shapiro.
Composting happens weekly at the garden on Saturdays at the Compost Corral, which was covered during the recent spraying. They work with the Fertile Earth Foundation on their compost program, serving as a hub for sustainable practices that engage and benefit the entire community. Finished compost is added to the garden, feeding plants organically.
And those great botanical gifts are available at their boutique, including greeting cards, books, fashion accessories and native wildflower seeds.
What are you waiting for? Step up and support this Miami Beach treasure with your time, your dollars and your presence. It's the best way to show local love.
For details, visit their website. Admission is free. The garden is open Tues-Sun 9-5.