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Free and inexpensive things to do on Thanksgiving in South Florida

If you're out and about, some parks, natural areas, restaurants, attractions, lights displays and shopping plazas are open for fun, entertainment and food on Thanksgiving Day in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. Maybe you want to take your relatives on a day trip to the next county. You will find lots of sights to see and things to do that are free or relatively inexpensive.

If you want to eat out, there are many restaurants open Thanksgiving Day or perhaps you would prefer to order your Thanksgiving dinner prepared to eat at home, rather than cook or eat out. If your family needs help with food, there are also places that are giving away Thanksgiving food free.

Things To Do Thanksgiving Day 2023

Photo/Tri-Rail

Dining

A variety of restaurants in South Florida offer dine-in or takeout options. 

Entertainment

For entertainment, attractions and holiday lights displays are poised to delight. Lots are free. Popular free events include WinterNational Thanksgiving Day Parade is 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day with a route from Northeast 6th Avenue along 125th Street to Northeast 12th Avenue, North Miami 33161, with floats, dancers & music. 

A bit to the north, delight in a light show synchronized to holiday tunes. Free Symphony In Lights display at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., shows on the hour,  901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach 33009.

For live entertainment, it's oceanside in Hollywood with live music 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. by Visions Band at Hollywood Bandshell, and it's free, weather permitting. Beach parking rates apply. Hollywood Bandshell is part of Hollywood Broadwalk offers oceanfront venue for walking, rollerskating & live entertainment

Shopping

For shoppers, Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop flea market, 954-791-7927, is at 3291 W. Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale 33311.  The venue includes a Ferrari museum. 

Playing

An assortment of attractions and recreation venues with fees are open and  include AllGolf in Pembroke Pines,  Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Dade and ‘Ice' Rink at Las Olas Oceanside Park in Fort Lauderdale. Plenty of state, local and regional parks and natural areas are free or relatively inexpensive including

Pondhawk Natural Area in Boca Raton with free entry, Fern Forest, Florida State Parks and lots of others. 

Other Things To do

Ride a train

Tri-Rail offers $5 all-day rates holidays and weekends. The railroad runs from Miami-Dade to West Palm Beach with stops in Broward.  Information about Tri-Rail, including routes and shuttles to and from stations, call 954-783-6030 or 800-874-7245 Feature: Tri-Rail offers $5 fares on weekends.

Brightline is offering a Thanksgiving fare of $39 fare for  one-way travel from South Florida to Orlando, and $20 for kids

  • Delight in the outdoors with a nature walk, a picnic or toss a Frisbee. Florida State Parks, entry fees are usually about $6 per vehicle with at least 2 people. Fees for pedestrians and bicyclists are usually about $2. Lots of local parks are open, including splash pads and playgrounds. Other parks

 South Florida's scenic parks and natural areas, plenty are free

Free entry for Deerfield Arboretum

Pondhawk Natural Area is an urban oasis in Boca Raton with free entry

Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

Miami-Dade

  • WinterNational Thanksgiving Day Parade is 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day Nov. 24 with a route from Northeast 6th Avenue along 125th Street to Northeast 12th Avenue, North Miami 33161, with floats, dancers & music
  • Santa’s Enchanted Forest is open 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. at Hialeah Park, 3100 E. Fourth Ave., Entry fees apply.
  • Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami.  It's open  10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Thanksgiving, with entry by 2 p.m. required, 305-251-0400, regular entry is $22.95 for ages 13 and older and $18.95 for ages 3 to 12. Tax is extra.
  • Frost Museum of Science, 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 33132, 305-434-9600, regular fees are $22.95 for ages 4-11, $29.95 for adults, free for 3 and younger, website
  • Miami-Dade Parks Phone your favorite park to verify. Holiday parking rates may apply.
  • Biking  in Miami-Dade

 

Photo/Sunrise Parks & Recreation

Broward

Photo/Downtown Delray Beach

Palm Beach County

 Riverbend Park. Photo/ Palm Beach County Parks

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Free and cheap things to do Thanksgiving weekend

Thursday, November 23, 2023

AllGolf in Pembroke Pines

8:00 am to 3:00 pm | $11.00-13.00 | AllGolf

48th Annual Winternational Thanksgiving Day Parade

10:00 am | FREE | Downtown North Miami

Skating rink in Fort Lauderdale

12:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $17.50-22.50 | Las Olas Oceanside Park

Food Truck & Music Series, Wellington

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Wellington Amphitheater

Free Thursdays at PAMM: Backroom Sessions

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Holiday snowfalls & lights at The Square in West Palm

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | The Square, West Palm Beach

