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A Melbourne laneway covered in street art.
Photograph: Visit Victoria

Things to do in Melbourne this week

All the best things to do in Melbourne this week both out on the town and at home

Written by
Rebecca Russo
,
Nicola Dowse
,
Cassidy Knowlton
,
Rushani Epa
&
Adena Maier
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 While some restrictions will remain until we hit our 80 per cent vaccination target, our beautiful city is opening up again and you can hit the town with your mates. Make some bookings at your favourite bars and restaurants in the city and enjoy the best that Melbourne has to offer. 

Sunny days are ahead, so make some plans to hit the beach or some of Melbourne's public golf courses and soak up the sunshine. We've also got you sorted with the best picnic locations, pre-packed picnic meals and picnic essentials to host a ten out of ten picnic. 

In case you're still keen on relaxing indoors, you can scroll down towards the end of the page to see a list of the best things to do at home. We've got you covered with the best shows to stream, virtual escape rooms to try and best online shopping to spend your dollars on.

RECOMMENDED: Vote now to help revive Melbourne's bars and restaurants.

The best things to do *out and about*

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

With a few exceptions, Melbourne is a largely flat city, making it perfect for cycling. You don't have to be a Lycra-wearing, Tour de France die-hard to enjoy a bike ride around Melbourne either, with the city boasting lots of trails frequented by both serious and recreational bike riders. These cycling trails cover everything from beachfront boardwalks to twisting river paths, all but ensuring you have a great day out.

  • Bars
  • Wine bars

Whether you're looking for a bar in the north, south, east, or west of our fair city, Time Out Melbourne has got all points of the compass covered. Walk into any of these top-notch wine bars and you're guaranteed service by staff who know what they're talking about, a great atmosphere, and of course, a solid wine list.

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  • Things to do

Melbourne, it's been a minute. We've been inside for a long time, and although we are thrilled to be getting out and about, many of us are not as keen on sitting in crowded rooms as we were in the Beforetimes. If the weather's fine, grab your mates and try out one of these activities, while remaining socially distanced outside. Don't forget to follow local rules and always, always slip, slop, slap. 

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Satisfy your sweet tooth at these patisseries
  • Restaurants
  • Patisseries

It's amazing that pastry, at its simplest, is just flour, lots of butter, sugar, and maybe an egg or two. Yet Melbourne's best bakeries and patisseries have crafted a diverse range of treats from these raw ingredients, from what could be the best croissants in the world to old-school cakes you want to take home to your grandmother.

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  • Things to do

They say the best things in life are free. We're not 100 per cent on board with that sentiment (have you had a perfectly prepared cocktail? That ain't cheap), but not everything in Melbourne has to cost a bunch of money. From art shows to wine tastings, there are a bunch of things to do in this fine city that you can do for free. Yep, free. Zilch. Nada. Zero dollars.

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  • Film
  • Outdoor cinema
  • Elsternwick

 

While you'll be able to enjoy drinks from the rooftop bar from October 22, 2021, you'll have to wait until November for a screening (the rooftop cinema is undergoing repairs). The outdoor film season will officially start November 11 with a 12.07am (that's 0007 in 24 hour time – geddit?) of Daniel Craig's final James Bond film, No Time to Die

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  • Health and beauty
  • Hairdressers

We've all probably had a handful of bad haircuts and colouring services in our lives and can relate to the feeling of shame and devastation that accompanies those sessions. That's why we've rounded up the best hair salons in Melbourne, which specialise in everything from basic cuts and colours to services like installing weaves and dreadlocks. With these specialists in your corner, we anticipate very few bad hair days on the horizon. 

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  • Bars
  • Pubs

Melbourne is home to heaps of hip and modern bars, but there's something extra special about stepping foot into a pub that's been around since the mid-19th century. Swing by with some mates for your next pint or pub meal and imagine what life was like in the early days of settlement in our city. It's quite possible that some of Melbourne's earliest artists, thinkers and politicians sat within the same four walls to enjoy a frothy beer and a chat, too. 

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  • Bars
  • Melbourne

Chuckle Park is fitted into a converted caravan, and the seating area is astroturfed and filled with plants, greenery and wooden tables that make you feel like you're at a cosy picnic. The cocktail list has a fun mix of classic cocktails like Negronis and Dirty Martinis as well as some fun contemporary pick-me-ups like the Tennessee Iced Tea and an Elderflower Margarita. If you're the DD for the night or you're just not keen on a boozy drink, Chuckle Park also offers several mocktails based on the classics.

