What's On

13 Awesome Free Things To Do In Sydney This January

By Sophia Richardson - 01 Jan 2018


We think January is the best month ever, and you will too after reading what free things Sydney has lined up for you all. Sydney Festival is coming in h-o-t, with loads of free fun lasting all January (hallelujah) think all things glitter, pools and even the circus! Sydney’s art galleries are also going off this month with comedy acts, installations and exhibitions that will well and truly get you feeling #cultured and see you living large on a budget.

Let us not forget all the markets in store for Sydney month and the Aussie day celebrations going down, cause oh baby, January is going to be big (and most importantly FREE).

all month

Go To The Beach

Now, we know you don't need any more incentive than the fact it's hot AF right now and you could do with the sweet, sweet sea breeze. Here are our fave hidden beaches and these are our top picks for where to head for a dip in the harbour.


Yep, you’ve read that correctly. Glitterbox is literally a box filled with glitter and YOU, dancing your little heart out. Bump up Glitterbox on your summer to-do list ASAP, as it will only be around for the duration of Sydney festival. Head to The Meriton Festival Village in Hyde Park for this super funky experience. Warning—most fun guaranteed by ‘gramming the entire thing.   

When: 5 - 28 January, from 6pm (closed Mondays)
Where: Hyde Park 

Village Pools

Pack your togs and head to Hyde Park this January for some of the coolest pop-up swimming pools, all part of the Sydney Festival. Old shipping containers are being turned into swimming pools in the park (we know, a genius idea if ever we saw one). After going for a dip and relaxing on the lounge chairs, we’re all going to wish Hyde Park was home to shipping container pools on the reg! Catch it before it leaves us on January 28 and BYO inflatables. 

When: Friday 5 January to Sunday 28 January, from 4:30pm, closed Mondays
Where: Hyde Park North, CBD

Jon Campbell: MCA Collection

At the MCA this month catch an exhibition by artist Jon Campbell, showcasing works that engage with language and text, in printmaking, paintings, installation, video and sculpture. The MCA continuously puts on art shows that are weird, wonderful, and we just can’t get enough of them. 

When: All January, ending 25 February,
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, Circular Quay

The Bear Pack: Dutch Masters

Your belly is going to be sore AF (sorry in advance) at this improvised storytelling happening at the Art Gallery of NSW this January. Comedy duo Carlo Ritchie and Steen Raskopoulos make up The Bear Pack, a quick-witted, absolutely hysterical performance that you won’t want to miss. Each story they tell is unique and we won’t lie, it’s a 147% guaranteed to have you LOL’ing, maybe even ROFL’ing.  

When: Wednesday’s 10 to 31 January, 6:30pm
Where: Art Gallery of NSW

week one

Jurassic Plastic

Kicking off at the beginning of January, is another awesome art exhibition thanks to Sydney Festival (are these legends delivering the budget baller goods or what?). Jurassic Plastic looks at mass consumerism but through a fun exercise of creating dinosaur sculptures in stunning landscapes, all made from discarded plastic toys. Think art is just old paintings hanging from walls? Think again, folks.  

When: From Friday 5 January to Sunday 28 January, closed Mondays
Where: Sydney Town Hall, George St

week 2

Circus City in Parramatta

Thanks to (you guessed it) Sydney Festival, Parramatta is scoring it’s very own circus this January (our inner child screams!). From 5:30pm, you’ll be able to get in on some #live and #free (double win) entertainment for the whole family. Catch a whole number of other free circus activities going down at Parramatta here.

When: Thursday 11 January, from 5:30pm
Where: Prince Alfred Square, Parramatta

Double Bay Organic Market

Drop by the Double Bay Organic Market to stock your pantry this month. This classic little market in the park has organic produce, crafts, plants, flowers and eco products.

Where: Guilfoyle Park, Double Bay
When: Every Thursday, from 13 January, 9am—12pm

week three

Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series  

The first part of the NSW Pro Surf Series is kicking off on January 18 and if last year’s is anything to go by, it’s going to be freaking cool. We’ll admit that we’re uber jealous of all the hot surfers who do this full-time, so what better way than to sit in the sunshine and watch the pros do their thang. Pack sunscreen and plenty of shakkas.  

When: Thursday 18 January to Sunday 21 January
Where: Maroubra Beach

Sydney Vegan Market

Hold onto your kale, vegan friends, there’s a new market in town and it’s got your animal-loving names allllllll over it. In case you weren’t already spoilt enough living in such a vegan-friendly city like Sydney, a monthly market launched in November and it’ll be wall-to-wall cruelty-free goodies errry month.

Where: Portuguese Community Club, Marrickville
When: Sunday 21 January, 9am-4pm

week 4

Sydney Street Party

The Rocks is set to explode with colour and festivities in celebration of Australia Day this January. You can expect market stalls, performances, seriously good food and live entertainment (pretty much everything we love) all in the one place. George St will also be transformed into a family friendly playground that we think will be pretty damn cool, so you might just have to see for yourself.

When: Friday 26 January, 11:30am-3:30pm
Where: The Rocks and George St, CBD

Australia Day At The Opera House

You can’t really name a more iconic Australian duo than the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, which is why your Australia Day plans better involve the insane festivities going down at the Opera House with views of Sydney Harbour and the bridge. Prepare to overload Instagram with snaps of our #gorg city, and all the fun going down at the House.

When: Friday 26 January, 7:30pm-9:30pm
Where: Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay

Summer Playground

For some good ole family fun, this Australia Day you should be heading on down to Darling Harbour, where top-class restaurants, DJ’s, live music and performances will all be on show. If you’re in search of something easy, free and chilled to the max, the Darling Harbour Summer Playground is the answer to your prayers.

When: Friday 26 January
Where: Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour

Looking for new places to eat? Check out our directory and take your pick.

Image credit: Annie Spratt

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