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10 FREE activities on the Gold Coast this weekend

Gold Coast, Living

We’re here to help you get out and enjoy the spring sunshine on the Gold Coast this weekend. But we also know how the cost of living is hurting families across south-east Queensland. It’s why we’re focusing on free fun across the Gold Coast this weekend.

Here are our top picks for things you should get out and explore!

Festivals and family fun

Come face-to-face with awe-inspiring sculptures by local, national and international artists at this year’s SWELL Scultpure Festival. The annual 10-day festival runs from September 9-18 this year. It showcases more than 70 artworks and contemporary sculptures set among picturesque natural landscapes in and around Currumbin Beach. In addition to the beachside gallery, this year’s festival alWso features pop-up exhibitions across the Gold Coast, including easterlySWELL at Chevron Island; industrialSWELL at The Boatworks, Coomera; and northerlySWELL at Helensvale. Head online and start mapping out your adventure.

Strand Fest is here to tickle your taste buds and challenge your creativity. The free in-centre workshops inspired by Italy, Japan and America run from September 2-18. For those inspired by the Italian way of life, head to Little Cooly on Friday, September 9 for some arancini balls and live acoustic music. If classic American is more your style, you’ll want to by at Salt and Smoke on Fridays, September 9 and 16. You’ll learn how to make a mean marinade. Also at Strand Fest this Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 is a free sip and sketch class at Baskin Robbins. Get creative and be inspired by European landscapes, while treating your tastebuds to delicious scoops and shakes.

Free community events

To celebrate the opening of the new $40 million revitalisation of the Gold Coast’s premier shopping and dining precinct, Paradise Centre, there is an action-packed three days of family fun. From Friday, September 9 until Sunday, September 11 you can enjoy live music, a spin-and-win wheel with awesome prizes, mouth-watering food and refreshing drinks, and competitions. Kids will love the fairy floss stations as well as the chance to meet Paradise Centre’s lovable mascots Beau the Budgie and Chip the Seagull.

Justin’s Park at Burleigh Heads will come alive on Saturday, September 10 with the Full Moon Beach Kirtan. This is a delightful music event set to awaken happiness in your heart. You’ll hear sacred mantras, uplifting music and singing all in a breath-taking beachside atmosphere. Get up and dance under the full moon for the ultimate feel-good spiritual session. This is a free event, but you will need to register your attendance.

It’s time to give our 2022 Commonwealth Games athletes a Gold Coast welcome home! Cheer on Queensland’s representatives on Saturday, September 10 with the Athlete Welcome Home at Burleigh Beach, just across the road from the Burleigh SLSC. Proudly hosted by the City of Gold Coast, Mayor Tom Tate will lead the homecoming, which kicks off at 8:30am. There will be a free sausage sizzle at Mowbray Park until 10:30am. Mingle with the athletes, take photos, get autographs and congratulate our local heroes!

If you consider yourself a supercar fanatic, head along to Oracle Boulevard between 12:30m and 3pm on September 10 for The Sunset Run. Look, but don’t touch, at 40 of Australia’s most prestigious and exotic supercars. You’ll be blown away by the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis, Mclarens and Jaguars. It’s all in the name of a good cause — shining a spotlight on mental health.

Head to HOTA

Check out the HOTA Collects exhibition in Galleries 2, 3 and 4. This is a showcase of more than 100 works from HOTA collection and reflects key developments in Australian art over the past 50 years. It includes abstract, feminist art, Indigenous art, ceramics and 21st century photography.

This is also the last weekend to enjoy Postcards from the Edge in the Children’s Gallery. This immersive and interactive exhibition is free to explore and brings Brisbane-based artist Martin Edge’s joyful view of the world to life. In particular, the exhibition showcases his travel adventures across the world in brand-new artworks purposely created for the show.

Postcards from the Edge at Hota

Load up on fresh fruit and vege, arts and crafts

When it comes to shopping fresh, the Gold Coast markets have you sorted. There’s an array of artisan-inspired, one-of-a-kind fashion and fresh produce markets sprinkled across the suburbs.

The Burleigh Farmers Market on Saturday, September 10 from 7am is your local community market for all things fresh! Farm produce, organic fruit and vegetables, gourmet foods, meat, fish, deli products and hot coffee and bakery treats! You’ll also find beautiful fresh flowers, plants, arts and crafts, antiques, collectibles and much more! Arguably one of the Gold Coast’s most popular markets, Palm Beach Farmer’s Market is on Saturday between 6am and 11:30am. Also on Saturday from 6am to 11am is the Helensvale Farmers Market. Pick your way through fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, health food and fashion curated and crafted by passionate local artisans, micro-manufacturers and growers. And from 6:30am to 12pm on Saturday, you can pick up spray-free gourmet products at the Marina Mirage Farmer’s Markets.

On Sunday, September 11, head to Miami State High for the Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market. This super chill market stocks nothing but sustainably sourced, spray and chemical-free produce. There is also the Gold Coast Racecourse Marketthe Lavelle Street Markets and the HOTA Farmers and Artisan Markets.

Crayola free preschool activities

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, events may be postponed or cancelled at the last minute. We do our best to ensure our events are up to date, but be sure to check the organiser’s own event page for the most current updates.

You can find more at our comprehensive What’s On page for all the kid and family fun around Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. 

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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