1. JAZZ AT MOCA
On the last Friday of every month, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a free Jazz night at 8 pm. If you want to check out the museum while you’re there, the galleries are open by donations from 7-10 pm.
2. BIG NIGHT IN LITTLE HAITI
Celebrate music, food, art, culture and fun every third Thursday with this festival put on by The Rhythm Foundation and Little Haiti Cultural Center. Big Night has been going on for 3 years and was named Best Festival by New Times Best of Miami.
3. GO GO MOADE! KIDS ART PROGRAM
On the third Saturday of every month, Go Go Moade! offers free hands-on activities for kids of all ages, plus kid-friendly guided tours.
4. SOUNDSCAPE CINEMA SERIES
Enjoy movies at the SoundScape ExoStage every Wednesday at 8pm. They show movies like Lord of The Ring, Despicable me, Man of Steel and more.
5. FRIDAY NIGHTS OF RHYTHM
Friday Nights of Rhythm Masterclass Series is held at the South Florida Center for Percussive Arts. If someone in your group is interested in percussion, they can participate in the jam session from 6:30-7:30 and try out hand drums, drum sets and more.
6. WYNWOOD ART BIKE TOUR
Bring your own bike and tour the murals in Wynwood. It’s a 90-minute bike tour led by a local artist, Ryan the Wheelbarrow. This is the perfect opportunity for anyone who loves art (especially local art) to get a different perspective of Miami. Summer hours are Friday and Saturday at noon and Sunday at 6pm.
7. OLD CUTLER TRAIL
Grab a bike (or simply walk) and take an adventure down Old Cutler Trail. The trail is 11 miles and takes you through some of the most beautiful Miami neighborhoods.
8. MIAMI BEACH BOTANICAL GARDEN & GARDENING SEMINAR
Admission to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is always free. Learn how to improve your garden no matter what type of garden you have! They go over tips for balcony/terrace gardeners and even tips for folks with waterfront gardens that get hit with wind and salt. The seminars are free and the workshops are paid (but may be worth it).
9. WOLFSONIAN DISCOVERING DESIGN WORKSHOP
The Wolfsonian–Florida International University is a museum, library, and research center that uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design. The collections comprise approximately 120,000 objects from the period of 1885 to 1945—the height of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the Second World War. Admission is free every Friday from 6-9 pm.
10. GOLD COAST RAILROAD MUSEUM
Admission is free on the first Saturday of the month. The museum features 30 historic trains and some interactive displays. I’ve never met a kid who isn’t fascinated by trains (especially the kind that you don’t see every day). Bring your wallet if you want to pay for a train ride while you’re there.
11. SOUTH BEACH
Nothing is more “Miami” than South Beach. It’s the image we’ve all seen in movies and on television and I don’t think you would forgive yourself if you didn’t at least drive through to say you’ve been. If anything, grab a seat and do some people-watching because you can find all walks of life. Walk around for a few blocks and take in all of the beautiful art deco buildings that make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.
12. WALK THE BEACH
If you want to stroll the park without getting your feet sandy (or without pushing a stroller through the sand) you can find a raised boardwalk from Collins Avenue & 21st-46th st.
13. MIAMI ART MUSEUM
Head to the Perez Art Museum Miami for free admission every second Saturday. It’s a modern and contemporary art museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The architecture of this building alone is beautiful, so I imagine the exhibits are unreal.
The Metromover is a free driverless sky train that connects a number of hotels. Not only hotels, but you can stop at the Freedom Tower, the Miami Art Museum and more. Not only is it a fun and free mode of transportation, but it’s a different way to see the city.
15. VERSACE MANSION
It’s a private residence, but you can snap some photos in from of this beautiful home which used to be owned by fashion designer, Gianni Versace. It’s now a members-only event mansion, but maybe you’ll see a celebrity or two while you’re snapping pics.
16. BILTMORE HOTEL TOURS
Take about an hour out of your day on Sunday at 1:30, 2:30 or 3:30 to hear about the Biltmore Hotel’s history and see their beautiful grounds. When it’s available, you’ll be able to see the Everglades Suite which has been host to dignitaries.
17. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL
A more somber visit in Miami, but a must-see. In 1984 a group of Holocaust survivors got together and decided Miami was the perfect place to create a memorial as it is home to the highest number of Holocaust survivors in the US. If you’re taking a group, you can request a Holocaust survivor to speak with the group which will make the trip even more enriching.
18. FREE YOGA
Pack your yoga mat and head to the free yoga class at Bayfront Park every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. All classes are taught by a certified yoga teacher. I’d say this is another great way to get your exercise in while you’re on vacation!
19. WATERFRONT WALKING TOUR
If you’re into Art Deco architecture and the culture of Miami, take this self-guided walking tour. It has a map of all of the notable hotels and restaurants along the way. The best part is that you can go at your own pace and linger at the areas you enjoy more. Bring your smartphone along and Google your favorite spots to learn a little more.
20. WEINTRAUB OBSERVATORY
Head to the observatory if you have a miniature astronomer in your crew! It’s the home of two powerful Meade telescopes which will lead to some big fun. At 7 pm on the first Friday of each month there is a free Planetarium show that precedes the Observatory Session. Observatory hours are from 8-10 pm.
21. BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK
Beautiful views! Bring your snorkeling gear along to see lovely views of coral reef. Even if you stay at the shore, you may catch a glimpse of some wildlife. You can get into the park for free, but there is a fee if you want to boat or camp overnight.
22. AMELIA EARHART PARK
Ponies, goats and cows aren’t really what you expect from Miami. It’s a bit north, but worth the drive. The purpose of the Bill Graham Farm Park is to provide urbanized children to learn about the county’s agricultural past. You can find fishing, a sugar cane press, horseshoeing, cow milking and more! Bring your dogs and your bikes as it’s complete with a dog park and has one of South Florida’s top-ranked mountain biking trails. It’s free during the week, but you may need to pay $6 parking.
23. GREYNOLDS PARK
This is actually an old rock quarry. Rock pits were filled with water, old machinery was covered, and coral from the site was used in the revitalization of the area. The highest point in South Florida can be found in this park and it’s also man-made to cover the remnants of the old quarry. Admission is free during the week.
24. MIAMI FRUIT & SPICE PARK
This park is only free for children under 6, age 6-11 is $2 and adults are $8. While it’s only free for some, I think it’s a really cool stop. The Fruit and Spice Park has a rich HISTORY (it used to be home to a Red Cross facility and a candy shop). Who doesn’t love fruit – especially in Florida! You can find over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices and nuts to enjoy.
25. Kid-Friendly Beach
I don’t want you to find out the hard way that not all Miami beaches are family friendly. South beach can be a party place, but check out the beach from 30th-16th streets for a quieter, more family-oriented vibe.