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  • Things to do

Dig out your tartan rug, it's time to go picnicking! There are loads of green pockets throughout Melbourne just perfect for a picnic. After all, there's just something about eating outdoors that makes food taste that much better. From inner-city parks to secluded riverbanks and even historic homesteads, these are some of the best places to picnic in Melbourne.

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  • Health and beauty
  • Barbers

Finding the perfect barber can be a lifelong search, and you've probably left many a barber shop with a smile on your face that's hiding extreme disappointment. If you're tired of places not getting it quite right, we're here to help with a comprehensive list of some of the best barber shops around. Whether you're after an old-school cut, want someone to shape up your mullet or need a beard and mo trim, these are the best chop shops in town. 

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  • Things to do

Let’s face it: Melbourne isn’t really known for its skyline. Besides the famous Arts Centre spire and the gargantuan Eureka Tower, we don’t really have defining buildings that shoot out into the stratosphere. Instead, you’ll find some of Melbourne’s best buildings hidden within the grid, on street corners or in grand, green gardens. Below we’ve picked our favourite beautiful buildings in and around Melbourne.

  • Things to do

We've definitely become experts in the parks and gardens nearest to our homes, but now is the time to explore a bit further afield. Luckily there are lots of parks and gardens in Melbourne that are slightly off the beaten path. Here you'll find gardens devoted to Australian natives, fancy ferns and some not-so-ubiquitous plants like cacti, rhododendrons, tulips and lotuses – perfect for when you need some green in your life.

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink

Palette, a local Korean café located in North Melbourne, is now selling its own dalgona candies. The honeycomb toffee lollies are flat discs that are stamped with a symbol like a circle, triangle or umbrella. The challenge from the show is to carefully carve that symbol out from the base of the candy without breaking it.  

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Visit these outdoor markets in Melbourne
  • Shopping
  • Markets

Melbourne's outdoor markets combine two of our favourite things: shopping and fresh air. Despite Melbourne's penchant for four seasons in one day, we have plenty of outdoor markets to choose from, and rightfully so – everyone knows food tastes better outside. From summer night markets and farmers' markets to designer markets and food truck musters, these are some of the best al fresco shopping experiences in town. 

The best things to do *at home*

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  • Shopping
  • Costumes

Being in lockdown and having to stay at home doesn't mean you can't be dressed to the nines. If you have housemates, amp up your Friday nights by having a fancy or themed dress-up dinner party. Try dressing up as your favourite pop stars or Disney characters or villains. There are so many themes out there, and the world is truly your oyster.

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  • Shopping

In a time when things are so up and down, getting a little surprise in the mail can mean the world to someone else. Whether there’s a birthday on the horizon or maybe you’ve noticed a friend has been feeling a little down, one of the below gift packages might be just the pick-me-up they need. And hey, there’s no one saying you can’t send one to yourself, too! 

  • Things to do
  • Melbourne

When you're feeling the lockdown blues, maybe dancing will help. And if you think it might, there is no one better able to help you locate those boogie shoes than internationally renowned DJ YO! MAFIA. The Melbourne-based DJ has toured with A-listers like Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Lady Gaga, as well as DJing huge events like the NGV Gala and R'n'B Fridays. But while lockdown means clubs and concerts are off the (turn)table for a while, one thing that will never stop is MAFIA's good vibes and relentless energy. Her sets are wall-to-wall bangers (think Prince, the Spice Girls, Madonna), with plenty of air horns and stories about her fascinating life. 

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  • Restaurants

Is your pantry looking a little bare? Are you tired of recreating the five recipes you know off the top of your head? Or are you simply craving a top-notch steak with potatoes coated in an ungodly amount of duck fat? Whatever your reason to bring the restaurant experience home, we're here to help. Here you'll find some of the best meal delivery kits by Melbourne's best restaurants and brands. 

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

The outside world can be stressful enough as it is, so you won't find any aggressive, bloody first-person shooters or unnerving apocalyptic games on this list. Instead, we've compiled a list of games that have cute graphics, soothing soundtracks and relaxing gameplay that will give you a much-needed distraction during lockdown while putting a smile on your face. Every game on this list is available on Steam

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  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops

There's no better time than lockdown to upskill and lucky for us, many local institutions have opened their virtual doors to help us. Learn how to customise your own jewellery, colour your hair at home, create lino printed postcards and more with these online classes and DIY kits. If you want to turn the fun factor up a notch, pair these activities with some booze ordered from these places that deliver.

Here's our live list of online classes, workshops, and tutorials you can participate in from the comfort of your own home.

  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

Since everything changed in 2020, congregating together, getting hectic, sweaty and sweary while running around breathlessly in a locked room seemed like a really bad idea. Which should tank the entire concept of a high-stakes escape room, right? Wrong. Turns out everyone’s favourite panic-inducing entertainment made the switch to digital too. The rapidly expanding at-home take on the escape room genre comes in many forms. 

