Wondering what to do in Melbourne in April? We can help. Check out our guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne, from free events to exhibitions, theatre shows, live music and lots and lots of comedy. Plus there's plenty of free attractions, art exhibitions, theatre shows, activities for kids to get amongst as well.
The best things to do in Melbourne in April
Sustainability is all around us in Melbourne – at least that’s what you’ll learn on the Green Tour. This eco tour takes the environmentally minded (and sometimes a less environmentally minded friend or partner) on tours around Melbourne that showcase the city’s ecological history and sustainability initiatives. The Green Tour is run by tour company Wayward Wanders, which is owned and operated by Liam Gook. Gook discovered his passion for helping others discover places while working as a tour guide in Berlin. After returning to Melbourne, Gook worked as a traditional tour guide, which gave him time to design his own tours. "I wanted to create tours that give guests a deeper understanding of Melbourne, beyond the regular tourist attractions," says Gook "To introduce guests to community projects and discuss the challenges Melbourne is facing both socially and environmentally." The urban eco tour begins by painting a picture of what Melbourne looked like in the very early days of European colonisation. You’ll be sitting right in the middle of the city (we won’t spoil it by saying exactly where) as Gook describes the landscape of Melbourne in the early 19th century, using information gathered from the diaries of early settlers as well as from Bruce Pascoe’s luminary tome on Indigenous agriculture and civilisation, Dark Emu. The tour gives a remarkable insight into how some of Melbourne’s most recognisable natural landmarks have changed over centuries, and the ecological impac
Have you ever wanted to be a part of your own Japanese game show? Well, wonder no more, because Tokosan holds pub trivia, Japanese-style, on the first Wednesday of every month, called Ninja Nite Battle. There are no ninjas, so you'll just have to use your imagination. Instead of flexing your brains, Ninja Nite Battles pits teams against each other in eating competitions, sumo wrestling, human curling (we don't know what this is, but we imagine it is ridiculous and awesome), takoyaki mouth catching (yes, that is catching a hot octopus fritter with your mouth) and many more – all performed while under the safe and calming influence of alcohol. Aside from being extremely fun and potentially embarrassing, you get to win prizes along the way, as well as go up for larger prizes like a $100 dinner for two, bar tabs and merchandise. It is free to participate, but you do have to register each month.
Spleen is a room equally loved by crowds and comics alike. Not wanting to waste a second of atmosphere, comics always bring their best material. If there is a room that attracts big names wanting to try their new stuff, this is it, and it’s worth getting along just to see who might drop in. If you want a seat, you’ll need to get in early – Spleen packs out with crowds standing all the way to the front door. There is even a live feed to the TV at the bar for those who can’t quite get a full view of the stage – it’s in black and white so get in early for the full colour spectrum. This dive bar offers the appropriate food – there’s burgers, fries and dawgs. The only thing hotter than their dawgs is the comedy and the only thing cheesier are our jokes. By the way, Spleen is open until 5am… So stick around and see if you can make real life look black and white too.
Live in Brunswick and don’t want to leave your special area? Good; they’ve brought the comics to you! This is the best comedy room more than a few kilometres out of the city, offering the Brunswick neighbouring suburbs a local option. This early Sunday show is held in one of Melbourne’s coolest newest live music venues. Stay Gold Comedy takes over the front bar every week and offers $5 tinnies with the restaurant serving up modern souvas and charcoal chicken. End your week right, with even more beers and a look at the best new and experienced comedians from Melbourne.
Just when you thought Queen Victoria Market couldn’t possibly squeeze in another nocturnal market they do. This autumn the inner-city bazaar is once again hosting the Europa Night Market, an after-hours market than humbly salutes Europe and its diverse (and delicious) food and drink traditions. For six weeks starting April 8, Queen Victoria Market will transform into a European street party with 40 separate stallholders celebrating all things continental. On the menu, you can expect to see anything from German currywurst, Spanish paella, Portuguese barbecue, Belgian frites and Irish Guinness wings. More details about stallholders and special events will be announced soon. The Europa Night Market is free to attend and is on every Wednesday from April 8 to May 13.
