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17 free things to do this October long weekend

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The October long weekend is almost upon us. Trying to keep the family occupied doesn't have to be so expensive - you'll find there are a bunch of exciting free things to do to keep everyone happy

Sydney

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Manly Jazz

The long weekend marks the closing days of the annual music festival, Manly Jazz. This year's line-up includes performances from American blues artist Carl Lockett and our very own Darren Percival, runner-up on Channel Nine's The Voice, season one.

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Chinese Golden Week sales at Birkinhead Point

Who doesn't love a sale? The first week of October in China, known as Golden Week, commemorates the founding of the People's Republic of China. To celebrate, Birkenhead Point outlet mall is offering exclusive discounts on designer brands. Get in and grab a bargain.

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Surry Hills Sustainable Artisan Market

If you're looking for a more conscientious activity to occupy your weekend, walk on over to Surry Hills' Sustainable Artisan Market. The Sustainable Salon is opening up its doors to the community for a day of sustainable trade. The markets are on both Friday night and Saturday morning, so you can either make a night out of it or pop in during the day.

Melbourne

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Melbourne Fringe Festival

Come celebrate the closing weekend of the Melbourne Fringe Festival by indulging your kids in a few free creative activities. The Fringe Kids Club activities are all free over the long weekend, so you can keep your little ones entertained while you pop in for a film. Saturday's Fringe Footy Club might get them particularly gee'd up for the evening's grand final showdown between Sydney Swans and Western Bulldogs.

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AFL Grand Final Parade

The people of Melbourne are lucky enough to get an extra-long long weekend with the Grand Final Friday public holiday. The annual grand final parade kicks off at 12pm at the Old Treasury Building and makes its way around the city before ending at 1pm at Yarra Park. Yarra Park will be home to the Foxtel Footy Festival this long weekend so stop on by and collect yourself a few freebies, including a live performance from Australian hip-hop artist Illy, and a 5pm screening of Minions for the kids.

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Celebration Day

Federation Square will be hosting a range of festivities on Sunday in honour of the Victorian Seniors Festival's Celebration Day. There will be music, dancing, exhibitions and more. From 1pm, the Square will come alive with a tribute to 60s music, so you best bring your dancing shoes.

Brisbane

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Art Pop Up Market

Morningside's Southside Tea Room and Death Valley Bar will be hosting a showcase of local artists over the long weekend. Grab a coffee or beer and meet some of Brisbane's up-and-coming musical acts, crafts people and designers.

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Ashgrove Baptist Church's Springtime Rummage

Head on down to Ashgrove Baptist Church to participate in its big Springtime Rummage. If you're a fan of thrift-shopping, you'll love this huge second-hand market that boasts thousands of bric-a-brac. Proceeds form the markets will go towards charities supporting people affected by homelessness and domestic violence.

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WELCOMEFest

Celebrate Australian diversity by participating in a large multicultural event at Annerley Soccer Club, Greenslopes. From 10am on Sunday, you can enjoy over 60 acts of music and dance and indulge in a range of international cuisines, including Ethiopian, Afghan, Tibetan and more.

Adelaide

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OzAsia Festival

While there are a range of ticketed events happening all over the capital to celebrate OzAsia, there are a couple of free events happening over the long weekend. Elder Park will be alive with free music performances including popular future-folk/soul artist Ngaiire on Friday night and electro-pop artist Yeo on Saturday night.

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Adelaide Showground Farmer's Markets' 10th Anniversary

Adelaide Showground's Farmer's Market is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend, which boasts a bunch of free activities for the kids and a free demonstration from celebrity chef Saskia Beer for the adults. Pop on over on Sunday for a slice of cake, speeches, face painting and more.

Perth

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Awesome Arts Festival

Perth's annual Awesome Arts Festival for bright young things is on this weekend with free and ticketed events happening all over the capital. Perth Cultural Centre will be hosting a range of free activities for the kids over the long weekend including performances, a Western Australia Museum pop-up exhibition and knitting and crocheting lessons.

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Perth Hills Spring Festival

Perth Hills in Kalamunda will be painted bright yellow this weekend to celebrate the Spring Festival. The Myattsfield Vineyard will be opening up to hold the 'Strawberry Fayre' so you can sit back and relax with food, wine and free activities for the kids. There's also the Saturday Kalamunda village market held at the Town Square.

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Jarrahdale Log Chop

Serpentine Valley's Jarrahdale Log Chop is an annual free family event with local market stalls, children's activities and food vendors. Get your lumberjack on and check it out on Sunday!

Darwin

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11th Latin American Film Festival

Charles Darwin University will be screening the last few films of its 11th annual Latin American Film Festival this long weekend. Films will be screened on Monday October 3 between 1pm and 4:40pm.

Parrtjima Light Festival

Sunday is the last day of the Parrtjima Light Festival, so grab your walking shoes and embark on this 2.5km spectacular light show across the MacDonnell Ranges.

Canberra

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Floriade

Get out and about this weekend to soak up the wonderful colours and aromas of the annual Floriade Festival. The Floriade Village will be abuzz with food and drink stalls and activity stations for the kids.

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Steph Nash was a staff writer at Money until 2017.
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