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A crowd of people walking around the market underneath strings of lights.
Photograph: Supplied

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

Leah Glynn
Written by
Leah Glynn
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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 work your way through our 100 best things to do in Melbourne before you die bucket list.

Things to do in Melbourne today

  • Things to do
  • Markets
  • price 0 of 4
  • Melbourne

Wednesday nights in Melbourne are known for one thing and one thing only: Queen Victoria Market’s legendary Night Market. With the summer night market officially finished for the season, Queen Vic has announced it will be bringing back its insanely popular Asian night market to tide you over until the warmer months return. The Hawker 88 Night Market brings Asian tastes, sights and sounds to Queen Vic’s sheds. Running every Wednesday night from April 10 until May 8, a tasty variety of stalls and trucks will be set up to sell authentic street food direct from China, India, Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia and Japan. The line-up of vendors this year includes crispy Korean popcorn chicken from Lui Boss; charcoal Filipino skewers from Hoy Pinoy; pad Thai and sticky mango rice from Sabb Der; grilled momo from Nepal Dining Room; and authentic okonomiyaki from Okinami. Across the five-week stint there will also be lion dancing, traditional cultural performances, martial arts demonstrations, taiko drumming, eating competitions (where you can chow down on durian, dumplings and skewers), DJ sets and an epic full moon party. There will also be plenty of specialty retail stalls selling weird and wonderful wares. For more info on the event, check out the website. Craving a bargain feed? These are the 50 best cheap eats in Melbourne. Thirsty? Hit up Melbourne's 50 best bars.

  • Things to do
  • Pop-up locations
  • Kew

Attention all dog lovers, this is not a drill: a pop-up café filled with real-life puppies is coming to Melbourne for one glorious day only. And you're invited to come and shower them with pats and ear scritches. On Wednesday, April 24, Guide Dogs Victoria is throwing a paw-fect party for all those who enjoy frolicking with labrador puppies for a good cause. You'll be able to pose in a pooch-themed photobooth, watch pups-in-training, listen to a panel discussion and speak with handlers about the important role guide dogs play in our community. The event will coincide with International Guide Dogs Day and aims to raise awareness about the wonderful work that Guide Dogs Victoria does for those living with vision impairment. There will even be door prizes and a competition to name your very own puppy. Your morning coffee pick-up has never been more adorable – tickets to the 'pup-up' café start at $10 for children and $30 for adults. It's taking place at Studley Grounds Café in Kew from 10.30am to 12pm.  You can learn more and snap up tickets over here. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Melbourne newsletter for the best of the city, straight to your inbox. Love spending time with your pooch? Check out the best dog-friendly pubs in Melbourne.

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

My first encounter with the viridescent power of Wicked was through the sliding door of a suburban dance studio. Face pressed against the glass, I strained to hear the optimistic refrains of ‘One Short Day’, eyes bulging and dopamine levels skyrocketing. So widespread is the pop-cultural impact of this fan favourite musical, that half of Melbourne likely has a similar memory of discovering Wicked.  This faithful revival of the bewitching blockbuster sees the show fly into Melbourne for the third time in 15 years with an abundance of pine-hued pizazz, after celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Broadway premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. It’s also worth noting that the Gregory Maguire novel that forms the basis of the plot was published back in 1995. After all this time, it’s only fair to check in and ask: does Wicked remain evergreen? The costumes, choreography and sets are as slick as they come, which is exactly what’s expected from a show that’s had this many chances to get it ‘right’. This version of Wicked is not reinventing the wheel – instead it’s the cast who keep the cogs turning in a fresh way.   There’s no mistaking that these performers are magical. While Melbourne always loves to get a show before Sydney, our advantage here is that the cast has had time to fully take command of their characters – and they’re flourishing.  Courtney Monsma’s G(a)linda is slap-your-knees, let-out-a-squeal funny. She re-shapes the virtue-signalling mean girl role and makes Glinda

