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A wet day in Melbourne; a tram heads down Bourke Street, crossing the intersection at Elizabeth Street.
Photograph: Nate Watson on Unsplash

The best indoor activities for rainy days in Melbourne

Melbourne may have four seasons in one day, but let’s face it, they all involve rain. Keep yourself amused with these activities

Written by
Time Out editors
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Melbourne may have four seasons in one day, but let’s face it, they all involve rain. The good news is that something changes in people when they live in Melbourne, some sort of strange biochemical transformation that means they're 100 per cent willing to still keep having fun, even as rain buckets down. No word of a lie, we once saw people enjoying bowls of ramen outside during a hailstorm because you simply do not cede to the weather in Melbourne

When the weather turns grey and rainy, there are still plenty of ways to amuse yourself indoors in Melbourne (plus think  of all those comforting hot chocolates that you're totally entitled to drink). Here are the best rainy day activities in Melbourne.

Things to do when it rains in Melbourne

  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Outdoor minigolf might be no fun when its raining but luckily Melbourne has a super fun, pop culture themed indoor mini golf venue. Holey Moley is a huge, multi-level mini golf course with whacky courses, neon lights, pizza and plenty of pop music. There's also a bar, so you can get a beer (or zany cocktail) while you work your way through holes like the melting clock madness of ‘Sorry Ms Jackson (I Am Surreal).

 

  • Restaurants
  • Patisseries

It's amazing that pastry, at its simplest, is just flour, lots of butter, sugar, and maybe an egg or two. Yet Melbourne's best bakeries and patisseries have made an art out of creating pastries out of these raw ingredients, from what could be the best croissants in the world, to old-school cakes you want to take home to your grandmother. Grab a box of the sweet stuff to have with your afternoon cuppa

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  • Art
  • Southbank

Skim your fingers along the waterwall at the entrance of NGV International and get set for an afternoon of world-class art. There's always something new to see for art buffs young and old, from weird contemporary installations to the classics. The NGV (and the Ian Potter Centre in Fed Square) has a huge collection of works – we could spend hours in the Salon gallery alone. 

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Melbourne

Are you ready to play? Fortress Melbourne is the southern hemisphere's largest video gaming and esports entertainment venue. It's located on the lower ground floor of Emporium Melbourne and it's massive. No, really. The venue encompasses 2,700 square metres of space over two levels. Inside you'll be able to experience some of the coolest games and newest technology from around the world. There's a 200-seat esports arena, plus 160 Alienware PCs, VIP game booths, streamer pods and tabletop and board game areas.

  • Things to do

If you haven't yet heard, getting yourself trapped in a room and being forced to solve puzzles to escape is huge right now. Escape rooms have made their way here from parts of Europe and Asia, and these days, there are plenty to choose from across the city. Some are more challenging (and terrifying) than others, and all of them are a perfect way to get away from the weather with your mates. Here's what happened when we tried some of Melbourne's best escape rooms.

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals

Tickets for the Australian premiere season of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been flying out the Princess Theatre's door since they went on sale. So you're probably thinking you'll need to book months and months in advance to score the best seats in the house, right? That's generally true, but for those of us without the patience to wait half a year (and those of us who don't have ready access to a time turner), there's another way to get great tickets. The show's runs a digital ticket lottery, which allows fans to score tickets for just $40 per part (so $80 for the full, two-part epic). Entries are open from 12:01AM every Monday of the show's season until 1pm Friday. You can either enter at the official Cursed Child website or on the TodayTix app. 

  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Imagine an old-school cruise, with shuffleboard, darts, ping pong, cabanas and plenty of food and drink. Now add virtual reality games and take away any potential seasickness, and you've got Ballers Clubhouse, a 2,500-square-metre temple devoted to fun and the biggest licensed venue in Melbourne's CBD.The venue includes six (yes, SIX) bars, ten private function spaces, 12 ping pong tables, four shuffleboard courts, six darts booths and a virtual reality games centre. That's a whole lot of fun times crammed into one space. 

 

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  • Clubs
  • Melbourne

For a great evening indoors, there's nothing quite like rounding up some mates, ordering a round of drinks and belting out a few hits at a karaoke joint. In Melbourne, one of the top spots to do just that is Kbox, which is open every evening Wednesday to Sunday. The venue has an extensive collection of hits, gleaming disco balls, and plenty of booze to get you in the singing mood.

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Go exploring in the CBD
  • Museums
  • Melbourne

Melbourne has some truly gorgeous buildings just waiting to be discovered, and like the arcades, they serve as a quick (and undercover) walkway. On a rainy day, scan the list of tenants or jump in a lift and go for a wander. Go beyond the first floor in the Nicholas Building or Curtin House, where you’ll find antique jewellers, local artists and vintage clothing boutiques. To really splash some cash, get yourself to Emporium Melbourne, then grab a bite to eat in the café court while you watch raindrops streak the glass walls.

Play a few rounds of pool
  • Bars
  • Fitzroy

To spice up a dull day inside, sneak in a game of pool at Red Triangle. The cavernous venue is open until 2am every day. You can play pool, snooker or billiards on their full-sized tables and there’s also a selection of board games for those who are cue-challenged. Red Triangle is unlicensed, but it’s famous for its outrageously good milkshakes in flavours like Jam Donut or Snickers.

Or head to one of Melbourne's best restaurants

  • Restaurants

Unless you have the metabolism of a nine-year-old, and the finances of a Kardashian, you never stand a chance against Melbourne's ferocious dining machine. The openings just don't stop and ain't nobody got time to keep on top of what's what. Except us, that is. So behold, our eat-and-destroy list – a guide to Melbourne's 50 best restaurants.

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