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18 Free Things To Do In Melbourne This July

By Chelsey Johnston - 02 Jul 2018


Winter heating bill left you strapped for cash? Codral Cold and Flu becoming part of your weekly expenses? Had to invest in another three winter coats? We feel you—bad weather can be expensive. Luckily, having a good time in bad weather doesn't have to be. 

Here are 18 free things to do this July.

Rare Book Week

If the smell of old books makes you froth, make sure you check out Rare Book Week (followed up by the annual Rare Book Fair). With free lectures, live readings and exhibitions of all the stories that helped to shape what we read today, you’ll feel absolutely #intellectual by the end of it.

When: 29 June – 8 July
Where: Various
For more info, click here

Eureka Skydeck Walk The Plank

If you were planning on visiting the Eureka Skydeck these school holidays, lucky you, coz they’ve just rolled out a new virtual reality dizzifying experience that will have you feeling like you’re walking 285 metres above the CBD—on a *plank*. Get that adrenaline fix with the comfort of having your feet planted firmly on the ground. It's free with any Eureka pass. 

When: 30 June – 15 July, 10am – 5pm
Where: Eureka Tower, 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank VIC 3006
For more info, click here

Family Funday

Pay attention, because your Sunday is now officially dubbed Family Funday. Queen Vic are pulling out all the stops to transform your weekly fruit and veg shop into an action-packed affair. We’re talking a free animal farm (!!), stilt walkers, face painting, arts and craft, live music, fairy floss and popcorn. We’re not too old to have a turn holding the guinea pigs, are we?

When: Every Sunday in July, 9am-4pm
Where: Queen Victoria Market
For more info, click here

Pugwood Pug Party

An oldie but a goodie. This one's a bit niche, because it’s really *only* for pug owners (but if you just want to pat some dogs and happen to be walking by at the same time, we won’t tell anyone). There a few different locations, but we’re pretty sure Pugwood in Elsternwick Park is the biggest of the lot, where all snub-nosed canine friends unite to dribble on each other and be balls of perfect pugness. You can request and join the Facebook group, required you own a little ball of fluff.

When: Every Sunday, 10am
Where: Elsternwick Park, Elwood
For more info, click here

ACMI Family Sundays

Starting this July, ACMI is rolling out a FREE day of family events on the first Sunday of every month. This month it'll be centred around NAIDOC week—explore the history of South East Australian Aboriginal stories through animation, then have a go at making your own. We’ll meet you on the green screen.

When: 1 July, 10am-4pm
Where: ACMI, Federation Square
For more info, click here

Vic Parks Junior Rangers

Kids making a racket on school holidays? We’ve got just the ticket to a) keep them occupied and b) show them the great outdoors Melbourne has to offer. Junior Rangers operates all around Melbs and gives kids the opportunity to explore our best national parks. Some highlights include exploring the rock pools at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary or a treasure hunt at the always stunning Wilson’s Prom.

When: 2 July – 13 July
Where: Various locations 
For more info, click here

Melbourne Magic Festival

Hullabaloo! If you’re a total sucker for card tricks and magic handkerchiefs, Melbourne’s rolling up the coolest event of the year for you. The Melbourne Magic Festival is running throughout July and has international and local magicians performing must-see shows. Oh, and of course there’s a couple of free events as well. Now, how did this coin get behind my ear?

When: July 2 – 14
Where: Venues across Melbourne
For more info, click here

Comedy Night at Pilgrim bar

Love a laugh? Pilgrim Bar is hosting a totally FREE event with comedians Nick Capper, Angus Gordon and more, hosted by MC Peter Jones. Not only are the chuckles for the night free, you’ll get 10% off your dinner bill as well. Dinner *and* a show. Win win.

When: 5 July, 7.30pm
Where: Pilgrim Bar, Federation Wharf
For more info, click here

European Night Market

Every Friday this month, Madame Brussels Lane is transforming into a bustling European winter market, offering the experience of Spain, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland into the CBD laneway. Entry to this event is free, and as well as the delicious food on offer (crepes, paella and French cheeses) there’ll be live music and fortune readings. Our future looks pretty sussed for Friday nights!

When: Every Friday in July, 5pm – 9pm
Where: 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne 
For more info, click here

Burger Project Free Shakes + Fries

We're totally impressed with Burger Project’s knowledge of very important dates, AKA World Chocolate Day on the 7 July, where they’ll be slinging free chocolate shakes with every burger, or National French Fry Day on Friday 13 where they’ll be (yep, you’ve guessed it) be serving free French fries with every burger. All you need to do is check out their Instagram account—lucky we already follow them to drool over their meaty feed.

