Free and cheap things to do in Miami – Dec. 5-7

Art Basel has descended on Miami once again. Yes, the colorful snails are back and they’ve brought some friends along. If all the Basel madness is just too overwhelming head instead to Coconut Grove for the monthly Fashion Arts Music Night, South Beach for the Art Center Studio Crawl or Coral Gables for its gallery night.

If you prefer to bring along the family and make it a festive holiday weekend, catch a free holiday flick on Saturday night at The Palms of Town & Country, skip the sand and enjoy a Winter Wonderland on Miami Beach on Friday or visit the Pinecrest Gardens Nights of Lights on Sunday for $5.

Art Basel weekend freebies
If you’re wondering how to enjoy all the events without spending hours stuck in traffic, check out our guide to free and cheap public transportation options this weekend.

There’s more to Art Basel than just art.  Movies, performances and the ever-popular pop-up events to see and be seen are all part of the big Art Week weekend. Give your feet a rest and find a spot at Soundscape Park from Friday through Sunday when they’re running non-stop movies 6 to 11 p.m. Or get a good breakfast while listening to noted sculptor and artist Daniel Arsham on Sunday morning at 9:30 the FIU Frost Art Museum. Check out the full list of free Art Week events here. f you’re wondering how to enjoy all the events without spending hours stuck in traffic, check out our guide to free and cheap public transportation options this weekend.

Intellectually stimulating dance performance
Her striking stage presence will grab anyone’s attention but that’s not enough for award-winning dancer and choreographer Nora Chipaumire. She aims to present thought-provoking performances by creating dances that examine the many stereotypes of her home country, Africa. The Zimbabwe-born dancer, who has studied dance in her homeland as well as in Cuba, Jamaica and the United States, performs free at the Little Haiti Cultural Center on Friday at 7 p.m. as part of the Art of Transformation series.

Tropical nights concert at Tropical Park
It’s hard to believe there’s anything else going on at Tropical Park besides Santa’s Enchanted Forest. But Friday night there is a free Noches Tropicales concert by Lucy Grau, billed as a “salsa sensation” who also performs popular ‘70s hits like “Last Dance” and “On the Radio.” The show starts at 8 p.m.

Art without the Basel
Miami does have monthly art events that draw crowds and several of them are on the first Friday or Saturday of the month. Here are your choices: Saturday night it’s F.A.M. (Fashion Art Music) Night in Coconut Grove from 7-10 p.m. with galleries open late and live music throughout the downtown and business districts. Friday is the monthly Gables Gallery Night from 6-10 p.m. when you can ride the trolley to the various downtown galleries. Or, brave South Beach and do the South Florida Art Center Studio Crawl on Lincoln Road for one-on-one chats with the artists on Saturday from 7-10 p.m.

Afternoon of free jazz on the New River
The SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch has been going strong for years. This weekend, you can hear three stellar groups performing along the lovely New River setting in Fort Lauderdale. On the Esplanade stage you can catch the Valerie Tyson Band while the Debbie Orta Quintet performs on the Connie Hoffmann stage. And over on the Peck Courtyard the duo Cecilia and Martin play. Pack a picnic and blanket or bring your chairs and enjoy a smooth jazz morning. The event is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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 and the Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap weekend events and deals roundup.

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