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Things to do in Melbourne in September

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

Cherry Hill Orchard cherry blossoms
Photograph: Supplied
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Wondering what to do in Melbourne in September? 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 September

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Theatre, Drama

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

icon-location-pin Princess Theatre, Melbourne
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The first rule of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is that you don’t talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Safeguarding spoilers is an expected responsibility for anyone who attends the Potter-verse’s first on-stage outing. There’s even a hashtag: #KeepTheSecrets. But in truth (as far as theatre critique is concerned, at least), JK Rowling needn’t have worried. This marathon, five-hour spectacle has a plot so dense and sprawling, so wonderfully, unashamedly elaborate, it would take many thousands of words more than any theatre review to even scratch the surface. While we may have been sworn to secrecy about Cursed Child’s plot, we can reveal that the hype – and rarely has a piece of theatre ever generated such fever-pitched buzz – is entirely deserved. And not just because of the quality of the production. The masterminds behind the show – led by Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany – have not merely set out to put on a play, but rather craft a rich and detailed immersive experience. To this end, Melbourne’s Princess Theatre has undergone a top to bottom $6.5 million makeover, transforming its interiors to match a Hogwartsian, Potterfied aesthetic. If this sounds like an unnecessary extravagance, it’s probably an indication this play isn’t for you. The success of Cursed Child, which has

Time Out says
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Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Bendigo Art Gallery 2019 image supplied
Photograph: © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Art, Design

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

icon-location-pin Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
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Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga mightn't be quite as famous as Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, but both those designers tipped their hat to Balenciaga as the leader of his generation. Dior said he was "the master of us all", and Chanel said he was "the only couturier in the truest sense of the word". So this exhibition from Victoria and Albert Museum in London is absolutely essential for anybody with even a passing interest in fashion. When it opened in London, Time Out described the exhibition as "the mother of all love songs to Cristóbal Balenciaga, and it’s one that will have you swooning over the Spanish fashion designer, too." It celebrates his intricate craftsmanship and the way he pioneered silhouettes still used in fashion today, with the tunic, sack, baby doll and shift dresses all on display. There are garments from the 1950s and '60s, including ensembles made for actress Ava Gardner, socialite Gloria Guiness and the world's richest woman, Mona von Bismarck. And if all that Balenciaga weren't enough, there are also designs from 30 influential designers who followed in Balenciaga's footsteps and drew inspiration from his work.

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Hannah Raven as Ligeia at A Midnight Visit
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre

A Midnight Visit

icon-location-pin House of Usher, North Melbourne
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The mysterious and macabre works of Edgar Allan Poe are scary enough when they're just on a page, but what happens when they burst to life across 36 rooms in a two-storey abandoned North Melbourne warehouse? That's what audiences will experience at A Midnight Visit, a large-scale site-specific theatre work encouraging visitors to choose their own adventure and encounter unusual characters across a number of surreal environments. The show premiered in Sydney last year in a former furniture factory to stellar reviews. Its Melbourne season is currently playing at 222 Macaulay Rd, North Melbourne. Time Out Sydney wrote: "With A Midnight Visit, it’s okay to let the story be second to the experience – to the simple pleasures of finding yourself in an unexpected crawlspace, of carefully looking through a doorway with bated breath, of suddenly looking at a beach in the middle of an old, repurposed building. It won’t be like any other night out." There are four to six sessions a night, with performances running from Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets range from $44 (for previews) up to $79 for Friday and Saturday nights, and you'll need about 70 to 90 minutes to explore the building at your own pace. 

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Photo: Casi Moss / A24
Film, Drama

The Farewell

After learning their beloved matriarch has terminal lung cancer, a family opts not to tell her about the diagnosis, instead scheduling an impromptu wedding-reunion back in China. Headstrong and emotional writer Billi rebels against her parents' directive to stay in New York and joins the family as they awkwardly attempt to rekindle old bonds, throw together a wedding that only grandma is actually looking forward to, and surreptitiously say their goodbyes

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Things to do, Food and drink