When: 7 & 13 July
Where: All Burger Project stores 
For more info, click here.

Boho Luxe Winter Wanderlust

This one's a market, so maybe it’s not going to end up completely free. But the Boho Luxe markets are a hugely-hyped up event, the admission is FREE and this year it’s grown to accommodate all the crowds. We totally think you can have a decent time just feeding off all the good vibes. If you do want to splash a bit of cash, there’s plenty of vegan goodies, unique artworks and discounted psychic readings on offer.

When: 8 July, 10am – 5pm
Where: Federation Square, Melbourne 
For more info, click here.

Buxton Contemporary New Exhibit

Located in Melbourne’s top of the pops art hub, aka Southbank, Buxton Contemporary is the new kid on the block. A slick, shiny and contemporary art gallery reopening with their new exhibit, No one is watching you: Ronnie van Hout. Next time you’re headed towards the NGV, stop by here on your way—gallery entry is totally FREE. We guarantee it’s worth it.

When: Opens 12 July
Where: Cnr Southbank Boulevard & Dodds Street, Southbank
For more info, click here

Melbourne Central Star Festival

How’s your star sign been treating you this month? Celebrate all things twinkly with Melbourne Central’s Star Festival, bringing you an indoor stargazing installation, a pop-up market, star sign readings and a sparkly ‘Star Room’—perfect for an aesthetic AF selfie. Oh, and they’re serving *free* Espresso Startinis. Startinis! What are they? We’re not completely sure, but we know we want one.

When: 19 July – 20 July, 5pm – 9pm
Where: Melbourne Central, Swanston St, Melbourne 
For more info, click here

Design & Drink Market

A perfect Melbourne pairing: wine and design. For a cracking Saturday afternoon, have a stroll around a showcase of impressive designers, including plants by Mama Kokedamas, earrings by Double Scoop, pins and badges by Howdily Doodley and Pot Luck Ceramics. Make sure you get down early, because as well as all-day FREE entry, the first 30 people to arrive will receive a free gift from one of the featured designers.

When: 21 July, 12.30pm – 5pm
Where: The Rochester Hotel, 202 Johnston St
For more info, click here

Run Melbourne Friendship Dash

Run Melbourne is fast approaching, but for those of us a bit less, uh, athletically inclined, it might be a little intimidating. Enter Run Melbourne Friendship Dash, a 3-kilometre all-ages FREE run the day before the main event, also hosted by Lululemon. This one might be a lot more up our alley—there’s a scheduled dog wave, so the possibility of seeing a lot of dogs at once is*high*. If that’s not an incentive to exercise, we’re not sure what is.

When: 28 July, 10am
Where: Birrarung Marr
For more info, click here

Open House Melbourne

Go behind the scenes on some of the iconic buildings you walk past every day. Open House Melbourne offers the chance for you to explore Melbourne like you’ve never been able to before, for example, touring the construction site of the Metro Tunnels. And the best news? A bunch of these tours are completely free.

When: 28 & 29 July
Where: Various locations across Melbourne.
For more info, click here

Springvale Snow Festival

Can’t get to Mt Buller this season? Not a worry, because the Springvale Snow Festival is bringing Mt Bulla to you. No, as in, literally. The Snow Fest will have two free snow play areas with snow taken directly from Buller. Keeping in with all things icy, there will be live ice sculptures, a silent disco inside an igloo (!!), live music, amusement rides and a photoshoot with huskies. Oh, and fireworks. Did we mention how freakin' hyped we are for this?

When: 29 July, 12pm-7pm
Where: Corner Buckingham and Balmoral Avenues, Springvale
For more info, click here

Crab Lab Comedy

Impress your friends by taking them to the coolest weekly comedy club—for free. Tucked in a laneway inside Melbourne’s bustling Chinatown, Berlin Bar offers a free stand-up comedy night, as well as free spicy popcorn (no throwing it, please). The place itself you have to see to believe. They describe their décor as "a vision of what the journey into the afterlife might involve” and uh, yeah, it’s pretty wicked.

When: Every Wednesday, 7pm-11pm
Where: Berlin bar, 16 Corrs Lane CBD
For more info, click here

More good news: your new favourite podcast is being made in the heart of Melbourn Zoo. Check it out. 

Image credit: Visit Victoria 

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