100 free things to do in Melbourne this summer

AUSTRALIA DAY

 

GOVERNMENT HOUSE

The Governor of Victoria opens the doors of the grand Government House to the people every Australia Day. Visitors can view the state and private apartments and the governor’s study, as well as enjoy a picnic on the lawns and live entertainment happening through the day.

January 26, 9.30am – 4.30pm. Government House Drive, Melbourne, last tour entry 3pm. 8663 7260 or governor.vic.gov.au

 

FLAG RAISING CEREMONY

The ceremony marks the start of Melbourne’s official Australia Day celebrations. The event includes the Tri-Service Royal Guard of Honour, the Australia Day Affirmation and the singing of the national anthem.

January 26, 10.30am – 11am. Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston Street Melbourne. Inquiries: australiaday.vic.gov.au

 

AUSTRALIA DAY PARADE

The colourful parade sees thousands of people lining the streets of the CBD to witness the entertainment and cheer on participants, in celebration of our diverse community. The Australia Day Parade is held immediately following the Flag Raising Ceremony.

January 26, 11am – 11.45am. Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: australiaday.vic.gov.au

 

RACV AUSTRALIA DAY FESTIVAL

Held at the conclusion of the Australia Day Parade, it continues the theme of Australia’s rich diversity, with free family activities, displays from community groups and a showcase of classic cars. There will be a multicultural food truck park with a range of cuisines to satisfy keen foodies. 

January 26, 11am – 4pm. Kings Domain, Alexandra Avenue, Melbourne. Inquiries: australiaday.vic.gov.au

 

THE COMMON MAN

The transformed riverside space will be jam-packed with fun Australia Day activities for the whole family. There will be face painting for kids and Triple J’s Hottest 100 countdown will be booming out of the speakers throughout the day.

January 26, Noon – late. Common Man, 39 Dukes Walk, South Wharf. Inquiries: 9696 3774 or thecommonman.com.au

The Common Man. Photo: supplied

The Common Man. Photo: supplied

 

DOCKLANDS

This family-friendly celebration includes the Great Australian BBQ Food Truck Festival and program of roaming artists and other entertainment, finishing with the fabulous fireworks display in the evening.

January 26, 6pm – 10.30pm. Docklands Park, 1-91 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands. Inquiries: australiaday.vic.gov.au

 

CHINESE  NEW YEAR

 

DRAGON’S AWAKENING CEREMONY

To kick off celebrations for the Year of the Rooster, there will be a roaming Chinese dragon, street performers and cultural activities filling the streets of Chinatown. Why not try one of the amazing restaurants while you’re in the area.  

January 28, 10am-10pm. The ceremony starts in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: chinesenewyear.com.au

 

ARTY

 

WHO’S AFRAID OF COLOUR

Bringing together more than 200 contemporary artworks by Indigenous Australian women, this exhibition encompasses works that sit across artistic disciplines, from customary woven objects and bark paintings to contemporary acrylic canvases and modern photographic and digital works.

December 16 – April 17, 10am – 5pm daily. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, corner of Flinders and Russell streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: ngv.vic.gov.au

Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Kaiadilt born 1937, My country 2009. © Paula Paul/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia. Photo: Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria

Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Kaiadilt born 1937, My country 2009.
© Paula Paul/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia. Photo: Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria

 

SOVEREIGNTY

Focussing on the contemporary art and key historical pieces of the First Nation’s peoples of South East Australia, this exhibition explores narratives of self-determination, identity, sovereignty and resistance. Curated by Paola Balla and Max Delany, Sovereignty features works by more than 30 artists.

December 17 – March 26, Tue, Wed, Thu & Fri, 10am – 5pm, Sat & Sun, 11am – 5pm. Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), 111 Sturt Street, Southbank. Inquiries: 9697 9999 or accaonline.org.au

 

GLENN MURCUTT: ARCHITECTURE OF FAITH

This exhibition provides an in-depth exploration of the new Australian Islamic Centre at Hobsons Bay designed by Glenn Murcutt. Murcutt and Melbourne practice Elevli Plus worked with the Newport Islamic Council for nearly a decade on the creation of a contemporary Australian mosque and Islamic centre.

Until February 19, Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, corner of Russell and Flinders streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: ngv.vic.gov.au

 

BLENDER LANE ARTISTS MARKET

Take a walk through the quirky and colourful market stalls showcasing art, illustration, craft, design, textile and jewellery, in one of Melbourne’s most vibrant street art-covered laneways. Enjoy the live entertainment, find unique gifts, taste delicious treats and get involved in weekly workshops. 

Wednesday nights until March 1 (except December 28 and January 4), 5pm – 10pm. Blender Lane, 110 Franklin Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 0415 191 900 or theblenderstudios.com

 

BLUETHUMB ART PRIZE EXHIBITION

Enjoy an exhibition of the top 30 finalists for the Bluethumb Art Prize, selected by an eclectic judging panel. With 1,140 artists submitting exclusive originals, this new art prize on the block is bigger than the Archibald. The winner will be announced on opening night.

January 21-29, Tue – Sat, 11am – 5pm & Sun noon – 5pm. No Vacancy Gallery, 30-34 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne. Inquiries: 1800 122 486 or bluethumb.com.au

 

ITALIAN JEWELS: BULGARI STYLE

The name Bulgari is synonymous with 1960s Italian glamour. Showcasing the longstanding relationship between Bulgari, Rome and Hollywood cinema, the exhibition features exquisite jewels from the personal collections of Elizabeth Taylor and Gina Lollobrigida.

