Get us in your inbox

Search
Melbourne skyline over Flinders Street
Photograph: Dmitry Osipenko/Unsplash

Things to do in Melbourne today

It's your social emergency saviour for fun things to do in Melbourne today

Advertising

Wondering what to do in Melbourne today? We can help. Check out our curated guide to all the fun things to do in Melbourne right now and here's a list of things to do at home if you'd rather not venture out.

Want more? Check out these great free things to do, or head outside on a hike or bike ride. Want to plan for the weekend? Here's our guide to this weekend's events.

Things to do in Melbourne today

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • price 3 of 4
  • Melbourne

If you didn't see the previous iteration of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Melbourne (set over a bottom-breaking epic two nights), then the return of one of the most hyped plays on the roster is sure to grab your attention this time around – particularly considering it has been condensed down into a one-night production. Kicking off this May at its beloved home in the Princess Theatre, the fast-paced reimagining was penned by original creatives J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.  Producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender said of the new production: "We can’t wait to re-open with the reimagined version of our play and introduce even more new audiences to the joy and excitement of live theatre. We look forward to sharing the magic with theatregoers in Melbourne for a long time to come." If you don't know a lot about the play, then here's the lowdown: it's a sequel to the series, based on a story conceived with Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. We won't give too much away about the plot, but audiences can expect to find the gang 19 years on from the Battle of Hogwarts. While Harry himself grapples with the troubles of his past, his son Albus deals with living in the shadow of his famous father. The play won a record-breaking nine Olivier Awards in London and six Tony Awards in New York, as well as seeing rave reviews and a mammoth one million tickets sold in Australia for the local production.  

  • Theatre
  • Southbank

"At our beach, at our magic beach…" As far as children’s books go, it’s a pretty memorable opening line. Alison Lester’s classic Australian story, Magic Beach, has been the centrepiece of many a school bookshelf since it was first published in 1990 – and now it is coming to the stage. From May 19, Arts Centre Melbourne will play host to this whimsical tale – a celebration of the power of imagination and the differences that make every child special – for an exclusive eight-show run.  Multi award-winning playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer has adapted the book for the stage, and Leisel Badorrek is directing. The pair lead a talented team of creatives who have also worked on The Gruffalo and The 13-, 26-, 52-, 78- and 91-Storey Treehouses. In case you needed a refresher, Magic Beach (which is inspired by a real-life beach in Walkerville, Gippsland) tells the story of a family who go on a yearly beach holiday. This isn’t just any old beach though, it’s a magic beach, where everything you imagine becomes real. But one year things are different – and as the oldest child begins to grow up, she questions whether she has to leave the magic of the beach behind. Magic Beach will transport audiences to a wonderful world of text, song, light, shadow and movement, and is suitable for children aged three to eight. For more information and to book your tickets, head to the website.

Paid content
Advertising
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Is Hamilton, the smash-hit American history musical that won a whopping 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize when it debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won the hearts of critics and audiences the world over, as good as everyone says? In a word, yes. If you want to stop reading here and just book your tickets, we’ll understand.  There is a reason it is the most hyped show on Earth, and its writer and first star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, is now a household name. Some 3 million people watched the musical when it appeared on Disney+ in July 2020, and almost 8 million more have seen it live, in cities across the US, in London’s West End and in Sydney. Now it’s Melbourne's turn, with the show taking over Her Majesty's Theatre.  With the soundtrack available on Spotify and the original Broadway cast version available to anyone with a Disney+ account on demand, Hamilton is competing not so much with other musicals for your dollars and attention (there are no other shows of this type that can match the show’s tactical brilliance), but with itself. Most in the audience are at least familiar with the show by this point, and quite a few are able to mouth along to every word behind their masks. If you can see the original Broadway version any time you want and listen to the soundtrack 24 hours a day, what power does the staged version still hold?  In a word, magic. The entire cast is extraordinary, with every one of Andy Blankenbuehler's dance moves sharp as a tack and the constantly shifting stag

