20 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Little Havana

Looking for things to do in Little Havana? We have plenty of suggestions for you, and fortunately, most of these activities won’t cost you a dime.

1. Visit Galleries and Art Studios or Discover Our Murals

Wander into our various art galleries and studios (we have more than 40). Find kitschy folk art with roosters and mangos. Rare works by Cuban masters. Edgy, out-of-the-box graffiti art. Finely crafted pieces by local artisans. Giant abstract sculptures inspired by spiritual traditions. Whimsical art that evokes special places in homelands or in the neighborhood itself. Portraits. Photography exhibits. The finest mosaics in Miami.

Across the neighborhood, you’ll also find a variety of murals and public art pieces, too. Read more in our Art Galleries & Studios page.

2. Cheer on a Team or Get Active Yourself

Baseball players at Little Havana’s Riverside Park

Are you a sports fan? Take a break from TV sports and watch a live game. Or even better, join in! Here, the most popular sports are soccer, baseball and basketball. Games take place at our local community parks as well as Marlins Park.

At the 37,000-seat stadium, mingle with other fans as you cheer on a favorite team. The ballpark, which opened in 2012, has a retractable roof, a natural grass playing field, huge saltwater aquariums containing live fish, and a surprise “splash” after each home run. At the promenade level purchase a snack from the concession stand without losing your live view of the field. Tickets are available in all price ranges.

Free live entertainment takes place before and after certain games, especially at home games, and has included big ticket artists (the concert is included in the ticket price!).

Games at neighborhood parks (like Riverside Park in East Little Havana) don’t cost a thing to watch; you might want to join in, too. Kick around a soccer ball, shoot some hoops, throw a frisbee or put up a volleyball net: there are plenty of options.

Perhaps traditional sports aren’t really your style. Take a dip in the pool, take a free yoga class or get a good workout at the gym at Jose Marti Park. More on our local parks.

Historic Little Havana building

3. Admire our Unique Historic Buildings

Little Havana has a fascinating hodge-podge of architectural styles. Some buildings (including bungalows) date back to the 1920s. Little Havana has more historic bungalows than any other neighborhood in South Florida, but sadly many of them are threatened with destruction.

Other buildings represent styles ranging from Mediterranean to frame vernacular, classical revival to Mission style. And still other buildings are, well, just weird: a patchwork of styles and colors and decor that you won’t find anywhere else.

Why not go for a walk through the neighborhood and take some photos of our gems? During Viernes Culturales (our free festival on the last Friday of the month), learn more about local architecture on a free tour with local historian Dr. Paul George, which starts at 7 pm in front of the Tower Theater. More on our local architecture.

4. Explore the Neighborhood on a Tour

Taking a walking tour is one of the best ways to become acquainted with Little Havana, whether your interest is local culture, food, architecture or history. You can take the free tour with historian Dr. Paul George during Viernes Culturales, at 7 pm. Or, join Little Havana Guide’s Corinna Moebius or her colleague Ralph de la Portilla on a fascinating, in-depth excursion through the neighborhood, learning about history, arts and cultural traditions along the way. Learn more about our Little Havana walking tours.

5. Energize Yourself with a Dance or Music Class

Want to hone your dancing or music-making skills? La Pequeña Habana has far more to offer than salsa or bongo lessons. See Dance to learn about the huge variety of dance classes offered in the area, from flamenco to tango, ballet to hip-hop, Afro-Cuban folkloric dance to zumba … and rumba.

Take one of our Little Havana tours to find out all the places where you can take music classes, including classes in Afro-Cuban percussion. The Koubek Center has events throughout the year that include free music classes for kids.

6. Celebrate at a Local Festival or Event

In addition to our monthly Viernes Culturales and annual Calle Ocho festivals, Little Havana has a variety of lesser known events and celebrations during the year, including our new Gay8 Festival. Our most solemn annual occasion is the Bay of Pigs anniversary.

Other events include the Jose Marti Parade and holiday traditions like Noche Buena, La Griteria and the Three Kings Parade. Read more at Events. And find out how to stay informed about upcoming special events.

7. Go to the Movies or a Theater Performance

We’re proud to be the home of the historic Tower Theater, which USA Today named one of the top 10 theaters to see a movie “in splendor.” The Tower Theater, an iconic, Art Deco-style building in the heart of Calle Ocho, hosts screenings for many a film festival; it regularly presents award-winning foreign films. Films are also screened at other Little Havana venues, like the CubaOcho Museum & Performing Arts Center.

Little Havana has a number of unique Spanish-language theaters, too. Read more about local film and theater offerings in our Theater and Entertainment section.

8. Learn About Little Havana History

One of the books you can read while visiting Little Havana (or if you live here) is “A History of Little Havana,” by Guillermo Grenier and Little Havana Guide’s own Corinna Moebius. You can also learn about Little Havana history on one of our local walking tours, visit the Bay of Pigs museum (1821 SW 9th St.) and — beginning in 2018 — a new El Museo de Little Havana, a satellite museum of HistoryMiami.

9. Taste Local Cuisine – and Learn our Local Food Traditions

The famous pan de minuta from La Camaronera.

Buy (or prepare) a colada of Cuban coffee and share it with others. That’s one way to start a conversation!