Until January 29, Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm. NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Inquiries: ngv.vic.gov.au

Elizabeth Taylor in a publicity photograph for The V.I.Ps movie, wearing her Bulgari platinum, emerald and diamond tremblant brooch, Colombian emerald brooch and matching earrings 1963. Photo: © Photofest, NY

Elizabeth Taylor in a publicity photograph for The V.I.Ps movie, wearing her Bulgari platinum, emerald and diamond tremblant brooch, Colombian emerald brooch and matching earrings 1963. Photo: © Photofest, NY

 

SALLY GABORI: LAND OF ALL

This retrospective survey and celebration of the life and work of Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori features over thirty works on loan from the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Gabori was a contemporary artist of considerable sophistication and dare.

Until January 29, Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm. Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, corner of Russell and Flinders streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: ngv.vic.gov.au

 

COLOUR INK CULTIVATION

Cam Sieu Ha’s paintings have been showcased in major destinations such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the USA. This fundraising exhibition will showcase more than 40 recent paintings and calligraphy works, highlighting the beauty of the natural, and the integration of the wisdom of the Buddhism.

Until February 3, Mon – Sat, 10am – 4pm. (Closed from Dec 24, reopens Jan 3). Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery, 141 Queen Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9642 2388 or melb.artgallery@gmail.com

 

PHILIPPE PARRENO: THENABOUTS

For his first solo exhibition in Australia, Philippe Parreno’s retrospective cinematic ensemble plays with temporal and spatial boundaries, guiding the visitor through a complex journey of images, duration, memory, and the passage of time. Controlled live by a gallery technician, no one visit is ever the same.

December 6 – March 13. Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI),  Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 8663 2200 or acmi.net.au

 

KYLIE ON STAGE

Drawn from Kylie’s spectacular stage wardrobe held at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection, the exhibition features costumes from tours dating back to 1989, and features designers Dolce & Gabbana, John Galliano, Julien Macdonald, Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Until January 21, Mon – Sun, 9am – late. Gallery 1, Theatres Building, Arts Centre Melbourne. 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Inquiries: 1300 182 183 or artscentremelbourne.com.au

Kylie On Stage is a free exhibition at Arts Centre Melbourne. Photo: supplied

Kylie On Stage is a free exhibition at Arts Centre Melbourne. Photo: supplied

 

BOMBAY TALKIES

Showcasing the treasure-trove that is the Dietze Family Trust archive, Bombay Talkies traces Indian cinema’s journey from silent film to sound. It represents the most comprehensive collection of 1920s and 1930s Indian film studio relics in the world.

February 8 – July 2, 10am – 5pm. Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 8663 2200 or acmi.net.au

 

ONEIROI

The exhibition is is a photographic installation by Bill Henson, one of Australia’s leading artists, that will be permanently housed at the Hellenic Museum. The exhibition represents over 8,000 years of Greek history and culture and comprises pieces of immense beauty and cultural significance.

Until April 8, 2018. Tue – Sun, 10am – 4pm. Hellenic Museum, 280 William Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: hellenic.org.au

 

MARKING HISTORY

 

TEE VEE AT SIXTY

The exhibition marks the 60th anniversary of television in Australia. It includes vintage TV sets showing GTV-9 news footage from the University of Melbourne Archives, as well as material relating to The Mickey Mouse Club, The Tarax Show, TV Westerns, TV dining and TV knitting.

Until January 30. Baillieu Library, The University of Melbourne, 230 Grattan Street, Parkville. Inquiries: 9035 4657 or library.unimelb.edu.au

 

FROM MOS TO MULLETS

This new photographic exhibition looks at hair as a marker of identity, gender and culture. It charts the history of hair, using photos featuring historic hairstyles from Public Record Office Victoria’s state archives, displayed alongside photos from community street photographers.

Until February 1, Mon – Fri, 10am – 4.30pm. Victorian Archives Centre, 99 Shiel Street, North Melbourne. Inquiries: prov.vic.gov.au

 

ON AIR: 40 YEARS OF 3RRR

Celebrate 40 years of Melbourne independent radio in the first-ever exhibition showcasing Triple R, Australia’s largest and most successful community station. Discover its evolution from an educational broadcaster at RMIT University to a station with 440,000 listeners and its own premises in Brunswick.

Until January 29, Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm. State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 8664 7000 or slv.vic.gov.au

 

DAVID COLLOPY: YESTERDAY ONCE MORE

Discover how Melbourne’s familiar landmarks have changed over time in David Collopy’s display of old and new photographs of the city. Images sourced from the State Library’s catalogue, Monash University archives and Collopy’s personal collection have been rephotographed and shown alongside the original scene for comparison.

Until March 6, Mon – Sun, all day. Palmer Hall, State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 8664 7099 or slv.vic.gov.au

 

BEHIND THE BADGE: WOMEN OF VICTORIA POLICE

The exhibition features photographic portraits and personal stories of ten women currently serving in Victoria Police. Visit the museum to find out more about their stories and help celebrate the women behind the badge.

