You likely went to your fair share of Halloween parties this past weekend, but the big day is still ahead. Spend it at Cantina La 20's haunted house, where ladies get free margaritas all evening, or at the HalloWYN block party, both Wednesday night. And for the little monsters out there, the Miami International Children's Film Festival will take place at Gables Art Cinema all weekend.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.
Odds are you splurged on your costume, so you'll want to save on drinks this Halloween. At Cantina La 20, ladies drink free margaritas every Wednesday. But this hump day is special: Not only can you get your drink on for free, but also the Brickell establishment will be converted into a haunted house for the evening. You'll get a chance to earn your money back and then some by participating in the costume contest: The winner will receive $500. 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 31, at Cantina La 20, 495 Brickell Ave., Miami; cantinala20.com. Admission is free.
Celebrating Halloween can be pricey. You have to pay for costumes, candy, booze, and admission. That's why it's great to have free blowouts such as HalloWYN, the Wynwood block party that takes the alternative pizzazz of the arts district and gives it a haunted flair. This will be one big shindig, so you'll make new friends and run into old ones. When you get hungry, take out your vampire teeth to munch on fare from food trucks. When you want to dance, jam out to South Florida DJs in the giant warehouse Mana. 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 31, at Wynwood Marketplace. 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; hallowynblockparty.com. Admission is free.
Here's some easy math: Two is greater than one. So when work by Larry Bell and Manuel Solano debuts at ICA, you know you're in for a real treat. "Larry Bell: Time Machines" boasts nearly 20 years of the minimalist's work, including his early Cube series and color-glass installations. As for Solano's stuff, "I Don't Wanna Wait for Our Lives to Be Over" marks the Mexico City-bred artist's first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The exhibit zooms in on identity, based on a memorable encounter with a female stranger. 7 p.m. Thursday, November 1, at Institute of Contemporary Art, 61 NE 41st St., Miami; icamiami.org. Admission is free with RSVP.
There are about a gazillion film festivals in and around Miami, but few let kids in on the fun. The Miami International Children's Film Festival opens up art cinema to young viewers through plenty of international pieces perfect for the whole family. In addition to viewing collections of short films and full-lengths such as Zoo and Sing Song, you won't want to miss the fest's unique events: Sunday at 11 a.m., kids can paint their favorite film character, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a big free party in the plaza, complete with a dance session, balloons, and other fun. Friday, November 2, through Sunday, November 4, at Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; gablescinema.com. Prices range from free to $5.
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Bees rarely get the credit they're due. They pollinate the plants that grow our healthiest foods, and we repay them by spraying pesticides that decimate their populations. This weekend's Pollinator Parade aims to change that by educating the community about the importance of these insects. Bring the kids — this event is primarily geared toward the future stewards of our planet. There will be free face painting for the little ones, and pollinator-themed costumes are highly encouraged. 4:30 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at Green Day Miami Shores, NE Second Avenue between 95th and 100th Streets, Miami Shores; greendaymiamishores.com. Admission is free.
It's salsa time! Put down your chips — we're talking about music. Headlining this year's Miami Beach Salsa Fest is "La Muñeca de Salsa" herself, Puerto Rico-bred singer/dancer Melina Almodóvar. She always brings the energy, and you'll likely feel a nice contact high by simply watching her. Also slated to perform at the free festival are Ana del Rocio, Cali Salsa Miami, and Rochy Cantillo, among others. 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; northbeachbandshell.com. Admission is free.