Here are a few of our faves to keep you screaming for more clues/time/chill while you're stuck at home.

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  • Shopping
  • Gifts

 We've rounded up a bunch of Australian advent calendars filled with everything from conventional offerings like chocolates and lollies to the less conventional treats like sex toys and healing crystals. Whether you're shopping for a child or an adult, there's bound to be a calendar on this list that will put a smile on their face. And if you're shopping for yourself, even better.

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  • Shopping
  • Fashion

Winter has finally come to an end and rays of sunshine have started to peek out from behind the clouds. We may be stuck in lockdown for now, but as Victoria approaches its vaccine target it's looking like beachy summer days are on the horizon. We've handpicked several of the best Australian swimwear brands that cater to all genders so you can frolic along the sand and lounge by the pool in style.

  • Restaurants

Cakes, doughnuts, pretzels, chocolate… there’s something to be said about getting sweet treats delivered to your door, rather than slaving over a hand mixer and an hour or two in the oven. Plus, when you get these things delivered, it’s infinitely easier to clean up. So here we are – some of Melbourne’s finest desserts that can be delivered right to your doorstep. 

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

If you're looking for a fun way to keep your mind sharp and stay connected to the people you live with during lockdown, board games are the answer. From quick two-player games like Coup that test your poker face and bluffing abilities to the immersive fantasy game Lords of Waterdeep that can take a couple of hours to play, this list has something for everyone.

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  • Art
  • Digital and interactive

If you missed out on the 2020 Triennial or simply want to revisit the highlights, you can now tour the exhibition via NGV Channel. You can view projects including 'Fallen Fruit', which consists of vibrant wall paper featuring plants, fruits and flowers being used as backdrops for the NGV's 16th and 17th century gallery, and 'Plastocene' which features large-scale handmade sea creatures made from disposed objects like plastic bags, cigarette butts and coffee cups.

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  • Shopping
  • Fashion

Lockdown has been a great excuse to stop wearing tight jeans and slacks in favour of comfortable joggers and loose tees. If your loungewear collection currently consists of ratty old sweatshirts and holey trackies, elevate your wardrobe with pieces from these Australian loungewear brands. Comfortable enough to be worn around the house all day long but stylish enough to wear out to the shops and while running errands, soon you'll be wondering why your whole closet doesn't simply consist of loungewear. 

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

If you've been feeling a bit stir crazy from spending so much time indoors this winter during lockdown, take advantage of spring and the sunshine by playing some fun outdoor games with your household. From burrito dodgeball to board games that are windproof, these games are sure to keep kids entertained and help you feel connected to the people you live with. 

  • Shopping

Being surrounded by nature is good for the soul. These Melbourne nurseries can set you up with everything from hardy house plants to native shrubs and top-notch gardening accessories. If you don't have a green thumb, don't worry – the staff at these local garden shops can offer you advice so you don't kill your darling new plant friends. Great news – all of them offer delivery or click and collect during lockdown!

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  • Shopping
  • Gifts

Trying to find the perfect gift for your fussy friends who say they don't need anything can be difficult, but these Melbourne-based gift shops are up to helping you with the task. From candles and homewares to cheeky trinkets and novelty gags, these shops know how to cater for every occasion and the pickiest of people. The best part? These stores all offer delivery or click and collect to make your life that much easier. 

RECOMMENDED: The best homewares stores in Melbourne.

  • Kids

It can be tricky to find ways to keep your kids occupied and entertained during lockdown, so why not try ordering some fun new toys and activities from these stores in Melbourne? These top-notch stores specialise in seling well-made toys ranging from quirky puzzles to handcrafted wooden toys. The best part is that all of these stores offer delivery or click and collect to make your life even easier. 

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  • Film

Netflix has a lot of good movies that we'd watch any day – more than 70 by our count – but in terms of the sheer escapist bliss you need in your life right now, there are a handful of clear winners. There's nothing here to get you down: just nostalgia, hilarity, heart and a good dollop of hope. So order in, raid the fridge for ice cream, and settle in. 

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  • Shopping

Because they don’t have the overheads of regular retailers, they can sometimes offer better value for money, especially when it comes to premium and organic produce. Some offer access to things that aren’t easily found in the big supermarket chains, like items from smaller producers and specialty goods that usually go to restaurants. And others allow you to put your money where your values are by buying locally, ethically and sustainably.

Whatever your fancy, here are eight grocery delivery services in Melbourne worth checking out.

 

Try Melbourne's best bits

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