If your relationship with your bank account is feeling a little strained, skip the hangry winter blues and head to one of the best free things to do in Melbourne this June! Money can’t buy happiness, but freebies can.
#1 Emerge In The West
On Saturday 4 June, Emerge in the West celebrates the best emerging talent in music, art, fashion and dance in Melbourne’s west. Hosted by the Maribyrnong City Council in collaboration with Multicultural Arts Victoria, this vibrant (and completely free) music, arts and entertainment event runs from 1pm-6pm.
#2 Kensington Market
Tired of window-shopping down Bourke Street? Head to the Kensington Market this June for boutique homewares, jewellery and fashion by local artisan homemakers. Browse your way through Kensington Town Hall and gobble down delectable street food you can afford with the change in your car. Runs Sunday 19 June, 10am–3pm.
#3 Federation Square Winter Solace Celebration
Embrace the colder weather this month with Federation Square’s The Light In Winter festival! Celebrating everything there is to adore about Melbourne winter (yes, there are good things), join their Winter Solace Celebration with live music, art, performances and street food. Saturday 18 June, 5pm-9pm.
#4 Fed Square Book Market
Winter is coming, so it’s time hoard some good books to read in every cosy corner of your house. Running every Saturday through June from 11am-5pm, head up to Melbourne’s largest weekly book market at The Atrium in Federation Square. A eclectic range of new and pre-loved fiction and non-fiction books are available every week.
#5 Go To One Of Melbourne’s Best Trivia Nights
There’s nothing better than spending a night in crushing your intellectual enemies with some of your closest friends. Hint: bring the ones that won’t judge your (reasonably ugly) competitive side.
#6 Collaborate, Share, Barter, Thrive
Looking to give your blog a boost, or need to learn more about the economy so you can graduate into proper, responsible adult-ness? The Collaborate, Share, Barter & Thrive talk aims to answers all your economy queries to arm you with knowledge for life. Runs Thursday 23 June, 6.30pm-8.30pm.
#7 Quick Bites Comedy
Boney is hosting a live comedy line-up from 6.30pm-8.30pm on June 6 and June 13, so you can have a night out without breaking your budget. Featuring stand-up in bite-sized pieces enjoy local talent at the Quick Bites Comedy event series.
Love a good GIF? Who doesn’t. The gorgeous timber-lined Library at The Dock is hosting a Gif-O-Rama, teaching guests how to create and curate their own GIFs for any occasion. Tuesday 21 June, 5pm-7pm.
#9 Afternoon Meditation At Ross House
Put the horrors of your work life behind you with Always Meditation’s afternoon meditation class in the CBD. Held at Ross House on Flinders Lane from 5pm-5.30pm on June 1, this guided meditation class is the ideal mid-week pickup. Treat yourself—it’s free!
#10 Royal Botanical Winter Discovery Tour
Discover the best of the Botanical Gardens this winter. Running daily except on Mondays, this free walking tour is ideal for outdoor lovers of every kind and flower-enthusiastic Melburnians. Because nature still thrives (just barely) in Melbourne’s cold weather.
#11 I Like Pretty Things Exhibitions
Featuring a giant exhibition by contemporary visual artist Leah Marie Mariani, I Like Pretty Things launches at the Melbourne City Library on Thursday 9 June. Running until 29 June, this exhibition by local Melbourne-based artist Mariani explores society’s obsession with woman as beautiful objects.
#12 QVM Winter Night Market
Melbourne’s favourite outdoor winter festival, the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market, runs for 14 flavour-packed weeks this year! Kicking off on June 1 and running every Wednesday night from 5pm-10pm, warm up with roaming live entertainment, music and some of the best street food in Melbourne.
#13 White Noise At Loop Bar
Hosted by Loop Bar, White Noise Music is a free music party featuring some of the best local talent in the techno music business. Think Luke Lawrence, Caspian (of Kontrast), Sublym and Audio Bits. This is clubbing without the fee. Runs Saturday June 4 from 10pm.
#14 2016 Vogel Winner Talk
If you’re an aspiring writer, reader or blogger, you can’t miss this epic event. Melbourne born and based Katherine Brabon, winner of the 2016 Australian Vogel Literary Award, is coming to The Wheeler Centre to speak about the experience of writing and publishing her first novel. Runs Wednesday June 1 6.15pm-7.15pm.
#15 The Community Grocer
There’s always enough wiggle room in your monthly budget for fresh produce, if you know how-to-Melbourne correctly. The Community Grocer is an ambitious weekly market, aimed at providing fresh, affordable food for everyone. With a free vegetarian and halal friendly lunch, head to one of the weekly Fawkner or Carlton markets this winter.
#16 Ohmae Bulmang: (Unforgettableness) Exhibition
For an unforgettable exhibition, head to Flinders Lane’s e.g.etal store this June. The exhibition features Jin Ah Jo's beautifully designed pieces of jewellery, with each piece representing one of her unique experiences travelling around the world. From Monday 27 June.
#17 QVM Taste Of Portugal
To celebrate Portuguese National Day, Queen Victoria Market will be hosting the Taste of Portugal festival on Sunday 12 June! Organised by the Portuguese speaking communities, the best Portuguese street food, live performance and exhibitions will be held at this massive event.
#18 Truffle Festival Melbourne
Accessing truffles has never been more affordable with Prahran Market’s annual Truffle Melbourne Festival! Running for two days on Saturday and Sunday June 18 and 19, this free event is promised to feature live chef demonstrations, free food photography workshops, live music and a tastily truffled menu.
#19 Dandenong Market Discovery Tours
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Melbourne’s iconic Dandenong Market, now’s the perfect time! Running Food Discovery Tours every Tuesday and Friday, participants will be treated to mouth-watering samples from fresh food vendors and a $5 market gift voucher! Did someone say freebies?
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Image credit: Jenna Fahey White