Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Melbourne icon-chevron-right Things to do in Melbourne in April

Things to do in Melbourne in April

April's best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne in April

MICF crowd
Photograph: Jim Lee Photo
Advertising

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 attractionsart exhibitionstheatre showsactivities for kids to get amongst as well.

For rainy days, consult our guide to Melbourne's best indoor activities instead. Or pack a picnic and head out of the city on one of our best daytrips from Melbourne

The best things to do in Melbourne in April

1
Art

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits

icon-location-pin Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
icon-calendar

Even if you’re more pro-Republic than a Peter FitzSimons bandana, there’s no denying the impact and ongoing appeal of Britain’s royal families. Bendigo Art Gallery will be home to five British dynasties and more than 500 years worth of history when Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits opens in March. The exhibition features more than 150 works from the National Portrait Gallery in London, many of which will grace Australian shores for the first time.

2
Gut Feelings Exhibition
Things to do, Exhibitions

Gut Feelings: Your Mind, Your Microbes

icon-calendar

When is the last time you really considered your gut health? Or thanked the tiny microbes that live your intestinal track and digest your food, boost your immunity and keep you healthy? Melbourne Museum's Gut Feelings exhibition will change your mind about the tiny creatures (yes, they're alive!) that you share your body with. The interactive exhibition is a multi-sensory experience, with things to touch, hear and see.

Advertising
3
Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art NGV 2019
Art

Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art

icon-location-pin The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne
icon-calendar

Father and daughter artists Hans and Nora Heysen helped shaped the course of 20th century Australian art. Both accomplished artists in their own right, Hans is recognised as one of the pioneers of Australian landscape painting, while Nora was an established portraitist and still life painter who became the first female winner of the Archibald Prize and Australia’s first female war artist. Yet, until now, there has not been a major exhibition incorporating both their works. The NGV is changing that, bringing together 270 works from the artists.

4
Actors on stage production shot at Muriel's Wedding the Musical
Theatre, Musicals

Muriel's Wedding The Musical

icon-location-pin Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
icon-calendar

Adapting a canonical Australian film into a stage musical? Who you gonna call? Simon Phillips! He pulled it off with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; surely the director could do the same for that daggiest of screen heroines, Muriel Heslop. Both films leant heavily on internationally famous pop songs from the ’70s, both virtually burst at the seams with the kind of kitsch that cries out for a musical number, and both have remained adored cultural touchstones, even for those who only recall them from their original cinema release, back in 1994. So the question sits large on this production’s shoulders: is it as good as the stage adaptation of Priscilla? The answer is no. No, this one is way better. Perhaps it is the source material. PJ Hogan’s film, despite the superficial similarities to Stephan Elliot’s more raucous and frankly crasser sibling, is a finely balanced dramedy, often profoundly sad and sharply satirical amongst all the comic mayhem. Hogan and Phillips are responsible for the adaptation, and they’ve very carefully modulated the tone and shifted the emphases so that Muriel’s journey from zero to hero fits more snugly into the traditional structure of a Broadway musical, without sacrificing the film’s nuance and edge. The first major change we notice is the look: where the film was drenched in the pastels of a past decade, the stage show pops with block colours, blindingly sunny and over-lit. Muriel (Natalie Abbott) sticks out immediately among the buff bods and p

Time Out says
Advertising
5
Revolutions: Records and Rebels exhibition
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Exhibitions

Revolutions: Records and Rebels

icon-location-pin Melbourne Museum, Carlton
icon-calendar

There might never be another time in western history like the late 1960s. It was a time of the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, revolutions, civil rights, social justice and monumental change.  This exhibition comes from London's Victoria and Albert Museum and includes more than 500 objects. Highlights include John Lennon's real-life glasses and the suit he wore on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, handwritten lyrics for "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", Mick Jagger's stage costume and a guitar the Who's Pete Townshend once smashed on stage. 

6
Darren Sylvester
Art, Photography

Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something

icon-location-pin The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne
icon-calendar

Darren Sylvester: Carve a Future, Devour Everything, Become Something is a reflective showcase featuring 70 works, including 43 of the surreal, perfectly posed tableaus the artist is known for, as well as installations, sculptures and even an interactive dancefloor inspired by a Yves Saint Laurent makeup compact. 

