Free Events in December 2013
Welcome to the December Events Newsletter.
Ran out of time a bit this month but had to send this off quickly as there's so much to do on 1st December!! Still plenty to do though, I think!
There's one or two things you need to book again this month but for most you can still just turn up. Obviously outdoor events are subject to weather conditions permitting.
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Sunday 1st – The Big West Festival – The last day of this festival today with the People’s Day Street Party, loads of music, art and fun for the kids. See www.bigwest.com.au
Sunday 1st till 6pm on Monday 16th – Santa’s Post Box. Place your wish for Christmas in the City Square post box which sends letters direct to Santa. 44-86 Swanston Street, find Santa's post box at the Collins Street end of the City Square. Letters should be addressed to: Santa, North Pole 9999. Remember to write the address clearly, place a 60c stamp on your envelope and don't forget to include your return address on the back of the envelope so Santa knows exactly where to send his reply.
Sunday 1st till Tuesday 24th – Santa in Christmas Square. Children are invited to meet Santa at City Square (renamed Christmas Square during December) and tell him all their Christmas wishes. Bring your camera. 10am-3pm daily. City Square, 44-86 Swanston Street.
Sunday 1st till Sunday 15th (although only operating Fridays to Sunday) – 5 Short Blasts - From Water Plaza in Victoria Harbour and Collins Landing at the Docklands, take a journey on a boat as part of a Melbourne Arts project. Audience members will board one of five boats to embark on a choreographed listening journey. Those aboard will have their attention shift from the land to the water – ports, jetties, harbours and the people that use them every day. You need to book this one . Book on 0488 399 686 or 0400 402 161. Times are Fri: 6am – 7am, 7.30am – 8.30am, Sat: 8am – 9am, 9.30am – 10.30am and Sun: 9am – 10am, 10.30am – 11.30am.
Sunday 1st till Wednesday 25th – Spirit of the Square, Federation Square. Merriment, music, films, video games, family portraits and secret picnic places – see how Fed Square does Christmas a little bit differently!
With its array of family-friendly events and activities, Fed Square's free Christmas program, 'Spirit of the Square', is one of Melbourne's great December traditions.
In the Pines: Fed Square is taken over by a large public art installation of more than 100 Christmas trees by urban artists, The Projects. See the trees transform each week creating quirky patterns, mazes and secret hiding spaces.
Festive Harmonies: Listen to your favourite festive songs each day with free performances by community choirs throughout the Square.
Big Screen gaming: Play independent video games on the Big Screen every Monday afternoon between 5pm and 9pm with the team from Freeplay Independent Gaming Festival.
Outdoor Cinema: Pull up a deckchair and watch classic Christmas films as well as blockbusters on the Big Screen. From 6.30pm on 3, 10, 17 and 21 December.
Family portraits: Take a quirky photo of you and the family among the trees with free family portrait services every weekend between noon and 4pm, thanks to The Projects.
Orphan's Christmas: For those who find themselves orphaned on Christmas Day, come to Fed Square for a Christmas movie marathon. Bring your own picnic basket and celebrate the day with fellow Christmas exiles between 11am and 6pm
Sunday 1st till Tuesday 24th – Gingerbread Village. This looks great. Under the guidance of Asia-Pacific chocolate master Deniz Karaca, Epicure's executive pastry chef, the village will be built entirely out of gingerbread and will include popular iconic Melbourne landmarks including old favourites Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Luna Park, plus two new surprise additions. There will be even more fun and mischievous characters to see in 2013 alongside a working water mill and special Christmas train. With plenty of treats for the kids, the Gingerbread Village by Epicure is sure to add smiles to everyone’s festive season and delight both the young and young at heart. Entry to the Gingerbread Village by Epicure is by a nominal gold coin donation that will in turn be donated to Make-A-Wish Australia (www.makeawish.org.au). 10am-6pm Melbourne Town Hall, 100 Swanston Street.
