Free things to do in September

Saving up for a special occasion? Feeling the budget blues? Or are you one of those wise types who know good times don’t have to be bad for bank accounts? Whatever the case, earmark these September events that won’t cost a cent.

Melbourne Fringe Festival

It’s Melbourne Fringe Festival time again, and as always there’s a weird and wonderful program of performances, exhibitions and genre-defying experiences. Free spirits should highlight free events such as the Spotlight Stage at Federation Square, which also hosts Pivot, a musical see-saw installation. Want some more? Check out the #Ownit! Street Art Exhibition, Rawcus Theatre’s Fanaticus, the political Children’s Party and nightly events at the Festival Hub.

A man grabbing at a ball as he is jumping in the air. He is holding another ball under his arm with a trail of other balls behind him.

Fanaticus by Rawcus Theatre

The Pool at NGV

It’s not yet warm enough for pool parties but, whatever the weather, now’s the time to contemplate The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity. Previously seen at the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale last year, this multi-sensory installation at NGV Australia incorporates water, light, scent and sound. Go on, dip your tootsies in – it’s free!

A woman wading through a paddling pool, with a group of people in the background

The Pool at NGV

Australia Lives Here exhibition at Myer

Myer isn’t usually the easiest place to cool the credit card, but entry to their Australia Lives Here exhibition is zero dollars. The Bourke Street flagship store presents 100 20th century products that shaped Australia, from the first vacuum cleaner to the first iPhone. All strictly not for sale, shoppers!

An exhibition featuring old household items including a sewing machine, a vacuum cleaning and an old television

Australia Lives Here exhibition at Myer Bourke Street

Melbourne Fashion Week

There’s some serious temptation to spend during Melbourne Fashion Week, starting with opening night’s frivolities. Little Bourke Street is transformed into an alfresco catwalk for the Emporium Melbourne Opening Night Runway. A Champagne bar pops up for Collins Place X Rokk Ebony. Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out inspires hundreds of retailers to offer tailored experiences and one-night-only specials. Don’t miss Melbourne Central’s Millennial Pink Party, billed as the ultimate millennial pink experience in food, fashion and frivolity. Get lost in ‘The Pink House’, a floor to ceiling pink space with pink props, sip on complementary pink grapefruit G&Ts by Pinkster Gin and taste pink treats from cult favourites JY Cake Designs and Bistro Morgan.

On the MFW Music Stage outside Melbourne Town Hall, performers and DJs deliver a very fashionable soundtrack. Ooh la la!

Melbourne Central’s Millenial Pink Party

Celebration, meditation

If the idea of spending nothing gets you feeling anxious, some meditation may be in order. Each month, there’s a free guided meditation as the sun goes down at Docklands. Or is shaking it out of your system more your style? Try the Viva Brazil Festival, a muito grande weekend of entertainment and food that’s going to be hotter than a Brazilian wax.

AFL Footy Fever – win tickets to the Grand Final

An AFL Grand Final ticket is almost priceless, but there are loads of free activities celebrating that one day in September. Head to the Queen Victoria Market on Tuesday 26 September between 11am and 1pm, to snap a photo of the Premiership Cup and see two special AFL guest stars in attendance. Post a photo with #Melbmoment and you’ll be in the running to win! Also, in the days leading up to the match that decides the 2017 season, enjoy family-friendly fun at the Footy Festival. Cheer a cavalcade of players from both teams during the colourful Grand Final Parade. They’re all Melbourne experiences that money can’t buy.