Cass Knowlton is the editorial director of Time Out. She covers events, the city and the built environment, public transport, things to do, travel, some restaurants and bars, some theatre and arts – all kinds of things! She grew up in New York City and spent five years in Dublin before moving to Melbourne in early 2007. She has a master's degree in journalism and spent seven years at Australian political publication Crikey. She plays roller derby, so if she's not out enjoying Melbourne's rich and diverse cultural life, she's probably putting wheels on her feet and smashing into people.

Reach her at cass.knowlton@timeout.com or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram: @Cassper_K

Cassidy Knowlton

Cassidy Knowlton

Editorial Director, Time Out Australia

Articles (129)

31 ways to live more sustainably in Melbourne

31 ways to live more sustainably in Melbourne

1. Travel by public transport. Not only will you save carbon emissions created by individual cars, but Melbourne‚Äôs tram network is entirely offset by solar power. 2. If you do need to travel by car, consider joining a car share service, like GoGet. After all, most cars are parked 95 per cent of the time. 3. Walk or cycle when you can. Melbourne has just been ranked one of the best cities in the world to live car-free. 4. Buy (and use) a reusable cup for your takeaway coffees. See responsiblecafes.org for a list of caf√©s that will give you a discount for using a reusable cup. Need more than one coffee in a day? Consider a Huskee cup, made from coffee plant husks ‚Äď bring your cup into a participating caf√© and you can swap it for a fresh one. Or you could drink your coffee on premises ‚Äď what‚Äôs five minutes? 5. Learn about urban beekeeping at Somers Bees or Rooftop Honey, then start your own hive on your balcony, backyard or roof to encourage biodiversity. Plus you‚Äôll get free, delicious honey. 6. Buy your fruit and veggies from an accredited farmers‚Äô market. 7. No time to get to the market? Ceres Environment Park will deliver fresh, seasonal, organic fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy items, as well as bakery goods, home and beauty products and pantry staples. All items are sourced locally and support local farmers. 8. Buy your dry goods in bulk at the Source Bulk Foods, in BYO containers. 9. BYO containers and get your cleaning products from Roving Refills. These folks travel

The best ways to celebrate Bastille Day in Melbourne

The best ways to celebrate Bastille Day in Melbourne

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!¬†July 14 is Bastille Day, and it marks the start of the French Revolution and the beginning of the end of the French monarchy. In France, it's a huge cause for celebration. For Australians, it's a bit like St Patrick's Day¬†‚ÄĒ it doesn't matter if you're not French, you can still participate in the festivities.¬† We've put together a list of the best events happening this Bastille Day, so whether you want to celebrate July 14 because it's part of your heritage or if you're just in it for the croissants and Champagne, here's where you'll find the best festivities. Just want the best croissants in Melbourne? You need to go here.¬†Or find out what else is going on in Melbourne in July.

The 13 best flower delivery services in Melbourne

The 13 best flower delivery services in Melbourne

Let's face it: we've all forgotten about that special day at least once. Suddenly V-Day, an anniversary or a birthday crept up on us and we were almost caught out ‚Äď but, luckily, that's why same-day flower delivery services exist. Same-day flower deliveries have¬†rescued many a last-minute panic and quite frankly, almost any¬†special occasion. Order from these florists and plant nurseries by around midday and they'll be delivered later that evening, and no one has to know that it was last minute. For more gift ideas, see our guides to the¬†best florists in Melbourne, the¬†best chocolate shops in Melbourne,¬†and the¬†best plant nurseries. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click¬†here.

8 of the most quirky Airbnbs in Victoria

8 of the most quirky Airbnbs in Victoria

Heighten the experience of a fun city like Melbourne and stay in a quirky Airbnb for a wholesome, charming trip away in Victoria. From gorgeous gypsy wagons to rustic retreats, there's something out there for everyone. Victoria has so much on offer that captures the essence of the state. Fun, quirky, charming, you name it. The hardest part? Trying to pick an Airbnb to stay in, it's going to be a hard choice. Our two cents? Kick it with nature and forget the world for a little while. It's bliss. These are the quirkiest Airbnbs in Victoria.  RECOMMENDED: Cosy cabins you can stay in near Melbourne This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best romantic getaways in Victoria

The best romantic getaways in Victoria

Overseas jaunts and interstate sojourns can be great (when we can do them!) but there's nothing quite like a romantic mini-break to recharge your batteries. We've travelled across regional Victoria to find beautiful, secluded spots where you and your significant other can relax, unwind and spend some quality time together. They are all within an easy drive of Melbourne, so make a romantic playlist, fuel up the car and prepare for the sparks to fly.  RECOMMENDED: National parks within driving distance of Melbourne What to eat, drink and see in East Gippsland  Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every hotel or Airbnb featured below, we've based our list on top reviews and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The 30 best wineries to visit in Australia