Sunday 1st till Wednesday 25th – Melbourne Town Hall Christmas Projections. By night, the Melbourne Town Hall becomes a dramatic facade for a spellbinding light projection with a festive flavour. Screening from dusk till 11pm, from world-class projection designers, Spinifex Group. Location 100 Swanston Street.
Sunday 1st till 31st – Myer Christmas Windows Noon-1pm 314 Bourke Street Mall. The famous Christmas Windows are on display.
Sunday 1st - The Great Seasonal Wrap at Artplay, Birrarung Marr 10.30am-12.30am. Help us to celebrate the first day of summer by transforming ArtPlay's Backyard with great lengths of coloured fabric. Roll small, medium and large spools along the ground to “paint” the grass, cover the rocks and wrap yourself and others. City of Melbourne Park Rangers will be on hand with natural “wraps” such as cacoons, insect egg cases, lerp casings etc. Find out more about how cacoons are made in our parks and then create your own artwork. Age: Family
Sunday 1st till Sunday 8 December - (open Wednesday to Sunday) - Artplay, Birrarung Marr Welcome to the world of FEY. Artist Bicky Lee has created a magical space for you to be creative. Use an array of quirky patterned material, coloured paper and pens to make a creature from your imagination. What will your creature look like? What colour will she be? How many eyes will she have? Will she even have eyes? See what you can create at FEY! For families.
10am to 4pm
Sunday 1st - Fair@Square 11am-6pm at Fed Square.
Day 2 of the Fair@Square fair-trade+ethical festival is a free event which offers something for everyone interested in being part of a more sustainable future. Fair@Square fair-trade+ethical Festival is an annual event celebrating ethical, sustainable, morally responsible behaviour with activities for the whole family, from live cooking demonstrations, fashion shows, music, children activities and creative displays. See http://moralfairground.com.au
Sundays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th - Gypsy Jazz on the Village Green at CERES. Starts 1pm. Join in, or like most people, just watch! www.ceres.org.au
Sundays 1st and 15th – Laughter Club at Federation Square by Swanston Street 11am – 11.30am
Monday 2nd – Friday 20th (weekdays only) – Fitness at Fed Square Flinders Street Amphitheatre. Join workouts led by health coaches and fitness instructors from Healthy Lifestyle Lounge. These classes aim to help city workers keep fit and healthy. Fitness activities include circuit based exercise which will incorporate body weight exercises, cardio training and core strength movements. Classes are simple, fun and great for invigorating the mind, body and soul. All ages and fitness levels welcome. Times: Monday 6pm - 6.45pm Tuesday 12pm - 12.45pm Wednesday 7am - 7.45am Thursday 12pm - 12.45pm Friday 7am - 7.45am
Tuesdays 3rd, 10th and 17th – Tai Chi in Main Square at Federation Square 7.30am – 8.30am
Tuesdays 3rd, 10th and 17th – Lunchtime Meditation in The Atrium at Federation Square 12.30-1pm
Tuesday 3rd - Southgate Silent Cinema. Chill out in a deckchair wearing headphones to watch the movie – definitely not your normal cinema experience – Tonight’s movie is Searching for Sugarman. Starts 8.45pm but you’ll need to be early to get a seat! Location: 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Wednesday 4th - Come to the traditional Blessing of the Nativity Scene, hosted by the City of Melbourne. This year the Nativity Wall will be blessed, along with a 3D pop-up traditional nativity scene and digital nativity book that tells the story of Christmas. The dedication is to acknowledge the religious aspect of Christmas and recall the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The ceremony will be marked by a choir singing traditional carols. City Square, 44-86 Swanston Street. 10.30am – 11.30am
Wednesdays 4th, 11th and 18th - African Drumming at Fed Square (St Paul’s Court) 12pm-2pm. Are you ready to dance to the beat of your own drum? Take part in a series of African Drumming workshops. Free although gold coin donation welcomed.
Wednesdays 4th, 11th and 18th – State Library of Victoria Ned Kelly Tour - Discover the story of Ned Kelly, Victoria's infamous bushranger. See Ned's armour, pages from the 'Jerilderie Letter', photos and objects. 1pm-2pm.
