With the New Year, comes new beginnings. If your resolution was to have more fun, see more shows, try delicious food and do more things, then this list is perfect for you. There’s so many exciting things to do in Melbourne this January, so let’s get started.
1. Try all the amazing things at Midsumma Festival
This fabulous summer festival is stacked with over 200 events for you to try. Major events like Midsumma Carnival and Midsumma Pride March will make a return, and there will also be plenty of new shows, parties, exhibitions and events for you to check out. It starts on January 21, and will run until February 12.Find more info here.
2. Move it move it to Madagascar The Musical
Head to the Comedy Theatre this month, and see your favourite animal friends from the animated movie come to life on stage. Expect plenty of colourful sets, world-class puppets and fun new songs. This musical will run from January 4 to 15.Learn more here.
3. Feast on pasta from a parmesan wheel at Cucinetta
Visit this little eatery in South Yarra, and indulge in their delightfully cheesy Cacio e Pepe, finished off in a Parmesan wheel. It’s available to try for lunch or dinner, from now until Sunday January 15. Bookings are essential.
4. Catch some summer films at Fed Square
Sit back, relax and enjoy some films in the Main Square. Treat yourself to a lazy evening and watch movies like Muriel’s Wedding and Dead Calm. To keep you cool, there will also be free ice cream while stocks last from 6pm.See the film program here.
5. Have fun at Vida: Melbourne Latin Summer Festival
Back for its 10th anniversary, you’ll celebrate Latin American culture over one fantastic weekend. Dance to exciting music, savour delicious food, try fun workshops and more. Find it at Tom’s Block in Kings Domain from Friday January 13 to Sunday January 15. The best part? General admission is completely free!Learn more here.
6. See a movie under the stars at Moonlight Cinema
Enjoy the summer nights by watching festive favourites and new releases at Moonlight Cinema. Find it on the lush Central Lawn at Royal Botanic Gardens.
7. Step inside the terrifying Darkfield shipping containers
Put on some headphones and lose yourself in the darkness of one of four thrilling experiences. You’ll find Darkfield in the heart of Chinatown, from now until February 5.Learn more here.
8. Fall in love with The Phantom of the Opera
This legendary musical has finally come to Melbourne. See it for yourself at Arts Centre Melbourne.
9. Embrace the warmer nights at the Summer Night Market
The iconic Summer Night Market is back at Queen Vic Market. Sip on cocktails, go market browsing, and try food from over 125 stalls, shops and bars. It runs on Wednesday nights, from now until March 15.Learn more here.
10. Listen to live music at District Live – Open Air Series
At this free event, you’ll enjoy headline acts such as Isaiah Firebrace and Montaigne, as well as interactive activities, entertainment, food and pop-up events. District Live will take place every Saturday in January, from 2pm to 8pm.See the schedule here.
11. Fly on the Yarra River zipline
Discover this massive pop-up zipline experience over the Yarra River. Zoom across the river and reach speeds of up to 35km per hour. Then, try the new Quick Jump experience, which gives you the sensation of freefall. Tickets are extremely limited. This experience runs until January 28.
12. Listen to music at Live at the Bowl
Soak in the summer sunshine with live music and events at Sidney Myer Music Bowl. This month, check out Midsumma Extravaganza, the Share the Spirit festival and a performance from Kehlani.See the program of events here.
13. Celebrate Lunar New Year at NGV
Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with a day of art, food, activities, music and lion dance performances at NGV International. Then, go on an Auspicious Symbols Tour and discover lucky symbols hidden throughout NGV’s Asian Art Collection. It’s all happening on Sunday January 22.More info here.
14. See the Alexander McQueen exhibition at NGV
Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos Muse is the first major Australian exhibition to explore his thought-provoking work, sources of inspiration and creative process. This exhibition showcases over 120 garments and accessories, alongside over 80 works of art. The Alexander McQueen exhibition is now on at NGV International, and will run until April 16, 2023More info here.
15. Stay late at NGV Friday Nights
Browse the McQueen exhibition in the evening, then listen to live DJs, visit pop-up bars and try some English-inspired dining. This event will run from 6-10pm on Friday Nights, from now until April 14.Learn more here.
16. Wander through this vivid reimagining of The Parthenon at NGV
See this gorgeous installation, complete with colourful artworks from local creators, in the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV for free.
17. Have a practically perfect time at the Mary Poppins musical
Everyone’s favourite nanny is flying into Melbourne this January. See Mary Poppins, Bert and more beloved characters come to life in this spectacular stage adaptation by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh. It arrives at Her Majesty’s Theatre on January 29.Learn more here.