Wonka Bar

icon-location-pin The Westin Melbourne, Melbourne
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Drawing inspiration from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory showing at Her Majesty's Theatre, the Westin is bringing a dedicated dessert and cocktail bar to its lobby, named the Wonka Bar, until January 2020. Darren Purchese from Burch and Purchese has teamed up with the kitchen crew at the Westin to create some truly remarkable and over-the-top desserts. Expect the likes of the Black Forest (in dessert form) with an actual chocolate river surrounded by cherries, chocolate sponge, a crunchy biscuit base, chocolate twigs and chocolate mushrooms. Unlike Charlie, you'll be able to purchase your golden ticket in the form of a gold chocolate bar, dark chocolate mousse, smoked vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel cream. For those with an 18+ palate, four candy-inspired cocktails will be available to buy from the Wonka Bar, like the vodka-based Blueberry Gumball, with blue curacao, raspberry balsamic and an ice sphere, garnished with popping candy and Persian fairy floss; or the chocolate lover's Pure Imagination, made with chocolate liqueur and sauce, garnished with actual chocolate. Those with kids can buy into the Children's High Tea at $49, which includes chocolate river cupcakes, golden ticket chocolate bars, an array of savoury finger sandwiches and drinks.  For the full-service experience, the Westin is also offering golden ticket packages, which include overnight accommodation, two A-reserve tickets to the musical, a copy of the book and two desserts from the Wonka Bar

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Haroon Mirza Pavilion for Optimisation supplied 2019 ACCA
Photograph: Bettina Matthiessen
Art

Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act

icon-location-pin Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - ACCA, Southbank
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There's a good chance you don't know Haroon Mirza's name just yet, but the London-based artist is making a huge impression overseas with his artworks, which combine installation, electricity and a frequently startling use of sound. This exhibition is Mirza's first solo show in Australia, and will utilise all of ACCA's gallery spaces as one giant musical instrument. From there, other artists will be invited into the space to collaborate. Read our interview with Mirza about all you'll experience in the exhibition.

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It: Capítulo 2 llega a los cines de la CDMX
Foto: Cortesía Warner Bros. Pictures
Film, Horror

It: Chapter 2

Evil resurfaces in Derry when the Losers Club reunite, and they return to where it all began in It Chapter Two.

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The Langham Chocolate Bar High Tea
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Chocolate Bar High Tea

icon-location-pin The Langham, Southbank
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Imagine chocolate desserts of all kinds and colours, from Granny Smith apple, white chocolate and frangipane layer cake to 55% bitter chocolate terrine with raspberry croquant. Picture Belgian milk chocolate and Vittoria coffee éclairs with caramel pearls, miniature dark chocolate and hazelnut tarts with gianduja mousse, white chocolate and passionfruit pops, chocolate cannoli filled with coconut, Malibu gel, white chocolate and berry cream, Bailey’s Irish cream pannacotta with coffee crumbs and chocolate spaghetti, and vanilla and white chocolate mousse. Throw in a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows and cake. Now imagine you can eat as many of these treats as you want. You've just imagined the Langham's Chocolate Bar High Tea. The traditional high tea tiered stand comes loaded with savoury goodies such as cucumber sandwiches (crusts cut off, of course) and mini pies. There's even a truffle macaroni and cheese (with bacon crumbs), and of course, there are warm scones with jam and cream. But the real star of the show is the chocolate buffet, a chocolate lover's paradise where every dessert is made of some kind of chocolate, and you can return as many times as you like. Don't be shy – you know you want to return over and over.  The high tea is $84 and includes a glass of sparkling wine. And unlimited chocolate treats – did we mention that part?

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Random International Rain Room
Photograph: Creative Commons / Alexandermcnabb
Art, Installation

Rain Room

icon-location-pin Jackalope Pavilion, St Kilda
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It’s pretty common to get caught in the rain while walking around Melbourne. What’s less common is to get caught in the rain while walking around indoors in Melbourne – and even weirder when you realise that the rain is inexplicably falling everywhere except on you. Melbourne is the first city in the southern hemisphere to host ‘Rain Room’, an immersive artwork by London-based collective Random International. ‘Rain Room’ is one of Random International’s most famous works and has previously shown at the Barbican in London, MoMA in New York and at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. Guests are invited into a darkened room filled with continuous rain. No need to bring an umbrella though because this rain won’t dampen your clothes or spirits. Thanks to motion sensors in the ceiling ‘Rain Room’ detects where visitors are and ensures a dry six-metre radius around guests. The artwork has been brought to Melbourne thanks to a collaboration between the currently closed ACMI and uber-luxe hotel Jackalope. Until October 27, you can experience the installation for yourself at the Jackalope Pavillion, a pop-up space on the corner of Acland and Jackson streets in St Kilda. Tickets are available now.

