Get us in your inbox

Search
Mary Poppins the Musical 2022
Photograph: Supplied/Daniel Boud

Things to do in Melbourne today

Need some last-minute plans? We've got you covered with the best things to do in Melbourne today

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier
Advertising

Have your plans for tonight fallen through, or are you simply the type to live on the edge and wait until the last possible moment to plan your day? Luckily, Melbourne is the type of city where you can always count on finding something fun to do on short notice. 

From five-star musicals and warm-weather activations to cool gigs and nearby day trips, we've got you covered with our curated guide to everything fun happening right now. Have a scroll, lace up your shoes and prepare to hit the town. 

Want more? Check out these great free things to do, or head outside on a hike or bike ride

Things to do in Melbourne today

  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals
  • Melbourne

Sunflower season may be over, but the delights of frolicking through a field of flowers are here to stay with the autumnal arrival of the KaBloom Festival of Flowers. From March 25 to April 25, you can head over to Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges for a festival that combines fields of flowers with spectacular circus art. Wander through fields filled with marigolds, salvias, cleomes, petunias, geraniums and more and enjoy two newly planted wildflower meadows. It's an Instagrammers dream, but don't forget to bring some allergy medication if you're prone to hay fever. While the 2023 dates have been announced, tickets and the detailed program aren't available yet, so watch this space and the website for further updates.  Looking for autumn foliage? Here are the best places to see autumn leaves in Victoria.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

It is in fair Melbourne that we lay our scene for & Juliet, a pop-fuelled retelling of the Shakespearean tragedy that celebrates girl power, LGBTQIA+ pride, autonomy and love in all of its shapes and forms. This is Shakespeare yassified.  Billed as the greatest-ever love story remixed, & Juliet is a jukebox musical that asks: what if Juliet’s tragic ending was really just her beginning? “What if Juliet didn’t kill herself?” Anne Hathaway (played by the enthralling Amy Lehpamer) posits to her husband William Shakespeare (Rob Mills). “She’s only ever had one boyfriend, and frankly, the ending’s shit.”  Luckily for Melburnians, the new revision of the classic tale has made its long-awaited Australian debut, where the opening night of & Juliet saw a red-carpet full of glitz and glamour descend on the landmark Regent Theatre. Featuring music from Swedish songwriting powerhouse Max Martin and based on Emmy-winning writer David West Read’s book of the same name, & Juliet has stormed London’s West End, where it won three Olivier Awards, and now it’s here for a limited season in Melbourne’s East End.  The tale traces Juliet (Lorinda May Merrypor), who discovers at Romeo’s funeral just how much balcony-wooing her ex-husband had been doing on the sly. Together with her nurse AngĂ©lique (played by the wondrously affable Casey Donovan), Hathaway (who writes herself into the story) and best friend May (Jesse Dutlow), Juliet escapes Verona for the city of love, Paris. The gang celebrate thei

Advertising
  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals
  • Melbourne

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is returning with a bang this year, with a star-studded line-up of international chefs and local food heroes. The two-week celebration of all things food and drink kicks off with the signature World’s Longest Lunch and World’s Longest Brunch events, headlined by Alla Wolf-Tasker (culinary director of Daylesford’s award-winning Lake House) and Natalie Paull (cake celebrity, best-selling author and founder of Beatrix Bakes that sadly closed in 2022), respectively. The 2023 iteration will run for ten days, from March 24 to April 2, with the full program recently announced. It's hard to nail down the highlights, but some of the exciting events on offer include Celebrity Sausage, the Baker's Dozen market featuring cult-favourite local bakeries like Lune and Tarts Anon, and a part-Brooklyn bodega, part-Japanese convenience store inspired by 7-Eleven that will be selling the likes of Slurpee cocktails and gourmet sangas.  An intimidating line-up of international chefs will also grace our city, including Curtis Stone, Yoshihiro Imai of Chef's Table and Jeremy Chan of two-Michelin-starred Ikoyi. Resident Melbourne chefs such as Helly Raichura of Enter Via Laundry and Julia Busuttil Nishimura will be making appearances in the special events program.  Check out the full program and book your tickets ASAP.  Looking for other ways to explore the culinary delights of our city? Check out the best restaurants and best cafĂ©s in Melbourne. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

