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.
Impress your Christmas guests with a feast of flavour after learning the best barbecuing methods with John Mcleay, the Red Spice Road's executive chef. During the workshop at 27 McKillop St, you'll receive the recipes to add an Asian flair to your favourite seafood, chicken and meat dishes, finishing with a memorable taste test. Visit the My Guest List website to book.
Spiritual Affinity in Chinese Art - from 9 December, 10am to 4pm
In the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery on 141 Queen St, meditate upon the eternal in the exhibition of the works by Shanghai-based artist, Yiwen Zhu. The traditional fans, calligraphy and landscape paintings resonate with the spiritual in the Chinese script and scenes of wildlife, nature and rural life.Visit the Fo Guang Shan website for details.
Italian Family Heritage Workshop - 9 December, 2pm to 5pm
As the growing popularity of genealogy is featured on Who Do You Think You Are?, you can chart your own family tree with this workshop focusing on for people with Italian heritage. In the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre on 251 Faraday St, Carlton, you find the tools to discover new links in la tua famiglia (your family). Visit the City of Melbourne website to book.
Short Story Award - 14 December, 6pm
Everyone has a book in them but if you've not ready to write your own novel, you could try the National Novel Writing Month in November 2018. While you're waiting, attend the launch of a new Digital Short Story Award with award-winning Australian author, Carmel Bird. Sign up at the State Library of Victoria, or visit the SLV website for details.
Night Market - Wednesdays, 5pm to 10pm
Mix with your mates at this mid-week market, browsing the pop-up stalls with international cuisine, live music and special offers. Join in the fun of the 20th year of this foodie festival at the Queen Victoria Market. Visit the Night Market website for details.
Sail to Hong Kong on a round-the-world race (by Volvo Ocean Race)
Christmas Party - 6 December, 4pm to 7pm
Celebrate Christmas without the credit card crunch at the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre on 251 Faraday St, Carlton. Bring the family for games and face painting, Christmas stories, craft, singing and dancing. Visit the Eventbrite website for details.
African Music and Cultural Festival - December, 12pm
Immerse yourself in the diversity of African culture, from Egypt to South Africa, in the largest African festival in Australia. In Federation Square, listen to the tunes from Burundian drummers and Egyptian dancers as you try African street food and browse displays of art and fashion. Visit the African Music Festival website for details.
Docklands Market - 10, 17 December, 10am to 5pm
Stroll along the promenade on a peaceful Sunday, taking in the sights, sounds and scents of stalls with handmade clothing, jewellery, art, homewares and toys. Sip fresh coffee or juice as you brush cinnamon and sugar from your chin while eating a warm churro. Visit the market at the Newquay Promenade in Docklands, checking the Dockland Sunday Market website for details.
World of the Book Tour - until 16 December, 11.30am to 12.30pm
In the State Library's spectacular La Trobe Reading Room, learn the story of the history of the book. This guided tour features the rare items created as literature developed from the middle ages to the present day. Featuring a curated selection of works from SL's Rare Books Collection, you'll see the finer detail in maps, books, photography and essays, revealing insights in philosophy, science and religion. Visit the State Library of Victoria website for details.
Supreme Court Library Tour - December, 12pm
We all hope to avoid a day in court, but just in case, take this tour of the library in Victoria's highest court. As you learn about the heritage and architecture of the Law Library of Victoria at 210 William St, you'll avoid arrest after learning it's illegal to vacuum after 10pm. Visit the Law Library website for details.
Designer icecream for summer (by the City of Melbourne)
Gingerbread Village - December, 12pm
In the fable Hansel and Gretel, two children can't resist nibbling on a home constructed from confectionery. While that tale was fictional, we now have own sugary home in the Melbourne Town Hall. Resist the urge to eat this gingerbread village, crafted by chefs with a taste for sweet architecture. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Techno Concert - December, 12pm
Dance to heart-stopping bass as electronica blasts from the speakers in the outdoor sound sculpture at Birrarung Marr on Batman Ave. The album launch at the Federation Bells will also include tunes from the Zanias, Kangaroo Skull and Ash Wednesday. Visit the Facebook page for details.
Workout Session - 12, 19 December, 6pm to 7pm
On Tuesday evenings, prepare for the impending Christmas diet dilemma with free cardio and weights classes in Alexandra Gardens, guided by a qualified instructor. As the sun sets, take a moment to gaze at the lush surroundings while you catch your breath. Visit the Melbourne Healthy Lifestyle website for details.
Snow White at the Emporium - until 29 December
80 years ago, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the first animated film from Walt Disney's studios, premiered in cinemas. Relive the enchantment in a commemorative exhibition at the Emporium on Lonsdale St. Inside the forest of dreams, highlights include a magical mirror, Snow White's red apple and a squad of cheeky dwarves. Visit the Emporium website for details.
Wednesday Jazz - 6, 13, 20 December, 6.15pm to 9.15pm
For seven years, jazz lovers have settled into the Botanical Hotel on Domain Rd, South Yarra for a Wednesday night session. Request your favourite tune from the musicians in Orlando Combo and enjoy the freestyling results in one of Melbourne's best jazz lounges. Visit the Orlando Combo page for details.
Looking for more free fun in Melbourne? 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.