Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Free Events in South Florida (November)

Despite being on a very tight budget, my family is enjoying everything that Florida has to offer on a frugal budget. There are lots of free events in South Florida, and I do what I can to find the best ones. Below you will find the best free events in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Event: Santa's Arrival - Aventura Mall
When: Saturday November 13th, 2010 1 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: Aventura Mall

Event Details: Santa is arriving at the mall, he will be greeted with music and dance, and he will hear the children's wishes.

Contact Info:  305-935-1100
Event Website:

Event: Art in the Park
When: Saturday November 13th, 2010 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: Liberty Tree Park, 7421 NW Fifth St., Plantation

Event Details: The Plantation Junior Woman's Club is hosting. There will be fine arts, pottery, muciscians, arts and crafts, kids activities and food.

Contact Info:  954-452-2510
Event Website:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Baby Loves Disco Lemonade Tour Miami

The Baby Loves Disco Lemonade Tour arrives in Miami tomorrow Wednesday November 10th. The party will take place at Cafe Bambini.

While the Baby Loves Disco party in Miami is not free, the proceeds go to a great cause, so I decided to feature it here at Florida Free & Frugal.

Baby Loves Disco Lemonade Tour at CAFE BAMBINI!

3073 North­east 163rd St. Miami, FL 33160

Wednesday, November 10th, 3 to 6 pm

Buy Tickets online or at the door: $10 per walking human

The event will include dancing, kid-friendly snacks, and plenty of fun activities for kids and grownups alike.

Baby Loves Disco is a mom-and-pop company, internationally renowned for their family dance parties, which mix music, dancing and hands-on activities for parents and their young children.

By the end of November, the Baby Loves Disco Lemonade Tour will have landed in more than 45 cities across the United States. It's a super-dance-party special mission to spread awareness and raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand, a nonprofit organization devoted to finding a cure for childhood cancer. The national tour is presented by H&M. For more venues check out

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Live in Miami Sunday October 31st

Yo Gabba Gabba Live: There Is A Party In My City is coming to Miami on October 31st. There will be two showings at 12:30 pm and 4 pm at the American Airlines Arena, and make sure to come early as there will be trick-or-treating and Halloween activities.

While this is not a free event, it is going to be a lot of f un, and my family will be there. 

The Yo Gabba Gabba live show in Miami is an interactive experience, as audience members will get a chance to see their favorite characters come to life. DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Plex, Muno and Toodee will be entertaining on stage, and hip-hop legend Biz Markie will join Yo Gabba Gabba to teach kids how to beat box with “Biz’s Beat of the Day”, and it will be a show filled with music and dance that your little ones will recognize.

Free Halloween Events in South Florida

There are lots of free Halloween events in South Florida this weekend.

To mention a couple of my favorites:

October 29th
Event: Free Scary Face Pancakes at Ihop 
When: October 29th 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: Participating Ihop restaurants.
Event Details: Free "create your own" Scary Face Panckaes to trick-or-treaters 12 and younger.
Event Website:

October 30th
Event: Tri Rail - Rail Fun Day (Dania Beach)
When: October 30th 11 am - 3 pm
Cost: FREE 
Location: Tri Rail's Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Station at Dania Beach (Located west of I-95 off Griffin Road next to Bass Pro Shops.
Event Details: Magic show, face painting, clowns, carnival-style games, food sampling, cookie decorating, arts and crafts, prizes and giveawats, kids Halloween Costume Contest
Bonus: Ride Tri-Rail to the event and receive a free gift (must present a valid ticket dated Oct. 30th, valud for the first 350 ticket holders.
Event Website:

Event: Monster Truck or Treat (Hollywood, FL)
When: October 30th, 10 a.m - 2 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: David Park Community center, 510 N. 33rd Court, Hollywood, Fl.
Event Details: Enjoy safe Halloween fun for children of all ages with treats. Explore enormous vehicles, get aboard and up close to city vehicles from the police, fire and parks departments ass well as local trucking companies. Games, activities and crafts for the kids. 
Contact info: 954-967-4236
Event Website:

October 30th
Event: ArtsPark Boo Bash (Hollywood, FL)
When: October 30th, 7 - 10 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: ArtsPark at Young Circle, Hollywood Boulevard and U.S. 1, Hollywood, Fl.
Event Details: Enjoy safe Halloween fun for children of all ages at the ArtsPark at Young Circle.
Childrens activites and Candy.
Contact info: 954-921-3500
Event Website:

October 30th and 31st
Event: Scare Broward (Coral Springs, FL)
When: October 30th and 31st, 8 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: 2648 NW 94th Ave., Coral Springs, Fl (Residential neighborhood)
Event Details: Haunted House with live actors. A ghostly maze of terror, free candy. Ages 10 and older.
Contact info: 954-261-9730
Event Website:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sombrero Beach in Marathon - The Best Beach in the Florida Keys?

