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11 Free Things To Do In Melbourne This April

By Sami Jenkins - 01 Apr 2019

The year keeps rolling on, and somehow we're already into April. The early months can be really hard on the hip pocket, and, let's be honest, it's probably not going to get any easier before Christmas rolls around. So, we're here to help.

Get ready for free exhibitions, a free lantern festival (say what?) and pop-up markets galore. If, like us, you’d prefer to avoid looking at your bank statement, here are 11 free things to do in Melbourne this April.

Free Exhibitions at NGV

This month, NGV is delighting us with Darren Sylvester’s: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something. The exhibition delves into desirability, authenticity and mortality, presented in a highly stylised, multidisciplinary fashion. Visions of Paradise will also be on and is an exposé of the opulent lives of the famed Indian Maharaja and Maharana of Rajasthan, displayed through stunning court paintings.

SO - IL celebrates ancient Chinese porcelain, placed brilliantly amongst a vibrant architectural display located in the Federation Court of NGV.

What: Free Exhibitions
Where: National Gallery Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road
When: 10 am - 5pm daily
For more info, click 

Free Mindfulness Workshop

As the year is chugging on at full speed, we rarely take the time to reflect on ourselves and our current mental state. Mindfulmooves invites you to come down to the beautiful Elwood Sailing Club for a free mindfulness session. Mindfulness helps you to manage stress, anxiety, feel more engaged and enjoy our lives to the full. The session will give the fundamentals and techniques into how you can implement mindfulness into your life.

What: Mindfulmooves Free Mindfulness Workshop
Where: Elwood Sailing Club Venue, 5 Elwood foreshore
When: Monday 1 April, 7pm - 9pm
For more info, click 

Makers And Shakers Market

The Makers and Shakers Market is the ultimate heaven for the foodie, craft and homeware enthusiast. Their concept is to ‘meet the maker', where you can mingle and chat with the creatives behind these unique products. The market will showcase an impressive range of products, from Laura Blythman, Nutie Donuts, The Doctor, Loafer Bread, Misty’s Salted caramel and Mailer McGuire Kombucha and many more.

What: Makers and Shakers Market
Where: Coburg Town Hall

When: Sunday 7 April, 10am - 3pm
For more info, click here.

Light Up Melbourne  

Paying homage to the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival, Birrarung Marr will transform into a twinkling sea of colourful Chinese lanterns. The festival will showcase a range of large-scale custom-built lanterns, showcasing the might and majesty of the Chinese dragon. The festival is also coming through, with over 40 food stalls featuring their ‘Little Sichuan’ area which will delight us with the aromatic and spicy peppercorn flavours of Sichuan, China.   

What: Light Up Melbourne
Where: Birrarung Marr
When: Saturday 6 April to Tuesday 9 April, hours may vary
For more info, click 

Pleasure Garden

The Royal Botanic Gardens will be holding an interactive musical installation. Inspired by the 17th-century composer Jacob Van Eyck, Pleasure Garden incorporates his own works with new composers. Enjoy the famous natural greenery that this garden has to offer while listening to an original composition.

As you stroll through the gardens, different layers of the piece are triggered by movement and move subtly across the space as you explore it. Don’t miss this ambient, unique experience.

What: Pleasure Garden
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens
When: Until Sunday 7 April, 7:30am - Sunset
For more info, click 

Iconic Women: The Exhibition

Located behind the Melbourne Central Shot Tower, this hidden gem exhibits iconic women across history. Here, you will find over 50 images of great noteworthy women, plastered in large scale images across the venue.

Some of the leading ladies include Kate Moss, Brigitte Bardot, Amy Winehouse and Queen Elizabeth II, who have been photographed by renowned British photographer Terry O’Neill. Local artists George Rose, Lauren Carney, Samantha Darling and Justine McAllister have also added their own flair to the images.

What: Iconic Women: The Exhibition
Where: Melbourne Central, 
La Trobe St & Swanston Street, Melbourne
When: Running every day until Sunday 26 May, 10am - 9pm
For more info, click 

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

Within the Dandenong ranges lie the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. These gardens feel like they’ve been plucked right out of a fairytale; with steep and rolling hills, towering Eucalyptus trees, picturesque lakes and a quaint boathouse, they are the perfect place to get lost in. The location is a stunning example of the beautiful natural greenery Australia has to offer.

What: Alfred Nicholas Gardens  
1A Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke
When: 10am - 5pm daily
For more info, click 

Chapel Street Pop-Up Markets

Each Saturday until the end of this month, enjoy live music, all sorts of food pop-ups, local designers, artists, vintage and luxury alike—all from local businesses. This is, in our opinion, the right way to start off your weekend.

What: Chapel Street Pop-up Market
Where: 430 Chapel Street, South Yarra
When: Every Saturday, 10 - 5 pm
For more info, click 


Each month, hosted by Swinburne Media and Communications, you can geek out at an in-depth film discussion after viewing a flick a LIDO Cinemas. REEL Talk discusses issues within cinema, such as how a film uses cinematography, how it speaks to the political climate, casting choices—that kind of thing. It’s basically a bunch of film nerds getting together to discuss what makes the film great, not so great, and everything in between.

What: REEL Talk at LIDO
Where: LIDO Cinema, 675 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

When: Various dates
For more info, click here.

Free Comedy At Highlander Bar

In conjunction with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Comedy at Highlander Bar is back for another year, showcasing Melbourne’s best alternative comedy and open mic night. Show your free comedy night ticket upon entry to receive sneaky drink and food deals.

What: Free Comedy at Highlander Bar
Where: Highlander Bar, 11A Highlander Lane, Melbourne
When: Until Saturday 20 April, Various times  
For more info, click 

Rooftop Trivia Waterside Hotel  

Every Monday of the month,  The Waterside Hotel will host an epic trivia night kicking off at 7:30 pm, with over $150 worth of prizes up for grabs. Make sure you get in early to secure a table, but also boost that IQ with a drink or two. Happy hour starts from 5 pm. Get quizzin’.

What: Rooftop Trivia at Waterside Hotel
Where: Waterside Hotel, 
508 Flinders Street, Melbourne
When: Every Monday, 7:30 onwards
For more info click 

For the best markets to hit up in Melbourne this month head here.

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