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Free and cheap things to do and watch online

Hanging out at home? Of course you are! Here’s how to stay connected to Melbourne from the couch. Featuring culture, art, food, animals and more. Or check out everything virtual Melbourne has to offer.

What’s free

  • Melbourne Aquarium has just launched a massive free marine mindfulness section on their site. Think underwater yoda, guided jelly fish meditation and adult colouring sheets.
  • Tip my hat is a new competition that invites Melburnians to throw their support behind city buskers and performers whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19. Catch live performances from local musicians and performers every Thursday on City of Melbourne Instagram. A cash prize is given away every week so don’t forget to vote for your favourite performer.
  • Free Tuesday night comedy is back in Melbourne, with the launch of The Standup Sessions. Tune in weekly for a new set from some of the city’s best headliners, including Frank Woodley, Rhys Nicholson, Geraldine Hickey and more.
  • Loving captivity. Stream this six-by-six minute romantic comedy series that was developed through COVID-19 lockdown and produced as the original Stage 3 restrictions were eased. Follow single mum, Ally, as she reluctantly agrees to iso-date Joe. Until 30 Sep.
  • ACMI games talks.  Go behind the scenes with some of Australia’s top game makers, coders, leaders, developers, artists and animators. Every Monday from 10 Aug.
  • Hang out with animals.  Get a much needed source of constant cuteness from Melbourne Zoo’s Animal House.
A walking trail next to a river

Explore the city from iso

What’s free: for kids

  • Live stream at Sea Life Aquarium. Watch the gentoo and king penguins play in their icy home and tune in for feeding time. Download penguin activities to keep the kids entertained.
  • A pack of art supplies delivers hours of art play. Creative Bug’s online encyclopedia of endless crafting activities is a great way to kick off your next boredom busting crafternoon.
  • Discover Melbourne Museum’s growing list of virtual tours. Explore everything from Phar Lap to forest secrets, and learn about (and colour in!) some river animals.
  • NGV Kids at Home Art Club. For an online art fix, kids can follow an art-making demonstration and draw along with the artist. Sat 29 Aug and Sat 12 Sep.
  • ACMI Kids online learning. ACMI’s education team provide free, fun and educational online activities for students of all ages. It’s good screen time!
  • Online storytime. Captivate the kids with City of Melbourne’s libraries’ storytime, songbird and stomper sessions.
  • If you’re still struggling to keep the kids entertained in lockdown 2.0, check out these other ideas for kid-friendly entertainment.
A dinosaur skeleton exhibit

Explore the museum at home

What’s cheap

  • Drop into a squat with your favourtie drop in hand with weekly Pinot Pilates. It’s the ultimate Friday wine-down, and it’s only 10 bucks.
  • For just 14 bucks the Laneway Learning crew will guide you on an hour long watercolour voyage through space, where your stress will melt away with each starry brush stroke.
  • Have a lol and enjoy Disappointments with Denise Scott and Judith Lucy. Pour a wine or pop the kettle on and settle in with Jude and Scotty for a lounge room Zoom-cast. Sundays 16 Aug – 20 Sep, 4:30-6pm.
  • Mr McClelland’s Finishing School takes the party online on Fridays. Go-go dance to a genre busting mix of tunes on 25 Sep. Join solo for a fiver and meet your mates there or sign up the whole household for $10. BYO glitter.
A woman drinking wine on a yoga mat

Pinot Pilates is on every Friday until 11 September

What’s cheap: fitness and well being

  • Why not try some virtual vinyasa? Little Mandarin is now offering a (grounded) schedule of live-stream classes. Join from home so you can work your way to wellness. From $16.
  • Get moving with Mbassy’s dance classes. Learn Reggaeton, Body movement and isolation techniques. Or try Latin fusion (mambo meets hip hop). Until 24 September. From $25.
  • Soothe your soul with these online mindfulness activities.
A little puppy rapped in a blanket on a bed

Come out from under the covers and relocate your calm

What to read, eat and drink:

A layer cake with fruit and cream

Strawberry shortcake cures all lockdown ills

Want more? Check out our extended list of everything virtual Melbourne has to offer.

Please note that due to current circumstances, businesses may close or run out of stock at short notice. Check with individual stores for more information.