Weekends were created to inspire spontaneous smiles, new friendships and fun-filled adventures. Every weekend deserves a Weekend Note. Discover more by subscribing or clicking the 'Like' link at the end of the article.
Published November 30th 2017
The Best Things in Life are Free
When the sun sets, Sydney lights up (by the City of Sydney)
After enjoying part 1 of the Free Sydney list, bring on more fun in Sydney with these free events and activities in December.
Christmas Projections - until Christmas, dusk to 1am
Throughout the season, the grounds of Martin Place and Customs House will be twinkle with a dynamic light show, creating a Vivid experience for families to walk over. The immersive scenes will transform the grey stones of the city into a wonderland, surrounding the city's Christmas Tree. While you're in town, send a festive message for display on the Xmas Tree. Visit the City of Sydney Facebook page for details.
AFRIKA - The Wild - until 3 December, 10am to 6pm
After over a decade in Africa, Ken and Michelle Dyball are exhibiting their award-winning photography in an exhibition at the Black Eye Gallery on 3/138 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst. Capturing the distinct wonder of the untamed continent, their poignant images focus on the mighty wildlife against the backdrop of a majestic landscape. Named the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the year, their works will be published by London's Natural History Museum in a book exploring the beauty and ethology of Africa's wildlife. Visit the Black Eye Gallery website for details.
Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal - daily until Boxing Day
30 years ago, a mother in Adelaide created a wishing tree to help the needy during Christmas. Her idea has now spread throughout Australia's Kmart stores, partnering with the Salvation Army to give gifts to over 2.9 million Aussies living in poverty. Share the spirit at your local Kmart store, adding to a pyramid of presents beneath the Wishing Tree. Visit the Kmart Wishing Tree website for details.
Boulevard of Light - daily, 8.30pm to 1am
When the sun goes down, Sydney's Pitt St Mall lights up to celebrate the season. As the boulevard of fig trees create a natural canopy in Hyde Park, Christmas trees float above Pitt St, connected to a shower of over 80,000 golden lights to create a glowing forest. Visit the City of Sydney Facebook for details.
Choirs in the City - until 21 December, Thursdays and weekends, 6pm to 8pm
After ticking off your Christmas shopping list, sing for the season, led by carollers from professional choirs visiting from across Sydney. Tap into the true spirit of Christmas with the warm melodies and the joyous lyrics of carols in Pitt St Mall. Visit the City of Sydney Facebook for details.
Walking Basketball - Wednesdays until 6 December, 10am to 11am
Feel the thrill of netting a 3-pointer without the exhausting battle for the ball with a game of walking basketball. Reducing the intensity of typical basketball games, you'll enjoy the gentle exercise while mastering your free-throw technique at the King George V Recreation Centre on 15 Cumberland St, The Rocks. Visit the KGV website for details.
Masters of Simplicity - 6, 13 December, 6pm to 7pm
Revel in the Dutch Golden Age at the Art Gallery of NSW with a series of lectures by art historians. On the 6th of December, the mesmerising works of Vermeer will be discussed, including his masterpiece, Woman in Blue, and on the 13th, the profound insights in Rembrandt's portraits and Biblical scenes will be revealed. Visit the Masters of Simplicity website for details.
Pitt St Mall in a shower of Christmas light (by Pitt St Mall)
QE2 - A 50th Anniversary Celebration - 1 December, 2.30pm to 3.30pm
Journey around the world on a 50-year voyage aboard with QE2, the iconic cruise ship, at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts on 280 Pitt St. Maritime historian Chris Frame will tell the story of the famous ship, which has hosted more guests, including royalty, than any ocean liner before her. Visit the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts website for details.
Music Academy - Wednesdays, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
In the Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo St, learn how handle a Music Production Centre, with lessons to develop skills in finger drumming, sequencing, effects, sampling chops and song presentation. Bring your MPC to join in the melodic fun. Visit the Redfern Community Centre website for details.
Music Studio Training - Wednesdays, 6pm to 9pm
In a ten-week course at Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo St, learn how to handle music studio technology. You'll discover microphone techniques, music mixing and social media to create sweet sounds. Email email@example.com to book.
Container - every day, 9.30am to 5pm
While Border Force raid cargo containers, seizing massive drug hauls, shipping containers have become a vital piece of our prosperity, allowing global trade and bringing a variety of consumer goods we didn't think we'd need.
