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9 to 5 the Musical - Sydney
Photograph: Supplied/David Hooley

Things to do in Melbourne in June

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

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier
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Wondering what to do in Melbourne this June? We've got you sorted with this list of free things, art exhibitions, stage shows, festivals and more. 

RECOMMENDED: What to do in Melbourne when it rains

Things to do in Melbourne this June

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Melbourne

It’s Christmas for Potterheads. Three years after its celebrated opening at the expensively refurbished Princess Theatre, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is taking an apt step back in time with a second premiere, this time of a streamlined one-play version that carves a good three hours off of its original running time.

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Is Hamilton, the smash-hit American history musical that won a whopping 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize when it debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won the hearts of critics and audiences the world over, as good as everyone says? In a word, yes.

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  • Things to do
  • Markets
  • Melbourne

It's always sad when the Queen Victoria Summer Night Market comes to an end, but the silver lining is that it means the Winter Night Market is on the horizon. This year, it'll kick off on June 1 and run every Wednesday until August 31. While being outside on cold winter nights doesn't sound particularly appealing, it's made all the better when you can warm yourself up from the inside out with cosy eats and hot beverages.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Southbank

The NGV's Friday Nights series is back for another round, and this time the gallery is pairing a string of gigs alongside the highly anticipated exhibition the Picasso CenturyFew things go hand-in-hand like music and art, and NGV Friday Nights’ set-up is the best way to take in the latest NGV exhibition after dark while enjoying the best in local music.

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  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals
  • Bendigo

Since 2013, White Night has been lighting up the streets of Melbourne for a 12-hour art party, featuring spectacular projections of art, mind-bending installations and unexpected immersive experiences. It went into hibernation for the last few years, but it's returning this year to light up three regional cities: Geelong, Bendigo and, for the first time, Shepparton. The festivities will be spread out over the year, with the first White Night hitting Shepparton on Saturday, June 25.

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

What if the Spice Girls did a concept album about King Henry VIII’s wives – and Baz Luhrmann directed the concert video? That, in a nutshell, is Six’s vibe: an up-tempo, empowering, all-singing, all-dancing account of the lives of the six key ladies in the Tudor monarch’s orbit.

  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Melbourne

After a two-year delay due to Covid-19, immersive light installation Lightscape is finally arriving in Melbourne this winter. From July 24 to August 7, take a nighttime stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and experience luminous pathways, lit-up tree canopies and soothing soundscapes. 

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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Bendigo

Get ready Victoria, because the King is coming to Bendigo Art Gallery. Elvis: Direct from Graceland is a major new exhibition coming exclusively to the regional art gallery from March 19, 2022, and it's set to explore Elvis Presley – his life and his work – in one of the most comprehensive exhibitions in Australia. 

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Southbank

 

If Williams' Dorian Gray has a shortcoming, it’s that the taboo of queer desire, an essential part of Wilde’s writing, is occasionally underplayed or skirted over. But it’s hard to find fault with a show that manages to say so much, and with such an innovative voice, as helmed by a performance that will surely be remembered as one of the greatest ever seen on an Australian stage.

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  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Brunswick

If you thought building things out of cardboard was a relic of your childhood, think again; Australian independent craft brewery Bridge Road Brewers has created the grown-up hideaway fort of your dreams. Aptly named A Bar Made of Cardboard, it's a pop-up bar where everything aside from the beer taps, fridges and dishwasher is made with recycled cardboard. 

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  • Art
  • Southbank

The NGV will celebrate the stories and perspectives of our queer communities in a landmark new exhibition set to open in 2022. Queer is the most comprehensive Australian survey of art relating to queer themes to date, with more than 300 works pulled from the NGV collection to be exhibited across five galleries at the NGV International. 

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Melbourne

The Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street opened its doors to guests in March 2021, having taken over the old Italian Romanesque bones of Melbourne's heritage-listed Equity Chambers. The boutique hotel is a gorgeous blend of old and new, with lofty ceilings, old barrister's offices laden with gold detailing and dark natural wood panelling that's reminiscent of the State Library. Stepping inside is like going back in time, and in celebration of the hotel's one-year anniversary, you're invited to experience the lavish Celebrations Stay Package. 

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • South Yarra

Calling all Mamma Mia! fans: for just one month this winter, Speakeasy Bar on Chapel Street is running a theatrical dining experience based on the beloved film and ABBA jukebox musical. Trek down to South Yarra between June 24 and July 30 for the closest thing you'll get to a breezy Greek paradise in the colder Melbourne months. 

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Carlton

Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs takes over two levels of Melbourne Museum in an exhibition that tracks the story of the dinosaurs from from the perspective of Horridus – i.e. that of a triceratops. Guests are plunged into the Cretaceus period for the exhibit, where they'll learn about the world in which Horridus lived and the creatures the dino lived alongside. 

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  • Art
  • Melbourne

You don't have to travel to Canberra to check out some of the brilliant portraits held by the National Portrait Gallery, as the NGV Ian Potter Centre has collaborated with the famed museum to bring some of the finest examples of the artform to Melbourne.

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating
  • Melbourne

If you've been needing a bit of magic in your life, then we've got good news for you: after a three-year hiatus, Disney on Ice has finally announced its latest show, Into the Magic. See your favourite characters from films like Moana, Frozen, Coco and more come to life and skillfully navigate the rink with a flurry of special effects like fake snow and pyrotechnics. 

