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Free things to do in Melbourne this October

Looking for free things to do in October? You’ve come to the right place…

Foodie festivals

After the sell-out success of last year’s event, the Melbourne Dumpling Festival is back and bigger than ever.  See Melbourne’s best Chinese restaurants go head-to-head in a dumpling dine-in like no other.  This free-entry event kicks off at Bourke Street on Friday 20 October.

Three steamed dumplings in a bamboo steam basket with chopsticks

Melbourne Dumpling Festival

Taking place at the historic Meat Market in North Melbourne, the Spring Vegan Festival is an new exciting event that celebrates veganism, ethical shopping and animal rights. Enjoy delicious treats and goodies from 100% vegan and non-profit vendors on Saturday 28 October.

Game on!

Dress in your favourite cosplay outfit and get gaming from Sunday 22 to Sunday 29 October at Melbourne International Games Week, the largest digital games celebration in Australia. This week-long event will feature gaming events, activities and lectures from world leading game developers. Highlights ACMI Family Sundays on 22 October, a celebration of classic 8 bit characters, with  all-ages free interactive activities and gameplay.

A child dressed up as a video game character

Join Mario and his friends in a free day full of interactive activities and gameplay at ACMI Family Sundays during Melbourne International Games Week

Take a free workshop or walking tour at the CAE 70th anniversary celebration

A series of free activities are on offer as part of the Centre for Adult Education 70th anniversary celebration at Federation Square. Sign up for express Spanish or Dutch class, workshops in cartooning, magic, Chinese painting or take a smartphone photography tour through the CBD. Tuesday 24 October, 10am – 3pm. Pre-book workshops via website to avoid disappointment.

Melbourne Festival free for all

The Melbourne Festival’s only for those with deep pockets, right? Think again! The final day’s Our Place Our Home concert, showcasing emerging musicians with Indigenous and refugee backgrounds, is also gratis. See this free concert on Sunday 22 October

More cultural treasures on a budget

In and around the pop-up Wonderland Spiegeltent, the Blues Music Festival’s non-stop day of Australian talent won’t cost a dime. Event kicks off at 12 pm on Sunday 22 October.
An unmistakable sign that spring is here – and summer not far away – is the return of MPavilion to Queen Victoria Gardens. With a picture-perfect setting and an inspiring program of talks, workshops, performances and more, it’s a feast for senses and the intellect – and it’s all free. To find out more about what’s on during it’s four month season, head to Ten Awesome things to see at MPavlion.

A modern temporary structure in a park with the city skyline in the background

MPavilion runs until February 2018

Community spirit

From Nonna to little baby Lucia, Melbourne’s Italian community will be out in force for the annual Carlton Italian Festa on Sunday 22 October. Don’t have any Italian blood? Nessun problema! Anyone who loves la dolce vita, including food, music and cars, will feel at home on Little Italy’s day of days.

Four canoli pastries on a plate

If you love Italian food and culture don’t miss the Carlton Italian Festa

More free things to do:

Celebrate pedal power at National Ride2Work Day. Get biking on Wednesday 18 October and treat yourself to a free breakfast.
This Halloween, get spooky at a free Grand Organ concert with Melbourne rockers New War. On Tuesday 31 October at Melbourne Town Hall.
Explore the hidden, formerly very hands-on world of Melbourne’s newspapers at the Ink in the Blood at City Gallery. Runs until February 2018.
To find out about more free events, head to What’s On Melbourne.