Wondering what to do in Melbourne in February? We can help. Check out our guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne, including mega NGV art exhibitions, summer music festivals, rooftop cinemas and more. Plus there's plenty of free attractions, art exhibitions, theatre shows, activities for kids to get amongst as well.
Best things to do in Melbourne in February
Spend your Wednesday nights surrounded by food at the Queen Victoria Market's fantastic Summer Night Market. Expect rows and rows of street food stalls and festival bars as well as art, fashion, homewares and general knick-knack merchandise traders – there are 130 stalls to explore in total. Food stalls will be cooking up delicious snacks all night long, with plenty of wine, beer and cocktails also on the menu. New traders for this season include Portuguese tarts from Casa Nata, chilled chocolate drinks and desserts from Mork Chocolate, African barbecue from Tasty Suya, traditional Filipino cuisine from Kuya's Simply Pinoy and Israeli falafel pita pockets from Falafel Arayes. The highlight of the 2019/2020 summer season will be the Gin Springs Bar, a pop-up watering hole inspired by Palm Springs and filled with giant pink flamingos, desert plants and fruity perfect-for-summer cocktails. It's here that you can grab a gin cocktail made with Melbourne Gin Company gin, as well an adult version of the classic spider (they're made with Coldstream Cider). The summery fun continues with a full-sized beach volleyball court popping up within the market. You can play a match with your friends (or complete strangers), watch professional players in action or take part in a volleyball tournament or workshop. To kick off the summer season on Wednesday, November 20 the Queen Victoria Night Market is teaming up with Melbourne Music Week. A stack of musicians are taking over the city st
South Melbourne Market's annual night market will be returning in 2020, kicking off a killer summer on January 8. Returning for five consecutive Wednesday evenings, Melburnians can enjoy a balmy night of eating, drinking, and dancing as live music performers take the stage. You can expect food trucks, food marquees and food carts, with many of the market's regular food traders also open. Plus junior gourmands can learn something new, with Neff Market Kitchen offering a school holiday cooking class program for under fives. The festivities kick off from midday, which means you can head over for lunch and stick around for a few hours of shopping, live entertainment and more food. To help launch the night market program on January 8, the market's butchers will compete in the Great Sausage Cook Off. At stake is the chance to earn their butcheries the title of Best Market Snag, with the public invited to cheer along the competitors. The full program will be announced closer to the opening, so stay tuned.
Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee, a free festival that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, is back with a fun program of family-friendly entertainment. The festival takes place on Saturday, February 1 and boasts performances, workshops, activities, as well as food and market stalls. Indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and her band the Putbacks lead the line-up, which also features Kee'ahn, Coloured Stone, Key Hoo, John Wayne Parsons, Pirritu, Benny Walker and more. If you're heading along you can also take part in dance workshops run by Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, cooking demonstrations by Mabu Mabu, and bush animal workshops by Aunty Bronwyn from Mirrnong Minnie. There will be kids activities, food vendors and market stalls all open from 11am until 5pm. Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee festival is celebrating its 15th year and will be held in O’Donnell Gardens in St Kilda, a culturally significant Indigenous meeting place for the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung. The festival usually has a footfall of more than 10,000 people. You can find more information about the program at Yaluk-ut Weelam Ngargee’s website.
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.
His gift is his song, and this one's for you. Elton John is coming to Australia as part of his three-year (!) Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and he is performing at several wineries as part of A Day on the Green as well as a huge stadium show at Hanging (Crocodile) Rock. The tour is just as epic as you'd expect from Elton John, with more than 300 shows across five continents. You can expect all the hits you know and love from the seasoned performer, including 'Tiny Dancer', 'Sad Songs', 'I'm Still Standing' and maybe even 'Candle in the Wind'. As Saturday night's all right for performing, John's biggest shows in Victoria will be on Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26 at Hanging Rock. Also on the Saturday theme, he's playing AAMI Park on February 22. He's also playing Mt Duneed Estate on December 7 and Rochword Wines on January 31 and February 1. Don't let the sun go down on 2020 without seeing one of pop music's living legends.
