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20 things to do this summer in Melbourne

Make the most of the warmer months with our list of festivals, parties, markets, exhibitions and more

Photograph: Ian Laidlaw

Once again, Australia’s cultural capital delivers a stellar city-wide line-up this summer. From live music at the zoo to late night art and sound installations across the city, there’s plenty to explore. For more fun in the sun, see our lists of the best rooftop bars in Melbourne and outdoor cinemas – and when it's seriously boiling, go for a swim in one of these beaches, pools or lakes.

How to have the best summer


Laugh until your face hurts at The Book of Mormon


The hype around the arrival of this smash hit Broadway musical has been building for more than a year now – and trust us, the wait has been worth it. Created by the makers of South Park, this Tony Award-winning musical which opened in 2011 follows the story of a young Latter Day Saints Mormon (from Salt Lake City, Utah, of course) who travels to Uganda to convert a village. Cue tragically repressed yet maniacally jolly Mormon elders, crazed warlords, tasteless gags and super catchy songs.

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Princess Theatre , Melbourne Until Sunday June 25 2017

Try Melbourne's best fish and chips

Picture this: the sun on your skin, the sand between your toes, fingers covered in chicken salt and a flock of hopeful seagulls hovering close by, their horrible little eyes fixated on your chips. Nothing tastes more resolutely of summer than the humble box of fish and chips, so join us as we voyage around Melbourne’s fish and chipperies, dropping anchor at the ten best and, tasting and rating the treasures within.

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By: Kelly Eng

Play on the NGV's 2016 Architecture Commission


Picnic in a car wash, anyone? The NGV’s second annual Architecture Commission is a surreal neon pink car wash, complete with walls made from cricket netting and bright pink astroturf underfoot. The space is divided into five ‘car bays’, and playing inside is encouraged: one bay engulfs visitors in hanging red plastic strips, and another is filled with bursts of cool mist. The structure is based on a real car wash in Blackburn, and it’s this sense of not-quite-right familiarity that makes the experience delightfully dream-like.

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NGV International , Southbank Until Sunday April 30 2017

Cool off at a rooftop bar

The best rooftop bars in Melbourne

Whether you're after beers and sun or moonlight and cocktails, these high altitude drinking spots are well worth the climb.

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By: Time Out editors

Too hot? Here's what to do

Five ways to escape the heat in Melbourne

Sure, Melbourne's weather is typically unreliable, but when it's hot, it's hot. Don't hold out for the cool change or spend the day under the air conditioning unit – get out and explore the city's cooler spots.

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By: Jay Smiles