Our Food & Drink page offers recommendations for cuisine you might want to try while in the neighborhood.

Want a healthier option? Savor the tropical flavors of a batido (baTEEdo)(milkshake) or licuado made with locally grown, fresh fruit at a fruteria like Los Pinareños. Or, decide on a full meal at one of our local restaurants. You may know Little Havana as the home of Cuban food, but you should also know that we have arguably the best Mexican, Spanish and Central American food in the city, too.

You will also learn a lot about local food our Little Havana tours.

10. Relax in a Local Park or by the Miami River

We already mentioned the exercise options in our parks, but of course these public spaces are also a haven for simple relaxation. Fire up a BBQ or plan a picnic while kids squeal with gleee in a park playground. Read a book. Play a game of chess or dominos, Meditate.

We’re lucky that our neighborhood borders the Miami River, which has undergone significant improvements and restoration over the last few years. A riverwalk is being expanded to improve access to the river’s edge. Several of our local parks border the river: Jose Marti Park, Ferne Isle Park and Sewall Park.

Learn more about Little Havana Parks.

11. Check out Our Barbershops & Salons

Some of our barbershops and salons are legendary. We’re not just home to one of Pitbull’s favorite barbershop, La Esquina, but also the kind of old school barbershops and salons that are worlds apart from a chop-chop chain cuttery. Many places serve café cubano on the house, and some even serve a free shot of rum. These are social spaces, and even if you don’t understand much Spanish, you’ll still be entertained (you can, of course, find places where all the barbers speak fluent English).

Miamians can be very particular about their looks.

Little Havana also has a beauty school where you can get haircuts and other beauty services for a very low price.

Want some new tats? We also have well-respected tattoo shops for those who want wearable art.

12. Go Shopping

Sure, you could head to one of Miami’s local shopping malls. If you’re like me, however, you’ll be overwhelmed by the displays and sales of brand name clothing and phone accessories and luggage sets and the like.

Little Havana offers a different shopping experience, which I prefer. Interact directly with the owners. Meet four generations of family members in a single shop. Chit-chat with employees who have fascinating personal stories to share, and who won’t treat you like just another shopper in the mall. Venture into stores that remind you of the department stores of yesteryear, yet with a life-sized statue of San Lazaro.

Explore Little Havana and find stores selling the latest sandals from Colombia, thrift stores that appear more like trendy boutique, shops with stylish guayaberas and Panama hats. Peer in the windows of jewelry stores or botanicas and see charms used for protection.

Read more in Shopping, which also describes other local finds besides clothing.

13. Settle in at the Library

Little Havana has a popular library called the Hispanic Branch, part of the Miami-Dade Public Library system. In this light-filled space, at 1398 SW 1st St., you can read books, see videos or use computers and laptops for free. The library also has a play area for kids and an area with changing art and photography exhibits.

14. Make Art. Take photos. Take an Art or Photography Class

Our quirky neighborhood inspires creativity! Take out a sketchpad and draw some of the unique, quirky and charming things you see in the neighborhood.

The InterAmerican campus of Miami Dade College (located in Little Havana) offers a number of arts, crafts and photography classes (like how to make aromatic soap, jewelry making and night digital photography). Antonio del Moral also teaches art classes every Saturday at his Galeria Adelmo (call 305-549-7200).

A Little Havana ashtray with cigars.

15.  Smoke a Cigar

Surely you’re already aware that Little Havana is a favorite destination for cigar aficionados. See cigars being made by hand by rollers with more than a decade of experience, or simply settle down for a long smoke in a cigar lounge (if you are of legal age to do so) and enjoy good conversation and perhaps a sip of cafe cubano, rum or wine, too.

16. Investigate the Personalities Behind the Places

Ok, what do we mean? Look down as you stroll down Calle Ocho and see stars (from our Walk of Fame) honoring particular artists and entertainers, most of them from different parts of Latin America. Who are these individuals?

Who are the people honored with their name on a street sign? Which officials and celebrities are buried in our famous local cemetery, Woodlawn?

17. Join or Watch a Game of Dominos, Cards or Chess

On a hot Miami afternoon, why not relax with an ice-cold limeade (a limonada), a jugo de tamarindo,  or a shot of café cubano and exercise your mind? Play a game … or just watch. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you’re sure to enjoy these animated social gatherings!

Find out where to go (and how to play) in Cigars & Dominos.

18. Listen to Local Live Music

Take a musical journey across Latin America and the Caribbean or groove to descarga fusions of styles mixing in jazz, funk, rock, electronica — you name it! In Little Havana, hear live music in any number of different ambiences, giving you plenty of options in a single night — and, we must add, very affordable options.

Discover the neighborhood’s musical offerings in Music & Nightlife.

19. Volunteer & Engage in Bettering Our Community

Sign up for a fun group volunteer activity with a local nonprofit. Meet your neighbors by joining a local neighborhood group and helping in efforts to improve the neighborhood. Form a tenant association!

20. Practice Spanish — Chat with Locals

Why not? Try even a few words, no matter how badly pronounced, and locals will encourage you. You might want to start with our Spanish Quick Guide (coming soon!). You’ll also find locals who speak fluent English (and other languages, for that matter).

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