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Top Free Things to See and Do Around Melbourne in November

Home > Melbourne > Community Events | Family | Festivals | Free | Markets | Lists
by Lionel (subscribe)
Join me as I travel, play, eat, live and work in cities and places around the world.
Published October 16th 2018
Melbourne for Free in November
Enjoy FREE events and activities in Melbourne this month

city of melbourne
Photo courtesy of City of Melbourne


November in Melbourne is one of the most happening months of the year with the city hosting the most widely covered social event in Australia - The Melbourne Cup. As Spring ushers in warmer weather, it also brings along plenty of festivals, outdoor events and exhibitions for you and your family to enjoy. There are parades, ceremonies, night markets, festivals, garden shows, farmers' markets, exhibitions, performances and guided tours of towns. Whatever interests you or the family, you'll find something for FREE in one of the most liveable cities in the world.

3 Nov – Victorian Festival of Diwali

Diwali celebrations in Fed Square
Photo courtesy of Fed Square


One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, the Diwali Festival is celebrated by Indian communities worldwide. Fed Square has curated a line-up of activities including live entertainment, screenings of Bollywood films and shows, craft and dance workshops, traditional henna paintings, a multicultural bazaar, an array of food stalls, interactive activities for all ages to enjoy and a spectacular firework display to finish that rivals the annual light up of Little India in Singapore.

There's even a golden opportunity to meet and greet AFL players and take some snaps. In support of Pink Ribbon, Fed Square will be decorated in pink to raise funds and awareness for the Breast Cancer Foundation. Come dressed in pink to support this worthy cause while enjoying the Diwali festivities. Visit the website for more information.

Time: 12pm – 10pm
Venue: Federation Square
Address: Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000

4 Nov – Yarra Glen Racecourse Market

yarra glen racecourse market
Photo courtesy of Yarra Ranges Tourism


Victoria is home to many popular community and regional markets. Stunning country views accompanying an hour's drive from the city brings you and your family to the Yarra Glen Racecourse. This venue offers the perfect weekend place to shop for fresh produce while enjoying a taste of delicious foods and wines. Known for the large variety of fresh produce, arts and crafts, homeware and delectable gourmet foods, the market's picnic spots are also the ideal place to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy live music with entertainment for kids. For more information, visit the website.

Time: 9am – 2pm
Venue: Yarra Glen Racecourse
Address: Yarra Glen VIC 3775

5 Nov - Melbourne Cup Parade

melbourne cup parade
Photo courtesy of Victoria Racing Club Limited


Leading up to the Melbourne Cup, the City of Melbourne joins in on the festivities by hosting the 35th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Parade. A procession of cars line up, carrying the jockeys and trainers featured in the big race down Swanston Street. Even some of the horses that are tied to the Cup folklore make an appearance. Enjoy the free entertainment at Fed Square and tune into the live interviews with the jockeys and trainers on the big race. Visit this website for more information.

Time: 12pm - 2pm
Venue: Melbourne CBD
Address: Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC

8 to 25 Nov – Night Noodle Markets



A big fan of Asian street food? Then this event is for you. Melbourne's annual Asian food market at Birrarung Marr is back in November after closing off in Sydney. It promises a wide array of street delicacies from Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and many more. You can expect to see some favourite stalls from Winter Night Market at the Queen Victoria Market and popular food trucks. There's Hoy Pinoy, Korean Tacos, N2 Extreme Gelato, Chinese Dim Sum King just to name a few. There will be wine from Laira in SA, beer at the James Squire Night Terrace and a free Kombucha bar if you don't drink. Visit the website for more details.

