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The Best Things in Life are Free
In June, the temperature goes down with the setting sun but the city lights up as Vivid's energetic lightshows paint our landmarks. Grab a jacket and revel in the best of Free Sydney with this list of June's free events and activities.
Vivid Sydney - from dusk, until 17 June
Australia's best festival of lights, music and ideas returns with almost 100 light installations and sculptures, crowned by the spectacular lights of the Opera House sails, with an audio creatures theme in 2017. Sydney Harbour is the epicentre of the celebration, with the installations at Chatswood, Newtown and Sydney Airport adding to the kalideoscope of colour. Visit the Vivid Sydney website for details.
Museum of Sydney scavenger hunt - Daily, 10am - 4pm until 12 June
The MOS on Cnr Phillip and Bridge Sts hosts exhibits of objects discovered from throughout Australia. On a specially guided trail, login to Facebook Messenger to scavenge hunt amongst these priceless objects. Visit the Urban Hunt 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.
Stress & How to Stop Stressing About It - Tuesdays, 7pm to 9pm until 13 June
To ease our stressful lives, many of us have heard the happy laughter of the Dalai Lama and explored the peaceful truths of Buddhism. Experience these Buddhist ideas with guidance from an experienced teacher, Giles Barton. He'll introduce you to the daily practices, especially meditation, to discover wisdom and de-stress. The 2-hour sessions at 90-92 Church St, Camperdown provide insights into the teachings of the Buddha. Visit the Buddhist Library 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.
Sydney Speak Easy Group - Tuesday, 6pm - 8pm until 27 June
During America's Prohibition Era, the speakeasy served alcohol as Eliot Ness battled Al Capone/Robert de Niro. In 21st century Sydney, the Speak Easy Group at 8/66 Goulburn St is a welcoming place for women to practise the skills to communicate confidently in any situation, whether a social chat, corporate meeting, speech or the ultimate presentation, a TED talk. Visit the Penguin Club website for details.
Shadows are Cast by Things and People - Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 6pm
At the ACP Project Space Gallery on 72 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, Aussie, American and Russian photographic artists have created an immersive and thrilling exhibition inspired by true crime. Their work blends fiction and realism to offer poetic insights, political intrigue and social questions stretching beyond the typical procedural narrative. Visit the ACP website for details.
Be. Live the City. - Weekdays, 8am to 11pm, Saturdays, 10am to 11pm, Sundays, 10am to 5pm
In Customs House on 31 Alfred St, question your sense of reality in an audio visual exhibition merging Sydney's history via recorded stories and nostalgic photographs with our present time. As you delve into the past, you'll help create a future for Sydney which builds on these personal moments in time. Visit the Sydney Customs House website for details.
Go wild with the acrobatic dance of Capoeira (by Capoeira Topazio)
Play2Learn - Tuesdays, 1pm to 2.30pm until 27 June
At the Redfern Community Centre on 29-53 Hugo St, children will love the guided playgroup program created to develop for early childhood development, assist with parenting skills and strengthen our connection to families in our local community. The program is supported by supported by Save the Children Australia, our nation's largest NGO dedicated to helping children. Call 0438 653 272 for details.
Morning Acting Class - Tuesdays, 10am to 11.30am, until 27 June
Join Suzy Dougherty at 19 Greenknowe Ave, Elizabeth Bay, as you master the skills to act and finally win your own Logie. Suzy has decades of experience, including appearances on the BBC, guiding students to small screen careers on advertisements, promotions and shows. Phone 02 8374 6310 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.
Sewing Club - Wednesdays, 2pm to 4pm
The latest designer fashions modelled during exclusive fashion shows all begin with an imaginative creator, a needle and thread. Master the sewing skill to mend your own clothes or transform your forgotten fashions into chic outfits. During the casual sessions at the Harry Jensen Centre on 17 Argyle Street, Millers Point, you learn to sew seams, alter hems, operate a sewing machine, knit scarves for the needy or knit your own colourful creation. Call 02 9244 3696 for details.
Healthy cooking and gardening workshop - Thursdays, 3pm to 6pm until 29 June
As Sydney's construction boom continues higher and higher with apartment towers, follow the upward trend with a vertical garden at the Cliff Noble Community Centre on cnr Renwick and Suttor Sts. Make new local friends as you create a community fruit and vegetable garden, cooking the fresh produce in healthy meals you'll prepare with guidance from a pasta chef. Call 02 8512 8771 for details.
