What's On

16 Free Things To Do In Melbourne This Month

By Marina Nazario
1st Dec 2017


It feels like December started early this year, when the shops filled the shelves with tinsel and Coles began playing Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer (seriously, let November end people). And now the jam-packed, holiday-filled month is finally here.

While December may seem expensive, what with all the Christmas shopping and holiday parties, there are a ton of free things to check out this month. Give your wallet a break. These beauties won't cost you a cent. 

Food Truck Park Residency

There’s something about getting grub from a food truck that just feels so...summer. The Food Truck Park Residency is back at District Docklands, and it’s featuring some of Melbourne’s best food trucks. Stop by and be indecisive in choosing what you want to eat while enjoying music, sun and people watching.

Where: The District, Docklands
When: Every Friday in December,
11am – 9pm
For more info, click here.  

Live Painting

Live painting? Yeah, live painting. Check out the launch of the Upper West Side Street Art Precinct, which will feature new murals by six of Australia’s most recognized street artists. Watch these talented artists paint new murals and enjoy surrounding food trucks and live DJs all weekend.

Where: Little Bourke and Spencer Street
When: 1 – 3 December, 4pm – 9pm
For more info, 
click here.

12 Days Of Christmas Acoustic Events

Can we agree that acoustic covers are always better than the original? Nah? Well, you'll have a chance to decide for yourself this December. Head to The Basement Discs where you might stumble upon your next favourite local artist jamming out in a cool little setting. You never know who might rock your world.

Where: The Basement Discs
When: 1 – 12 December, all day
For more info, 
click here.

Linden Postcard Show

Tiny artworks competing for a big cash prize—that’s pretty much the gist with this one. The Linden Postcard Show has been going strong for 27 years. It rounds up some of the country’s most talented artists and sets them a challenge: come up with a masterpiece that fits on a canvas the size of the average postcard. You have to be Australian, and the piece has to measure 8 x 10 inches, that’s it.

Where: Domain House, Dallas Brooks Drive, South Yarra
When: Running until 12 January 2018, from 
For more info, click here.

Christmas Light Show

Lights, cameras, action! Grab your friends and head to the Docklands, Fed Square, or the State Library to watch a colourful light show each night of the 25 days leading up to Christmas. The installations will run every 20 minutes from 9pm till 10:20pm. Unless you’re at the Docklands, then you've got until 11pm. Sweetttt.

Where: Docklands, Fed Square, State Library Victoria
When: 1 – 25 December, every day from 9pm – 10:20pm
For more info, 
click here.

Lello Pasta Making Class

Free pasta class? Hell yeah. Lello Pasta Bar and chef Leo Gelsomino will teach you how to cook pasta al dente. Make your own handmade pasta from scratch at the South Melbourne Market (Cecil St side) on Saturday 2 December. You’ll get a lesson in the history of traditional pasta making, plus a taste of different pasta samples. No booking necessary. That’s amore!

Where: South Melbourne Market, Cecil St South Melbourne 
When: Saturday 2 December, 2:30pm - 4pm
For more info, 
click here.

Fair At Square Ethical Lifestyle Festival

Looking for sustainable gift ideas for the holiday season? Check out the Ethical Lifestyle Festival at Fed Square. It'll feature live cooking shows, market stalls, a sustainable fashion tent (#trendy), and, of course, music and entertainment. You can also pick up a few tips on sustainable living that'll save the world (probably, unless a comet hits it or something). It’s a win-win.

Where: Federation Square
When: Saturday 2 December,11am - 9pm
For more info, click here.

Melbourne Central's Tinsel Town

We know you’re searching for that perfect Christmas Instagram. And we know just the place to take it. Head to Melbourne Central’s Tinsel Town and explore all the glitz and glitter of Christmas. There'll be a sparkling room to take selfies in, festive light installations, glitter makeovers hosted by MAC (if you feel like you need to add some shimmer to your signature black wardrobe) and special offers from your favourite stores.

