Art Basel is here, bitches! It's that time of year when the rich and famous swoop into Miami to attend fabulous parties, peruse gallery shows, and dine at our best restaurants. If you're not one of the 2 percent, Art Basel still offers a good time with many smaller shows that are free to attend.
Of course, the Holy Grail is snagging free food and drink. You could always wander into the various galleries in Wynwood and Miami Beach, hoping to scarf down some cheese cubes and a plastic cup of wine. Or you could take advantage of our curated list of parties and shows offering complimentary food, cocktails, and more.
Artistic Ice Cream Truck by Spencer Finch
Many artists work with oils or clay or spray cans, but Spencer Finch uses a tastier medium: ice cream. The artist employs the frosty treat as a metaphor for the sunset, serving pastel-colored ice-cream cones he refers to as "edible monochromes." Finch says, "The flavor is light and airy, reflecting the subtle pinks and oranges that made up the composition of the sunset painting." His solar-powered rainbow-hued ice-cream truck/gallery will be parked next to the Hyde Midtown Suites & Residences sales center in midtown December 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. and December 2 through 5 from 1 to 8 p.m. Tasty art for free.
Free R.S.V.P. Cocktail Skinnies at Hive Art Village
While you're at Hive, the pop-up art village at Mana Wynwood, enjoying the mixology demos, art, and live music, head to the R.S.V.P. Cocktail Skinnies' Skinny Bar for a sample (or two) of drinks made with the company's new zero-calorie, zero-sugar cocktail mixers. Once you've knocked back a few, take a selfie using the hashtag #GetBZZD. Hive happens Wednesday, December 2, from 4 p.m. to midnight; Thursday, December 3, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday, December 4, from noon to 2 a.m.; Saturday, December 5, from noon to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, December 6, from noon to 9 p.m.
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Style Mafia and Oxydo Basel Lab Opening Party
Style Mafia and Italian eyewear company Oxydo present "Basel Lab," an interactive exhibit where you can enter pods and don clothes and glasses that enable you to blend into colorful beans. Of course, you're invited to take as many selfies as you like inside the pods, created by Lucie Hugary. The opening party will take place at Style Mafia (2324 NW Fifth Ave., Miami) tonight, December 1, from 7 to 10 p.m. and feature DJ Coco Hara and complimentary cocktails and snacks.
Bon Appétit and Volvo Present Taste What's Next
Bon Appétit magazine and Volvo invite you to eat, drink, and enjoy a multisensory experience at the first-ever Taste What's Next party, which is basically the launch of the Scandinavian luxury car company's XC90 model with some very high-quality food and drink. They've tapped Michelin-starred chef Fredrik Berselius and multimedia artist Chris Doyle to help showcase the new vehicle, so you'll sip cocktails and enjoy bites by the venerable chef while the artist unveils a new projection-driven piece, "rooted in connecting the natural world with the growing digital culture." You can also preview menu items from Berselius' new restaurant, set to open in Brooklyn in 2016. You'll also have a first look at the new Volvo, with a soundtrack by DJ Danny Stern. The event happens at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, December 3, at MAPS Backlot (342 NW 24th St., Miami). It's free, but you must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite.
Lavazza Mobile Café
Art Basel can be exhausting! Get your free caffeine fix at the Lavazza mobile café. The Italian coffee brand's first state-of-the-art sampling truck rolls through Miami, offering complimentary cups of specialty blend drip coffee — both warm and iced. If you're feeling inspired, Lavazza asks you to take a selfie with your coffee and share it using the hashtag #LavazzaPassion. That's the least you can do when someone buys you a cup of coffee. The Lavazza mobile café will be at the National Hotel this Thursday, December 3, from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, December 4, the café will be in the Miami Downtown Business District (along E. Flagler Street) from 7 to 10 a.m. and on Biscayne Boulevard (roving between NE Second and Sixth streets) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 5, the truck will be parked near Wynwood Walls from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will move to the Art Miami Pavilion (2901 NE First St.) from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, December 6, snag a cup at the Shops at Midtown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vinyasa to Vino
There's a certain balance to drinking wine after yoga (or even during yoga, for that matter). If you're into a little relaxation of both the namaste and Napa kinds, head to Vinyasa to Vino, presented by Standard Textile, Friday, December 4, at the Wynwood Yard. From 4 to 6 p.m., you can enjoy a yoga session courtesy of D.C.'s Grip the Mat, followed by a complimentary winetasting. Stick around for happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring your own yoga mat. The event is free, but you must RSVP via eventbrite.com.