Get us in your inbox

Search
A man and a woman trying a rose pinot noir at Pinot Palooza.
Photograph: Supplied

Things to do in Melbourne in May

There's plenty happening in Melbourne this May, so get amongst it

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier
Advertising

Wondering what to do in Melbourne this May? 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

The best things to do in Melbourne in May

  • 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.

  • Things to do
  • Caulfield North

Alright, let's set the scene: the year is 1895, and there's been a murder in Labassa Mansion. A playboy and his politician friend have been poisoned, shot and stabbed, and everyone thinks the butler did it. But you're the detective on the scene, and things aren't looking quite so black and white. From February 3 until May 28, you can head over to the historic Labassa Mansion in Caulfield North to join in on this immersive murder mystery game. You have an hour and a half to search for clues, interrogate suspects and unmask the true murderer - can you do it? 

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • Melbourne

Alright, Potterheads! It's happening! The Harry Potter-inspired high tea  dubbed A Wizardly High Tea  is a-go in the equally magical halls of Malvern Town Hall and Melbourne University. The enchanting high tea experience will feature butterbeer for all, interactive roaming witches and wizards, and hopefully, a lack of trolls in the dungeon. 

  • 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. 

Advertising
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

It is a tried and tested bet that a mainstage musical based on the music of a popular recording artist will always guarantee bums in seats. And when that musical comes to Australia with the critical acclaim and adoration of sell-out seasons on the West End and Broadway, you can be sure you’re in for a bona fide hit. Enter Girl from the North Country, a charming stage show based on the songs of a living legend, the great singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. 

Advertising
  • Art
  • Sculpture and installations
  • Melbourne

UK artist Luke Jerram returns to Melbourne with Gaia, following a successful season showing his illuminated installation, Museum of the Moon, in Federation Square. This time around, the Earth is his subject: a 7-metre wide, internally-lit sculpture rendered with detailed NASA imagery of our beloved blue planet, rotating once every four minutes. The artwork is accompanied by a bespoke soundtrack made by BAFTA Award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Advertising
  • 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. 

Advertising
  • Art
  • Installation
  • Melbourne

See Sidney Myer Music Bowl as you’ve never seen it before in the Wilds. The outdoor amphitheatre is being turned into a supernatural forest filled with art, light, ice and moonlight.

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Southbank

After putting out The Architect in 2018 to critical acclaim (including our very own four-star review), playwright Aiden Fennessy quickly got back to work on The Heartbreak Choir. It was originally slated to debut at the Melbourne Theatre Company in the 2020 season but was delayed for obvious reasons, and unfortunately wasn't debuted before Fennessy passed in September 2020. In a fitting tribute, director Peter Houghton is bringing it to the stage from April 29 to May 28.

Advertising
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Cruel Intentions had an all-star, all-'90s cast in Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar, at the height of her Buffy powers. And now, the brand new Aussie cast for the hotly anticipated Australian premiere production of the musical will take the stage. Local talent Kirby Burgess, Drew Weston and Kelsey Halge will join Helpmann Award-nominated performer Francine Cain for a fun night out you won't want to miss.

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • St Kilda

The environmental impacts of global warming are well documented – but what is the true impact of yet another catastrophic fire season on the people who experience it? John Marc Desengano, Brigid Gallacher, Chanella Macri and Emily Tomlins star in The View from Up Here, a new Australian play which is set to kick off its world premiere in Melbourne this May.

Advertising
  • Theatre
  • Southbank

"At our beach, at our magic beach…" As far as children’s books go, it’s a pretty memorable opening line. Alison Lester’s classic Australian story, Magic Beach, has been the centrepiece of many a school bookshelf since it was first published in 1990 – and now it is coming to the stage.

Paid content
  • Art
  • Installation
  • Melbourne

Everyone in Melbourne has heard of the mysterious Flinders Street Station Ballroom, but few have seen it. The once grand hall has hosted lectures, a library, fitness classes and (of course) dances, but has been closed to the public since 1985. But it's coming back to life for Rising festival, with leading contemporary artist and Melbourne local Patricia Piccinini turning the near-mythic space into an immersive, hyperreal installation.

Advertising
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Melbourne's fairy godmother has really come through for the city. Rodgers and Hammerstein's opulent production of Cinderella is coming to the city from May 2022, bringing with it all the magic and music of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show. 

