Activities & Itineraries

The Best Free And Cheap Things To Do In Sydney In April

By Lizzie Scorer
3rd Apr 2024

This April, we’re all about being mindful with our money—or at least aiming to. Living in Sydney/Eora can make it hard to find fun without splashing major cash, so Urban List has handpicked some of the best free and cheap events that won’t bust your budget.

Luckily, there’s plenty on this month from pumping live gigs to funky art exhibitions and delicious food markets and pop-ups. These are the best free and cheap things to do in Sydney in April.

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Free Things To Do In Sydney In April

Sham Fest

Petersham Bowling Club, 77 Brighton Street, Petersham

Beloved community hub the Petersham Bowling Club is planning its most significant accessibility upgrade since 1972—and it needs massive support through grants, fundraising, sponsorships, and community vibes to make it happen.

To get closer to their goal and kick off fundraising efforts, the club is throwing Sham Fest: a free two-day music festival with awesome local acts including Crocodylus, Good Pash, The Crooked Fiddle Band, and The Morrisons. There'll be a big focus on inclusivity with live music Auslan interpretation, plus sea shanty singing, line dancing, lawn games and loads of opps to support the great cause.

The details

When: Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 April
Cost: Free entry

Beers And Bangers

Kyiv Social, 202 Broadway, Chippendale

Plate It Forward venue Kyiv Social is kicking off a monthly series of laneway Sunday sessions this week, with the inaugural Beers and Bangers.

The free event will feature beers from Young Henrys, snags by LP’s Quality Meats (including a Ukrainian-style gourmet hot dog with horseradish mayo, Kyiv slaw and fried shallots) and Ukrainian House DJs, offering a chance for the community to come together and celebrate the venue's great work in welcoming and providing work to newly arrived Ukrainian refugees.

The party will continue on the first Sunday of every month in Grafton Lane, which the council will close off to make for a full outdoor dining and drinking laneway.

The details

When: Sunday 7 April, 1pm–9pm
Cost: Free entry

Ramadan Nights Lakemba

19 Haldon Street, Lakemba

Experience the unparalleled atmosphere of Ramadan Nights Lakemba, returning in 2024 for a month-long cultural extravaganza. Immerse yourself in the rich traditions of Ramadan and enjoy culinary delights from 65 food stalls including the iconic stretchy knafeh, camel burgers, and Arabian coffee.

Whether you're breaking a Ramadan fast or just heading along to explore new foods and enjoy the festive atmosphere, Ramadan Nights is a must for Sydneysiders to experience; 1.4 million people went along in 2023. They stay running until 3am, so consider poking along for the ultimate late-night feast.

The details

When: Thursdays–Sundays until Monday 8 April
Cost: Free entry

Dale Frank: Growers and showers

NAS Galleries, 156 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst


Image credit: National Art School | Supplied

Check out the expanded painting practice of one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists, Dale Frank, at this significant exhibition of over 40 large-scale works he developed since the '70s. It's his first solo institutional exhibition in over 20 years.

The vivacious collection includes various mediums and unexpected surfaces from poured epoxy-glass on metallic Perspex to CDs, human hair wigs, shattered glass and air vent ducts, showcasing his experimental approach to artmaking. Sculpture, sound and performance round out the experience to create immersive experiences to capture Frank's maximalism. Dale Frank: growers and showers is free to visit at the National Art School, 11am–5pm daily.

The details

When: Friday 12 April–Saturday 1 June 
Cost: Free entry

Dog Day

Willie the Boatman, Precinct 75 Suite 601, 75 Mary Street, St Peters

free things to do sydney april willie the boatman
Image credit: Willie the Boatman | Instagram

Craft brewpub Willie the Boatman is bringing back its beloved Dog Day, offering the chance to meet new furry friends, participate in competitions, and browse market stalls of doggie goods.

The full brewpub menu and house-brewed beers will be available, and the entire venue is dog-friendly.

The details

When: Sunday 14 April, 12pm–3pm
Cost: Free entry

Sunset Series

St Leonards Park, Miller Street, North Sydney

Catch a free autumn arvo of live music in St Leonards Park at the second instalment of monthly Sunset Series. 

April's lineup will begin with Jimmy Breslin before welcoming Evergreen Collective from Brookvale: a nine-piece party band with influences spanning classic rock, disco and ska. Guests are welcome to bring picnic rugs and low-lying chairs for a sunset picnic with family and friends.

The details

When: Sunday 14 April, 3pm–5.30pm
Cost: Free

Inner West Film Market

Leichhardt Town Hall, 107 Norton Street, Leichhardt

Get ready to browse everything from day bills to posters, Blu-rays, movie books and merch at the Inner West Film Market.

Movie buffs and fans of the old and new will find something to add to the collection, and there'll be surprise guests and displays to check out too. 

