A children's author, partner and mother of three, I love adventure, travel and all things creative. Visit my website at www.CassandraStephensAuthor.com
Published February 27th 2019
Fun for Free
If you're like me and love to get out and about, but find it hard to afford pricey admission fees, then this list is for you! Welcome to my list of 'fun for free' activities in the Toowoomba region.
1. Toowoomba Regional Library - Open seven days a week, the library provides all the usual literary stock, as well as eBooks, free Wi-Fi, plus many activities and workshops, meeting spaces and an on-site cafe. For more information visit the website here.
2. Visit your local art galleries - Toowoomba has loads of galleries to suit all different tastes and mediums. There is the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Artsworx at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), the Darling Downs Potters Club, Toowoomba Art Society Ltd, Shiny Happy Art, First Coat Studios, Tosari Gallery, the Wilsonton Community Art Gallery as well as the MET Galleries at Highfields. There are also some fantastic street murals located throughout the city, as well as local artworks for sale at the Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre on James street. Check out their websites for locations and opening hours.
3. Cobb and Co. Museum - If you're a local, you can visit the Cobb and Co. Museum free of charge almost all year round. Thanks to the Toowoomba Regional Council, all residents receive free entry upon presentation of proof of address (not available during the Lost Trades Fair and other special events).
Cobb and Co. Museum has lots of interactive learning opportunities
4. Toowoomba Community Organic Gardens - Located on Goggs Street, the organic gardens offer a wonderful community plot for gardening enthusiasts, featuring some weird and wonderful varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is a fantastic place to meet new people and share your love of horticulture. Check out their Facebook page: here for more info.
5. Feed the ducks - There are many hungry ducks at Lake Annand Park and the Japanese Gardens at USQ. What a great way to entertain the kids and enjoy the outdoors. Lake Annand Park is located on Long street and features a great playground complete with a pirate ship and tug boat, while the Japanese Gardens provide a more serene escape with gentle streams and gorgeous shrubs.
6. Toowoomba markets - This city is packed with markets featuring everything from fresh produce, plants, clothing, handmade furniture and toys, bric-a-brac and glorious food. They occur at numerous locations and times to suit a wide ranging clientele. Many of them are all-weather events so you can be assured they'll be on rain, hail or shine. Some of the more popular are the PCYC markets on Sunday mornings, the Queens Park markets held once a month, the Handmade Expo Market and My Local Feast Farmers' Market.
Some of the many handmade crafts available at Toowoomba markets
7. Parks and gardens - We are proud to be the garden city and just to prove it we showcase the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in September each year. There are an astronomical number of parks and gardens in the region with the most popular being Queens Park Botanical Gardens, Laurel Bank Park, the Japanese Gardens, Picnic Point and the State Rose Garden. View the full list here.
8. Hiking and walking trails - There are a number of hiking and walking tracks around the region. The local spots include Picnic Point Parklands, Glen Lomond Park and Tabletop Mountain. There are also a couple of tracks at nearby Spring Bluff. If you're not into walking alone, there are also several walking groups who are always open to new members.
9. Camping, fishing and boating - There are a number of recreational dams in the region including Lake Cooby, Lake Perserverance and Lake Cressbrook. There can be restrictions from time to time due to weather events and environmental factors so check out the council website for their current status.
10. Support a local sports team - Toowoomba has ample sporting clubs and events all vying for top position. Why not visit a nearby court, oval or stadium and give the locals a boost. You may also like to volunteer your time by coaching, umpiring, helping in the canteen or selling the odd raffle ticket.
11. Take a day trip - Explore neighbouring towns such as Crows Nest, Bunya Mountains, Stanthorpe, Dalby, Warwick and many more. Check out their local events pages and tourist spots to really make the most of your day.
12. Free gyms - What? Gyms for free? Yes! There are a number of parks with free gym equipment including USQ campus, Black Gully Reserve and Newtown Park.
So there's a start for your free entertainment. In addition, there are loads of other seasonal and holiday events hosted throughout the year by council and other local organisations. Many of them are advertised through local newspapers, council publications and social media. So what are you waiting for?