Five Miami Museums You Can Visit for Free This Weekend

Been thinking of getting out to Miami’s museums? This weekend is a good time for it, with new exhibitions opening and old exhibits closing out. If you’re a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholder, you have an extra reason to go Saturday or Sunday: free admission to some local museums. Bank of America’s Museums on Us program will get you into one of five Miami museums the first full weekend of each month through the end of the year. (If you’ll be traveling on one of these weekends, there are more than 150 participating institutions across the nation.) Check out the local offerings:

Pérez Art Museum Miami

PAMM has one installation closing and another opening this weekend. If you haven’t seen Sheela Gowda’s And That Is No Lie since it opened last December, this Sunday is the last day to catch it. The Bangalore-based artist transformed the airy Project Gallery using poles, rope, rings, and a lake of red fabric.

Meanwhile, a rotating glass piece by New York’s Sarah Oppenheimer is being unveiled. Two reflective panes catch the floor, walls, ceiling, and the impressive view of Biscayne Bay, “reorienting the viewer’s sight line” and “projecting this really dynamic image,” curator Réne Morales says.

It’s also the beginning of Art Beyond Sight Month, featuring free tours (by appointment) tailored to visitors with visual impairments.

PAMM (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission costs $16 for adults and $12 for students, seniors, and children; museum members, active military, and kids under 6 get in free. Visit or call 305-375-3000.

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

MOCA is kicking off the weekend Friday at 8 p.m. with a genre-hopping edition of its free Jazz at MOCA series. As part of the museum’s Hispanic Heritage Month programming, the visiting musical act is Conjunto Progreso, a Miami-based Cuban son ensemble. They’ll infuse their traditional sound with jazz and contemporary styles. “Part of what makes them so cool is the way they branch out and kind of remix [son] into a modern flavor,” public programs manager Tiffany Madera says.

On display through the weekend is Rolando Peña’s “Black Gold,” a multimedia exhibition that explores petroleum as a tool and actor in a turbulent world and reflects on the life and career of the acclaimed Venezuelan artist. From CGI to lasers to an expansive photo diary, it’s a show designed to make you think about yourself and your world.

MOCA (770 NE 125th St., North Miami) is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors; museum members, North Miami residents, kids under 12, and some others get in free. Visit or call 305-893-6211.

HistoryMiami Museum

Gaspar González, director of the film Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami, curated HistoryMiami’s “Beyond the Game,” which traces the growth of the city through its athletic venues and legends. Artifacts recall the 1920s with Hialeah horse-racing and the jai alai boom; the 1960s with the iconic Miami Marine Stadium and 5th Street Gym; and more recent decades with the 1972 Dolphins’ perfect season, an interview with Hurricanes hero Randal “Thrill” Hill, and, if you’ve had enough time to get over Dwyane Wade’s betrayal, the former Heat star’s jersey. “Anybody who likes sports would enjoy it, but history buffs will like it too,” public relations manager Michele Reese says. With the recent death of Jose Fernandez, it’s an emotional time to be a Miami sports fan, but the athletic legacy to which the late Marlins ace still belongs is inspiring.

If you’re more interested in homes than stadiums, stop by “The Discipline of Nature,” a collection of designs by Miami modernist architect Alfred Browning Parker.

HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St., Miami) is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 for kids 6 to 12; kids under 6 get in free. Visit or call 305-375-1492.

Coral Gables Museum

For some hyperlocal flavor, catch the Coral Gables Museum’s downtown tour Saturday at 11 a.m., or tour the “Creating the Dream” exhibition Sunday at 1 p.m. to learn about the city’s beginnings. There’s also a painting exhibition featuring Miami’s Maria Sonia Martin to satisfy your art cravings and an urban-planning activity exhibit for the kids.

Coral Gables Museum (285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) is open noon to 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and $3 for kids 6 to 12; military personnel and kids under 6 get in free. Visit or call 303-603-8067.

Miami Children’s Museum

The interactive kids’ museum on Watson Island opened “Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails” last weekend, so if your kids love trains, it’s a great time for a visit. Besides anthropomorphic locomotives, the MCM also has a dozen themed activity areas, the “Mt. MiChiMu” rock wall (open noon to 5 p.m. weekends, $3 per person), twice-daily theater, and the 3 p.m. Dance Fiesta. If your kids are on your Bank of America account, they get in free too.

Miami Children’s Museum (980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami) is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission costs $20 or $15 for Florida residents; museum members, military and veterans, and infants under 1 get in free. Visit or call 305-373-5437.
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Nate Rabner