Free South Beach Wine & Food events and other cheap stuff

This weekend’s free and cheap events include food festivals, chef cooking demos, live performances of jazz and classical piano, free theatrical performances and free Oscar watch parties. Enjoy!  

1. Free events at SOBEWFF

For the cheapskates who will not be forking out hundreds in cash for a ticket to a South Beach Wine & Food Festival event, we found three free events that are open to the public:

  • Enjoy a conversation with Martha Stewart (yes, the Martha Stewart) who will be presenting her new book on vegetables on Feb. 24.
  • Then return on Feb. 25 to hear Chef Gabrielle Hamilton discuss her new book. Both events are free (if you RSVP) at Books & Books in Bal Harbour and moderated by New York Times Food Editor Sam Sifton. 

2. Free jazz and classical piano

We found a few free live music performances this weekend, ranging from jazz to classical piano:

  • Listen to Miami native and jazz trumpeter Shareef Clayton on Feb. 24 in North Miami
  • The Allan Harris Jazz Quartet from Harlem celebrates Black History Month in Miami Beach on Feb. 26 with a live performance
  • Noah Waddell performs classical piano in Key Biscayne on Feb. 26
  • Miami Downtown Jazz Festival runs Feb. 24-26 at various venues and most, but not all, performances are free.

3. Oscar watch parties

Just in case you live under a rock, Miami is rooting for the home team that made the movie “Moonlight,” now nominated for eight Academy Awards. (How’s that for kicking a–?) We found two Oscar watch parties that are free and open to the public on Feb. 26:

  • The Moonlit Oscar Block Party at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood
  • Hollywood’s Big Night at the Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores, hosted by Miami queens

4. Free theatrical performance

Miami Dade College North Campus presents a Pen Players Production of I Hate Hamlet Feb. 23 through 26. The play is free and open to the public. I Hate Hamlet is a comedy-drama about a television actor who must decide between taking a role in theater or television. The decision is influenced by his girlfriend who loves Shakespeare, and the ghost of John Barrymore, who famously portrayed Hamlet.

5. Chili Chillin’

On Feb. 26, the Rotary Club of Coral Gables will present its second annual Chili Chillin’ cook-off in Coral Gables. The event is free and food and drinks will be available for purchase. There’s also kids entertainment, and live music all afternoon from The Stiltsville and Funk Pedal. Proceeds benefit the club’s charitable foundation, which in turns helps a range of folks from youth to elderly to veterans.