10 Ideas for Summer Entertaining in Miami

By By Lisa Cericola & Joshua Gardner May 3, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Photo: Courtesy of The Chill Stop

Here are new ideas for group outings, catering, client entertaining, gifts, and entertaining summer associates and interns in Miami and South Florida.

1. The Chill Stop makes all-natural Italian ices with local ingredients. For events, the company can set up its handmade beachy cart and serve a variety of flavors. Pricing for 40 to 50 people starts at $400 and includes six to 10 ices, eco-friendly servingware, and service. A more elaborate affair with glassware and special garnishes starts around $1500.

2. For a staff movie night, Backlot in Coconut Grove has space for private screenings and a wine bar and lounge. The venue offers just its screening room or the entire facility for private events. Screening room-only rentals, not including catering, are priced $250 an hour and up. Catering options are also available.

3. Open since December, Taco Beach Shack in Hollywood Beach offers a laid-back outdoor atmosphere with lounge seating, cabanas, and ping pong. Menu items include unique dishes like Korean short rib tacos with kimchi slaw. The restaurant, which is run by Hollywood Beach’s boutique hotel chain South Beach Group, is offering a summer special where groups of 20 or more receive three hours of open bar and food for $25 per person.

4. Ten years ago, the Advantaged began renting small boats. Since then, the company has worked its way up to offer luxury yacht outings for groups up to 12 per vessel. The captain and one mate and take passengers from Ft. Lauderdale to destinations like Star Island (home to myriad celebrities including P. Diddy, Shaquille O’Neill, and Gloria Estefan), Hibiscus Island, Palm Island, and the Venetian Causeway. Pricing varies depending on the vessel and preference for half- or full-day trips. 

5. The W Hotel South Beach offers a luxurious private swimming pool for groups looking to cool off this summer. Separate from the W's main swimming area, the 48-foot pool is hidden behind hedges. Though primarily for use by guests and residents, the hotel’s catering department can be contacted for possible private and corporate bookings.

6. Miami’s Roam Art Tours offers groups of four to 12 tours of Miami’s art scene, all via Vespa scooter. The tours, which last between one and two hours, are guided by working artists. Participants can choose between graffiti and street art, galleries, or collection houses. The $65 per person price also includes a comfort food brunch at Morgan’s restaurant.

7. For groups who would prefer to sightsee on foot, Miami Food Tours offers outings that focus on Miami's cuisine, architecture, and culture. The company's latest offering is Flights & Bites, a cocktail and appetizer tour of South Beach or the Design District.

8. For a day or afternoon of sporty activities, the JW Marriott Marquis Miami has lots of options. The hotel's 19th floor houses an entertainment complex with an NBA-approved basketball court, 3-D theater, competition-sized billiards table, HD golf course simulator and putting analysis, virtual bowling alley, and an outdoor stainless steel pool. Most rooms can hold up to 30 people or groups can split up and rotate among the various activities. Pricing varies depending on group size and food and beverage minimums.

9. Miami's indoor Revo Soccer offers indoor glow-in-the-dark soccer and dodgeball games for private use. The average rental last three hours and starts around $500, which includes glow sticks, and glow-in-the-dark t-shirts, UV face paint and glow-in-the-dark balls. The venue also allows outside catering.

10. An exhibit that combines visual art and performance, “Pablo Cano: The Seven Wonders of the Modern World” opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art May 7 and runs through the 28th. The multimedia musical production features marionettes made of found objects by Miami artist Cano and choreography by local choreographer Katherine Kramer. Group tickets and private performances are available.

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