Things to do in Melbourne today
After the success of its winter whisky bar, Brunswick bar Howler has decided to turn its sights towards Mexico for the warmer months. Howler’s pop-up bar will be serving a selection of specialty tequilas, cocktails and tacos all throughout summer. Howler has more than 60 tequilas and mezcals, and punters will be able to try modern twists on Margaritas, Palomas and other tequila-based cocktails (complete with a range of fun salts and rims, naturally). Our pick is the La Dama Rosa cocktail, which uses jalapeño-infused Herradura Plata tequila, ruby red grapefruit juice, agave, lime juice and a cayenne salt rim. You can also grab jugs of rosé sangria or try a traditional Michelada, which is made of Mexican beer, lime juice and an assortment of sauces, spices and peppers. Food-wise, there will be plenty of tacos to go around (think slow-cooked meats, fish and vegan options), and you can score two of them for $10. The Fiesta de Tequila bar is open from 4pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during summer.
Everyone who grew up in Melbourne understands the magic of the Myer Christmas windows. Every year the display is different, and every year the scenes make the children of Melbourne squeal with delight. Melbourne Museum is creating a very special exhibition to celebrate the Myer Christmas windows of years gone by. The museum wants help in creating the exhibition, putting a call out for Melburnians to share their memories of the Myer Christmas windows. The exhibition itself will include more than 250 quirky and interesting characters from windows in past years. There will also be sketches, prototypes, props and animatronics. Many of these creations are based on children's storybooks, and they're sure to delight young visitors – and perhaps create pangs of nostalgia for those with their own memories of Christmas as children.
Summer in Melbourne means a few reliable things. It means the Boxing Day Test at the 'G, it means there will be a run of unbearable weather, it means the British backpackers turning a pleasant shade of tomato on St Kilda Beach, and for Melbourne's children, it means The Wind in the Willows at the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Australian Shakespeare Company's production of The Wind in the Willows has been playing in the same spot since 1987, and Melburnians who saw it as children are now bringing their own kids along to enjoy the timeless classic. Children can participate in the show, with Head Chief Rabbit teaching young attendees how to become rabbits themselves by waggling their ears and wiggling their noses. There are singalong songs and participation aplenty, so even the smallest theatregoers will be charmed. Pack a picnic and start creating a tradition for your own kids to tell their kids about.
Is there any better time to be in Melbourne than January? We finally get full summer, everyone is still in holiday mode (honestly, does anyone do any work before Australia Day?), and oh yeah, the biggest event in the Southern Hemisphere – and the biggest January event anywhere – is upon us. To say the Australian Open takes over the city is an understatement. It's one of the biggest events of the year, with world-class athletes and fans from around the globe descending on our fair city to get into the action. And it wouldn't be Melbourne if we didn't keep them well fed. The AO Chef Series will welcome four world-famous chefs to the Glasshouse for 12 evenings of outstanding dining. Each sitting involves a specially created five-course degustation with matched wines as the chefs – Simone Zanoni, Albert Roux, Alejandro Saravia and Duncan Welgemoed – tell their personal food stories. Simone Zanoni is the Italian-born chef of Michelin-starred Le George, the Mediterranean-style restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. A protégé of Gordon Ramsay, Zanoni has worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants in France and the UK. For AO Chef Series, Zanoni will be crafting a degustation that reflects his Italian heritage and French influences. Jan 14-16, 6.30pm. Alejandro Saravia is the innovative Peruvian-born owner-executive chef of Pastuso, the popular and award-winning Melbourne restaurant. Saravia’s degustation presents his new restaurant concept, Farmer's Daughte
Oh buoy! The team behind massive outdoor eatery and beer garden Arbory Bar and Eatery have brought back their famed floating bar and restaurant Arbory Afloat for summer. The giant, nautical-themed floating pontoon has moored itself alongside Arbory’s permanent fixture beside platform 13 of Flinders Street Station. This year Arbory Afloat has teamed up with Parks Victoria to create a barge that's 19 metres bigger than last year’s (it now sits at over 69 metres in length). As well as boasting 360-degree views of the Yarra River and the CBD skyline, Arbory Afloat has an extensive cocktail list (think fruit-driven cocktails like Pomegranate Daquiris and Watermelon Sangria) and a Mediterranean-inspired wine list. Hungry? You can dig into fresh seafood including grilled southern calamari and eight different wood-fired pizzas. Entertainment has been curated by Sky Lab and will feature some of the country's buzziest DJs who will be soundtracking your balmy evenings all throughout summer. A curated session called Arbory.Live will happen every weekend and feature music acts, DJs and theatrical performances. Look out for Supple Fox who will be bringing their roving theatrical performance 'Aviary at Arbory' to Arbory Afloat. Expect a flock of avian creatures flocking to the barge at sunset with a series of song and dance performances. Arbory Afloat will be open from 11am to 1am, seven days a week, including Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. If last summer is anything to go by, Ar
Think you can’t see the Moon indoors? Think again. Scienceworks has announced an exciting new exhibition for December, which lets visitors take in a replica of the Moon close up. Museum of the Moon is essentially a seven-metre diameter spherical sculpture that features large-scale NASA imagery of the lunar surface. It’s shown at a scale of 1:500,000, which means each centimetre of the sculpture represents five kilometres of the Moon’s actual surface. Created by UK artist Luke Jerram, Museum of the Moon has travelled over the world in recent years. What’s cool about the installation is that it blends detailed lunar imagery, internally illuminated “moonlight” and a specially designed soundtrack created by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones. Virtual reality experience and game Opaque Space: Earthlight – Lunar Hub will illuminate the way you experience the moon, as well. This 40-minute experience will feature 20 minutes in-game and uses headsets and backpack PCs to allow players to move freely around the play space. Entrance to Opaque Space will have an additional charge. There will also be an exciting range of public programs during the Museum of the Moon's residency. Entrance into the exhibition is included with museum entry (free for children and concession and $15 for adults).
