Best things to do in Melbourne in November
One of the most talked-about installations during the NGV's blockbuster Triennial exhibition was a room in which a whirlpool was projected on the floor. If you walked into the room, the virtual water would eddy around your feet, creating a mini-whirlpool where you stood. Join others in the room, and you create mini aquatic patterns of virtual water flowing, whirling and reforming, interacting with everyone in the room and their space and movements. It was mesmerising, brought people together and was downright fun. In fact, during one afternoon, all of the people in the room decided to circle the room, as if dancing the hora, creating one giant whirlpool. The creative enterprise behind that installation is Japan's TeamLab, an art collective whose members include mathematicians, architects, CG animators and engineers. Everything they do is cutting edge but also community-oriented, driven by the latest in technology but a very human need for connection. Virtual flowers bloom in visitors' hands, a moving garden of real orchids reacts to the presence of those who stroll its paths, and projected koi flit around people's ankles, able to be scooped up and held before diving back into the water in the floor. During one show in a prestigious gallery in London, one team member who had been up for two days straight finishing the installation fell asleep on the floor two hours before the art-loving crowd came in. Being English, they didn't want to disturb the exhausted man, or perhaps
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. The bar offers $5 pints from 7pm until 10pm, and entry is free.
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 December 15. 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. From sci-fi to non-fiction, the Melbourne Book Market has every genre presented by a revolving cast of veteran Melbourne booksellers. Tweed jackets are encouraged, but not compulsory. There will be around 20 pop-up stalls giving bibliophiles plenty of options to spend all their life savings on, including stalls by the founding members of the book market. After deciding on your next bedtime read take some time to stroll around the market and check off your grocery list with the fresh produce or go into one of the cafés and satiate your hunger. For more information on the next market visit the Queen Victoria Market website or the Melbourne Book Market Facebook page.
Some people like to dress up in cute costumes and go drinking for Halloween – and some people like to voluntarily have the pants scared off them. The team at Rush Escape Game appear to be of the latter opinion and have devised a haunted house escape experience. The creepy new experience is called Exorcist: the Arrival and is a little different to your average escape room. In fact, Rush is turning its entire South Yarra venue into a haunted house where the aim of the game is less 'escape the room' and more 'escape with your life'. There will be live actors, jump scares and (presumably fake) blood in addition to a few easy escape room puzzles and an immersive storyline. You’ll get 30 minutes to explore the cursed place, solve the challenges and escape by not being caught. All of the regular Rush escape rooms will be transformed for this event which is running for a limited time between October 28 and November 3. Tickets can be booked online now. Keep in mind Rush doesn’t recommend Exorcist: the Arrival for guests under 13.
Between 1990 and 1999, the number of babies named "Keanu" skyrocketed in the US. It’s no coincidence that these were the crucial ascendant years – beginning with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in ’89 and reaching the zenith of A-list Hollywood with the first Matrix movie in ‘99 – of the man, the mystery, the marvel that is, was and ever shall be Keanu Reeves. Whether you fell in love with his stoic, brooding portrayal of Jack Traven in Speed, his stoic, brooding portrayal of Neo in the Matrix trilogy, or perhaps his stoic, brooding portrayal of the anti-hero assassin John Wick, there’s no denying the stoic, brooding appeal of Reeves in whatever role he inhabits. Any Melburnians who are crazy for Keanu can now immerse themselves in an epic celebration of this modern-day matinee idol courtesy of the Lido Cinema in Hawthorn. Every Friday between October 18 and December 13, some of Reeves’ most beloved blockbusters will be getting an airing, including Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, My Own Private Idaho, Point Break, Speed, The Matrix, The Lake House and John Wick. If despotic robot overlords wanted to enslave our bodies by hijacking our minds, well, a Keanu Reeves film fest would be one surefire way to do it. So plug in, sit back, and surrender to the two-month Keanu Reeves-a-thon.
