From cheese festivals to world vegan day, why spend your hard-earned dollars this October when there’s this extravaganza of free events? Here are the best free things to do in Melbourne.
#1 Say Cheese Festival
Taste your way through Melbourne’s best cheese suppliers at Prahran Market’s annual blue-img cheese festival! Home to the likes of Maker & Monger, Tad Lombardo and Fritz Gelato for one-day only, cheese-inspired offerings will include fondue toasties, chocolate and parmesan pretzels, ricotta cheesecake pita and stuffed brie en croute. Get your wallets, stomachs and elbows ready. Runs Saturday the 22nd of October from 10am-5pm.
#2 Dog Meet with Tom + Captain
Bring your favourite four-legged pal on an epic adventure, guided by professional dog walkers Tom + Captain. Running a series of events throughout spring and summer, put your best paw forward on Sunday morning with a tail-wagging fun tour of Melbourne. Dog-less humans are welcome to join if you’re in dire need of some fluffy, furry love.
#3 High Density Happiness: Developing Policy talk at MPavilion
The 2016 installment of Melbourne’s much-loved MPavilion will bring a host of free events, talks, and workshops. Running on Tuesday the 18th of October, join some of Melbourne’s leading architects from BKK, MAArchitects and Minister for Planning Richard Wynne to discuss the future of apartment design and sustainable living. Runs from 6.15pm-7pm.
#4 Spring Design Market
Running for one day only this October, head to Federation Square’s Spring Design Market this October. Featuring the best independent, innovative Melbourne makers and artists, this is a boutique shopper’s haven. Expect items like artisan jewellery, unique homewares and delectable snacks at The Atrium on the 2nd of October from 10am-4pm.
#5 Flemington Racecourse Twilight Market
Kicking off at the ripe time of 3pm, the Flemington Racecourse Twilight Market knows the value of weekend snoozing. Handmade homewares, unique jewellery and fresh produce from some of Melbourne’s best growers will be on offer. From hand-poured chocolate to fine wine, there’s something that will tickle every foodie belly. Runs Saturday the 8th of October from 3pm-8pm.
Grab your bike and brave Melbourne’s hazardous morning weather. National Ride2Work day runs on the Wednesday the 12th of October, so there’s never been a better excuse to get peddling! After all your hard work, you deserve one of Melbourne’s best 3pm treats.
#7 Yarra Bike Ride
Hail in some proper spring weather by joining the Life Activities Clubs for a free, guided ride along the Yarra River. Running for about two hours, you’ll also be eligible for a free health check at the end of your ride, in case your regular GP visits have been more than lacking. Runs Sunday the 2nd of October from 10.30am-12.30pm.
#8 Malaysian Street Festival
Enjoy fragrant, rich street food at Queen Victoria Market’s Malaysian Street Festival this October! Showcasing authentic Malay food and contemporary Asian dishes with a nod to Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, this is promised to be one of the best vibrant street food festivals this spring. Runs Sunday the 9th of October from 9am-4pm.
#9 Diwali Indian Festival
Celebrating Indian culture through live performances, street food and a range of unique exhibitors, the Diwali Indian Festival is also promised to feature fireworks and hundreds of breathtaking lanterns. Feast on authentic Indian street food while you enjoy demonstrations including traditional Henna painting and Bollywood dances. Runs on Saturday the 22nd of October from 12pm-9.45pm.
#10 Carlton Italian Festa
From Italian cars to Italian cuisine, the Carlton Italian Festa is a celebration of all things from home of pizza. Promised foodie options will include four-cheese pasta swirled in a fresh cheese wheel, custard-stuffed bombolone, and rich arancini. For dessert, grab a pizza (or two) of ice-cream topped Nutella pizza or gelato from Zero Gradi. Runs Sunday the 23rd of October.
#11 Kylie On Stage
Pop princesses and fashion gurus should make their way to this one-of-a-kind exhibition this October. Featuring Kylie Minogue’s tour costume’s dating back from 1989, featured designers include Dolce & Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gaultier. Designs, drawings, and backstage footage is also interspersed throughout the exhibition.
#12 Pets’ Day Out
Celebrating everything about our loving furry friends, the Frankston City Council is hosting a Pets’ Day Out on Sunday the 9th of October! A pet parade, animal farm, and pop-up pet stalls will run throughout the day. For pets looking for a little pampering, canine massages and luxury mini pet makeovers (what exactly this entails has yet to be announced) will also be on offer.
#13 Celebrate Oktoberfest
Get hopping excited for Hoptoberfest at Hophaus Bier Bar Grill. Running on Tuesday the 11th of October, Hophaus will host a fiery Oktoberfest trivia night with free entry and awesome prizes. But if you never learnt how to play (trivia) nice, why not host your own Oktoberfest-themed party?
#14 Spring Fling Street Festival
Returning for another year, the Spring Fling Street Festival will feature their first ever StARTers Market this year. Home to some of the best work from emerging local designers and artists, this exclusive one-day only market will give visitors the opportunity to purchase unique creations from some of the finest local talent. Street food vendors including Billy Van Creamy, Yo India and Donut Panic will keep foodies more than sated. Runs Sunday the 16th of October from 10am-6pm.
#15 The Biennial Lab
An emporium of temporary artwork, the Biennial Lab features artwork that reinterprets the current, past and future place of the Queen Victoria Market. Created by 14 talented emerging artists over a period of two weeks, the exhibition will run from Monday the 17th of October to Sunday the 23rd of October with daily guided tours.
#16 Local Food Launchpad Pitch Night
If you’re interested in how you can live more sustainably, Local Food Launchpad’s 2016 Pitch Night is the perfect event for you. In partnership with Doing Something Good and the City of Melbourne, projects which focus on improving Melbourne’s food system and growing the local food economy will be presented to the public. We’re sure you’d be pea-ved to miss the most innovative social enterprises of 2016, so head down to Birrarung Marr on Thursday the 13th of October.
#17 Xmas at Babushkas
Every year, the Babushkas shop in the Royal Arcade transform their upstairs rooms into a European-themed Christmas shop. Boasting delicate decorations hailing from Russia, Poland, and Germany, shop your way through this exceptional range of unique, handcrafted gifts.
#18 World Vegan Day
Stock up on all your vegan needs on World Vegan Day at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The temporary home to hundreds of vegan producers and makers, exhibitors so far include Vegilicious, Raw Trader and Pana Chocolate. A vegan-friendly fashion show, speed dating, and vegan cooking demonstrations will also run throughout the day. Runs Sunday the 23rd of October from 10am-8pm.
While you're looking for a few things to cut this month - get rid of your gym membership and use our Guide To Getting A Summer Body Without Exercising.
Image credit: Gradi East