Until June 6, Mon – Fri, 10am – 4pm. Victoria Police Museum, World Trade Centre, 637 Flinders Street (enter via Siddeley Street), Melbourne. Inquiries: 9247 6354 or policemuseum.vic.gov.au

 

WILD COLONIAL BOYS

Explore the early Victorian frontier stories of the Plenty Gang, the St Kilda Gang and Victoria’s most famous bushranger Ned Kelly, who operated within a stone’s throw of settled towns. You’ll also learn of the other ‘wild colonial boys’ who infested Victoria’s bushlands in search of fortune.

Until November 2017, Mon – Fri (& Sun), 10am – 4pm. Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street, East Melbourne. Inquiries: 9651 2233 or oldtreasurybuilding.org.au

 

POP TO IT!

 


LILLET SECRET GARDEN POP UP BAR

With a stunning backdrop of the Yarra River and city skyline, the Common Lawn will be transformed into a secret garden pop-up bar complete with white picket fence, floral french-chic trimmings, a Petanque playing field and a swing, while offering an array of fruity Lillet cocktails.

December 19 – February 28, Mon – Sun, noon – late. Common Man, 39 Dukes Walk, South Wharf. Inquiries: 9696 3774 or thecommonman.com.au

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

 

PIMM’S GARDEN AT BEARBRASS

BearBrass will be serving refreshing cups, jugs and even popsicles featuring one of the world’s most popular beverages since 1823. Garden-goers can enjoy a PIMM’S after work or on a Sunday afternoon while enjoying the beautiful city views.

Until January 9, BearBrass, Southgate, 3 Southgate Ave, Southbank. Inquiries: 9682 3799 or bearbrass.com.au

 

POP-UP BAR: ON AIR

Join the party at the State Library’s pop-up bar during the On Air: 40 Years of 3RRR exhibition. Listen to music from popular Triple R DJs, explore Readings’ exclusive vinyl shop and gain late-night access to the exhibition.

January 13 & 20, 7pm – 10pm. Inquries: 8664 7000 or slv.vic.gov.au

 

ANGUS AND CELESTE CERAMICS STORE POP UP

Located alongside Queen Victoria Market, Angus & Celeste is a store renowned for its modern perspective on ceramic design. Pick out some amazing Christmas presents, or get started on your New Year’s resolution to overheal your interior.

Until February 5, Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat, 9am – 3.30pm & Sun 8.45am – 4.45pm. Angus and Celeste Pop Up Store, 141 Therry Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 0423 691 281 or angusandceleste.com

 

ST KILDA TWILIGHT MARKET

The O’Donnell Gardens come alive on Thursday evenings during summer. The market brings together an array of artworks, vintage wear, craft, hand designed fashion and jewellery, exotic clothes, produce, emerging designers and foods of the world.

Until February 16, Thursdays 5pm – 10pm. O’Donnell Gardens, St Kilda. Inquiries: stkildatwilightmarket.com

 

SOUTH MELBOURNE NIGHT MARKET

The market will be returning to the streets of South Melbourne over summer. For eight weeks, the city’s oldest market transforms at twilight into a magical night market with a feast of street food, market stalls and free entertainment and music.

January 5 – February 23, Thursdays 5.30pm. Corner of Cecil and Coventry streets, South Melbourne. Inquiries: southmelbournenightmarket.com.au

 

THINKERS AND MAKERS MARKET

Wander around taking in Brunswick’s best art, live music, plants, furniture and food. Have a coffee or a bite to eat and mingle with creators and artists. Everything at this market is one of a kind and locally made.

January 28 & February 25, 9am – 2pm. 35 Colebrook Street, Brunswick. Inquiries: facebook.com/events

 

QVM SUMMER NIGHT MARKET

Home to Melbourne’s largest selection of global street food, free live music and roving entertainers, specialty and vintage shopping, there is no better place to enjoy Melbourne’s warmer months than at the iconic market.

Until March 8 (excluding December 28), Wednesdays 5pm-10pm. Queen Victoria Market, 513 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: thenightmarket.com.au

 

THE COMMUNITY GROCER CARLTON

With over 25 types of vegetables and over 20 types of fruit at affordable prices, you’re sure to find something great for your next meal. There’s a free vegetarian BBQ lunch and food relief from Secondbite. All profits raised from the market are returned to the community.

Fridays, 9.30am – 12.30pm. 510 Lygon Street, Carlton. Inquiries: 0411 401 303 or thecommunitygrocer.com.au

 

CHILL OUT

 

SUMMERTIME CINEMA

Bring a picnic rug and relax under the stars with Holiday Inn (PG) on December 10 at Riversdale Park in Camberwell and A Christmas Story (PG) on December 17 at Central Gardens in Hawthorn. Food will be available onsite but guests are welcome to bring their own picnic.

December 10 & 17, 8pm for an 8.30pm start. Riversdale Park, Camberwell & Central Gardens, Hawthorn. Inquiries: 9278 4770 or hawthornartscentre.com.au

Summertime Cinema is back. Photo: supplied

Summertime Cinema is back. Photo: supplied

 

MPAVILION

An event hub, a meeting place and an invitation to experiment, MPavilion brings creative collaborators together to present a free, four-month program of talks, workshops, performances and installations. Check out the website for the full list of events. 

Until February 18, all day (closed New Year’s Day). MPavilion, Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne. Inquiries: info@mpavilion.org or mpavilion.org

 

THE LITTLE LIBRARY POP UP

One of the easiest ways to de-stress and chill out is reading. So why not take one of your unwanted books and swap it for something new at this great little pop-up in Melbourne Central. Go sit outside the State Library and bliss out in the sun (or shade, depending on your taste).