The 30 best wineries to visit in Australia

Australia‚Äôs charming climates and picturesque landscapes are a recipe for some of the world‚Äôs finest wines. You‚Äôll find more than 100 grapes grown across our leading wine regions, which are concentrated in South Australia‚Äôs Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, NSW‚Äôs Hunter Valley, Victoria‚Äôs Yarra Valley and beyond. You could spend weeks jumping between cellar doors in each region, sipping fine wines all day long ‚Äď but that‚Äôs probably not entirely sensible. Why not start with our 30 top picks, and take it from there? Whether you opt to journey as part of a group or embark on an impromptu self-guided tour, these are the wineries to uncork. RECOMMENDED: Plan your winery tour around a meal at one of Australia‚Äôs best restaurants.

The 8 best eco-friendly Airbnbs in Victoria

The 8 best eco-friendly Airbnbs in Victoria

Travel is wonderful, but it's not always the most sustainable pastime. From the fossil fuels burnt while getting to your destination to the road snacks in plastic packaging, many of the things we love about travel have a lasting environmental impact. Plus, when you get where you're going you're often likely to be more wasteful with water, electricity and other utilities than you might be at your own home.¬† But going on a holiday doesn't have to mean leaving a negative environmental impact¬†in your wake. We have found ten eco-friendly properties in Victoria where you can relax, and secure in the knowledge that your trip isn't costing the Earth. And not only are these destinations environmentally friendly, they also happen to be pretty fabulous. Happy travels! Looking for more holiday inspo? ūüöóCheck out these gorgeous Victorian road trips.¬† Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in and review every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on our expert knowledge of the destination covered, editorial reviews, user reviews, hotel amenities and in-depth research to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The best winter getaways from Melbourne in Victoria

The best winter getaways from Melbourne in Victoria

If you have a tendency to go into hibernation mode when winter rolls around, you're not alone. Melbourne's winters are cold, wet and painfully windy, and leaving your house can be a big ask. But for the brave among us who are eager to embrace the cold, there are several amazing winter getaways worth bundling up for. Hit the slopes and then soak in mineral-rich hot springs, or hunker down in a cosy cabin fitted out with a roaring fire while sipping whisky and warming yourself up from the inside. Whatever kind of winter getaway you're after, here are our favourite spots for a cool-climate caper.  Looking to embrace the cold closer to home? Here are the best things to do in Melbourne this winter. Keen to hit the slopes? Check out our comprehensive guide to Victoria's snow season.

Eight secret spots to visit in Melbourne

Eight secret spots to visit in Melbourne

Given that Melburnians pride themselves on being able to traverse the entire CBD via an intricate system of connecting laneways, it's no surprise the city has a few secrets up its sleeve. If you're looking to explore some of Melbourne's lesser-known highlights, here are some of our favourites.  Looking for more secret spots? Check out Melbourne's hidden laneway bars, subterranean art spaces or places to go for a little quiet contemplation. Just don't tell anyone, OK?  RECOMMENDED: 101 things to do in Melbourne at least once in your life. 

The best pub trivia nights in Melbourne

The best pub trivia nights in Melbourne

Fancy yourself a bit of a general knowledge whiz? Put your brains to the test at these pub trivia nights, where questions on anything from film to sport are supplemented by cool beers and food specials. Nearly all of them are free to join, and fun prizes like bar tabs or jugs are up for grabs. Pub trivia isn't the only fun you can have while drinking ‚Äď check out our top bars for dancing, first dates and live music.

Bars with board games in Melbourne

Bars with board games in Melbourne

There are bars that are good for serious wine swilling, bars that are good for getting all hot and sweaty on the d-floor, and some bars that make you just want to hang out with your mates for hours, play games and have a few drinks. Try out various libations with different amusements (Connect Four with beers? Chess with Martinis?), and you might just find your winning combinations.  For more drinking fun, make a race out of finding Melbourne's best hidden bars, or visit our favourite karaoke bars. 