It’s unlikely that any photographer boasts a portfolio like Australian artist Polly Borland’s. It’s as chock full with celebrities as it is with fetishists – Borland spent five years documenting the surreal lives of adults who get their kicks by dressing up as infants. But it’s the wild diversity of her work that is perhaps its most distinctive quality. In Polyverse, the upcoming showcase of her new and recent work at the NGV, another facet of Borland’s photography will be on display. These otherworldly images feature human subjects distorted with stockings, gags and lumps of padding; smeared with make-up; bodies straining and restrained in poses that are both sexually charged and monstrous. It’s a collection that toes a fine yet powerful line between shock and awe. You could be forgiven for assuming the various phases of her output – spanning mainstream fashion editorials to avant garde tapestries – were created by different artists. And yet there is a unifying thread that binds her canon together. Borland’s images often hide a dual personality, albeit on a sometimes inscrutable level. Emotional extremes are superimposed, challenging the viewer to make sense of an underlying contradiction. “I think that’s partly the success of my work, but it’s also partly its downfall too,” Borland says of the duality found her shots. “When you’re conveying insights or ideas or other ways of seeing things, you’re giving the viewer another way of looking at the world. But I think what y
The NGV has announced extended opening hours for Between Two Worlds to coincide with the Australian Open. From January 14 to 28, the exhibition will be open each night until 7pm. The National Gallery of Victoria has brought a world-first exhibition of works by MC Escher to Melbourne this summer. Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo features 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. Escher rose to prominence in the 20th-century art world for his mind-bending and mathematically complex works like ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’, ‘Relativity’ and ‘Balcony’. Though he considered himself to have little mathematical ability his art has become iconic for its seamless tessellation, warped perspectives and impossible objects – like endless, connected staircases and mirrored self-portraits. The works are on loan from the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague and are joined by an immersive experience created by Nendo design studio. By manipulating geometry, space and perception like Escher, Nendo has created a never-before-seen exhibit that will bring the artist’s work to life. Cathy Leahy, the NGV's senior curator of prints and drawings says that Nendo is using Escher's playfulness to create the world-first experience. "Escher works with positive and negative space a lot and shapes transforming from one element to another. Nendo have created this space that you walk through that h
A historical exhibition commemorating the life of South African leader and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela has arrived in Melbourne. Mandela My Life: The Exhibition will chronicle Mandela’s ongoing fight for freedom and human rights amidst apartheid in South Africa with a collection of original artifacts, memorabilia as well as film and audio archives. The exhibition is endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, an organisation set up in 1999 by Mandela as a vehicle for his charitable, rural development and diplomatic work. It will be the first time such a comprehensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia associated with the former president has ever left South Africa. Coming to the Melbourne Museum in September 2018, the exhibition’s premiere coincides with what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday.
Got a great idea in the works but haven’t had time to move it past the idea stage? Side Project Sessions is here to help. This regular event series will helps Melburnians get their side project up and running. If you’ve got your project idea, come along to this one-day event on Sunday, January 20 to get the ball rolling. Guests will be provided coffee from Padre Coffee, refreshments and light snacks and be able to take part in a goal-refining session by host Madeleine Dore from Extraordinary Routines. The idea is to gain clarity, action and momentum as well as learn some valuable accountability tips to help keep you on track. The session runs from 10am to 4.30pm. Tickets are $65.
More things to do in Melbourne today
Find all the best art exhibitions in Melbourne over the next few weeks.
January is usually relatively quiet when it comes to theatre, but with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child finally touching down under – and Midsumma Festival getting underway – there are more than a few highlights.
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.
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.
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.
From food to laneways, drinking to ghosts, these tours are the best way to get to know a different side of Melbourne.
We've scoped out the best activities Melbourne has to offer kids of all ages, and even a few that will keep the whole family entertained.
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.
Looking for a movie to see this week in Melbourne? Check out the latest releases in Australian cinemas, all reviewed by Time Out critics.