Free and cheap things to do in Miami – Nov. 14-16

Wave your hands and move to the sounds of DJs as they hit the decks and wow the crowds for the judges and the top prize during the free Art of Transformation festival in Opa-Locka. Or, don your best mad hatter topper at the Mad Hatter Festival at the historic Barnacle in Coconut Grove. Otherwise, head downtown and enjoy art, performances and more along the Miami River during the free Downtown Miami Riverwalk Festival.

On Saturday, take the kids for a free play day in Doral at Doral Meadow Park for outdoor games, music and arts and crafts. Then, on Sunday, two-wheel it through the Wynwood Art District for a free 90-minute bike tour of the famous commissioned graffiti and street art that adorns building walls alongside smaller hidden gems.

DJs hit the decks for the top prize
The City of Opa-locka is showing off its cultural and musical side on Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. through the heart of the city’s downtown during the Art of Transformation Art, Food and Music Street Festival. Radio DJs Jill Tracey from Hot 105 and DJ Laz from Hit 97.3 are tasked with judging the Battle of the DJs, where the winner takes home $500, airplay on the star DJs’ stations and local press. The exhibition In Plain Sight with works by four artists also opens and food trucks, craft vendors and a fresh market round out a day of fun. The event is free.

Top it off for the Mad Hatter Fest   
There isn’t a more appropriate setting than the Barnacle State Historic Site for the 10th Annual Mad Hatter Arts Festival on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two-day event features a juried art show with works in all types of media, displayed at the Barnacle and along Main Highway. Don your wildest hat for the various hat contests while the kids enjoy activities geared toward them. And what could be more appropriate than a screening of the Disney classic Alice in Wonderland at 7 p.m. on Saturday night? Admission to the festival is free with the $2 park admission. The movie is $5 for kids ages 6 and up, $3 for kids ages 2-5 and kids under 2 are free.

Take me to the river
The Downtown Miami Riverwalk Festival returns Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Set along the historic Miami River, this year’s festivities will showcase Asia, the theme country. The event kicks off with a festive boat parade along the river and is followed by a day filled with food and table decorating competitions, yoga lessons and massages, an Asian tea ceremony, folkloric music and dance performances and authentic arts and crafts. Admission to the festival is free.

Culture takes over Bird Road on Saturday night
Wynwood and the Design District draw packs of art lovers but there’s another area making some noise in the art world. It’s Bird Road, which is quieter and will take its turn to shine Saturday, from 6-10 p.m. Meander through the warehouses, taking in work ranging from cutting-edge sculptures and stained glass to handmade jewelry. Of course, there’s wine for sipping while viewing, parking’s easy and there’s no admission charge.

Get out on the water for free lessons
Have you always wanted to learn to surf, paddleboard or skimboard? Island Water Sports in Deerfield Beach offers free lessons every Saturday morning at 7 a.m. You can brag to your friends up north on Facebook and kill them with envy. Registration in advance is required online.

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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