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Whether you’re roaming the state or staying put this summer, Victoria has a host of free events to keep you entertained.
Cinema Pop Up
When: 30 November to 4 February Where: Benalla, Ararat, Hamilton, Romsey, Echuca, Shepparton and Seymour
With classics such as The Goonies and recent hits such as Pitch Perfect, this pop-up outdoor cinema is for everyone. Take your own eats or buy food-truck tucker or cinema snacks on site. This cinema visits parks for just a few nights in each of the locations above, so check the website for your town’s dates.
Please note: Free tickets are available online only. There is a charge for tickets bought at the gate.
When: 1 December to 28 February Where: Various parks around Bendigo
From twilight croquet to community carols, live music to circus skills and Friday-night frisbee, the parks of Greater Bendigo will be alive with free activities right across the summer. Check out their website for comprehensive listings.
When: 16 December, 7 January and 14 January Where: Howitt Park, Bright
While summer is heating up, head outside for Bright’s Rotary Summer Concert Series. The event will offer free music and entertainment in the park, kicking off with a Christmas carols performance on 16 December.
When: 2 to 28 January Where: Coastal areas throughout Victoria
Coastcare’s Summer by the Sea program gets Victorians up close with our favourite summer playground. More than 300 free activities are planned for January, with the aim of having fun and learning about the coastal environment.
When: 7, 14 and 21 January Where: Ballarat Botanical Gardens
January Sundays are the perfect time for a relaxed post-Christmas catch-up with those you missed in the festive season. Gather friends and a picnic blanket, and settle in for an eclectic mix of live music styles, tasty eats and a relaxed vibe.
When: 14 January to 4 February Location: Various venues
Join the rainbow celebration at Melbourne’s leading queer arts and cultural festival. There are more than 170 diverse events featuring throughout the duration of the festival, including the Midsumma Youth Spectacular, Carnival, Pride March and VicTennis Glam Slam.
When: 26 to 28 January Where: Royal Geelong Yacht Club
Summer holidays are the perfect time for a day at the waterfront, and Geelong’s Festival of Sails has it all. The event includes the largest annual keel boat regatta in the southern hemisphere, along with live music, roving performers, food and a fireworks display on the Geelong waterfront.
Join RACV at this family-friendly event filled with entertainment and fun activities. The RACV Australia Day Festival has something for everyone including a motoring and mobility display, children’s concert and kids’ precinct, food truck park, and is a great spot to look skyward to watch the Roulettes air display.
The Australian Beach Games Festival is a summery combination of sand, sea, sport and entertainment. This multi-sport festival will include sporting events for participants and free activities for spectators, including live concerts and an outdoor cinema. There will also be a food truck carnival so you can replenish between activities
Please note: Participation in the sports events requires registration and includes fees.
This French-themed festival takes place alongside the Alpine Classic. There will be free activities for cycling enthusiasts as well as those who are just along for the ride, including a moonlight cinema, live music, food and wine and kids’ entertainment.
When: 28 January Where: Victoria Street, Richmond, Melbourne
If you’re looking for Lunar New Year celebrations, Richmond’s take on this event is one of Victoria’s most vibrant and best known. It will host a range of stalls, displays and food to contribute to a fabulous, free celebration.
When: 8 to 14 January Where: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Kids Summer Festival is an action-packed week of free workshops and exciting live performances. Get the whole family down to the NGV, where the kids can stay cool with a range of interactive activities.
When: 7, 10 and 14 February Where: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne
Ravel, Puccini, Tchaikovsky … get your classical fix as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra fills one of Melbourne’s most iconic outdoor venues with music. Gates open at 4.30pm for a 7.30pm start, so get in early to claim a spot for the best view, or sit up top for the city as a backdrop.