Wondering what to do in Melbourne today? We can help. Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne, including free attractions, art exhibitions, theatre shows, activities for kids and so much more. If it's a rainy day, consult our guide to Melbourne's best indoor activities instead.
Things to do in Melbourne today
Get ready to disco 'til you drop, Melbourne. Meredith Music Festival is back again for some booty-shaking, sunny summer fun over December 13, 14 and 15. Topping the bill this year is Irish pop superstar Róisín Murphy, who will be joined by the likes of rapper and activist Briggs, German DJ Helena Hauff, heartbreak maestro Julia Jacklin and Melbourne's own Amyl and the Sniffers. An additional two acts were announced in late August: Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and Welsh musician Cate Le Bon. Leading the nostalgia train at Meredith this year is Christine Anu, who will no doubt treat audiences at the Supernatural Amphitheatre to renditions of her classic '90s hits 'Sunshine on a Rainy Day' and 'My Island Home'. The full line-up is below. Be sure to enter the ballot to nab your tickets. See you at the 'Sup! Róisín MurphyLiam GallagherBriggsHelena HauffAmyl and the SniffersSho MadjoziJulia JacklinCate Le BonViagra BoysJesswarChristine AnuThe Egyptian LoverStompin' RiffraffsLogic1000U-BahnSteam DownEric PowellGordon KoangWVR BVBYSweet WhirlVanessa WormDigital AfrikaScott & Charlene's WeddingDimpaConstant MongrelKarate BoogalooThe FacultyRambl
Upcoming drag king and queens get the chance to practise their shows and refine their acts every Thursday night at Melbourne's favourite LGBTQIA+ venue (as voted by Time Out readers), Sircuit. Bio queens, drag queens, trash queens and drag kings all perform, and the event is hosted by famed drag queen Missy La ’Minx. It's a chance for up-and-coming performers to get experience, and for audiences of course it's a night of fantastic drag. The bar offers $5 pints from 7pm until 10pm, and entry is free.
Screening a bunch of fresh new releases, golden oldies and critically acclaimed alternative films, American Express Openair Cinemas offers movie fanatics much more than the average cinematic experience. Finishing up a successful season at Yarra Park in early November, this outdoor cinema heads to St Kilda in the lead up to Christmas. From November 22 until December 20, South Beach Reserve is being taken over by a packed program of live entertainment, dining, music and dog dates. Yes, that’s right, dogs. Proud puppy parents can snuggle up to their own wonder dogs while they settle in for a season of new release flicks, including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Nov 25), Hustlers (Nov 27 and Dec 6), Joker (Nov 24, Nov 29 and Dec 10), Rocketman (Dec 2), Zombieland: Double Tap (Nov 28 and Dec 13), Charlie's Angels (Dec 19), Doctor Sleep (Dec 12) and plenty more (including some Christmas classics!) You’re sure to work up an appetite with all the excitement, so grab a slice of something covered in cheese from the Italian masters at Ladro. They're curating a menu for the evening, complemented by beers by 4Pines, aperitifs by Pimms and wine from Giesen Wines. Speaking of wine, every Wednesday has officially been coined Wine Wednesdays at American Express Openair Cinemas. Guests can sample Giesen Wines' full range and even purchase bottles at Happy Hour prices. If you have an American Express Card membership, this will be is your golden ticket to the exclusive lounge area at the
It’s 1889 in Cornwall. It’s a freezing winter night. A suited stranger interrupts a family dinner and introduces them to a strange, black substance pooled within a lantern. This is oil, and it shocks everyone into excitement or doubt – it ignites into a warm, thick tongue of flame, but gives off a peculiar smell. After the stranger leaves, May, the pregnant wife of a farmer, decides to go outside. She picks up the lantern and starts to walk. She walks through time. It’s now 1908. Tehran. May, a servant, with her eight-year-old daughter Amy in tow, scrounges up one last job. Time jumps forward again, and May and Amy, now in a car, drive through decades, to 1970, where they thunder at each other in a kitchen in Hampstead. Time jumps forward again. May flies. It’s 2021, in the bomb-stricken sands of Baghdad. Time jumps. It’s 2051. Cornwall. And so goes Oil, by British playwright Ella Hickson. It’s a play that moves forward through the centuries like the crawling spread of a flame, tracking the destruction that ambition or love can leave in its wake. Under the direction of Ella Caldwell, this latest Red Stitch production is an experience so full of ideas and feeling that it ought to burst: it’s a mad swirl of hope, love, greed and progress; of geopolitical, ecological, commercial and maternal concerns. It’s the type of play that’s so gargantuan in theme that a review may do little but list. At the heart of Oil, however, lie two major ideas: the oil industry’s knotted co-depen
Christmas is fast approaching, so naturally we’ll be pushing the tables back and getting ready to dance at another festive Paul Kelly gig. He’s the kind of poet Australians from all walks of life can relate to, spinning yarns about family, love, tragedy and 747s, and he’ll bring all this and more to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Thursday, December 12 for his Making Gravy tour. He’ll be bringing a troupe of young Aussie and New Zealand artists to sing along with classics like ‘To Her Door’ and to share their own hits too. The queen of jangly guitars and smooth melodies, Courtney Barnett, will be adding her own Aussie twang to Kelly’s concert, alongside our Eurovision rep Kate Miller-Heidke – we cannot confirm or deny if the sky high ‘Zero Gravity’ theatrics will come into play. Rounding out the line-up is New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams, pumping out heart wrenching hits like ‘Beautiful Dress’ and ‘What’s Chasing You’. Previous Making Gravy concerts have sold out, with 12,000 fans belting out the show’s namesake and other Kelly classics like ‘Before Too Long’ and ‘Deeper Water’ from the lawn (cue gentle weeping). But we’re expecting more than just the golden oldies for this stellar performance. Kelly brought out ARIA Chart topper Life is Fine 2017, then made it to number one again in 2018 with Nature, and he’s got more on the way with upcoming album Songs From the South (1985 - 2019). This will be an anthology of his hits from that 35-year period, with clas
Melbourne audiences have had something of a crash course in the works of UK playwright Simon Stephens in recent years, and it’s given us a sense of the scope but also the inconsistency of his output. Melbourne Theatre Company triumphed in 2015 with his electric Birdland, and had great success with his adaptation of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, but came a cropper this year with the hugely disappointing Heisenberg; it was difficult to reconcile them all as coming from the same artist. Patalog Theatre is mounting his 2009 play Punk Rock at fortyfivedownstairs, and it’s an intriguing insight into the strengths and weaknesses of this prolific writer. Set in a wealthy school in Stockport on the outskirts of Manchester, Stephens’ play concerns itself with the specific horrors of growing up, that uneasy shift from the petty grievances of the schoolyard to the unknown but infinitely more terrifying pressures of the outside world. Stephens seems to be in dialogue with Alan Bennett’s History Boys, that raucous but ultimately comforting (read nostalgic and sentimental) play on the troubles with pedagogy. He even names his chief bully Bennett, in what is surely an act of provocation. For class-obsessed Britain, it’s surprising that the play treats the wealth and privilege of the students as something secondary, even peripheral. These kids mightn’t have to worry about the whereabouts of their next meal, but the worries they do have are certainly not mocked; indeed, their
While the adults are digging into the Wonka Bar at Melbourne’s Westin Hotel, kids can have their own fun. To celebrate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory landing at Her Majesty's Theatre, the Westin Hotel is recreating its kid-friendly high tea with a little Wonka magic. The Wonkariffic Kids High Tea includes three tiers of sweets crafted by the Westin’s Oompa Loompas… er, I mean pastry chefs. There’s everything from chocolate river cupcakes, honeycomb and chocolate mousse, cucumber finger sandwiches, violet and almond gobstopper cookies and even a golden ticket milk chocolate bar. Thirsty? Kids can take choose from Violet Beauregard’s bubblegum milkshake, hot chocolate, juices or soft drink to wash down all the sweets. When partaking in the Wonkariffic High Tea, all kids will receive a limited edition Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book by Roald Dahl to take home. The high tea is aimed at children four to 12-years-old and costs $49 per child.
