It’s the last month of autumn, and just because the days are getting shorter, doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do. Melbourne is full of wonderful things for you to do this month. Stay out late with some awesome activities at night, see cool exhibitions, try some delicious food, watch a show and more! Here are some of our top recommendations on where to go, what to see and what to look forward to in Melbourne this month.
1. Lose yourself in culture at Art After Dark
Stay out late in the city and enjoy a huge range of art and culture at some of Melbourne’s top galleries and destinations. Enjoy live music, see installations, check out some exhibitions and more. These destinations will open from 6pm, and run until 1am on Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14.Learn more here.
2. Have a browse at Big Vegan Market
After a hiatus, the Big Vegan Market is coming back to Melbourne. Head to Royal Exhibition Building, and browse through a huge range of vegan food, clothes, make-up and more from over 200 vendors. Check out the Big Vegan Market on Saturday May 7 and Sunday May 8.
3. Sip your way through Pinot Palooza
After two and a half years, you can finally enjoy a pinot party at Pinot Palooza. Taste over 150 different types of Pinot Noir at The Timber Yard on May 6 and 7.Learn more here.
4. Take a look at PHOTO 2022: International Festival of Photography
Celebrate photography and art at this mammoth festival around Melbourne. There’s 123 local and international artists to discover, as well as 90 exhibitions. This festival will run until May 22.See more here.
5. Check out narrm ngarrgu: Melbourne Knowledge Week
Challenge your thinking and broaden your horizons at narrm ngarrgu: Melbourne Knowledge Week. There’s over 100 events to discover, including workshops, talks, panels and performances, that will celebrate our city’s heritage and its potential for innovation. This annual event will run from May 9 to 15.Find more info here.
6. Fall in love with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
From the creators of The Sound of Music, see this Tony Award winning Broadway musical. In this contemporary take of Cinderella, you’ll enjoy all the romantic moments, like the glass slipper, the pumpkin and the ball, as well as some surprising new twists. See it at The Regent Theatre from May 20.See more here.
7. Feast on bottomless brunch at Farmer’s Daughters
Take a mouth-watering journey to Gippsland with bottomless brunch at award-winning CBD venue, Farmer’s Daughters. Running every Saturday in May, this brunch will feature venue favourites like cured Baw Baw Alpine trout rillettes and plenty of mimosas, Bellini’s, beers and wines. Bookings are required.
8. See The Return at Malthouse Theatre
The bodily remains of Indigenous men, women and children have been put on display in universities, museums and private collections around the globe. In The Return, take a look at this macabre history spanning over 250 years. Inspired by Yorta Yorta man Jason Tamiru’s experiences as a repatriation worker, The Return follows the true stories of repatriation officers and their journey to return stolen human remains and Ancestral Objects to Country.
See it at The Malthouse Theatre from May 13 to June 4. Learn more here.
9. Feel the magic at this Wizardry high tea
In this magical high tea, you’ll take your taste buds on a spellbinding journey. There will be magical interactive characters and activities, as well as 18+ sessions with Cursed Cocktails.
This month, the Wizardry high tea will take place at Malvern Town Hall from May 6 to 8.
10. Take a drive to the Rocky Road Festival
From May 1, Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and the Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie are dedicating the month to an old favourite: Rocky Road. The traditional mix of chocolate, nuts and marshmallow will be getting a 31-flavour upgrade.
11. Save money while dining out at TheFork Festival
Whether you’re at a local café or trying a fine dining experience, you could save up to 50 per cent off your dining bill. Simply make a reservation at participating restaurants on TheFork’s website. This festival will end on Sunday May 29.
12. Attend a Concert for Ukraine
Visit this fundraising concert at Melbourne Town Hall on May 7 and listen to Ukrainian song and dance. Then, hear keynote speakers share insights about the crisis in Ukraine, and provide tips on how you can help. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Rotary Foundation to provide relief for victims, including food, clothing and medicine.Learn more here.
13. Immerse yourself in the LUME
See Van Gogh’s masterpieces come to life in this multi-sensory exhibition at the LUME. Then, take it up a notch and attend a yoga session surrounded by breath-taking works of art, or attend a special Mother’s Day high tea in Café Terrace 1888.Find more info here.
14. See Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection at NGV International
Explore over 400 works of art from antiquity to today and see works from the NGV Collection from a queer perspective. Many of the works in this exhibition are from artists who identify as queer, whereas others are from times when identifying as such as not possible. This exhibition examines how LGBTQ+ rights are woven with other political and equality movements, as well as queerness as an expression of gender and sexuality.
This exhibition is free to attend. Learn more here.
15. See Girl From The North Country
Head to the Comedy Theatre and travel back in time to 1930s America. Discover a group of wanderers, who cross paths at a guesthouse at a turning point in their lives. Woven throughout this musical is the songs of Bob Dylan, who carries the show through hope and heartbreak.Learn more about the musical here.