It was a particularly tempestuous day in Melbourne, when flashes of hail and cold blasts appeared amid what was supposed to be the pinnacle of summer. Then again, what better conditions for Mary Poppins to soar onto the stage with her umbrella – through wind and rain – and enliven all our evenings with her incandescent charm in what is a practically perfect musical production of the Disney classic?  This musical romp has made its way to Her Majesty's Theatre after its smash-hit season in Sydney. Originally created by Australian-British writer PL Travers, this production is co-created and produced by theatre heavyweight Cameron Mackintosh (The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Cats), who teamed up with writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), and features music and lyrics by the Sherman brothers, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Like in Sydney, this adaptation is anchored by the the effervescent Stefanie Jones (Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, Sound of Music), who plays the famous nanny, and the spirited Jack Chambers (Singin’ in the Rain, Burn the Floor, Hairspray), who plays the happy-go-lucky Bert. For the unbeknownst, the tale of Mary Poppins follows the nanny as she uses magic to help the fragmented Banks family who reside at 17 Cherry Tree Lane in Edwardian-era London. Poppins takes the two tricky children, Jane and Michael (Harriet Alder and Sebastian Sero) under her charge – who change nannies as often they do clothes – and, through a series of adventures with Bert, they

Advertising
  • Comedy
  • Comedy festival
  • Melbourne

Are you ready to laugh so hard it hurts? One of the largest comedy festivals in the world, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) returns next month with a program of 600+ shows across more than 140 performance spaces. Launched in 1987 by Barry Humphries and Peter Cook, the festival has since grown to become Australia's largest cultural ticketed event offering both family entertainment and show-stopping adult performances. After Montreal's Just for Laughs and the Edinburgh Fringe, MICF is the third-largest comedy festival in the world and attracts the crùme de la crùme of comedians from across Australia and around the globe.  In 2023, you can expect a mammoth line-up of big international performers such as Daniel Sloss (SCO), Daniel Kitson (UK), Stephen K Amos (UK), Arj Barker (USA), Melanie Bracewell (NZ), Ed Byrne (UK), Larry Dean (SCO), Carl Donnelly (UK), Paul Foot (UK), Ari Eldjárn (Iceland), Rosie Jones (UK), Tim Key (UK), Lloyd Langford (UK), Josie Long (UK), Guy Montgomery (NZ), Dylan Moran (Ireland), David O’Doherty (Ireland), Danny Bhoy (SCO), Sara Schaefer (US), DeAnne Smith (CAN/US), Takashi Wakasugi (Japan), Jason Leong (Malaysia), Daniel Fernandez (India), Maisie Adams (UK), Mark Watson (UK) and more. Other local acts include the likes of Anne Edmonds, Cal Wilson, Claire Hooper, Circus Oz, Daniel Connell, David Quirk, Dilruk Jayasinha, Gabbi Bolt, Georgie Carroll (Aus/UK), Geraldine Hickey, Kitty Flanagan, Ivan Aristeguieta (Aus/Ven), Lano & Woodley

  • Film
  • Film festivals
  • Melbourne

Get ready to paint the city blue, red and white as the Alliance Française French Festival (AFFF) 2023 returns to Melbourne with a program of contemporary French films that are magnifique. Running from March 7-April 23, you can expect a suite of 39 French feature films, from box-office hits and timeless classics to infectious tales of hope and resilience, and to see legends such as GĂ©rard Depardieu, Juliette Binoche and Laure Calamy up close and personal.  The anticipated 34th edition of the festival will be opened with Nicolas Bedos’ glamorous Masquerade, a French drama starring Pierre Niney, Isabella Adjani and Marine Vacth, which will transport cinemagoers to the CĂŽte d’Azur in this sexy double-dealing thriller. Didier Barcelo’s road trip comedy Freestyle will close the festival, starring the rising star Benjamin Voisin and Marina FoĂŻs.  Other must-see highlights from the 2023 festival include the Australian premiere of Two Tickets to Greece, starring Call my Agent’s Laure Calamy, Kirstin Scott Thomas and Oliva CĂŽte as the three estranged friends who tentatively reunite for a trip to the Greek islands.  Also premiering for the first time is The Innocent, which holds the highest number of nominations for a single film at the upcoming 2023 CĂ©sar awards. The new comedy hit from Louis Garrel follows widowed marine biologist Abel (Louis Garrel) who learns that his impulsive mother Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg) is re-marrying an inmate she met while teaching theatre in prison.   CĂ©dric

