17 free and cheap Spring Break activities in Miami-Dade

oleta-park_thumb.jpgThis week is Spring Break for Miami-Dade public school students, and many from private schools as well. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a family staycation and enjoy for free what tourists pay hundreds of dollars to come here to enjoy.

Here are 17 free and cheap things to do with kids for Spring Break in Miami-Dade this week:

  • Tour one of Miami-Dade County’s oldest homes. The Barnacle, which belonged to Miami pioneer Ralph Munroe. The Barnacle State Historic Park is at 3485 Main Highway, Coconut Grove. Tours are at 10 a.m, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $2, and tours are $3 for adults and $1 for kids 6 to 12.
  • Go behind the scenes at the Adrienne Arsht Center. The Adrienne Arsht Center offers a free tour every Monday and Saturday at noon. The tour lasts about an hour. No reservations are required. Occasionally the tour is cancelled because of a special event, so it’s smart to call the box office at 305-949-6722 to make tour is going on a particular day.
  • Learn about South Florida plants. Learn about the plants and flowers all around us during a visit to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive. Admission is always free, and the garden also has a self-guided tour. The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Monday. The farmers market is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays in season.
  • Go back to the farm. Take a trip back to Miami-Dade’s past at Bill Graham’s Farm village at Amelia Earhart Park, 401 E. 65th St., Hialeah. The  pioneer farm has horses, ponies, cows, pigs, sheep, geese, chicken and even a donkey or two, plus a sugar cane press, an old general store, horseshoeing, cow milking, a fishing lake, bike trails and a dog park. You can visit free during the week; parking is $6 on Saturdays and Sundays. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
  • Go to the beach. People come from all over the world to visit South Florida’s beaches, but those of us who live here sometimes forget how much fun sun and surf can be. The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau has information on beaches. While it’s free to visit the beach, you usually have to pay for parking. Check out the Florida Rambler’s stories on the state’s best beaches. You may want to do a day trip.
  • Check out a free pass to a local attraction. The Miami-Dade Public Library System offers a chance to visit some of our best local museums and attractions free. Visit your nearest branch library and get a museum pass with your library card. The Museum Pass offers visitors free admission for a family of four to the Deering Estate at CutlerFruit & Spice ParkHistoryMiamiMiami Children’s MuseumMiami Science MuseumPérez Art Museum MiamiVizcaya Museum and Gardens and Zoo Miami. You can check online to see which passes are available at which branches.
  • See shows for $5 and museums for $2.50. If your family includes a student age 13 to 22, one of the best deals around is through called Culture Shock Miami. Students can get discount tickets to performances in Miami for only $5 each and entrance to museums and attractions for just $2.50. Read more about how it works here. Best of all, each student can buy two tickets, and anyone of any age can use the second ticket. This week’s offerings include a concert by Ivette Cepeda and a 1920 film “The Penalty” at Vizcaya. Tickets must be purchased at last one day in advance.
  • See a free or cheap outdoor movie. ‘Tis the season for free and cheap outdoor moves. See this week’s offerings here.
  • Hear a free outdoor concert, including noontime jazz performances in Coral Gables and the free Jazz at MOCA series on Friday in North Miami. See all this week’s free and cheap music events here.
  • Go to the Miami-Dade Youth Fair for less. See all the coupons and discounts here.
  • Participate in free kids’ activities at the Mall of the Americas.
  • Free Wynwood mural tours by bike
  • Free children’s theater ‘Super Tryday’
  • Jam on percussion for free on Friday nights
  • Free Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays
  • Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU free every Saturday
  • IDEA@thebass: Free family day Sunday

You might also want to do some of the activities aimed at tourists. Daily deal companies offer many activities at a discount.

If you’re looking for activities to do at home, Heidi from Living on the Cheap has 21 fun things kids can do for spring break, including crafts, games and cooking projects.

Got more spring break activities that won’t break the bank? Leave a comment here and share your tips.