Three people walking along a sandy track by the sea. A young girl in pink jacket, blue jeans and pink gumboots is carried on the shoulder of a man with blue jacket and stripes scarf. A lady with white hair scarf and brown jacket walks beside them, they are smiling.

Here are some free, and almost free, activities for your summer. We suggest how to find free groups or activities in your local area. 

Please check official event pages or confirm with the organisers that the events are still going ahead and can meet your accessibility needs under any COVID-19 regulations.

Always consider your personal safety when meeting new people and agreeing to meet. Take a trusted friend along and keep someone you know notified of your movements.

The Heart Foundation Walking Groups

Have over 1,200 walking groups across AustraliaSearch for a group near you, register with your details, contact your walk organiserthen meet your group and start walking.You can see how often the group meets, how long they walk for and the pace they like. Walks note if they are pram friendly and dog friendly. If you are online, you can search the Heart Foundation website.  

Libraries

Libraries are for more than books. And they are usually free! As well as having collections like audiobooks and large print titles, as a meeting place, or service, you will be surprised what they provide. For example, your library might have

  • Book Clubs
  • Board Games
  • Movie Clubs (Bankstown)
  • Computing skills
  • Auslan Story Times
  • Children's Story Times
  • Special Interest Talks
  • Online events

Active Kids and Creative Kids Vouchers in NSW

These vouchers give you access to sporting groups and clubs. Activities like Mountain Biking, Tennis, Arts classes, Languages, Drama, Dance, Cricket, AFL, Basketball and Netball can qualify for example. Check the website to find out if you are eligible for the vouchers.

Men's or Hen's Shed 

These Shed's have become known as a valuable way to learn new skills from experienced hands. Social connections bridging age gaps can bring meaning to all members. You can also support local projects and give back to your community. Some groups may charge a small fee.

What's On

Sydney. Search for free activities. Anything from exhibitions, sport and fitness, shopping, markets and fairs, talks, courses and workshops, to theatre and the arts, or tours and experiences. In the "more" tab, you can choose accessibility features such as audio descriptions, Hearing Loops, Closed Captions, Mobility Access, and Sign Language.

Melbourne. Cover all things Melbourne. Search by "free activities" and keywords such as "inclusive". Activities like eBook Valets, Virtual Museums, Live Streams, Library Events are yours for the choosing.

NSW National Parks

Worthy Mentions.
A Companion Card may be issued to people with significant and permanent disability so that their carer can access tours and attractions in NSW national parks – free of charge. Companion Cards do not provide free entry for carers or vehicles if the cardholder is not present.

Community,Cultural or Religious Groups

Run activities from time to time from School Holiday Programs to activities nights, youth groups, teen groups, for example.

Rotary, Probus, View, CWA, Lions could be looking for members.Seek out information on your local groups to see if they fit with your ideals.

Join a Community Garden or Neighbourhood or Cultural Centres.

Playgroups Australia

Offer both virtual playgroups, playgroups at home and preparing to return to playgroup sessions.

Gig Buddies Sydney

Fees Apply - NDIS registered

This opportunity gives you a chance to go out to see bands, live sports, bushwalking, art galleries, clubbing, or meeting friends with the support of a Gig Buddy. You are paired with a buddy based on similar interests, location and age. Volunteers undergo police checks and reference checks. Your buddy will go to events with you once or twice a month for a year. Also, check the events page for games events and walks. Gig Buddies NDIS support can fit into Category 1 Capacity Building Social and Community Participation or Category 2 Core Supports Assistance with Social and Community Participation.Both the buddy and volunteer pay for their own tickets (or choose free events) and any travel costs; eligible gig buddies can take advantage of the NSW Companion Card, which allows the participant's volunteer to attend select events free of charge. Volunteers undergo police checks and reference checks.

Riding for the Disabled

Fees Apply 

RDA has equestrian activities with trained volunteer helpers and accredited coaches. Activities like structured riding classes, recreational riding, carriage driving, depending on the club. 

Disabled Surfers Association of Australia

Fees Apply

As the weather warms, and restrictions ease, DSAA Clubs may be reopening. Support and coaching for former surfers, or beginners.  Membership fees may apply, depending on the club. 

Sailability and Para Sailing

Fees Apply

Sailing opportunities for everyone. Some clubs have "Come and Try" Days. Depending on the Club there may be a membership fee or a sailing fee.  

Special Interest Clubs

Photography, Fishing, Knitting, Art, Dancing, Pottery, Gardening, Family History GroupsChoirs, Local Drama Productions, Scrabble, Chess or Boardgames, geocaching, mountain bikingor bakingyou might be surprised at the groups available to you.

What are you waiting for? Take some time to discover something new, meet new people, create memories and enjoy the summer.


This article was originally published in the Newsletter of IDEAS November December 2020 edition. 

IDEAS does information so you can do life.