Believe it or not, some people see the end of October and the beginning of November as a shift toward the holidays — you know, gift-giving season, when all of your cash is poured into sometimes obligatory, sometimes relished gifts for friends and loved ones. It's not pleasant to think about right now, but if you want a distraction from the impending buying frenzy and a responsible segue into saving for gifts, try some of these free events. Whether you have the kind of refined taste better suited to Shakespeare at Trickster's Treat at GableStage and fine art at the South Miami Art Festival, or you prefer to get down and dirty at Hallowyn and the Grateful Dead Invitational at B-Side, you're bound to find something satisfying without squandering those hard-earned dollars.
Trickster's Treat at GableStage. Shakespeare might not be the scariest playwright, his work nevertheless addresses the mystical, the grim, and the foolish. The Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida decided during the season of mischief to highlight the clowns, fools, and jesters of plays such as Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest. Whether you're a seasoned theatergoer or new to Shakespeare's iambic pentameter, this reading is sure to make you laugh before making you think, much like that proverbial spoonful of sugar. Get there early to snag your seats. 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 30, at GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables; 305-445-1119; gablestage.org. Admission is free.
Hallowyn. Wynwood is going all out this holiday. Hallowyn brings Halloween to the arts district and mashes it all up for a huge party packed with eclectic people in wild getups. It's for those who want to celebrate on the October 31 holiday as opposed to just getting wasted over the weekend. This huge, free block party will include a costume contest and one free drink per person. It's the perfect place to show off your sewing skills or buff arms in costume. 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, at 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; hallowynrsvp.eventbrite.com. Admission is free.
Doggy Costume Contest at the Coral Gables Museum. On Halloween, the only thing more fun than dressing babies like pumpkins is dressing your pooch like a mummy. The Coral Gables Museum is hosting its annual Doggy Costume Contest October 31 so that you can show the world how fabulous your poodle looks dressed up as Marilyn Monroe, complete with a white dress and sunglasses. The pups will strut on the catwalk in the hopes of winning the honor of best costume. It's not cruel; it's cute. There will be a cash bar for the humans and kibble for the canines. The party is sponsored in part by the Humane Society of Greater Miami and Downtown Coral Gables & Miracle Mile. 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, at Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; coralgablesmuseum.org. Admission is free with a $5 registration fee.
Día de los Muertos at HistoryMiami. Sometimes it's best to let those who've passed remain at rest. But sometimes it's better to show them, and the living, how fun life can be. HistoryMiami is taking a cue from the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead to offer ghosts and their living relatives a helluva good time right here in Miami. The Día de los Muertos Celebration will include sugar skulls you can paint; authentic Mexican chow and bevs; a beautiful ofrenda, or altar, created by the Instituto Cultural de México; and a performance by Ameyal Mexican Cultural Organization explaining the festivities. Link up with those on the other side in a colorful and loving way. 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 1, at HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; historymiami.org. Admission is free.
Wynwood Fashion Night Out. Wynwood is practically a mecca in Miami. Short of grocery stores and affordable housing, the neighborhood has everything a thirsty millennial could need. Wynwood Fashion Night Out aims to promote the area's retailers, so it's offering free parking, in-store promotions, and a fashion show at Mana at 9 p.m. to get you pumped about spending even more of your money in the arts district. Of course, you might have a soul and decide to donate items at participating stores, which will benefit Lotus House. 6 p.m. Thursday, November 2, in the Wynwood Arts District, NW Second Avenue between NW 20th and 29th Streets, Miami; wynwoodmiami.com. Admission is free.
New Perspectives on a Changing Art World at Art Africa Miami. With Art Basel nearly upon us, there's no time like the present to consider the ever-changing contemporary art scene. Lyric Prince, an Afrofuturist artist with an master's in science, technology, and society, will trace the transformations of the art world and how it was influenced by the complex and often-overlooked artwork of the African diaspora. The lecture will launch this year's Art Africa Miami Art Fair, which runs from December 5 through 10. 7 p.m. Friday, November 3, at Art Africa Miami, 920 NW 2nd Ave, Miami; 954-338-8670; artafricamiamifair.com. Admission is free.
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South Miami Art Festival at Sunset Place. South Miami is one of the most idyllic places to grow up. It’s a family-centric town, both undeniably wholesome yet not out of touch with the world. Take, for example, the 46th-annual ChamberSouth South Miami Art Festival. It makes the downtown area friendlier to wander and explore while introducing budding creatives to art made by local talents. With DIY still the rage and Miami as an art center, your kids will be asking to go to art school soon enough. Why not start them off early and guide their aesthetic via fair foods and live jams? 10 a.m. Saturday, November 4, at Sunset Drive between South Dixie Highway and Red Road, South Miami; chambersouth.com. Admission is free.
Out of the Box: Yara Travieso in YoungArts Plaza. Some people have it all. Yara Travieso, for instance, is a Miami-born dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker whose accomplishments are well matched to her significant talents. The Juilliard graduate’s films and dances have been shown at South by Southwest and Lincoln Center and presented by Elle and GQ; she’s even been granted the Ford Foundation’s NALAC grant. Travieso is also a YoungArts alum and will return to her hometown to present El Ciclón, a performance combining theater, dance, film, and music and offering, she says, a “wild neofeminist mythology” with alligators. Because Miami. The one-time performance promises a perfectly cerebral and emotional November evening. 7 p.m. Saturday, November 4, in YoungArts Plaza, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; youngarts.org. Admission is free with RSVP at otbyara.eventbrite.com.
Grateful Dead Invitational at B-Side. Somewhere along the line, dirty hippies and their seemingly carefree, low-key-angry self-righteousness went from being uncool to trendy again. And dirty hippies can sure jam. Head to B-Side the next four Sundays for the Grateful Dead Invitational, in which members of aligned area acts such as Unlimited Devotion, Antelope, Crazy Fingers, and Boxcar will jam to Jerry Garcia’s finest works. If you think you can keep up, email email@example.com for one of the limited spots to join. To boost your jam-band profile, take one of the weekly hourlong seminars. 6 p.m. Sunday, November 5, at B-Side, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; facebook.com/UDMusic. Admission is free.