Gone a bit too hard on the wallet lately? These awesome events, pop-ups and exhibitions will let you have a fabulous time without spending a dime.
The best free markets
Melbourne's iconic markets are starting to come back in full force, and we couldn't be happier. Shop local at these vegan markets, dog-friendly markets, night markets and more. Queen Victoria Market is open as always, and they've just launched a weekly mini market series with a different unique theme each Saturday. Chinatown's secret laneway market also makes a return on 16 April.
Melbourne Latin Festival
Three days of fiesta await at this beloved annual event. Taste delicious food from more than 20 different vendors, watch cooking demos, see the salsa dance championship and more. And all with a margarita in hand!
See all things cool, new and developing from local creatives at this monthly showcase event. Anyone in the community can test their latest project, from stop-motion film and comedy-thrillers to live dance, zine machines and more. Grab a bev from the bar and enjoy.
Melbourne’s much-loved LGBTQI cultural festival is back for 2021. Kick off with the iconic Midsumma Festival - 100% free, but you do need to book. The next round of tickets will be available at midday on 9 April. More free, bookable fun includes gigs at the Malthouse Outdoor stage, gorgeous art exhibits and a sculpture workshop led by artist Kenny Pittock.
Melbourne Knowledge Week
Visit Venice through sound, spy on surveillance cameras, play biometric Dungeons & Dragons and more at this year's MKW. There are also walking tours that fuse Melbourne's gorgeous open spaces with super nerdy data talk, an AI night at a rooftop bar and even a workshop dedicated to ripping apart your old toys. Nearly the entire program is free, but you do need to book in advance.
After two years in hibernation (and a multi-million dollar makeover) ACMI has reopened for film lovers far and wide. The new neon-lit space features vintage video games, interactive displays, wall-to-wall projections and more. Visit the latest exhibit for free then head upstairs to chic Hero diner for a feast.
The best free and cheap events for families
We’ve wrapped up the best free and cheap events for school holidays that you just can’t miss.
Heirloom Room Sculpture Workshop
Recreate a sentimental object with air-dry clay.
Melbourne Gardens Free Guided Walk
A free guided walk is the perfect way to explore Melbourne Gardens.
The Great HeartKids Ted E Bare Hunt
Find David Strassman's Ted E Bares in locations across the city.
Hatha Flow Yoga
Hatha-style yoga classes at the Boyd Community Hub every Wednesday.
Queer Book Club
A book club for those who are curious or passionate about queer books.
Last updated on Thu 8 Apr 2021
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Melbourne’s essential summer events
Markets, pop-up bars, special events and more. March is really just summer: the sequel.
Melbourne Harmony Festival
Presenting the shared music, art, and culture of the people of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Seasons in Blak Box
Local First Peoples artist and elders share their experience and knowledge of the landscape.