The holidays are in full swing this weekend with drink specials, free museum admissions, free visits to national parks, singing carols and strolling, and more.
Watch Santa crawl, not through chimneys, but bars
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Put on your Santa hat and big black belt and partake in drink specials in Coconut Grove. This annual bar crawl, known as SantaCon, originated in San Francisco but Miami has joined in for about eight years now. Dress up in holiday fashion to get the drink specials. The merriment starts at the Taurus Bar in the Grove at 6 pm Saturday, Dec. 19, goes through five or so drinking establishments and ends at the Sandbar. Uber and Lyft are offering discounted rides to SantaCon participants who have had a little too much holiday cheer.
Get to know Florida Jewish heritage
The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, the only museum dedicated to telling the story of 250 years of Florida Jewish heritage, arts and culture, offers free admission every Saturday. The museum is located in South Beach at 301 Washington Ave.
Visit the national parks for free
Ride the Homestead trolley for free to the Everglades and Biscayne National Park and get in the park for free. The service runs every Saturday and Sunday through May 1, 2016. Winter provides one of the better times weather-wise to visit the parks. In addition, trolley riders who show a “selfie” photo taken on the same day can receive discounts at participating businesses. Make day out of it by going to local restaurants or the Old Town Hall Museum. The trolley depot is at Losner Park, 104 N. Krome Ave., Homestead, FL. Parking is free.
Stroll and sing carols down Lincoln Road
The public is invited to sing holiday carols down Lincoln Road and then be entertained at an after-party with more music and performers on Sunday, Dec. 20, at the National Hotel in Miami Beach. The after-party will have live music, a costume contest, Cabaret performers, a few hundred enthusiastic carolers, and a grand piano. There also will be a toy drive benefiting the After-School All-Stars South Florida. It all starts at 7:30 pm in front of the former Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Rd., then ends at the National Hotel, 1677 Collins Ave, Miami Beach.
Live like Bella and enjoy the lights
If your kids are hoping for mechanical rides, storytime, Santa visits, pony rides and holiday lights, then head over to Pinecrest Gardens‘ Live Like Bella Nights of Lights, which features more than 60 glittering and larger than life light installations during the holidays, with the gardens open from 6 to 9 p.m. each day through Jan. 2. Admission is $5. Pinecrest Gardens is at 11000 SW 57th Ave., Pinecrest.
Eat and listen to music for free
Eat your heart out at the Food Truck Festival and listen to the music of Grand Funk Railroad, all for free, at Magic City Casino this Saturday, Dec. 19, starting at 5 pm. The casino is located at 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami.
Free outdoor light show with music
Entertaining and festive, Symphony of Lights is a free outdoor light show in an open-air plaza in southeast Broward. The dynamic display dances to seasonal tunes for a visual and musical treat.
The light display at The Village at Gulfstream Park is every hour on the hour 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. most nights through Dec. 31. Gulfstream Village is 901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach.
To keep up with latest news on deals, discounts and free events in South Florida, sign up for the daily Miami on the Cheap newsletter or the daily Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap newsletter. For more tips on what to do this weekend, read the frequently updated Miami on the Cheap weekend roundup of free and cheap events and the Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap weekend events and deals roundup.