  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • Carlton

While you won’t find the most famed greasy-haired potions masters or boy wizard at this creative drinking experience, you will have a lot of fun at the Wizard's Den if you’re keen on the occult. At this Carlton pop-up experience you can channel the powers of your coven idol, from Sabrina to Hermione, and brew devilish (read: alcoholic) concoctions over the course of 90-minutes. 

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • Southbank

Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean you can't keep feasting on fresh, succulent seafood as we plunge into autumn. Every Sunday until the end of June, you can head to Ging Thai for Seafood Sundays and feast on a three-tiered seafood tower.

  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • South Wharf

Melbourne's cutting edge digital art gallery, the Lume, is finally opening this spring with an immersive exhibition on Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh reimagines the now-famous painter's works as projections that completely ensconce you in an 11-metre tall gallery, allowing you to feel like you're in van Gogh's bedroom or under that famous starry night. A mirrored infinity room filled with countless sunflowers also features, as does a life-size recreation of painting 'Bedroom in Arles'.

Advertising
  • Art
  • Paintings
  • Bulleen

Sidney Nolan, the 20th-century painter perhaps best known for his signature geometric Ned Kellys, is one of Australia's most renowned artists. He's also known for having had a deep personal connection to what is now Heide Museum of Modern Art – hence it makes perfect sense that the gallery is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a fresh new exhibition on the famous artist. 

  • 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. 

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Southbank

Melbourne's favourite mini-golf joint is teaming up with Southern Comfort to provide punters with a VIP putt-putt experience. Spice up your autumn date night plans or switch up your usual dinner catch up with friends by rocking up and asking to upgrade your game to Golf Class.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Carlton

Horridus the Triceratops has landed at Melbourne Museum with visitors able to visit the huge dino from March 12 as part of a brand new exhibition. 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. 

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • South Melbourne

There's a reason why Disney has remained so enduring over nearly a century, and a little bit of that Disney magic is headed to Melbourne. Whether you're a classic fanatic or have fallen in love with newcomers like Encanto, capture the enchantment on canvas with one of Champaintaing's Disney-themed paint and sip sessions. 

  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals
  • Ballarat

If you love playing dress-up and have wondered what life was like back in the golden era of the Victorian Goldfields region, then dust off your tweed jacket and drive up for the Ballarat Heritage Festival. The nine-day festival takes place from May 21 to 29 and features a program jam-packed with historic experiences like tweed rides and steam train shuttles, as well as delicious food and drink experiences. 

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Southbank

Melbourne's favourite mini-golf joint is teaming up with Southern Comfort to provide punters with a VIP putt-putt experience. Spice up your autumn date night plans or switch up your usual dinner catch up with friends by rocking up and asking to upgrade your game to Golf Class.

  • 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.

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Docklands

Whether you're a fan of Captain Jack Sparrow or the pirates of Penzance, we're pretty sure you haven't seen pirates like these before. After taking a hiatus during the lockdown, Cabaret performers at the Queens of the Damned theatre restaurant are back with a pirate-themed dinner production that will run until June 2022. This performance takes place across four different rooms in the 100-year-old Mission to Seafarers.

Advertising
  • Museums
  • History
  • Melbourne

The glory and pain of our formative years never leave us. The awkwardness, the heartache, the moments of soaring joy and the losses that crushed us often feel as real as the day they happened. The Immigration Museum is now plumbing these universal experiences in an immersive exhibition that’ll have you feeling the entire spectrum of human emotion.

Paid content
Advertising
  • Sport and fitness
  • Football

Round one of the 2022 AFL season kicks off on March 16, with Melbourne games taking place at the MCG and Marvel Stadium. The first game kicks off with a rematch between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs, the two teams that contended for the premiership cup in the 2021 Grand Final.

  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • Southbank

Summer may be over, but that doesn't mean you can't keep feasting on fresh, succulent seafood as we plunge into autumn. Every Sunday until the end of June, you can head to Ging Thai for Seafood Sundays and feast on a three-tiered seafood tower.

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Food and drink

 In sad news, the reign of these historic huts is coming to an end as the site is being redeveloped into apartments come June. If you haven't had a chance to visit yet, or you're keen to visit for one last time, pop in for boozy and bottomless meals, rosé tastings, puppy parties and more. 

  • 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'.

Advertising
  • Art
  • Installation
  • Southbank

Do you know what a 'meatus' is? Even if you don't, we can guarantee you are in possession of several meatuses. A meatus, you see, is an opening or passage that leads to your body's interior – your ears are a meatus, as is your mouth, your nose and your, ah, party parts in your pants.

Or tick something off this list

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising