Lifestyle

31 Totally Free Things to Do in Miami

For some Miamians, literally everything is free. Drinks. Clubs. Fancy dinners. Champagne on yachts. Parties with Drake. Money. And for those lucky few, the 2 million Instagram followers they bought were definitely a sound investment.

As for the rest of us plebs? Keeping ourselves entertained in the Magic City and still paying the bills can, at times, be one hell of a challenge. Thankfully, our year-round sunshine and creatively cheap residents have come to the rescue with a lot of fun things to do that don’t cost a penny. Here are 31 of them:

1. Take a selfie at the beach

Miami Beach
There's 24/7/365 access to beach weather and at least a dozen white sand beaches, and that equals #blessed. Seriously, go and take that selfie. We know you want to. Just watch out for these people.

2. Ride the Metromover

Downtown Miami
Explore Downtown from a different vantage point. Plus, it’s a good way to get out of the heat for a minute or two... or go on a bar crawl.

3. Whip your butt into shape at boot camps

Various locations throughout Miami
Hop around six parks in Miami -- Gratigny Plateau Park, Gwen Cherry Park, Tropical Park, North Trail Park, South Dade Park, and Live Like Bella Park -- and you can get free boot camp classes, every day of the week, taught by local veterans who are in much better shape than you are.

4. Check out Wynwood's murals on bike

Wynwood
Grab a friend and BYOBIKE for a one-hour tour of Wynwood’s mural and graffiti art every Sunday at 11am. Sign up here.

5. Do yoga every day of the week

Various locations throughout Miami
De-stress every day of the week with free yoga all over the city. Do your downward dog on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at Bayfront Park, then do another one every Sunday morning, right in front of Biscayne Bay, at the Mondrian in South Beach. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also free yoga on Saturday mornings at Kennedy Park, in Coconut Grove, and on Wednesday and Saturday nights at Margaret Pace Park, in Downtown Miami.

6. Watch live music every night at Bayside Marketplace

Downtown Miami
It doesn’t get more Miami shopping than this: There are yachts, waterfront bars and restaurants, and fantastic people-watching, and it’s steps from where the Miami Heat call home. As an added bonus, the Marina Stage, right in front of Biscayne Bay, has daily live concerts with everything from Brazilian and Latin tunes, to pop, rock, funk, and more.

7. DIY your own Art Deco tour

Miami Beach
Brush up on Art Deco history, then download this map to explore on your own.

8. Eat tacos at Wood Tavern

Wynwood
From 6-9pm on Tuesdays, Wood Tavern serves up free tacos to any patrons of the bar. You will wait in line for these tacos, but they are good tacos. Tipping the taco makers is highly recommended.

biltmore hotel
Galina Savina/Shutterstock

9. Vibe out with Reggae Sundays at The Wynwood Yard

Wynwood
Hit up one of the food trucks and the outdoor bar, and spend the day jammin'. At this outdoor hangout, reggae bands play from 2pm to midnight every Sunday, and there’s no charge to get in.

10. Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays

Little Havana
Sure, Little Havana is fun during the day, but have you been at night? It takes on a whole new vibe, especially on the last Friday of the month, when the streets come alive with domino games, cigar rollers, cafecitos, mojitos, dancing, and Cuban art.

11. Take the Wynwood Art Walk

Wynwood
Second Saturdays resemble more of a party these days (it is Miami, after all), but they're still a great way to see things you normally wouldn’t have access to. On the second Saturday of every month, Wynwood’s galleries stay open late with DJs and drinks, so you can turn your art exploration into an anything-goes block party.

soundscape movie
Courtesy of New World Center

12. Catch a SoundScape movie or WALLCAST Concert at New World

Miami Beach
The New World Symphony not only plays its concerts on the front wall of its sleek performance hall, but it also shows classic movies like The Princess Bride and Ghostbusters for anyone in the park to watch. For free. All you need is a blanket, some booze, snacks, and a friend.

13. Attend one of 700+ Books & Books events

Various locations throughout Miami
Miami’s signature local bookstore has an event nearly every night of the week -- from staged readings and chef dinners to celebrity author signings -- at its stores in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Bal Harbour, Pinecrest, Miami Beach, and at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

14. Go fly a kite

Haulover Park
Kites are super cool, especially when they are 150-foot-long rainbows, 100-foot-long squid, and 30-foot-long fish. For a glimpse at these and other weird flying creatures, do yourself a favor and check out Kitetober Kite Festival every October.

domino park
Courtesy of Carlos Miller

15. Catch a game at Domino Park

Little Havana
Most will agree that dominoes are Miami’s favorite pastime. Domino Park is the place to learn from the best, watch all the action, and if you’re lucky, break into the stiff lineup of veteran Abuelos and actually play a game.

sneak into a hotel pool
Skott Snider

16. Sneak into a hotel pool

Various locations throughout Miami
Pro tip: Start with these.
 