If you’re looking for the epitome of a classic spring day then the State Rose and Garden Show is here to deliver. This November, it’s returning for its seventh year and bringing us the perfect combo of beautiful flowers, prosecco and a rose-inspired high tea. Take a stroll through lush, green fields and vibrant garden beds at the Victoria State Rose Garden in Werribee over one huge weekend. There you'll be able to explore 5,000+ floral displays that span almost three hectares, pick up tips and tricks from horticulturalists, head to live plant care demonstrations, browse the pop-up nursery stalls and go on guided tours which will be running across the whole weekend. On Saturday, you can head to the wine and beer garden to try craft beers and ciders from Kombi Keg, wine and Roseade Spritzers (rosé lemonade wine spritzers!) from Chirping Bird Wines and American-style barbecue eats from Bluebonnet Barbecue. On Sunday, the Prosecco Van will be joining forces with Mrs Baker's Gin for a rose-inspired high tea by the High Tea Mistress (prices start at $30 and you should book early to avoid dissapointment). The show will be held over Saturday and Sunday November 9 and 10. Entry is free but you're welcome to make a gold coin donation to help support the volunteers at the Victoria State Rose Garden.
Spend an afternoon smooching gorgeous greyhounds, sipping on craft brews and playing lawn bowls. This family and dog-friendly event is all in the name of charity for Gumtree Greys’ annual Greys on the Green fundraiser. Ever wanted to kiss a greyhound? You’ll have your chance with a special greyhound kissing booth. There’ll also be a hound fashion parade and plenty of longgos (long doggos) to meet who are looking for their forever homes with the now famous raffle and silent auction. A barbecue will have options to keep both veggos and carnivores happy and there’ll also be some market stalls to browse. Greys on the Green raises urgently needed funds for Gumtree Greys, an independent charity that facilitates the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of ex-racing greyhounds. The event is on Sunday, November 3 at Flem-Ken Bowls Club. Entry is $10 and every cent goes to Gumtree Greys.
An orchestra and a physicist are collaborating for an event that will bring science and music together at Hamer Hall. Professor Brian Cox, one of the world’s pre-eminent physicists, will join the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with conductor Daniel Harding for three concerts on November 15, 16 and 17 and take you through the big questions of eternity, death, rebirth and existence. Paul Dean’s violin concerto A Brief History of Time, which was dedicated to late physicist and professor Stephen Hawking, will be performed by violin virtuoso Jack Liebeck with the orchestra. The first movement from Mahler’s Tenth Symphony will be the centrepiece of this musical movement as it communicates the composer’s struggle with the idea of the finite nature of our existence. Guests will be treated to music from the pre-scientific age, and Cox will talk about our universe and solar system, presenting what was known about the world when the composers created their music and what is known now. The performance on Saturday, 16 November will begin at 7.30pm and will feature a post-concert conversation with Professor Cox and special guests. The performance on Sunday, 17 November will begin at 4pm. Ticket prices range from $124 to $199 and can be purchased here.
What could be better than watching native Australian animals in Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary? Doing it with a drink in your hand, of course. Hop Fest is a celebration of small producers of beer and cider taking place at Healesville Sanctuary over the Melbourne Cup weekend. There will be tastings from Hargreaves Hill, Watt's River Brewing, Coldstream Brewery, N apoleone, St Ronan's Cider, Hop Hen Brewing and Cherry Hill Orchards.Watt's River Brewing is making three special beers for the occasion, inspired by the blue-tongue lizard, helmeted honeyeater, Smokey mouse and the brush-tail rock-wallaby. All that nature and drinks will have you hungry, so there will be street food including jaffles, ribs, burgers, pies, pastries, charcuterie and picnic food. Don't think you'll miss out on animal encounters while you're enjoying your food and drink, though, as the zookeepers will be bringing around furry, scaly and feathered friends to say hello. There will also be plenty of live music, so you can have a boogie.
Do you think your furry little pals have what it takes to claw their way to the top? Australia’s only cat registering group affiliated with the World Cat Federation will present the first-ever paw-tastic All Breeds Championship Show this spring. The best part? You can enter for a chance to win a trophy and prize and even become the international champion. The show will start in Sydney on Saturday, October 26 followed by Melbourne on Saturday, November 2 and wrap up in Perth on Sunday, November 3. More than 300 cats will attend the three shows showcasing an incredible range of pedigree cats from Australia’s own breed, the Australian mist, as well as sphynx and Maine coon, Burmese, oriental, siamese and heaps more. The competition will be fierce as it is judged by a great line-up of judges from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Cat enthusiasts and non-cat owners alike are encouraged to come and join in on the ANCATS show hospitality in all its glamour and elegance. Admire the cats, watch the judging and mingle with breeders. If you’re thinking of getting a cat, ANCAT’s Aussie Tour is the purrrfect event to learn about cat breeds to make an informed decision. Members are devoted to the welfare and responsible ownership of cats and encourage owners to microchip, register and desex their cats. For more information about each show, check out the website.
More things to do in Melbourne this month
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