Sombrero Beach in Marathon Florida Keys
On our weekend camping trip to the Florida Keys, my family discovered a new beach in the Florida Keys. Sombrero Beach in Marathon looked quite a bit like a paradise beach, and it is clearly a contender to the best beach in the Florida Keys award.

We stayed at Key Largo Kampground in Key Largo, but the weather was dim and overcast with rain clouds continuing to move over Key Largo, so we decided to drive towards sunshine. We were looking for a nice beach, but Long Key Beach, which we intended on going to was muddy according to the park rangers. They sent us about 18 miles further south to Marathon, and they certainly knew what they were doing.

Sombrero Beach in Marathon is located on Sombrero Boulevard in Marathon (turn right at the light after Publix/Kmart).

Sombrero Beach in Marathon Florida Keys

Key Largo Kampground, Key Largo, Florida Keys

This past weekend my family and I went camping in the Florida Keys, something we have done many times over the years. The Florida Keys are a great way to escape the hustle of Miami, and I love finally being able to see the stars clearly again.

Key Largo Kampground Beach Area

The camping trip was a bit spontaneous, so we had a list of campgrounds with us, and our plan was to drive until we found one with a reasonable price that had an opening. Our first choice was Key Largo Kampground, as it is located right next to John Pennenkamp State Park, but since the campground at John Pennenkamp is closed due to construction until 2011, we were afraid that Key Largo Kampground was filled up.

Camping in the Florida Keys

We ended up being very lucky, as Key Largo Kampground did have several available tent spots, and we received a spot in close proximity to the pool, the restrooms and the clubhouse. The price at Key Largo Kampground was considerably better than the nearby campgrounds, and I had only found good reviews online, so we were excited and ready to camp.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Free Florida Events in October - Things To Do In Miami, Broward and Palm Beach.

This is a list of free Florida events in October, take a look maybe there is a free event for your family. There are lots of free events for families in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach.

Tuesday, October 12th
Event: Happy Harvest (West Palm Beach) 
When: October 12th 3 p.m. (Every Friday)
Cost: FREE 
Location: Okeechobee Boulevard Branch Library, 5689 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach.
Event Details: Join us for an old fashioned apple-picking, pumpkin patching good time with books about all things autumn and a special scarecrow craft. Ages 5-7. (45 min.) Preregister.
Contact info: 561-233-1880 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              561-233-1880      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Event Website:

Friday, October 15th
Event: Funtastic Friday (Hollywood) 
When: October 15th, 5 - 9 p.m. (Every Friday)
Cost: FREE 
Location: ArtsPark at Young Circle, Hollywood Boulevard and U.S. 1, Hollywood, Fl.  
Event Details: Bring your kids to a free family social event, featuring an outdoor movie, bounce house, face painters, games for the kids & more !
Contact info: 954-921-3500
Event Website:

Friday, October 16th
Event: Card Board Boat Race (Hollywood) 
When: October 16th, 8 a.m. 4 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: Hollywood Marina, 700 Polk Street, Hollywood, FL

Event Details: The Hollywood Marina hosts the annual Cardboard Boat Race. Participants may build their race boats at home and bring them or cardboard will be on hand at the Marina for those who wish to build their boats on site. Free hot dogs and sodas. Trophies will be given to winners and participation ribbons for all racers.

