Free and Cheap things to do in Miami – Sept. 11-13

The crown jewel of downtown Miami’s cultural scene, the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, is hosting its Arts Launch event Saturday showcasing the upcoming season’s offerings. You can get the rest of your arts fix during DWNTWN Art Days, which takes over nearly every venue in the area from Friday through Sunday.

The Coral Gables Museum, HistoryMiami and the Perez Art Museum Miami open their doors for free and fun-filled Family Days on Saturday. On Friday and Sunday nights celebrate Cuba and Spain with a pair of performances at Centro Cultural Espanol in Miami.

Day-long cultural season launch
Saturday is your chance to enjoy a free day of performances, tours and fun kids’ stuff, plus sneak a peek at the 2015-2016 season at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The day-long ArtsLaunch event, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., is an opportunity to purchase tickets to Broadway shows, take a walking tour of the venue, sample food from the Brava restaurant and participate in interactive workshops with The Cleveland Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet. Early arrival is recommended because events will close once at capacity.

Downtown arts takeover   
Downtown Art Days is back for a fourth year, taking over the area in and around downtown Miami from Friday through Sunday. Nearly every venue is a host site for this event, which highlights everything Miami. Award-winning films as well as historic Miami films from the Wolfson archives will be screened. The Freedom Tower and McCormick Place will be humming with events all three days, and giant inflatable sculptures from Giants in the City will take over Bayfront Park.

Family fun in the Gables and Downtown
Family Day on Aragon in Coral Gables, HistoryMiami’s Family Day and the Perez Art Museum Miami family fun day are all on Saturday. That means, you can choose your favorite or try to do several. In the Gables you can create clay ceramics, participate in a gallery scavenger hunt or play a last round of mini-golf for $5 before the exhibition closes from 2-5 p.m.  At HistoryMiami set off on an Architectural Adventure from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a gallery tour highlighting the city’s architectural gems and work with interactive building blocks to make a take-home craft. Admission to all three events is free.

Performers pay tribute to Cuban Spanish roots   
The Centro Cultural Espanol is playing host to a Cuban pianist and a Spanish singer as a tribute to the many cultural similarities shared by the two countries. Friday at 8 p.m., award-winning pianist Dario Martin performs in his unique style, incorporating his Cuban cultural roots. On Sunday at 7 p.m., Andalusian singer Mayka Romero performs typical Spanish songs in the Copla tradition, featuring flamenco. Both concerts are free.

Arts & crafts by the seashore   
The quaint seaside town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is taken over by its annual Arts & Crafts Festival Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On those days you can shop for handmade goods, novelty crafts, paintings, wall hangings and other unique items from 95 artisans. Stick around after and grab a bite to eat at one of the area restaurants or sit in one of the colorful Adirondack chairs or boat benches (made from old boats) and admire the waterfront view. Admission is free.

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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