19 Free Things To Do in Melbourne This March

By Julia Hammond
1st Mar 2017

free things to do in melbourne

We feel it’s only fair to warn you that this list could be more exciting than Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement and your crush liking your latest #fire selfie combined. The most important thing in situations of extreme excitement is to share it with friends, family and everyone else you’ve ever made contact with. Now we’ve got that out of the way read on for the most free fun you can possibly handle this March.

1. Laughs All Round Lido Comedy

What did one magnet say to the other magnet? I’m very attracted to you. Ha ha ha…ah sorry, we’ll leave the funny business to the professionals. Before the comedy festival gets going at the end of this month you can still get your fill of laughter. Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn host free comedy sessions every Tuesday evening and they even treat you to a free popcorn so there’s something to stuff your face with in awkward silences.

When: Every Tuesday at 7:30pm
Where: Lido Cinemas, 675 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
For more information, click here.

2. Be The King Or Queen At Moomba

Guess who’s back, back again, Moomba’s back, call yo friends. That’s right Melbourne it’s Moomba Festival time. No matter if this is your 62nd attendance or your very first there is something worth seeing—for free too. For the uninitiated, start with classics such as the Moomba Parade with its very own King and Queen, or the Birdman Rally where competitors attempt to fly on homemade wings across the Yarra. Fans of loud and shiny things will be pleased to know there will be fireworks too.

When: 10th - 13th March
Where: Various locations
For more information, click here.

3. VAMFF Fashion Festival

Melbourne has always considered itself the fashion capital and we've been hosting VAMFF for more than 20 years. This year there’s plenty of free stuff to keep you fashionably busy between the 1st-19th of March. Options include, but are not limited to: getting a free manicure from the Alannah Hill store in Chadstone, runway shows from amazing designers at your favourite shopping destinations and an all Melbourne made, independent designer market in Fed Square. Don your most fashionable walking shoes and get on it.

When: 1st - 19th March
Where: Various locations
For more information, click here.

4. Board Game Club

It’s hard for some people to understand that Monopoly is not just a game, it’s a way of life. We say it’s high time you ditched the haters and embraced your one true passion in life—board games. The North Melbourne Library hosts a thrilling board game club evening each fortnight on a Tuesday from 6-9pm. It’s a 15+ event so bring along your competitive streak as well as your common decency to make it a fun night for all involved.

When: Fortnightly on a Tuesday, 6pm - 9pm
Where: North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne
For more information, click here.

5. Settle The Score At Battle Massive

In every dance movie ever there is a moment where scores are settled on the d-floor. We know deep down you’ve dreamed of a day where you could bear witness to such a moment. Thanks to Battle Massive your dreams are becoming reality. From 4-7pm on the 18th of March St Paul’s Court transforms into a dance battle arena. B*boys and b*girls (we can be cool to you know) from around Australia compete in two on two dance battles for prize money, and presumably the heart of their one true love.

When: Saturday 18th, 4pm - 7pm
Where: St Pauls Court, Federation Square
For more information, click here.

6. Flavours From All Around The Globe At Flavours Festival

Travel the world on a shoestring budget at Stonnington’s annual Flavours Festival. Celebrate cultures from all over the globe with Maori, Japanese, Bosnian and Tibetan performances and demonstrations. You could try your hand at origami or kite-making or even traditional henna body art. The festival runs from 11am-4pm on the 18th of March at the Grattan Gardens in Prahran.

When: Saturday 18th, 11am - 4pm
Where: Grattan Gardens Park, Prahran
For more information, click here.

7. Never Read Another Book Without Picture At Graphic Novel Club

Remember when you were a kid and all your books had pictures? Turns out there’s this thing called graphic novels which works the same way but it’s totally acceptable as an adult as well. Get yourself to the City Library on Flinders Lane on the 27th of March and rediscover your creative side. The Graphic Novel Club runs from 6-8pm and is held on the last Monday each month, in case you’re already busily attending all the other free things in March and run out of steam.

When: Monday 27th, 6pm - 8pm 
Where: City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
For more information, click here.

8. Check Out Some Formula 1 Murals

Add some art to your lunchtime stroll on Thursday 2nd March. Hosier Lane is going to be inundated with art students painting Formula 1 themed murals. Watch them work between 10.30am-5.30pm or catch the completed artworks later that week.

When: Thursday 2nd, 10:30am - 5:30pm 
Where: Hosier Lane, Melbourne
For more information, click here.

9. Get Yourself Some Free Yoga

Namaste Listers. We’ve found the perfect way to bring balance back into your busy schedule. As part of KEWfest’17 attend a free Hatha yoga class on the 6th of March. Sessions will run from 10-11.30am and 12-1.30pm. Bookings are essential so check out the site for more details. Better start practicing your downward dog.

When: Monday 6th, 10:30am - 1:30pm 
Where: Kew Yoga Studio, 9 Downton Grove, Kew
For more information, click here.

10. Rock Out At The Brunswick Music Festival

Our favourite indie suburb is putting on a music festival with heaps of free fun to be found. We recommend the Sydney Road Street Party which kicks off the whole event and suits every music taste. The Retreat Sessions are perfect for musos who love to get involved and Live at the Library is the only time to get loud between the books without being shushed. For a full list of free activities check the program here.

