Top 7 free events in Sydney this summer

10 December 2014

Sydney is a hub of activity with a great range of events celebrating music, culture, food and the holiday season! Add this list of free events to your things to do in Sydney this summer and discover more reasons to say #ilovesydney.

Sydney City Christmas Lights on now until 25 December

For Christmas trees with a twist, visit Pitt Street Mall’s LEGO® Christmas Tree or Martin Place’s digitally interactive tree, where you can send messages to be displayed on the tree’s branches via your phone. Both Town Hall and Cathedral Square host magical light shows, while Pitt Street Mall features a floating forest light installation.


Christmas Tree at Martin Place

New Year’s Eve Fireworks 31 December

Sydney’s night sky is filled with colour by a spectacular fireworks display over the iconic Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. For some of the best vantage points join the thousands that fill the city around Sydney Harbour and its surrounding parks and welcome in the new year with a bang!

NYE Fireworks-Sydney Harbour

New Year’s Eve fireworks over Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Festival 8 – 26 January

Sydney Festival is an eclectic celebration featuring the biggest and the best of the world’s performing and visual arts. Enjoy performances in iconic Sydney landmarks such as Carriageworks, Sydney Town Hall and the Sydney Opera House. In addition to hundreds of ticketed performances, the festival also offers a great range of free events such as the Domain Concert Series, which includes Opera in the Domain and Symphony in the Domain. In January, Hyde Park hosts free yoga sessions and a Festival Village that includes food stalls, music and live performances.

Festival Village-Hyde Park-Sydney Festival

Festival Village in Hyde Park

Australia Day 26 January

There are a number of free events held around Sydney on Australia Day.  Enjoy two free all-ages events with the Sydney Opera House Australia Day Concert Series. Watch performances by children’s music group The Wiggles during the morning concert at 10am, and see Australian favourites such as Jessica Mauboy and Russell Morris during the evening concert beginning at 7pm. Another great Australia Day event is the Yabun Festival, located at Victoria Park in Camperdown. The festival is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture featuring live music, traditional dance performances, and cultural talks from leading artists, authors and prominent members of the Indigenous community.

Australia day-Yabun Festival-Sydney

Yabun Festival on Australia Day

Chinese New Year 13 February – 1 March

Sydney’s Chinese New Year celebrations welcome the year of the sheep with a wide range of cultural events, markets, tours, exhibitions and entertainment around the city. The festival’s showpiece is the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade starting at Sydney’s Town Hall. The parade is a sensational display of colour and light that includes lanterns, projections and floats. Other events include Dawes Point’s multi-coloured Terracotta Warriors Exhibition, set against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour and the highly anticipated Dragon Boat races in Cockle Bay.


Chinese New Year Parade in Sydney

Sydney Mardi Gras 20 February – 8 March

Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras parade is a celebration of beauty and diversity. The celebrations attract more than 20,000 attendants from around the globe and consist of a number of different events including the centrepiece Sydney Mardi Gras Parade with its lavish floats and spectacular costumes. Experience the Mardi Gras Fair Day in Victoria Park, a community picnic complete with live performances, gourmet food, kid activities and a range artisan stalls.

Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney

The Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney

Sydney markets

From fashion and craft, to fresh produce farmers markets, Sydney’s market scene comes alive in summer. Visit The Rocks Markets and enjoy a range of diverse range of stalls in Sydney’s oldest district. For fresh produce head to organic farmers markets such as Eveleigh Markets. The Surry Hills Markets is a popular vintage and handmade goods market that is great for finding second hand treasures. Admire the sand and surf of Bondi Beach while perusing the great selection of goods at the Bondi Markets.

Eveleigh farmers markets-sydney

Produce at the Eveleigh Farmers Markets

  • Erica Brooks

    Heard a lot about chinese new year festival in Sydney. I was bemused when I first heard about such a festival being held in Sydney. But after watching it through many pictures on the net I am excited to be a part of it. Definitely a must see in my wish list..