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Top Free Things to See and Do around Melbourne in August

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by Lionel (subscribe)
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Published July 15th 2017
Melbourne for Free in August
Enjoy FREE events and activities in Melbourne this month

While the cold of July seeps into August, there are still plenty of activities to loosen the wrap of winter's icy fingers. Adults and children can look forward to craft and design programs; learn to make doughnuts and pasta; view works of art and sculptures; listen to live bands and opera; gather around the campfire; uncover the stories behind artefacts; visit a night market; and celebrate Melbourne's birthday. Whatever event or activity suits the family or your fancy, you'll find something for FREE in the world's most liveable city this month.

1 to 31 August - Craft Cubed Festival

craft victoria
Photo courtesy of Craft Victoria

Craft Cubed returns in August with a vibrant program with many free open studios, exhibitions, workshops, talks and markets. Fans of the Big Design Market and the Melbourne Design Market can look forward to a month of the largest aggregation of the craft and design sector by Craft Victoria. With over 700 artists, makers and thinkers, this is the biggest festival dedicated to all things handmade in Australia.

Supported by the City of Melbourne, this annual celebration showcases the breadth and diversity of Melbourne's maker community including mediums like ceramics, textiles, jewellery, glass and papercraft. You can also participate in a ticketed event with two days of talks, panel discussions and break out workshops if you're interested in craft and design as a career. Visit the website for more information, venues and visiting times.

Venue: Various locations around Melbourne
Phone: 03 9650 7775

2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 August - Winter Night Market

winter night market at queen victoria market melbourne

August marks the end of the Winter Night Market at Queen Victoria Market. This popular carnival-like event has been running every Wednesday night since June. Make sure you check out the top food stalls serving up grilled meats, soups and ethnic cuisine that draw long queues; browse handmade and artisan products; watch the amazing acts by street buskers and musicians; or just catch up with friends for mulled wine by the braziers.

Time: 5pm to 10pm
Venue: Queen Victoria Market
Address: 513 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000

3 & 10 August - Kingpin Crown Kitchen Insider Series

kingpin crown, melbourne
Photo courtesy of B Seated Global

While most patrons associate Kingpin with bowling, Kingpin Crown is hosting a free pop-up event that adds some curated food activities to the day's entertainment. The venue's in-house chef Matthew Faux will be hosting two cooking workshops in August. Fans of Krispy Creme and American Doughnut Kitchen can learn how to cook, coat and fill the perfect doughnut on 3 August. Then join Chef Matthew on 10 August for a session on making the perfect pasta dough and accompanying fresh sauces. Limited spaces are available so visit the website to reserve your seat.

Hours: 6pm – 7.30pm
Venue: Kingpin Crown
Address: 8 Whiteman Street, The Hub Kitchen, Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: 03 9429 5251

3 to 19 August - Sound Series 2017

Photo courtesy of BLINDSIDE

The exciting exhibitions by James Parkinson and Clare Longley at BLINDSIDE make way for Sound Series 2017, a Liquid Architecture project supported by Institut Français and Bundanon Trust. You can look forward to works by Rennes-basd artist Félicia Atkinson, Australian sound artist Eamon Sprod and Australian musical artist Clinton Green.

Félicia's 'Stick and Stone' features new works where she explores forests and deserts with processes of decomposition, trace making and muffling. It is her first exhibition in Australia and she will be giving a performance from at 6.30pm to 7pm on 3 August.

Eamon's 'Housekeeping' is an installation for sound and object, generated from the artist's collection of small and overlooked objects amassed over the years. Eamon will deliver a live performance with Clinton on 19 August from 5pm to 6pm. Visit the website for more information.

Hours: Tue - Sat 12pm - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.
Address: Room 14, Level 7, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Phone: 03 9650 0093

3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 August - Fed Square Live Winter Series

The Upper Plaza and ACMI Bar and Café in Federation Square will be transformed into a venue for free music as part of the precinct's winter program. Hosted with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Fed Square Live serves up five concerts every Thursday this August. You can look forward to diverse music genres from local and emerging artists. Visit the website for more information.

Hours: 7pm - 9pm Thursdays
Venue: Federation Square
Address: Corner of Swanston & Flinders Streets
Melbourne VIC 3000

5, 6, 11, 18, 19 & 20 August - Leempeeyt Weeyn'

The NAIDOC Week campfire will once again be lit to warm up the cold Melbourne nights for three weeks in August as part of the winter program at Federation Square. The Leempeeyt Weeyn' or 'campfire' in the Gunditjmara language group of Western Victoria will be officially lit on 5 August. You and your family can enjoy an Indigenous Welcome to Country, stories and performances. Campfire programs with storytelling, sharing and learning will run on selected days including 6, 11, 18 and 19 before the closing event on 20 August. Visit the website for more information and campfire program timing.

