The Oaxaca zócalo, years ago relieved of traffic, is ideal ground for spontaneous diversions. Regular concerts serenade from the zócalo band kiosk at 7 p.m. virtually every evening: the Oaxaca state band, Tuesday and Thursday; Marimba band, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and the Oaxaca orchestra, Sunday.
At other times, divert yourself by running like a kid over the plaza, bouncing a 10-foot-long aeroglobo into the air. (Get them from vendors in front of the cathedral.) If you’re in a sitting mood, watch the world go by from a zócalo sidewalk café.
Later, take in the folk dance performance at the Hotel Monte Albán on the adjacent Plaza Alameda de León, 8:30–10 p.m. nightly, for about $9. After that, return to a zócalo café and enjoy the musicians who entertain most every evening until midnight.