The 5 most luxury Airbnbs in Victoria

The 5 most luxury Airbnbs in Victoria

One great part about going on holiday is the temporary privilege of pretending that your accommodation is actually your home, and that your fun-filled vacay is your everyday life; that's never more true than when you stay somewhere truly luxe. Amazing pools, fancy furniture and giant rooms become yours, letting you live out your lady-of-the-manor fantasies, at least for a few days.  We've sought out the most luxe Airbnbs in Victoria, where you can relax in ultimate comfort and style. A bit out of your price range? Here are some of our favourite quirky Airbnbs instead (we promise, they're affordable!).  Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts, and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

Listings and reviews (114)

Dinosaurs at the Zoo

Dinosaurs at the Zoo

Working in a secret lab, scientists at Victoria's main four zoos have discovered a way to clone dinosaur DNA, found inside mosquitoes trapped in amber. They've filled in the missing sequences using frog DNA to create moving, roaring dinosaurs, which you can see until July throughout the zoos. What could possibly go wrong? OK, we might have got a little bit over-excited about the prospect of dinosaurs at the zoo. These dinosaurs are large-scale models of these ancient beasts, but they will be roaming around at Healesville, Werribee, Kyabram and Melbourne zoos once again. If you're lucky, you might see a keeper waking a sleeping dinosaur, or come face to face with a moving prehistoric creature. At Melbourne Zoo, keen explorers can explore the Dino Trail and embark on an adventure into The Lost Wild tunnels and unearth hidden fossils, while enjoying dino-themed treats or tackling a scavenger hunt. Or at Werribee Zoo, become a palaentologist and go on a dino dig to excavate fossils or navigate volcanoes and lava streams. There will be daily activities and plenty of dino facts to learn, with each of the four zoos offering slightly different experiences and activities.  All four dino experiences are running from now until July 14 and the cost is included in zoo admission. Opening hours vary slightly for each zoo. For more information, visit the Zoos Victoria website. So go on and make a visit, before they go extinct again.  Looking for more things to do? Here's a guide to what's o

Section 8

Section 8

Perhaps the most unusual thing about Section 8 is that it’s still here. It is Melbourne’s longest-ever pop-up bar, first surfacing in 2006 with low overheads in a Chinatown car park, and then just never leaving. There’s not a clean line in the place, with graffiti and stickers covering almost every surface. White waistcoated waiters are nowhere to be seen, replaced with tattooed funky types who are very happy to walk you through the ever-changing beer list, shake a cocktail or dole out generous pours of wine. Section 8 is an outdoor drinking space, but the smells of nearby Chinatown eateries and smoke (from cigarettes and, sometimes, other things) mean you won’t be mistaking it for a brasserie en plein air. It’s as Melbourne as it gets, and we’re happy to report that means pure rock’n’roll.  The bar is in a converted shipping container (as are the toilets, so enter at your own risk), and of course it’s down an alley. Anything goes here, with a basketball hoop out the front available if you’re inspired to give it a go (just ask George, the bar’s super-friendly bouncer, for the ball) and taps available for DIY water.  But this is a bar, and you are obviously not here for the water. There are a few beers on tap and a lot more in bottles and tinnies, with craft brews and sours rotating through the inventory. Most drinkers are here for the beer, though there is a decent selection of liquor behind the bar and a list of a dozen or so seasonal cocktails. Wine is available in sparklin

Werribee Open Range Zoo

Werribee Open Range Zoo

You‚Äôll feel like you‚Äôve stepped through a portal to the African savannah when visiting the Werribee Open Range Zoo. This world-leading zoo is¬†about 30 minutes from the Melbourne CBD and features sprawling enclosures and animal encounters. The savannah is the highlight of the Zoo, with open-air safari buses taking visitors out to encounter giraffes, rhinos, zebras and hippopotamuses splashing in the river.¬† As well as the African savannah and walking trail featuring lions, gorillas and meerkats, the Zoo features the Australian Journey grasslands, where you can wander at your own pace and spot kangaroos and other native fauna. You‚Äôll find the greatest hits of native wildlife here ‚Äď including koalas, mountain pygmy-possums and emus. If you fancy some more you can level up your experience with a behind-the-scenes encounter that allows you to have a more intimate experience with some of the zoo‚Äôs residents. You can book a fully immersive Off-Road Safari, feed enthusiastic purple-tongued giraffes, or meet a pride of lions.¬† See the animals as the sun slips behind the savannah on an exclusive Sunset Safari, where you‚Äôll roam the plains and dine alongside meerkats. Or for the ultimate glamping experience, the Slumber Safari allows you to sleep over at the zoo and see the animals awaken across the savannah.¬† This conservation-focused zoo is part of the Zoos Victoria group, with a mission to fight extinction and strengthen the connection between people and wildlife. Profits from certai