Contact info: 954-921-3500
Event Website:

Friday, October 22nd
Event: Funtastic Friday (Hollywood) 
When: October 22nd, 5 - 9 p.m. (Every Friday)
Cost: FREE 
Location: ArtsPark at Young Circle, Hollywood Boulevard and U.S. 1, Hollywood, Fl.
Event Details: Bring your kids to a free family social event, featuring an outdoor movie, bounce house, face painters, & more !
Contact info: 954-921-3500
Event Website:

October 24th
Event: Life with Dogs Fall Festival (Parkland) 
When: October 24th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: FREE 
Location: The Waterway Shoppes, 7499 N. State Road 7, Parkland
Event Details: Fall Festival with pumpkins, family photos, costume contests, puppy adoptions, freebies from Boomers, food, music and more.
Contact: 954-232-0011
Event Website:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba Live: There Is A Party In Miami - A Fun South Florida Family Event

Yo Gabba Gabba Live: There Is A Party In My City is coming to Miami on October 31st. There will be two showings at 12:30 pm and 4 pm at the American Airlines Arena, and make sure to come early as there will be trick-or-treating and Halloween activities.

While this is not a free event, it is going to be a lot of fun, and my family will be there. 

The Yo Gabba Gabba live show is an interactive experience, as audience members will get a chance to see their favorite characters come to life. DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Plex, Muno and Toodee will be entertaining on stage, and hip-hop legend Biz Markie will join Yo Gabba Gabba to teach kids how to beat box with “Biz’s Beat of the Day”, and it will be a show filled with music and dance that your little ones will recognize.

During the Dancey Dance segments special guests will teach us all a brand new dance move. Past guests have included Sarah Silverman, Snoop Dogg, DMC from Run DMC, and Jon Heder, and since each show features a different guest, I sure am excited to see who will show up at the Miami show.

$1 From Every Ticket Sold To Benefit Habitat for Humanity Local Affiliate In Each Tour City.

For complete tour, ticket, and VIP package information, visit
(Children under one year of age will be admitted free to sit on a parent’s lap.)

I am hosting a Yo Gabba Gabba giveaway on my review & giveaway blog Frugality Is Free. You can win a Yo Gabba Gabba book, cd and dvd. For more information check out the Yo Gabba Gabba giveaway @ Frugality Is Free.

Disclaimer: I will be receiving tickets to the Yo Gabba Gabba Live Show courtesy of Yo Gabba Gabba Live and The American Airlines Arena.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Free National Park Entrance and Free Museum Admissions This Weekend

For a frugal family this weekend is one of the best to go and have some free and frugal fun. Not only is it Free National Park Entrance or National Public Lands Day on Saturday 25th, but it is also the 6th annual Smithsonian Free Museum Day tomorrow. Whether the weather is nice and you are up for some outdoors fun, or if you are the indoor type or the weather does not cooperate....there is something for you and your frugal family. Here at Florida Free and Frugal it all depends on the weather, but the kids and I will go explore.

In Florida the following national parks offer free entrance day from

Canaveral National Seashore
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Gulf Islands National Seashore

For a complete list of National Parks that offers free park entrance this weekend go to the National Park Website.

You can find a Smithsonian Museum Day participating museum near you HERE.

To get your free ticket for the Smithsonian Museum Day, go HERE.  After you fill out the information and submit, a ticket will be sent to your email.  Make sure you print out your ticket to present on the 25th!

While you do get free entrance to museums as part of the Smithsonian Museum Day, there are a free limitations you should be aware of.

The Museum Day Ticket provides free admission to one person, plus a guest.
  • One ticket per household
  • A ticket will gain entry in only one museum and only participating museums
  • Only an official Museum Day ticket is eligible for free entry. Official tickets can be found here on the Museum Day website. Read more:
 In Florida the following museums are participating in the Smithsonian Museum Day Saturday September 25th.

Seminole Okalee Indian Village - Hollywood, Florida

Seminole Okalee Indian Village
In March the Seminole Okalee Indian Village in Hollywood, Florida celebrated its 50th anniversary. I had wanted to take my kids there for a while, but the entrance prices were too high for me to justify taking them. The anniversary celebration at the Seminole Okalee Indian Village was free, and since my dad was visiting from Europe, I figured it would be a great time to go.

Seminole Totem Pole

The Seminole Okalee Indian Village in Hollywood, Florida is a nice place to visit, if you are looking to learn about the Seminole's history in Florida, about their current lives and there is something for everyone. Despite living close to the Seminole reservation, it is not often that we get to experience the Native American culture, so this was a great time to teach my sons about the history of Native Americans in Florida.

