It’s August in South Florida, which means more people are away on vacation and many cultural events are on hiatus. But there are still enough fun things to do on a budget to keep us busy.
The second Saturday of the month brings the big art walks in the Design District and Wynwood, with food trucks, entertainment and assorted hoopla. Don’t forget to look at the art.
Here are Miami on the Cheap’s top picks for free and cheap weekend fun Aug. 9-11.
Hear the funk in free function
Two of Miami’s most popular Latin bands, Palo! And Conjunto Progreso, share the bill at a free concert Friday night. The eight-person Conjunto Progreso plays Cuban son and harks to the nostalgia of earlier times. Palo! specializes in a danceable “Afro-Cuban funk” style. The event is the last of the DWNTWN Miami Concert Series. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the music begins at 8 at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center in downtown Miami.
Music at the mall
You may not think of the mall as the place to go for concerts, but the Dolphin Mall presents free music by local bands every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Ramblas Plaza Stage by entrance 3. This weekend’s featured performers are Brazilian Explosion from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, La Tradicion from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Bryan Gonzalez from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Summer out of the city
If you’ve always wanted to see Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden but have been put off by the admission price, August is the time to go. Entry is $7.50 per person every Sunday in August, in honor of the garden’s 75th anniversary. The garden on old Cutler Road at the south end of Coral Gables includes 83 acres of palms, cycads, flowering trees and other tropical plants, plus a café and a free tram tour.
Be the first to hear new music
Kendall Sound Art puts on a free concert of new music the second Saturday of the month at the West Kendall Regional Public Library. Most of the works are by South Florida composers and performed by local musicians. This Saturday’s concert, at 3 p.m., features the U.S. debut of a work by Ferdinando De Sean, a professor at the New World School of the Arts, as well as music by other contemporary composers.
Free days and nights at museums
Saturday afternoon from noon to 5 p.m. is the free monthly Family Fun Day at HistoryMiami. This month’s topic is magic. The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in Miami Beach offers free admission every Saturday. You can visit the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University free any Tuesday through Saturday. And, The Wolfsonian is free every Friday night, often with free music and drink specials in the café.
Looking for fun with kids? Check out our list of 20 free and cheap things for Miami-Dade kids to do this summer. 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. For more tips on what to do this weekend, read the frequently updated Miami on the Cheap weekend roundup of free and cheap events.