One of Melbourne’s largest and most delicious markets is now running tasting tours. Preston Market has launched Saturday morning food tours that curates some of the tastiest products on offer at this northside food hall. The 2.5-hour tour walks guests through the market, introducing them to traders who will talk them through what they have on offer and how best to use their products in their own kitchens. As well as getting to try organic produce, fresh seafood, deli items and Preston Market’s winning paella, guests on the tour will also get to try more unusual foodie finds like crocodile meat (which we’re informed can be cooked easily on a sandwich press if you want to jazz up your sad office lunch). The Flavourhood tours run roughly twice a month, are $30 per person and include a progressive breakfast, coffee, Preston Market eco bag and a $5 market voucher. Tours are limited to ten people per tour and you can book online to secure your place.
The spirit of New York’s underground downtown art scene during the 1980s is flowing through the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday nights. With a little help from Bombay Sapphire, the latest NGV Friday Nights series is inspired by the gallery’s summer blockbuster exhibition, which celebrates the work of two of the most influential artists of the late 20th century, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Every Friday night from December 6 to April 10, DJs are spotlighting different moments in ’80s music from disco to post-punk, hip hop and new wave, mixed in with drag performances, New York City street food, classic cocktails from the Bombay Sapphire Gin Bar, and an '80s dance floor in the NGV Garden to wrap up each night. Explore the Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines exhibition after dark and lean into the fascinating corners of 1980s music and pop culture with curated beats, talks and interactive activities. The December 13 event, New York Jazz and the Golden Age, features a jazz-infused DJ set from Loure, a set spotlighting the golden age of hip hop by DJ/producer Paul Gorrie and an exhibition talk by NGV curatorial project officer Meg Slater. On January 3, the gallery delves into Paris is Burning-era ballroom culture with Sass & the Ballroom. Danny Hotep will lay down a banging soundtrack of pure '80s sass followed by Melbourne DJ MzRizk piling on the funk, with a talk on art from the margins by Dr Quinn Eades from La Trobe University. In March a
If you’re a fan of all things wrapped in a wonton then listen up: Momo Fest is back for 2020 at the Footscray Park. For two days crowds will descend on the westside venue for a festival celebrating the squishy Nepalese dumplings, the momo. You can expect stalls selling more than 30 different varieties of momo. Varieties on offer include the Nepalese favourite the buff (buffalo meat) momo, as well as chicken, lamb, beef, pork, seafood, vegetarian and vegan varieties to try. There will also be live entertainment from local bands and DJs as well as kids entertainment, workshops and momo competitions. Save the date: the 2020 Momo Fest is on at Footscray Park and Gardens on April 4 and 5. Entry is $5 with kids under 12 free.
Who wants to spend Good Friday eating fish with questionable sauce and watching TV? A much better Good Friday would be to get down to Hamer Hall to watch Julia Zemiro, Brian Nankervis, Dugald (that is, The Roadie) and The Orkestra present an evening of hilarity, music and trivia. Special guests on the night have not yet been announced, but with previous years featuring the likes of Joe Camilleri, Casey Donovan, Paul Dempsey and Judith Lucy, you can be certain it'll be a star-studded line-up. The crew will reflect on good (and bad) Fridays past, with lots of musical interludes. And of course, it wouldn't be RocKwiz without plenty of music trivia. Past years have sold out, so don't be surprised if tickets to this one hop out the door.
This monthly artist market is set in the lush, art deco surrounds of the Spotted Mallard in the heart of Brunswick's Sydney Road. Here you’ll find dozens of artist stalls selling a range of local goods and a flea market on the bottom floor where you can hunt of gems. Whether it’s jewellery, paintings or ceramics you’re after, head down from 10am to support local crafters, listen to some live music and dig into barbecue eats. While you’re there, grab a coffee from Co-Grounds’ volunteer-powered coffee caravan where 100 percent of the profits go to charity projects in the Asia Pacific region. The theme is very much about giving with these guys: the market is an initiative of charity Co-Ground, with 100 per cent of profits from the market going towards their education and livelihood programs in the Asia Pacific. These markets are a holistic great for your your home and your fashion collection, with wholesome benefits for local artists and empowerment reaching communities as far as Vanuatu and the Phillippines.