Free and cheap things to do in Miami – Aug. 15-17

Pulitzer-Prize winning author and columnist Dave Barry, whose take on living in Miami is the stuff of award-winning books and columns, makes an appearance at Aventura Mall this weekend during a free day-long book fair. Or you can visit Miami history at the Deering Estate’s free day on Saturday.

Get your weekend off to a musical start at Dolphin Mall with Latin performers Friday through Sunday nights in the Ramblas Plaza or Haitian bands at Big Night in Little Haiti, also on Friday.

Miami on the Cheap has a list of 24 free or cheap things to do with kids in South Florida this summer. Fort Lauderdale has a list of free things to do with kids and deals in Broward.

Free ‘Play Day’ at Deering Estate
The Deering Estate at Cutler celebrates the second of three “Play Days” Sunday, with free admission and hands-on eco-art activities, science discovery programs and historic house tours, plus a chance to visit the Artist Village. Saturday’s event will honor teachers, but admission is free for all. The final free day will be Sept. 20.

Dave Barry at Aventura Mall
Bring the kids to the mall for more than just shopping. Aventura Mall’s Center Court is transformed into a Charity Book Fair event on Saturday, Aug. 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to benefit the Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership. The kids will love appearances by storybook characters Pete the Cat and the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and you’ll love the humor of author Dave Barry, who makes an appearance and hosts a book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Guided nature walk at Secret Woods Park
The shady and lush Secret Woods Park in Dania Beach is the perfect spot to enjoy an early morning walk through nature and learn about native South Florida habitats. The free Sunday tour meanders through the 3,800-square-foot walk-through Butterfly Island, the 1,200-foot mulched Laurel Oak Trail and the New River Trail, a 3,200-foot boardwalk trail. Tours are at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Comfortable shoes, insect repellant and water are recommended.

Bird Road Art Walk
Neatly tucked into a hidden warehouse district along Bird Road (Southwest 40th Street) the Bird Road Art Walk is happening Saturday, Aug. 16, from 7 to 10 p.m. Shuttle to the 20 galleries and studios, if you can, and explore an area that features photography, sculpture, stained glass. Musical group Los Aldeanos perform at 9 p.m. at Cuban Soul/La Madriguera.

Big Night in Little Haiti
Friday night is the monthly Big Night in Little Haiti celebration, with art, crafts, music, food and fun from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Two musical groups will perform: Shleu Shleu Miami All Stars will play “Kompa Direk,” the classic dance music of Haiti, and Ayabonmbe, an eight-member ensemble, will perform rasin (roots) music. The gallery will feature the Guantanamo Bay Memory Project.

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