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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
Pooches and Prosecco
Photograph: Supplied
By Rebecca Russo, Nicola Dowse and Cassidy Knowlton |
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After a cool week, Melbourne is going to heat up again over the weekend (27 on Saturday, 31 on Sunday), so maybe it's a good weekend to go on a road trip to regional Victoria for the weird and wonderful Meeniyan Garlic Festival. You can try garlic ice cream and garlic beer and watch cooking demonstrations featuring the stinking rose. 

Or take your best friend to Ascot Vale for Pooches and Prosecco. Prosecco for you, a pop-up beauty bar for your dog.

Need more inspo? 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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Symphonica
Photograph: Brett Schewitz
Things to do, Walks and tours

The Melbourne Music Bus Tour

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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This is not your ordinary tour bus. The Melbourne Music Bus Tour, a collaboration between Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Music Vault, takes 22 lucky people on an almost four-hour tour of Melbourne's famous music venues, laneways, recording studios, rehearsal spaces, artists' homes and important Indigenous music spots. The tour visits current live music hotspots like the Tote and the Palace, as well as famed venues of yesteryear like the Crystal Palace and the Espy (currently undergoing renovations but destined for live music greatness once again). It also visits recording studios including Mushroom Records, Bakehouse Studios and the Dogs in Space house, and even stops by Molly Meldrum's house. Musicologist Bruce Milne (of 3RRR, Au-go-go Records and now Greville Records fame) leads the tours. It's a must-do for any Melbourne music lover. 

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Film, Animation

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Thought we’d reached peak Spider-Man? Think again. After umpteen versions, here’s one that embraces the most out-there bits of Spidey lore and forges something totally fresh from them. Yes, it rips through yet more origin stories and sets up another villain with a giant multiverse-opening thingamajiggy, but by the time it’s also chucked a Spider-pig (yes, really), Banksy jokes and buckets of Day-glo-bathed spectacle at you, resistance will be futile. "It can get weirder," one character points out. It really does.

Time Out says
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'Triple Nude (Three Pats, Standing, Back View) 1966', Richard Larter
Photograph: Supplied
Museums

Love

icon-location-pin Immigration Museum, Melbourne
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It’s a universal feeling. It’s in the air. It lifts us up where we belong. It’s all we need. So what’s your love story? Melbourne’s Immigration Museum is putting the spotlight on love this summer with an exhibition that will combine visual art, historic and contemporary artefacts and a few personal reflections from the general public. The museum will present all kinds of Australian love stories which will cover demographics of time, gender, ethnicity, orientation, age and distance. Head into the Immigration Museum’s recently renovated Long Room, where you’ll hear first-person storytelling about love through a tailored digital guide, with an all-Australian soundtrack of love songs playing throughout. There will be purpose-built “love shacks” to hang out in, and you can commit your own love story to the exhibition’s central Heart Garden installation.

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High Seas
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Food and drink

High Seas

icon-location-pin The Westin Melbourne, Melbourne
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The Westin is putting a nautical twist on the concept of high tea with an all-seafood high tea. Savoury treats include oysters three ways, lobster rolls and fish tacos. High tea favourites have been given a seafood makeover, such as savoury seaweed scones with whipped miso butter and furikake instead of the traditional cream and jam.  Skip the sparkling wine and do as sailors do, with a Navy Strength Four Pillars Gin and Tonic as your libation. And insetad of fussy French sweets, there is a Four Pillars frozen gin marmelade custard for dessert. The tide will roll out on April 30, so make sure you hit the deck before then. 

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Generic garlic
Things to do, Food and drink

Meeniyan Garlic Festival

icon-location-pin Around Meeniyan,
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Just when we thought we’d seen it all, a garlic festival will be taking over a small regional Victorian town in February. The Meeniyan Garlic Festival is on again for 2019, showcasing the flavoursome bulb and some of Gippsland’s best produce. The festival will include a full day of cooking demonstrations, market stalls showcasing the likes of garlic gusto pizza and some (surprisingly delicious) garlic ice cream, garlic beer and garlic milkshakes. There will also be some live entertainment and kids’ activities. The Garlic Institute will be providing talks on growing garlic at home, plus you’ll learn about garlic’s medicinal benefits, the nine different garlic families (there are over 300 varieties!) as well as hands-on workshops on smoking and fermenting your own garlic. Additionally, festival ambassador Alejandro Saravia from Melbourne’s Pastuso restaurant will be joined by top chefs in the festival kitchen for a round of cooking demonstrations. Entry into the festival is $10 with kids' entry free. The event is dog-friendly, but sadly no vampires allowed. 

