Free and cheap things to do in Miami – Dec. 12-14

Art Basel madness (and traffic) have ended, but Miami’s downtown Metromover stations and Bayfront Park will be busy Friday when street musicians take over with afternoon to early evening entertainment. On Sunday, take a ride to the historic Merrick House in Coral Gables for a free Sundays on the Porch with George holiday party.

Who says partaking in a cultural experience has to be expensive? There are free museum days or gallery walks nearly every weekend. Wynwood gets busy again this Saturday for the Second Saturday Art Walk. Or, you can visit the Coral Gables Museum, Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU on Miami Beach, Perez Art Museum Miami and HistoryMiami museums free on Saturday. If you’re an early riser, start your day shopping for produce at the peak of freshness straight from the source at farmers’ Markets on Lincoln Road, in Miami Springs, on Bird Road near Tropical Park and in the MiMo District on Biscayne Boulevard.

Music for the masses
Metromover riders and Bayfront Park visitors will get a special treat Friday from 4-8 p.m. during the second free Miami Buskerfest Street Performance Festival. In an effort to bring music to the streets of downtown Miami, musicians will play at all eight Metromover stations as well as at Bayfront Park. Performers include Snakeskin Outlaws, Cult Love, Pocket of Lollipops, Somewhat Hungover and a whole host of others. Plus, listeners will receive a free “passport,” which is good for discounts and specials at downtown spots including Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue, Elwood’s Gastropub and Biscayne Tavern.

Hanging out on the porch in the Gables
On Sunday the historic Merrick House opens its doors from 1-4 p.m. for the whimsical Sundays on the Porch with George. Kids will love visiting with Santa, face painting, cookies and snow cones while adults can enjoy a free cup of coffee and self-guided tour of the historic home.

Beethoven’s Fifth al fresco at Soundscape Park
The weather report says the cool temps are sticking with us through the weekend so if you like the chill in the air, pack a warm blanket and watch Beethoven’s Fifth performed by the New World Symphony at Soundscape Park during the Wallcast on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Perhaps it’s best to switch out the wine for some hot cocoa for this show. It’s always wise to arrive early because crowds start gathering hours before the concert for a good spot on the lawn.

Two-wheelin’ it around town
Bicycling is becoming more popular in Miami, and bike sharing is coming to downtown. The Citi Bike Launch event at Bayfront Park is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, with an introduction to the Citi Bike sharing program and announcement of stations in Little Havana, Wynwood and the Perez Art Museum, among others. Visitors can take advantage of giveaways, free one-day memberships and complimentary bike helmets, then buy from from Ms. Cheezious and Gigi Restaurant while enjoying music from Afrobeta and Vamos a la Playa.

Festively decorated floating vessels
Why decorate only the lawn, house and tree? Decorate your boat and show it off at the annual Winterfest Boat Parade starting Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The parade route is along the New River, heading east then north along the Intracoastal 12 miles up to Pompano Beach. Boat owners go crazy with lights, Santas, reindeer, snowmen and all sorts of holiday characters, and you can watch for free.

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