Halloween is technically next Wednesday, but we know Miami never waits for an excuse to party. This year, you can head to Wynwood Fear Factory on Saturday night or to Gender Blender's Halloween edition on Sunday. If you're in the mood for something more low-key, head to a reading by poet Rupi Kaur or a stargazing event at Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead.
And don't forget: early voting is ongoing through next Sunday. Cast your ballot early and make it a party with Latinas en Marcha or Engage Miami's Elections 2018 Block Party in Little Haiti.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.
Miami doesn't offer much in the way of stargazing. Between Downtown skyscrapers and the neon signs that light up South Beach, it's hard to catch a glimpse of most celestial bodies. But head down south to Homestead, where farmland and wineries have yet to be replaced by concrete, and a look up at the night sky can be breathtaking. Bring a blanket and a friend (or a date) to Fruit and Spice Park this Friday for their Fall Stargazing Event. Enjoy a bonfire, storytelling, refreshments, and a bright, full moon. 7 p.m. Friday, October 26 at Fruit and Spice Park, 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead; redlandfruitandspice.com. Admission is free.
Latinx women and femmes, unite! Two weeks ahead of Election Tuesday, the New Florida Majority, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Miami Workers Center are partnering for Latinas en Marcha — a day of sisterhood, solidarity, and empowerment. Sometimes we need a little reminder of just how powerful we can be when we band together. The day's activities will include performances by poet Aja Monet Bacquie and singer Omilani of Latinegras, rousing commentary from community leaders, and a collective march to the polls in the evening. 2 p.m. Friday, October 26 at FilmGate Miami, 168 SE 1st St., Miami; Admission is free with RSVP via everyaction.com.
Wynwood Fear Factory is back. Sure, the name sounds terrifying, but it's actually quite a pleasant experience. Kicking off at 8 p.m. and rolling through 3 a.m. each morning, the fest boasts a thumpin' array of dance artists you won't want to miss. Galantis, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Deorro, and Getter will headline Friday's party. RL Grime, Duke Dumont, Fisher, and Keys N Krates will provide the Saturday jams. 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday at Mana Wynwood Warehouse, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; wynwoodfearfactory.com. Tickets and passes cost $50 to $150.
Rupi Kaur's first collection of poems, Milk and Honey, has sold more than three million copies and hit number one on the New York Times best-seller list. Her second collection, The Sun and Her Flowers, hit shelves last year and has already sold more than a million copies. In Miami, she'll deliver spoken-word poetry that's sure to be unlike anything you've ever experienced. 8 p.m. Friday, October 26 at Olympia Theater, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami; olympiatheater.org. Tickets cost $29.50 to $65.
It's probably been a while since you donned a toga. Do they even do toga parties in college anymore? Get ready to put together the easiest Halloween costume after "ghost." This Saturday, Kiki on the River is hosting a Spartacus-themed costume party, and guests are expected to rise to the occasion with their attire. Get your drink on and admire the ice sculptures (yes, ice sculptures), but don't turn this into Animal House. 1 p.m. Saturday, October 27 at Kiki on the River, 450 NW N. River Dr., Miami; kikiontheriver.com. Admission is free.
Voting can be intimidating for first-timers, but once you're in the booth, it's quick and painless. You even get a free sticker at the end. Still, some folks need a little extra motivation to get them moving to the polls. Make voting a party this year with Engage Miami's Elections 2018 Block Party. Join local organizations Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, The Love Vote, The CLEO Institute, and Pridelines along with the Villain Theater for an afternoon of awareness, advocacy, music, and comedy. Start the party early with community canvassing beginning at 1 p.m. and stay until the end, when the group heads to the Lemon City Library to vote early. 3:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27 at Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami; Admission is free.
If you haven't already checked out Miami's cult-movie spot, Nite Owl Theater, head there this Saturday. Located in the Design District, Nite Owl screens flicks that keep people coming back for more. This season, you can catch a host of creepy classics, but you might want to pen Scream into your agenda. The Wes Craven suburban horror show makes friends slashing friends kinda campy. This is one of those times you gotta dig through your parents' garage and grab that old Scream mask — but leave your weapons and murderous appetite at home. 10 p.m. Saturday, October 27 at Nite Owl Theater, 3930 NE Second Ave., #201, Miami; niteowltheater.com. Tickets costs $9.95.
You've sung "Go Your Own Way" at karaoke bars countless times, and you have Lindsey Buckingham to thank for it. He's one of the greatest guitar players alive, and he's a heck of a songwriter too. For his solo show at the Arsht, count on some classics as well as some new tunes from his recent album with Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie, which hit shelves last year. 7 p.m. Saturday, October 27 at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $39 to $300.
Your Halloween doesn't have to be a drag, but it can involve drag. The latest Looks: Miami evening, hosted by Regina Black, Jupiter Velvet, Aura Velvet, and Vex Garcia, boasts a Monster High theme. So get ready for a ghoulish and gal-filled time. Expect an open bar from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m., and performers such as Naomi Smalls, Miss Toto, Persephone, and Fka Twink will wow the costume-clad crowd. 10 p.m. Saturday, October 27 at 1306, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 1306miami.com. Admission is free with RSVP.
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If you're not hip to the queer party dominating the scene in Miami, let us introduce you to Gender Blender. The party promotes LGBTQ+ artists and promises to serve up a deliciously delightful time. This Sunday, the party will present its Halloween edition, including a costume contest with cash prizes, themed "Dystopian Future." Expect rocking live acts Devalued, Zygrot-24, Sandratz, Khuri, and the legendary Shelley Novak. Drag performances by Moda, Opulence Queen, and CC Glitzer are also planned. Whatever your gender, look, or sexual preference, you're welcome at Miami's best queer party (according to New Times). To add to the fun, drinks will be 25 percent off all night, and the party is sponsored by Absolut Vodka. 10 p.m. Sunday, October 28 at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; facebook.com/genderblendermiami. Admission is free.
Is Miami the new capital of reggaeton? Every week, it seems like our calendars are packed with this wonderfully addictive music. This Sunday, Colombian-born singer J Balvin will take over the American Airlines Arena with his Vibras Tour. Though he moved to Oklahoma and New York to learn English in his late teens, he ultimately found fame in the clubs of his home country with his first single "6 AM." And for the musician with a wide variety of influences, including Metallica, things have only looked up since. His single "Mi Gente" reached a billion YouTube hits, he collaborated with Cardi B and Bad Bunny on his hit single "I Like It," and he's teamed up with Pharrell, Major Lazer, and Sean Paul. He's a rising star, ready to break out of the reggaeton mold. 8 p.m. Sunday, October 28 at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; aaarena.com. Tickets start at $30.
Flaming Classics, Miami's premiere queer film series, is wrapping up its October programming paying homage to the master of horror and suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. If you missed screenings of Rebecca, Rope, and Stage Fright, you'll need to be there to witness the most famous shower scene in cinema history at this week's screening of Psycho. And if that's not enticing enough, you'll need to stick around for a special drag reinterpretation of that scene by Azula Faux Sapphire and Persephone Von Lips. 8 p.m. Sunday, October 28 at Bill Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables; cosfordcinema.com. Admission is free.