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After completing your annual tax return, make the most of the free events, activities, music, workshops and fun to celebrate while you wait for a generous refund (or hope to avoid an audit). File the receipts for your tax deductions and revel in the best of Free Sydney with this list of August's free events and activities.
Old adages remind us that everyone can draw and we each have a novel waiting to be written. Before fumbling with a paintbrush, get some guidance from a friendly instructor at this weekly class in the Reginald Murphy Centre on 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point. You can bring you own brushes, paint, paper and canvas or use the equipment at the centre. Phone 02 8374 6310 for details.
Live Music at Cockle Bay Wharf - throughout August, 7pm
As part of the Winter Warmers festival on Cockle Bay Wharf, Tokio Hotel is hosting a gig every night in August, with pop and rock talents including Urban Stone, Adam Katz and the Press Club Band. On Sundays, there are Tunes by the Sea with blues, soul and motown musicians freestyling on a cruisy afternoon. Visit the Tokio Hotel website for details.
Personal Training Sessions - Tuesdays to Sundays, 6pm to 7pm
Boost your stamina and improve your muscle tone with alternating cardio and strength training sessions at the Prince Alfred Park on Chalmers Street, Surry Hills. On Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, feel the burn with a circuit of 3 x 10 pullups, 3 x 10 pushups and 3 x 10 ab exercises to reveal your six pack and bulging biceps. On Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, break a sweat with sets of stair climbs in Taylor Square followed by jog and sprint rounds. Book at Fit Sydney.
Tai Chi - Wednesdays, 10.30am to 11.30am
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 the Uniting Harris Community Centre, 97 Quarry St, Ultimo. Visit the Fusion Culture Group website for details.
Eurovisions Contemporary Art - until 5 August, Mondays to Saturdays, 11am to 5pm
Over 35 of the best contemporary European artists are on show in the National Art School Gallery on Forbes St, Darlinghurst, bringing a diverse range of innovative work to Australia for a limited time. The exhibition features exuberant work from paintings, ceramics, bronze sculpture and photography, by exciting new talents including Anish Kapoor, Urs Fischer, Antony Gormley and Isa Genzken. Visit the National Art School Gallery website for details.
Digital Storytelling Workshop - until 16 August, fortnightly on Wednesdays, 5.30pm to 7pm
Tell your local, family or personal history using the rich capabilities of digital media in a series of 90-minute workshops at Glebe Library. You'll learn the art of storytelling and research and how to handle audio and video software before building on other people's stories or creating your own. Book tickets at Glebe Library.
Business Events Open House - Tuesday 1 August 2017, 10am to 2pm
In Doltone House on Jones Bay Wharf, browse meeting and event venues to find the ideal space for your next big function while networking with industry experts and taste testing the award-winning menu of dishes. Visit the Doltone House website for details.
Is Confucianism Still Culturally Relevant? - Thursday 3 August, 6pm to 8pm
While Confucianism is over 2,000 years old, it is now enjoying a resurgence in China but the interpretation of the ancient philosophy can be broadly interpreted, making it difficult to apply in modern Australia. Hear the thoughts of a visiting scholar from Beijing Normal University, alongside professors and lecturers from Sydney, Macquarie and Western Sydney Universities. The forum is hosted at the Powerhouse Museum. Visit the Western Sydney University website for details.
Challenge your fashion sense (by The Japan Foundation)
Launch your Startup - Thursday 3 August, 6.15pm to 8.15pm
Although the Internet offers new opportunities for new business owners, launching your own startup can be daunting. Learn the best methods to strategically plan your new venture, winning more customers, exciting potential investors and inspiring your team to achieve your big goals. With Alec Lynch, the founder of DesignCrowd, you'll create a strategy on a page, writing your mission statement, gauging the market size then applying the right execution method. The dynamic workshop is hosted by the UTS Business School, 14-28 Ultimo Rd. Visit the Eventbrite website to book tickets.
Tokyo FRUiTS fashion magazine exhibition - From Friday 4 August, Mondays to Saturdays
Tokyo is home to some of the quirkiest and unique pop culture trends, including the vibrant street fashion captured in FRUiTS magazine for over 20 years. Stroll through the wardrobes of experimental fashion, blending a series of Japanese and Western influences which defined the bold, fun identity of Japanese youth. The exhibition is hosted at The Japan Foundation, Level 4, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale. Visit the Japan Foundation website for details.
Fusion Magic Club - Fridays, 2pm to 5pm
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 practise 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.
Paddington Markets - Saturdays, 10am to 4pm
Open since 1973, the markets at 395 Oxford St, Paddington are packed with the fashion, accessories, soaps, candles and artwork created by local designers and craftspeople. Many of these designer items are unique to the Paddo Markets, a community-based initiative with an international food court, fresh bread and pastries, handmade chocolate and hot coffee. Visit the Paddington Markets website for details.
Sustainable Farmers Market - Saturdays, 8am to 1pm
Savor a weekend alfresco breakfast with fresh coffee while grabbing your groceries, including organic vegetables, fruit, grass-fed beef, fresh flowers, sourdough breads and sweet pastries, olive oil, honey, preserves and fermented foods. Support local farmers and sustainable practices while treating yourself to healthy produce. Visit the Sydney Sustainable Markets website for details.
Kids Capoeira class - Wednesdays, 5.15pm to 6pm
While Dancing with the Stars appeals to the oldies, and acrobatic teens trying Parkour are nerve-racking for parents, Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian practice with fascinating origins in the 16th century, blends dance, acrobatics and martial arts. The guided sessions at 103 Foveaux St, Surry Hills will foster the best aspects of martial arts - confidence, focus, discipline and respect, while enjoying the playful rhythmic dance and graceful acrobatics. Visit the Capoeira Topazio website for details.
Joynton Park Market - Fridays and Saturdays, 9am to 3pm
At the dog friendly Joynton Park on Gadigal Ave, Zetland, browse the art and craft displays for prints, homemade cards, jewellery and scented candles after you enjoy brunch, organic tea or hot coffee from the food stalls. Visit the Joynton Park Market website for details.
Heartfulness Meditation - Sundays, 11am to 12pm
George from Seinfeld shouted Serenity Now to relax, but meditation is a surer path to peace. At the Ultimo Community Centre, 40 William Henry St, join an hour of meditation designed to integrate the practice into your daily life amid feelings of compassion, kindness, love and inner contentment. Visit the Heartfulness website for details.
Relive your favourite Karate Kid scenes (by Kei Shin Kan Karate)
People with disabilities can still enjoy the benefits of exercise, either walking or running, with assistance from volunteer guides on these sessions at the steps of the Art Gallery of NSW. After invigorating workout, relax and chat with a tea or coffee at the café. Visit the Achilles Sydney website to book.
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 begins on August 14 with the circle of light in the Lion King, Space Jam with Bill Murray, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny on August 21 and the flamboyant Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Terrence Stamp in the Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert on August 28. Visit the Soda Factory website for details.
Zumba classes - Mondays, 10.30am to 11.15am
Break a sweat with the coolest cardio in town at the Harry Jensen Centre, 17 Argyle St, Millers Point . 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.
Line Dancing - Mondays, 2.45pm to 4pm
Learn the basic steps of line dancing, boot skooting and bopping to Achy Breaky Heart and other 'classic' country songs at the Pyrmont Community Centre on the crn John and Mount Sts. Visit the Pyrmont Community Centre website 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.
Forró - Brazilian dance class - Tuesdays, 6pm to 8.30pm
If the lively dance moves during the opening ceremony of the Brazilian Olympic Games in 2016 captivated you, lace up your dance shoes at the Redfern Community Centre, 29-53 Hugo St. You'll glide across the floor with your favourite friend for Forró, the art of Brazilian dance for partners. The sessions are perfect for beginners, with a backdrop of energetic Brazilian beats. You can also dance outdoors on Saturday at Victoria Park, Camperdown, from 3pm to 5pm. Visit the Sydney Forró website for details.
Spanish Press Club - Saturdays, 12.45pm to 1.30pm
Tired of the same old news? Get a Spanish spin on the day's events with a session discussing the news and current affairs about Spain and in Spanish. Hosted at the Instituto Cervantes on Sussex Street, Sydney, you'll gain an insight into Spanish culture while learning a new language. Visit the Instituto Cervantes Sydney website for details.
Looking for more free fun in Sydney? Check out part 2 here.
Have we missed your favourite free activity in August 2017? Please let us know with a comment.