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Photograph: Supplied/Yering Station

Things to do in Melbourne in October

October's best events all in one place – Check out all these fun things to do, eat, drink, see and experience

Written by
Rebecca Russo
,
Nicola Dowse
&
Cassidy Knowlton
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Wondering what to do in Melbourne in October? We can help. Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne. Performances, museums and venues have been closed and cancelled right now, so this list is a reflection of events you're able to do at home or in your radius and events that have moved online.

Need a refresher? Here's what you can and can’t do in Victoria right now.

Best things to do in Melbourne in October

  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Melbourne

Spooky things are happening on stage. The lighting is dim, and you peer through the gloom. There at the back, is that... alive? Did it used to be? Then the lights go out, and the theatre is plunged into darkness. But it's only a play, isn't it? Nothing can get you while you're safe in your seat, right? Right? This is Ghost Stories, a British horror-themed play written by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (Derren Brown TV and live shows, Peaky Blinders) that has played in London for many years, including in the West End.  The producers are keeping their spooky surprises a secret, but there will be scares aplenty during the five-week season of Ghost Stories at the Athenaeum. This is the first time the West End version has come to Australia, though other iterations of the show have visited our shores in the past. “You haven’t experienced horror until you’ve seen it live on stage,” says Nathan Alexander, producer at Realscape Productions, which is presenting the Australian version. “The show is thrilling, chilling and we couldn’t be more excited for Australia to experience the rollercoaster that is Ghost Stories.”  Will there be jump scares? Based on the trailer on the website, almost certainly. Will there be creeps, crawls and general bumps in the night? Most definitely. The show comes with a warning label that it's not for the faint of heart or those with nerve conditions. Fearless Melburnians can see Ghost Stories from October 5 to November 13 at the Athena

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Southbank

We've spoken about ghosts at the Arts Centre Melbourne before, and the lights left on to keep them company. But now the greatest phantom of them all is set to haunt the performance hall. Opera Australia, in association with the Really Useful Group, are striking up the discordant organ to announce, with a caped flourish, the arrival of arguably Andrew Lloyd Webber's most famous musical. The Phantom of the Opera is coming to Arts Centre Melbourne in 2022, with West Side Story star Josh Piterman in the title role (and ghoulish half face mask). The Aussie star was  recently bringing The Music of the Night to the West End, playing the Phantom in London right up until that production was forced to shut down. The main cast is rounded out by Amy Manford as Christine and Blake Bowden as Raoul. Unbelievably, it's the first time the box office smash will grace the Arts Centre Melbourne in its 35-year history. And you can bet it's going to dazzle, right down to the fateful plunge of the centrepiece chandelier. This spectacular staging, conjured by Cameron Mackintosh, will be brought to life in Melbourne by director Laurence Connor and will show off the fabulous original costume designs of Maria Björnson.  "I am thrilled to be able to bring this exciting new production of The Phantom of the Opera to Arts Centre Melbourne with its spectacular new staging by director Laurence Connor and fabulous designs by Paul Brown and Maria Bjornson," says Mackintosh.  This is set to be one of the larges

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  • Art
  • Installation
  • price 0 of 4
  • Southbank

Victoria, you've heard of pink lakes and pink cliffs, but this might be Melbourne's first pink pond. This December, the NGV unveils a pink pond in the Grollo Equiset Garden (the gallery's sculpture garden). The blushing body of water, titled 'Pond[er]' is the work of the winner of the NGV's 2021 Architecture Commission, and is designed and produced by architecture firm Taylor Knights and artist James Carey.  Unsurprisingly, the pond is inspired by Australia's pink salt lakes but also draws from the original architectural designs for the NGV International. In addition to the large, pink pool of water, 'Pond[er]' also features beds of native Victorian wildflowers that will bloom at varying stages throughout the installation's tenure. It's sustainable too, with the installation's materials to be sourced or made locally and to then be distributed to Landcare, Indigenous and community groups for further use following deinstallation.  NGV director, Tony Ellwood, said "Through an elegant interplay of architectural and landscape elements, this work draws our attention to the challenges facing Australia’s many catchments and river systems, whilst also ensuring that the design itself has minimal environmental impact by considering the future lifecycle of the materials used." If you're anything like us, you're probably thinking "can I jump in the pond?". The answer to that is yes, yes you can. Once installed, visitors to 'Pond[er]' will be able to walk along a series of walkways and acc