18. Enjoy a Summer of Play at Melbourne Museum
Head to the Plaza at Melbourne Museum and play on the illuminated swings and see-saw. Play games, eat ice cream, and stay out late for DJ sets and more on Friday and Saturday nights.See more here.
19. Go back in Time with this Rone exhibition in Flinders Street Station
Step into the mysterious third floor and ballroom of Flinders Street Station, and discover a forgotten era of Melbourne. Explore 11 large-scale installations, meticulously placed around the heritage-listed space. This exhibition will run until Sunday April 23, 2023.
20. Check out MPavilion
MPavilion is back in Melbourne for another incredible season. Enjoy cultural events, talks, performances, installations and more. See their full program here.
21. Feel dazzled by Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
This feel-good musical is now playing at the Regent Theatre, direct from the West End. It leaves Melbourne on Sunday January 8.Learn more here.
22. Play an Among Us-style game near Queen Vic Market
Immerse yourself in a space-themed adventure at Saboteurs. Round up your crew, complete tasks inside the converted shipping containers, and keep an eye out for the imposter. Saboteurs is open daily from 8am to 10pm at Testing Grounds.Bookings are available now.
23. Feel mesmerised by the work of Monet and more at The Lume
Go on a journey across France in this multisensory experience, with vibrant projections and sounds immersing you in the world of French Impressionism. Take a picture on Monet’s Bridge over a Pond, dance with Degas’ ballerinas, plunge yourself into a world of waterlilies, and much, much more.
24. Head to ACMI for a blockbuster summer season of films
Cool down indoors and enjoy some excellent films at ACMI. See the best films of 2022, ranging from feature flicks to documentary, in Best 22 of 2022. This will run from now until January 29. Then, check out Days of Summer, and enjoy summer films like Xanadu and Picnic at Hanging Rock, from now until February 14.Find more details here.
25. Join the revolution and see Hamilton
Don’t throw away your shot! The ground-breaking musical, Hamilton, is leaving Melbourne on Sunday January 15. Be swept away by the thrilling score and lyrics, which blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway. Rise up and see it at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Check out their website for booking information and more.
26. See an outdoor movie with The Sunset Cinema
Formerly known as Barefoot Cinema, this outdoor cinema experience is back for summer. Catch a show in Mount Martha this January, before it moves on to St Kilda in February.Find program information and more here.
27. Feel spellbound by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The magical story of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been reimagined as a one-part play. See a whole new generation of young wizards take the stage, with fascinating illusions, a heartfelt story and more. Return to Hogwarts at the Princess Theatre.
28. Lose yourself in Imaginaria
Be immersed in a futuristic installation of light and sound. Located in Docklands, Imaginaria is a playful space where imagination and technology combines into an amazing experience.
29. See seven methods of killing kylie jenner at Malthouse Theatre
This internationally-acclaimed, pop-culture blockbuster is kicking off the 2023 season at Malthouse Theatre. Written by British playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones, seven methods of killing kylie jenner is coming to Melbourne this January, after causing a sensation in London and Sydney. This show takes a deep dive into colourism and the commodification of Black women. Check it out from January 18 to 29.
30. Find something wonderful at this craft fair in Queen Vic Market
At CRFT*WRK, you’ll discover locally-made goods from independent creators at Queen Vic Market. Find art, ceramics, jewellery, homewares and more. This festival will run on Saturday January 28 from 9am to 4pm.
31. Jump into Inflatable Fun Park for some summer fun
Stay cool this summer with a slip-n-slide, the world’s largest inflatable maze, a Nerf battle zone and more at Inflatable Fun Park. This incredible experience is popping up at three locations around Victoria. Find it at Dandenong South, Melbourne Showgrounds and Lardner Park this January.Read more about it here.
32. Celebrate Lunar New Year at Melbourne Museum
Melbourne Museum will have a heap of fun programs to help usher in the New Year. Watch lion and dragon dances, find out what your zodiac animal is, eat Lunar New Year cuisine at the Museum Café and more during the day. Then, from 5pm to 11pm, head out to the Museum Plaza for Vietnamese food trucks, Lunar New Year-inspired DJ sets, ice cream and cocktails. It’s all happening on Saturday January 21.Learn more here.
33. See all sorts of cool exhibitions at Melbourne Museum
Explore Melbourne Museum and their huge range of exhibitions this January. Play with LEGO and check out models in Bricktionary. Feel connected to the natural world at Tyama. Discover the exhibition, Naadohbii: To Draw Water. And admire dazzling gems in their Pink Diamonds exhibition.
34. Explore the dome of the Royal Exhibition Building
For the first time in 100 years, the dome of the Royal Exhibition Building is open to the public. Head up there and see it for yourself, and take in gorgeous views of the Melbourne skyline.