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Flemington

For most of us, Lego is a nostalgic hobby from bygone childhood years, but there are an exceptional few who took these tiny building blocks from a fun pastime to the next level. Lego artist Nathan Sawaya is one of these talented individuals who is showcasing his fascinating sculptures with a new exhibition that has to be seen to be believed.  The Art of the Brick Immersive Experience exhibition features more than 100 contemporary artworks, all crafted using more than one million Lego bricks to make large-scale, life-like creations.  After a sold-out season back in 2011, it's returning to our city as part of a huge world tour with brand new pieces, having already visited 100 cities across 24 countries. Sawaya is the only person in the world who has the double title of Lego Master Model Builder and Lego Certified Professional. Whoa.  Some of the works showcased in the exhibition include a giant version of Sawaya's most famous sculpture, 'Yellow', which stands at more than six feet tall, plus an installation with 250 kinetic Lego skulls, a piece called 'Infinity Rainbow' that features seven life-sized sculptures, the 30-foot long 'Big Swimmer', dazzling 360-degree digital projections and lots more. The Art of the Brick Immersive Experience opens on April 14 at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Tickets go on sale on March 21 at 7pm, and you can sign up for the waitlist here. Find out more about the exhibition at the website.  Looking for more things to do? Check out our guide to what's

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  • Attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Mount Martha

Grab your wands and your Hogwarts house tie, because a brand new magical experience that is every Potterhead's dream is coming to Melbourne. Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience is apparating to the Mornington Peninsula in 2024, with a mystical encounter that will have you living out your witch or wizard fantasies in the muggle world. Follow in the daring footsteps of Harry himself through the infamous Forbidden Forest, where you'll meet hippogriffs and unicorns, as well as cast powerful spells. The outdoor trail adventure will lead you on a fully immersive journey, finishing with a Potter-themed village that has food, drink and merch on offer. Warner Bros is bringing this exciting experience Down Under after whirlwind success in the US, UK and Europe, with the Forbidden Forest making its Australian debut deep in the woods of Mt Martha next April.  Suitable for fans of all ages, tickets for this magical experience are on sale now. You can find out more on the website here.  Looking for more fun things to do in Melbourne? Check out what's on this week here. 

  • Art
  • South Wharf

Italian polymath, painter, inventor and astounding genius Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most celebrated artists and scientists of all time, yet seeing his works is typically out of reach for the average Aussie. Well, all that’s about to change thanks to the Lume Melbourne’s new immersive experience opening on March 16.  Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius will feature massive projections of some of the world’s most famous works of art, including the ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘The Last Supper’. These four-storey high projections showcase da Vinci’s breathtaking Renaissance paintings in a way that’s much more accessible than a trip to the Louvre.  Alongside da Vinci’s visually stunning artworks, this exhibition will also focus on his excellence as an inventor with ideas far beyond his era. His pioneering work in architecture and engineering laid the foundation for the technology we enjoy today. That’s why alongside his art, the exhibition will also feature groundbreaking inventions from his notebooks recreated to scale by Italian artisans, including flying machine concepts that predate human flight by more than 400 years.  As if that wasn’t exciting enough, for the first time in history, original pages of da Vinci’s sketches and writings will touch down in Australia. The Codex Atlanticus is a 500-year-old collection of Leonardo’s innermost workings, previously displayed in the likes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre. Now, Melburnians and visitors alike will be able t

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  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Southbank

When Heather Mitchell embodied the late, great Ruth Bader Ginsburg in RBG: Of Many, One on the Sydney stage in November 2022, her performance lingered with everyone who witnessed it.  A great legal mind, feminist, and later, improbably, a pop culture darling, Ginsburg continues to have an outsized impact on culture. Mitchell made her performance of this icon feel expertly effortless. With the script by barrister-turned-playwright Suzie Miller (of Prima Facie fame) and direction by Priscilla Jackman (White Pearl), this trio of powerhouse women did justice to the notorious RBG, and made incredible theatre in the process. (Which also inspired STC’s similarly acclaimed follow-up play, Julia, about the impetus of Julia Gillard’s famous misogyny speech.)  As Divya Venkatarmaran wrote in her four-star review for Time Out: “RBG: Of Many, One is a sweeping but satisfying portrayal of its subject’s life, delving into its main subjects with grace and patience, in (a relatively short) 90-odd minutes. And it’s an unexpectedly funny watch...” If you missed it, don’t feel bad – we just received news that will turn that FOMO around. Sydney Theatre Company announced today that RBG: Of Many, One will be returning in 2024 for an extensive Australian tour including seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra – and Heather Mitchell will be reprising the role.  The national tour of RBG: Of Many, One will open at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House in February 2024, Canberra Theatre Centr

