Just because we live in Sydney, doesn’t mean that we can’t leave the house without spending a small fortune and, in fact, there are some pretty great free events happening in our city each and every month. Which is great, it means more money for the important things... like wine.
These are our favourite free things to do in Sydney this August and we think you should definitely head along to at least five of them. Who are we kidding—go for all 11. You know you want to.
aMBUSH Gallery Presents Behind the Lines: The Exhibition
If you love yourself some ink, then Behind the Lines: The Exhibition will be right up your alley. It’s an exhibition with a difference, since it’s exploring the art of tattooing across history and cultures. There will be artists like Rhys Gordon and Horiken there to discuss the history-rich body suits of Japan as well as Emma Salmon on how body art can enhance the women form, Shane Gallagher on the spirituality of Polynesian and Maori tattoos and Nixx on Chicano style tattooing. The exhibition will culminate with Tattoo Sunday on 14th August, with special events running from 1pm until 4pm.
Where: aMBUSH Gallery, Central Park Mall
When: Saturday 16th July – Sunday 14th August
QVB's Pop-up Foodie Market Place
If you’re need of a treat in the middle of your working day then the Queen Victoria Building’s pop-up foodie market has come to your rescue, launching tomorrow and running until Sunday 7th August. Some of our favourite premium food providores will be there with bells on, like Pepe Saya, Salt Meats Cheese, Sonoma and Doughnut Time (among others). It’s inspired by the golden years, when the QVB was a thriving marketplace for fresh farm produce and groceries. Grocery shopping has never looked this good.
Where: Level One, Queen Victoria Building
When: Wednesday 3rd August – Sunday 7th August, 10am – 4pm
Carriageworks and the Museum of Old and New Art present KATTHY CAVALIERE: LOVED
Katthy Cavaliere was an Italian-born artist who called Australia home for most of her life and since she studied fine arts right here in Sydney, it is fitting that her work will be featured in the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) throughout August and September. Katthy Cavaliere: Loved provides an insight into a life presented to the public through objects, videos, photographs and mixed media installations. The project features two of her significant works, curated by friend and artist Daniel Mudie Cunningham; performance installation, Empty Stockings: Full of Love (2010) and photograph, Afterlife (2011).
When: Friday 5th August – Sunday 11th September, daily from 10am until 6pm
Explore Chippendale: August Free Gallery Walking Tour
Kicking off at Kensington Contemporary, this tour will see you walking between four local galleries, engaging in conversation about art and the local creative community of Chippendale. The galleries featured this month are; Kensington Contemporary Galleries, MOP Projects, Galerie Pompom and Tiny Tailor. If you’re feeling a bit peckish beforehand, you are officially invited to join the group prior to the walking tour at KYO-TO between 1pm and 2pm for a dumpling feast.
Where: starting at Kensington Contemporary – 32 Kensington Street, Chippendale
When: Saturday 6th August, 2pm – 4pm
Sculpture At Barangaroo
The popular exhibition ‘Sculptures by the Sea’ is moving in on Barangaroo this month, after 20 years on the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. Starting at the Harbour foreshore and finishing up at Stargazer Lawn and Walumil Lawn, there’ll be 12 artworks on display from 15 Australian artists. There will also be a series of free talks by exhibitors taking place over the 16 days, where they will be discussing their works and inviting you behind the scenes of their creative process.
Where: Harbour Foreshore, Barangaroo Reserve
When: Saturday 6th – Sunday 21st August
Making It: Where Monitoring And Mindset Meet
There is absolutely no reason to choose between your beloved Apple watch and living a mindful existence. Or so you’ll learn this weekend at the Monitoring And Mindset Workshop, hosted by fitness experts Blake Worrall-Thompson and Libby Babet. They’ll teach you how meditation and journaling will help you stay focused and also how to monitor your activity, diet, heart rate so you can track how close you are to your goals. This is one for all fitness levels and you can basically count it as a workout.
Where: Apple Store, Bondi Junction
When: Saturday 6th August at 10am
Free Open Workshop At Sew Make Create
To celebrate their birthday, Sew Make Create is opening their studio to you guys on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August FOR FREE. You will have free reign of their workshop, sewing machines, overlockers and worktables for the entire weekend, so this is your chance to tick some jobs off of your to-do list, without forking out for the machinery (or a tailor). It’s all very simple and you just need to email or call Sew Make Create to book your spot. More details here.
Where: Suite 4, 38 City Road, Chippendale
When: Saturday 6th – Sunday 7th August, 10am – 5pm
Liverpool Street Art Festival
Live entertainment, street art, market stalls and authentic street food collide at the Liverpool Street Art Festival this month, and best of all; IT’S FREE! As part of Liverpool Council’s plan to turn the southern end of Macquarie Street into a happening dining precinct, you can expect great food and drink options, as well as street art from Mulga, Phibs and Skulk, among others as well as live entertainment all afternoon.
Where: Bathurst Street South Carpark (350-354 Macquarie Street)
When: Saturday 13th August, 3pm – 8pm
Mudgee Wine & Food Festival Returns To Balmoral Beach
For a sneaky preview of the larger Mudgee Wine and Food Festival that will take place in (you guessed it) Mudgee, head to Balmoral Beach on the 14th. This is your chance to grill the producers behind some of Australia’s best regional food and wine on their tricks of the trade. Or you could use your time to sample all of the wine (sadly not free) and finger foods on display, because let’s face it, that’s what we are all really heading there for. For more information, head here.
Where: Balmoral Beach
When: Sunday 14th August from 11am until 5pm
Science In The Swamp
This is set to be a pretty jam-packed, fun-filled day for the kids when you bring them along to Centennial Park for an afternoon of Science In The Swamp. There will be science shows for the family, plus demonstrations from the nutty scientist who’ll show you sustainable uses of energy, water and also the damage that plastics and metals make on the environment. On a lighter note, there’ll also be Fizzics education, which is exactly what it sounds like, Australian wildlife displays and you’ll also have the chance to get up close and personal with many the venomous snake.
Where: Centennial Park
When: Saturday 13th August, 11am – 3pm
Life In The Park At Sydney Olympic Park
Sydney Olympic Park
Later this month, Life in the Park will get a whole lot more interesting, with a free series of wildlife talks and animal demonstrations taking place at Bicentennial Park. You’ll learn about our Australian native animals and how to protect their habitats and also enjoy reptile, frog and bird displays, plus some extra fun activities for the kids. To be honest, our favourite part is the live feed from the EagleCAM, which is absolutely a thing and will involve you melting over two freshly hatched eaglets.
Where: Education Centre, Bicentennial Park
When: Sunday 28th August, 10am – 12pm
Looking for more things to do in Sydney? Head here.
Image credit: Mudgee Region Tourism