March: the month when we all realise summer is gone... and it took Christmas, New Years, and our money with it. For those who are just getting back into the swing of adult-ing, in no particular order, here are 20 FREE things to do this March. For the sake of your wallet at least.
#1 Watch The Australian Latte Art Championships
Care to see Australia’s best barista’s go head to head? Of course you would. As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Fest you can watch these milky, caffeinated gods in action for free at Queensbridge Square. The national winner will represent Australia in the World Coffee Championships (note the capitalisation). Get your latte art fix at 12pm on Friday, 4 March and 10am Saturday 5 March.
#2 Window Shop At CK Farmers Market
Say hello to Melbourne’s latest metropolitan farmers market! Held at the entrance of the Grand Hyatt Melbourne (ooh fancy!) every Wednesday night, the CK Farmers Market is the perfect post-work pit-stop. Cooking demonstrations are also set to run every week. Every Wednesday, 5pm-7pm.
#3 Get Some Fashion Inspo From Fabrik
Running from 1 March, Fabrik is a contemporary exhibition featuring new and emerging work from Australian and international artists. A robust combination of fashion, textiles and contemporary artwork, this is a freebie worth sewing for. Check it out 10am-5pm weekdays, and 12pm-5pm weekends.
#4 The Urban Dairy Is Top Cheese
It’s clear Melbourne loves their cheese—from cheese festivals to a blue-ming (LOL) number of cheese shops, Melbourne’s obsession with cheese is just an accepted fact these days. So a ten-day cheese festival is a pretty logical next step for us Melburnians. From ice-cream to bread, milk and OFC cheese, there will be a rotating calendar of events (to scout out the free ones head to the website) and menus at Queensbridge Square. Runs Friday 4 March to Sunday 13 March.
#5 Get Some Fresh Air With The Autumn Discovery Tour
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about Melbourne’s favourite city garden (or just need an excuse to get your hubby’s butt off the couch), head to the Botanical Gardens for their Autumn Discovery Tour. Accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide, spend a few hours perusing through the reddening leaves of Melbourne. Tours are running all through March, everyday from 10.30am-12pm and 2pm-3.30pm.
#6 Can You Believe There’s A Free Carnival In Melbourne?
Well believe it kid. The Melbourne Arts Centre will soon be home to the Carnival of Yesteryear, complete with jugglers, clowns, fire breathers and acrobats. Entry is totally, 100% free—but if you’ve got spare change in your backpocket try an old-school creamy soda or toffee apple! The Carnival of Yesteryear runs on 4 March from 5pm, and 5– 6 March from noon.
#7 Visit The Haunting Melbourne Artists for Asylum Seekers: Elephant In The Dark
As part of cultural diversity week, the Melbourne Artists for Asylum Seekers will create a stunning exhibition based around their different experiences in seeking refuge. Paintings, sculptures, crochet and stop-motion animation are just some of the features at this not to be missed exhibition. Catch this one from 19 March, times to be confirmed.
#8 Visit QVM's Miniature Spawn
Showcasing some of QVM’s finest market traders, the River Trail Market pop-up will be home to some of the best fresh food, produce and gifts. As part of the MFWF, the Arts Centre forecourt will host this mini Queen Victoria Market over three days complete with live entertainment, free cooking demonstrations and guest appearances. Get your foodie on this 4-6 March, 5pm-10pm.
#9 Move At Moomba Festival
Moomba isn’t the worst on a shoestring budget: sure, you might have to skip the rides (who likes feeling dizzy anyway) and the games (we can play Xbox at home this w/e), but there’s still plenty of live music, shows and the main parade to see for absolutely nothing! Moomba runs 11—14 March from about 11am until late.
#10 Listen To The Best Free Music At Melbourne Multicultural Festival
100 live dance and music acts, free children’s activities and a giant arts and craft market makes up this year’s Multicultural Festival. Check out roving performers, Melbourne’s best buskers and one-time only exhibitions! Get involved on 20 March, from 12pm-8pm.
#11 Love The Creeps? Learn About Melbourne’s Twisted History…
Hosted by a historian (this is the proper stuff people), the Twisted Tales Walking Tour of Melbourne takes you through all the strange and creepy tales of Melbourne’s business district. The walking tour runs on 20 March from 11am-1.40pm.
#12 Because It’s Never Too Early For Chocolate
Want to learn how to make your own Easter eggs this April? Sylvia Kliska from Sissys Chocolates will be hosting a mouth-wateringly decadent demonstration at East Melbourne Library, showing you how to create your own bunny-ful creations. Of course, you’ll need plenty of chocolate-filled practice at home before Easter… The demonstration is on 19 of March from 11am-1pm.
#13 Get Blocked Up At The Windsor & Co Block Party
Transforming Windsor with street art, circus art, live music and hip hop dancers, 6 March will see the upmarket, saavy suburb of Windsor turn into a creative hub for Artists Lane. Windsor favourites like Hanoi Hannah, Mr Miyagi and Hawker Hall will be bringing the hawker-style street food to The Windsor & Co Block Party (if one of your best mates is willing to shout you).
#14 Drink and drink and drink on St Patricks Day
Does this need further explanation? Wait until your buddies are at that slightly-sloshed-feeling-generous stage and stinge off their drinks. St Patricks Day is on 17 March.
#15 It’s A Free Music Emporium At Saturday Sesh
Curated by JOF, the Saturday Sesh music festival is home to some of Melbourne’s most exciting up-and-coming talent, with new bands jamming at this complete free event. There’s even a Festival Finale afterwards (aka giant excuse for a party). Runs on 12 March from 4pm until late.
#16 It’s All About The Kids At Kids Day Out
Looking for a family-friendly event? The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre will be hosting the ultimate Kids Day Out, as part of the Good Friday Appeal. There are plenty of activities for the kids, and participation in activities is by donation on the day (we know you’re strapped for cash, but be generous!) Kids Day Out is on 25 March, 10am-6pm.
#17 Get Your Gozleme At QVM’s Turkish Pazar Festival
Meaning both ‘market’ and ‘Sunday’ in Turkish, this Pazar is set to be one hell of a festival! Featuring pop-up Turkish food, themed stalls and music throughout the day, explore Queen Victoria Market’s Turkish side. Runs on 13 March, 9am-4pm.
#18 Super Cheap Laughs At The (Very) Big Laugh Out
As part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, The (Very) Big Laugh Out throws together street performance, comedy and circus for a series of family-friendly shows—completely FREE! Starting from 25 March, check out the website for a full list of events.
#19 Visit This Adult-Friendly Animation Class
Hosted by artists Christie Widarto and Rosie Kilvert, the Land Of Yesterday workshop teaches visitors about sound design and stop-motion animation with a focus on conservation and climate change. See mum, cartoons aren’t just for kids. Runs on 5, 12 and 19 March from 11am-4pm.
#20 Get Stuck Into March At The Dandenong World Fare Market
If you’re getting excited for March (after this article of course) and need an event RIGHT NOW, the Dandenong World Fare Market is from 10am-7pm today only! There’s live entertainment, a pop-up food bazaar and the Dandenong Market Food Discovery Tour. You’d better rush down.
And if all of that fails to entice you...
Just cover yourself in Creme Eggs and never leave the house.
Keep an eye on everything and anything happening in Melbourne with this great round up of events.
Image credit: amuse-your-bouche.com