by Rick Munarriz - 406 Reviews - 155 List
Pockets with holes can be a problem, but there are plenty of free diversions around town that give you more than your money's worth. From folkloric dances to inspired table games, check out these hot spots in Miami that won't tax your pocketbook. Getting there may be your only obstacle.
Updated: April 10, 2009
This tapas bar in the heart of Calle Ocho pulls out all of the stops during its free flamenco show every Saturday night. It's all here, including acoustic guitarists who fly through the fret boards with ease as saucy dancers in Spanish dresses wave fans and keep the beat with clamshell castanets. Naturally you will be tempted to drink and eat while you're there. That's on your tab.
Entertainment is never in short supply at this waterfront shopping and entertainment district. The hub of musical action takes place on the marina stage, where live bands play world music nightly. If you're hungry, head upstairs to the food court, where toothpick collectors can walk away with free chicken samples from enough fast food joints to silence those grumbling stomachs.
Check the operating calendar for this hub of private art collections and traveling exhibits. One weekend day every month features a "Family Fun" event that is free and open to the public. There is usually a corporate sponsor subsidizing the festivities, so be on the lookout for samples of free snacks and beverages that may be available.
Nearly 250 years of Jewish history in the Sunshine State is chronicled and displayed at this museum that once housed a historic synagogue. Admission will set you back $6 every day but Saturday. Yes, admission is entirely free on each and every Saturday.
No trip to Calle Ocho is complete without a visit to see elderly Cuban grandfathers feverishly turning dotted tiles at this lively park. The chatter is typically in Spanish and political, so it's a long shot that you will be invited to partake in a heated four-player game of dominos. Don't worry, observing the action is more than half the fun.
What could be better than a cozy bar in the heart of South Miami that charges no cover? Well, things get even better on nights where live bands jam out at this longstanding watering hole. Whether you prefer the fast-paced inside bar or grab a quieter table by the garden courtyard, it's all free until you start blurting out drink orders.
Miami's oldest bar has been serving up potent drinks and heavy blues for decades. Yes, it even made it through the Prohibition. The skinflint key to this landmark is to check the calendar of live acts on stage. Some performances will require covers or two-drink minimums. Take a chance on less seasoned musical acts and your cover will be nil.
Until it moves to an even bigger home at Museum Park in 2012, this mid-sized gallery offers several art exhibitions, notable collections and plenty of educational presentations. Admission is $8 for adults, but the museum is completely free on the second Saturday of every month.
The southernmost stretch of Miami Beach's Atlantic coastline never sleeps. By day it becomes a haven for playful families having fun on the beach and gorgeous models working on their tans. As dawn hands the baton to dusk, SoBe becomes an eye candy treat of pedestrians who take to the sidewalks as they go from club to club, hotel to hotel, and eatery to eatery.