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  • Museums
  • History
  • Melbourne

The Immigration Museum is presenting 71 Australian coming-of-age stories that range from the monumental to the mundane, by diverse storytellers including author Alice Pung, model Andreja Pejic, disability activist Jax Jacki Brown, AFL footballer Jason Johannisen, drag queen Karen from Finance and Senator Lidia Thorpe.

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  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Melbourne

 

Séance is an immersive sound experience created by Brits Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, in collaboration with Melbourne team Realscape Productions. It relies on psychology and our inclination towards superstition to alter guests’ perception of reality, all while never leaving the shipping container. 

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  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Narre Warren

The closest thing to a real-life version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is headed to Melbourne in the form of Casey Cornucopia, a surreal, fruit-filled installation. Designed by multi-sensory artists Bompas and Parr, the installation will take over Bunjil Place from June 24 to July 17 and aims to show visitors local produce in a way they've never experienced before. 

  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Melbourne

Eulogy is the latest immersive sound experience from Melbourne company Realscape Productions, the team behind the brilliantly scary Séance, which has had two successful runs in Melbourne. That experience was legitimately terrifying, conjuring up nefarious spirits inside a shipping container using nothing but cutting edge 3D sound design and some lowkey seat vibrations. 

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  • Art
  • Paintings
  • Southbank

The most influential painter of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso changed art forever. His works are among the most famous in existence, hanging on gallery walls and in private collections the world over, as well as being instantly recognisable to millions both in and outside of the fine arts.

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  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Melbourne

You know the drill: check your boarding pass, find your assigned seat, stow your baggage in the overhead bin and fasten your seatbelt. Make sure your tray table is in the upright position, and make sure your window blind is open for takeoff. On a monitor in front of you, a flight attendant in a blue uniform details the safety features of this aircraft. She explains that you should take a minute to find your nearest exit, bearing in mind it might be behind you. As she adjusts her pink scarf, she... wait a minute, wasn't her uniform blue? The screen flickers and she's back to blue, and you wonder if you imagined the pink. And then the lights go out. 

This is Flightthe latest immersive sound experience from Melbourne company Realscape Productions, the team behind the brilliantly scary Séance, which has had two successful runs in Melbourne. That experience was legitimately terrifying, conjuring up nefarious spirits inside a shipping container using nothing but cutting-edge 3D sound design and a few vibrations. 

Flight is also in a shipping container, but inside it's been fitted out to look exactly like a plane, including overhead bins, real plane seats and real plane window blinds. If you find real planes uncomfortable, physically or mentally, you'll find this one uncomfortable. And that's before the plane plunges into complete, pitch-black darkness. And then the screaming begins.

Those with anxiety about flying will find Flight a nightmarish recreation of their worst fears. The clever use of directional sound in high-end headphones creates a complete narrative, as it sounds like those around you are getting up, talking to each other and to you, making strange decisions, whispering to each other – and to you. Those headphones, the realistic set design and some clever surprises put you in the world of a doomed flight. The show only lasts about half an hour. But by that time you'll be searching for your nearest exit, bearing in mind that it might be behind you.

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  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Melbourne

Are you scared of the idea of being trapped inside your body? Hearing people around you making decisions, talking about you, without being able to respond? Well this may (or may not) be your next opportunity to confront your fears.

  • Art
  • Melbourne

Light: Works from Tate’s Collection is bringing more than 70 works from the Tate's impressive national collection to ACMI as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series. As the exhibition title suggests, the works coming to this Australian exclusive showcase all relate to the theme of 'light' and span 200 years of art history and mediums such as painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, kinetic art, installation and (of course, it's ACMI) the moving image. 

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Melbourne

Aussie bowling alley and all-around funhouse Strike has released its newest collab – a project to turn humble bowling balls and shoes into a thing of art. From Tuesday, February 21, players can get their hands on specially designed attire by Australian artist Steen Jones. Because, as the saying goes: 'Look good, play better'.

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • Southbank

Every now and again, it's good to treat yo' self. And if you've been waiting for the opportune moment, it has arrived in the form of the Lobster & Co pop-up at the ACM Forecourt. Hunt down the vintage-style stainless steel caravan and get a taste of the finer things in life, by way of a luxurious lobster roll paired with fries and a glass of Champagne.

  • Theatre
  • Comedy
  • Prahran

What do we have here, eh? A couple of showgirls? You bet your bottom dollarydoo! After breaking out on the first Antipodean season of the reality television juggernaut RuPaul’s Drag Race, two of Down Under’s biggest drag superstars are hitting the road with their own 19 stop Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-inspired travelling show.

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  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals

The return of the winter school holidays brings the usual conundrum of things to do with kids when it’s cold outside. A water slide park is not usually the first thing that springs to mind, but then, last year's Winter Glow festival at Geelong’s Adventure Park was hugely popular, and it returns this year for the weekend of June 17-19, then for the entire run of the school break, June 23 to July 10 from 3.30-8.30pm.  

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  • Museums
  • Melbourne

Whether you are on babysitting duty for the school holidays or are a keen ocean explorer, the new Dive into the Deep exhibit at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, offers a unique and informative day out for adults and children alike. For the first time at the Melbourne Aquarium, the Dive into the Deep exhibit sees a 14 metre long, immersive digital projection, taking guests on a explorative examination through the depths of the ocean, and through the stages of time.

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