Advertising
7
Tricolour photograph of the Milky Way galaxy
Photograph: Aperture Vintage / Unsplash
Things to do

Planetarium Nights

icon-location-pin Scienceworks, Spotswood
icon-calendar

This autumn, the Planetarium will be offering guests the chance to explore the cosmos with a series of after-hours and adults-only film screenings on the huge planetarium dome. Every Friday night (except Good Friday) those over 18 can explore everything from black holes to fluorescent coral. Plus the bar will be open if you fancy a drink with your trip into space. 

8
Melbourne Book Market
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Melbourne Book Market

icon-location-pin Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
icon-calendar

The famous weekly Fed Square book market shut up shop in 2017, much to the despair of Melbourne's bibliophile community. But the closure was only a temporary one, with the free market now open at Queen Victoria Market every Sunday till April 14. Whether you eat, sleep and breathe books or are just curious, the market has over 5,000 new and second-hand titles to browse from. 

Advertising
9
Cosi Melbourne Theatre Company 2019
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre, Drama

Così

icon-location-pin Southbank Theatre (Melbourne Theatre Company), Southbank
icon-calendar

Louis Nowra’s Così, telling the story of a young director who stages an opera starring the patients of a mental health facility, is one of the best known Australian plays of all time. But it’s somehow never had a production at a state theatre company. Melbourne Theatre Company is bringing it to the mainstage with a little help from co-producer Sydney Theatre Company and a cast featuring Esther Hannaford, Katherine Tonkin and Rahel Romahn. MTC's associate director Sarah Goodes is helming the dark comedy.

10
National Anthem Buxton Contemporary 2019
© the artist
Art

National Anthem

icon-location-pin Buxton Contemporary, Southbank
icon-calendar

Why does the desire for a single and unambiguous national identity persist in Australia? Why, when our country is home to people from all variety of cultural backgrounds, of all sexualities, genders, abilities and ages, do we still seek to flatten out that richness and diversity? The 24 artists who are showing work in this exhibition curated by Kate Just all deal with critical questions of national identity, challenging racist, homophobic and misogynistic ideas about Australia's identity. 

Advertising
11
Liquid Light NGV 2019
Image courtesy NGV
Art

Liquid Light: 500 Years of Venetian Glass

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
icon-calendar

Venetian glass is known across the world for its vibrant colour, elaborate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, honed over centuries by traditional glassblowers on the Venetian island of Murano. In Liquid Light, the National Gallery of Victoria brings together their extensive collection of glass pieces to explore the development of the Venetian glass tradition, from the Golden Age of the 16th century to the postmodern creations of the Memphis Group. 

12
Sidney Nolan Ned Kelly Geelong Gallery 2019
Sidney Nolan, 'Ned Kelly', 1946, from the Ned Kelly series 1946–47
Art

Sidney Nolan: Ned Kelly

icon-location-pin Geelong Gallery, Geelong
icon-calendar

There aren't many images from Australian art history that are quite as famous as Sidney Nolan's series of paintings depicting Ned Kelly and stories of his famously ferocious Kelly Gang. While at work, he created one of the most recognisable images of any Australian artist: Kelly's helmet, rendered as a simple black box with a slit cut out for vision. The National Gallery of Australia holds 26 of the 27 paintings in the series and is sending them on the road, with Geelong the only stop in Kelly's home state. 

Advertising
13
A New Order Buxton Contemporary 2019
Photograph: Christian Capurro
Art

A New Order

icon-location-pin Buxton Contemporary, Southbank
icon-calendar

It's now been a year since Buxton Contemporary, collector Michael Buxton's impressively designed contemporary art gallery, opened in Southbank. It's celebrating that anniversary with dual exhibitions: National Anthem curated by Kate Just and A New Order curated by Linda Short. A New Order brings together painting, drawing, sculpture, video and installation from 12 artists whose work is included in the Buxton Collection. All of them have some relation to a pretty broad central theme: order and chance, and the push and pull between the two. 

14
Babydrag with Morgan McMichaels
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Babydrag

icon-location-pin Sircuit Bar, Fitzroy
icon-calendar

Upcoming drag king and queens get the chance to practise their shows and refine their acts every Thursday night at Melbourne's favourite LGBTQIA+ venue (as voted by Time Out readers), Sircuit. Bio queens, drag queens, trash queens and drag kings all perform, and the event is hosted by famed drag queen Missy La ’Minx. It's a chance for up-and-coming performers to get experience, and for audiences of course it's a night of fantastic drag.  