Comics Legend - Sanmao the Forever Young - Monday to Saturday, 11am - 5pm until June
After celebrating last year's 40th anniversary of the final edition of the Belgian comic book The Adventures of Tintin, stroll down Shanghai Alley with Sanmao, one of the most popular Chinese comic book characters since his introduction in 1935. At the China Cultural Centre on Level 1, 151 Castlereagh St, an exhibition celebrates the comics and their accessible portrait of China's social and cultural changes. Book tickets at Eventbrite website for details.
Adult Capoeira class - Thursdays, 6pm to 7.30pm
While Dancing with the Stars appeals to the oldies, and the thrills of Parkour can be bruising, 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.
Dragon Boat Racing - Tuesday and Thursday, 6.15pm to 8pm, Saturday, 8.45am to 10am
Meet at the dock at 2 Bank St, Pyrmont for a paddle-powered adventure with the Sydney Tsunami Dragon Boat Club. At these complimentary sessions, you'll learn how to power majestic boats in a sport originating over 2,000 years ago in China to encourage life-giving rain. Visit the Sydney Tsunami website for details.
Learn to speak easy (by the Penguin Club)
Afternoon Acting Class - Tuesdays, 1pm to 3pm until 27 June
To be or not to be? Perform your favourite scenes from contemporary and classic plays from writers including Shakespeare, Pinter, Chekov. At 50 MacLeay St, Elizabeth Bay, you'll learn the vocal, emotional and physical techniques to captivate an audience as you're guided by a founding member of the Bell Shakespeare Company. Phone 02 8374 6310 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.
Object Therapy - Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm until 7 June
We're often surprised by the amount of waste in society, as new products are designed with planned obsolescence, encouraging regular upgrading and replacing of phones, cars and small appliances. At the Australian Design Centre on 101 William St, Darlinghurst, 29 of the discarded, 'broken' objects have been repaired and re-imagined in a creative transformation, encouraging us to think laterally and fix or make our own products. Visit the Object Therapy website for details.
Morning Running Group - Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 6.30am, until 29 June
Every Sydneysider knows Heartbreak Hill isn't famous as a site of romantic break-ups but for the cardiovascular punishment endured by thousands during the City2Surf marathon in August. Start your preparation with the free running session beginning at the Barracks Museum in Queens Square, Macquarie St for 4 kilometres at a gentle pace. Visit the Eventbrite website to book.
House of Capricorn - weekdays, 11am to 2pm, until 9 June
In balmy climes between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, some of the world's most exotic plants thrive. See these rare and spectacular flowers, including orchids and hoyas, in the Latitude 23 Glasshouse at The Royal Botanic Garden. Visit the Royal Botanic Garden website for details.
Royal Botanic Garden Guided Walk - daily, 10.30am and 1pm on weekdays, until 10 June
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.
Zumba classes - Tuesdays, 1pm to 2pm
Break a sweat with the coolest cardio in town at the Reg Murphy Community Centre, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts 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 8374 6310 for details.
Geotour in the Rocks - throughout April
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.
Saddle up for a friendly game of polo (by Newbie Bike Polo)
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.
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.
Double Bay Market - Thursdays, 9am 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.
Go4Fun - Thursdays, 4pm to 6pm, until 29 June
Kids aged 7 - 13 are invited to join a 10-week program to learn more about healthy eating, fitness and boost their confidence while while making new friends at the Skyzone on 75 O'Riordan St, Alexandria. Visit the Go4Fun 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.
Drama Group - Thursdays, 7.30pm to 9pm, until 29 June
At the Pyrmont Community Centre on the corner of John and Mount Streets, join or watch the community theatre as the Pyrmont Players, grown to over 20 performers, practise their craft, supported by set designers, costume makers and stage managers. You can join the fun, either as an actor or in one of the supporting technical roles, creating a new theatre group in Sydney's diverse grassroots culture. Visit the Pyrmont Community Centre website for details.
Tai Chi - Thursdays, 10am to 11am
Since the 16th century, Tai Chi has been practised to find a gentle harmony in mind and body. Enjoy increased flexibility in body, peace in mind and serenity in spirit, guided by an experienced instructor in a session suitable for all physical levels. Join the session at the Cliff Noble Community Centre, cnr Renwick and Suttor Streets, Alexandria.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Free Monday Night Movies - 8pm
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 June 5 with a Vivid-inspired edition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, continuing on June 12 with The Princess Diaries and Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews, June 19 with Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Matthew Broderick skipping school and breaking the fourth wall. Finish with a box of chocolates on June 26 with Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks. Visit the Soda Factory website for details.
Have we missed your favourite free activity in June 2017? Please let us know with a comment.