Sun, fun, parties, and all things Latin. This is perhaps the image most of us have of Miami, a city known for being both beautiful and beckoning.
It’s an enticing place, but also expensive. As someone who has lived in Miami for the past 3 years, I’ve had my share of spending misadventures. However, I’ve also learned that it’s not really necessary to drain your pockets to have a great time in the Magic City.
To help you keep a healthy bank balance while having a ball, I’ve put together a list of 30 awesome things you can enjoy for free in this sunny metropolis.
So, without further ado, here they are!
30 Fun and Free Things to Do in Miami
1. Stroll Through Ocean Drive in Miami Beach
How can a trip to Miami be complete without a walk through the world-famous Ocean Drive? You know, the one in all the pictures, with the art deco buildings and expensive cars.
As a local, I don’t recommend that you actually spend any money on Ocean Drive, since most places tend to be expensive tourist traps. However, by all means, walk the length of the road and take it all in, from the colorful people to the sound of nonstop partying.
2. Bike or Skate Through the Lummus Park Boardwalk
On the beach side of Ocean Drive, you’ll find Lummus Park, a long stretch of greenery and a boardwalk that sits right behind the beach. If you’ve got skates or a bicycle, enjoy a nice skate or bike ride through that boardwalk. But be careful not to get distracted by the people-watching, since you don’t want to have an accident!
3. Go to the Park
Speaking of parks, Miami (a lush, tropical city with nice year-round weather) has plenty of them with free admission. Some have great amenities, including beach access, baseball fields, golf courses, and trails. You can find park information here.
4. Enjoy a Free Concert in the Design District
Miami has a relatively new neighborhood called the Design District, which is known for its pricey designer boutiques. Burberry, Cartier, Tod’s – you name it, it’s there.
But you don’t have to be filthy rich or limit yourself to window shopping to enjoy the Design District. As it turns out, there is a free concert almost every Friday afternoon for you to enjoy. Just head to the central square or plaza (you can’t miss it) around 5:45, and enjoy the show! You can see the current schedule here (under “Events”).
5. Have a Beach Day
So as everyone knows, beaches tend to be free. You can take advantage of this by having some fun in the sun on one of Miami’s many beaches, including South Beach and (for a more tranquil atmosphere) Crandon Park.
6. Take in Some Awesome Music at the New World Symphony
The New World Symphony in Miami Beach (a concert hall and music school), has a small amount of free, preseason concerts each year. They’re indoors and with limited capacity, so you have to snag tickets before going. They take place around September, so set a calendar reminder to check beforehand.
7. Enjoy a WALLCAST Concert at the New World Symphony
In addition to the free preseason concerts, the New World Symphony also projects concerts to an exterior, 7,000 square foot projection wall. Have a relaxing picnic as you listen to exquisite classical music! You can check out the schedule here.
8. Get Your Art and Culture Fix with a Free Visit to the Pérez Art Museum
Miami’s stunning Pérez Art Museum (PAMM) normally costs money to attend, but not if you go there on the second Saturday of the month. Those days, admission to most (if not all) areas is free.
9. Admire Beautiful Graffiti and Modern Art in Wynwood
Formerly a run-down neighborhood, Wynwood has been transformed into a modern art hub and perhaps Miami’s funkiest neighborhood. Make sure to visit the Wynwood Walls for the greatest concentration of art that you can admire for free. If you get hungry, grab some cheap, delicious tacos at Coyo Taco, or an amazing pizza at Mister 01.
10. Party with Pitbull on New Year’s Eve
Every December 31, the world-famous musician known as Pitbull does a free concert in Bayfront Park. They set up a massive stage, and he sings, dances, and entertains for hours. If you get hungry or thirsty, you can buy food and drinks (including alcohol) at the many vendor tents.
Pro tip: If you go during the afternoon, you might catch him prepping for the night’s concert, and see him without being surrounded by thousands of screaming fans.
11. Dance at Bayside Marketplace
Downtown Miami has a mall and party hub called Bayside Marketplace steps away from Bayfront Park. If you’re up for a free party (especially on weekends) head over there during the late afternoon. You’ll usually find live music and dancing, with all sorts of eclectic characters on the dance floor.
If you’re up for spending a little money, you can take a cruise tour from Bayside, such as the Millionaire’s Row tour (where the friendly guides will point out the homes of the rich and famous).
12. Stroll Through Coral Gables
Coral Gables is a beautiful, wealthy, and well-run city in mainland Miami that’s well worth a stroll. Take a walk down the newly-renovated Miracle Mile (the main street), starting at City Hall. Finish up by having lunch or dinner (or just people-watching) on Giralda Avenue, which was recently closed off to cars and is now pedestrian-only.
As an added bonus, you’ll frequently find street art fixtures in the Gables. You can check for the latest exhibitions and events here.
13. Browse One of the Last Independent Bookstores
The age of Amazon has put all independent bookstores out of business, right? Well, not entirely. In Coral Gables, you’ll find Books & Books, seemingly one of the last bookstores out there. It’s a wonderland for lovers of literature, with books cramming what seems like every nook and cranny. They’re also pretty generous in terms of letting you browse at your leisure, without rushing you to leave or make a purchase.