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Art, Galleries

Archibald Prize

icon-location-pin TarraWarra Museum of Art, Tarrawarra
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We mightn't all be art critics, but everyone has an opinion about who and what is most deserving of the $100,000 top gong at the Archibald Prize. The annual exhibition of finalists (this year there are 51 paintings) offers plenty to argue over, featuring faces familiar and not, by big name, mid-career and emerging painters. The top gong for 2019 has gone to Tony Costa for his painting of fellow artist Lindy Lee. He beat out painters like Tessa Mackay, whose highly-detailed painting of David Wenham picked up the Packing Room Prize, and Jude Rae, who was highly commended for her painting of actor Sarah Peirse.

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Art

Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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Even if you don't know his name, you're almost certainly familiar with Brian Donnelly's (aka Kaws) larger-than-life sculptures and paintings. Kaws take icons from cartoons and pop culture and reimagines them in vulnerable and unexpected situations. His signature? Their hands are marked with sharp crosses. For several decades, Kaws has been one of the world's most prolific contemporary artists and his work is equally in demand with major modern art galleries as it is with brands and pop artists. He's collaborated with MTV (and redesigned their Moonman in his signature style), Nike and Uniqlo, designed album covers for Kanye West and Towa Tei, and crashed New York's Museum of Modern Art's website when they sold a limited edition Kaws action figure. This new exhibition at the NGV (which is running at the same time as the gallery's Basquiat and Haring blockbuster) features paintings, sculptures, graphic design and product design, covering the full spectrum of his creative output. Central to the exhibition is a monumental sculpture, which is his largest work in bronze so far. And which characters should you expect to see? Well, definitely his take on Mickey Mouse, probably The Simpsons (or 'Kimpsons' in the world of Kaws) and maybe even Spongebob.

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Theatre, Musicals

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

icon-location-pin Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne
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The last time audiences saw a big budget musical adaptation of a Roald Dahl novel was when the Royal Shakespeare Company teamed up with Tim Minchin for the incomparable wonder that was Matilda. So naturally – even though no two shows are alike and you can’t bottle lightning and yada yada – we are going to compare Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to that, and naturally it’s going to come up short. Best to get that out of the way early. But, once you’ve brushed away the fog of expectation, it’s pretty easy to enjoy yourself here; you don’t even need a particularly sweet tooth. This is largely because Dahl’s original, like all his work, is as brittle and nutty as it is sweet. The story of poor Charlie Bucket (Benjamin Belsey, Elijah Slavinskis, Edgar Stirling, Lenny Thomas, Lachlan Young), so impoverished he can only have a single bar of chocolate on his birthday, winning a golden ticket to the magical wonderland that is Willy Wonka’s (Paul Slade Smith) Chocolate Factory, is a morality tale of the most gruesome and delectable kind. Charlie’s fellow winners – Augustus Gloop (Jake Fehily), Veruca Salt (Karina Russell), Violet Beauregard (Jayme-Lee Hanekom) and Mike Teavee (Harrison Riley) – are all hideous creatures of desire and self-gratification. Only Charlie is pure of heart, and deserves the ultimate prize. This adaptation has gone through many iterations since it opened in London on Drury Lane in 2013, with massive changes in scale and content. The original sets were lavi

Time Out says
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Animals - Still 1
Tamara Hardman
Film