Mon – Wed (& Sat), 10am – 7pm. Thurs & Friday, 10am – 9pm.  Level 2, Melbourne Central, corner of Lonsdale and Swanston streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: melbournecentral.com.au

 

PENGUINS

A little penguin colony established itself on the St Kilda breakwater in the 1970s and has become a beloved fixture of the area. The penguins come in every night of the year, but summer is the best time to see them. Take along the kids to enjoy the little creatures.

Volunteer guides on site during daylight savings. Inquiries: stkildapenguins.com.au

 

2016 NGV ARCHITECTURE COMMISSION

This playful reinvention of the suburban car wash is sure to delight young and old. In place of cement and fluorescent lighting, the structure has a lightweight steel body with walls made of layered cricket netting and a translucent polycarbonate roof.

Until April 30, 2017. 10am – 5pm daily. NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Inquiries: ngv.vic.gov.au

 

TAI CHI

Start each week feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and energised with Tai Chi, the Chinese martial art that helps promote health and relaxation. Join expert instructors from Tai Chi Australia for a free class every Tuesday morning at Fed Square.

January 5 – December 27, 2017, Tuesdays 7.30am – 8.30am. Federation Square, corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: fedsquare.com/events/tai-chi

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

 

BUREAU FOR THE ORGANISATION OF ORIGINS (BOO)

Curated by Ben Sheppard, this initiative explores the national preoccupation with identity by examining Australia’s cultural self-evaluation leading up to, and ‘celebrated’ on, Australia Day. The objective is to establish a discursive dialogue within the BOO which will simultaneously serve as a workshop, meeting venue and exhibition space.

January 25 – February 11, Tues – Sat, noon – 6pm. Blindside Gallery, Room 14, Level 7, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9650 0093 or blindside.org.au

 

BOOK CHAT: FEEL-GOOD SUMMER READS

Unlike a traditional book club, a book chat is a relaxed chat about the books you’re reading or have read. Share your reading experiences with library staff and community members over some light refreshments. New participants are warmly welcomed.

February 15, 11.30am – 12.30pm. Phoenix Park Library, 30 Rob Roy Road, Malvern East. Inquiries: 8290 4000 or stonnington.vic.gov.au

 

MORNING RITUAL

Start your day with a morning ceremony: place a gold leaf on MPavilion’s bamboo structure. In India, it’s a common custom for visitors to special sites to make an offer of gold as an omen of prosperity. Enjoy a complimentary cup of freshly-brewed T2 after your offering.

Until February 18, 10.30am daily. MPavilion, Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne. Inquiries: mpavilion.org

 

IYENGAR YOGA

Clifton Hill Yoga Studio specialises in Iyengar Yoga, a form of hatha yoga with an emphasis on alignment and precision in each posture. Free Tuesday classes are open to adults of all ages, and people at all stages of their yoga practice.

Tuesdays, 2.30 – 3.45pm, Clifton Hill Yoga Studio, 129 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill. Inquiries: 9486 8044 or iyoga.com.au

 

CHILD’S PLAY

ARTPLAY BACKYARD

Kids can draw in the dirt, build sculptures with recycled and natural materials or play with water to their heart’s desire. All of the ingredients for creativity are there for the kids to build their own magical masterpiece.

January 14-28, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10am – 12pm. Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9664 7900 or artplay@melbourne.vic.gov.au

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

 

ONCE UPON A TUNE

This interactive, musical adventure is for primary school children and the young at heart. Discover your inner magical and musical powers, and help save the forest from the evil giant. It will feature music by Beethoven, Brahms and Australian composer Colin Brumby.

January 17, 10.30am – 11.15am. City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Inquiries: 0435 354 992 or morna.hu89@gmail.com

 

AWESOME ADVENTURES

Kids can enjoy hours of fun, with trampolines, a go-kart track, metal slide, chook house, ride-on dinosaur, flying fox, cubby house, climbing frames, pirate ship, metal half-pipe, little basketball court, a big teepee and big wooden castle.

School holidays and weekends, noon – 4.30pm, St Kilda Adventure Playground, Neptune Street, St Kilda. Inquiries: portphillip.vic.gov.au

 

HABITAT

Children from ArtPlay’s Art and Performance Clubs have joined forces to produce this intriguing installation. This year they’ve been exploring habitats – the natural environments in which species live. Find out what the natural environment of the Art and Performance Clubbers looks like up close.

Until January 29, 10am – 4pm (Closed January 22). For ages 4 to 12. Birrarung Marr, behind Federation Square, Melbourne. Inquiries: artplay@melbourne.vic.gov.au or melbourne.vic.gov.au

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

 

SCREEN WORLDS

The kids will have their pick of fun and interactive games, with 220 screen-based displays, spanning 110 years of moving image history. Learning has never been so fun for the youngsters, and parents will get a kick out of it too.

Daily, 10am – 5pm, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Federation Square, Melbourne. Inquiries: 8663 2200 or acmi.net.au

 

UP & AWAY

Sit back and relax with the kids, with a screening of family-favourite Up! (PG). In the film, Carl Fredricksen, a retired balloon salesman, is part rascal and part dreamer who is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Fair warning, there is one scene at the start of the movie which is guaranteed to have you in tears. 