Venue: Federation Square
Address: Corner of Swanston & Flinders Streets, Melbourne VIC 3000

7 to 25 August - Sculpture Has No Boundaries

bourke place, melbourne
Photo courtesy of AMP Capital

The Association of Sculptors Victoria continues to make Melbourne a capital for art with its annual exhibition. More than 100 pieces of sculpture by 60 artists will transform the foyer of Bourke Place into an exhibition hall.

You can stroll through the foyer and admire individual works at leisure. You will find a multicultural diversity of artists including French, Polish, Iranian, Turkish, Vietnamese, South African and many more. Each sculpture tells an individual story, history and experience. Visit the website for more information.

Hours: Mon - Wed 9am - 5.30pm, Thurs & Fri 9am - 7.30pm
Venue: Bourke Place
Address: 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9853 9610

8 August - Dying to Know Day

Dying and death can be a taboo subject for many people. Delivered in partnership with the GroundSwell Project, 'Dying to Know Day' is a free flagship event that is trying to change that and engage the subject in a positive light. The event in Federation Square also aim to build death literacy and explore all ways to celebrate life and live well onto death. You can hear from innovative organisations, service providers and speakers on the main stage in the Atrium, and browse exhibitor stalls with products, services and ideas. Visit the website for more information.

Hours: 10am - 6.30pm
Venue: Atrium, Federation Square
Address: Corner of Swanston & Flinders Streets, Melbourne VIC 3000

8 & 22 August - Winter Glow Festival Talks

library at the docks, docklands, melbourne

The City of Melbourne is hosting a series of talks that bring inspiring Melburnians with the public this August at Library at The Dock. There will be interesting stories and informative panel discussions. This series is part of the Winter Glow Festival that commenced in June.

8 August - The Future of Food Talk

22 August - Melbourne's Role in Social Enterprise Talk

Hours: 5.45pm - 6.45pm
Venue: Library at The Dock
Address: 107-117 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008
Phone: 03 9080 1000

10 & 24 August - Dome after Dark

Head over to the oldest public library in Australia for two specialist collection talks this August. Hosted by the State Library Victoria, Dome after dark brings curators and the public together with stories behind some of the library's most exciting collection in the dome galleries. There are also free exhibitions in the balconies of the majestic domed reading room.

You can explore a selection of beautiful historical and contemporary illustrated books on 10 August. These were created by artists including Esther Inglis, Edward Burne-Jones, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, David Hockney, George Matoulas and Angela Cavalieri. Register here for free tickets and meet in the front foyer.

The First Royal Tour takes place on 24 August. You can revisit the pomp and ceremony of the first ever British royal tour of Australia by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh in 1867-68. Register here for free tickets and meet in the front foyer.

Hours: 6pm - 6.30pm
Venue: State Library of Victoria
Address: 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 8664 7099

12 August - German-Australian Opera Grant Finalists Concert

German-Australian Opera Grant
Photo courtesy of More Than Opera Ltd

Head over to Federation Square to meet emerging opera stars from Australia. For one afternoon only, four talented opera singers will be competing for the German-Australian Opera Grant. The grant valued at approximately AUD70,000 aims to support local opera singers in the development stages of their professional career. The recipient will become part of the professional ensemble at the Hessisches Staatstheater in Germany. This State Theatre located in Wiesbaden produces operas, plays, ballets, musicals and concerts. You can look forward to two arias each from the four performing finalists. Visit the website to reserve your seat.

Hours: 2pm- 6pm
Venue: Deakin Edge, Federation Square
Address: Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9417 4144

25 to 31 August - The Melbourne Cufflink Exhibition and Acquisitive Prize

Following from the success of the Skull Exhibition, Melbourne's men handcrafted jewellery specialist presents its 5th annual Melbourne Cufflink Exhibition and Student Acquisitive Prize. This exhibition forms part of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week curated program. Some of the best jewellery students from RMIT, Monash, Melbourne Polytechnic, Sydney College of Arts, TasTAFE, Design Centre Enmore, UNISA, UNSWAD, QCA Griffith and ANU will be presenting their handcrafted cufflinks. They will also be in the running for the $500 acquisitive prize. The exhibition will run till 9 September. Visit the website for more information.

Hours: Mon - Fri 11am - 6pm, Sat 12pm - 4pm
Venue: Lord Coconut
Address: 358 Lonsdale Street, Level 5 Mitchell House, Melbourne VIC 3000

27 & 30 August - Melbourne Day Birthday Celebrations

Bid fond goodbye to August with a celebration of Melbourne's 182nd birthday. The festivities include a Melbourne Day Festival on 27 August where you and your family can climb on board the replica of the Enterprize schooner that brought our first settlers and enjoy free birthday cupcakes and live entertainment. Melbourne's top food trucks will also be in attendance. Then head over to Enterprize Park for the Melbourne Day Flag Raising Ceremony on 30 August. Visit the website for more information.

Date & Time: 27 August, 12pm - 3pm
Venue: Docklands, Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008

Date & Time: 30 August, 11am - 12pm
Venue: Enterprize Park, 469-503 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
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Why? Loads of free things to do and see in Melbourne this August
Where: Various locations around Melbourne
Cost: Free
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