If the past week of political news has left you wondering what exactly your tax dollars are used for, you might be suspicious of spending your hard-earned cash. Instead of holing up in your bedroom scrolling through Twitter threads of strangers' summer skincare routines, try venturing out to one of these free events. You can go late-night bowling, celebrate Whitney Houston's birthday, or chow down on some grilled goods without the anxiety of wondering where your money is going, 'cause you won't need to spend it.
Jerry Garcia Day at the Wynwood Yard
8 p.m. Tuesday, August 1
Remember the scene in Half Baked when Jerry Garcia comes back to life from the ashes around Jim Breuer's neck, saving the day? It's a classic in more ways than one. First, what a great scene, right? And second, Jerry Garcia was the best, man! Not everyone gets a Ben & Jerry's ice cream named after them, but the Grateful Dead frontman and Cherry Garcia namesake sure did. This Tuesday would have been his 75th birthday, and Dead cover band from Boca Unlimited Devotion will pull out all the stops to celebrate Jerry Garcia Day at the Wynwood Yard. The band says to expect a massive crowd for its two sets honoring this timeless legend.
Orange Bowl at Basement Miami
9 p.m. Thursday, August 3
You get to an age where going to a club and browning out just doesn't sound appealing anymore. Multitasking can keep things interesting, though. That's why Basement Miami is so necessary. Aside from several rooms spinning various tunes, you've got a bowling alley and an ice-skating rink to keep you occupied. To sweeten the deal, Basement offers free bowling for locals once a month. Drink specials include $5 drafts and discounted Kush cocktails. Just don't forget to bring some socks.
Wyncode Pitch Day at Venture Cafe
6 p.m. Thursday, August 3
Aside from the die-hard Luddites of the world, almost everyone can benefit from learning a few things about coding. That's why Wyncode offers ten-week intensives on web developing for those interested in joining the digital age. If you're hesitant to jump in, get a preview with Wyncode Pitch Day, a dual graduation ceremony and pitch presentation from those who recently finished the Wyncode program. Mix and mingle with entrepreneurs and coders before the presentation, and get a taste of Miami startup life.
Sacred Geometry With Nu Deco Ensemble at PAMM
7 p.m. Thursday, August 3
Even if you haven't smoked lots of psychoactive drugs, you've probably spent more time than you'd like to admit staring at those screen savers that change shapes based on the music that's playing. PAMM's latest Free Community Night is taking this concept to a new level with Sacred Geometry, a collaborative effort that involves electronic music by artist Ricardo Romaneiro, live projections by Christian Hannon, and classical music performed by the Nu Deco Ensemble. The piece as a whole explores geometry and music as mirroring modalities of space and time.
Sound Waves Premiere at O Cinema Wynwood
11 p.m. Friday, August 4
If you're as frustrated with modern music television as Mr. Jolt and DJ Woozles (or maybe you're just surprised that music television is still a thing), Sound Waves is here for you. Mr. Jolt is a radio host who recruits his plant friend/employee DJ Woozles to resuscitate true music television. After the two drink a strange tea, their studio door becomes a wormhole to an idyllic beach with talking goth dolphins, sand genies, and wall-to-wall music. RSVPs to the show's premiere are maxed out, but you can show up for the rush line or put your name on the waitlist.
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Whitney Houston's Birthday at Shelborne South Beach
8 p.m. Friday, August 4
Rather than get drunk and cry in front of E! True Hollywood Story's Whitney Houston special for the star's birthday, you should get drunk in a bar like a normal person. The Shelborne's South Beach Cabaret will celebrate by amending its typical repertoire with some of Houston's biggest hits, including “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “I’m Every Woman,” and “I Have Nothing.” You might want to warm up those pipes so you can sing through the tears.
Healthy in the Gardens Festival at Rolling Oaks Park
11 a.m. Saturday, August 5
The City of Miami Gardens and the Health Foundation of South Florida have teamed up to present Live Healthy Miami Gardens Week. The Healthy in the Gardens Festival kicks off seven days of events that cover everything from better eating and fitness to health-care registration. The fest will offer bounce houses and face painting for kids, free health screenings, cooking demonstrations, and live performances courtesy of Miami Gardens Got Talent.
Coral Gables Grill Fest
1 p.m. Saturday, August 5
There's something about the way cold carbonation cuts through tablespoons of lard and beef fat that drives foodies crazy, in a good way. Which is why you should take the opportunity to celebrate this brilliant combination at the Coral Gables Grill Fest. The focus is on bacon, beer, and barbecue, although other bites and libations will be available for the weaker among us. Live music and kids' activities are promised, and admission is free if you register online. Onsite admission is a suggested donation to the Coral Gables Firefighter’s Benevolent Association. Festivities will take place on Alhambra Circle between Le Jeune Road and Salzedo Street in Coral Gables.