16. Feel amazed by a massive sculpture of the Earth at St Paul’s Cathedral
Artist Luke Jerram is back with another incredible installation. Prepare to be dazzled and humbled at the same time, when you gaze at a seven-metre sculpture of the Earth. This detailed installation, known as Gaia, will be displayed at St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, from now to the end of June.
17. Go in search of beautiful autumn colours
It’s the last month of autumn, so get out there and enjoy the vibrant colours of the trees.
Find our tips on where to go here.
18. Check out the Spanish Film Festival
Escape to Spain or Latin America this weekend by catching a film at the Spanish Film Festival. This festival will run in Melbourne from now to May 15.See the program here.
19. Feast on bottomless lunch at Kata Kita
Feast on all the Nasi Goreng you can eat, and wash it down with heaps of tropical cocktails, mocktails and Asian beers at Kata Kita. This boozy bottomless lunch will take place every weekend in May.Learn more here.
20. Join the revolution and see Hamilton
Don’t throw away your shot! The ground-breaking musical, Hamilton, is here. 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.
21. Meet Horridus the Triceratops at Melbourne Museum
See the world’s most complete triceratops fossil at Melbourne Museum this May.Learn more here.
22. Discover Open Horizons at Melbourne Museum
See some extraordinary artefacts from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, and go on a journey through Ancient Greece. This fascinating exhibition will open at Melbourne Museum this weekend, and stay in town until August 14.Learn more here.
23. Explore the life of fashion provocateur Helmut Newton
Head to the Jewish Museum of Australia and learn all about Helmut Newton, the King of Kink. This iconic fashion photographer was known for pushing the boundaries and challenging the way that we view femininity, sexuality and desire in the media.
The Helmut Newton: In Focus exhibition will run at the museum from now to January 29 next year. Find more info here.
24. Check out South Side Festival
Head down to Frankston this May for heaps of art, music, exhibitions, food and more at South Side Festival. This festival will run from May 6 to May 15.Find more info here.
25. Go to Fed Square for The Long Walk
In 2004, former AFL player Michael Long walked all the way from Melbourne to Parliament House in Canberra to raise awareness about Indigenous issues. This year, head to Fed Square and listen to live music from Indigenous artists, try some free sport and art activations, take part in a BBQ and Walk To The G as part of the traditional Dreamtime match between Essendon and Richmond.
The Long Walk will take place on May 21, from 12pm to 5:30pm. See the schedule here.
26. Feel illuminated at Scienceworks
Get ready to learn everything there is to know about light, the fastest traveller in the universe, this May. This vibrant exhibition will be a choose-your-own-adventure, filled with colours, shadows, mirrors, lenses, lasers and more. Illuminate: How Science Comes to Light will open on Saturday May 14.Learn more here.
27. Tantalise your taste buds by Dining in the Dark
Juliet Melbourne is dimming the lights on May 18 and taking you on a journey with their Dining in the Dark experience. Simply choose between vegan, meat or seafood options, and let the chef take care of the rest.Make a booking here.
28. Celebrate the weird and wonderful at Fantastic Film Festival
Enjoy the best of cult and arthouse cinema at Fantastic Film Festival. Catch these films at Lido Cinema from now until May 6.
29. Feel mesmerised by Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical
This cult classic is hitting the stage at the Athenaeum Theatre from May 25. Enjoy a dose of 90s nostalgia, with a soundtrack feature iconic hits from Britney Spears, NSYNC and more. Find more info here.
30. Enjoy high tea at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Nestled in the Royal Botanic Gardens, you’ll enjoy a Botanical Wonderland High Tea. Nibble on sweet and savoury delights from Atlantic Group and Lisa Van Zanten, creator of Get Caked by Lisa. Enjoy unlimited teas, coffee and hot chocolate, and receive a complimentary flute of champagne on arrival. This high tea will run every Sunday from May 8 through to August 28.Learn more here.
31. Get your hands on specially-curated cocktails at Australian Cocktail Month
From May 1 to 31, some of Melbourne’s best bars are participating in Australian Cocktail Month. Purchase a ticket for $20 and enjoy exclusive cocktails from 24 iconic locations, including Bar Margaux, Nick & Nora’s and The Everleigh.Learn more here.
32. Watch a performance of The Heartbreak Choir by Melbourne Theatre Company
Catch the world premiere of this original production at Southbank Theatre. Set in an old CFA hall, a group of locals come together to sing and connect.
This show is on now and will end on May 28. Learn more here.
33. See The Sound Inside by Melbourne Theatre Company
See the Australian premiere of The Sound Inside, a literary detective piece that won a Tony Award for Best Play in 2020. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, as the story unfurls in unpredictable ways.
See it from May 20 to July 2. Learn more here.
