Free Things To Do In Miami

This post is about free things to do in Miami, including a top 10 list, nighttime, seasonal, and family-friendly activities, and is updated for 2018.


TOP 10 FREE THINGS TO DO IN MIAMI

Surprisingly, there are so many free and affordable things to do in the great city of Miami! We’ve listed our ten favorites for both locals and visitors alike. Be sure to visit the other sections for even more things to see and do, all while saving money! Also, don’t forget to check out our self-guided Art Deco Tour of Miami!


1) Soak up the Sun on South Beach

With 825 miles (1,328km) of sandy coastline in the sunshine state of Florida, it’s almost a crime if you come to Miami and don’t go to the beach! South Beach, AKA SoBe, is a picture perfect 4-mile (6.4km) strip of coastline and is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It surely cannot be missed, especially because it’s free! So, pack up a cooler and hit the sand!

If you’re new to South Beach and want to see all the action, it’s best to start your journey on Ocean Drive near Lummus Park.

If you grow tired of basking in the sun, take a stroll up Ocean Drive, a touristy strip full of lots of fun, electric neon lights and endless people watching.


2) Take a Self-Guided Tour Through the Art Deco District

South Beach is an Art Deco Playground. In fact, it’s the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world. Even if you’re not into architecture, anyone will enjoy perusing these streets lined with pastel buildings. Interestingly, all of these structures were constructed between 1923 and 1943 and literally resurrected South Beach from a major decline.

Surprisingly, South Beach wasn’t always this glamorous and posh. It once was polluted with high crime and vacant buildings. It wasn’t until the 1980’s and 1990’s when movies like Scarface (1983) and the Birdcage (1996) transformed it into the world-class travel destination that it is today.

Take our free, self-guided tour through the Art Deco District to learn more!

Fulfill your inner shop-a-holic at the Lincoln Road Mall, which is a pedestrian lined street just a few blocks from the the Art Deco District. It’s loaded with countless stores, boutiques and restaurants.


3) Capture the Incredible Street Art of Wynwood

What was once a neglected garment manufacturing district in the 1970’s, Wynwood has now transformed into the quintessential funky art district of Miami and there is truly nothing like it.

This outdoor museum showcases large-scale colorful murals at every single turn, created by some of the world’s most talented street artists. Aside from its awe-inspiring street art, Wynwood offers up craft breweries, art galleries, boutiques and hipster cafes, many constructed in old warehouses.

If you’re looking for a tour, check out this free self-guided walking tour of Miami Street Art. If you don’t feel like exploring Wynwood on foot, every Sunday at 11 am you can join in for a free tour on two wheels of the area with one of Miami’s Best Graffiti Guides.

If you left your bike at home, Citi Bike Miami has countless stations all over the city where you can rent a bicycle for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2, hours, 4 hours or the entire day. Get Your Guide offers multiple paid tours daily, including buggy tours and a 1.5-hour walking tour. 


4) Take a Ride on the Metromover

The best way to navigate the greater downtown Miami area is via the iconic Metromover. Created in 1986, this electrically powered free mode of public transportation provides rides to almost 40,000 passengers daily. Although it may be a popular mode of transportation for locals, it’s also a great way to get out of the heat for tourists!

This 4.4-mile (7km) mover connects to 20 different stations, from the Financial District in the South to the border of Edgewater in the North. Some important destinations along the mover trail are the American Airlines Arena, Bayside Marketplace, and Miami-Dade College. Check out the Metromover map of stations for more details.

While your downtown, check out the free Downtown Miami Waterfront Walking Tour.

DO NOTE: the Metromover does not travel into Miami Beach (South Beach) or Wynwood and only stays in the greater downtown area. The Metromover is not to be confused with the Metrorail, which is a paid mode of transport.

Looking to check out the city by bus? Check out our Post on Which Miami Bus Tours Are Best?


5) Tap Into Your Inner Yogi with a Yoga Class at Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park is a 32-acre public park located in the heart of downtown Miami overlooking Biscayne Bay. Every day, they offer yoga classes of all different varieties at the Tiny Hills Pavilion, which are all free or donation based. Do note you’ll have to bring your own yoga mat, water and towel. Check out their website to view the yoga schedule as well as other happenings at the park.

After your yoga class, take a stroll through Bayside Marketplace, a 2-story open air shopping center full of restaurants, shops and different events happening all the time. If yoga isn’t for you, just strolling around this lush green park or having a picnic is sure to please.


