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Things to do in Melbourne this week

The week's best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne this week
Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
By Rebecca Russo, Cassidy Knowlton and Nicola Dowse |
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Wondering what to do in Melbourne this week? We can help. Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourneincluding 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.

Things to do in Melbourne this week

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Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
Things to do, Expos and conventions

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

icon-location-pin Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens, Carlton
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In London it's Chelsea and in Canberra it's Floriade. In Melbourne, the event that sets plant-lovers' hearts a-flutter is the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Not just for Melburnians gifted in the landscaping and gardening department, the Flower and Garden Show is a lush interactive experience. Over five days in March, floral and gardening experts come together to showcase their knowledge on the main stage, while retailers will share advice on the best tools, plants and designs for your garden. Walk through the immersive Show Garden installations at Carlton Gardens and marvel at the pop-up mini gardens by people with greener thumbs than yours. Follow the scent of fresh flowers into the Royal Exhibition Building as Melbourne’s best florists showcase their brightest blooms across two levels. This year you can look forward to a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired indoor plant installation from the Plant Society, a series of mindful, meditative gardens created by Beyond Blue, a floral-inspired high tea from Holland America, and the Gardens by Twilight will return to give city dwellers the opportunity to visit the show after dark (and with a glass of wine in hand).  Whether you’re looking to redo your entire garden or just spruce up your indoor spaces with some greenery, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is the place to be.

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We're All Going to Die founder Stefan Hunt with a hearse
Photograph: Supplied / We're All Going to Die
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

We're All Going to Die

icon-location-pin The Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda
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As the saying goes, the only thing certain in life is death (and taxes). But a new mini-festival coming to the Espy wants you to embrace your own mortality, and in doing so, embrace life. We’re All Going to Die is a three-day event where guests will be reminded of the fact that they are 100 per cent going to end up dead – so stop worrying and go enjoy the world. The mini-festival has previously been held in Sydney and Byron Bay, with the Espy being the first Victorian location to host it. Wear black if you want to (it is Melbourne after all) but don’t expect We’re All Going to Die to be a morbid affair. Guests will experience everything from pop-up bedroom dance parties and life drawing to short films, Q&A sessions and death meditation (where you can experience the same loving and conscious way of thinking about living that terminally ill people often feel). Despite the title, the festival is as much about letting go of your anxieties as it is about death.  We’re All Going to Die is happening over three nights from March 26 to 28. Each night follows the same structure, so you only need to attend once (unless you really enjoy yourself of course).

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Melbourne International Comedy Festival Town Hall Crowd
Photograph: Jim Lee
Comedy, Comedy festival

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

icon-location-pin Around Melbourne, Melbourne
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The Melbourne International Comedy Festival – held in March/April every year – is impossible to miss. Everyone's talking about the shows you have to see; the pink-and-yellow banners line CBD streets; and of course, hordes of audience members gravitate to the Melbourne Town Hall, tickets in hand.  As the third-largest international comedy festival in the world, MICF boasts more than 400 shows to choose from. This is a month where the world's best funny people rub shoulders with the country's hottest emerging talent; and while it's one of the most exciting times of the year to be a Melburnian, choosing which shows to see can feel overwhelming.  There are a few ways around this predicament. You could simply rock up at the Town Hall in the evening and check out what's on for the night, you could ask the festival's friendly staff for recommendations, or you could keep a close eye on social media (especially Twitter) to see what everyone is raving about. The Melbourne Town Hall is the festival's hub, but comedy venues sprawl across the entire city, from Trades Hall in Carlton to Malthouse Theatre in Southbank.

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Vegemite scrolls from Attica
Photograph: Supplied
Restaurants, Bakeries

All-Star Bake Sale for Christchurch

icon-location-pin Attica, Ripponlea
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Attica’s Ben Shewry has invited a who’s who of Melbourne’s top chefs to help raise money for the victims of the Christchurch shootings. It will be cheesecake, not hate, next Saturday, March 30, when Attica restaurant throws open its doors from 9am to noon with a broad-ranging menu including strawberry mascarpone from Neil Perry, chicken sandwiches from Morgan McGlone of Belle’s Hot Chicken, cheesecake from Andrew McConnell and a ridgy-didge Vegemite scroll from the Attica team. But wait, that’s not all. Chefs and producers include Dave Verheul (Embla), Jo Barrett and Matt Stone (Oakridge Estate), Phil Wood (Pt Leo Estate), Kate and Cam Reid (Lune Croissant), Shannon Martinez (Smith & Daughters), Daniel Wilson (Huxtaburger), Peter Gunn (Ides), Ash and Gary McBean (Gary’s Meats), and Mia and Mike Russell (Baker Bleu), along with beer from Garage Project, art from Heesco, and coffee from Market Lane. You're looking at the better part of Melbourne's upper hospo crust, and they are donating their time and all the food and drink so that all money raised goes directly to the Givealittle fund set up by Victim Support in New Zealand for victims of the shootings.  They're kicking off at 9am and once everything is sold it's sold so don't tarry. Also hit an ATM before you get here becuase it's cash only and you know you're not going to be able to stop at just one treat. There never was a better reason to go all out on cake. 

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Rhys Nicholson Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations 2019
Photograph: Supplied
Comedy, Stand Up

Rhys Nicholson: Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations

icon-location-pin The Victoria Hotel, Melbourne
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When we saw Rhys Nicholson’s last stand-up show, we said: “Most comedians would kill to hear the almost unending screams of laughter Nicholson manages to extract from a crowd.” And we really mean it – the local comedian is one of the funniest in the business with his lightning-fast acerbic wit, and we always look forward to seeing what subjects he’ll wrap his sharp tongue around each year.