Animals

This dark, comedic drama from Australian director Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays) should delight anyone who watches it. It answers the call for more female-led stories, lets two up-and-coming stars shine in an unconventional setting, and should delight fans of the Emma Jane Unsworth book on which it's based. Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat) have been friends forever, living in a shabby-chic flat in Dublin. They sleep in each other’s beds, untie each other after ill-advised sex sessions with unsuitable men, and share their drink and drugs in equal measure. They are living life like there’s no tomorrow. Except there is. It’s called 30 and it scares them both to death. When Laura falls for the strait-laced Jim (Fra Fee), the girls’ nights of fun suddenly seem more messy than hedonistic. A scene in a club toilet where a coked-up Laura compliments her dealer on his lyrical name (he goes by Chicken Sandwich) feels very Trainspotting. But as the girls run around town stealing drugs and spilling wine on babies, it’s clear that Withnail & I is the real inspiration. Shawkat (Arrested Development) is magnetic as the uncompromising, self-destructive Tyler, but our focus is always Laura. Grainger is both vulnerable and wonderfully unlikeable, as she dances around the idea of being a writer – and a grown-up – making a string of unwise decisions along the way. If there’s anything missing in Hyde’s love letter to not growing up, it’s a sense of place. Unsworth’s novel is set

Time Out says
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Treats at Wonkariffic Kids High Tea
Kids, Food events

Wonkariffic Kids High Tea

icon-location-pin The Westin Melbourne, Melbourne
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While the adults are digging into the Wonka Bar at Melbourne’s Westin Hotel, kids can have their own fun.  To celebrate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory landing at Her Majesty's Theatre, the Westin Hotel is recreating its kid-friendly high tea with a little Wonka magic.  The Wonkariffic Kids High Tea includes three tiers of sweets crafted by the Westin’s Oompa Loompas… er, I mean pastry chefs. There’s everything from chocolate river cupcakes, honeycomb and chocolate mousse, cucumber finger sandwiches, violet and almond gobstopper cookies and even a golden ticket milk chocolate bar.  Thirsty? Kids can take choose from Violet Beauregard’s bubblegum milkshake, hot chocolate, juices or soft drink to wash down all the sweets.  When partaking in the Wonkariffic High Tea, all kids will receive a limited edition Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book by Roald Dahl to take home.  The high tea is aimed at children four to 12-years-old and costs $49 per child.

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Photo: Alison Cohen Rosa/Warner Bros.
Film

The Kitchen

"The Kitchen" stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss as three 1978 Hell's Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI. Left with little but a sharp ax to grind, the ladies take the Irish mafia's matters into their own hands proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to taking out the competition literally.

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Tjungu Palya Artbank 2019 supplied
Photograph: Silversalt
Art

Tjungu Palya: As We Come Together We Stand Strong For Our Story

icon-location-pin Artbank Collingwood, Collingwood
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Tjungu Palya is an Aboriginal-owned and run art centre in South Australia, around 450 km south-west of Alice Springs at the base of the Mann Ranges. Given that it’s situated in the Nyapari community, of which there are only around 85 members, it’s a significant and influential force in Australian art. This exhibition from the centre is two years in the making and is taking place across both Artbank in Sydney and Melbourne. If you’ve not heard of Artbank, it’s an Australian government initiative that purchases works from contemporary Australian artists and rents them to the public. But they also throw some wonderful exhibitions to show their own collection. This exhibition, the full title of which is Tjungu Palyangku Tjukurpa titutjara kunpu ngaranytja-ku: As we come together we stand strong for our story, tells Tjukurpa (sacred stories) through painting, drawing and performance. There are 12 artists displaying work: Teresa Baker, Maringka Baker, Kani Tunkin Baker, Ruth Fatt, Kunmanara (Wipana) Jimmy, Beryl Jimmy, Imitjala Pollard, Keith Stevens, Bernard Tjalkuri and Ginger Wikilyiri.

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Liquid Light NGV 2019
Image courtesy NGV
Art

Liquid Light: 500 Years of Venetian Glass

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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Venetian glass is known across the world for its vibrant colour, elaborate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, honed over centuries by traditional glassblowers on the Venetian island of Murano. In Liquid Light, the National Gallery of Victoria brings together their extensive collection of glass pieces to explore the development of the Venetian glass tradition, from the Golden Age of the 16th century to the postmodern creations of the Memphis Group. Highlights include a Games of Thrones-worthy 17th century goblet, complete with intertwining dragons coiling around the stem, and a contemporary patchwork vase by renowned Murano glass artist Fulvio Bianconi.

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Sofitel Monochromatic High Tea
Photograph: Khanh Nguyen
Things to do, Food and drink

Monochromatic High Tea

icon-location-pin Sofi's Lounge, Melbourne
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Initially launched to celebrate the NGV’s Escher exhibition Between Two Worlds from last summer, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has decided to continue running its successful black and white afternoon tea experience.  The Monochromatic High Tea is running at Sofitel’s first-floor café Sofi’s Lounge. Punters can enjoy sweet treats inspired by MC Escher’s black and white works, including black sesame waffle cones with salted caramel, passionfruit and coconut chiboust filling, flourless vanilla opera cake with blackened coffee gel, ash profiteroles filled with lime meringue, and a "Black Rose" raspberry sponge with blueberry jelly, raspberry, rose and white chocolate mousse on a hazelnut dacquoise base.   All dishes are served on custom-made high tea stands, so you can tuck into charcoal scones and an assortment of finger sandwiches in true Escher style. Each dish has been crafted by Sofitel’s pastry chef David Hann.   Guests will also receive a glass of sparkling wine, Madame Flavour loose leaf teas and espresso coffee for $55 per person. You can also up the ante by signing up for free-flowing sparkling for $65, or replenished sweets and savoury dishes for $70, or high tea with Taittinger Champagne for $85 per person. Monochromatic High Tea is available on weekdays until October 31 with two sessions at noon and 3pm.

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Woman on bench at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Photograph: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Things to do, Walks and tours

Forest Therapy

icon-location-pin Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne
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Living in the city sure is convenient, but sometimes we all need to trade the concrete jungle for an actual jungle. The Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens are giving you the chance to experience the restorative powers of nature by offering forest therapy (or forest bathing) classes for city stress-heads. Just what is forest therapy? The idea began in Japan, where it’s called ‘shinrin-yoku’ and is said to improve your wellbeing by immersing yourself in nature. It’s since been recognised as an effective (and cheap) way to improve public health. The Royal Botanic Garden’s forest therapy walk includes a guided tour through the gardens designed to lower your blood pressure, pulse and stress levels through a series of activities. The gardens currently have two-hour and three-hour forest therapy session available – visit the website for the complete timetable and to book.

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Batik Desert Lines Bendigo Art Gallery 2019 supplied
Photograph: Julia Murray
Art

Desert Lines: Batik from Central Australia

icon-location-pin Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
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Batik – an Indonesian technique of dyeing fabric – was introduced to Indigenous women in 1971, and went on to play a pivotal role in the development of contemporary central desert art, placing women at the forefront of the burgeoning market and paving the way for working on canvas. Many of the women who began working in batik went on to become renowned painters, including Emily Kam Kngwarray, Peggy Napurrula Poulson, Tjunkaya Tapaya, Unurupa Kulyuru and Tjunkiya Napaltjarri. This exhibition brings more than 60 batik works from the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection to illustrate the unique and distinct batik styles of Pitjantjatjara, Anmatyerr, Alyawarr, Walpiri and Pintupi artists, and to examine the legacy of the technique on future generations of Indigenous desert artists.

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Melbourne Book Market Queen Victoria Market
Photograph: Supplied
Shopping, Markets

Melbourne Book Market

icon-location-pin Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
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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.  

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Queer Deluxe at Bimbo
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Queer Deluxe

icon-location-pin Bimbo, Fitzroy
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Melbourne institution Bimbo (universally called Bimbo's) is celebrating LGBTQI pride each and every Sunday from 3pm.  Queer Deluxe is an all-inclusive day to relax, eat, drink, boogie and celebrate queer culture. There are performers, drag queens, DJs and drink specials, including $20 Bloody Mary, Spritz and Margarita cocktail jugs. Bimbo reopened after a devastating fire in May 2019 and has re-cemented its place in Melbourne's north for good times and great eats. And yes, of course, the pizza is still just $4.

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Dumplings 'N' Massage at Horse Bazaar
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Dumplings ‘N’ Massage at Horse Bazaar

icon-location-pin Horse Bazaar, Melbourne
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When it comes to comfort foods dumplings are pretty high on the list. The team at Horse Bazaar are taking dumplings to a whole new level of cosy by offering a dumpling and massage combo on Tuesday nights.  Every Tuesday night at Horse Bazaar is Dumplings 'N' Massage night where you can get three dumplings and a ten-minute massage for $15 (plus online booking fee). There are six flavours to choose from ranging from Horse Bazaar's classic pork and vegan dumplings to stranger concoctions like fried cheese, Nutella and nuts and the very experimental 'Aussie breakfast' dumpling (that's egg, bacon and Vegemite).  Your massage will be delivered by resident masseuses from Soul Aquarian Therapy who will work the knots from your back as you work the dumplings into your mouth.  Make the worst day of the week just a little bit better – Dumplings 'N' Massage is on every Tuesday at Horse Bazaar. Bookings are a must and can be made online.

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Razzmatazz DJs Caity and Ted against a pink backdrop
Photograph: Supplied
Clubs

Razzmatazz Indie Disco

icon-location-pin Globe Alley, Melbourne
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You might remember Razzmatazz as the party people responsible for some raging nights out at the Exford and the since-closed Ding Dong Lounge. But you can't stop indie music and Razzmatazz is back in action after a hiatus.  Razzmatazz Indie Disco runs on the first Friday of every month at its new home, Globe Alley. Resident DJs Caity and Ted are back too, spinning the indie classics from every era. Expect bangers spanning Bowie, Blur, Oasis, the Arctic Monkeys, the Cure and Chvrches.  Better still, the newly reincarnated Razzmatazz night is free to enter. That's more dosh to spend on Globe Alley's drink specials (or their jalepeño poppers). 

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Woman arranging vegetable stall
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Walks and tours

Preston Market Flavourhood tours

icon-location-pin Preston Market, Preston
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One of Melbourne’s largest and most delicious markets is now running tasting tours. Preston Market has launched Saturday morning food tours that curates some of the tastiest products on offer at this northside food hall.  The 2.5-hour tour walks guests through the market, introducing them to traders who will talk them through what they have on offer and how best to use their products in their own kitchens.  As well as getting to try organic produce, fresh seafood, deli items and Preston Market’s winning paella, guests on the tour will also get to try more unusual foodie finds like crocodile meat (which we’re informed can be cooked easily on a sandwich press if you want to jazz up your sad office lunch).  The Flavourhood tours run roughly twice a month, are $20 per person and include a progressive breakfast, coffee, Preston Market eco bag and a $5 market voucher. Tours are limited to ten people per tour and you can book online to secure your place.

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Plants at Rose Street Artists' Market
Shopping, Markets

Rose Street Artists' Market

icon-location-pin Around Fitzroy, Fitzroy
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Each Saturday and Sunday the Rose Street Market gathers some of Melbourne's most exciting artists and designers to display their wares and talk all things handmade. Weave your way through the crowds and duck into the warehouse to check out the handmade fashion, food and curios for sale. The artists are usually on hand to compare crochet needles and discuss their work, so drop in for a squiz, a chat and a haircut from the resident hairdresser.

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High Tea Live
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

High Tea Live

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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On the first Sunday of the month Arts Centre Melbourne host High Tea Live, a traditional high tea with a different live act every month. Performances range from jazz to broadway and it's all paired with a traditional three-tier cake stand of sweet and savoury tea favourites. Make sure you leave room for the scones though – these fluffy, golden nuggets are served still warm from the oven.  Held upstairs in the Arts Centre Melbourne's Pavilion function space, High Tea Live is just fancy enough to impress without feeling stuffy. The sparkling wine on arrival is a nice touch, as is the free-flowing tea and coffee that staff will happily top up for you throughout the musical performance. Note that High Tea Live seats guests at eight-person tables. If you're not feeling up to meeting new people then make sure you book in with seven of your friends. The 2019 High Tea Live line-up kicks off with a family event called High Tea Party. Kids and their parents will enjoy snacks (yes, mum and dad still get that glass of bubbly) before getting to bop around with Andrew McClelland's Starting School, Anna Go-Go and All Day Fritz. Other High Tea Live sessions includes Lady Be Good (an Ella Fitzgerald-inspired event with Nina Ferro), What the World Needs Now (a high energy celebration of the 60s with Melissa Langton and Mark Jones), Exposing Edith (where Michaela Burger and Greg Wain will showcase the songs of the legendary French singer Edith Piaf) and Michael Cormick sings the hits of Broad