January 31, 1pm – 3pm. Prahran Library, 180 Greville Street, Prahran. Inquiries: 8290 3344 or stonnington.vic.gov.au

 

SEAL THE DEAL

From seals to crocodiles, gorillas to meerkats, there is so much for the kids to enjoy as they explore the zoo. Take advantage of the Close-up Encounters that brings the kids face-to-face with some of the zoo’s most popular personalities.

Melbourne Zoo, Elliott Avenue, Parkville. Free entry for under-16s on public and school holidays. 9am-5pm. Inquiries: 1300 966 784 or zoo.org.au

 

NGV KIDS SUMMER FESTIVAL

Take the kids along to free activities across both NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. These will include artist workshops, kids yoga in the NGV Garden, a dachshund dog parade and a model dog park for children, where they can display their hand-crafted creations.

Until January 26, 10am-3pm daily. NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne & The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne. Cost: free. Inquiries: 8620 2222 or ngv.vic.gov.au

Children participating in a yoga class with Yoga Sparks. Photo: supplied

Children participating in a yoga class with Yoga Sparks. Photo: supplied

 

 

PARTY TIME

 

FED SQUARE LIVE

The perfect opportunity to soak up summer evenings, Fed Square Live features some of Melbourne’s most talented and emerging artists. Melbourne’s music lovers can pull up a deck chair, slip on their dancing shoes or just settle down in one of Fed Square’s restaurants and bars.

Selected Thursdays until February 16, 2017, 5.30pm – 7.30pm. Federation Square, corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9655 1900 or fedsquare.com

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

 

ASSEMBLE PAPERS PRESENTS ‘EARS’: CHELA + MILLÚ

Assemble Papers’ Ears mixtape series comes to life under the MPavilion roof. Join the energetic Melbourne-via-California musician Chela as she plays a special sunset DJ set in the lush surrounds of the Queen Victoria Gardens.

December 16, 6pm – 9pm. MPavilion, Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne. Inquiries: mpavilion.org

 

CIRCLE OF FUNK

As part of Mapping Melbourne 2016, Circle of Funk brings together the local street dance community and the Foreign Brother’s eclectic rhythm section, The CoreTet, for a dance cipher seen through the eras of the jazz, funk and hip hop.

December 17, 7.30pm – 11pm. The Toff In Town, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: multiculturalarts.com.au

 

SUNSET SOUNDS

Sunday evenings will come alive with music concerts across the beautiful parks and gardens of Stonnington. The events will combine some of Australia’s best musical talent with food from some of Melbourne’s favourite food trucks, with acts like Deborah Conway, Fem and The Hep and Cookin’ On 3 Burners all making appearances.

January 8, 15 & 22, 6pm. Victoria Gardens, Prahran, Central Park, Malvern East & Malvern Gardens. Inquiries: stonnington.vic.gov.au

 

ASIA POP COURTYARD CANTINA

The Immigration Museum’s courtyard will pop this summer with a fusion of Melbourne’s distinctive Asia Pop on Friday evenings. Featuring K-pop and J-pop DJs, performances and food, have a drink with friends and experience the phenomenon of Asia Pop.

February 3-24, Fridays 5pm – 9pm. Immigration Museum, 400-424 Flinders Street, Melbourne. Courtyard entry is free. Nights include $7 entry to the museum.. Inquiries: 13 11 02 or museumvictoria.com.au

 

CHINESE SQUARE DANCING

With roots in ancient history, China’s square dancing has been developing over millennia. Suitable for all ages, join Chinese Square Dancers for a participative group lesson and interactive dance routine.

February 25, 11am – noon. Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton. Inquiries: 13 11 02 or museumvictoria.com.au

 

LIVE JAZZ SUNDAYS

Music lovers rejoice, because this summer you can enjoy free live jazz on Sundays at the Bohemian. Relax with a drink in hand and sample traditional Spanish cuisine, from classic paella and tapas to their selection of delicious cured meats.

Sundays until February 28, 2pm – 5pm. The Bohemian, 35 Dukes Walk, South Wharf. Inquiries: 9682 0566 or thebohemian.com.au

 

ACOUSTIC KITCHEN

After-work drinks just became more fun, with an acoustic live band on hand to compliment Ms Collins’ Friday menu. Bar treats include tempura soft-shell crab sliders from the New World Kitchen bar and restaurant, headed up by Ms Collins and Chef Hat-awarded chef Daniel Wilson (Huxtable).

Fridays until May 31, 2017, 4pm – 9pm. Ms Collins, 425 Collins Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 8614 222 or mscollins.com.au

 

MUNDO LINGO

Test your language skills and engage in cultural exchanges at this free get-together. Sticker flags represent the language you can speak and any language you want to learn, and there are over 350 participants from every corner of the globe so come along and learn something new.

Until December 28, Wednesdays, 6pm – late. European Bier Cafe, 120 Exhibition Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 0468 827 004 or mundolingo.org/melbourne

 

OPEN SPACES & SHADY PLACES

 

FITZROY GARDENS

With its 1930s conservatory, Pavilion Cafe, Cooks’ Cottage, miniature Tudor Village, carved Fairies Tree, monumental fountains, sculptures and tree-lined paths, Fitzroy Gardens is an enchanting inner-city Eden to explore.