Advertising
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Southbank

Bernhardt/Hamlet tells the story of revered actor Sarah Bernhardt, who made history in 1899 when she became the first woman to play Hamlet on stage. In Melbourne Theatre Company’s current production, Sarah Bernhardt is embodied by Helpmann Award-winning actor, Kate Mulvany, who knows a thing or two about tackling Shakespeare’s biggest parts – in 2017 she played Richard III to numerous standing ovations. Undoubtedly, Melbourne Theatre Company’s new artistic director, Anne-Louise Sarks,has endured similar pressures to Bernhardt throughout her career; the kind where menquestion a woman’s ability to do the exact same task as their male counterparts. US playwright Theresa Rebeck’s 2018 play tackles this thinking and champions a woman who refuses to be hemmed in by the stale conventions of her time. Perhaps that’s why Sarks chose this backstage comedy as her big debut as artistic director. She’s taken a big swing here – on a play that requires an in-depth knowledge of theatre history to fully comprehend – and landed on a harmless, often joyous, but ultimately underwhelming night at the theatre. The first act is slow, grinding through rehearsal scenes of the play within a play. It’s a tried and tested trope, which theatre-makers seem to adore. Who wouldn’t like to peer backstage and eavesdrop on those rehearsal room conversations? Kate Mulvany rises to Bernhardt’s dizzying heights as the era’s most famous actress and breathes oxygen into some otherwise weary scenes. Diehard fans of

  • Art
  • Southbank

An exhibition of one of the world's most influential and innovative fashion designers lands in Melbourne this summer. Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse invites visitors to enter the conceptual, encyclopaedic and creative mind of this boundary-pushing fashion designer through more than 100 clothing pieces accompanied by more than 70 historical artworks.  As fashion lovers work their way through the exhibition, they can see McQueen's inner workings at play; besides viewing the final product of his fashion genius, they can explore his reference points and capacity for storytelling through fashion and art via a series of paintings, sculptures, photography, decorative arts and works on paper. It is through this rich and varied collection that viewers are able to further understand his master strokes, and gain a deeper appreciation of his timeless art. The summer blockbuster showcases 50 garments from the NGV's own collection, in addition to some 60 garments on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), making it an Australian exclusive exhibition.  Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse is on display from December 11, 2022 until April 16, 2023 at NGV International. The exhibition will kick off with Melbourne's fanciest annual event, The NGV Gala, held on December 10, 2022. Tickets are on sale now for the exhibition, as well as the NGV Gala. Time Out's 100 Days of Summer calendar is here to help you plan your entire summer in Melbourne.

Advertising
  • Art
  • Carlton

The inaugural Melbourne Now launched in 2013 and was an unprecedented display of some of the most exciting local contemporary artists. Now, a decade later, it returns to once again highlight Victorian-based artists, designers, studios and firms whose practices are shaping the cultural landscape of our city. Opening on March 23 at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, the exhibition will feature highly ambitious and thought-provoking works, including 70 world-premiere pieces that have been specially commissioned by the NGV. The works will traverse various disciplines across fashion, jewellery, sculpture, ceramics, photography, printmaking, product design and painting. Highlights include a room-sized ‘temple’ constructed using thousands of computer fans by emerging artist Rel Pham, which draws on his Vietnamese heritage and interest in gaming culture, and Walkers with Dinosaurs by Lou Hubbard, a mass of inflatable walking frames that can be found tumbling out of the third-floor foyer of the gallery. Troy Emery will present his largest sculptural work to date: a textile-based feline figure covered in brightly coloured pom poms that stands more than three metres high.  Also featuring on the stacked artist line-up are the likes of Christian Thompson AO, Esther Stewart, Atong Atem, Mia Boe, Fiona Abicare and Lisa Reid. The insanely popular Design Wall will return with an installation that celebrates consumer products designed in Melbourne over the past decade (think guitars, pillow

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Melbourne

Following its winter hibernation, Melbourne's OG floating bar and restaurant is returning for its seventh season on the Yarra. Last year, Arbory Afloat was decked out in the style of the picturesque Turquoise Coast in Turkey — and this year, it's returning as a sun-drenched take on the Balearic Islands.  Instead of dropping thousands on a ticket to Ibiza, Formentera, Menorca or Mallorca, you can enjoy a taste of the archipelago right here in Melbourne. The 69-metre space, which features two bars and an extensive upper deck pool club, is set to have its dreamiest design yet.  Food-wise, this season's menu will focus on simple, fresh and flavourful ingredients. It's designed to share, with several Spanish-inspired offerings including pintxos, tapas, bocadillos and raciones. The brand-new drinks list will also lean into the Balearic Islands theme, and you can expect the likes of Sangrias, Porn Star Sour Martinis, Pina Coladas and Aperol Spritzes to take centre stage.  Arbory Afloat will reopen from 4pm on Wednesday, September 21 and will remain open from 11am to 1am from Thursday, September 22 onwards. For more information, visit the Arbory Afloat website. 

More things to do in Melbourne

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    DĂ©jĂ  vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!