  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals

From April 5-28, the picturesque region of the Macedon Ranges will play host to a huge celebration of all things autumn. The Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival features a program of events, markets, workshops and guided walks, plus plenty of opportunities to sample delicious local produce. Eat your way through 43 heavenly pastries as part of the Autumn Pie and Tart Trail. Both savoury and sweet pies will be available, including offerings like a lamb shank pot pie, Guinness pie, lemon meringue ice cream pie and an American cherry pie. Yum! Feeling thirsty? Take your pick from ten Tipple Trails, which will give you a taste of the best craft brewers, ciders, gin distillers, country pubs and winemakers. Or you could try the Edgy Veg Trail, which will see local pubs, cafés and restaurants create innovative plant-based dishes. Local musicians are set to take over community halls across the region as part of the Live and Local line-up, with Jarrod Shaw, the Whiskey Rogues and Shout Out To The Girls! scheduled to appear. And be sure to pick up your festival map and passport – collect all the stamps and you will go into the draw to win the highly sought-after 2024 Autumn Festival prize. Many of these events are free, but to find out more and book tickets where appropriate, head to the website. After more autumnal fun? Here are the best places to see autumn leaves in Victoria.

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink
  • Docklands

The perfect antidote to being hangry at work has arrived, and it’s tucked away in a cosy urban neighbourhood in the heart of Melbourne. Perk up your day with great food and tunes at the Melbourne Quarter Eats and Beats month-long celebration this April.  Enjoy $10 meal deals all month, including freshly made arancini from Saluministi, two exclusive mouthwatering April burger options in beef or chicken from Royal Stacks, a range of counter sandwiches from Sergy Boy, and your choice of two hand rolls and a miso soup or water from Sushi Sushi.   Other participating stores include Fishbowl, Peddler and Gilbert – so you’ll be spoiled for choice, and maybe even spoiled for dinner as these offers are just so good. Plus, there are a bunch of giveaways running throughout the month that will really sweeten the (already great) deal. Go into the draw to win a mini getaway for two, which includes a one-night stay at Hotel No, a Saluministi breakfast package, and a restaurant voucher for Garden State Hotel's restaurant-within-a-restaurant Tippy Tay. To cap it all off, there will be tunes and vibes aplenty, with a different local Melbourne DJ and artist playing each week in April. It’s the perfect way to drown out any worries from the work week, and just unwind with some cheap eats and music.  Situated between Flinders and Collins street – with greenery and creativity galore – the Melbourne Quarter is a prime location for this little slice of CBD paradise. To learn more about Melbourne Quar

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  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • Melbourne

The Immigration Museum on Flinders Street is getting its first major exhibition in several years and it’s all about leaning into what makes us happy. The exhibition, called Joy, opens on Friday, March 1 and will run through until August 29, 2024. Joy features seven brand new commissioned installations from leading Victorian-based creatives, each expressing the artists’ own personal joy. You can expect an emotive adventure where colour and storytelling combine, and big happy moments that sit alongside more reflective ones. Experience the vibrant power of joy as you walk amongst room-sized interactive artworks, or contribute your own joy with the collaborative ‘share your joy’ wall. Venezuelan-born Australian artist Nadia Hernández has filled the Immigration Museum’s hallway with bold collage works, ‘future positive’ fashion designer Nixi Killick has created a ‘joy generator’ and queer artist Spencer Harrison has created a runway where you can strut your stuff. Jazz Money, a Wiradjuri poet and artist, has fused sculpture, audio and mural for a work reflecting the history of the museum site, while local artist Beci Orpin has taken over a room with a giant toy rabbit made to be hugged. Afghanistan-Australian visual artist and poet Elyas Alavi and Sher Ali have also created a large-scale mural illustrating a Persian myth.  Lastly, much-loved pop artist and designer Callum Preston has constructed a full-scale replica of a nineties video store, a joy he never thought he would miss u

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