Séance

Séance

4 out of 5 stars

"It's only 20 minutes," I think to myself. "How scary could it get for 20 minutes?"¬† I'm sitting in a pitch-black shipping container with my hands on a table in front of me and noise-cancelling headphones over my ears. The headphones are the only sensory input I have ‚Äď for now, at least. And what they're telling me is pretty damn scary. S√©ance¬†is an immersive sound experience created by Brits Glen Neath and David Rosenberg, in collaboration with Melbourne team Realscape Productions. It relies on¬†psychology and our inclination towards superstition to alter guests‚Äô perception of reality, all while never leaving¬†the shipping container.¬† But boy howdy, it sure feels like you are in a real s√©ance. The host of the s√©ance goes around to each guest in turn, asking if they are alone, asking if they are believers, and giving instructions. The soundscape is exquisitely precise ‚Äď I could point with unerring accuracy to where in the room the host is at each moment, and I dread the time when he comes to ask me some hard questions.¬† And of course, as is usually the case with s√©ances in art, things don't go strictly to plan, and spirits don't stay contained in the places you'd hope. That's when things get really scary ‚Äď and 20 minutes will feel like a lot more.¬†¬† Read about the three other Darkfield experiences you can try in Melbourne..

Flight

Flight

4 out of 5 stars

You know the drill: check your boarding pass, find your assigned seat, stow your baggage in the overhead bin and fasten your seatbelt. Make sure your tray table is in the upright position, and make sure your window blind is open for takeoff. On a monitor in front of you, a flight attendant in a blue uniform details the safety features of this aircraft. She explains that you should take a minute to find your nearest exit, bearing in mind it might be behind you. As she adjusts her pink scarf, she... wait a minute, wasn't her uniform blue? The screen flickers and she's back to blue, and you wonder if you imagined the pink. And then the lights go out.  This is Flight, the latest immersive sound experience from Melbourne company Realscape Productions, the team behind the brilliantly scary Séance, which has had two successful runs in Melbourne. That experience was legitimately terrifying, conjuring up nefarious spirits inside a shipping container using nothing but cutting-edge 3D sound design and a few vibrations.  Flight is also in a shipping container, but inside it's been fitted out to look exactly like a plane, including overhead bins, real plane seats and real plane window blinds. If you find real planes uncomfortable, physically or mentally, you'll find this one uncomfortable. And that's before the plane plunges into complete, pitch-black darkness. And then the screaming begins. Those with anxiety about flying will find Flight a nightmarish recreation of their worst fears. Th

Come from Away

Come from Away

5 out of 5 stars

When gloal hit musical¬†Come From Away touched down in Sydney last year, this big hearted show was an unexpected salve in the wake of lingering hard times. Now the show is back for a national tour in 2022-2023, landing at Theatre Royal Sydney from November 5 to January 29. Tickets are on sale now. Read on for our review: There is something perfect about¬†Come From Away¬†finally landing in Sydney.¬†The musical is set on 9/11 in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland,¬†to which 38 planes were diverted when United States airspace was closed in the wake of the terrorist attack. The almost 7,000 passengers on board, terrified, claustrophobic and desperate for news about what was happening, were taken in by the people of Gander and surrounding towns, nearly doubling the population for five days. The townsfolk gave them food, shelter and most importantly, kindness and comfort during the most horrific time in recent American history ‚Äď until 2020, of course.¬† The underlying message of kindness and compassion in the face of unspeakable horror is one that's sorely needed right now. When the planes begin to land, the women of Gander¬†start up a collection for donations, with a song that could have been penned last year: "Can I help? Is there something I need to do,¬†something to keep me from thinking of all the scenes on the¬†tube? I need something to do 'cause I can't watch the news, no I can't watch the news anymore..." The feeling of helplessness, of being unable to tear yourself away from the

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

Update: TOUR CANCELLED -¬†Frontier Touring regret to advise that Justin Bieber's Justice Tour of Australia and New Zealand has been cancelled. All tickets purchased through the official ticketing outlets will receive a refund directly from the show's ticketing agency.¬† -- One of the biggest names in music, Justin Bieber, is finally coming to Australia in November of 2022 ‚Äď and new tickets have just been released for his previously sold-out Melbourne show. It's going to be a pretty big year for Bieber, as his Australian dates¬†wrap up the end of a mammoth 52-date North American tour. It's his first world tour since 2016-17, when he played to more than 2.7 million fans.¬† The new tour is off the back of his successful latest album¬†Justice, which was certified gold in Australia and platinum in the United States. The album has been streamed nearly 9 billion times, and features his smash-hit singles ‚ÄėAnyone‚Äô, ‚ÄėLonely‚Äô, ‚ÄėHoly‚Äô, 'Stay' and 'Peaches'.¬† Bieber holds an astonishing 21 Billboard Music Awards, 2 Grammys, 2 BRIT Awards, 18 American Music Awards and 21 MTV Europe Music Awards. He will play Marvel Stadium on November 26, 2022. A new release of GA standing rear tickets for the Melbourne show go on sale Friday June 3 at midday.

Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Spooky things are happening on stage.¬†The lighting is dim, and you peer through the gloom. There at the back, is that... alive? Did it used to be? Then the lights go out, and the theatre is plunged into darkness. But it's only a play, isn't it? Nothing can get you while you're safe in your seat, right? Right? This is¬†Ghost Stories, a British horror-themed play written by¬†Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (Derren Brown TV and live shows, Peaky Blinders) that¬†has played in London for many years, including in the West End. The producers are keeping their spooky surprises¬†a secret, but there will be scares aplenty during the five-week season of¬†Ghost Stories at the Athenaeum. And, this is the first time the West End version has come to Australia. ‚ÄúYou haven‚Äôt experienced horror until you‚Äôve seen it live on stage,‚Ä̬†says Nathan Alexander, producer at Realscape Productions, which is presenting the Australian version. ‚ÄúThe show is thrilling, chilling and we couldn‚Äôt be more excited for Australia to experience the rollercoaster that is Ghost Stories.‚Ä̬† Will there be jump scares? Based on the trailer on the website, almost certainly. Will there be creeps, crawls and general bumps in the night? Most definitely. The show comes with a warning label that it's not for the faint of heart or those with nerve conditions. Fearless Melburnians can see Ghost Stories from now until November 5 at the Athenaeum, with tickets on sale now. The Aussie all-star cast was announced ear

The Clyde Hotel

The Clyde Hotel

Melbourne Uni favourite the Clyde Hotel has been going since at least 1866, and we can‚Äôt imagine much has changed since then. Early Carlton Football Club meetings were held at the Clyde, and Blues fans (and those in other jerseys) still flock to the pub during the footy season to watch the flat screens in the beer garden or main bar.¬† Food at the Clyde is what you‚Äôd expect ‚Äď parmas, burgers, steak, fish and chips ‚Äď but in a nod to its modern clientele it also offers gluten-free and vegan options. And although the kitchen serves during set lunch and dinner hours during the week, chips and wedges are always available to keep punters sated. Staff are friendly and always happy to explain the beers on rotating taps, or you can opt for the classics of Carlton Draught, Furphy, Guinness or Coopers. The wine list is mostly Australian, with a few New Zealand drops and the odd Italian Prosecco thrown in. Wines start at $8 a glass and go up to $40-$60 a bottle. Make sure you say hello to Darlene, the grey-haired lady who oversees the running of the Clyde. And while you‚Äôre at it, tickle her ears ‚Äď Darlene is the Clyde‚Äôs resident cat, and she‚Äôs an absolute beaut.¬†

Shedfest

Shedfest

Everyone loves tasting their way around the Yarra Valley, but with hundreds of producers and some very big names, sometimes some of the smaller players get overlooked. But once a year they band together for Shedfest, a weekend festival celebrating the Yarra Valley's smaller wineries.  This is the annual Shedfest, which has always focused on family-owned wineries. Venues open their sheds (where they store equipment and barrels) to the public for special tastings, as well as live music, food and entertainment. Some wineries even have games (think croquet, pétanque and lawn games), so you can make the most of spring weather and make a whole day of it.  This year, the festivities will take place on October 8 and 9. Tickets start from $35, which includes unlimited tastings. Mark your calendar.

Hamilton

Hamilton

5 out of 5 stars

Hamilton will end its successful run in Melbourne on Sunday 15 January, 2023. Session times have been released up until mid-December ‚Äď see our full session list at the bottom of the page, and stay tuned for final dates and ticket release. Read on for our Melbourne review. 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‚Äôll 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‚Äôs West End and in Sydney. Now it‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 Broadw

Hamilton

Hamilton

5 out of 5 stars

Note: Time Out reviewed the Melbourne production. Some cast members have changed. 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 and Melbourne. Now it’s Brisbane's turn, with the show taking over the Lyric Theatre, QPAC.  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, wi

News (277)

Calling all Disnerds: the Disney Cruise Line is finally landing in Australia

Calling all Disnerds: the Disney Cruise Line is finally landing in Australia

The House of Mouses's famous family-friendly cruises have been setting sail across the globe for decades now, and they're finally slated for a run in Australia.  The first season of Disney Magic at Sea (which sets sail this October) was so popular that Disney Cruise Line has now announced a new season of cruises departing Australia and New Zealand in 2024 and through to 2025. You'll be able to embark on two to seven-day cruises filled with Disney magic, and hang out with characters like Captain Mickey Mouse, Captain Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto, as well as characters from the Star Wars and Marvel universes. As you'd expect with Disney, there will be plenty of entertainment, including musical performances and original theatrical shows. Of course, there will be plenty for small Disney fans, with the Disney Oceaneer Club taking small sailors on a Frozen-themed adventure. Kids can also play in a multi-level replica of Andy's room from Toy Story or learn to save the world at the Marvel Super Hero Academy. And while the kids are busy, adults can relax in the adults-only Quiet Cove pool, get pampered at the Senses Spa and Salon or enjoy fine dining (and adult conversation) at Palo restaurant.  The first of these magical cruises will set sail from Sydney Harbour on October 28, 2023. Bookings are now open for the 2024-25 season, which will visit ports in Noumea, Hobart and Eden. We recommend getting in quick, considering how far in advance the first season sold.  For more info or t

