Your Guide to Free Events and Activities in SoFla

A guide to frugal outings in the South Florida area

Jon Hamilton

South Florida is known for its expensive entertainment and events. If you're in need for a frugal weekend or want to expand from the usual routine, here is a list of free events and activities.

Be aware that parking can be a separate fee, especially in the areas of  Miami Beach and Downtown. Most importantly, be sure to have fun and enjoy some of these prospective forms of entertainment. Don't forget Miami's best free natural form of entertainment - the beach!

Yoga and Self-Defense Classes at Bayfront Park:

Miami residents can take advantage of some free classes every week. Yoga is offered every Monday and Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. The class is held outdoor by the bay, where participants can expect a meditative form of relaxation, a beautiful view and a great work out for free. On Monday and Wednesdays after the yoga class, free self-defense classes are offered at 7:15 p.m. Expect strengthening exercise, nutrition tips, weight loss strategies and more while learning martial arts techniques for your self-defense. The classes are located in the Tina Hills Pavilion at 301 North Biscayne Boulevard Miami.
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Tour Shark Valley in the Everglades:

If you’d like to explore wildlife that knows no bounds, consider visiting Shark Valley. Parking and entrance per vehicle is ten dollars and is worth seven days. You can take your own bike or hike along the 15 mile loop. This is the ideal place to bike with nature as alligators lay serenely by the bike path and exotic birds perch among the trees.  Shark Valley is located at 36000 Southwest 8th Street.

South Beach Volley:

The South Beach Volley is a group of local players that “made the beach their backyard” since the 80's. The group offers a class on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon for the public. Passionate advanced players are welcome to play and learn from the local players. South Beach Volley can be found at Ocean Drive between 7 Street and 8 Street in South Beach.

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden:

Since 1993, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden has had a brilliantly orchestrated display of horticulture and landscape with a range of exotic plant species. With an emphasis on conservation and education, the garden offers free admission every first Wednesday in the months of June through November from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Donations are welcomed to support the tropical plant conservation and more. Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables.

The Barnacle Historic State Park:

Situated in Biscayne Bay, the beautiful home of Ralph Middleton Munroe is on display as one of the last pieces of the Miami Hammock. For a donation fee of two dollars that can be paid through the various honor boxes spewed across the park, you can enjoy a relaxing picnic or stroll by the bay. The Barnacle is located in 3485 Main Highway in Coconut Grove.

Free Yoga at Coral Gables:

The Coral Gables Parks and Recreation Division has a free health and wellness yoga program Wednesdays at 6 p.m. You should bring your own mat and be prepared for honing or beginning yoga. The class is offered in Riviera Park on 6611 Yumuri Street in Coral Gables.

Miami Science Museum:

The Museum offers Fabulous First Fridays where on the first Fridays of the month, the public can view a free planetarium star show at 7:30 p.m.  If the weather permits, a free rooftop observatory viewing is also available from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The planetarium has surround sound, top video projection and lasers, so it is sure to be a breathtaking hit. The Miami Science Museum is located at 3280 South Miami Avenue in Miami.

O, Miami:

The University of Wynwood has a principle project called O, Miami that is a county-wide poetry festival during the month of April. Although UWyn is not a real university, it is a registered non-profit corporation. The goal of the festival is to have every single person encounter a poem during the month of April. If you enroll at UWyn (really, it’s joining their mailing list) you will receive monthly updates on free and paid events occurring that month, from poetry readings to concerts.

Gallery Night in Coral Gables:

If you are thirsty for some art and culture, note that on the first Friday of each month you can swing by Gallery Night in Coral Gables. Complimentary refreshments and transportation is provided. Stroll down Ponce de Leon Boulevard, and you can be sure to enjoy the atmosphere and hundreds of galleries.

The World of Bacardi Museum:

The World of Bacardi Museum offers important events from the Bacardi family history and has a collection of artifacts. If you wish to visit, call one week prior to your interested visit date and make an appointment. It’s free and located at 2100 Biscayne Boulevard at NE 21 Street in Miami.

Holocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation:

The Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach was dedicated and opened to the public in February of 1990. The memorial serves to memorialize all victims of the holocaust tragedy through sculptures and architecture. The Holocaust Memorial is free and open to the public. The memorial is located at 1933 Meridian Ave o\in Miami Beach.

Family Fun Fest at Biscayne National Park:

Family Fun Fest is a free public program that is held on the second Sunday of every month from December through April. A new theme is announced every year and is filled to the brim with family activities. Biscayne National park is located at 9700 SW 328 Street in Homestead.

Ichimura Miami-Japanese Garden:

The Ichimura Miami-Japanese Garden is filled with lush greenery and ponds branching from a serene landscape. The garden is open for free to the public by appointment and can be used for public gathering, classes, or your own enjoyment. This tranquil garden is located at 200 South Biscayne Boulevard Suite 505.

Miami Hoop Machine:

Miami Hoop Machine is an online community that offers monthly hula-hooping lessons. There is sometimes a small fee, but most classes are offered for free from the lead organizers. The class offers fitness and balance through the newly emerging sport of hooping.  It is sometimes named the “new yoga.” Join the meet-up page to get access to all information concerning future classes. They love introducing their craft to those new to it and fine tuning those who have previous knowledge.

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