35. Show off your swing at Pixar Putt
The beloved mini-golf sensation, Pixar Putt, is coming back to Melbourne for the summer holidays. This open-air experience is made up of interactive putt-putt holes, inspired by the stories and characters from some of Pixar’s most iconic films. Pixar Putt is taking over Frankston Waterfront from now until January 29.
36. Check out the Australian Open
The Australian Open is back from January 16 to 29. After watching a thrilling match, be sure to party at Finals Festival from January 27 to 29, and enjoy tunes from BENEE, Vanessa Amorosi, Flight Facilities and more.See more here.
37. Enjoy a sip and a dip at Arbory Afloat
Arbory has transformed into a beautiful Balearic Beach Club, complete with cocktails, sunbeds and an infinity pool to keep you cool.See more here.
38. See Shakespeare Under the Stars
Shakespeare Under The Stars is back at Royal Botanic Gardens with a production of the hilarious, Much Ado About Nothing. Sprawl out on Southern Cross Lawn and laugh till you cry, from now until February 4.More info here.
39. Unleash your creativity at Chaos Lab
From the Control Room to the Science Lab, the Mirror Maze to the Ball Pit, Chaos Lab is a fun experience for all kids who want to play, explore and create. It’s heading to The District Docklands from January 6 onwards. Tickets are on sale now.
40. Enjoy Summer Sunday Sessions at Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters
Spend sunny Sundays sipping on bottomless cocktails from Four Pillars Gin, alongside a seven-course seasonal sharing menu and fabulous DJ tunes on the Terrace Bar at Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters. It all starts on Sunday January 15, and will continue until March 26.
41. Solve a murder mystery at Labassa Mansion
Labassa Mansion is home to an interactive and immersive Murder Mystery experience where players get to roam its rooms and search for clues. Do you have what it takes to put two and two together or will the true assassin/s of Labassa Mansion’s wealthy widow escape justice?Get your tickets here.
42. Release your inner ogre at a Shrek Rave
Listen to Shrek tunes and party favourites, sip on Shrek-themed drinks and more at this incredible Shrek rave. It’s all happening at Max Watt’s on January 21.Find more details here.
43. Relax at Moon Dog’s pop-up, Summer Paradiso
Head to Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt and relax at Summer Paradiso, a pop-up from Moon Dog Brewery. Sip on a cold drink or two, feast on smoky barbeque and listen to some good tunes. This pop-up will stay in town until April.See more here.
44. Dance the day away at So Frenchy So Chic
So Frenchy So Chic is coming back to Werribee Park for a day of French music and delicious bites. Find your sense of joie de vivre on Sunday January 15.See more here.
45. Indulge in decadent lobster rolls at Lobster & Co
The Lobster & Co pop-up is back in Melbourne. Find them on the Riverside Terrace at Arts Centre Melbourne, from now until January 15, for lobster rolls and bubbly.More info here.
46. See a performance of Sunday by Melbourne Theatre Company
This play is inspired by the stories that surround Sunday Reed, founder of Heide Museum of Modern Art. It follows this bold woman, and the price she paid for living and loving on her own terms. Watch it from January 16 to February 18.More info here.
47. Head to the Cherry Picking Festival at CherryHill Orchards
CherryHill Orchards are throwing a fun Cherry Picking Festival. Wander through their rows of trees in either Wandin East or Coldstream, and pick some plump cherries to take home. During the festival, there will also be food trucks, box sales, drinks and cherry ice cream to try. The Cherry Picking Festival will run from now until early in January.Find out more here.
48. Spend a day at the Portarlington Mussel Festival
Whisk yourself away to the coast this summer for the Portarlington Mussel Festival. Every year, 30, 000 people journey to this seaside town to celebrate and try their delicious mussels. On top of the famous seafood, there will be market stalls, wine tastings, exhibitions, cooking demonstrations and entertainment. It’s all happening on Saturday January 14.See more here.
49. Have a blooming good time at Blue Lotus Water Garden
Escape to Blue Lotus Water Garden, and delight your senses with dreamy water lilies, lotus flowers, scenic trails and calm lakes. This garden paradise is open from now until April 10.More info here.
50. Experience the magic of a Candlelight Concert
The candlelit performances have taken place at venues like The Athenaeum and The Astor Theatre as well as at The Timber Yard, the Meat Market, St James’ Old Cathedral and Fed Square. With more venues being added to the growing list, it feels like there’s a Candlelight concert around every corner. This January, listen to your favourite movie soundtracks, a tribute to Coldplay and more.Check out the program here.