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Friday, November 24, 2023

Black Friday craft fair Boynton Beach Mall

8:00 am to 6:00 pm | FREE | Boynton Beach Mall

Guided nature hike, Jupiter

9:00 am | FREE | Riverbend Park, Jupiter

Meet & Greet with nature photographer Clyde Butcher, Big Cypress

10:00 am to 3:00 pm | FREE | Big Cypress Gallery, Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades

Skating rink in Fort Lauderdale

12:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $17.50-22.50 | Las Olas Oceanside Park

Shark & Stingray Feedings, Delray Beach

1:00 pm | $10.00 | Sandoway Discovery Center, Delray Beach

Loggerhead Marinelife Center: Fish Feeding Talks

1:30 pm to 12:00 am | FREE | Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach

Public Walking Tour, Manatee Lagoon, WPB

2:00 pm | FREE | Manatee Lagoon, Palm Beach

Food truck gathering at Tropical Park

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Tropical Park, South Miami

Night market at Dania Pointe

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Dania Pointe

Zoo Lights at Palm Beach Zoo

5:30 pm to 9:00 pm | $15.00-27.75 | Palm Beach Zoo

Smorgasburg Miami weekly street fair with music

5:30 pm to 10:30 pm | FREE | Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach

Lincoln Road Holiday Parade

6:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Lincoln Road Mall at Euclid Avenue, Miami Beach

Lakeside Market: Music & vendors, Wellington

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Town Center Promenade, Wellington

Tree Lighting extravaganza at Hoffman's Chocolates Factory, Greenacres

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hoffman's Chocolates, Greenacres

Christmas Lights in the Acres

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $10.00 | Plantation Baptist Church

Lights 4 Hope drive-through light display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-40.00 | Okeeheelee Park

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Fairchild Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | $25.00-40.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Holiday snowfalls & lights at The Square in West Palm

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | The Square, West Palm Beach

Hayride & Campfire

6:30 pm to 9:00 pm | $4.00 | Easterlin Park

Free music at Gulfstream in Hallandale

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

7:00 pm to 7:15 pm | FREE

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

7:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Soca Step Dance Aerobics in Sunrise

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Sunrise city park

Jam on percussion for free

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | South Florida Center for Percussive Arts

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Jazz at MOCA, North Miami

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free outdoor films in Hollywood

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood ArtsPark

Free Live Music

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Books and Books Coral Gables

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

9:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

$5 all-day fares weekends on Tri-Rail

5:00 am to 11:30 pm | $5.00

Plantation Farmers Market

8:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Volunteer Park Plantation

Black Friday craft fair Boynton Beach Mall

8:00 am to 6:00 pm | FREE | Boynton Beach Mall

Delray GreenMarket

9:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE

Tropical Holiday Trees, WPB

9:00 am to 4:00 pm | $0-15.00 | Mounts Botanical Garden, West Palm Beach

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU free every Saturday

10:00 am to 4:00 pm | FREE | Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Affair of the Arts, Wellington

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | FREE | Town Center Promenade, Wellington

Sawgrass Farmer's & Artisan's market

10:00 am to 8:00 pm | FREE | Sawgrass Mills

Free film: Sea Turtles of the Palm Beaches

10:30 am | FREE | Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach

Train rides, petting zoo, hayrides in Davie

11:00 am to 4:00 pm | $0-15.00 | Marando Farms

Science Stories for age 5+, Boca Raton

11:30 am | FREE | Sugar Sand Park, Boca Raton

Farm Tours at Tradewinds Park

11:30 am to 2:00 pm | $3.00-4.50 | Tradewinds Park

Free tour of the Adrienne Arsht Center

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm | FREE | Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami

Skating rink in Fort Lauderdale

12:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $17.50-22.50 | Las Olas Oceanside Park

Shark & Stingray Feedings, Delray Beach

1:00 pm | $10.00 | Sandoway Discovery Center, Delray Beach

Merrick House Museum Guided Tours

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | $0-5.00 | Merrick House Museum, Miami-Dade

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

1:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Loggerhead Marinelife Center: Fish Feeding Talks

1:30 pm to 12:00 am | FREE | Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach

Snowmen at Dania Pointe

2:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE

Public Walking Tour, Manatee Lagoon, WPB

2:00 pm | FREE | Manatee Lagoon, Palm Beach

Zoo Lights at Palm Beach Zoo

5:30 pm to 9:00 pm | $15.00-27.75 | Palm Beach Zoo

Lights 4 Hope drive-through light display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-40.00 | Okeeheelee Park

Cultural Saturdays at Dania Ponite

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Fort Lauderdale Art Walk

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Music & Arts South of Sunrise district

Fairchild Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 11:00 pm | $25.00-40.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Holiday snowfalls & lights at The Square in West Palm

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | The Square, West Palm Beach