6) Experience Cuban Culture on Calle Ocho in Little Havana

Walking into the neighborhood of Little Havana on Calle Ocho is like walking through a cultural museum. From authentic Cuban coffee shops to fresh squeezed fruit juice stands, there is truly nothing like it anywhere else in Miami. 

Head over to Maximo Gomez Park, also known as Domino Park, where you’ll see locals gathering, drinking cortado, rolling cigars and playing on a number of domino and chess tables. 

As you stroll down Calle Ocho, take note of the pink marble stars, which is also known as the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame. This version of the Hollywood attraction highlights Latin American celebrities, with the most famous being the salsa singer Celia Cruz. 

If you happen to be in Miami on the last Friday of every month, you’ll be in for a true treat! From 7-11pm, Calle Ocho comes to life during Viernes Cultural. Viernes Cultural literally translates to ‘Cultural Friday’ in which locals head out into the street to demonstrate the true meaning of Cuban culture. Visit their website for more information.

If you’re looking for a tour, Get Your Guide offers a 2-hour Walking Food Tour through Little Havana that is sure to please! 


7) Visit the Museum of Art and Design

Edgar Degas said it perfectly “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see,” and this is surely evident when visiting the The Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design. (MOAD) showcases a network of artwork from both emerging and recognized designers and artists across the College’s eight campuses. Here you’ll be exposed to a wide range of exhibits from cultural to historical. 

Be sure to check out the permanent exhibit, located on the first floor, which highlights Cuban artifacts from refugees that came to the US in the 1960’s.  Admission to the museum is free, every day. 

After your visit to MOAD, head over the Venetian bridge to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, where you’ll find a 2.6-acre (10,522 sqm) lush botanical oasis that offers native Florida plants and trees, and even a Japanese garden! 

Fortunately, the Garden offers free admission Tuesday to Sunday from 9am-5pm, although there is a suggested donation.


8) Explore Everglades National Park 

 Everglades National Park is a 1.5 million-acre-wetland that is a must see when visiting Florida! Explore the abundant wildlife that the everglades has to offer with hundreds of different animal species, including the West Indian manatee, leatherback turtle, and famous American alligator. 

Fortunately, the city of Homestead (which is about a 1 hour drive from Miami) has made it possible to visit the park entirely for free, just hop on their free guided trolley ride from Historic Downtown Homestead straight to Everglades National Park! 

If you’re looking to drive directly to the Park yourself, entry for an entire vehicle of people is just $25, or if you happen to be in Miami at the right time, they offer 10 different days during the year in which entry is free! 

If you’re looking for a tour, Check out our Post on Which Everglades Tour is the Best!


9) Walk the Pier at South Pointe Park

The southernmost point of South Beach offers up a more relaxed and quiet waterfront area compared to the hustle and bustle near Lummus Park on Ocean Drive. What was once home to police horse stables, South Pointe Park was donated by the Federal Government to Miami Beach in 1979.

Have a picnic at the park, watch the water traffic enter and leave the Port of Miami and marinas, or simply enjoy the spectacular beach. There’s even a playground which includes a water fountain and a dog park. Take a walk on the 450-foot-long pier, which underwent a $4.8 million renovation in 2014. The pier offers up views of the city and marina, along with South Beach and the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean.


10) Get The Go Miami Card 

While the Go Miami Card isn’t free itself, purchasing the card will permit you access to countless attractions, which will save you time and money. The All-Inclusive Pass gives you access to 30 different attractions, with no additional fees. These attractions include the Hop-On-Hop-Off Big Bus, the Miami Sea Aquarium, the Miami Zoo, an Everglades Alligator Farm & Airboat Tour, a Biscayne Bay Boat Cruise and so many more!  They also offer an Explorer option and a Build Your Own Pass option as well. 


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FREE ATTRACTIONS AND MUSEUMS

In addition to all the free activities and attractions already mentioned in our Top 10 section, such as relaxing on the beach, roaming the Art Deco District, strolling on the pier, or exploring Little Havana, there are many other attractions and museums you can visit for free in Miami. 

Whether you want to explore unique artwork, listen to locals play jazz music, or discover the classic Biltmore Hotel, you’ll surely find something interesting to do in Miami! 

Institute of Contemporary Art

In addition to the Miami Dade Museum of Art and Design listed above,  The Institute of Contemporary Art offers some of the most innovative art of our era. Located in the Miami Design District, this museum also permits free entry every single day. The ICA Miami delivers a creative international space for local artists to showcase some of the most innovative art of our era. They also offer free private guided tours for groups of 5 or more, just be sure to give them 2 weeks+ notice.

