Whether you’re straight up skint, digging through couch cushions or just an adult on a budget, we’ve got the low-down on free in Sydney this July.
Gallery Walking Tours at Kensington Street
Harken back to your Contiki days (with a little less hangover, a little more arts and culture) with a free walking tour ‘round the Chippendale Creative Precinct. Meet guide and curator Susannah Smith at the Kensington Contemporary Galleries—with complimentary wine in hand—and prepare to have your socks rocked by contemporary installations, street-style works and everything in between thanks to Japan Foundation, The Commerical and aMBUSH Gallery. For the hot sum of $28, you can even tag along to a three-course lunch at Mekong.
Where: Various location but starting at Kensington Contemporary Galleries at 32/34 Kensington Street, Chippendale
When: Saturday 2nd July (bookings required)
The Rocks Aroma Festival
It’s back! We’ve been casually OD-ing on caffeine for years but our fave get-buzzed-or-GTFO festival is warming The Rocks (and our hearts) Sunday 24th July. Entry is free but coffee is sold separately—totally worth you/your flatmates’ pocket change if we’re honest. If your caffeine limit floats around one or two shots, they’ll also be goodies from chocolatiers, tea-makers and gourmet providores in addition to live music and latte art demonstrations. Get jittering.
Where: George Street, The Rocks
When: Sunday 24th July, 10am – 5pm
Cool Yule’s Frozen Forest
What sounds a wee bit like the name of an after school special character is actually the coolest thing it hit our eyes since Taste of Streep. Entry is blissfully free to the Frozen Forest so you, your mates and all of the jackets and scarves you own (burrrr) can stroll through 20 metres of magical, twinkling lights. Vivid was only a warm-up, we’ve mastered the focus settings on our phones now and we’re ready.
Where: Civic Connector, Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour
When: Saturday 2nd July – Sunday 17th July, 10am – 10pm
Art After Hours At AGNSW
There’s more to a work night than a brewski and GoT (although we’ve yet to find such a decadent combo). Embrace your cultural side with a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW for their Art After Hours series. Despite a propensity for paper cuts that just won’t quit, we’re keen on Frida’s Flowers, a Mexican-style paper flower workshop (flowers play a prominent role in Kahlo’s work and in Mexican culture). Punters can also listen to Julie Freeman discuss her work ‘Sentient lands’ and hear contemporary artists discuss what Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s work means to them.
Where: Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Sydney
When: Wednesday 6th July and Wednesday 13th July, various times
How Easy Was That? Baking Class
When it comes to four-word sentences “How easy was that?” ranks just above “who wants some cheese?” and just below “Beyoncé is president now”. Tack on “baking” and “free” and we’re pudding up our hands. Pop on over to the Surry Hills Library for a free baking class with a local whiz (bookings required). Don’t worry, you’ll get a doggie bag for your efforts. BYO pun-happy apron.
Where: 405 Crown Street, Surry Hills
When: Multiple dates, see here for more
Karaoke In Millers Point
If there’s one thing we’re mad for (apart from bread-based foods) it’s a good old fashioned sing-off (high notes from Love on Top aside). The Harry Jensen Centre in Millers Point, a hop, skip and grand jeté from the Sydney Theatre Company, host regular free karaoke sessions for you and your best mates to re-create scenes from When Harry Met Sally, or if you’re in an authentic mood, My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Where: Harry Jensen Centre, 17 Argyle Street, Millers Point
When: Every Tuesday until December 6th, 1pm – 3:45pm
Designer And Vintage Pop-Up Sale
2016 is officially the year ‘pop-up’ went from fad to part of the fam, and we’re practically crying with happiness. Whether you’ve got money to burn or keen for a window shop, the designer and vintage pop-up sale on Oxford Street, Paddington is for you. Peruse and/or catch a sneaky feel of vintage Chanel, fur collections, sequin dresses and 70s clothing among labels like YSL, Prada, Gucci, Givenchy, Hermes Dior, Alaia, Balenciaga and more. One thing’s for sure, you’ll be posing next to any and everything to nail that post-shop Instagram.
Where: 360 Oxford Street, Paddington
When: Wednesdays and Sundays, 11am – 5pm from 25th May – 30th October
Comic Centric Trivia Night at Marrickville Library
Know the difference between Frankenstein and a bad night’s sleep? Let them marvel (get it?) at your skills thanks to Marrickville Library’s free comic-centric trivia night on Friday 8th July. There’ll be drinks, there’ll be snacks and they’ll be shushing so the other table don’t overhear.
Where: Marrickville Library, Cnr Marrickville and Petersham Roads, Marrickville
When: Friday 8th July, 7:30pm-10pm
Double Bay Markets
As you may have noticed it’s cold AF out there lately. You’ve bought everything lauded as ‘snug’ or ‘warm’ and now it’s time to wear them. May we suggest a brisk morning stroll through the Double Bay Markets? Covering everything from fresh food (be sure to wander past the XESÚS juice/smoothie stall), hand-made treats and flowers, the DB Markets are perf whether you’re munching on a free sample or throwing in cash for the whole shebang.
Where: Guilfoyle Park, Knox Street, Double Bay NSW
When: Thursdays 9am – 2pm
Songlines: Stories Of The Landscape
Join the local Darug elders of Rouse Hill to celebrate NAIDOC Week in the best way possible with dance, art and craft. Entry is free and you’ll be privy to totem weaving, aboriginal painting, spear carving, a performance by the Djaadjawan dancers and more. The theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week is Songlines, known as intricate maps of land, sea and country so get involved and learn more about Australia’s oldest continuing culture.
Where: Rouse Hill House & Farm, 356 Annangrove Road, Rouse Hill NSW
When: Saturday 9th July, 10am – 3pm
You're going to need some energy before attending these events, so check out our Directory for the best places to eat!
Image credit: Daryll Jann at The Rocks Aroma Festival