Seminole Dream Catcher

The Anniversary celebration at the Seminole Okalee Indian Village included showcases of Seminole Indian handicrafts and artwork, as these were all judged and awarded. I was especially fascinated by the colorful, unique and handcrafted  Seminole patchwork clothing, Seminole Palmetto dolls and the talented woodwork. The artwork exhibited were colorful and magical, and I loved how you could tell a story just by looking at the paintings.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Free National Park Access April 17th - April 25th

This week is National Park Week, and entrance to all of the 393 parks is free from April 17th to April 25th. For those of us, who try to stretch our budgets as far as possible, this is a great opportunity to explore some of our national treasures.

In South Florida there are many beautiful national parks to experience:


Everglades National Park

Photos from our last trip to the Everglades National Park.

In St. Augustine, where my heart belongs, there are a few options as well.  If you have never been to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the country, I can highly recommend it. I spent many sunny days of my youth reading books on the lawn beneath Castillo de San Marcos.

To find other national parks in Florida near you or in the rest of the country check out The National Park website

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dania Fishing Pier, Dania Beach, South Florida

The Dania Fishing Pier, in Dania Beach South Florida stretches itself 987 feet into the Atlantic ocean from the beautiful white beaches. You can see a video history of Dania Beach at the City of Dania Beach website.

At the entrance to the pier, you will find Beach Watch Restaurant. You can find the menu here.

The Beach Watch Restaurant also caters to parties, and you will often find wedding ceremonies taking place on the beach below the pier.

Access to the fishing pier is $2 per person for sightseeing only, or $3 per person for fishing. 

If you look to the North you will see just how close Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale is to Dania Beach.

After spending time fishing or just enjoying the view from the pier, you can relax on Dania Beach, which is surrounded by beautiful water or you can continue on to the nearby Hollywood Beach just South of Dania Beach.

To get to the Dania Pier when coming from US 1 go East onto Dania Beach Boulevard, or on A1A continue North until you reach Dania Beach Boulevard and turn right just before the bridge.

The Dania Pier is located at:
300 N Beach Road,
Dania Beach, FL 33004

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dania Beach South Florida

Dania Beach in South Florida is located about 17 miles north of Miami, and it is a 5 mile drive from downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The beach itself is much like the South East Florida beaches with long stretches of white sand and stunning water with a bit of dunes. There are life guards on duty, and when the winds are calm it is a great place to swim.

Dania Beach has something that is different from the rest of Florida though, the Dania Pier which stretches out in the Atlantic ocean. At the pier you can go fishing, or simply enjoy the sights.

After a long morning at the beach you can eat a picnic on the beach, or you can barbecue in the small park area by the parking lot, where there are grills available. You can also enjoy a lunch at the Dania Beach Grill, where there is often live music. Next to the Dania Beach Grill there is a playground for the kids.

Below you will find the menu from March 2010.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hollywood Beach Florida

Hollywood Beach Florida is a treasure that is often hidden away from tourists visiting Miami. It is a fantastic place to visit for anyone at any age, and Hollywood Beach Florida is a great place for families visiting Florida with kids. Hollywood Beach is located about 10 miles north of Miami Beach, and if you want to enjoy the scenic Collins Boulevard/A1A, Hollywood Beach is a great place to end up and spend the afternoon.

Hollywood Beach is one of the few stretches of beach in Eastern South Florida that is not dominated by huge sky rises or private homes. Instead Hollywood Beach is a charismatic place with older hotels, small motels, ins and a few condos. It is a fantastic place to vacation with beautiful beaches, white sand, turquoise water, a sizzling broadwalk and a festive ambiance that can only be found on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk..

Monday, March 22, 2010

Flamingo - Everglades National Park, South Florida

After driving through the fields in Homestead and Florida city, my family continued on our journey toward Flamingo in the Everglades National Park in South Florida.

Thirteen years ago I made this journey with my mom, my dad and my younger brother, who was eight at the time. My dad remembered seeing Flamingos, and we were all excited to go see flamingos in the wild.

At the beginning of the Everglades we made a stop at the visitor center at the park entrance. It cost $10 per vehicle to enter the Everglades National Park. We had brought our own sandwiches and drinks, so we made a frugal pit stop. On our way south, we stopped at several different trails, and it was interesting to see the different parts of the Everglades.

About 38 miles south of the entrance, we finally reached Flamingo (about 2 hours later due to the small road and many trail stops).

We had a second pit stop that include Florida Strawberries on a bench overlooking the Florida Bay.

