Both before and after your Aunt Tilda blabs about her favorite politician during Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday, you are going to be in desperate need of distraction-laden entertainment. Fortunately, you have plenty of options this week, many of which are free to enjoy! Several Miami-area hotspots are already getting in on the holiday spirit with an assortment of seasonally appropriate parties. Among them, Gulfstream Park will have its Symphony in Lights spectacular on Tuesday, November 26, and Bayfront Park's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be taking place on Saturday, November 30, at Bayfront Park (bring your skates for Bayskate, too)! Holidays aside, Copper Blues' Doral location celebrates its one-year anniversary on Wednesday (with one-cent brews to match) and The Confidante in Miami Beach is hosting a slew of free workout pop-ups all weekend-long.
Here are the best free things to do in Miami this week:
As part of its MBUS (Miami Beach Urban Studios) series, Florida International University is hosting a slew of notable artists for public discussions about their work. On Tuesday evening, Miami-based creative Jamilah Sabur will be the latest to sit down for a roundtable talk, where she'll be examining her multifaceted career. Renowned in the video, installation, and performance art spaces, Sabur's art has graced the likes of ICA London, Cornell Fine Arts Museum and Havana's New Latin Art Cinema. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 26, at FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios, 420 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; carta.fiu.edu/mbus. Admission is free.
More than 250,000 lights are waiting to dazzle you: Don't let them down. The Village at Gulfstream Park officially gets in the holiday spirit (and hopes you will too) with its Symphony in Lights spectacular Tuesday evening. In addition to an immaculately decorated Christmas tree, the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida will be on-site to add some musical goodness to the periodic light shows. For when the tummy rumbles, there will be vendors galore serving up cookies, cocktails and hot cocoa. If you haven't sent Santa Claus your wish list just yet, he'll be there to hear you out. 6 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, November 26, at the Village at Gulfstream Park, 901 Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach; gulfstreampark.com. Admission is free.
Happy birthday to Copper Blues' Doral location! On Wednesday, November 27 — which is just in time to get you primed before Thanksgiving — the spot will host a special First Anniversary Party. Admission is totally free, although there will be a money-oriented component (OK, so not technically free, but you'll deal with it). The kind folks at Veza Sur Brewing Co. will be offering one penny pints from 4 to 6 p.m.! Musical accompaniment will be provided by the Retro-Sky rock band, who'll be playing jams from the '70s to today. 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 27, at Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen, 3450 NW 83rd Ave. #224, Doral; eventrbite.com. Admission is free.
After inhaling pounds upon pounds of food on Thursday, you and your loved ones will want you to get moving. The Confidante in Miami Beach is hosting a variety of Workout Pop-Ups throughout the weekend, kicking off with a complimentary Green Monkey Yoga Class on the property's tenth floor on Friday morning. If you can't make that session, there's a yoga session taking place on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. too. If you're not a yogi, the Confidante has a volleyball tournament and kickboxing class scheduled as well. By the time the weekend rolls around, you'll have no excuses to work off that stuffing. 11 a.m. Friday, November 29, and 9 a.m. Saturday, November 30, at the Confidante Miami Beach, 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; hyatt.com. Admission is free.
If you have yet to experience the unique theatrical magic that is Microtheater Miami, Friday might be your ideal day to do it. The experience is built from a bunch of 160-square foot shipping containers in an open lot, where you usually pay six bucks a performance to see the spectacular happenings take place inside. But on Friday, the first performance of each work (at 8 and 8:15 p.m.) is totally free for the special Microtheater Miami Black Friday event. #MicroHorrorStories is the theme, so prepare to be spooked. We're told there will be free beer as well, at least for as long as supplies last. 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 29, at Microtheater Miami, 1490 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; eventbrite.com. Admission is free.
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Each month, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) North Miami gives you a reason to use those jazz hands. As part of its Jazz at MOCA series, Afro-Peruvian emerging star Kiki Sanchez will perform on Friday evening. Born in Lima, Peru and now residing in Miami, Sanchez has shared the stage with the likes of Cachao, Jim Gasior, Arturo Sandoval and many more. As a pre-show listen, give his two LPs — his 2007 debut, Dreams, and 2011's Two Worlds featuring Grammy winner Susana Baca — a spin. 8 p.m. Friday, November 29, at MOCA Plaza, 770 NE 125th St., Miami; mocanomi.org. Admission is free.
New York City's frigid winters may have the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink and a big ole tree to heat things up. Well, here in our more humid paradise, we do things a little differently. On Saturday, there will be a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Bayfront Park to officially ring in the season. In addition to a 50-foot LED Christmas tree light show, the Bayskate roller skating rink will officially open (and stay that way through Christmas Day!). So make sure to grab your skates; If you don't own some, rentals will be available. On the grub and shopping front, a number of holiday season-appropriate vendors will have your back. 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, November 30, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; eventbrite.com. Admission is free.
In the blink of an eye, Art Basel and Miami Art Week have already arrived. Among the multiple happenings and eye-catching works to check out, the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora (MoCAAD) is hosting an Art Week Kickoff Event with artist Juan Roberto Diago and a special reception. The Cuban contemporary artist will sit down for a conversation focusing on art and race in his homeland. Afterward, be among the first to check out the new "Diago: The Pasts of This Afro Cuban Present" at the museum. 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday, December 1, at University of Miami Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.