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Things to do in Melbourne in October

October's best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne in October
Cie Carabosse / Installations de feu / Fesival Dépayz'arts / Fo
Photograph: Vincent Muteau
By Rebecca Russo, Nicola Dowse and Cassidy Knowlton |

Wondering what to do in Melbourne in October? We can help. Check out our guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne, including free attractionsart exhibitionstheatre showsactivities for kids and so much more. Plus, if it's a rainy day, consult our guide to Melbourne's best indoor activities instead.

Best things to do in Melbourne in October

Yarra River with skyline at Arbory Afloat
Bars, Cocktail bars

Arbory Afloat

icon-location-pin Arbory Bar and Eatery, Melbourne

Oh buoy! The team behind massive outdoor eatery and beer garden Arbory Bar and Eatery have brought back their famed floating bar and restaurant Arbory Afloat for summer. The giant, nautical-themed floating pontoon has moored itself alongside Arbory’s permanent fixture beside platform 13 of Flinders Street Station. As well as boasting 360-degree views of the Yarra River and the CBD skyline, Arbory Afloat has an extensive cocktail list (think fruit-driven cocktails like Pomegranate Daquiris and Watermelon Sangria) and a Mediterranean-inspired wine list. Hungry? You can dig into fresh seafood including grilled southern calamari and eight different wood-fired pizzas.

Crazy Rich Asians
Film, Comedy

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians, the 2013 literary sensation by Kevin Kwan, is finally a Hollywood movie, the first with an all-Asian cast and director since Wayne Wang’s The Joy Luck Club 25 years ago. Bursting with attitude and heart, Crazy Rich Asians makes up for lost time in a big way. Read our five-star review here.

Time Out says
Film, Drama


If you’ve been pining for the fiery, political Spike Lee of Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, good news: BlacKkKlansman has the director back to his energised best. Lee's police infiltration period piece is as a high-energy filleting of modern-day America and stars John David Washington and Adam Driver. Read our four-star review here.

Time Out says
Un pequeño favor, la nueva película de Anna Kendrick
Foto: Cortesía Corazón Films
Film, Thriller

A Simple Favour

Sharper than your everyday mean girl since the beginning of her career, Blake Lively has always been capable of more than her opportunities have allowed her, while Anna Kendrick, a chipper ‘perfect’ thing in movie after movie, has been overrated. So it’s gratifying to see them both earning their keep in director Paul Feig’s borderline-nutso crime comedy, one that won’t be confused for a new Gone Girl. But even second-rate trashy turnarounds are worth savouring.

Time Out says
Film, Thriller


After David Kim (John Cho)'s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter's laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter's digital footprints before she disappears forever.

Things to do, Exhibitions

Mandela My Life: The Exhibition

icon-location-pin Melbourne Museum, Carlton

A historical exhibition commemorating the life of South African leader and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela gets its world premiere in Melbourne this month. Mandela My Life: The Exhibition will chronicle Mandela’s ongoing fight for freedom and human rights amidst apartheid in South Africa with a collection of original artefacts, memorabilia as well as film and audio archives. The exhibition is endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, an organisation set up in 1999 by Mandela as a vehicle for his charitable, rural development and diplomatic work.

Photo: Laurie Sparham
Film, Animation

Christopher Robin

In the heat-warming live action adventure "Disney's Christopher Robin," the young boy who loved embarking on adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with a band of spirited and loveable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

Missão: Impossível – Fallout
©2018 Paramount Pictures

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Tom Cruise is 56 years old. Fifty. Six. And he’s been making Mission: Impossible movies for 22 of those 56 years. By all rights, Fallout, his sixth high-flying mission, should be to M:I what A View to a Kill was to Roger Moore’s Bond (Moore being only a year older than Cruise is when he made his final 007): tired, creaky and a bit embarrassing. Astonishingly, however, the opposite is true. This is easily the best, slickest and most daring Mission: Impossible installment. Not only that, it’s the finest action movie of the year so far.

Time Out says
Hito Steyerl 'Factory of the sun' NGV 2018 photo supplied
Hito Steyerl 'Factory of the sun' 2015, Installation view at the 56th Venice Biennale © Hito Steyerl
Art, Film and video

Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank

Could dancing save the world? German artist Hito Steyerl uses a montage of dancing figures and other images — protests, simulated realities, 3D models of lightbulbs smashing into a million tiny fragments – as symbols of how we live and what we’re turning into, before we experience the complete digitisation of our everyday lives. First featured in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015, Hito Steyerl's 'Factory of the Sun' was bought by the National Gallery of Victoria in 2016. It’s a huge (read: room-sized) installation that immerses viewers in an environment akin to the movie TRON, replete with poolside deck chairs and a 23-minute film. The environment is itself a type of alternative reality – you’re not in a cinema and you’re not in the gallery, but you’re in an environment that triggers your brain to think in sci-fi. And you’re in there for real. 

La monja, película de terror con Damian Bichir
Foto: Cortesía de la producción
Film, Horror

The Nun

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order's unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in "The Conjuring 2," as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

More things to do in Melbourne this month

Princes Bridge. Melbourne
Photograph: Robert Blackburn
Things to do

The best free things to do in Melbourne

Guess what? Not everything in Melbourne costs a bunch of money. From art shows to coffee tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free – here are our favourites.

Pouring drinks at Bar Liberty
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Bars, Cocktail bars

The 50 best bars in Melbourne right now

Here is Melbourne viewed through the bottom of a glass: from its world-beating cocktail lounges to its down-and-divey saloons. These bars represent the pinnacle of Melbourne drinking.

People browsing through clothing at a market stall
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

The best markets in Melbourne

Borrow your nanna's tartan shopping trolley and venture out to one of Melbourne's best markets for farm-fresh produce, designer homewares, vintage fashions and tasty street food.

Great Otway National Park
Photograph: Robert Blackburn
Travel, Short getaways

The best day trips from Melbourne

If you're looking for a break from the inner-city grid, there's no better cure than a day trip from Melbourne. The state of Victoria is full of friendly neighbourhood towns, whether you're in the mood for a winery tour, a road trip or a national park to explore.

More to explore