Things to do in Melbourne this weekend

The weekend's best events in one place – it's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne this weekend
The Tulip Farm
By Time Out editors |
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Wondering what to do in Melbourne this weekend? We can help. Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including free attractions, art exhibitions, theatre shows, activities 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 weekend

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Art, Galleries

Archibald Prize

icon-location-pin Geelong
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The Archibald Prize is the exhibition that stops a nation – well, a city anyway. Everyone has an opinion about who and what is most deserving of the $100,000 top gong – and the annual exhibition of finalists (this year there's a whopper 57 paintings) offers plenty to argue over, featuring faces familiar and not, by big name, mid-career and emerging painters. To see them in the flesh, head on the road towards Geelong Gallery, where the exhibition will be on until November. 

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The Space Between Arts Centre Melbourne 2018 featuring Emma Matthews
Photograph: Mark Gambino
Music, Classical and opera

The Space Between review

icon-location-pin Southbank
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Emma Matthews is one of this country’s finest operatic talents, and if you’re looking for a crash course on the range of her skill, this might be a good place to start. The Space Between is a strange hybrid work, a semi-autobiographical song cycle that plays with form and content in a way that isn’t always lucid but is consistently fascinating. It’s a prismatic, fractured mirror into Matthews’ soul, and complete confirmation of her vocal genius. What is truly revelatory about the piece, though, is the matched genius of the composer, Paul Grabowsky.

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13
BlacKkKlansman
Film, Drama

BlacKkKlansman

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.

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Children at NGV exhibit New York New York
Kids, Exhibitions

New York! New York! for Kids

icon-location-pin Southbank
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Take your kids to the Big Apple without even leaving Melbourne. An interactive kids exhibition is happening at NGV, coinciding with MoMA: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art. New York! New York! for Kids provides families with the opportunity to learn more about the city that never sleeps and all the artists who drew inspiration from the bright city lights.

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Prehistoric VR at ACMI
Photograph: Steven Woodburn
Kids, Exhibitions

Prehistoric VR

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The strange and terrifying fish that live in the darkest depths of the ocean today have nothing on the freaky creatures that roamed the seas 200 million years ago. Back in prehistoric times, the seas were home to all sorts of odd animals, from the plesiosaurus (a huge marine reptile that looks like the Loch Ness Monster) to the paracyclotosaurus, which resembles a two-metre long salamander.  These school holidays, ACMI is offering kids and adults the chance to explore the world's ancient oceans in a 360-degree virtual reality experience. 

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San Churro Ruby Chocolate
Photograph: Walter Collalto
Things to do, Food and drink

Real Ruby Chocolate Experience

icon-location-pin Malvern East
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Ruby chocolate, which is made from the ruby cocoa bean, is the newest type of chocolate to grace our tastebuds in more than 80 years, and churro chain San Churro is offering a ruby chocolate tasting.  For $35 you can try ruby chocolate over the course of an hour while a voice in headphones guides you through a two-part chocolate tasting. The tasting finishes with San Churro's delicious Spanish churros which will be covered in this brand-new chocolate flavour and a scented berry mist.

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Capitalism Works for Me! True/False
Photograph: Bryony Jackson
Art, Public art

Capitalism Works for Me! True/False

icon-location-pin Melbourne
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Is capitalism the inspiration for generations of entrepreneurs and a reason for us to strive to be our best selves, or is it a rigged game that keeps the rich rich while never giving the poor a chance? Or is it both? Those are the questions artist Steve Lambert wants to know. He's brought his installation Capitalism Works for Me! True/False all over the world, asking people everywhere whether they are feeling the economy.

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Cakes at Sweet Set High Tea
Restaurants, Patisseries

Sweet Set

icon-location-pin Fitzroy
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This is one for the sweet tooths out there. Fitzroy café Grub Food Van is back with Sweet Set for 2018, a series of Sunday afternoon tea sessions. Melbourne's best makers of sweet things will take turns in the kitchen to come up with delicious treats at this weekly event. Next up they've got Andrea Reiss from Bibelot (Sun Sep 23) as well as French pastry chef Pierrick Boyer on the final Sweet Set on Sunday September 30. 

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Ross & Rachel Melbourne Fringe 2018 image supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre, Drama

Ross & Rachel

icon-location-pin St Kilda
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What happens after you've found the one and settled down? That's the question asked in James Fritz's play, set ten years after a couple – who, for legal purposes are definitely not Ross and Rachel from Friends, but share a near identical back story – finally come together in the belief that they'll live happily ever after.  The play is performed by one woman (Jessica Stanley in this production at Theatre Works), who takes on the role of a man and a woman in a relationship that isn't exactly all they'd imagined. Apparently she's his lobster, but what happens when his entitlement starts to get out of hand? 

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Fringe Club
Photograph: Supplied
Clubs

Fringe Club

icon-location-pin North Melbourne
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[Sponsored] The beating heart of the Melbourne Fringe Festival is its raucous club, where art-loving audiences dance and drink at themed parties presented by different performers every night. Highlights of the program include All that Glitters is Blak, Fringe's very own First Nations dance extravaganza, as well as Queen of the Night a celebratory tribute to Whitney Houston. If you're not into dancing, head in for the Test Drive comedy night hosted by Nath Valvo, the theatrical Circus Battle Royale, or sign up for All Gender and Sexuality Speed Dating.

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More things to do in Melbourne this weekend

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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