When: Sunday 5th - Sunday 19th 
Where: Various locations in Brunswick
For more information, click here.

11. Hit Up Some Ping Pong In Docklands

The world’s most underappreciated sport is finally coming into its own. POPP stands for public outdoor ping pong and is a company that specialises in permanent, weather-proof ping pong tables. Come along and play a free round with friends at one of their locations in Melbourne. If you can’t convince anyone to join in tell them a) if ping pong is in the Olympics, then it is definitely a sport and b) they are no fun. Alternatively, sign up for an event in the Docklands and make some new friends who appreciate your athleticism.

When: Every Tuesday, 7pm - 9pm
Where: The Dock, Docklands
For more information, click here.

12. Kimchi & BBQ Ahoy At The Korea Festival

For four whole days this March you can celebrate Korean culture and maybe find out more about it than just Korean BBQ and kimchi. Broaden your horizons by exploring Korean tea tasting and knot-making then find out the traditional costume of Korea at the Hanbok fashion show. Mark your calendars with a massive K on the 25th because that’s when the K-Pop competition will be taking place. All events will be held in Queensbridge Square.

When: Friday 24th - Sunday 26th
Where: Queensbridge Square, Southbank
For more information, click here.

13. Have Your Fortune Told At The Turkish Pazar Festival

March is a month chock full of epic cultural celebrations and Turkey refuses to disappoint by getting in on the action. Delight in everything this country has to offer at the Turkish Pazar Festival. Have your fortune told and bear witness to the first Ottoman-style marching band outside Turkey. To celebrate its 10th year the festival will be held over two days from 11-12th March at the Queen Vic Market.

When: Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th
Where: Queen Victoria Market
For more information, click here.

14. Get Culture And See Some Art At The NGV

Nobody said getting cultured had to be expensive. The NGV hosts a range of free exhibitions throughout the year and has an ongoing international art collection for your perusal. Current exhibits include a portrait gallery from an artist filmmaker Sofia Coppola adores and a contemporary Japanese artist’s video sequences showcasing life in Japan. If all of this still leaves you feeling underwhelmed stand in the NGV mural hall and stare at the pretty, pretty ceiling. Not too long though or the security might think you’re acting strange.

When: Daily, 10am - 5pm
Where: NGV, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
For more information, click here.

15. Check Out The Sh#t Gardens Of Melbourne Exhibition

The annual Melbourne garden show may not be free but we’ve found something much better. Lulu Café & Gallery in North Melbourne is hosting their own garden show with a twist. Sh#t Gardens of Melbourne’s opening night is March 30th from 5.30-9pm and is labelled as an alternate take on Melbourne’s gardens during the annual garden show. Stop and smell the roses, if you dare.

When: 30th March - 2nd April
Where: Lulu Cafe & Gallery, 506 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
For more information, click here.

16. All The Queen’s Men Fun Run

It is a little-known fact that watching other people exercise helps you to lose weight. We’re still waiting on the science to back that one up but we can assure you this has all the credibility of the Ab Blaster 3000. Put our theories to the test on March 12th from 4.30pm and watch Melbourne artist Tristan Meecham run 42km live on stage all in the name of art. There’ll be a Fun Run flash mob, fantastic music and dancers from Indigenous Hip Hop Projects to keep you entertained throughout the whole gruelling task.

When: Sunday 12th, 4:30pm
Where: Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
For more information, click here.

17. Taste The Rainbow At The Festival Of Colour

Before there was the colour run there was Holi, the Hindu festival of colours. Head down to West Footscray on the 26th of March between 11am-5pm and celebrate the cultures of India, Latin America and everything else Melbourne’s West has to offer. Food, music, dancing and henna tattoos guaranteed, plus share in the traditional ‘throwing of the colours’ for Holi.

When: Sunday 26th, 11:00am
Where: 539 Barkly Street, Footscray
For more information, click here.

18. Check Out Some Amazing Graphic Works At Don’t Be Too Polite

My mama always told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Solid advice, except when it comes to protests and activism. Don’t Be Too Polite is an exhibition showcasing graphic works from Melbourne based printing collectives in the late twentieth century. There’ll be works commenting on the socio-political and economic environment of Melbourne. Check it out Tuesday-Sunday until the 19th of March.

When: Daily until March 19th
Where: Ian Potter Museum Of Art, 800 Swanston Street, Melbourne
For more information, click here.

19. Get Fit At These Free 2XU Fitness Classes

Sometimes we need the word ‘free’ to come before ‘fitness’ to really motivate those muscles. Lucky for us 2XU offer free fitness classes in Hawthorn East and it's more than just your average cardio. If you’re after something regular take on a boxing circuit class. Feeling adventurous? Try out Surfset a surfing inspired workout combining aerobic fat burning, balance and core training on and off a customised unstable surfboard. Find a full list of upcoming classes and register here.

When: Throughout March
Where: Various locations
For more information, click here.

Need a decent brunch to get you all through all these free events? Here are 50 brunches you need to try this year.

Image credit: City Of Stonnington

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