Open daily. A free guided walking tour departs Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre, Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, every Saturday at 10am. Inquiries: fitzroygardens.com

Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne. Photo: City of Melbourne

Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne. Photo: City of Melbourne

 

BOTANIC GARDENS

The Royal Botanic Gardens in the City of Melbourne may be our best-known public garden, but its Cranbourne sister is authentically Australian. Here native flora is the hero, and there are kilometres of trails to walk and cycle, picnic areas and activities for kids.

Open daily, 9am – 5pm (except Christmas Day). Corner of Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne. 5990 2200 or rbg.vic.gov.au

 

ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY

Visit the idyllic CERES environment park in the inner-north and learn what makes the non-profit sustainability centre and urban farm tick. There are plenty of places to enjoy a meal or drink while you’re there as well.  

Open daily, corner of Roberts and Stewart streets, Brunswick East. Inquiries: 9389 0100 or ceres.org.au

 

FEDERATION BELLS

The bells were created for celebrations for the centenary of Australia’s federation in 2001. Following a recent refurbishment, they are sounding better than ever. They can be heard daily from 8am to 9am; 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 5pm to 6pm, and the Federation Bells App allows you to interact with the bells from your phone.

Open daily, 8am – 6pm. Birrarung Marr, Batman Avenue, Melbourne. Inquiries: federationbells.com.au

 

BUBBLE SOCCER WORLD CUP

The event will have ten nations competing in a round-robin competition. There will be live music, food trucks, ice cream vans, free access to bubble soccer, human foosball and soapy soccer activities for kids and parents.

February 4, all day. Birrarung Marr, Batman Avenue, Melbourne. Inquiries: 0421 711 641 or corporatebubblesoccer.com.au

 

FESTIVAL TIME

 

MIDSUMMA

The free carnival, T Dance and Pride March are the centrepieces of a three-week Midsumma Festival program that also includes cabaret, film, live music, theatre, visual art, sport and forums. See the full fabulous lineup on the Midsumma website.

January 15 – February 5, 2017. Various locations around Melbourne. Inquiries: 9415 9819 or midsumma.org.au

Pride March in St Kilda. Photo: Supplied

Pride March in St Kilda. Photo: Supplied

 

MELBOURNE LATIN SUMMER FESTIVAL

See performances and parades inspired by iconic Latin carnivals and hear Latin music styles such as samba, tango, salsa, reggaeton, cumbia and bachata played by guest Latin DJs and musicians throughout the event. Food vendors will be at the ready to provide a wide range of Latin street dishes and cocktails.

January 7, noon – 1am. Next to Walker Fountain, Tom’s Block, Kings Domain, Alexandra Avenue, Melbourne. Inquiries: 0401 661 461 or melbournelatinsummerfestival.com

 

AUSTRALIAN OPEN FESTIVAL

The Open Sessions will move from its traditional home of Grand Slam Oval to the middle terrace of the AO Festival at Birrarung Marr. Complementing the great range of musical guests and carnival atmosphere will be some of the hottest food trucks in Melbourne, like Hotel Jesus, Jimmy Grants, Tokyo Tina and Huxtaburger.

January 14-29, Mon – Sun 10am – late. Birrarung Marr, Batman Avenue, Melbourne. Inquiries: 1300 888 104 or ausopen.com

 

SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL

Get all the latest know-how on how you can live cleaner, smarter and healthier in 2017 by delving into the festival’s huge program of art, film, performance, forums and exhibits. With hundreds of events staged across the city, the festival showcases leading solutions to environmental issues.

February 4-28. Various venues around Melbourne. Inquiries: 9249 1888 or slf.org.au

 

YALUKIT WILUM NGARGEE

This musical celebration sets the stage for the St Kilda Festival as a welcome to country ahead of the six-day Live N Local program, featuring established and up-and-coming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians.

February 6, all day, O’Donnell Gardens, The Esplanade, St Kilda. Inquiries: stkildafestival.com.au

 

ST KILDA FESTIVAL

The streets of St Kilda are closed to traffic for Australia’s best musicians to play over multiple stages on the foreshore. There are also workshops, fantastic food vendors, kids entertainment, sport, dance, carnival rides and buskers.

February 12. 11am – 10pm. St Kilda foreshore. Inquiries: 9209 6490 or stkildafestival.com.au

St Kilda Festival. Photo: Jim Lee

St Kilda Festival. Photo: Jim Lee

 

MELBOURNE JAPANESE SUMMER FESTIVAL

Be part of the festivity and enjoy captivating live performances from a new generation of young performers. The River Terrace will host vendors selling Japanese street food and crafts. There will be prizes for best dressed and business class tickets to Japan to be won.

February 25, noon – 6pm. Federation Square, corner of Swanston & Flinders streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9642 2120 or jcjsm.org.au/fest

 

LONSDALE STREET FESTIVAL

For the Greek Community living in Australia, the festival celebrates the rich culture and food of Greece. It brings together Greek Australians to share the very best of Greece’s culture. There will be food, competitions and fun activities for the kids.

February 25 & 26. 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9662 2722 or greekcentre.com.au

 

WHITE NIGHT

One of the highlights of Melbourne’s festival roster each year is back for another arty outing. Enjoy cutting-edge installations and works scattered around the CBD, that are designed to be enjoyed by the masses. There will be music, performances and dynamic displays from the top to the southern end of the city.

