I'm going to be in Abbotsford next month and will be on a pretty tight budget. I'm looking for the best free and inexpensive things to check out! I love the outdoors, art, museums, you name it. Thanks!
Definitely the best free thing to do in Abbotsford is to visit the Abbotsford Convent. I realise that initially this doesn't sound like the most fun activity but rest assured all the nuns moved out a long time ago and the area is now a vibrant community hub full of artists, musicians, bohemians and artisan food producers. There's glass blowing studios, yoga spaces, a classical music radio station, bakeries, qigong and a restaurant (Lentil as Anything) where there are no set prices, you just pay what you feel the meal was worth. There are often free concerts, outdoor movie nights, exhibitions, classes and other community events.
Right next door is the Collingwood Children's Farm Inc.which is also worth a visit especially on Farmers Market Days (the second Saturday of every month 8am-1pm) or on Winter's Solstice Night when they have a huge bonfire.
A few minutes walk up the road is the tranquil Studley Park Boathouse which celebrated its 150th birthday a couple of years ago. There are beautiful walks along this unspoilt area of the Yarra River or you can hire one of the old wooden row boats to paddle upstream and then let the current float you back to the boathouse. Boat hire works out to be about $7 or $8 per person if you have 2 or more people. There's also a fine dining restaurant here or a cafe for picnic supplies or fish and chips.
After your row or bush walk why not finish the night with a free band at The Yarra Hotel Abbotsford which specialises in local original roots music, alt country and blues. They also have a cracking beer garden and good counter meals.
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