This article focuses on the sorts of free things most people are not aware of in Brisbane. Also these are all fairly regular things, not special events.
There are quite a few free activities in Brisbane, especially those organised through the Brisbane City Council's Active Parks Program. However there are other free activities and events run by clubs looking to recruit new members.
A couple that come to mind are the Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing at the Royal Queensland Yatch Squadron at Manly, where you can go for an afternoon sail in exchange for being a deckhand, or the various Dragon Boat Clubs around Brisbane that offer free try outs for Dragon Boating.
People trying dragon boating for free at Forest Lake
Do you need a desk or a room to do some work or have a meeting? Obviously everyone knows you can go to your local library and use the desks there, but as fewer people use books, Libraries have shifted their focus to providing more and more other resources.
The Brisbane City council has libraries dotted all around the city. Any medium sized library will include bookable study rooms. For example, the Chermside Library even includes a cafe inside the library.
The real spot for spaces though is the State Library of Queensland. Being a reference library you can't actually borrow books from here, but there are plenty of study rooms as well as bookable classrooms with projectors and white boards.
This classroom is available for free at the State Library of Queensland
In both the Brisbane City Council libraries and the State Library, most of these facilities are free to book. In the council libraries there is a small fee if you are using some of their larger rooms for commercial activities.
Free Language Classes
So you want to learn a language, maybe you plan to improve your English, brush up on the language you studied at school or learn some key words or phrases for an overseas trip. But you don't want to pay the big bucks for a language class or tutor. Well there are plenty of places where you can do language exchange.
Check out the various language clubs around Brisbane. Some are run on an official basis, but many are just unofficial language clubs organised by learners and teachers. These usually have a combination of native speakers and learners of all levels. Turn up with a book and someone is sure to help you get started.
There is even a large group, the Brisbane Language Exchange, that meets every Wednesday at Eagle Street Pier to help people find a language exchange partner. Just turn up on the night and they will hopefully be able to match you with others to talk to in the languages of your choice.
Free Concerts at City Hall
There is plenty of free entertainment around Brisbane. Most people know of the performances in the Queen Street Mall and South Bank. But if you are free on Tuesdays at Midday there are the weekly Lord Mayor's concerts in the beautiful City Hall concert hall. Well worth taking a slightly longer lunch once a week if you work in the city.
Enjoy a free concert most Tuesdays in the beautiful City Hall
Do you want to have a go at 3D printing, but don't want to buy a printer? How about recording something? How about cutting up things with lasers or having the chance to play around with automated machine tools (CNC).
Well it turns out The Edge has you covered. This wonderful facility run by the State Library of Queensland has a wide range of tools you can use. The recording studio has a mixing desk and enough space to record your band's first album. Meanwhile in the lab downstairs there are a wide range of computer controlled equipment that you can use. With the 3D printers all you need is to provide the materials for printing.
Would you like to learn something? Well there are plenty of free courses around Brisbane. The Brisbane City council runs a number of workshops worth checking out. The two most popular are the gardening courses run in various parks around Brisbane and the cooking classes. The cooking classes often have a small fee, starting at around $10, to cover the cost of ingredients. So the cooking class is free, though the food isn't.
For something more technology orientated try the classes run by The Edge. Topics include, website development with WordPress,
podcasting, video editing and graphic design.
Do you like dancing? Well dancing is free and it is even better when you are dancing with others, though there is nothing wrong with dancing at home by yourself in your underwear. There are plenty of opportunities for dancing for free.
The most obvious is the free Latin Friday nights at Brisbane Square, in front of the casino. This regular event is only postponed when other events take over the square.
But there are plenty of free Latin dance nights in bars and clubs as well. Thursdays are the time to head to Cloudland for free dance classes. On Tuesday nights Brunswick and Ann, also in Fortitude Valley, runs dance classes at 6:30 and 7:30 pm followed by social dancing afterwards. Remember while it is free, it is nice if you buy at least one free drink when you go.
Do you need a quick caffeine hit but you don't want to pay a few dollars for a decent cup of coffee or even $1 for a cup from the 7-11, then you need to know where you go to get free coffee.
As it turns out Officeworks has free tea and coffee on offer. Sure it is instant coffee and tea in a bag, but it will do the trick of perking you up for next meeting. There is an Officeworks next to King George Square and others scattered around the city.
Other Free Stuff, Please Share Your Secrets?
There is a lot of free things in Brisbane. New visitors to Australia are impressed by the fact that they can have a free barbecue in park, listen to free music in the parks, attend free events, go to mums & bubs events at the libraries and more.
Do you know of any free secrets in Brisbane? Please post them in the comments.