This is the weekend to prove that Miamians are not all fake and that we, indeed, appreciate art, poetry and music. Getting into museums for free and an entire month of free poetry events helps even starving writers show their cultural props. The O, Miami poetry festival is in full swing, with free readings, flash mobs, parades and other literary events nearly every day. This weekend also brings several regular art walks and free museum events.
Here are Miami on the Cheap’s top picks for free and cheap weekend fun April 4-6:
Swing into merengue at Tropical Park
The Miami-Dade Park Department’s final free Noches Tropicales/Tropical Nights concert of the season is at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Tony Swing will perform merengue at Tropical Park. Yes, you can dance to it.
Free visits to museums in Miami-Dade and Broward
It’s the first weekend of the month, and anyone with a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card can get one free entry Saturday or Sunday to participating museums in the Museums on Us program. In Miami-Dade, those are the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Miami Children's Museum, Miami Science Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Bass Museum of Art. In Broward, the program includes the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum. Admission is free every day at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU, which is having special family day events from noon to 4 pm. Saturday. Plus, the Miami Science Museum is offering a planetarium show Friday night at 7 during its regular First Friday free evening event. And, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum offers free admission Saturday and the first Saturday of every month. Friday nights are always free at The Wolfsonian, and Saturdays are always free at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.
Is that a poem I see before me?
The O, Miami poetry festival is sponsoring myriad free events. Among the highlights this weekend is Poetry in the Park, an event at Miami Beach Soundscape with the New World Symphony, with a live Wallcast of reading by former U.S. Poetry Laureate Robert Hass and National Book Award winner author Nikki Finney at 8 p.m. Saturday. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be free music, performance and food vendors. After the reading, the poets will sign books.
Art, art and more art
See art and get some exercise during this weekend’s art walks. Friday night brings the Gables Gallery Night walk in Coral Gables and the first Friday Collins Park Artscape event in Miami Beach. On Saturday night, you can choose from the Art Center South Florida Studio Crawl on Lincoln Road or Fashion Arts Music night in downtown Coconut Grove.
B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Banjo) bluegrass
The South Florida Bluegrass Association puts on a free bluegrass festival and acoustic jam the first Sunday of every month from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Greynolds Park. Bring your musical instrument of choice and join the band, or come just to listen. Admission is free, but parking is $6 per car. Food and drink are available for purchase but you need to bring your own chairs or blankets.
To keep up with latest news on deals, discounts and free events in South Florida, sign up for the daily Miami on the Cheap newsletter or the daily Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap newsletter. For more tips on what to do this weekend, read the frequently updated Miami on the Cheap weekend roundup of free and cheap events.