17. Hang out at Canvas Miami

Arts & Entertainment District
They host some of the sweetest events in Miami, like movies under the stars, lazy barbecue brunches, indie flea markets, art events, and free rooftop concerts, all in a cool Downtown space.

catch a comedy show
Courtesy of Juxtaphotographer

18. Catch a comedy show

Various locations throughout Miami
Stand-up comedy is going strong, and plenty of places will let you come and watch it for free. The Yo Space and Gallery has its monthly Just the Tip Comedy Show the first Sunday of the month. 305 Brews has Miami Comedy Mondays every week. And Wynwood’s Concrete Beach Brewery has a recurring Last Call Comedy Show on the last Tuesday of every month.

19. Listen to Sofar Sounds

Various locations throughout Miami
Sign up here, pick a date, and then wait for your FREE invite to a secret gig at a secret location.

bear cut nature preserve
Matt Tilghman/Shutterstock

20. Explore Miami's best hidden nature trail

Key Biscayne
In the north end of Crandon Park you’ll find the Bear Cut Nature Preserve, a preserved wetland with paved and dirt trails that run along the coastline and into the marshes. Hike or bike the 3.5 miles of trails and learn about the ecology that makes up South Florida.

21. Borrow from the Bookleggers Library

Bookleggers is a popular community mobile library that pops up all over town and provides attendees with one FREE book. You can also trade your own books for new ones.

22. Bike or walk the Old Cutler Trail

Coral Gables and Cutler Bay
Old Cutler is 11 miles of paved trail along Matheson Hammock Park, Biscayne Bay, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Pinecrest Gardens, and Deering Estate. It connects with Biscayne and Commodore trails on either end if you want to extend your trip.

23. Visit a museum for free

Various locations throughout Miami
The MDC Museum of Art and Design, in The Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Design District are always free. Or you can hit the Perez Art Museum for free admission on the second Saturday of every month, and if you’re a member, get free drinks, access to the galleries, and live music on Third Thursdays. Friday nights at the Wolfsonian are free from 6-9pm and include films, talks, and drinks specials.

24. Discover Redland Market Village

Homestead
Eat your heart out! Go to this indoor-outdoor flea market every Thursday through Sunday, and explore 27 acres of fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, lentils, honey sourced from local farms, a dedicated fish and seafood market, and more.

25. Listen to music in a pineapple

Little Havana
Ball & Chain -- the historic jazz club that has been restored into one of the best bars in Miami -- hosts over 80 hours a week of free concerts in its back patio bandshell… which is actually half a cut-open pineapple.

26. People watch on Lincoln Road… and everywhere else

All over Miami
Everyone -- from European tourists, regular old tourists, and locals walking their dogs, to model restaurant hostesses, the occasional celebrity, and street performers -- strolls through Lincoln Road, and there’s no telling what you’ll see. This is also true for Ocean Drive, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Brickell Avenue, Downtown Miami, and the 250-mile radius that makes up all of South Florida. 

27. Do Salsa Fridays at InterContinental Miami

Downtown Miami
If you live in Miami and don’t Salsa, do you even live here? The InterContinental Miami (or as many of us know it, “the hotel with the electric-purple dancing chick”) hosts live salsa every Friday night at its Bluewater rooftop café, complete with professional dancers and instructors who will show you a step or two. Attendance is free, and the fun runs from 6pm to 10pm and includes a live band, an on-site cigar roller, and $7 drinks.

28. Ride a bike under the moonlight

Everglades
The Shark Valley bike trails are effectively South Florida’s only extended bike routes through nature, and riding them any time is a great way to experience the landscape that once was. But doing it under a full moon, lit only by the light from the sky, is a simultaneously terrifying and beautiful experience every Miamian must try.

29. Check out Downtown's public art

Downtown Miami
This one may require a little bit of research and some time, but there’s plenty of hidden and not-so-hidden public art all around Downtown, from Bayfront Park to the Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels.

south pointe park
Miami2you/Shutterstock

30. Take in Miami's best views at South Pointe Park

Miami Beach
Located on the southern tip of the island, South Pointe Park offers priceless views of cruise ships leaving the Port of Miami and the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, parts of the park are open until 2am.

31. Walk, run, or bike Bill Sadowski Park

Palmetto Bay
...which includes 30 acres of pineland and tropical hardwood hammocks, an aquarium, a live animal exhibit, fire pits, a nature trail, kayaking, and tons of bird-watching. Fun fact: The park is home to the Southern Cross Astronomical Society, which has a large telescope for stargazing and planet searching.

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Matt Meltzer is a contributing writer for Thrillist who always shows up five minutes after the free drinks run out. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.
Jennifer Agress is a native Miamian who’s a big fan of not paying for things. Follow her on Instagram at @jenniferagress to see what else she doesn’t like paying for.