34. Dive Into The Deep at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
Go on a journey from the sunlit seas all the way down, into the dark and deep ocean trenches at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium. There’s a 14-metre immersive digital projection that will take you through deep through five zones and back in time to the Jurassic seas.
35. Immerse yourself in art at The Other Art Fair
In this global art fair, you’ll discover original and affordable art works from 100 independent artists. Expect immersive installations, performances, DJs, a fully stocked bar and more! Find it at the Meat Market from May 26 to 29. Get your tickets here.
36. Celebrate Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival
Head to Golden Square this month for the 26th anniversary of Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival. This year, expect a digitally animated Bodhi Tree mural, as well as other digital experiences, traditional Buddhist ceremonies, art, music, children’s activities and more.
This festival will run from May 13 to 15. Learn more here.
37. See the gripping tale of Hamlet
Set inside Denmark in the 1960s, a young man struggles with the ghost of his father and his mother’s marriage to his uncle. See Peter Evans’ production of Hamlet at the Arts Centre, from now until May 14.Find more info here.
38. Enjoy a night at the opera with La Traviata
If you’ve never been to the opera, La Traviata is a good one to start with. Famous all over the world and perfect for your first experience, this tale is set among glamourous Parisian parties and lush scenes in the countryside. This opera will play at the Arts Centre from May 4 to 28.Learn more here.
39. Visit Fed Square for some inspiring arts and cultural experiences
This month, Fed Square is celebrating First Nations musicians, performers and artists. There will be heaps of art installations and exhibitions to check out, as well as live music events and community festivals.See the full program here.
40. See the work of famous Uluru artists at the 20th Toorak Village Sculpture Exhibition
Explore the shopfronts of Toorak Village and discover contemporary sculptures from artists around Australia, including a group of works from eight Indigenous artists from Walkatjara Art Uluru. This exhibition will run until June 12.Learn more here.
41. See the Children’s International Film Festival
Do you have a budding film buff? Take them to the Children’s International Film Festival! Perfect for those aged 3 to 16, this festival features a curated collection of feature length and short films. Expect a mix of non-verbal, foreign and English-language films.
In Melbourne, this festival will run at Classic Cinemas in Elsternwick, Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn and Cameo Cinemas in Belgrave. It will start on May 28, and play until June 13. Find more info here.
42. Laugh out loud at Kings of Comedy
Head to Colonial Hotel on Fridays and Saturdays this May and laugh out loud at some incredible, handpicked comedians. Pair your experience with dinner and drinks for the perfect night out.Get your tickets here.
43. Feel a sense of magic with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
After selling over one million tickets in Melbourne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is coming back in a dazzling, one-part performance. See it at the Princess Theatre from May 4.Find out more here.
44. Check out the Melbourne Craft Fair at Queen Vic Market
Head to Queen Vic Market for contemporary and locally-made craft work. This fair was curated by the team behind The Rose St. Artists’ Market.
See it on May 21. Learn more here.
45. Head to Queen Vic Market for African Festival Melbourne
Immerse yourself in African culture through food, art, dance, kids activities and live entertainment. This festival will take place on May 28 and May 29 from 10am to 4pm.Learn more here.
46. Enjoy a fine wine and French dining experience
Inside Apartment 26, guests are served oysters, French cheese and charcuterie, as well as wines from a carefully curated French wine list. It is all a part of Melbourne’s Le Souper Club, an enchanting evening dinner party inspired by Paris and the Palace of Versailles.
The intimate dining experience takes place on Wednesdays and Thursdays in May. Tickets include six courses paired with six wines and Champagne, too.Get your tickets here.
47. Step back in time for the Ballarat Heritage Festival
Head to Ballarat for nine days of tweed, steam trains, heritage buildings, food and more! This festival will run from May 21 to 29.Check it out here.
48. See the beauty of the Great Ocean Road at this running festival
Take in gorgeous seaside views from Lorne to Apollo Bay at the Kieser Great Ocean Road Running Festival. On top of the running, there’s also heaps of fun activities and entertainment to discover, including glamping, live music and a petting farm. This running festival will take place on Saturday May 14 and Sunday May 15.More info here.
49. Escape to Mansfield for Harvest Moon Festival
Celebrate autumn at the Harvest Moon Festival in Delatite Winery. Focus on the beauty and tranquillity of the High Country region, with fire-roasted feasts, hot air ballooning, wine tasting, yoga, seminars and more.
This festival will run from May 13 to 15. Learn more here.
50. Discover Elvis: Direct from Graceland in Bendigo Art Gallery
In this exclusive exhibition, you’ll explore the life and style of the famous Elvis Presley. See a wide range of costumes, memorabilia, and treasured items straight from the Graceland archive. This incredible exhibition is now open at Bendigo Art Gallery, and will stick around until July 17.