Discover the secrets of the ubiquitous metal box at the Australian National Maritime Museum, as we celebrate 70 years since its first voyage. Visit the Container - The Box That Changed The World website for details.
Choral Evening Song - 7 December, 5.15pm to 6pm
Experience the spiritual solace of evensong in St Andrew's Cathedral as the choir of boys and men sing psalms, collects and an anthem in a traditional church service in the glorious surrounds of Australia's oldest cathedral. Visit the St Andrew's Cathedral website for details.
National Portrait Prize - until 17 December, Thursdays and Sundays, 10am to 4pm
The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize is Australia's richest art prize. See all the entries at Juniper Hall, 250 Oxford St, Paddington, including the artwork by 2017 winner, Tim Storrier. Visit the Moran Arts website for details.
Twilight Food Fair - Fridays, 5.30pm to 9pm
Have a night off from the kitchen as you're drawn by the live music into Civic Park at 200 Miller St, North Sydney to sample your favourite international cuisine.
Choose from Thai, Malaysian, South American, Chinese, German, Turkish, Italian, Japanese, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, while children try the free activities during a warm spring evening. Visit the Twilight Food Fair website for details.
Live music - Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm till midnight
In the exclusive James Cook Room on level 5 of the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth at 61/101 Phillip St, Sydney, enjoy an enchanting evening of soulful music with singer-songwriter Kylie Stephens, a popular contestant on The Voice, in the piano bar. Visit the Sofitel Sydney website for details.
Living Colour floral displays - daily
Nature's colours bloom in spring with over 1,000 hanging baskets, floral towers and planter boxes sprouting across Sydney streets, from Martin Place and Customs House to the QVB, Town Hall, Hyde Park and Greens Square. Don't miss the green wall at Kings Cross. Visit the City of Sydney website for details.
Art Play - Wednesdays (except school holidays), 10am to 12pm
Under 5s will love the interactive artwork inside the Room of Lucky Charms, an exhibition with games, books and colourful creations in the Museum of Contemporary Art. Visit the MCA website for details.
Geotour in the Rocks
The sport of orienteering, where participants use a physical map and compass to find hidden treasure via waypoints, has been revolutionised in the 21st century with geocaching. In the Rocks, you can use your smartphone's smarts, connecting with GPS (Global Positioning Satellites) to find hidden containers or 'caches'. If successful, you'll discover colourful interpretations of our history created by local contemporary artists. Download the Geocaching app, choose a geocache from The Rocks website and sign the logbook once you've succeeded. You can also find plenty more geocaches throughout NSW at the Geocaching website. Visit the Geotour in the Rocks website for details.
In the Ultimo Community Centre at 40 William Henry Street, grab a paddle for a hit and a chat at one of 6 table tennis tables. The games are open for all ages but watch out if Forrest Gump arrives. He's a pro. Visit the Ultimo Community Centre site for more info.
Royal Botanic Garden Guided Walk - daily, 10.30am and 1pm on weekdays
Explore 30 hectares of lush green gardens in the heart of Sydney, discovering the historical and floral highlights of our Royal Botanic Garden with a learned guide on a 90-min tour. Join the tour at the info booth in the garden shop. Visit the Royal Botanic Garden website for details.
Chinatown Markets - Fridays, 4pm to 11pm
Snake your way through lanterns and lights in Little Hay and Dixon Sts, Haymarket, browsing the quaint market stalls while sampling Asian dishes including yum cha, teppanyaki, takoyaki, sushi, Szechuan, pho, roti and bibimbap. Visit the Chinatown Markets website for details.
Ponder a Dutch masterpiece (by the Art Gallery of NSW)
Before you master Harry Houdini's straitjacket escape act, learn the art of magic, illusion, storytelling and stagecraft with the multicultural Fusion Magic Club. Guided by Thor Blomfield, or should that be Thor Blomfield the Magnificent?, you'll have time between lessons to practice before experiencing the thrill of performing in front of an audience. The magic begins at the Cliff Noble Community Centre on the Corner of Renwick and Suttor Streets, Alexandria. Phone 02 8512 8000 for details.
