Leave the big bucks at home Sydney, we’ve gone and done you (yet another) massive favour. Look no further because this list is your one-way ticket to eternal and cheap AF happiness. We all know you’ll probably lose some dosh on Melbourne Cup Day anyway (so we’re just getting in early).
There are markets (note: an entire vegan one makes its Sydney debut and it’s set to be massive), open-air exhibitions, terrace jams, racing tracks and actual mood experiments being conducted at an upcoming festival.
Here are 12 free things to do this November in Sydney team.
In support of marriage equality, the good guys (in fact, they’re some of the best) over at Butter are getting behind the PUMA campaign #LetUsAllTieTheKnot. Basically, they’re giving away free rainbow shoelaces or more specifically, there are 6 different colours up for grabs. All you’ve got to do is head here to register, then head into Butter to pick them up. Now, we know we’re breaking the “free only” rules that come with this article, but they’re also serving rainbow doughnuts this month and it’d be rude not to.
Where: Butter, Surry Hills
When: until 30 November
Sculptures By The Sea
Sydney’s OG when it comes to the ultimate open-air exhibition is back and if you haven’t already got around to jumping on the boardwalk, here’s your friendly reminder (get on it STAT). Grab a coffee, whack on a cap and cruise the coastal exhibit. Free is our favourite kind of weekend activity, so get on this one.
Where: Bondi to Bronte walk
When: Until Sunday 5 November
Sounds On The Terrace @ MCA
There’s no doubt the MCA terrace is a prime vantage point in Sydney (so it’s already a major winner in our books) but add the live sonic tunes and vocals by E for Echo and you’ve got yourselves one heck of a double whammy. Plus, Young Henrys will be hanging around to make sure you’ve also got an endless supply of flowing local beer. Yeah, they’re good guys. More details here.
When: Wednesday 1 November, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: Sculpture Terrace, Museum of Contemporary Art
Art After Hours @ AGNSW
This month’s Art After Hours calls for talks about Robert Mapplethorpe (the controversial American photographer) who captured everything from floral still life shots, portraits, figure studies and erotic imagery charting his involvement in New York’s gay scene. You can also check out the film series: Lost New York which shows the gritty filmmaking of the 70s/80s and features the American drama Midnight Cowboy (hint: you should really go watch it). Plus, it's free so you'd be crazy not to.
When: Wednesdays, 5:30pm-10pm
Where: Art Gallery of New South Wales
St Ives Night Markets
Alright (cute) peasants, dinner is sorted on the first Friday night of every month at the St Ives Night Markets so you can thank us for the heads up later. You’ll find every cost-saving feed possible here with dumplings, pizzas, curries, hotdogs, gozleme and when you’ve got a hankering for the sweet stuff—gourmet fairy floss. Oh and entry is free, so there’s that.
When: Friday 3 November, 5pm-9:30pm
Where: St Ives Showground
The Big Anxiety
The Big Anxiety is the brilliant festival bringing light to mental health issues in the coolest way. It combines the work of artists and scientists in antics like hi-tech interactive environments (read: virtual reality), mood experiments and a heap of talks.
When: Until Saturday 11 November
Where: Multiple locations (Customs House, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, and UNSW Paddington)
Project Banaba @ Carriageworks
Your November history-dose should take the form of visiting the Project Banaba exhibition which explores the impact of a phosphate company that mined the island of Banaba (now the Republic of Kiribati).
When: from Friday 17 November, 10am-6pm
Where: Carriageworks, Eveleigh
Sydney Vegan Market
The Sydney Vegan Market is making its delicious debut this month and it’s all 157% vegan (so do your worst Sydney). That means all the cruelty-free goodies you could imagine, epic sweet treats, and (of course) fresh produce. Safe to say we’ve been spoilt.
When: Sunday 19 November, 9am-4pm
Where: Portuguese Community Centre, Marrickville
Long Jetty Street Festival
So major detail: Kasey Chambers is headlining Long Jetty Street Festival. We’ll just let that sit for a second. Back for the third year, if you’re a fan of music, art, food (there’s no question about it), skaters and basically anything creative—you should be going.
When: Sunday 19 November, 11am-6pm
Where: Long Jetty Foreshore
Nikon-Walkley Photojournalism Exhibition
Expect the best of the best work from behind the lens at the Nikon-Walkley Photojournalism Exhibition. There’s a heap of photographs across a range of genres from news and sport to portraits and photographic essays.
When: Until Sunday 26 November
Where: State Library
Soar & Roar Festival
The Soar & Roar Festival is giving anyone with a need for speed a day of all things cars, cars and you guessed it, more cars. Yep, you’ll have the chance to hot lap in a Formula Ford, go on a helicopter ride, check out collectable cars, shop the markets (if that’s more your pace) and cruise control through all the food trucks. At the same time, you’ll be doing a good deed with all proceeds supporting unique events for the Special Olympics.
When: Sunday 26 November
Where: Sydney Motorsport Park
Mikala Dwyer Exhibition
The Mikala Dwyer Exhibition is a playful art series that reimagines everyday objects and what they say about the world we live in. Her work looks at the idea of shelter, childhood play, modern design and the relationship between people and objects.
When: Everyday, 10am-5pm
Where: Art Gallery of NSW
While we're at it, these are our fave markets happening this month.
Image credit: Butter