Every Monday to Friday from December 2 to December 31, Sofitel is hosting Christmas high tea that’ll satisfy your festive cravings while remaining anything but predictable. Incorporating familiar favourites with haute cuisine tweaks, guests can expect treats such as a layered gingerbread Jaconde and seasonal spiced mousse, topped with gold nuggets and Four Pillars Christmas Gin liqueur chocolate. The menu for the Christmas-themed high tea has been created by pastry chef David Hann, and will be served on custom-made cake stands inspired by Escher’s “impossible objects”, created for the hotel’s Monochromatic High Tea. A Merry High Tea starts from $55 per person with a glass of sparkling wine on arrival. Guests may also choose a glass of Taittinger for an additional $10 per person. For a further $15, you can receive replenished high tea sweets and savouries, and for $19, enjoy free-flowing La Bohème Cuvée. High tea is served between noon and 5pm. Also in the spirit of the season, Sofitel’s master mixologists have concocted a selection of festive cocktails, including a pink and white, candy cane-inspired special made with house-made peppermint, strawberry sorbet, green chartreuse liqueur, Kettle One vodka and a splash of sparkling rosé. There’s also a nativity-inspired Espresso Marini, Les Trois Mages (the Three Kings), made with Kraken rum, Tia Maria liqueur, Mozart Dark liqueur, a shot of espresso and a 24-karat yellow gold toasted marshmallow, fit for a king. Merry cock
What’s better than gorging yourself on scones, finger sandwiches and Champagne at a regular high tea? Gorging yourself on piles and piles of cheese at the Westin’s un-brie-lievable High Cheese event. Yes, the insanely successful, sold-out event is back for 2019. The idea for High Cheese began when Westin executive chef Michael Greenlaw teamed up with Anthony Demia from Maker and Monger to bring a series of cheeses together in both sweet and savoury dishes. Now extended until December 31, High Cheese brings some favourites from last year's menu plus a few new additions to the table. Traditional scones and cream are swapped out for L'amuse Signature Gouda scones served with whipped spiced butter. There's also black truffle, porcini and walnut layered Brie Fermier la Tremblaye; Swiss Gruyere Vieux Gougères with burnt green leek; and Marcel Petite Comté Réservation custard tarts for the savoury section. For the sweeter side, there's poached French pear with stracciatella, fresh honeycomb and smoked roasted macadamia crumble; ruby chocolate parfait with Brillat Savarin Frais and raspberry jam; caramelised salted white chocolate tiramisu; plus ricotta cassata cannoli. The coup de gras (pun intended) is the whole baked Normandy camembert served with lavosh that you can dip right into the cheese, like your very own cheese fondue. Holy cheesus. The Westin's High Cheese is priced at $70 per person and is available every day from 5pm. Guests can also add on a wine pairing which
Melbourne is growing and developing at a rapid pace, but how much do you really know about it? Now you can learn about some of the state’s most influential people, events and icons. Velvet, Iron, Ashes is an exhibition located in the State Library's newly refurbished Victoria Gallery. The exhibition will showcase more than 200 items from the Library's own collection plus additions from other major institutions and private collections. It gives visitors an opportunity to learn some illustrious stories about Ned Kelly, the Ashes Urn, Yalloum Power Station and even Nappie Wash. Visitors can learn how fairy floss is linked to fancy dress, how the Freddo Frog is tied to one of the greatest air races in history, and what the Ashes Urn and Ned Kelly’s armour have in common. A retro-style Map-o-matic device allows visitors to print out a map, opening up a world of storytelling to a new generation of Victorians. The exhibition is open to all ages and runs from October 24, 2019, until July 12, 2020. It is free to attend. The Ashes Urn is exclusively loaned from Marylebone Cricket Club in London and will be displayed from November 2019 until February 2020, so don’t miss out on seeing it in the flesh.
More things to do in Melbourne today
Looking for a movie to see this week in Melbourne? Check out the latest releases in Australian cinemas, all reviewed by Time Out critics.
These are the best places to eat in this city right now: the freshest, most inventive and memorable venues, ranked by our expert local editors.
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.
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.
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
This November is a great time for theatre-loving Melburnians, with shows in just about every corner of the city; and just about every entertainment box ticked. Melbourne Theatre Company is donning its dance shoes for Kiss of the Spider Woman, while Malthouse is taking on Christmas with the help of cabaret chanteuse Meow Meow. There's plenty of indie theatre happening in our smallest and most daring venues and some international comedy superstars headed our way.
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.
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.
If you love food and live in Melbourne, your 'must-try' list of new restaurants, cafés and bars probably takes up your phone's entire storage capacity by now. Luckily, we've put together a curated list of the newest, hottest and coolest restaurants our critics are raving about.
From food to laneways, drinking to ghosts, these tours are the best way to get to know a different side of Melbourne.