Every Sunday in summer the modern-Indian North Fitzroy diner Horn Please will be hosting an all-you-can-eat vegan dinner night from 6pm. Don't fear! It won't be a sad affair where there is a huge trough of dahl and mountains of stale bread. Instead, there will be a roster of six vegan curries, two snacks, rice and vegan naan for you to gorge yourself on. The menu will include dishes like a yellow dahl; potatoes and cauliflower curry; chana masala; red and black bean curry; eggplant curry; a roasted butternut squash curry; spinach fritters; and General Tso's cauliflower. The best news is that it will only set you back $20 a person, but don't forget to book, or you will definitely miss out.
Pong by Atari, one of the first arcade games to ever be developed, is joining forces with Supernormal for two weeks. Ahead of ACMI's relaunch, it has taken over the basement of Supernormal (which normally functions as a karaoke room) and is making all your 2D, mega-pixel, neon-lit dreams come true. Head downstairs of Supernormal to play the most competitive, simulated game of tennis of your life in air-conditioned comfort for free (!) and wander back up to the restaurant for refreshments like the Courtside Cocktail (Sipsmith Summer Cup, Tanqueray, ginger-elderflower syrup, Capi dry ginger ale) and alcohol-free sippers like the Sobah Pepperberry IPA to accompany a seasonal menu of sustainable line-caught swordfish, the best of summer's tomatoes, and a fluffy Japanese cheesecake embellished with passionfruit and blueberries. Get in quick to make your nerdy, Atari dreams come true because you can only play your free game of Pong from January 20 to February 2 from 11am until late. And the best part is, bookings aren't required.
Some of the most fun you can have at Midsumma is the triumphant Pride March in St Kilda, followed by an afternoon of partying at Catani Gardens by the sea. 2020 marks the 25th year of Pride March and Midsumma will be celebrating this milestone acheivement of Melbourne’s queer community with all the appropriate festive flair. The much-loved pre-march procession by Dykes on Bikes will rev up the rally and Midsumma’s Rainbow Aboriginal Pride will lead the thousands-strong procession of marchers as they sashay down the kilometre-long route. Whether you identify as queer or you're a queer ally, Pride March is a wonderful act of solidarity towards LGBTQIA people all over the world who live without the respect, rights and dignity they deserve. The march will commence at 11am from Ian Johnston Oval on Sunday February 2 and boogie on down Fitzroy Street, afterwards, Catani Gardens becomes a big, family-friendly party. So don your best rainbow colours, grab your friends, family, workmates and/or lovers and head down to St Kilda for Pride March. Marching is free, register yourself or your group at the Midsumma website to secure your place.
There are three things you need to make a good day trip: nice weather, delightful drinks and some form of entertainment. Healesville Sanctuary is stepping in to offer up the latter two in its Acoustic Afternoons event, so all you have to do is check the forecast and pick the day. Across the weekends of November 30-December 1, December 7-8, February 15-16, and February 22-23, visitors are invited to roll out a blanket and enjoy live music provided by the likes of Anita George, This Way North and the Tuck Shop Ladies. A pop-up bar is offering local beer, wine, cider and Four Pillars gin cocktails, and you can keep sated with a barbecue and charcuterie featuring local Yarra Valley produce. Once you’ve filled your tummy you’ll have plenty of time to wander the grounds and see the animals, or maybe just relax on the big lawn. There are giant games for kids (we doubt they'll be checking IDs though, so you can have a go too). The afternoons start at noon and run until 4pm. It's complimentary with entry into Healesville Sanctuary, and tickets to get you through the door range from $19 for a child to $37 for an adult.
After a hiatus for the past two years, Melbourne’s favourite way to mess about in boats is back for 2020. And the Inflatable Regatta is now even bigger, with the ability to paddle down not only the Yarra but also the Maribyrnong River. That means more than 4,000 people will be jumping in inflatable dinghies and paddling down one of Melbourne’s rivers in February 2020. You can paddle solo or bring a friend in a two-person boat. Tickets include rental of boats, oars and life jackets. The course is roughly two kilometres long and food trucks, bars, market stalls and music await salty seadogs at the finish line. The after party looks just as fun as the actual event, too. The line-up includes Karate Boogaloo, Surprise Chef and DJ Joey Lightbulb. If you want to sail down the Yarra you'll be casting off on Saturday, February 1 from Yarra Bank Reserve in Hawthorn, while westside sailors will depart from Footscray Rowing Club on Saturday, February 29. The last time the Inflatable Regatta was held, in 2018, there were 2,000 able seamen navigating their way down the Yarra. With two rivers now open for boating, the event is going to be even bigger. Ahoy!
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