Wednesdays 4th, 11th and 18th – Nike Run Club. Meet at Flinders Street Amphitheatre 5.30pm - 7pm Nike Run Club is one of the largest free training run clubs held globally, bringing together fellow runners from all over Melbourne. Bag check available.
Wednesdays 4th and 11th – Gravitate at The Square in Fed Square 7.30pm-10pm
Move, connect and create an audio-visual masterpiece on the Big Screen with Ethno Tekh's ground-breaking new installation, Gravitate. Showing as part of Fed Square's Big Screen Gaming program, Gravitate is an interactive audio visual jam session on large public screens across two cities.
Thursday 5th - Fed Square Live 12-2pm Normally held Thursday evenings, today it’s a lunchtime concert. Fed Square's free live music series features a huge line-up of independent and emerging acts that will launch you into the heart of Melbourne's music scene.
Thursdays 5th, 12th and 19th – Organ Recital at St Michaels Church at 120 Collins Street. 1pm-1.30pm
Friday 6th - The 1st Friday Dance Club. Each month anyone in Melbourne can come into the city and learn a dance with skilled dancing groups. Today it’s Broadway Musicals. The 1st Friday Dance Club takes place at the same place and the same time every month – 6pm till 8pm weather permitting as it’s outdoors. Led by community and professional dance groups, 1st Friday Dance Club provides opportunities for people to come together to learn, share and experience dance. It is free, lo-fi, and open to all ages. The address is 1A Queens Bridge Street, Southbank which is on the Southbank side of the pedestrian bridge over the River Yarra behind Flinders Street railway station.
Fridays 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th – Qigong (a sort of Tai Chi combining integrated movement, mental cultivation and regulated breathing) – Main Square at Federation Square 8am – 9am
Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th - Have a great weekend out at Sandringham Yacht Club. As Olympic sailors from around the world battle it out in the medal races of the ISAF sailing World Cup Melbourne, your family is invited to free on and off water events learning sailing, powerboating, paddle boarding, windsurfing, face painting and lots more. Location: Jetty Road, Sandringham. 12noon-4pm.
Saturday 7th - Family friendly Cinema Nights at Piazza Italia, Argyle Square, 153 Lygon Street. Watch Life of Pi from 8pm-10pm. Seats provided but bring a blanket if it’s a cool evening
Sunday 8th – Tropfest Melbourne. The world's largest short film festival, Tropfest, will be screened in various venues across Melbourne, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, bringing great stories and the work of talented storytellers to the screen. Each year, Tropfest Melbourne screens 16 short films, with the winner selected on the night by a judging panel of high-profile industry and celebrity judges. Moonlight Cinema, Royal Botanic Gardens.
Enter from Birdwood Avenue (near the intersection of Domain Road), South Yarra. Enter the cinema via Gate D and follow the path to the Central Lawn. 7pm-11pm.
Monday 9th - Learn Crochet at The Square in Federation Square 12-2pm.
Tuesday 10th - Southgate Silent Cinema. Chill out in a deckchair wearing headphones to watch the movie – definitely not your normal cinema experience – Tonight’s movie is Before Sunrise. Starts 8.45pm but you’ll need to be early to get a seat! Location: 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Thursdays 12th and 19th Fed Square Live 5.30pm - 7.30pm Soak up the summer evenings with weekly acoustic and semi-acoustic performances featuring some of Melbourne's most talented artists. Presented by Melodic Music and MCS Music Group, Fed Square's free live music series features a huge line-up of independent and emerging acts that will launch you into the heart of Melbourne's music scene.
Thursday 12th - Feel Young - Drawing from ancient Chinese traditions this combines gentle exercise and dance – The Atrium in Federation Square 10.30am – 12.30pm
Thursday 12th – Belly Dancing – a gentle aerobic dance perfect for strengthening and toning core muscles – for all ages. The Atrium in Federation Square 12.30 – 1.00pm
Thursday 12th till Tuesday 24th - Christmas at Crown. 2pm-6pm. Crown are improving their Christmas celebrations this year with a much greater emphasis on more interactive and engaging entertainment for families and their friends.