Score free tickets to workshops and concerts in the city

Score free tickets to workshops and concerts in the city

What's better than a party? A free party, of course. So we at Time Out are shouting our readers free tickets to some of the hottest parties in town at nightlife precinct YCK Laneways. The bars of YCK Laneways are hosting a series of brilliant parties and workshops run by some of the coolest women in the hospitality and entertainment industries as part of the Front & Centre festival. And you, dear reader, are invited to go for free. Just use the code TOSHOUT to get two free tickets to any of the following: A Little Bit Shaken, a Little Bit Stirred: This cocktail masterclass is hosted by some of the awesome women in the distilling industry, who will reveal the tricks of their trade. You can learn how to make gin cocktails, vodka cocktails or whisky cocktails, and you'll do some tastings along the way. Learn to Pickle: This one is for those who love it a bit sour. Cornersmith's Alex Elliott-Howery will teach a class in how to turn absolutely any vegetable into a crunchy, perfectly seasoned pickle. The class includes vinegar choices, flavour combos and all the food safety lessons needed to pickle just about anything. Ganymede Truffle Masterclass: Truffle farmer Wendy Burdis from Ganymede Truffle Estate will talk through everything you need to know about this super-luxe fungus. And of course, there will be plenty of tastings, including truffle burrata, truffle chévere and truffle charcuterie.  Live at YCK on Friday, August 26: Want to ditch the learning and just dance? Sydney Frin

The NSW government wants to help you create Sydney's next going-out precinct

The NSW government wants to help you create Sydney's next going-out precinct

One of our favourite places to party in Sydney is the YCK Laneways precinct, which is stuffed with brilliant small bars like the Lobo, Stitch, PS40 and the Prince of York. But that's not the only place to go out in Sydney. There are pockets all over the city packed with bars, restaurants, music venues and cultural institutions that make the perfect precincts for bar crawls, progressive dinners and experiencing art and culture.¬† If you work in just such an area, the NSW government wants to hear from you. The government is calling on arts and cultural institutions, entertainment and hospitality businesses¬†and organisations to take place in the Uptown Accelerator Program, which aims to build going-out precincts across the city.¬† Applications need to come from 'district teams', made up of at least three local businesses or organisations. These teams will take part in a four-week program that will help them become Sydney's must-visit entertainment precincts.¬† NSW 24-hour economy commissioner Mike Rodrigues says the Uptown program will offer valuable training for organisations to market themselves and encourage visitation. ‚ÄúCovid-19 has had a significant impact on the night-time economy, with hospitality and retail businesses,¬†artists, live performance venues and cultural institutions suffering disproportionately. Uptown is about¬†supporting these sectors as businesses recover from the pandemic and look for greater revenue¬†opportunities,‚ÄĚ he says. "From Brookvale to Balmain, Harris

Gimlet named as one of the best restaurants in the world

Gimlet named as one of the best restaurants in the world

We're pretty proud of our restaurant scene here in Melbourne, and we think it can stand up to just about anywhere. But the World's 50 Best Restaurants aren't so sure, with no Australian restaurant making it into the top 50. We can still hold our heads up high, though, because Gimlet at Cavendish House has been named in the top 100 restaurants in the world.  Gimlet came in at number 84, which is a pretty good result for a restaurant that opened in the middle of pandemic-stricken Melbourne. What makes Gimlet so great? Well, as our reviewer pointed out: "It’s glam, it’s fun, it’s delicious. And while it can certainly be expensive, it’ll make you feel like a million bucks. " The restaurant is full of old-school glamour, the kind of place where you can have a wood-grilled lobster or caviar, alongside the restaurant's titular cocktail. It's like a cross between a New York steakhouse and a Parisian bistro, with plenty of Australian touches.  Geranium restaurant in Copenhagen was named the best in the world, a fine dining institution that focuses on foraged ingredients. In true European style, the restaurant is currently closed for a summer holiday.  Love good food? Check out the best restaurants in Melbourne.