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Donut at All Day Donuts
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Shopping, Markets

Markit and bake sale

icon-location-pin Federation Square, Melbourne
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Markit is returning to Federation Square in autumn 2019. The one day market is generally held twice a year in the Atrium and Deakin Edge Theatre and features more than 80 artists and designers, as well as six local food stores stocked with delicious goodies. While the 2019 autumn line-up hasn't been announced yet, past markets have featured pastel resin budgies from Pete Cromer and the geode-tastic jewellery from White Lightly as well as edible delights from St Ali coffee, All Day Donuts and Billy Van Creamy ice cream.

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Cherry Bar interior overview
Photograph: Vince Caligiuri
Things to do

Cherry Bar Farewell Party

icon-location-pin Cherry Bar, Melbourne
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When Cherry Bar announced it was shutting up shop in ACDC Lane Melbourne was collectively shaken. The famous rock ‘n’ roll venue (some would say the best) will cease trading in the colourful CBD lane on Saturday, March 30. And while management has assured the public that they will reopen in another location (still to be revealed) there’s no denying that punters will miss getting loose in ACDC location. In true Cherry Bar style, they’re not closing the doors until they’ve had one last hurrah – and it’s going to be a big one. The bar is hosting a massive 12-hour street party on March 30 for 850 hard-rocking guests. First and foremost, Cherry has always been about the music and so they’ve lined up some banging local bands (think Batz, Drunk Mums, Fluff and Child) as well as guest DJs. The farewell gig is too big to be contained to just Cherry, with the party spilling out onto the street and into Jack and Bones Bar. Keen to be there for one final headbang? There are two types of tickets available. For $25 you’ll get general entry to the party from noon until midnight. Hardcore Cherry Bar fans will probably want to shell out for the $94 ticket which includes general entry, a limited edition T-shirt (delivered to you) and access to the party until 5am – because as everyone knows the craziest antics always happen after midnight. Tickets for Cherry Bar’s laneway farewell party are on sale now.

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Michelle Wolf supplied image MICF 2019
Photograph: Craig Blankenhorn
Comedy, Stand Up

Michelle Wolf

icon-location-pin Max Watt's, Melbourne
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Michelle Wolf has been quickly cracking through America’s comedy in scene in recent years, having successful stand-up shows, her own HBO special, and working as a regular contributor for Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. But it wasn't until last year, when she was invited to the prestigious White House Correspondents’ Dinner that her profile exploded. The eyes of the world were on the dinner – it’s tradition that the president attends, but Donald Trump snubbed the event for the second year in a row – and Wolf certainly took her moment to shine. In a scorching 19-minute routine, she eviscerated the Trump administration. She won headlines for weeks, both praising and criticising her for the set. A joke she made about Sarah Huckabee Sanders burning facts and using the ashes to achieve a smoky eye look became a particular sticking point among Republican women. Now she’s coming to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for a five-show run at Max Watt’s. And although Trump mightn’t be a fan – he tweeted that she was a “filthy ‘comedian’” who “totally bombed” – she’s won plenty of critical praise for her stand-up shows. She won best newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, and the Village Voice called her “the voice comedy needs right now”.

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Gut Feelings Exhibition
Things to do, Exhibitions

Gut Feelings: Your Mind, Your Microbes

icon-location-pin Melbourne Museum, Carlton
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When is the last time you really considered your gut health? Or thanked the tiny microbes that live your intestinal track and digest your food, boost your immunity and keep you healthy? Scientists are learning more every day about the fascinating community of microbes that live inside each and every one of us. There are more microbes inside the human body than there are stars in the Milky Way, and they weigh up to 2kg.  Melbourne Museum's Gut Feelings exhibition will change your mind about the tiny creatures (yes, they're alive!) that you share your body with. The interactive exhibition is a multi-sensory experience, with things to touch, hear and see.

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A patron enjoys Silent Comedy at Arbory Bar and Eatery
Comedy, Stand Up

Arbory Silent Comedy

icon-location-pin Arbory Bar and Eatery, Melbourne
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If you’ve ever observed the spectacle of human ridiculousness that is the silent disco, then you can only imagine what it would be like to watch an audience spontaneously breaking out into laughter in response to what seems like nothing at all. During the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, our favourite Yarra-side bar, Arbory Bar and Eatery, will be inviting a cracking line-up of comedians to the stage to make you laugh yourself silly, including Jimeoin, Dolly Diamond, Carey Marx, Marcus Ryan and plenty more.  Arbory Silent Comedy will be running each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night from Thursday, March 28 to Thursday, April 18. Tickets are $25 and include three sets from three comedians and headphones. Thursday, March 28: Bev Killick, Carey Marx, Dolly Diamond, JimeoinTuesday, April 2: Bev Killick, Carey Marx, Dolly Diamond, JimeoinWednesday, April 3: Dolly Diamond, Jacques Barrett, Marcus Ryan, Carey MarxThursday, April 4: Marcus Ryan, Carey Marx, Jimeoin, Bev Killick MCTuesday, April 9: Talent TBCWednesday, April 10: Talent TBCThursday, April 11: Talent TBCTuesday, April 16: Talent TBCWednesday, April 17: Talent TBCThursday, April 18: Talent TBC The spots that aren't filled are often reserved for comics as the festival goes on. The last two years have seen these spots filled by the likes of Dave Hughes, Lawrence Mooney, Adam Rozenbach and Daniel Sloss, so we recommend grabbing tickets and seeing who shows up!

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More things to do in Melbourne this week

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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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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.

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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.

Or try our favourite Melbourne activities

More to explore

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