School holidays can be an expensive time for families, so here’s a list of my Top 20 free events for Spring school holidays.

  1. The Footy District Harbour Town (Sat 23 Sep – Sun 8 Oct) – AFL fun with interactive inflatable goals, training drills, a handball target wall, interactive obstacle course, a game activity cube plus a colouring-in station. Player meet and greets. Full review.
  2. Animals! For Real! NGV (Mon 25 Sep – Fri 29 Sep) – Live in the Great Hall, reptiles, marsupials, and bugs will be on show for children to draw and to find out about their incredible lives and habitats.
  3. Beci Orpin Spring Studio (Mon 25 Sep – Sun 8 Oct) – Beci and her crafty pals host a Spring Studio workshop, featuring a series of free hands-on creative workshops just for kids.
  4. The Great Willy Boat Race (Wed 27 Sep) – free construction play event inspired by Williamstown’s shipbuilding heritage.
  5. Kooky Spooks (Wed 27 Sep) – Step inside the playful and imaginative world of Japanese Butoh. With a smiling shaman as your guide, you’ll jump headfirst into a world of transformation and shape-shifting, unleashing your inner animal, object, kook and spook.
  6. Footy Festival 2017 (Wed 27 Sep – Sat 30 Sep) –  AFL Kids Zone at Yarra Park, Woolworths AFL Playground, with goal kicking, handballing and heaps of fun to be had. Full review. 
  7. Express Yourself (Thu 28 Sep) – Join Double Denim in this feminist party for girls, boys and everyone who is neither, either, both or in-between. There will be games, songs, giggles and special guests to celebrate everything that makes us, US.
  8. Starting School (Fri 29 Sep) – From Andrew McClelland, mastermind of Melbourne’s iconic party Finishing School, comes a dance marathon for kids and adults alike.
  9. Cosplay Day NGV (Fri 29 Sep) – All visitors aged 18 and under who are dressed up in ‘cosplay’ (costume inspired by a fictional character) will receive FREE ENTRY to the NGV’s major exhibition Hokusai.
  10. The Fountain of Youth (Sat 30 Sep) – This participatory art dance party is all performance and no spectators, a chance for you and your little ones to go on a transcendent journey through yoga asanas, creative dance, astrology and the rolling wheel of the year.
  11. Rainbow Paradiso (Sun 1 Oct) – Funky jungle jam full of re-appropriated pop songs, gender-bending folk tales, high-octane group dance numbers and special guests from across the Festival rainbow.
  12. MCG Open Day at MCG (Sun 1 Oct) – free event, allowing sports fans to gain rare access to the hallowed turf of the MCG and have a kick-to-kick with family and friends.
  13. Little Day Out for BIG Imaginations (Sun 1 Oct) –  free family event where everybody is encouraged to let their imaginations run wild as part of Greater Dandenong Children’s Festival.
  14. ACMI Family Sunday (Sun 1 Oct) – day for families to come together and interact with screen culture in all its forms with different theme each month.
  15. Imagined Instruments (Mon 2 Oct – Fri 6 Oct) – Start your own family band in this workshop for kids and grown-ups.
  16. Superhero Hunt (Mon 2 Oct – Tue 3 Oct) – There’ll be craft workshops, face-painting and prizes for the best dressed.
  17. Highpoint (Mon 2 Oct – Fri 6 Oct) – free hands-on science workshops with Skunk Control.
  18. Sounds of the Library (Tue 3 Oct – Fri 6 Oct) – Go behind the scenes to see special musical books and illustrations from the Library’s collection, and join a workshop to make some of your own electronic tunes.
  19. Artplay Backyard (Wed 4 Oct – Sun 10 Dec) – Draw in the dirt, build sculptures with recycled and natural materials or muck about with water. Full review. 
  20. Full Moon Festival Dandenong Market (Sun 8 Oct) – discover the many delicious flavours, aromas, sounds and colours of this traditional festivity.

Also don’t forget to check out what’s happening at your local library and click on the following HOT lists for free inspiration:

Click here for school holiday events in Melbourne’s CBD.

Click here for school holiday events in Melbourne’s north south east and west.

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