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Published October 25th 2017
The Best Things in Life are Free
Stop to smell the flowers (by City of Sydney)
Before you're caught in the chaos of Christmas shopping, enjoy the mild sunshine of the last month of spring with Sydney's free events, activities, music, workshops and fun. Revel in the best of Free Sydney with this list of November's free events and activities.
Boot Camp - Mondays and Wednesdays, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
While Rocky downed raw eggs and ran upstairs to boost his fitness, you can achieve the same six-pack abs without the aftertaste in a boot camp in Sydney Park, on 404 Sydney Park Rd, Erskineville. Guided by an instructor, you'll jump, crawl and break a sweat in an hour of boot camp exercise where smiles replace shouting. Visit the Run Jump Crawl website to book.
The Cellular Catwalk - until 15 November, 11am to 4pm
Need a new hip? At the Australian Design Centre on 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst, art and science merge as textiles are woven to create biological spare parts. View the future of medicine in this exhibit of computer-controlled biotextilogy. Visit the Australian Design Centre website for details.
The Last Resort - until 5 November
In the Rotunda atop Observatory Hill, Anri Sala has created a sculptural soundscape. A series of drums pound a 21st-century interpretation of Mozart's clarinet concerto. Watch the waves of the harbour drift toward you as the rhythmic sounds wash over you. Visit the Kaldor Art Projects website for details.
Open Mic - Wednesdays, 7pm to 10pm
Grab the mic in the warehouse at 36 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe to hone your vocal skills or relax with an audience of musos to enjoy the show. Celebrity judges and reality-show drama are replaced with supportive musicans and teachers networking to find their finest voices. Visit the Big Foozle website for details.
Sewing Sessions - Wednesdays, 2pm to 4pm
Stitch scarves, sweaters, socks or any other knitted item with this sewing group. Adjust your wardrobe with the onsite sewing machine, as you learn new sewing and craft skills to refashion fabrics into ab-fab outfits. Join the sewing group at the Harry Jensen Centre, 17 Argyle Street, Millers Point. Phone 02 9244 3696 for details.
Heartfulness Relaxation And Meditation - Wednesdays, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Sharpen your focus on the inner serenity in these meditation sessions, cultivating new courage amid life's challenges. Find peace in the hectic activity of everyday life at the Rex Centre on 58A Macleay Street, Kings Cross. Visit the Heartfulness website for details.
Sports Hub - Wednesdays, 3pm to 5.30pm
Children between 7 to 18 are welcome at the Mary O'Brien Reserve on Joynton Ave, Zetland, to use the sporting facilities to score tries, kick goals and slam dunks. After the winning touchdown, share a snack at the barbecue. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Begin the race to the weekend early with the house band at Fonzarelli's on 67 Foveaux St, Surry Hills. As the 50s and 60s rock and roll and Motown hits create a Happy Days vibe, grab a burger and beer of the week for $14. Visit the Fonzarelli's website for details.
Holding a Deep Breath for Eco-Anxiety - Mon - Thu 10am to 8pm, Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat 10am to 1pm
In the Japan Foundation, Level 4, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale, dynamic Japanese artists have collaborated with Aussie landscape painters to create an exhibition to respond to climate change. Feel the distress of evacuees in Final Home before easing your anxiety in the tearoom of empathy. Visit the Japan Foundation website for details.
Badu Gili - Water Light - daily, sunset, 9pm
Missing the lights of Vivid? Enjoy a daily dose of art as the sun sets over the Opera House, with the story of Australia's ancient First Nations portrayed in a spectacular 7-minute light projection. Badu Gili, meaning water light in the language of the Gadigal People, begins at sunset, best enjoyed from atop the Monumental Steps of our Sydney Opera House. Visit the Sydney Opera House 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 the Pendle Inn Hotel on 223 Wentworth Ave, Pendle Hill, 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.
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.
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 can overwhelm 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.
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 on the corner 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.
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.
Capoeira = Dancing with Headstands (by Capoeira Topazio)
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.
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 café. Visit the Achilles Sydney website to book.
Spanish Press Club - Saturday 14, 28 October, 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.
Green Gym - Mondays and Fridays, 10am to 4.30pm
Exercise doesn't need to involve torturous treadmill and weight-lifting sessions. Improve your fitness in one of Sydney's finest parks, Centennial Park, with a team of expert conservation volunteers as you learn the practical steps to maintain the varieties of native and exotic plants. Visit the Green Gym 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.
Capoeira Class - Thursdays, 6pm to 7.30pm
While mixed martial artists batter each other in 8-sided cages, try a gentler Brazilian technique where rhythm beats rip-and-tear boxing, jujitsu and wrestling. Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art, is being practiced at 103 Foveaux St, Surry Hills, with a free class for newcomers to experience the joyous energy of acrobatic dance. Visit the Capoeira Topazio website for details.
Intermediate Guitar Lessons - Thursdays, 6pm to 8pm
At the Redfern Community Centre on 29-53 Hugo St, practise your guitar / mandolin / bass / ukulele / banjo technique in an intermediate to advanced class with a TAFE-certified musician. You'll learn songs during a 10-week term, leading to a live performance for proud friends and family. Visit the Redfern 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 November 2017? Please let us know with a comment.