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
Amanda Morgan at Gertrude Street Projection Festival
Photograph: Teresa Harrison Amanda Morgan
By Time Out editors |
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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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Hawker 88 Night Market at Queen Vic Market
Things to do, Markets

Hawker 88 Night Market

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The Hawker 88 Night Market brings Asian tastes, sights and sounds to the Queen Vic Market’s sheds. Running every Wednesday night from September 19 to October 24, over 20 stalls will be set up to sell authentic street food direct from China, India, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia and Japan. You can expect traditional dishes like Filipino barbecue, Korean pork belly, Malaysian satay, plenty of Indian curries and so much more. Drinks-wise punters can get amongst Melbourne’s new independent brewery Brick Lane Brewing Co. who have created a new craft beer for the occasion.

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The Tulip Farm
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

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The Tesselaar Tulip Festival takes over Silvan’s Tulip Farm during September and October and brings almost a million tulips in bloom to 25 acres of farmland in the Dandenong Ranges. Located an hour away from Melbourne, this tulip festival turns regional Victoria into a mini version of the Netherlands with tulip bulbs flowering in the majestic spring sunshine. While the tulips are undoubtedly the stars of the show, the festival also features live entertainment, market stalls, food offerings and themed weekend celebrations.

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Glittery Glittery
Photograph: James Penlidis Photography
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Melbourne Fringe Festival

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Every year, the Melbourne Fringe Festival makes jaws drop and eyes widen across the city with their out-there line-up of theatre, comedy, art, music and events. This is Melbourne at its weirdest and one of the best ways to get a feel for the city's cultural underbelly. There's more than 400 events each year across roughly 160 venues in and around Melbourne. This is your opportunity to take risks on bold new works. Jump in, and enjoy the ride. 

RECOMMENDED: Top picks of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

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Royal Melbourne Show food
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

The Royal Melbourne Show

icon-location-pin Flemington
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Some come to the Show for the rides; others come to marvel at award-winning edible sculptures (otherwise known as cakes). Crowds flock to pavilions filled with baby animals and champion dogs. All are united in a mutual love of show bags. Foodies at the show are also well catered for. Sure, you could go for the traditional dagwood dog or cloud of fairy floss, but the Show has far more gourmet options awaiting in the food pavillions. And no trip to the Show is complete either without a gawk at the woodchop pavillion.

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People sitting eating inside at Congress Restaurant
Photograph: Graham Denholm
Things to do, Food and drink

Vegetables for Dinner

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Collingwood bistro Congress is going in the complete opposite direction to its usual meaty fare, offering an all-vegan five-course dinner for two nights in September. The event is in partnership with Fitzroy's Northside Fruit & Veg, and on the menu are dishes like salt-baked beets with cashew cream and horseradish, sticky rice cake with mushrooms and black garlic, and radishes sourced from Congress’ own community garden with sunflower tahini and chickpea wafers. Each course comes with matched Australian wine (a pet-nat to begin, a port to finish, and delectable drops in between), and it is all 100 per cent plant-based.

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On Stage at Mama Mia the musical
Theatre, Musicals

Mamma Mia! The Musical

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Mamma Mia! is the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals. It’s one of the most commercially successful pieces of entertainment of all time, having grossed US$2 billion since its 1999 West End premiere. So why does the show – with an inconsequential and frequently illogical story about a young woman on the weekend of her wedding trying to learn which of three men is her father – continue to inspire people all around the world to open their wallets and head out to the theatre? It owes its success almost entirely to the ABBA music it hangs its hackneyed but gently funny narrative off. 

Time Out says
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Body Worlds: Vital
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Exhibitions

Body Worlds: Vital

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Body Worlds: Vital is an exhibition that will help you better understand your body and the way it works. An educational exhibit about human anatomy, it features 150 real human bodies, which have been 'plastinated' and put on display. There are whole bodies, individual organs and transparent 'body slices' that demonstrate the human body in all its forms – healthy, diseased and everywhere in between. All of the specimens have been voluntarily donated for this express purpose, and the process of donation has been thoroughly documented.

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Photograph: Supplied
Art

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Art collective Field Theory has created a work that is part reality show, part public spectacle and part art installation to explore the nature of fame – and make an ordinary Melburnian into a celebrity.  The team from Field Theory has moved in with a Melburnian for 48 hours, learning everything they can about their habits, loves, hates, dreams, family, friends and life. The climax of all this attention will be a giant party in Federation Square, celebrating the person. 

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Dumplings
Photograph: Kristoffer Paulsen
Restaurants, Chinese

Dumpling Degustation

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We know Melbourne is sick for a dumpling, which is why the Oriental Teahouse's first Dumpling Degustation went bananas. Happily for anyone who missed out last time, the dumpling house is doing it all again at its Chapel Street location. This is not a drill – it's a six-course dumpling degustation.  The degustation will include traditional flavours like chilli prawn coriander shu mai and chilli and kaffir lime wagyu beef dumpling served with in-house chilli sauce, along with more modern and adventurous varities, like tea- smoked duck breast and Long jing tea soup and flame thrower pulled pork dumplings. For the sweet tooths, there will be a dessert dumpling of lychee and red bean dumpling with coconut shavings & palm sugar sauce. The degustation is $55, or $85 with matched wines and umeshu. After dinner, head upstairs to digest over drinks at the 1930’s Shanghai-themed bar, Zhou Zhou. But first, book those tickets. You don't want to be the kid holding the empty steamer basket. 

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The Architect Melbourne Theatre Company 2018 photo supplied feat Linda Cropper
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre, Drama

The Architect

icon-location-pin Southbank
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The ever-brilliant Linda Cropper (aka Offspring's Geraldine) is back on stage at Melbourne Theatre Company for the premiere of Aidan Fennessy’s (The Way Things Work, What Rhymes with Cars and Girls) new play. Part of MTC’s focus on new Australian writing, it tells the story of the terminally ill Helen (Cropper), who is forced to find a temporary carer when her partner John heads off on a brief overseas trip. When she takes in a young drifter, an unexpected bond forms between them – until the tables begin to turn and Helen has to make some big decisions. 

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More things to do in Melbourne this week

Ich Nibber Dibber 2017 Sydney Festival hero image feat post members Zoe Coombs Marr Mish Grigor and Nat Rose photographer credit Document Photography
Photograph: Document Photography
Theatre, Musicals

The best theatre and musicals in Melbourne this September

Spring means a flourishing of independent, international and local mainstage theatre in Melbourne – so get ready: this month it's Melbourne Fringe, next month it's Melbourne Festival, and in the meantime there is more dance, musicals and theatre than you can shake a stick at.

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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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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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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

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