Where: Melbourne Central
When: Wednesday 6 December, 
8am –10pm
For more info, click here.

Fed Square Live Summer Series

Pack a picnic, grab a chair and check out live music every Thursday night of December at Fed Square. (Cheap date night idea?!) The summer series will feature local artists such as Pat Coyle Band, DUAN & Julia Lostrom, and Zoe Ryan. This is a hot event so get there early to snag a spot!

Where: Federation Square
When: 7, 14, 21 December, 6pm – 8pm
For more info, 
click here.

Kris Kringle Night Market

Northcote Town Hall’s Kris Kringle Night Market (try saying that five times fast) is back and you need to stop by. If you can’t find anything at the other markets happening in December, try this one. It features 60 indoor stalls selling things such as textiles, skin products, plants, jewellery, ceramics, woodcrafts and more. Oh, and FYI, there’s a bar at this market in case you need a little pick-me-up during all the Christmas shopping dramas.

Where: Northcote Town Hall
When: 7, 14, 21 December, 5:30pm – 10pm
For more info, 
click here.

St. Kilda Twilight Market

The summer season graces us with markets and you can’t miss the St.Kilda Twilight Market. It brings together tons of vendors with various crafts, artwork, funky clothing, jewellery and food. Lots and lots of food. Check out this summer bazaar every Thursday night. It’s free, but don’t leave your wallet at home. You might find the perfect Christmas present for grandma.

Where: The O'Donnell Gardens, St Kilda
When: Every Thursday in December, 
5pm – 10pm.
For more info, click here.

Outdoor Electronic Music Event

Bump your head to the beat of electronic music hosted by Federation Bells and Heavy Machinery Records. This event is part of CLING CLANG: Compositions for Computer-Controlled Bells and Australian Electronics and will feature techno, EBM and exotic sounds of a futuristic percussion robot (you’ll have to see it to believe it). Get your dancing shoes on. 

Where: Birrarung Marr
When: Friday 8 December, 
8pm – late
For more info, click here

African Music and Cultural Festival

Get moving at the African Music and Cultural Festival. You’ll find music, dancing, art, street food, and performances at this vibrant event. It’s a celebration of community and diversity that brings the essence of Africa to life, right here in Melbourne. Last year over 30,000 people turned up, so be prepared for large crowds and a lot of energy.

Where: Federation Square
When: Saturday 9 December, 11am – 10pm
For more info, 
click here.

NGV Triennial

Fancy seeing an 18 metre Buddha? We know you do. Head to NGV Triennial to check out the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries around the world. This free exhibition is part of NGV International and encourages you to look at the world with fresh eyes…or through the eyes of an enormous Buddha.

Where: National Gallery of Victoria
When: 15 December 2017 – April 2018
For more info, 
click here

Markit At Fed Square

We’re super stoked for all these markets happening in December because it makes Christmas shopping a little less painful. The Markit at Fed Square is a design market AND bake sale so you can munch on a donut while shopping for your parents (or yourself, whatever). Check out stalls from over 80 local and independent designers. You’re bound to find something.  

Where: Federation Square
When: Sunday 17 December, 10am – 5pm
For more info, 
click here

Queen Vic Christmas Celebrations

We already know that the Queen Victoria Night Market is happening every Wednesday during summer, but it’s also hosting Christmas celebrations leading up to December 25. Santa’s making an appearance, the children of St Michael’s Primary school will be singing carols and (if you miss jolly old St. Nick) drop a letter in his mailbox in the food court. (Aus Post will try to get it to him on time.) Take advantage of free 2-hour parking from Thursday 21 December to Sunday 24 December. Bring patience and an appetite. 

Where: Queen Victoria Market
December 21 – 24 
For more info
click here.

Taste of Melbourne is BACK this month. We tracked down everything worth doing, eating and seeing

Image credit: Queen Vic Markets 

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