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Published September 11th 2017
The Best Things in Life are Free
Walk in a spring garden (by the Royal Botanic Garden)
As spring arrives, switch off the heater and marvel at the warm colours of bluebells, azaleas and daffodils as you make the most of Sydney's free events, activities, music, workshops and fun. Revel in the best of Free Sydney with this list of September's free events and activities.
Enjoy the delightful colours and scents of spring along Australia's oldest horticultural display, hosted in the Royal Botanic Garden. Since 1855, the floral walk has blossomed with a bright combination of Australian and European native flowers, including red poppies, magnolia and marigold and wisteria, to immerse visitors in this uniquely English spring garden in the heart of Sydney. Visit the Spring Walk website for details.
Beautiful Evening Chorus - Monday 11th, 18th, 5.15pm to 6pm
For almost 2 centuries, the heavenly sound of choral song has resonated through the historic chambers of St Andrew's Cathedral. Experience the music of the southern hemisphere's oldest continuous music group, complimented by Bible readings and an introduction by the musical director. Former members lending their voices to the choir have included Australia's first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, and our pioneering aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. Visit the St Andrew's Cathedral website for details.
Diefall - Tuesdays, 7.30pm
Roll the dice without the losing your shirt in a high stakes casino - choose a friendly boardgame in Wests Sports Club, 114 Church St, Croydon, enjoying a pub dinner and a few drinks as you rack up wins at Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders or Dungeons and Dragons. Visit the Diefall website for details.
Stunning Sky Photography - daily, 10am to 5pm
Sydney's iconic skyline glows at night, especially during the Vivid Festival, but the light pollution from blaring lightbulbs masks the marvel of space. View the spectacle of comets, stars, nebulae and satellites with 23 award-winning photographs of the night sky at the Sydney Observatory. Visit the Sydney Observatory website for details.
Mahjong - Tuesdays, 9.30am to 12.30pm
Once you've beaten Deep Blue, IBM's supercomputer, at chess, try a social game of strategy with a round of mahjong at Marrickville Library. The ancient Chinese board game, originating in the 17th century, is the most popular game in Japan. Be sure to take a break though - extended sessions have caused epileptic seizures as the stress and excitement overwhelms the player. Master the Western version, with joker tiles, at Marrickville, or try the Eastern version at Sydenham Library on Wednesdays at 10.30am. Visit the Marrickville Library website for details.
Cinemas and Theatres of the Inner West 1900s-1960s - , 1pm to 3pm
Before streaming services allowed us to binge-watch TV and film in our home cinemas, movie-goers enjoyed the plush velvet seats, choc-tops and giant boxes of popcorn, served with gallons of soft drink at a local cinema. An exhibition at Leichhardt Library features images of the enthralled audiences at 50 majestic film houses at the height of the cinema age in the inner west of Sydney. Visit the Leichhardt Library website for details.
Sydney Teapot Show - daily until 17 September, 10am to 5pm
Tea may seem sedate when the quivering of a coffee addiction awaits, but with a ridiculous teapot, the humble cuppa can captivate again. At 49-51 King St, Newtown, browse the best Australian ceramic teapots, voting for your favourite as you sip Earl Grey, black, peppermint or chai tea. Visit the Kerrie Lowe website for details.
Rose Bay Farmers Market - Tuesdays, 8am to 2pm
Join the Slow Food Movement at Pannerong Reserve with over 25 stalls offering fresh, quality produce as you chat with the farmers bringing these healthy veg, fruit, nuts, honey and bread to the city. Visit the Rose Bay Farmers Market website for details.
Musical Jam Sessions - Tuesdays, 7pm to 6pm
Grab the open mic at the Knox Street Bar in Chippendale, joining local musicians and singers of all skill levels, playing a range of tunes from pop and jazz to soul and funk. The PA, drum kit, keys and electric bass are already setup, waiting for you to strum your favourite melodies. Visit the Jammy Jammy Jam website for details.
Yoga for Teens - Tuesday 26 September, 2pm to 3pm
15-18-year-olds are invited to de-stress with the relaxing practice of yoga, stretching tight muscles and quietening the mind during an hour of guided instruction at the Marrickville Town Hall. Book at Marrickville Town Hall website for details.
Dragon Boat Racing - Tuesdays, 6.15pm to 8pm, Saturdays, 8.45am to 10am, Sundays, 8.45pm 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.
Personal Training Sessions - until 10 September - 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.
Yoga for Teens (by Marrickville Town Hall)
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.
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.
Guitar Lessons - Mondays, 3pm to 4.30pm
In awe of guitarists as they play your favourite rock, country or acoustic hit songs? Learn the skills to join them, either on stage or busking on a street corner, with lessons at the Harry Jensen Centre on 17 Argyle St, Millers Point. You'll be guided by a tutor during an informal 90-minute session with your own guitar or one of the spares at the centre. Call 02 9244 3696 for more info.
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.
Morning Running Group - Sundays, 8am to 10am
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 cafť. Visit the Achilles Sydney website to book.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for more free fun in Sydney? Check out part 2 here.
Have we missed your favourite free activity in September 2017? Please let us know with a comment.