February 18, 7pm – 7am. Melbourne CBD. Inquiries: whitenightmelbourne.com.au

White Night. Photo: John Gollings

White Night. Photo: John Gollings

 

LANKAN FEST

Be part of a joyful celebration of the rich culture and heritage of Sri Lanka. The festival will host over 40 different stalls selling a variety of Sri Lankan food, arts, crafts, spices, tea, tourism and other produce. Be entertained with live Sri Lankan music, song and dance that celebrates all the different ethnicities within Sri Lanka.

February 26, 9am – 7pm. Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank. Inquiries: 0433 831 175 or lankanfest.com.au

 

MOONEE VALLEY FESTIVAL

To mark 40 years of the festival, the free community celebration will be a fun summer day full of excitement, with market and food stalls, roving performers, live entertainment, business expo, community activities and displays.

February 26, 10am – 5pm. Queen’s Park, Moonee Ponds. Inquiries: 9243 8888 or mvcc.vic.gov.au

 

TOP TOURS

 

CITY SIGHTS

Wander around taking in the sights of Melbourne and learn about its development from the city’s foundation in 1835 to the top of the Eureka Tower. Your guide will be the person in the lime green “I’m Free” T-shirt standing next to the Sir Redmond Barry statue outside the State Library.

Every day except Christmas Day, 10.30am & 2.30pm, State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: imfree.com.au/melbourne

 

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL

Learn about the architectural, social and political significance of this impressive 19th century building. Experience the grandeur of the wood-panelled Council Chamber, stand on the portico where the Beatles waved, sit in the Lord Mayor’s chair and view the majestic Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ.

Mon – Fri, 11am – noon & 1pm-2pm. Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9658 9658 or melbourne.vic.gov.au

 

DOG MEET WITH TOM AND CAPTAIN

For a tour with a difference, join dog-walking adventurers Tom and Captain for a tour of Melbourne, as experienced by your four-legged friends. Meet at MPavilion with your dog (or just your dog-loving self) for a morning of good company and guided walking around the city.

January 15, 10am – 11am. MPavilion, Melbourne. Inquiries: info@mpavilion.org or mpavilion.org

 

CHRISTMAS

 

CHRISTMAS EVE AT FED SQUARE

Musical trio The Jingle Belles will sing everyone’s festive favourites with a modern twist and MC Fiona Scott-Norman will spin some classic Christmas vinyl on the night before Christmas. Make it a night to remember by watching Carols by Candlelight on the big screen.

December 24, 5.30pm – 7.30pm. Federation Square, corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: fedsquare.com

Federation Square. Photo: supplied

Federation Square. Photo: supplied

 

LETTERS TO SANTA

Post a letter in Santa’s Mail Box in the City Square to get a reply from the man in the red suit. You can also drop a gift off at the Australia Post Giving Box, where your donation will be delivered to a child in need.

Daily until December 16. City Square, 44-86 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9658 9658 or thatsmelbourne.com.au

 

MELBOURNE IN LIGHTS

Melburnians go all out with their beautiful Christmas light displays each year, so why not have a fun night out with the family visiting some of the most stunningly decorated homes around town. Write a list of the houses you want to visit, then head out on your Christmas lights adventure.

Visit christmaslightsearch.com.au to start your search.

 

GINGERBREAD VILLAGE

You can find your favourite Melbourne landmark made out of gingerbread thanks to Epicure’s award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Deniz Karaca and his talented team. An optional gold coin donation entry will be donated to the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Until December 24, Mon – Sun, 10am – 8.30pm. Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9658 9658 or facebook.com/gingerbreadvillage

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

 

CAROLS ON COLLINS

Hear the soaring voices of the Australian Girls Choir, Glee Club, singers from Citi-opera and special guests as they serenade you with carols in Christmas Square. The choir will also be treating shoppers to roving performances along Collins Street, between Elizabeth and Russell Streets, from 1pm-3pm December 19-21.

December 16-21. Mon, Tue & Wed, 1pm – 3pm, Fri, 5.30pm – 7pm. City Square, 44-86 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9658 9658

 

CHRISTMAS SQUARE

City Square is transformed into a magical forest offering festive fun for the whole family. By day, discover nutcracker soldiers, interactive candy canes and get a free photo with Santa. By night, enjoy the soundscapes and Christmas lighting in the square.

Daily until December 25. City Square, 44-86 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9658 9556

 

CHRISTMAS PROJECTIONS

It’s that time of year when the city comes alive with glittering Christmas light projections. Head to Melbourne Town Hall to watch the building transform into a bright and swirling Christmas light show. Due to popular demand, you can also see the projections lighting up Federation Square.

Until December 25, Mon – Sun, 9pm-10.20pm. Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9658 9658

Federation Square. Photo: supplied

Federation Square. Photo: supplied

 

A MERRY MARKET CHRISTMAS

On the night before Christmas Eve, head to Queen Victoria Market for your last minute Christmas shopping and all the freshest fare for a traditional Christmas lunch. Enjoy roaming entertainment, live music and interactive kids activities throughout the day.

December 23, 6am – 9pm. Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9320 5822 or qvm.com.au

 

CHRISTMAS AT THE OLD TREASURY

The Old Treasury Building Christmas decorations are a wonder to witness. The Maynard family’s basement home is decorated in period-appropriate 1920s decorations, with the ground floor sparkling in red and gold.

