A limited budget need not stop you having a fun-packed stay in Miami. In fact, there are many free things to do in Miami, one of Florida’s most popular vacation destinations. Try a few of these for starters.
Miami Design District’s Art and Design Night
On the second Saturday of each month, the 100-plus galleries and showrooms in Miami Design District keep their doors open until 10 p.m. It is a great opportunity to see the work of some of the best up-and-coming local artists within an authentic, vibrant setting. Surrounding restaurants and bars get involved too, putting on entertainment and providing refreshments.
No trip to Miami is complete without a visit to Little Havana. This vibrant, south-of-downtown neighborhood is packed with art galleries, unique shops and busy restaurants and bars. Head to Maximo Gomez Park (known as Domino Park by the locals) for a real flavor of Hispanic culture, to watch men playing dominoes outdoors, smoking cigars and arguing about politics. Look out for the huge mural depicting the Summit of the Americas in 1993. Another highlight is the Little Havana Paseo de las Estrellas (Walk of the Stars), which is a Latin American version of the Hollywood Walk of the Stars, commemorating Latin American actors, writers, artists and musicians. Cutural Fridays (Viernes Culturales) are monthly events in Little Havana showcasing local musicians and outdoor art exhibitions, and there is no admission fee.
Free Sky Ride
The Metromover is a free, driverless sky train that links several of Miami’s downtown hotels with the Metrorail. Stop off at any of the 20 stops that take your fancy, such as the decorative Freedom Tower or the Miami-Dade Cultural Center (home of Miami Art Museum). It makes sense to avoid the Metromover during busy commuting times. The cars arrive every 90 seconds during peak times and every three minutes off-peak, so you will never have long to wait. A digital display in the center of the platform tells you where each car is heading.
Miami Art Museum
Head to the Miami Art Museum between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month, when it is free for families with children. It is a great opportunity to create art, enjoy exhibitions and learn something new with your children, without parting with any cash. An organized family tour takes place at 2 p.m. If you are in Miami during spring, try to get to the Miami Art Museum Family Festival, when the Miami-Dade Cultural Plaza is filled with art activities, entertainment and games.
Miami is well known for its beaches, and South Beach has something for everyone. Lummus Park Beach is a great place to spend an afternoon of people watching. If you have kids to entertain, South Pointe Park has a playground and splash fountain, and is the ideal setting for a picnic. If you want to escape the crowds for an hour or two, Miami Beach Botanical Garden offers 4-1/2 acres of calm, filled with subtropical plants, right in the center of South Beach.
Take a wander around the beautiful Art Deco hotels and houses, such as Casa Casuarina, the former home and murder site of fashion designer the late Gianni Versace. Follow the Art Deco District Walking Tour to make sure you do not miss any of these carefully preserved buildings. Many of the South Beach Museums offer free admission on certain days, including the Holocaust Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU Art Museum, and the Jewish Museum of Florida.
Naturally, there are many ways to spend money in Miami but it is also possible to have a great time, and experience the local culture, with little or no money. So check out these free things to do in Miami the next time you’re in town!