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Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Gardens in Miami set for Jan. 24-26

What's not to love about chocolate? Fairchild Gardens hosts its annual Chocolate Festival next weekend.
Jill Zima Borski

Chocolate lovers have no doubt heard that chocolate prices are due to rise this year. An opportunity to sample and find new sources for chocolate is next week in Miami at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s three-day 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival. Set for Friday, Jan. 24 – Sunday, Jan.26 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., the festival celebrates the history and taste of products made from beloved cacao plant. Enjoy an assortment of chocolate treats from international vendors, cooking demos by prominent chefs, lectures from chocolatiers and restaurateurs, learning opportunities for kids, and much more. Saturday and Sunday especially offer a full schedule of events.

Visitors may journey through the world of cacao and get their Choco-Passport stamped at the Choco-Walk stops throughout Fairchild. Don’t miss a stroll through the Tropical Fruit Pavilion’s collection of cacao trees to learn the process that turns their seeds into chocolate consumed worldwide. For an even closer look, the USDA is showcasing a cacao collection featuring the different varieties of cacao beans. And, American Heritage Chocolate – from Mars Chocolate North America, makers of brands like M&Ms® and Snickers® – will be dishing out samples of their authentic hot chocolate drink with an interactive chocolate history demonstration.

Visitors wanting to grow their own chocolate can browse the plant sale area for a cacao tree or chocolate-scented orchid. For those in search of relaxation in a beautiful tropical setting, outdoor yoga classes are offered on Sunday by Rina Yoga. Bring the whole family to the KidWay area, which offers hands-on learning opportunities for children and their families and, on Saturday, will feature a reading of poems inspired by chocolate written by W.R. Thomas Middle School students. There’s something at Fairchild for every chocolate enthusiast.

This year’s festival is sponsored by AeroMéxico, Barceló Maya Beach Resort, the Mexico Tourism Board, South Miami Hospital, Tabasco, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Whole Foods Market.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156. Admission to the International Chocolate Festival is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, and $12 for children 6-17. Those who walk, bike, or take public transportation receive $5 off adult admission and $2 off child admission. Those with a Military ID have free admission, with $20 for their spouses and $10 for their children.

For more information and a complete schedule, please call 305-667-1651 or visit

Established in 1938 and comprising 83 acres in Miami, Fla., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. The world-renowned plant collections feature palms, cycads, orchids, tropical fruit trees and more. Fairchild has the largest education program of any metropolitan area, reaching more than 200,000 schoolchildren each year with environmental programs like The Fairchild Challenge. It aims to inspire a greater knowledge and love for plants and gardening so that all can enjoy the beauty and bounty of the tropical world. Special events include Chocolate, Mango, Orchid and Edible Garden Festivals in addition to an annual art exhibition, concerts, plant sales and more. Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156. For more info, call 305-667-1651 or visit

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