Time Out's former food and drink editor reveals the secrets of Melbourne's hospo scene

Time Out's former food and drink editor reveals the secrets of Melbourne's hospo scene

Ever wonder how Time Out Melbourne's former food editor Jess Ho knew so much about our city's food scene? It's because they've worked in all aspects of the industry, ultimately owning one of Melbourne's favourite wine bars, Smalls. But it's not always rosy behind the scenes, and Jess's new memoir pulls back the curtain on some of the less-than-savoury elements of hospo: greed, ego, sexual harassment, exploitation and cultural appropriation among them. Raised by Wolves is Jess's memoir of growing up Cantonese in Melbourne's outer suburbs and their journey to becoming one of the most influential names in Australia's food scene. Like all of Jess's writing, it's at times brutal, poignant, acerbic and hilarious, and we're pretty sure you'll laugh, rage and definitely learn something. Where can you buy Jess's book? Why, at one of Melbourne's best bookshops, of course.

If you have a cool idea for Fed Square, you can get $10k to make it happen

If you have a cool idea for Fed Square, you can get $10k to make it happen

There were certainly naysayers aplenty when it opened 20 years ago, but Federation Square has become one of Melbourne's most successful public spaces. Crowds gather to watch the tennis on the big screen during the Australian Open; arty types explore giant glowing installations when they pop up; and people often meet on the steps, using the space as a convenient jumping-off point from which to venture out into the wider city.  Fed Square is now after a new way to innovate in the space, and there's cash going for anyone who can come up with a cool project. The project is called the Experience Lab, and it's an incubator for individuals or groups to develop interesting, site-specific experiences to transform Fed Square. The Experience Lab is being run by some pretty brilliant people, the Experience Consortium. They are: Remix Summits co-founder Peter Tullin, Immersive Cinema co-founder and Secret Squirrel Productions founder (and Time Out Future Shaper!) Tamasein Holyman, and Grumpy Sailor founder James Boyce. They are experts in the field of immersive experience, and they are helping Federation Square to find three creative types who will reimagine the space. Each of the three individuals or groups will be given $10,000 to bring their vision to life, and they'll be given coaching and help from the Experience Lab to turn it into a reality.  If you're interested in transforming Federation Square and getting your idea off the ground, head to Fed Square's website. Want to see other

Bendigo and Port Fairy are officially the best places to visit in Victoria

Bendigo and Port Fairy are officially the best places to visit in Victoria

Looking for an intrastate holiday? You should put Bendigo, Port Fairy and Mount Macedon on your radar, as all three were chosen by a panel of nine judges and announced at the Victorian Tourism Industry Council Awards. Bendigo was Victoria's Top Tourism Town (for places with a population greater than 5,000), while Port Fairy was named Top Small Tourism Town (for those with populations between 1,500 and 5,000). If you want a really rural break, Mount Macedon won the inaugural Top Tiny Tourism Town (for towns with populations under 1,500).  All three will now go into the competition to be named Australia's Top Tourism Town, which will be named later this year.  Things to do in Bendigo We love visiting Bendigo, the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung people. The former gold rush town is rich in history and has some pretty fantastic restaurants, bars and cultural attractions. Bendigo Art Gallery often has world-class temporary exhibitions, in addition to a permanent collection that includes works by Bill Henson, Patricia Piccinini and Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Australia's oldest pottery kilns are also found in Bendigo, at Bendigo Pottery. You can watch artisans at work and even have a go yourself.  If you're hungry, Masons of Bendigo is the place for a special night out, with an ever-changing menu of seasonal produce.  Things to in Port Fairy The coastal town is home to the famous Port Fairy Folk Festival, so music lovers should definitely keep that date in mind.

High-rise plan for Preston Market mooted

High-rise plan for Preston Market mooted

A proposal to redevelop the site of Preston Market threatens the character and possibly very existence of the market, with stallholders and shoppers concerned that the fresh food sellers could be squeezed out altogether. Developer Salta Properties plans to redevelop the market site and build 2,200 apartments across towers of 12, 16 and 20 storeys. Under the plans the market would remain, but most of the 120 stallholders would have to move to a new site during construction, though they will be able to continue to trade where they are until the new stalls are ready. The overall footprint of the market would not be reduced, but many stallholders and fans of the market fear the redevelopment would destroy the market's character. The Victorian Planning Authority is considering its submission for planning minister Richard Wynne about the proposal, so the plans are some way from being finalised. But local lobby group Save the Preston Market fears the worst. Unlike Queen Victoria Market and South Melbourne Market, which are run by local government, Preston Market is in private hands. The group is calling on the state and local government to compulsorily acquire the site and prevent the development from going ahead. It has suggested an alternative redevelopment plan that would be much lower rise to preserve the character of the area. Prefer a market for your fresh fruits and vegies? These are the best markets in Melbourne.        