The details

When: Sunday 14 April, 10am–4pm
Cost: Free entry

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The Biennale of Sydney 

Various locations

The cultural kaleidoscope that is the Biennale of Sydney makes a grand return for its 24th edition, titled Ten Thousand Suns. The Biennale is a completely free art festival showcasing 96 leading artists' work from 50 different countries, spread over six of Sydney’s most iconic spots including the Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney.

The sails of the Sydney Opera House will be adorned with a nightly projection exploring the First Nation’s ancient celestial navigation practices, and the recently refurbished White Bay Power Station will also host Art After Dark every Wednesday, promising an atmospheric evening amongst striking artworks. 

The Biennale is the largest contemporary art event of its kind in Australia, making it an unmissable event for art aficionados—and it's all completely free to experience.

THE DETAILS

When: Until Monday 10 June
Cost: Free entry

Phoenix Central Park Season XI

Phoenix Central Park, 37-49 O'Connor Street, Chippendale


Image credit: Phoenix Central Park | Instagram

Phoenix Central Park is back with its 11th season of another eclectic and awesome program of acclaimed, forward-thinking artistic performances.

With tickets available via a diplomatic ballot system, this year’s line-up includes punk icon Mick Harvey, electronic auteur Tim Hecker, rising rapper Mulalo, and post-internet jazz duo DOMi and JD Beck.

THE DETAILS

When: Until Thursday 18 April
Cost: Free, but must secure tickets in the ballots here

A Blueprint For Ruins

White Rabbit Gallery, 30 Balfour Street, Chippendale 


Image credit: White Rabbit Gallery | Instagram

Spanning four floors of the impressive White Rabbit Gallery, A Blueprint for Ruins explores a world without people, where only monuments and memories of culture and life remain, in a reflection on China's race to embrace modernity.

The works curated by David Williams (including an abandoned nightclub scene, bronze, resin and marble sculptures, paintings, prints and more) provide an immersive and thought-provoking look into the effects of urbanisation on trade, the environment, culture and humanity. A Blueprint for Ruins is open 10am–5pm, Wednesday–Sunday.

THE DETAILS

When: Until Sunday 12 May
Cost: Free

Cheap Things To Do In Sydney In April (Under $35)

Mov’In Bed Beach Cinema

Harbour Park, Barangaroo


Image credit: Mov’In Bed Beach Cinema | Supplied

The home of cosy cinema is moving; Mov’In Bed Beach Cinema, which has won the hearts of many reclined Sydney cinema-goers in recent years, is shifting its furniture to the beach. The world’s biggest outdoor “bed cinema” is setting up shop on Barangaroo’s Harbour Park this summer, where 280 tonnes of white sand will be topped with a five-metre 4K screen and 150 queen-size beds, pillows and blankets.

Tuck yourself in for recent blockbusters like NapoleonKillers of the Flower Moon and Ferrari, with tickets ranging from $12 for a spot on the sand (you can BYO snacks) to shared VIP beds from $75pp. Learn more here.

When: Until Sunday 14 April
Cost: From $12pp

Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition

Level 5, 1-3 Smail Street, Ultimo

princess diana exhibition sydney
Image credit: Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition | Supplied

Following sold-out tours in Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and Puerto Rico, Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition is bringing a never-before-seen glimpse into the life of Diana Spencer as captured by her Official Royal Photographer, Anwar Hussein, with bespoke art installations and artefacts.

The exhibition explores the relationship between the princess and her photographer, with an audio guide from Anwar to provide context to the famous and not-so-famous shots he captured. 

The details

When: Wednesday 10 April–Thursday 30 May
Cost: Tickets are $29 for adults, $24 for seniors or students, and $12 for children

Noah Dillon

The Vanguard, 42 King Street, Newtown

Image credit: Noah Dillon | Instagram

Before embarking on a European tour in May, singer-songwriter Noah Dillon will stop off at The Vanguard to share his indie rock/alternative folk songs with Sydneysiders. 

You might remember him from his turn at Splendour in the Grass, and this show will be a perfect chance to reacquaint yourself with his raw, cathartic, and ultra-Aussie sound. There’s something a bit nostalgic and pub-rocky about this one - Dillon’s music finds the magic in the mundane and is best enjoyed with a beer in hand and a mate by your side. 

The details

When: Thursday 18 April
Cost: Tickets are going for $29.16

Ocean Photographer Of The Year

The Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Sydney CBD

An image of a paper nautilus by Jialing Cai, which has one the Ocean Photographer of the Year awardImage credit: Ocean Photographer of the Year | Jialing Cai

In a world premiere event, The Australian National Maritime Museum is hosting the Ocean Photographer of the Year exhibition, shining a light on the blue planet’s mesmerising natural beauty. Showcasing the winners and finalists from Oceanographic Magazine’s global competition, you can catch the stunning work of some of the world’s best underwater photographers up close and get inspired.

THE DETAILS

When: Until Sunday 26 May
Cost: $25pp

For more things to do in Sydney, check out:

Image credit: Phoenix Central Park | Jordan K Munns

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