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Photo: Courtesy of A24 / Gabor Kotschy
Film, Horror

Midsommar

Unusually for a horror director, Ari Aster knows the real world is awful enough. Life doles out plenty of pain. Hereditary, his 2018 feature debut and probably the scariest movie in a decade, basically went: My grief over a family tragedy is so unbearable, it must be caused by witches. (When that turned out to be the case, you weren’t shocked so much as relieved.) Midsommar, Aster’s ruinous, near-psychedelic latest, goes something like this: My grief over a family tragedy is so unbearable, it’ll make me cling to a bad boyfriend. If that doesn’t sound like horror to you, allow me to introduce you to many toxic relationships. And if you’re still unconvinced, Aster will hit you over the head with a giant hammer wielded by Swedish pagan cultists. Horror is what happens to people who are already emptied out and vulnerable. It’s an insight that has already yielded Aster two world-class performances, first from Hereditary’s Toni Collette as a ragged, raging mother at sanity’s end, and now from Midsommar’s apple-cheeked Florence Pugh as Dani, an Ativan-popping grad student trembling with concern for her suicidal sister. Pugh is exquisitely neurotic in these early scenes – she’s such a handful that when the movie cuts away to the guy squad of her frustrated boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor, deft in a tricky part), all of them seething in unison at her constant imposition, you almost feel sorry for them. But then comes the wail from deep inside Christian’s

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Bingo Academy at Tokyo Tina
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

Bingo Academy at Tokyo Tina

icon-location-pin Tokyo Tina, Windsor
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Tokyo Tina is entering Melbourne's overstuffed brunch scene, but it is doing things a little differently. They've launched 'bingo academy' – a rather illustrious title for what is essentially a boozy, Japanese-style brunch with some bingo thrown in.  Every Saturday the venue runs bingo brunches complete with Bloody Marys, bottomless Aperol spritzes, bubbly and beer. Feast on Tokyo Tina's sumptuous brunch menu which includes salmon tartare, karaage chicken, steamed snapper and pork belly bao. The bingo itself will be hosted by a bunch of local comedians (including the giggle-inducing Granny Bingo trio, who will give you a new appreciation of the age-old game). Plus you can win prizes like restaurant vouchers, temporary control of the jukebox and bragging rights. Tokyo Tina's bingo academy is on every Saturday from 1-3pm. It's $69 per person for bottomless booze and food or $49 for food only.

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Cheeses for cheese making class at Henry and the Fox
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Cheese Making Masterclass at Henry and the Fox

icon-location-pin Henry and the Fox, Melbourne
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If you've ever wanted to make your own cheese, this is the masterclass for you. Henry and the Fox is offering a series of masterclasses to teach you how to make all kinds of cheese from around the world – and yes, tasting is encouraged.  Classes offered include everything from brie to tallegio to peccorino, halloumi and mozzarella, and each class is marked with a level of difficulty.  Each class is $89 per person, and they run for three hours. The classes include a glass of chardonnay or pinot noir on arrival, plus a shared cheese board. You'll also get to take home your cheesy creations at the end. 

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Babydrag with Morgan McMichaels
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do

Babydrag

icon-location-pin Sircuit Bar, Fitzroy
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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. 

More things to do in Melbourne this month

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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.

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.

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Rite of Spring Melbourne Festival 2019 supplied image
Photograph: Yijian Li
Theatre

Melbourne theatre and musicals in October

This month we welcome the happy mayhem of Melbourne Festival – and boy howdy are you spoilt for choice, whether your tastes run to blockbuster musicals, independent theatre, chamber opera, circus...  

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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.

People browsing through clothing at a market stall
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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.

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Seafood bowl at Uni Boom Boom
Photograph: Parker Blain
Restaurants

The best new restaurants in Melbourne right now

If you love food and live in Melbourne, your 'must-try' list of new restaurants, cafés and bars probably takes up your phone's entire storage capacity by now. Luckily, we've put together a curated list of the newest, hottest and coolest restaurants our critics are raving about. 

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