Until January 5, Mon – Sun, 10am – 4pm (Closed from noon Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Old Treasury Building, 20-70 Spring Street, East Melbourne. Inquiries: 9651 2233 or oldtreasurybuilding.org.au

 

XMAS AT BABUSHKAS

Every year, Babushkas opens its upstairs area as a wonderful European-themed Christmas shop, with decorations from Poland, Russia and Germany. Check out the beautiful decorations and pick up a last-minute guest for someone special.

Until January 8, Mon – Sat, 10am – 4pm. Royal Arcade, 331-339 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9654 3090 or babushkas.com.au

 

A VERY KOORIE KRISMAS

Join in free activities, live music and workshops throughout the afternoon with a special appearance by Koorie Klaus at 3pm. Create decorations in workshops, watch performances, shop for Christmas gifts and check out the current gallery exhibition, the Koorie Art Show 2016.

December 11, 1pm – 4pm. Koorie Heritage Trust Inc, Upper Square and Yarra Building, Federation Square, corner of Swanston and Flinders streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: 8662 6300 or koorieheritagetrust.com.au

 

FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE CHRISTMAS MARKET

Whether you’re looking for a unique handmade gift or something beautiful to decorate your home this Christmas, it’s all at this market. Enjoy the festive atmosphere with live music, Santa visits, street-style market food and plenty of lawn space to relax and take it all in.

December 18, 9am – 2pm. Flemington Racecourse, Flemington Drive, 428-550 Epsom Road, Flemington. Inquiries: 5976 3266 or craftmarkets.com.au/markets/flemington

 

CHRISTMAS WUNDERLAND

This custom-built space has more than 10 fun-filled activities to delight visitors with quirky sights, sounds and smells. It’s a large-scale sensory experience for the young and young at heart, just in time for the silly season.

Until December 24. Highpoint Shopping Centre, The Junction, Level One Dining and Entertainment Precinct, 120-200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong. Online booking at: highpoint.com.au

Wunderland at Highpoint. Photo: supplied

Wunderland at Highpoint. Photo: supplied

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW

Each evening during the 12 Days of Christmas, watch a building come to life in a spectacular festive light display. Beginning at sunset and continuing until midnight, the festive show located opposite Library at The Dock will play every hour on the hour.

December 14-25, 8pm – midnight. 888 Collins Street, Docklands. victoriaharbour.com.au

 

RMIT CHRISTMAS INSTALLATION

Head to Melbourne Central to see the unique RMIT-designed centrepiece. The non-traditional design by Daina Tadic and Jessica Phillpot symbolises hope and peace. At a towering 11 metres tall, it includes just under 1500 white wooden doves, suspended amongst white lights.

Until December 31, Mon – Wed, Sat & Sun, 10am – 7pm, Thu & Fri, 10am – 9pm. Melbourne Central, corner of LaTrobe and Swanston streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9922 1100

 

CHRISTMAS CRINGE PHOTOS AT MELBOURNE CENTRAL

Embrace embarrassment this Christmas by decking yourself out in Christmas jumpers and silly accessories and snapping a photo in front of classic Christmas backdrops. Share them with friends and family on social media using the #ChristmasCringe hashtag.

Until December 24, Mon – Sun, 3pm – 9pm. Melbourne Central, 211 La Trobe Street, Melbourne. Inquiries: 9922 1122 or melbournecentral.com.au

 

MYER CHRISTMAS WINDOWS

Out to impress Christmas shoppers in its 61st outing, Myer’s festive offerings this year are based on the new children’s book One Christmas Eve by author Corinne Fenton and illustrator Marjorie Crosby-Fairall. They feature 3D models of iconic Melbourne sites like Luna Park, the Palais Theatre and Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Until January 5, 7.30am – 1am daily. Myer Melbourne, 314-336 Bourke St, Melbourne. Inquiries: 1800 811 611 or myer.com.au

 

BOXING DAY

 

 

BOXING DAY SALES

The biggest shopping day of the year in Melbourne is Boxing Day, when shops throw open their doors for the annual sales. Items on sale are usually heavily discounted and priced to move. But be warned, these sales are not for the faint of heart!

December 26, Various stores across Melbourne.

 

COCK OF THE BAY YACHT RACE

The race starts near Station Pier in Port Melbourne and sails past bayside locations like the Royal Brighton Yacht Club and Sandringham Yacht Club. There are great vantage points for spectators at Port Melbourne, St Kilda pier, Brighton Pier, Sandringham and Hampton foreshore.

December 26, 10.30am – 5pm. Station Pier, Port Melbourne. Inquiries: orcv.org.au

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE

 

DANCE AT FED SQUARE

Dance your way into the New Year with a live show of music and entertainment and a great spot to watch the fireworks. The Square will be brought to life in with a feast of music to get you moving, including Latin beats, salsa, funk, hip hop, Caribbean spice and new-school dance battles.

December 31, 8pm – late. Federation Square, corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, Melbourne. Inquiries: fedsquare.com

Cirlcle of Funk will perform at Fed Square. Photo: supplied

Cirlcle of Funk will perform at Fed Square. Photo: supplied

 

FOOTSCRAY PARK FIREWORKS

This special event is the second largest New Year’s Eve event in Victoria, drawing thousands to the banks of the iconic Maribyrnong River. Enjoy the musical entertainment as you usher in the New Year. Please note the event is alcohol free and dog owners are advised to leave their pooches at home.

December 31, 6.30pm – 10.30pm. Footscray Park, Ballarat Road, Footscray. Inquiries: maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

 

 

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