Tai Chi - Tuesdays, 6pm to 7.15pm
Want to try a martial art without duelling with Jackie Chan? Avoid the black eyes and broken bones with Tai Chi, the gentlest form of martial arts, using flowing movements to improve balance, posture, flexibility, core stability and muscle strength. Originating from ancient Chinese philosophy, this safe exercise encourages mindfulness as you connect with nature, promoting a healthy mind and body. Feel the serenity at 19 Greenknowe Ave, Elizabeth Bay. Call 0425 362 121 for details.
Free Monday Night Movies - Mondays, 5pm to 11.45pm
At the Soda Factory on 16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills, settle in with free popcorn, $5 snacks and $5 drinks until 7pm to see a classic film each Monday. The program continues on December 4 with Home Alone, Elf on the 11th, and Love Actually on the 18th. Visit the Soda Factory website for details.
Bicycle Polo - Wednesdays, 6.30pm to 9pm
Unless you're a British Royal or a Packer, it's difficult to gallop onto the polo field. Skip the stables and jump on a 2-wheeler for a round of bicycle polo. Guided by coaches during these co-ed sessions at the cnr Power Ave & Park Rd, Alexandria, you'll learn the rules and basic skills, with all equipment provided, including bike, mallet and balls, in a sport which develops your cycling, fitness and balance skills. You can also bring your own bike, with experts helping to tune it. Visit the Newbie Bike Polo Facebook page for details.
Newtown Market - Saturdays, 10am to 4pm
Meet your friends at a local market, browsing the stalls for collectable music and books, vintage clothes and unique treasures. Find beautiful second-hand stuff at bargain prices, hosted at and supporting the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Bedford St, Newtown. Visit the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre website for details.
Latin and Jazz Open Mic - Mondays, 7pm to 1am
Feel the fiery passion of Latin beats or chill with the silky sound from smooth and stylish jazz artists taking the mic at the World Bar, Potts Point. Enjoy the show or step up and live your musical dream. Visit the World Bar website for details.
Tudor Comedy - Mondays and Thursdays, 7.30pm to 10.30pm
At the Tudor Hotel, 90 Pitt St, Redfern, follow the laughter (or the heckling) to find the show, hosting a mix of seasoned comedians and new talents eager to test their jokes, skits, gags, satire and dry wit. Stay for drinks, dinner and the show or take the mic to try your latest knock knock jokes on an unsuspecting audience. Visit the Tudor Comedy FB page for details.
Double Bay Market - Thursdays, 10am to 2pm
Rain or shine at Guilfoyle Avenue, Double Bay, browse the stalls of gourmet food, organic produce, flowers, gifts and arts and crafts. Visit the Organic Market Foods website for details.
Social gardening project - Wednesdays, 4pm to 7.30pm
At the Ultimo Community Centre on 40 William Henry St, discover the fresh, delicious results from your own sustainable vegetable and herb garden. Join the project with other locals as you select plants then reap the rewards while learning to prune, water, feed and fertilise your new crop. Call the Ultimo Community Centre on (02) 9298 3111 for details.
Zumba classes - Mondays, 10.30am to 11.15am, Fridays, 10am to 10.45am
Break a sweat with the coolest cardio in town at the Harry Jensen Centre, 17 Argyle St, Millers Point on Mondays at 10.30am and the Ultimo Community Centre on 40 William Henry St on Fridays at 10am. Zumba is the 21st-century phenomenon in fitness, an aerobic all-body-workout with dynamic choreographed dance. Each class will boost your balance, stamina, coordination, flexibility and strength. Phone 02 9244 3696 for details.
Karate - Tuesdays, 6.30pm
After you've mastered DIY with the tips for self-defence inspired home maintenance from the Karate Kid, learn more about karate in a free introduction session at the Redfern Dojo at 638 Elizabeth St. Suitable for women and men at any skill or fitness level, the lessons will deepen your knowledge of Japanese culture with principles to strengthen the body and the mind. Visit the Australian Kei Shin Kan Karate website for details.
Looking for more free fun in Sydney? Check out part 1 here.
Is there another free activity or event you're looking forward to in December? Please let us know with a comment.
Got quite excited to see two items of interest today when my email arrived
Unfortunately AFRIKA - The Wild closed yesterday
And the one I would really loved to have seen - QE2 finished 3 days ago on 1 December and there was no information whatsoever on the SMSA website.