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16 Free Things To Do In Melbourne This November

By Millie Lester - 01 Nov 2016


It’s getting towards the end of the year, which means you’ve pretty much blown all your money on smashed avo and can no longer afford a house deposit, but that’s okay because here are 16 free events happening in November that you can afford.

#1 Night Noodle Markets

Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife because Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Markets are coming and they’re just going to hassle you for lashings of Pad Thai and pork bao, and you don’t need that in your life. For all the penny-counters out there, rest assured that entry to the event will once again be free, which means mo' money, mo' spring rolls on the banks of Birrarung Marr between November 10-27.

#2 Melbourne Music Week

November will play host to the Melbourne Music Week this month, and though Justin Bieber tickets may be going for an arm, a leg and sixteen kidneys, there are thirteen free acts taking place in various locations across Melbourne on the evening of Thursday, November 17.

#3 Mind Body Spirit Festival

On the weekend of November 18-20, the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre will be hosting the Mind Body Spirit Festival, which is the largest health, wellbeing and natural therapies event in Australia. With over 200 exhibitors and a plethora of free wellness activities and seminars, if you did in fact arrive broke, you’ll at the very least leave feeling optimistic about it.

#4 Remembrance Day Service

At 10:30am on Friday, November 11, the Shrine of Remembrance will hold a Remembrance Day Service which will be open to the public, who are encouraged to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives during all wars and peacekeeping operations.

#5 Open-Mic Comedy Night

Every Wednesday, Station 59 hosts its weekly Free Open-Mic Comedy Night where you can drop by for some bargain laughs. After a few pints of liquid courage, you can even jump up on stage and bust some jokes yourself if you’ve registered in time.

#6 Elephant & Wheelbarrow Trivia Night

St Kilda’s Elephant & Wheelbarrow puts on a trivia night every Thursday where teams can win up to $150 worth of prizes and can even snag a free jug of beer if they’re registered before 6pm. Entry is free and parmas are $15 so there is literally no excuse for you not to be there.

#7 The 2016 Strawberries & Cherries Weekend

Bacchus Marsh comes alive in November when the Strawberries & Cherries Weekend hits the streets between the 18th and the 20th. With no shortage of things to do, fruit-related and otherwise, this is a brilliant excuse to pet baby animals and get your face painted-all in the name or strawberries, and all for the massive price of zero dollars.

#8 Crate Digger Record Fair

Claiming the title of Melbourne’s longest running inner-city record fair, the Crate Digger Record Fair will take place on Saturday 5th of November at the Preston Fresh Hood Market where you’ll be met with a room full of organised vinyl. Loaded with milk crates of chart-toppers and one-hit wonders, you’re bound to spend hours flicking through phresh trax you never thought you’d see again, and all for the low low price of absolutely nothing. 

#9 Bumper Car Show

For all those broke car enthusiasts out there–the wait is over. The Foreshore Rock Fest will present its annual hot rod and pre-1970s chrome bumper car show on the Rosebud Village Green between the hours of 8:30am – 3:30pm on Sunday November 27. Entry is free and a love of cars and/or free things to do on the weekend is compulsory.

#10 Frankston’s Christmas Festival of Lights

Frankston is jumping the gun a bit by hosting its Christmas Festival of Lights in November, but we’ve never looked a gift horse in the grass trap before and we ain’t gonna start now. On Saturday November 26, between 5 – 10pm, Frankston’s Davey Street will host a Christmas extravaganza of entertainment and activities, and of course, a visit from Sir Gives-a-lot himself–Santa Claus.

#11 Open Studios Weekend In the West

On November 26 and 27, some of Footscray’s most exclusive art studios will be opening their doors to the public as part of the Open Studios Weekend In the West. Take a self-guided tour of the galleries, warehouses and lounge rooms in which artists create their masterpieces. You can even watch a demonstration or two and learn how to make your very own art (so your mum can throw away that crummy Christmas ornament you made for her eighteen years ago and replace it with something half-decent).

#12 Philippines Street Festival

For all you penniless culture buffs out there, it’s time to hit Lygon Street (if you’re not already there) because the Philippines Street Festival is coming! On the weekend of November 19 and 20, Lygon Street’s Argyle Square will transform into a culture-hub of food and entertainment. This is a free event celebrating seventy years of Australia-Philippines relations, and also delicious authentic street food.

#13 Indonesian Food & Trade Festival

And if Filipino festivals don’t float your boat, the Indonesian Food & Trade Festival the following weekend definitely will. Located at the Box Hill Town Hall on November 26, between 11am – 5pm, you’ll find a smorgasbord of Indonesian cuisine, entertainment, drinks and workshops that are definitely free to look at, but I can’t promise you won’t walk away having spent your First Home Owner’s Grant on nasi goreng.

#14 Coffee Cupping

Every Friday, between 3 – 4pm, the guys at Rumble Coffee Roasters put on a ‘Coffee Cupping’ class where all of Melbourne’s brokest coffee drinkers converge to ‘heighten their knowledge and appreciation of the beverage’, but let’s be real now – they’re mostly there to sample the free coffee.

#15 Absolutely Famished

The University of Melbourne’s Carlton Connect Initiative is this year hosting a program of exhibitions dubbed ‘Absolutely Famished’ where artists, scientists and food experts portray what we might find in a 22nd century marketplace. Though unfortunately nothing is edible, they do tackle issues such as food sustainability, climate change and population growth that make for a very interesting and informative (and hella cheap) way to spend an afternoon.

#16 East Malvern Food & Wine Festival

The inaugural East Malvern Food & Wine Festival is the perfect excuse to leave the house without a wallet. Taking place on November 27 at Malvern East’s Central Park for seven glorious hours, the festival stalls will house countless dishes made with fresh local produce that can be paired with at least one of over a hundred different varieties of wine on offer. And always remember-eating without paying is stealing, but sniffing is a hundo per-cent financially (and jail-time) free.

Image credit: The Urban List

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