Miami Art Week is finally here. And while you might rub shoulders with some rich art collectors this week, there's no need to break the bank during Art Basel. Galleries all over the city host events that are free and open to the public. This week, you might want to start with Miami Beach's inaugural Faena Festival. Take some refuge from the crowds at Swarm's Hive village in Wynwood, and cap off your nights with some spiked eggnog at Gramps' Miracle pop-up bar.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.
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From the music of Donald Glover to a bitter midterm election, millions of people are reevaluating the idea of America and its values. Are we a nation of immigrants? Are we a nation founded upon white supremacy as an ideal? Are we both? Faena's inaugural, week-long festival aims to explore these questions by employing Alfredo Jaar's 1987 work, A Logo for America. While some in our nation are just beginning to come to terms with these contradictions, many in America have long had to endure and confront them. Monday, December 3, through Sunday, December 9, at various Miami Beach venues; faenaart.org. Admission is free.
Forget hand-making a cocktail. Monkey Shoulder, known for its unique blend of malt whisky, is hitting the road with the Monkey Mixer. Designed like a cement truck with a large cocktail shaker, the Monkey Mixer will travel around Miami through December 15, serving the Mixed Up Monkey cocktail, poured directly from the vehicle. This week, the truck, which can hold more than 2,400 gallons, will be parked at Beaker & Gray from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Better Days from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, and Gramps from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Swing by to snap a photo of the 27-foot-long truck and sip a whisky concoction like you've never tasted before. Various locations; monkeyshoulder.com. Admission is free.
Take a break from art-watching and stop by Hive, an art-focused food-and-drink village in Wynwood. During Miami Art Week, the pop-up lounge will sling cocktails, serve a selection of bites from local restaurants, and offer rotating live music performances and art installations. Plus, enjoy daily mixology presentations via the Behind the Bar Series, where Miami mixologists will school guests on how to craft the perfect drink. RSVP to the all-day, all-night lounge and receive a free drink. Thursday, December 6, through Sunday, December 9, at Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-461-2700; hivewynwood.com. Admission is free.
If you're searching for a little Christmas spirit, head to Miracle, the Christmas-themed holiday pop-up bar behind a special blend of magical cocktails. Located inside Gramps' backroom, the boozy winter wonderland brims with decorations, holiday music, and staff dressed in costumes. Special cocktails ($14) include the Gingerbread Flip, made with bourbon, gingerbread syrup, Elemakule Tiki bitters, whole egg, and gingersnap cookie crumbs; and the Jingle Balls Nog, with brown butterfat-washed cognac, sherry, almond milk, cream, sugar, egg, and nutmeg. Many of the drinks are served in holiday-themed glasses that will be available for purchase. In addition, the pop-up will serve a special J. Wakefield beer, brewed specially for Miracle in Miami. Wicked Winter Brew is a 12 percent ABV gingerbread-inspired imperial stout that's both sweet and spicy. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday through December 23 at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; miraclepopup.com. Admission is free.
Donate a toy to a local kid in need and get a free beer. It's a win-win! Yacht Rock Miami and MIA Beer Company have teamed up for A Very Yachty Christmas, hosted by veteran local DJs Juan Luv and Alex Gutierrez (AKA Captain G). The DJs have mastered the art of '70s-to-'80s-esque "yacht rock," which often features the likes of the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and Toto. So enjoy your voyage full of beer and tunes. Noon Sunday, December 9, at MIA Beer Company, 10400 NW 33rd St., #150, Miami; facebook.com. Admission is free.