Advertising
15
Baby dinosaur at Melbourne Zoo
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Dinosaurs at the zoo

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
icon-calendar

Working in a secret lab, scientists at Melbourne's main three zoos have discovered a way to clone dinosaur DNA. What could possibly go wrong? OK, we might have got a little bit over-excited about the prospect of dinosaurs at the zoo. These dinosaurs are large-scale models of these ancient beasts, but they will be roaming around at Healesville, Werribee and Melbourne zoos for 100 days. 

16
Barnum Comedy Theatre 2019 feat Todd McKenney photo credit: Jeff Busby
Photograph: Jeff Busby
Theatre, Musicals

Barnum

icon-location-pin The Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
icon-calendar

Long before Hugh Jackman donned a top hat and tails, the story of circus innovator and entertainment impresario PT Barnum was brought to life on stage in a musical. Barnum premiered on Broadway in 1980 (starring Jim Dale and Glenn Close) and had a string of successful productions around the world in the decades following. Now it's headed back to Melbourne in a new production that's promising to bring the spirit of the big top to the Comedy Theatre.

Advertising
17
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Theatre, Drama

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

icon-location-pin Princess Theatre, Melbourne
icon-calendar

The first rule of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is that you don’t talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Safeguarding spoilers is an expected responsibility for anyone who attends the Potter-verse’s first on-stage outing. But this marathon, five-hour spectacle has a plot so dense and sprawling, so wonderfully, unashamedly elaborate, it would take many thousands of words more than any theatre review to even scratch the surface. While we may have been sworn to secrecy about Cursed Child’s plot, we can reveal that the hype – and rarely has a piece of theatre ever generated such fever-pitched buzz – is entirely deserved. 

Time Out says
18
Cheeses for cheese making class at Henry and the Fox
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Cheese Making Masterclass at Henry and the Fox

icon-location-pin Henry and the Fox, Melbourne
icon-calendar

If you've ever wanted to make your own cheese, this is the masterclass for you. Henry and the Fox is offering a series of masterclasses to teach you how to make all kinds of cheese from around the world – and yes, tasting is encouraged.  Classes offered include everything from brie to tallegio to peccorino, halloumi and mozzarella, and each class is marked with a level of difficulty.  

Advertising
19
The Big Hoo Ha
Comedy, Improv

The Big HOO-HAA!

icon-location-pin The Butterfly Club, Melbourne
icon-calendar

The Melbourne's longest running and most successful improv comedy night, the Big Hoo Haa, is improvised comedy at its rawest: minimal pretension, audience participation and maximum laughter. Anything could happen! Well, not anything. Scripted comedy, for example. That definitely won't happen.

20
Catfish Comedy
Comedy, Stand Up

Catfish Comedy

icon-location-pin The Catfish, Fitzroy
icon-calendar

If you know Fitzroy's Catfish, you'll know that this little bar does a mean Philly cheesesteak and they sure know a good craft beer when they see one, but they also run comedy nights every Tuesday. Comedians including Nazeem Hussain, Claire Hooper, Joel Creasey, Tom Gleeson and Tommy Little have all graced the Catfish Comedy stage, so order a cheesy steak sanga on Tuesday nights and pull up a chair, laughs from the best comedic talents in town are guaranteed.

Advertising
21
Dumplings 'N' Massage at Horse Bazaar
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Dumplings ‘N’ Massage at Horse Bazaar

icon-location-pin Horse Bazaar, Melbourne
icon-calendar

Every Tuesday night at Horse Bazaar is Dumplings 'N' Massage night where you can get three dumplings and a ten-minute massage for $15 (plus online booking fee). There are six flavours to choose from ranging from Horse Bazaar's classic pork and vegan dumplings to stranger concoctions like fried cheese, Nutella and nuts and the very experimental 'Aussie breakfast' dumpling (that's egg, bacon and Vegemite).  

22
Anne Edmonds, comedian
Comedy, Stand Up

Club Voltaire Comedy

icon-location-pin Club Voltaire, North Melbourne
icon-calendar

It's mostly rising stars who take the stage each Sunday night at Club Voltaire, but big names also check in from time to time, including Dave Thornton, Greg Larsen, Anne Edmonds and Damien Power.

Tick off our Melbourne bucket list

More to explore

Advertising