If you’re springing into spring this year with a less-than-ideal bank account balance, it’s time to get out and smell those flowers! There’s a huge emporium of budget-friendly Melbourne events this month, so tuck away your bubble jacket and leave your brolly at home – here are the best 18 free things to do this September!
#1 Cheese and Wine Food Truck Festival
Cheese and whiskers! The Preston Food Truck Park’s three-day cheese and wine festival is promised to be one, blue-ming foodie event. With some of Melbourne’s grate-est cheese brie-vers including Cheese and Bread, Taco Truck and Pasta Face dishing out cheese-gasmic street food, we don’t think there’s a better way to hail in spring! Runs from Friday the 2 of September until Sunday the 4 of September.
#2 Closing Night Party: The Lifted Brow
If you’ve been slack on the Melbourne’s Writer’s Festival front, this might be your perfect chance to catch one of the last events! To close out the MWF and celebrate the launch of issue 31, The Lifted Brow is hosting an epic party with DJs, rapid-fire readings and drinks! Starts at 7.30pm, Sunday the 4 of September.
#3 Rewind ’91 Melbourne Central
Say hello to the best 25th birthday party ever. To celebrate Melbourne Central turning 25, over 150 exclusive offers, events and discounts at ‘90s style prices will run from 10am-10pm on Wednesday the 14 of September! One-day pop-ups are also promised to make a sneaky appearance.
#4 Dandee Donuts Eating Competition
If you haven’t had the sugar-filled pleasure of eating one of Dandee Donuts’ warm, fluffy-on-the-inside hot jam doughnuts, do-nut despair! Dandenong Market is hosting a FREE Dandee Donuts Eating Competition on Sunday the 4 of September from 12pm. While applications for this doughnut-stuffing event have now closed, you can watch 25 Melbourne heroes attempt to devour 20 of Dandee Donut’s jam-filled spheres faster than humanly possible.
#5 Roald Dahl Day
Those who don't believe in magic may never find it, but Federation Square is bringing a little Roald Dahl magic to Melbourne this September! Running for one-day only on Sunday the 4 of September, Roald Dahl Day will include trivia, workshops and (of course) story time. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005 (aka the good version) will also be screened from 1.30pm.
#6 Kyneton Daffodil Festival
There’s nothing more spring than flowers, so why not head down to Kyneton this September for a flower filled festival boasting events like Ferret Racing (um, yes?!), farmers markets and exhibitions. Runs from the start of September until Sunday the 11th.
#7 Welcome To Thornbury Hawker Market
Asian food was basically designed to be eaten in the least elegant way humanly possible. From dip-able dumplings to pillow-soft bao; and chewy noodles to sticky fried chicken – if there was ever a cuisine perfect to eat on the side of the road, it’s Asian cuisine. Get your share of finger-licking chicken, soft shell crab and puffy bao at Welcome To Thornbury’s Hawker Market. Runs Wednesday the 7 of September.
#8 Dandenong Market Full Moon Festival
Celebrate the Full Moon Festival on Sunday the 18 of September with one of Melbourne’s best local markets! Dandenong Market will be welcoming an array of Chinese street food vendors featuring dishes like five-spice pork, coconut ice cream in a coconut shell and purple milk tea. A full line-up of live performances and dancing makes this the ideal weekend event.
#9 QVM Mooncake Festival
From a noodle making demonstration for the Masterchef in you to a mooncake eating competition, Queen Victoria Market’s Mooncake Festival will be popping with aromatic street food stores and music. Featuring a lion team dance off, lantern dance and roving entertainment through the day, get some mooncake in your belly this September.
#10 Bend & Snap Market at 1000 £ Bend
If you’re the type to stockpile for the inevitable KK, office and Christmas gifts swaps leading up to the silly season, the Bend & Snap Market means you can avoid giving someone that much dreaded soap basket. Featuring local vintage designers, art and knick knacks, no-one will know if you keep a piece or three for yourself.
#11 Adult at Dark Horse Experiment Gallery
With entry limited to five people at a time, Adult is the free experimental screening running every half an hour from 5pm-7pm 2-6 of September. Dealing with motherhood, sexuality, and grief in one emotionally charged short film, this is a must for any art lover.
#12 Free Opera at the Italian Cultural Institute
It’s free opera. Enough said.
#13 Host an Octoberfest party
Running for 16 days through September and October in Bavaria, join in all the beer-drinking, schnitzel-smashing fun without the inflated ticket prices! If you’re in need of some stress-free dinner party tips, we’ve got you covered.
#14 MSFW Makers and Shakers Emerging Design Market
As part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week the Makers and Shakers market is running until Friday the 2 of September. Home to some of the best locally-designed collections of fashion, jewellery, accessories and homewares, come and eye the best work from Melbourne’s emerging designers.
#15 Japanese Whiskey Pop-Up Bar at Whiskey and Alement
If you haven’t checked out Australia’s largest collection of Japanese whiskey, what have you been doing all year? Much loved (by us) Whiskey and Alement’s pop-up bar, Bar White Oak, is home to over 150 rare Japanese whiskies. Dreams do come true.
#16 Environment Film Festival Australia
Featuring films with a focus on the natural environment, our relationship with animals and our environmental future, this open air cinematic festival is the perfect way to welcome in warmer weather. Some of Melbourne’s favourite four-wheeled truckies are also promised to make an appearance.
#17 Kill Your Darlings Writers’ Workshop
Channel the writer in you with this daylong writers’ workshop, focusing on assisting beginner writers with tips and tricks on how to maintain focus, creative agility and (the most difficult part) starting! Writers from Kill Your Darlings Journal will be running the workshop, so you’ll be in stuPENdous hands.
#18 Hophaus Annual Dachshund Race
They’re back in all their stumpy, four-legged glory! The annual Hophaus Dachshund Race is coming back to Melbourne to celebrate Oktoberfest. Raising funds for Dachschund Rescue Australia, these tiny-legged pups will battle it out on a teensy 15-metre sprints track. Hilarious costumes are pretty much mandatory.
Need more awesome things to do this spring? Check out our A-List for all the latest and greatest!
Image credit: via Nikon.