Florida City and Homestead Farms in South Florida

A few weeks ago I visited the farms in Homestead, Florida, which is just south of Miami. It was a part of a day trip to Flamingo, but the farms in Homestead were a beautiful sight, when all I am used to is city and the beach.

My dad is a farmer in Northern Europe, so seeing tomato fields and orange groves were an interesting sight for him as well. I personally wondered what they sprayed all these beautiful vegetable fields with to keep the bugs away, as I am struggling with keeping them away from my own cherry tomatoes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Naples Pier in Naples South West Florida

While visiting Naples in South west Florida my family decided to spend our last morning at the Naples Pier before heading home. It was a bit cloudy, but it was still a beautiful day in Naples.

The Naples pier was originally built in 1888 as a freight and passenger dock, but in 1922 a fire damaged the pier and the nearby post office. The pier has also been rebuilt after damage by hurricanes in 1910, 1926 and 1960.

If you are interested in fishing, the Naples pier is the perfect place to go try your luck. There is no fishing license required on the pier, as the city of Naples has a blanket license that covers anyone fishing off the pier. Do it the frugal way and bring your rod and fishing equipment from home, or buy everything you need at the pier. You can get rod and reel line, hooks, leaders, sinkers, floats and bait all for $19.

Now for $19 you better make sure to catch your dinner, if you want to keep your vacation frugal.

To keep your vacation frugal steer clear of the expensive vacation booth and bring your own snack.

After taking a walk on the pier, you can take a walk on the beach, play some volleyball, go for a swim or simply just sit down and enjoy the scenery and atmosphere.

The Naples pier is located at the west end of 12th Avenue South in Naples, Florida.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Naples Public Beach at Horizon Way

The city of Naples have an enormous amount of things and activities to do for visitors. As a frugal traveler I tend to steer away from all of the costly activities, and the beach is always a fantastic alternative. On our second day in Naples, I took my boys for a walk to find the nearest beach. After a walk through a beautiful Naples neighborhood, we found the Horizon Way public beach by Clam Pass in Naples.

To get to Horizon Way we walked to the end of Park Shore Drive, and at the end we turned left. It was about a 1.5 mile from the hotel,  and it was a very beautiful walk. The beach access could easily be missed, but it is located right by a huge waterfall sculpture.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Inn of Naples, Naples, South West Florida

Frugal traveling often demands some creativity, and in my search for an affordable hotel in Naples, I really had to think outside the box to get a great deal. I checked out and, but I did not like the uncertainty of not knowing the hotel, the location or tripadvisor reviews before making my purchase.

The beach resorts were completely out of our price range, but I wanted a hotel in walking distance to the beach, and I knew a heated pool would be an added bonus. After studying the reviews on Tripadvisor, I came to the conclusion that the Inn of Naples was the best place for my family. It was about 1 -1.5 miles from the beach, it was close to downtown naples, restaurants etc., it had a heated pool, and all of the reviews were great.

The price for the holiday weekend were $129 per night, which made the Inn of Naples out of our budget, but I decided to give their Suggest-A-Rate option a shot. I did some research, and I found an ad on, and I looked at other discounts. I finally emailed them my price, and less than an hour later they responded that they would accept my price.

We ended up getting a two night stay for the price of one, which I was very excited about, as it was only $2 more than the price for a night at the campground.

While all the reviews I had found were great, I was still a bit nervous as to what we would find, but the hotel surpassed my expectations.

Naples, South West Florida

My family just returned from a new years get-a-way to Naples in South West Florida. It was a spur-of-the moment trip, but we still managed to keep our vacation very frugal.

This was our first vacation to Florida's west coast, but it definitely will not be our last. While the prices were rather high, we managed to find something in our price category without compromising on our desired level of luxury or location.

Naples was our choice because we needed to get away, but we still needed to be close to home, in case my husband had to go back for an emergency at work.

We started our frugal luxury vacation by bringing our own lunch for the first day. Relieved to get away from the city, we enjoyed our lunch at a rest area along I-75. Eating lunch in the middle of the Everglades was our first vacation experience, and the view was priceless.

I can definitely recommend stepping out of the car on any of the rest areas along I-75. Take a deep breath and just enjoy the serenity of watching nature extend itself as far away as the eye can see.

While an air boat ride is great, it can also be very expensive, but it is not the only way to experience a little of what the Everglades have to offer.

As you get closer to Naples, make sure to have the kids glued to the windows scouting for gators.


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