  • Art
  • Sculpture and installations
  • Melbourne

UK artist Luke Jerram returns to Melbourne with Gaia, following a successful season showing his illuminated installation, Museum of the Moon, in Federation Square. This time around, the Earth is his subject: a 7-metre wide, internally-lit sculpture rendered with detailed NASA imagery of our beloved blue planet, rotating once every four minutes. The artwork is accompanied by a bespoke soundtrack made by BAFTA Award-winning composer Dan Jones. Here Jerram hopes to invoke the Overview Effect in everyday people – a feeling of awe at the scale of our universe that often inspires renewed awareness of the fragility of life. Astronauts famously describe viewing the Earth from this perspective as a 'cognitive shift' that allows them to discover human connectedness and an understanding of our responsibilities to the planet. Experience it yourself at St Paul's Cathedral for free until 26 June.

Advertising
  • Art
  • Photography
  • St Kilda

The Jewish Museum of Australia is presenting works from one of the world's most risqué fashion photographers in Helmut Newton: In Focus, a definitive exploration of the work of German-born, and one-time Melbourne-based photographer Helmut Newton.  Once dubbed the 'king of kink', Helmut Newton was once one of the 20th century's most provocative and prolific fashion photographers. Shooting fashion royalty like Claudia Schiffer and Grace Jones, Newton is known for his collaborations with international magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair. Helmut: In Focus is a collaborative exhibition between the Jewish Museum of Australia and Photo 2022 International Festival of Photography and allows the general public to view Newton's expansive photography portfolio, but also dive deep into his Jewish roots and early life.  Helmut Newton: In Focus brings together fashion, photography and visual arts audiences alike.

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

Duluth, Minnesota, 1934: as the Great Depression kicks into high gear and winter takes the city in its icy grip, a number of characters gather at the failing boarding house operated by Nick Laine (Peter Kowitz), all of them grappling with disillusionment and loneliness – and their woes are inextricably expressed through the songs of one Bob Dylan.  Mr and Mrs Burke (Greg Stone and Helen Dallimore) lost everything in the Crash and are traveling to find work, at the same time trying to care for their intellectually disabled adult son, Elias (Blake Erickson). Widow Mrs Neilsen (Christina O’Neill) is waiting for an inheritance from her late husband and hoping his debts and legal costs don’t leave her bankrupt. Untrustworthy bible salesman Reverend Marlowe (Grant Piro) plies his trade and dispenses dubious wisdom, while former boxer Joe Scott (played in the Melbourne production by Elijah Williams), recently out of prison, just wants to keep his head down. As for Nick, his business is failing, his wife Elizabeth (Lisa McCune) has dementia, he’s having an affair with Mrs Neilsen, and while his alcoholic son Gene (James Smith) harbours dreams of being a writer, his adopted African American daughter, Marianne (played in the Melbourne production by Chemon Theys) is pregnant to an unknown father. Nick hopes to marry her off to elderly local gentleman Mr Perry (Peter Carroll – played by Laurence Coy for Melbourne's opening night), but the arrival of the handsome Joe may have thrown a spa

Advertising
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Melbourne's fairy godmother has really come through for the city. Rodgers and Hammerstein's opulent production of Cinderella is coming to the city from May 2022, bringing with it all the magic and music of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show.  The fairytale musical is known for its beautiful set, which premiered on Broadway in 2013 and was so popular that it ran for two years. What you might not realise, however, is that this production of Cinderella was originally written for television. It first aired on the small screen in 1957 starring Julie Andrews and garnered more than 100 million viewers (a record for the time). It's been remade for television several times (including notably in 1997 starring Brandy in the lead role and Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother), but the 2022 season marks the first time Australians have been able to see the enchanting show on local stages. The Australian season of Cinderella stars Shubshri Kandiah (Aladdin, Fangirls) as Ella/Cinderella, Ainsley Melham (Aladdin, Merrily We Roll Along) as Prince Topher, and Silvie Paladino (Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables) as Marie the Fairy Godmother. Expect a performance filled with glittering glass slippers, bewitched pumpkins and extravagant gowns, all tempered with a few unusual twists. This Cinderella is no damsel in distress and knows how to fight to make her dreams come true. Cinderella will make its Australian premiere at Melbourne's Regent Theatre on May 20, before going on to play at Sydney's Lyric

