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20 things to do in Melbourne between Christmas and NYE

See 2018 out in style at these exhibitions, events and activities across the city
Escher x nendo NGV 2018
Photograph: Sean Fennessy Installation view of Escher x nendo | Between Two Worlds at NGV International
By Rebecca Russo |

Christmas is over, New Year's Eve is approaching, and you've just realised that you've got heaps of time to fill in between. These five days can be a little awkward; some places have closed shop for summer, and others have new holiday hours. But never fear, because we've compiled a list of the best things to do between December 25-31. Enjoy your time off!

Things to do between Xmas and NYE

Installation view of Escher x nendo | Between Two Worlds
Art, Drawings

Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank

Dates open: December 26-31

Price: $10-$28

The National Gallery of Victoria is bringing a world-first exhibition of works by MC Escher to Melbourne this summer. Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo features more than 160 prints and drawings from the renowned Dutch artist as well as an immersive Escher-inspired environment created by Japanese design studio Nendo. 

Adventure Park Geelong The Tornado
Photograph: Supplied
Attractions, Theme parks

Adventure Park

Dates open: December 26-31

Price: Free (children under 90cm) - $43.50

Some people go to waterparks for the wave pools and ample sun lounges – and then some people go for the heart-racing waterslides. If nothing makes you happier than a shock of adrenaline to the system then Adventure Park in Geelong has a treat in store for you.The Tornado is Adventure Park’s newest, biggest and longest waterslide yet and the only one of its kind in Victoria. Guests intrepid enough to brave the slide will climb to the top of the mighty 24 metre-high tower, spiral down 205 metres of twists and turns before finally dropping into the eye of the storm: a massive funnel.

Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon at the University of Bristol 2017
Photograph: Carolyn Eaton
Museums, Science

Museum of the Moon

icon-location-pin Scienceworks, Spotswood

Dates open: December 26-31

Prices: $0-$15 (included in museum entry)

Think you can’t see the Moon indoors? Think again. Scienceworks has announced an exciting new exhibition which lets visitors take in a replica of the Moon close up. Museum of the Moon is essentially a seven-metre diameter spherical sculpture that features large-scale NASA imagery of the lunar surface. It’s shown at a scale of 1:500,000, which means each centimetre of the sculpture represents five kilometres of the Moon’s actual surface.

People on waterslides at Funfields
Kids, Play spaces


icon-location-pin Melbourne

Dates open: December 26-31

Price: Free (children under 100cm) - $45

Calling all kids, parents, and kids-at-heart: did you know that there is a huge theme park less than an hour's drive north from Melbourne? They've just unveiled a record-breaking new waterslide, The Gravity Wave. It launches riders off a 26.8 metre-high platform, hurtling them down 186 metres of tubing as they reach speeds of seven metres per second. 

People at the Love Museum Exhibition


icon-location-pin Immigration Museum, Melbourne

Dates open: December 26-31

Prices: $0-$15 (included with museum entry)

It’s a universal feeling. It’s in the air. It lifts us up where we belong. It’s all we need. So what’s your love story? Melbourne’s Immigration Museum is putting the spotlight on love this summer with an exhibition that will combine visual art, historic and contemporary artefacts and a few personal reflections from the general public. The museum will present all kinds of Australian love stories which will cover demographics of time, gender, ethnicity, orientation, age and distance. 

Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo

icon-location-pin Parkville

Dates open: December 26-31

Price: Free (children) - $36

A trip to Melbourne Zoo done right takes a day. The largest exhibit is the majestic Wild Sea, where penguins and seals bask on land before slipping into clear waters and showcasing their elegant aquatic skills. Another highlight is the sprawling Orang-utan Sanctuary, where a family of beautiful, intelligent orang-utans swing from tree to tree, play with each other and feed high off the ground. Then there’s the Trail of the Elephants; an immersive Asian village and garden where five Asian elephants thrive. 

Moonlight Cinema Opening Night Melbourne
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

Moonlight Cinema

icon-location-pin Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne

Dates open: December 26-30

Prices: $15-35

There's nothing quite like a film under the stars in the evening cool of the Botanic Gardens. Settle back with friends and family for a movie and as always, the Moonlight Cinema food truck and bar can supply you with comestibles, but you're welcome to BYO food and drinks too. Screenings will include the new Fantastic Beasts, Dirty Dancing, Bohemian Rhapsody, Widows and A Star Is Born.

Got plans for NYE yet?

Fireworks over the Docklands at New Year's Eve
Photograph: Wolf Cocklin
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

New Year's Eve in Melbourne

Whether you're a fireworks fan, looking for a relaxed dinner or you want to party until dawn, we've got you covered for NYE in Melbourne. Here's what to do, where to go and how to recover (or keep dancing) on January 1.

More to explore