Perez Art Museum

The Perez Art Museum (PAMM) was once known as the Miami Art Museum and offers free entry on the second Saturday and first Thursday of each month. It is a contemporary art museum with over 2,000 works of art.

Wolfsonian

Located in the heart of the Art-Deco District, the Wolfsonian was established in 1986 and incorporated into the department of Florida International University in 1997. The museum uses its 180,000+ collection to exemplify the influential power of art and design, focusing on North American and European arts, architecture and graphic design from 1850 to 1950. The most widespread cultural representation in the collection comes from the US, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.  Friday nights at the Wolfsonian are free from 6-9pm.

Live Jazz at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami

The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami (MOCA) offers free entertainment for jazz lovers on the last Friday of each month at 8p.m. Concerts take place, rain or shine, on the plaza outside the Museum.

The Biltmore Hotel

You can experience true luxury at one of Miami’s National Historic Landmarks, without spending $1. How? You can visit the iconic Biltmore Hotel for a free guided tour every Sunday afternoon! Located in Coral Gables and operating since 1926, this massive Mediterranean-inspired hotel spans 150 acres on a lush tropical landscape. The hotel offers the largest hotel pool on the East Coast of the United States, an all-star golf course, tennis courts, a spa, fitness center, and 5-star culinary experiences. Your one hour walking tour will discuss the history, architecture and culture of the Biltmore. Contact the Hotel for more information.

Bear Cut Nature Preserve

When you think of Miami, we bet you don’t think of a nature hiking trail! Fortunately, just 7 miles (11.3km) outside of downtown, you’ll find Bear Cut Nature Preserve. Hike or bike along the 3.5 mile waterfront trail, ending with a stunning backdrop of downtown Miami. Be sure to bring water, snacks, bug repellant, sunscreen, a towel for sweat, and proper footwear.


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ALMOST FREE ACTIVITIES IN MIAMI

Although there are countless attractions you can visit for free in Miami, you’ll be interested to find out how much more you can experience with just a few dollars. The following activities cost less than $10 per person and will leave you with countless memories of your visit to Miami. 


Explore Miami on Two Wheels

The most unique, up-close-and-personal way to see the city of Miami is via bicycle and the Citi Bike Program makes it easy for everyone to enjoy it! Citi Bike is Miami’s bike sharing rental system. 

The bikes are super durable, kept in great condition and even come with a basket on the front to put your personal items in. There are over 1,000 bikes at 100 different stations spread across the greater Miami area, so you’ll always have a place to dock your bike, no matter what destination you have in mind.

They also have a very friendly mobile app for Apple and Android users, which makes finding a station near your location virtually seamless. Bike rentals cost $6.50 for one hour or $10 for 2 hours; a much cheaper alternative than a taxi, Uber or paid tour!


Climb the Cape Florida Lighthouse at Key Biscayne

If you’re looking to get out of  South Beach, then head over to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park to visit the Cape Florida Lighthouse.  Today you can climb the 109 steps to the top to what once guided mariners in the 1800’s. You’ll also get to take in the incredible views of Miami. The lighthouse is the currently the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. Entrance to the park is $8 per vehicle.  


Kayak or Standup Paddleboard at Crandon Park

Crandon Park, located on the northern edge of Key Biscayne offers up all sorts of fun activities: volleyball, kiteboarding, tennis, biking/walking trails, beach volleball, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and so much more! Pack a cooler and barbecue on one of their grills. An hour rental for a double kayak starts at $20. 


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FREE THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR FAMILY IN MIAMI

If you’re looking for family friendly fun in Miami, there are several activities available  that won’t break the bank. As mentioned in the previous sections, children always enjoy the beach, the street art in Wynwood, riding the Metromover, climbing the lighthouse to the top, or seeing the alligators in the Everglades. 

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out the following: 


Feed the Goats at Earth n Us Farm in Little Haiti

Earth n Us Farm was founded in 1977 by Ray Chasser in Little Haiti. Chasser wanted to create a space to live sustainably off the Earth with his family. After gradually purchasing his way up to the two-acre piece of land it is comprised of today, Chasser had fulfilled his dream. Earth n Us Farm is a learning space for families with a goal of teaching people how to respect and care for the Earth, animals and each other.  It is a sanctuary with all kinds of animals, from goats and roosters, to ostriches, cockatoo birds and so many more! You can pick up a yoga class with the kids or even rent a tree house to stay overnight!