  • Things to do
  • Fairs and festivals

Attention sweet tooths: arguably the state’s sweetest destinations – Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and the Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie – are throwing a month-long Rocky Road Festival of Flavours this May. Make your way to these chocolateries to get the inside scoop on why this combination of nuts, marshmallows and chocolate has remained a beloved treat over the years. On top of the classic iteration, these chocolate shops will also take the treat to new heights with 31 different limited-edition flavour combos: think Golden Gaytime, Espresso Martini, black forest and licorice, among many others.  Go all out with the Ultimate Rocky Road Festival Box ($110) that includes all 31 festival flavours, or head straight to the three-metre-long Ultimate Pick and Mix Counter to create your own custom four-pack ($16) or get a one-metre-long box ($65) to take home. You'll also find more than just blocks of chocolate; all of these chocolate shops have all-day cafes where you can sip rocky road hot chocolates and taste a rocky road ice cream. If you can't make it out to the Yarra Valley, Surf Coast or the Mornington Peninsula, you can also shop all of these treats online for delivery anywhere in Australia. Check out the online shop, find out more about the festival or book in for tasting sessions through the website.  Looking for more things to do? Check out our round-up of the best things happening in Melbourne this week.

Advertising
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Southbank

There are gasps of recognition throughout the Sumner Theatre as audience members notice the set for Aidan Fennessy’s The Heartbreak Choir. An old CFA Hall, the cornerstone of many Australian communities and even more childhoods, has been replicated with loving detail by the show’s set designer, Christina Smith. A dusty portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth looks down on hardwood floors lit by tinkering fluorescent lights; dirt brown curtains frame a disused stage, and a finicky heater sits next to an in-tune piano (for this we must suspend disbelief).  This is the rehearsal venue for the Heartbreak Choir, a community-led band of misfits that have broken off from the lead choir of a small town in regional Victoria in an act of protest. What exactly motivated this protest is the unsaid mystery that will propel us through much of the show’s first act. All we know is that we’ve come to this new choir as its members struggle to reckon with a tragic loss. Before the show begins, director Peter Houghton names another loss, that of the playwright, who passed away in 2020. There’s an empty seat left in the theatre for him, we’re told.  In The Heartbreak Choir, Fennessy has rendered a regional Victorian community with humour and an attention to detail that few could replicate. Like his previous work, The Architect, the show brings us all manner of personal grievances wrapped in a distinctly Australian brand of levity. This levity allows Fennessy to grapple with a wider issue – sexual abu

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • price 3 of 4
  • Southbank

A deathly ill courtesan and a young man fall head-over-heels in love – but money, reputation and health get in the way of their ill-fated romance. If you guessed Moulin Rouge!, you're close; this is the plot of La Traviata, a 150-year-old opera by Giuseppe Verde that went on to inspire the famed Baz Luhrmann musical. It's rarely out of circulation for Opera Australia, and as an 'old faithful' production, it's always a crowd-pleaser. But in this 2022 revival, lead soprano Stacey Alleaume wears the role of Violetta like a second skin, bringing to life the anguish, cheekiness and joie de vivre of the character.  When the curtains draw open, you'll immediately be immersed in the Belle Époque through set designer Michael Yeargan's lavish recreation of a glamorous party in a Paris salon. The stage is packed with partygoers, but it's not long before all eyes are on Alleaume, whose rich, clear voice conveys Violetta's strength and resilience while battling her illness. Even if you're not familiar with La Traviata, you'll likely recognise the classic drinking song 'Brindisi', sung by Violetta's soon-to-be lover Alfredo Germont (Ho-Yoon Chung). It's made its way into countless pop culture moments, including advertisements and films like The Godfather. As Alfredo, Chung is persistent, bold and passionate – but while the tone of his singing has superb clarity, in duets with Alleaume, he's often overpowered by the sheer enormity of her voice. Regardless, the pair have strong emotional che

More things to do in Melbourne

Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising