Alcohol-free activities in Melbourne
'Total Eclipse of the Heart'. 'Rock Lobster'. 'Someone Like You'. 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!'. What do these songs have in common? They're all A-grade bangers that will help you slay your next karaoke set and leave your fellow singers gasping. Who needs alcohol when you've got clean, wholesome sing-offs?
Strike QV is heaven for adults who never really grew up. Knock 'em dead at the bowling alley, belt out your favourite hits in the karaoke room, challenge your mates to a laser tag tournament, or race against the clock in one of Strike's three themed escape rooms. The best part? Think of how much better your sober self will be at dominating these activities.
This Fitzroy pool hall has barely changed in years – and that's why we love it. Order an old-school milkshake and while away a few hours carving up the felt.
A bookstore might not be the first thing that comes to mind late at night, but that's precisely what makes this Carlton institution special. Warm, welcoming and packed with great magazines, books, music and gifts, a trip to Readings is a joy at any hour.
Metres up the road from Readings is one of the best gelaterias in Melbourne (which you can tell from the queue out front). Lisa Valmorbida's fresh, delicious gelato ranges from the traditional (trust us, get the banana) to the adventurous (rosemary and chestnut, for starters) – and you can (and should) top it off with warm Nutella. If you're on the southside, pop into Pidapipó's second venue in Windsor.
Open until: late
Earlier this year, the masterminds behind Vegie Bar and Transformer expanded their vegan empire with the opening of an entirely plant-based dessert bar. Their soft serve ice-cream is a miracle of vegan science; or for an extra healthy option, go for a dragonfruit, mango, pineapple and coconut yoghurt smoothie.
You certainly don't need to drink to enjoy a great gig – and Melbourne is full of them any night of the week. Our top picks for live music include the Curtin in Carlton, the Reverence in Footscray and the Prince of Wales in St Kilda.
Did you know that the Adelphi Hotel (home to one of Melbourne's most famous pools) also has a specialty dessert bar? Sweets are everything at Om Nom: just try to resist the rich, chocolate-filled 'nut bomb' or the silky panna cotta.
Open until: late (last mini golf session 10.30pm)
There's no such thing as being too old or too cool for a round or two of mini golf. This colourful fun house offers 27 whacky themed holes, plus neon lights, pizza and pumping pop music. Here's what happened when we ranked each course at Holey Moley from most fun to least fun.
This hidden CBD bar is arguably the home of cabaret in Melbourne, boasting an impressive program of shows every night of the week. Every Friday after 10.30pm, musical theatre-lovers and cast members from all over town flock to the kitsch-themed club for a night of sing-a-longs and performances – no alcohol necessary.
Open until: 11pm on Fri, Sat and Sun
Sure, there are plenty of excellent bars on Sydney Road – but Brunswick's main strip is also home to some top-notch Middle Eastern cafés, eateries and cake shops where drinking isn't an option. Our pick of the bunch is Balha's, where you can go to town on baklava – almond, pistachio, whatever floats your boat - and trays and trays of other sticky, sweet Lebanese delicacies.
Open until: midnight
Ending an evening with an espresso and an Italian cake at Brunetti is pretty much a Lygon Street rite of passage (the creamy ganache inside the brightly coloured macarons is perfection). These days, this famous pasticceria is a triple threat with a café, piazza and restaurant. In the city? Brunetti's Flinders Lane outpost is also open late.
Open until: 1am
These licensed fromageries in St Kilda and Carlton are home to an extraordinary range of cheeses from all over the world. Sure, wine is the usual pairing of choice with fromage, but that triple cream brie won't be any less delicious on its own.
Open until: 11pm
Not only is this frozen yoghurt dessert joint a welcome change from your usual bar or pub, but it also allows you to mix and match flavours, toppings and sauces, which is just as fun as it sounds. Go for classics like vanilla or chocolate, or get adventurous with lime and avocado, peanut butter and salted butterscotch. Toppings-wise, if you can imagine it, they’ve probably got it: wafers, fresh fruit, cheesecake, Reece's pieces, and those cute little pearls that burst when you bite them.