The towering marble stairs in the Atrium will act as a stage for the high-energy Christmas show, complete with 12 dancers in bright costume performing choreographed dances to festive jingles.
Santa will be prominently featured in the Atrium, providing opportunities for young ones to make their Christmas wishes and take photographs. Guests can also take a free photo in the Christmas booth and have it immediately emailed to themselves or any of their friends around the world.
Santa’s little helpers, showgirls, larger than life candy canes, elves and musical characters plus red and white roller girls and bouncing stilts will roam the resort and help create the new Christmas at Crown.
Thursday 12th – Acoustica at City Library – Bit unusual for a library but catch some music from Melbourne based acoustic duo, Slim Dime (who are Jen Land and Chris Taylor), where they’ll play with vocals, guitar, banjo, tenor guitar and space. 253 Flinders Lane.The performance will be in The Gallery at City Library on level 1, 6pm – 7pm.
Friday 13th - Tango at Fed Square (St Paul’s Court) 5.30pm – 7pm. Discover the passion of traditional Buenos Aires Tango dance with a free class at Fed Square.
Friday 13th - Belly Dancing Showcase 7.30pm - 9pm, Deakin Edge at Fed Square. Follow the ancient route taken by Chinese silk traders to a fantastic exotic utopia with drum and dance from China, Persia, Nubia and across the Middle-East presented in both traditional and contemporary form.
Saturday 14th - Book Clubs at Beer Deluxe-Espresso Cafe in The Atrium Federation Square. At 10am there's the Cult Book Club, 11am is the General Book Club and 12noon is the Contemporary Book Club
Saturday 14th - Family friendly Cinema Nights at Piazza Italia, Argyle Square, 153 Lygon Street. Watch Jack the Giant Slayer from 8pm-10pm. Seats provided but bring a blanket if it’s a cool evening
Tuesday 17th till Thursday 19th – Australian Youth Choir 7-8pm at Southgate
Tuesday 17th - Southgate Silent Cinema. Chill out in a deckchair wearing headphones to watch the movie – definitely not your normal cinema experience – Tonight’s movie is Before Sunset. Starts 8.45pm but you’ll need to be early to get a seat! Location: 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Saturday 21st – Poetry – Normally 2 feature poets and the opportunity to read out your own at The Atrium in Federation Square 2pm – 4pm
Saturday 21st - Family friendly Cinema Nights at Piazza Italia, Argyle Square, 153 Lygon Street. Watch Polar Express from 8pm-10pm. Seats provided but bring a blanket if it’s a cool evening
Tuesday 24th - Southgate Silent Cinema. Chill out in a deckchair wearing headphones to watch Carols by Candlelight from the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Location: 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Wednesday 25th - If you're not participating in the traditional family Christmas, come and join the Melbourne Social Club and the Newcomers Network for a Christmas picnic lunch in Queen Victoria Gardens. Catch up with new friends enjoying Christmas Day in Melbourne at this open free event. BYO food, drink, picnic blankets and outdoor games equipment for a leisurely festive picnic on the grass just opposite the National Gallery. Look for the Fun, Food and Friendship banner or Melbourne Social Club or Newcomers Network sign. Queen Victoria Gardens, St Kilda Road, noon – 3pm
Friday 27th – Melbourne Social Club Drinks Night - Come along and enjoy an end-of-the-month drinks night. This free event is open to everyone, with drinks available at bar prices, so come along, meet some of the hosts and club members and start enjoying a great social life. Word Lounge Bar, 14 Goldie Place 6.30pm – 9pm. Book on 03 9111 0121
Saturday 28th – Family friendly Cinema Nights at Piazza Italia, Argyle Square, 153 Lygon Street. Watch Iron Man 3 from 8pm-10pm. Seats provided but bring a blanket if it’s a cool evening