Miami Children’s Museum

The Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) is a non-profit educational institution that offers hundreds of interactive exhibits for kids to enjoy! At MCM, kids will have access to hands-on learning materials related to art, culture, community and communication. Entry is free the third Friday of the month from 3-9pm.


Bass Museum of Art

The Bass Museum of Art offers a free Family Day monthly, which welcomes children of all ages. Activities include scavenger hunts, art projects, prizes, a ‘Design Challenge,’ performances by special guests and so many more! Family Day is free on the last Sunday of each month, from 2-4pm.


History Miami Museum

The History Miami Museum holds a Free Family Fun Day on the second Saturday of each month. Their Family Fun Day events include scavenger hunts where kids can step into the shoes of a history detective, learning about local historical figures and also enjoy their permanent exhibit Tropical Dreams: A People’s History of South Florida, which includes a tour about the history of Miami. 


Splash Pad at South Pointe Park

South Pointe Park has a large, outdoor playground perfect for your kiddos to run around and play and, if it’s a hot day, the splash pad is always a good idea! Bring your bathing suits, pack a picnic basket and make it a fun day in the park! Don’t forget your sunscreen! 


Check Out a Local Produce Stand  

Robert is Here Fruit Stand and Farm was started in 1959 by Robert Moehling. Robert wanted to sell produce for his father. Now it has become a world famous tropical fruit stand that attracts thousands of tourists annually. Robert sells more than 20 different types of fruits and arguably has some of the best milkshakes in all of Florida. There’s even a petting zoo out back with goats, donkeys, chickens and many other types of animals.


Stop By Family Fest for Some Fun

The Adrienne Arsht Center hosts a free Family Fest full of music and dance performances. The performances range from award-winning musicians to local artists. Dates vary, so be sure to check their calendar. You can register on their website to receive updates. 


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FREE THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT IN MIAMI

It’s no secret, Miami comes to life after dark. Surprisingly, there are a lot of free things to do after the sun goes down in the city. 

In addition to live jazz performances at MOCA and the happening streets of Calle Ocho in Little Havana, be sure to check out the following: 


Watch a Movie at Soundscape Park

Soundscape Park offers a free Cinema Series beginning at 8pm on select evenings. Grab a blanket, pack a picnic basket full of snacks and drinks and enjoy an evening watching a movie under the stars. The series runs from October through June.


Watch the Sunset on the Beach

Miami is synonymous with the beach and, although it’s fun to soak in the sun by day, it’s equally as exciting to enjoy the beach at sunset. Grab a bottle of wine and a blanket and watch the beach change from light to dark as you listen to the ocean waves.


Watch the Art Deco Turn From Day to Night

There is nothing more ‘iconic Miami’ than the neon lights of the Art Deco District. Stroll along Ocean Drive as the city illuminates and comes to life, with Latin music pouring outside of the countless bars and restaurants. Take our free self-guided audio tour of the Art Deco District after sunset, for a really unique experience! 


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FREE SEASONAL ACTIVITIES IN MIAMI

Miami has so much to see and do at any time of year. Depending on the time you visit, there may be free events related to certain holidays. 

Spring

  • Witness Sea Turtles Nesting-From March to October, you can witness sea turtles nesting and hatching along the shore. For more information, check out this post with all the details!

Summer

  • Wynwood Yard- The heat in Miami in the summer is no joke, so head over to Wynwood Yard for some cool drinks and reggae music every Sunday! Or check out some of Miami’s most popular outdoor markets filled with goodies!

Fall

  • Kitetober Kite Festival-The fall in Miami is when the summer heat and humidity finally leaves and the fun begins! What better way to get outside and enjoy the cool air than at the Kitetober Kite Festival with hundreds of colorful kites filling the sky!

Winter

  • Bayfront Park Tree Lighting-If you happen to be in Miami for Thanksgiving, then head over to Bayfront Park to witness the Bayfront Park Tree Lighting, where a gorgeous 50-foot-tree is illuminated and accompanied with festive holiday music. Visit their website for specific details on day and time.
  • Miami’s Annual Boat Parade-Witness 50+ boats decorated in holiday lights and décor while listening to festive music. You’ll also enjoy a spectacular firework display after the parade. While the route starts at the Miami Outboard Club and ventures toward downtown Miami turning around at Brickell key, it passes by Bayfront Park and Bayside twice, so it’s best to set up a blanket/chairs and watch it from there. Check out the boat parade website for more information.

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