Victoria records fewer than 10,000 cases, lowest hospitalisations in a month

Victoria records fewer than 10,000 cases, lowest hospitalisations in a month

The number of daily cases of Covid-19 in Victoria continues to fall, with the state recording fewer than 10,000 cases and the number of those in hospital dropping below 550.  A total of 9,908 new cases were announced today, from 6,281 rapid tests and 3,627 PCRs. On January 17, Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton speculated that the state's Omicron peak had passed, as daily case numbers were on the way down. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, but I do think we are reasonably close to a peak if we’re not at a peak already," he said at the time. However, Sutton also warned that the number of people in hospital would continue to rise for some time, as hospitalisations usually trail daily cases by more than a week. The number of people in hospital with the virus has also dropped, from a peak of 1,229 on January 19 to 542 on February 9. About 93 per cent of Victorians over the age of 12 have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 46 per cent of those over 18 have received their booster. Anyone who received their second vaccine on or before November 9, 2021 can now receive a booster dose. You can now get your booster vaccine three months after your second dose. 

After 2 years, Australia to reopen to tourists

After 2 years, Australia to reopen to tourists

Fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed into Australia from February 21. That is almost two years after prime minister Scott Morrison closed borders to international visitors on March 19, 2020.  Since then, only Australian citizens and residents have been permitted to re-enter the country, and until November 2021 even they had to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine upon arrival.  From February 21, tourists can return - provided they are fully vaccinated. "That's the rule," Morrison said. "Everyone is expected to abide by it, and it's very important that people understand that requirement if they're seeking to come to Australia. "If you're double-vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back to Australia, and I know the tourism industry will be looking forward to that." Rules differ by state, but at the moment international arrivals have to do either a PCR or rapid antigen test upon arrival in Victoria and NSW and must quarantine until they receive a negative result. For those who opt for the rapid antigen tests, that effectively means no quarantine, as results are ready within half an hour.  Remember when borders were slammed shut? Here's what's happened in Australia during the two years of Covid-19. 

You can rent retro '90s roller skates on St Kilda Beach

You can rent retro '90s roller skates on St Kilda Beach

It might well be a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll, but if you just want to roll, St Kilda Beach might be the perfect spot. Rolla Bae has set up a pastel pink skate hire pop-up on the foreshore so you can channel Heather Graham and get some seaside exercise.¬† Skate hire is $25 for an hour, $60 for a half day and $95 for a full day. These are not just any skates,¬†either ‚Äď they are cute AF Impala artistic skates with outdoor wheels (yes, outdoor wheels are different and yes, it matters) in a bunch of colours ‚Äď rose gold, peach, pink, black, classic white or holographic silver. To complete the look you can also hire bum bags and mini speakers. Safety is very important (believe me, I've seen enough "oh I didn't think I needed gear" horror shows to know), so you can also hire a helmet and knee and elbow pads. They'll even throw in wrist guards for free, and if you don't fancy the idea of typing with broken wrists, you should take advantage of that. I'm not your mum, but wear gear. Seriously. Wear. Gear.¬† Feel a bit unsteady on your feet? The crew at Roller Bae are also on hand to teach you a few tricks to get you rolling.¬† The pop-up is open from about noon until sunset Saturdays and Sundays¬†through summer. Get your skates on! Looking for other fitness ideas? Here are some free, outdoor activities for you to get fit all summer.

'Not an option': you might need 3 doses to be 'fully vaccinated' in Australia soon

'Not an option': you might need 3 doses to be 'fully vaccinated' in Australia soon

Australians might soon have to get a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to be considered 'fully vaccinated', Victorian premier Dan Andrews has revealed.  At a January 19 media conference, Andrews confirmed national cabinet had been discussing making the booster dose mandatory for certain sectors, and that an announcement would be made 'very soon'.  "The health minister last Monday made a number of announcements for a number of different classes of worker... There’s every chance that we add to that list, for the best of reasons. We mandated a number of people, many people across many different sectors, a first and second dose, and I think you’ll see very soon, out of national processes, you’ll see the terminology and the recognition of the third dose be crystal clear." Andrews said a third dose was the best way to ensure protection against Covid-19 and that 'full vaccination' would soon mean a course of three shots. "This is not an option, not an add-on, not 'a good thing to have'," Andrews said. "I think we’re close to a change in policy that will simply reflect the fact that in order to be fully protected, you need three doses, not two plus an optional extra, to in fact be fully vaccinated. You need three. We can all be proud, as a Victorian community, that 93 per cent-plus of us have had two doses. We need to make sure the number of those with a third dose grows every day. It’s a common-sense thing. We need to make it easier for people to get that third dose, and I think Vi