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Day and Night by M.C. Escher
© The M.C. Escher Company, the Netherlands. All rights reserved.
Art, Drawings

Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo

icon-location-pin NGV International, Southbank
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The National Gallery of Victoria is bringing a world-first exhibition of works by MC Escher to Melbourne this summer. Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo will feature more than 160 prints and drawings from the renowned Dutch artist as well as an immersive Escher-inspired environment created by Japanese design studio Nendo. We can't wait to see how they'll respond to Escher's most iconic image: the physically impossible, Hogwarts-esque staircases. The works are on loan from the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague and will be joined by an immersive experience created by Nendo design studio. By manipulating geometry, space and perception like Escher, Nendo will create a never-before-seen exhibit that will bring the artist’s work to life.

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Cupid's Undie Run
Photograph: Supplied
Sport and fitness

Cupid's Undie Run

icon-location-pin St Kilda Foreshore, St Kilda
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This is not your average fun run. For one thing, the 'run' component is more like a big old dance party, as the course is only 1.5km long. And secondly, most participants walk, run or dance the course in their underwear. The after party is the real name of the game, with food, entertainment and a dance party at the finish line. Cupid's Undie Run aims to raise money for the Children's Tumour Foundation and awareness of neurofibromatosis, a disease that causes tumours to grow all over the body.  The idea of the run is to celebrate the diversity of bodies and encourage participants to let go of their insecurities and just have fun. Those who take part will get a special pair of Calvin Klein undies in addition to some other swag. You can also run in whatever makes you comfortable (costumes encouraged!), with prizes for best (least?) dressed.  

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Tina Arena, EVITA
Theatre, Musicals

Evita

icon-location-pin Arts Centre Melbourne, Southbank
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Move over My Fair Lady: the next vintage production coming to Australia is the original Evita, with Australian pop princess Tina Arena starring as Eva Perón. Opera Australia and John Frost are collaborating to revive the 1978 West End production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster musical, directed by Tony Award-gobbling musical theatre veteran Harold Prince. Appearing alongside Arena is a starry international cast: as Juan Peron is Brazilian operatic baritone Paulo Szot, who won a Tony Award for his performance in the 2008 Broadway revival of South Pacific. London-based Australian performer Kurt Kansley will play Che, the narrator, while Wicked star Jemma Rix will play Evita at some performances.

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Giant ice creams at Sugar Republic
Things to do, Pop-up locations

Sugar Republic

icon-location-pin Myer Melbourne, Melbourne
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Last winter, a pop-up museum dedicated to all things sweet landed on Smith Street. Open for only eight weeks, Sugar Republic eventually sold more than 25,000 tickets – but for those who missed out, never fear. Sugar Republic is back!  This Instagrammable event has arrived at Myer in Bourke Street Mall. Several different sensory rooms will be taking over Myer's sixth floor, and we can guarantee they will satisfy every kind of candy lover.  The Sugar Republic team are expecting to build on their previous pop-up with a host of new rooms and interactive installations to play with. There will be a giant bubblegum pink ball pit, a cookie house to relax in, a licorice playroom and plenty of candy to enjoy as you wander through (including some old-school favourites including Wizz Fizz, Hubba Bubba and Arnott's biccies).

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Sweet Phoebe Red Stitch 2019
Photograph: Supplied
Theatre, Drama

Sweet Phoebe

icon-location-pin Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St Kilda
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Red Stitch is kicking off its 2019 season with a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Michael Gow’s bitingly funny Sweet Phoebe.  The two-hander play premiered in 1994 at Sydney Theatre Company with Cate Blanchett and Colin Moody. In their places for the Red Stitch production, directed by Mark Wilson, are Marcus McKenzie and Olivia Monticciolo.    The play follows Helen and Frazer, who endeavour to become better people, yet when faced with the responsibility of dog-sitting, pesky pooch Phoebe isn’t as sweet as she seems. With the outcome being completely irreversible, will the duo ultimately take control and eliminate conflict from their lives?

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More things to do in Melbourne this weekend

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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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