You don’t need to be a scientist to know things are just so much better when you get them for free. As anyone who’s ever scored a free coffee from their local coffee shop or found a cheeky discount code right before check out could tell you, any day where you score something for free feels like such a win. From artsy events, to rooftop cinemas to markets and cider festivals we’ve got the scoop on all the best events in Sydney this month that won’t cost you a cent.
Here are 10 free things to do in Sydney this October.
Sounds On The Terrace At The MCA
What could be better than enjoying music and art from the rooftop with possibly the best view in Sydney? Enjoy a little something-something from the MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace's seasonal menu while you take in the harbour view and enjoy free music from Sydney-based musicians. This Wednesday the tunes will be courtesy of Bin Juice and Kyoshi, two staples on the Sydney music scene.
When: Wednesday 2 October, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks
The Locals Market
This zero-waste farmer’s market on the rooftop of the Paramount Recreation Club is all about delivering high-quality organic produce to the inner-city with zero-waste. Pre-ordering your produce online means that the exact right amount is brought to the market ensuring that absolutely nothing is left over. A calico bag must be ordered with your first purchase but you’re encouraged to bring your tote back to the market every week to exchange it for a freshly laundered one. There’s absolutely no plastic, including punnets and the whole market is an organic, waste-free dream. Make Greta Thunberg proud and make sure to check this one out.
When: Every Saturday from 9am
Where: Paramount Recreation Club, 80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills
Sweetheart’s Rooftop Cinema
Look, we like Netflix on the couch as much as the next person but now that Sweethearts Rooftop is offering all you can eat pizza and 25% off Fever-Tree G&Ts at their movie nights we might be converts. Relax on a rooftop with one of the sickest views in Sydney and watch a classic flick. October kicks off with a bit of an homage to Will Ferrell, then continues with classics such as Die Hard, both volumes of Kill Bill and Napoleon Dynamite just to name a few. These nights are popular so bookings are a must, head here to book and for more info.
When: Mondays and Tuesdays at 7:30pm
Where: Sweetheart’s Rooftop, 33-37 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point
Fo Fum Fiesta At The AGNSW
This giant festival will be held throughout the month at the Art Gallery of NSW, and it's all about embracing art and positive vibes. There are a whole host of free events throughout the month but our pick would, without a doubt, have to be Postcards with Teena, an event hosted by artist David Capra and his sausage dog Teena. Head to the gallery to hear about the duo’s approach to life and art before settling in for a postcard writing workshop. And if you’re thinking that out of all the events in the festival we picked this one entirely because we are excited about the possibility of belly rubs with Teena then you are 100% correct. Art and doggos – what could possibly be better?
When: All month
Where: Art Gallery of NSW, The Domain
Mystery Tours At The MCA
If you’re craving a spot of culture then the MCA has got you covered. The best part? There’s absolutely zero planning needed. No bookings required, all you have to do is rock up to the information desk at 7pm and a trained MCA guide will take you on a one-of-a-kind "mystery tour" focusing on all the hidden stories behind exhibitions.
When: Every Wednesday 7pm – 7:45pm
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks
Kirribilli Art, Design And Fashion Markets
These markets are an absolute gold-mine. Whether you’re on the prowl for some quirky crafts, some gorgeous antiques, some surprisingly-classy Sydney souvenirs or some clothes at a bargain then these markets are the place for you. Plus, since a day at the markets is sure to leave you starving it’s worth mentioning that this market has one of the better food courts in the game, we’re talking quesadillas, churros, banh mi, gelato - you name it.
When: Second Sunday of every month
Where: Burton St Tunnel, Milsons Point
Coogee Bay Hotel Beer And Cider Festival
We love cider, we love beer and we love the beach so it goes without saying that we love this festival. Popping up for one weekend only at the Coogee Bay Hotel in addition to the 60+ beers and ciders ready to sample / scull (depending on your vibe), there will also be live jazz and food pop-ups. Plus, entry is free so what’s stopping you? Head here for more info.
When: Saturday 12 October – Sunday 13 October, 12pm – 7pm,
Where: The Garden at the Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee
The Big Anxiety Festival
Mental health is such an important issue and the Big Anxiety Festival is the world’s largest mental health and arts festival aimed at cultivating empathy and eradicating stigma in discussions surrounding mental health and suicide prevention. The Big Anxiety Festival is running until the 9th of November and each day of the festival offers a whole heap of amazing, thoughtful and engaging events, most of them free. Our picks for best free events? Head to the Double Bay Library to test a bunch of games from GEMH-Lab that are designed to improve your mental and emotional health. Or head to the Art Gallery on October 16 when the festival takes over for Art After Hours with their own exhibitions including Artwork from inmates at the Long Bay Jail and a virtual reality station from The Empathy Clinic.
When: Until 9 November
Where: Various Locations
Young Henrys Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus
Young Henrys Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus is on the return this Halloween featuring a solid line-up with 12 Aussie artists and plenty of tricks up its sleeve. As for its chosen location, you’ll want to roll into Sydney’s destination for all things old-school, arcade games and margarita slushie machines: Frankie’s Pizza. Hosted by Henry Wagons ie. spinner of all epic yarns, the basement blowout will feature 70s-90s English Punk band The Replicas, Hoodoo Gurus juggernaut Dave Faulkner, Joe Jackson, Moody Beach (Melissah Marie), Gideon Bensen and a heap more.
When: Thursday 31 October, 8pm
Where: Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney
Image credit: Dima Cosh