Time: 5pm till late
Venue: Birrarung Marr
Address: Batman Ave 3000

10 to 11 Nov – State Rose & Garden Show

Victoria State Rose Garden
Photo courtesy of Victoria State Rose Garden


The State Rose & Garden Show organised by the City of Wyndham is the best time to sit in the sun and explore the beautiful gardens of roses over a November weekend. With a variety of food trucks, live music, activities, tours of the Victorian State Rose Garden and a stage show starring gardening experts such as rose specialist and Channel 9's Kim Syrus, 'Garden Angel' Melissa King, Gardenette, Garden Guru's Chloe Thompson and SBS's plant and produce expert Vasili Kanidiadis, this event will offer a perfect day out for the family on Saturday or Sunday. Take this opportunity to also check out the sights around Wyndham. For more information, visit the website.

Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: Victoria State Rose Garden
Address: K Road, Access via Gate 2, Werribee South 3030
Phone: 03 9742 0777

11 Nov - Remembrance Day Service

shrine of remembrance remembrance day service
Photo courtesy of The Shrine of Remembrance


Sunday, 11th of November marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended World War I (1914-1918). On this day, the Shrine of Remembrance holds a service to remember those who served during the First World War and those who continue to serve our country. This day is marked with a number of free commemorative events and ceremonies that are opened to everyone. Visit the website for more information about the day itself. Free entry and stalls are going cashless this year, so don't forget to bring along your card or purchase a $50 cash card on the night!

Time: 10.30am - 12pm
Venue: Shrine of Remembrance
Address: Shrine of Remembrance, Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC 3001

14 Nov - Polish Festival

polish festival melbourne
Photo courtesy of Polish Festival Inc


The annual Polish Festival celebrates Polish culture in Melbourne. It is one of the most popular ethnic and cultural event in the annual calendar. You can find everything Polish here. From cuisine, hospitality, film, and entertainment, the festival aims to bring a taste of Poland to Melburnians. This year's event is a special one as it celebrates Poland's 100 years of independence after it's separation from Europe. Held in Fed Square, the Polish Festival is the perfect place to get a slice of Melbourne's multiculturalism. Visit the website for more information.

Time: 10am-5pm
Venue: Federation Square
Address: Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000

18 Nov – MSO at NGV: Plexus & Roger Kemp

national gallery of victoria
Photo courtesy of Visit Victoria Limited


The MSO ensemble in Residence Plexus present works by modern composers which respond to the tapestries by Roger Kem that festoon the walls of the Great Hall of the National Galley of Victoria. This event is part of the Melbourne Music Week. Book your free tickets here. There are also plenty of other exhibitions and galleries which are available to the public for free too. Visit this website for more information.

Time: 2pm – 3pm

Venue: National Gallery of Victoria, NGV International, Great Hall (Ground Level)
Address: 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3006
Phone: 03 8620 2222

25 Nov – Guided Walk Revealing Ripponlea

ripponlea village
Photo courtesy of City of Port Phillip


Seven kilometres from Melbourne's bustling CBD, the inner suburb of Ripponlea graced with lush green parks is named after the adjoining Rippon Lea Estate. If you're keen on the history of villages and towns, come along to explore the scenes and stories of this lovely village in Glen Eira organised by the City of Port Phillip. Learn more about the area with a guided tour and explore one of Melbourne's most inner suburbs with a mix of Victorian styled structures and more modern builds. Book your free tickets here.

Time: 10am – 12pm
Venue: Ripponlea Village
Address: Burnett Gray Reserve, Corner Morres Street and Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea VIC 3185

17 to 18 Nov – Melbourne Collective Design Market

Melbourne Collective Design Market
Photo courtesy of Queen Victoria Market


With Christmas just around the corner, now is the perfect time to go shopping for gifts for friends and family before the retail frenzy. The Melbourne Collective Design Market is the one stop-shop at the famous Queen Victoria Market for you to shop for unique gifts or take a stroll down the aisles. Some of the finest local creations and handmade goods will be on showcase along with scrumptious cuisine, live music and a Prosecco bar. Visit the website for more information.

Time: 8am – 3pm (17th Nov), 9am – 4pm (18th Nov)
Venue: Queen Victoria Market
Address: Queen Victoria Market, Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
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Why? Loads of free things to do and see in Melbourne this November
When: November
Where: Various locations around Melbourne
Cost: Free
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