Veg Out Farmers' Market
  • Shopping
  • price 0 of 4
  • St Kilda

The volunteer-run Veg Out Community Garden's farmers' market, open the first Saturday of each month, overflows with local organic produce, jams and preserves, handmade bread and sundry delights to fill up your basket. This blue-eyed bloke's name is Rod Blake, but his customers know him as Blakey. On any given Veg Out Saturday market, you'll find him swapping stories with a young couple while weighing bendy zucchinis, or talking footy with the 10-year-old son of a long-term customer. "Nearly everything here – kale, capsicum, gem squash – were all picked yesterday," explains Blakey. Along with his wife Meg, Blakey's been growing organic produce at their Grampians farm for over two decades, ever since he parted ways with pesticides ("nasties!"). At 10am, the Bellellen Grampians Organics stall is buzzing over the sound of a busker playing acoustic guitar. Stocks are depleting, but the two never falter in their back-and-forth energy and banter, despite getting up at 1am. "I'm staying in Melbourne tonight because I've got a little party to go to!"

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Dog Lovers Show
  • Things to do
  • South Wharf

Due to lockdown and ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the Melbourne Dog Lovers Show has been postponed until October 2022. Prior to this announcement, the event was set to break attendance records with its first appearance at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.  As one of the world's largest dog-dedicated festivals, the 2022 show is set to rival the 2019 show in terms of programming. While it is still a ways off, you can look forward to seeing more than 1,000 dogs representing over 150 breeds.  You'll have the chance to see exhilarating sheepdog speed trials by the Australian Working Dog Rescue group, performances by the Black Hawk DockDogs and appearances by some canine stars of Instagram. Whether you own a pup of your own or you're simply a lover of dogs, this event will be filled to the brim with joyful dogs and fun dog-related activities.  Tickets for the 2022 event will be on sale soon. For more information, head to the website. 

Abbotsford Convent Farmers Market
  • Shopping
  • Abbotsford

Beneath the grey spires of the historic Abbotsford Convent is a market that champions small-time growers. The market is managed by social enterprise Melbourne Farmers Markets (MFM) who connect Victorian farmers and food producers with several urban neighbourhoods in Melbourne.  Open the fourth Saturday of each month, seasonal, organic food is king here, and learning about the origins of your produce is half the fun. This farmers market is plastic bag free so remember to BYO carry bags. Entry is $2 and it runs from 8am to 1pm.

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  • Music
  • Rap, hip hop and R&B
  • Melbourne

Hip hop legend Snoop Dogg is set to perform four shows in Australia in October of 2022. The 'I Wanna Thank Me' tour, which will celebrate the release of his album of the same name, will come to Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on Saturday, October 29. Whether you know him from tracks like 'Drop It Like It's Hot' and 'Gin N Juice,' from watching him bake brownies with Martha Stewart or from films like Training Day, there's no debating that Snoop Dogg is a jack of many trades.  His career spans nearly a quarter of a decade and has seen the chart-topping rapper produce several multi-platinum records, earn 17 Grammy nominations and appear in a number of movies and TV shows.  Pre-sale tickets will be available via Telstra Plus from September 10, 2021 at noon and general public tickets will go on sale on September 13, 2021 at 4pm through Ticketek.  

Gasworks Farmers' Market
  • Shopping
  • price 0 of 4
  • Albert Park

If all you sell is raspberries (or olives, or rhubarb, or honey), then you've got to have a pretty strong passion for them. Every third Saturday of the month, enthusiasm for high quality local produce runs like electricity at this Port Melbourne arts space, and your tastebuds will feel it too.Grab a fresh, crusty baguette to go with your market haul salad for later, stock up on seasonal produce and a treat or two for afternoon tea (handmade chocolate biscuits, anyone?).The Gasworks Farmers' Market is plastic free so make sure to bring your reusable bags, baskets and coffee cups. 

Staying in?

  • Things to do

We've collected the best ways for you to experience Melbourne while staying at home here into this hub, so you can stay sane, comfortable, fed, watered and entertained at home – while helping small business owners, hospitality workers and creative people who desperately need your business.

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