14. Party at Street Festivals
Miami may now be “Miami Nice”, instead of “Miami Vice”. Still, it’s got more than its share of free street parties and festivals, all throughout the year. You can check the current calendars on sites like Timeout Miami and Miami on the Cheap.
15. Enjoy an Art Festival
There are frequent art festivals in Miami neighborhoods, where tens (if not hundreds) of painters, sculptors, and other creative types display and sell their art. Although you have to pay to enter the one at Coconut Grove, others, like those at Coral Gables and Brickell, are usually free.
Pro tip: Anticipating the foot traffic, some neighborhood stores will put on big sales during art festivals. Their wares are not free, but they’re cheap!
16. Indulge Your Inner Cinephile with Movies on the Mile
Every first Thursday of the month, watch a classic movie outdoors (for free), starting at 7:00 pm at McBride Plaza at 150 Miracle Mile (Coral Gables).
17. Take in a Free Concert at Pinecrest Gardens
Pinecrest Gardens is a beautiful park in the Village of Pinecrest, a lush residential neighborhood in southern Miami-Dade County. The park features a small amphitheater where they put on wonderful concerts, some of which are free (though you may have to pay to enter the park, at around $10 per person). You can find the current schedule here.
18. If You’ve Got a Fourth-Grader, Enjoy National Parks for Free
If you happen to have a kid in the fourth grade, the family can visit national parks free of charge, including Biscayne National Park. There, you can enjoy a wide range of activities, such as camping, boating, and kayaking.
Make sure to get your passes and check out the details here.
19. Watch a Free Jai-Alai Game
Jai-Alai is a fast-paced sport that looks a little bit like racquetball. It’s pretty unique and not played in many places in the world.
To watch a Jai-Alai match for free, head to the Magic City Casino.
20. Tackle the Mountain Bike Trails at Amelia Earhart Park
Even though Florida has mostly flat terrain, you’ll find some pretty cool mountain bike trails at Amelia Earhart Park. Admission to the trails is free, as is weekday parking.
21. Find Your Moment of Zen with a Free Yoga Class
Start the journey to being a guru with one of the free yoga classes offered in Miami. You can find updated info for some of the different locations as follows:
- Coconut Grove
- Downtown Miami
- Dadeland Mall (requires a $5 donation to Susan G Komen)
- Miami Beach
- Little Haiti
22. Connect with Your Inner Brazilian with a Free Capoeira Class
Start learning the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira by taking a free class at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex.
23. Do Your Own Walking Tour of Brickell
Brickell is a very “urban” neighborhood with a hip, young professional vibe. To take in the sights and sounds, start at the open-air mall known as Mary Brickell Village, and do the short walk to the newer mall known as Brickell City Center. The City Center is huge, new, high-end, and architecturally stunning. It features multiple buildings and a roof of what I’d describe as wavy beams; a work of art.
24. Explore Lush Coconut Grove on Foot or Via Bike Tour
Coconut Grove is a lush neighborhood with a laid-back vibe. It has a “village within a city” feel and is full of interesting nooks and crannies, which you can explore at your own pace on foot. Or, take a free historic bicycle tour.
25. Dance Up a Storm with a Free Salsa Lesson
If you’ve ever wanted to salsa dance the night away, here’s your chance to learn how. Be at the Ball and Chain club in Little Havana on a Tuesday (before 9:00 pm) for a free salsa lesson.
26. Take the Metromover
The Metromover is a small, elevated train that rides along ~4.4 miles of track in Brickell and Downtown Miami. It’s free, so use it to get around, or just to see the city from a different vantage point.
27. Have Fun at Free Events at Wynwood Yard
Wynwood Yard is an outdoor space in Wynwood where all sorts of events and activities take place. From doing yoga to listening to jazz to eating and drinking, there’s something for everyone. Some of the events are free; to check out the calendar of upcoming activities, go here.
28. Be Part of the Party at Calle Ocho’s Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays)
Miami’s famed 8th Street (Calle Ocho) has an arts and culture festival that takes place on the last Friday of every month in Little Havana, on Calle Ocho between 13th and 17th Avenues. So be there by 7:00 pm for a free walking tour, followed by a fun-filled night of art, music, and culture.
29. Take Your Little Ones to Learn at the Miami Children’s Museum
This museum features all sorts of educational exhibits, on topics including music, health and wellness, and art. Admission is free every third Friday of each month, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
30. Get Fit and Ripped at Muscle Beach
At the Ninth Street Fitness Area at Lummus Park on Ocean Drive, you’ll find public weight-training equipment to help you tone that body. You can do more than 30 different exercises while admirers take your picture and put it up on social media!
Summing It Up
Miami may be an expensive city, but there are plenty of free things to do if you know where to look. So take this guide, get outside, have an amazing time, and save your money for the mojitos!
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