Free music at Gulfstream in Hallandale

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

7:00 pm to 7:15 pm | FREE

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

7:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

Free SOBE Jazz Holiday Concert

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Lincoln Road Mall at Euclid Avenue, Miami Beach

Trivia nights in Broward

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Stargazing in the park, Palmetto Bay

7:30 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Bill Sadowski Park & Nature Center

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Night sky viewing with telescopes in west Broward

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Fox Observatory

Free Live Music

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Books and Books Coral Gables

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

9:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Discount late-night movies

9:00 pm to 11:30 pm | $5.00 | Coral Gables Art Cinema

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

$5 all-day fares weekends on Tri-Rail

5:00 am to 11:30 pm | $5.00

Pinecrest drive-up Farmer's Market

8:00 am to 2:00 pm | Pinecrest Gardens

Black Friday craft fair Boynton Beach Mall

8:00 am to 6:00 pm | FREE | Boynton Beach Mall

Palmetto Bay Farmer's Market

8:30 am to 3:00 pm | FREE | Coral Reef Park

Tamarac Farmers Market

9:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Veterans Park Tamarac

Bowling deal at SparZ lanes in Davie

9:00 am to 11:00 am | Discounted

Vizcaya weekly farmer's market

9:00 am to 2:00 pm | Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Tropical Holiday Trees, WPB

9:00 am to 4:00 pm | $0-15.00 | Mounts Botanical Garden, West Palm Beach

Affair of the Arts, Wellington

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | FREE | Town Center Promenade, Wellington

Sawgrass Farmer's & Artisan's market

10:00 am to 8:00 pm | FREE | Sawgrass Mills

Free film: Sea Turtles of the Palm Beaches

10:30 am | FREE | Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach

Train rides, petting zoo, hayrides in Davie

11:00 am to 4:00 pm | $0-15.00 | Marando Farms

Farmer's Market at Village of Merrick Park

11:00 am to 5:00 pm | Merrick Park

Farm Tours at Tradewinds Park

11:30 am to 2:00 pm | $3.00-4.50 | Tradewinds Park

Scrooge: A Fractured Christmas Carol, Miami

11:30 am | $5.00 | Sandrell Rivers Theater

Free entry for Fort Lauderdale residents to NSU Art Museum

12:00 pm to 5:00 pm | FREE | NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

Skating rink in Fort Lauderdale

12:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $17.50-22.50 | Las Olas Oceanside Park

Shark & Stingray Feedings, Delray Beach

1:00 pm | $10.00 | Sandoway Discovery Center, Delray Beach

$5 holiday movies

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | $5.00 | Regal Cinemas

Merrick House Museum Guided Tours

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | $0-5.00 | Merrick House Museum, Miami-Dade

Free tour of historic Biltmore Hotel

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Biltmore Hotel

Free Family Day at Bass Museum of Art

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | Bass Museum of Art

Family Sundays at Dania Pointe with entertainment & games

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Live entertainment at Dania Pointe

2:00 pm to 6:00 pm | Dania Pointe

Snowmen at Dania Pointe

2:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE

Public Walking Tour, Manatee Lagoon, WPB

2:00 pm | FREE | Manatee Lagoon, Palm Beach

CMX Classics discount film

3:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $6.00-7.00 | CMX Cinemas

Ocean Drive Promenade Music Series

5:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Ocean Drive Promenade, Miami Beach

Tropical Sundays Live Music

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Zoo Lights at Palm Beach Zoo

5:30 pm to 9:00 pm | $15.00-27.75 | Palm Beach Zoo

Festival of Lights at Normandy Fountain

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Normandy Fountain Plaza, Miami Beach

Fairchild Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $25.00-40.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Fantasy of Lights drive-through display

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $20.00-45.00 | Tradewinds Park

Holiday snowfalls & lights at The Square in West Palm

6:30 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | The Square, West Palm Beach

Free music at Gulfstream in Hallandale

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Gulfstream Park Village

Snow flurries at Dania Pointe

7:00 pm to 7:15 pm | FREE

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

7:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Free live music at Hollywood beach bandshell

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Hollywood beach bandshell

$12 Adult Skate Night in Fort Lauderdale

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $12.00 | Xtreme Action Park

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Magical Snowfall at Dolphin Mall

9:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Salsa dance class

9:00 pm | FREE | Ball & Chain

 

Patti Roth

About Patti Roth

Patti Roth, the editor of Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap, scouts out state and national deals, discounts and coupons for our readers, finding the real deals and presenting them in an easy-to-read format. A veteran newspaper and magazine writer and a longtime South Florida resident, she has written for The Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Travel and Life, E Environmental Magazine, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, US Architecture and Earth911.com. Send your cheap tips to her at info@fortlauderdaleonthecheap.com.

Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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