Winter is finally here! And just because the sun sets earlier, and the nights are colder, doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. In fact, several highly-anticipated events are starting in Melbourne this month, including the magical Lightscape at Royal Botanic Gardens and the Picasso exhibition at NGV. Here are our recommendations on some of the best things to do, try and eat around Melbourne this June.
1. Feel captivated by RISING festival
After years of anticipation, RISING is finally coming to Melbourne this June. Discover 225 events, all ready to enchant you through the winter nights, and fill the city with electricity and magic. Of these events, 22 are commissions and 14 are world premieres. A whopping 801 local and international artists are ready to transform Melbourne into their canvas.
RISING will run from June 1 to 12. Learn more here.
2. Explore The Wilds at RISING
Immerse yourself in this night-time, fantasy world at Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Go ice-skating, listen to soundscapes, see art and try some delicious food at the Lighthouse.
The Wilds will run from June 1 to June 19. Find more details here.
3. Lose yourself in a mirror maze at Kaleidoscope
Enter a world of shifting illusions in this mesmerising installation made of glass, steel, mirrors and moving prisms. Explore Kaleidoscope on Arts Centre Melbourne’s forecourt from June 1 to July 10.Learn more here.
4. Return to the wonderful Winter Night Market
It’s been three years since we’ve been able to enjoy the iconic Winter Night Market. Head to Queen Vic Market every Wednesday night from June 1 to August 31, and enjoy roaring fires, hot street food, cool market vendors and more.
Learn more here.
5. Have a hole-some day out at the Donut Festival
The popular Donut Festival is coming back to Queen Vic Market. Expect delicious donuts of all shapes and sizes, such as vegan donuts, churros, and of course, jam donuts. Round up your crew and treat yourself on Saturday June 4 and Sunday June 5.More info here.
6. See The Picture of Dorian Gray at Arts Centre Melbourne
This powerful adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale is a one-person show. See actor Eryn Jean Norvill transform and play all 26 characters in a masterful feat of storytelling. See The Picture of Dorian Gray Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse from June 5 to July 31.More info here.
7. Discover a world-exclusive Picasso exhibition at NGV
Visit NGV and marvel at The Picasso Century. See over 70 of Picasso’s famous works, as well as over 100 pieces by his contemporaries. This extraordinary winter exhibition was curated by Didier Ottinger, Deputy Director of Centre Pompidou’s Musée National d’Art Moderne. It will open on Friday June 10.Learn more here.
8. Stay out late at NGV Friday Nights
The popular NGV Friday Nights is coming back this winter, in celebration of the upcoming exhibition, The Picasso Century. Expect a massive line-up of live performances, DJ sets, bars and Spanish-inspired dining, with inspiration from Parisian nightlife. Friday Nights will begin on June 10, and continue throughout the cold winter months, until October 7.Learn more here.
9. Discover the cosmos at Neighbourhood Earth
Journey through the galaxy in this immersive exhibit. Developed with the help of NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center and the US Space and Rocket Center, Neighbourhood Earth features a 360-degree theatre experience, museum-quality astronaut suits, a full-size replica of one of the Space Station’s key modules and much more. It’s going to be out of this world!
This cosmic exhibit opens on June 15. Get your tickets here.
10. See over 70 works of art from Tate at ACMI
Journey through 200 years of art history, involving painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, kinetic art, installation and the moving image. Think classic works from Claude Monet to more contemporary creations from Yayoi Kusama. Light: Works from Tate’s Collection, will premiere on June 16, and last until November 13.Find more info here.
11. Wander through twinkling light installations at Lightscape
Head to Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne for this magical, after-dark experience. Meander through a garden paradise, and admire vibrant bursts of light from colourful installations. This winter wonderland will start on June 24 and end on August 7.Learn more here.
12. Fall in love with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella has landed at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne. This romantic production is packed full of moments that will take your breath away, with familiar scenes that we all know and love, as well as surprising twists and turns.Learn more here.
13. Taste a dreamy Cinderella high tea at The Westin
Get ready for Cinderella by indulging in the Enchanted High Tea at The Westin Melbourne. Enjoy three tiers of themed treats, both sweet and savoury. Then, head to the Lobby Lounge and sip on Magical Cocktails.Learn more here.
14. Check out the Truffle Melbourne Festival
Feast on a variety of truffle treats, see chefs sip tasty drinks, and watch truffle dogs do what they do best at the Truffle Melbourne Festival. This festival will take place at Queen Vic Market on Saturday June 18, from 9am to 5pm, and Sunday June 19, from 9:30am to 4pm.Learn more here.
15. Celebrate truffles at this special dinner by Apartment 26
Enjoy a specially-curated menu celebrating black truffles in this lavish Parisian salon. Indulge in some luxurious treats, like oysters with truffled salmon caviar pearls or duck risotto with truffle, and pair it with matching wines.Get your tickets here.
16. Explore glimmering installations at the Glow Winter Arts Festival
In this free, twilight festival, you’re invited to wander around Prahran Square and Central Park Gardens, and immerse yourself a range of illuminated outdoor installations. The festival will take over Prahran Square from June 3 to 12, before moving on to Central Park Gardens from June 16 to 19.See what’s waiting for you here.
17. See one of the most ambitious projects by The Australian Ballet
Kunstkamer was created by some of the most in-demand ballet choreographers of the time for the 60th anniversary of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). And after taking over Sydney, this landmark production is finally coming to Melbourne. See it at the Arts Centre Melbourne from June 3 to 11.Learn more here.
18. Have the time of your life at Dirty Dancing in Concert
Enjoy a bit of 80s nostalgia with this lovely film-to-concert experience. See all of your favourite songs from this romantic film come to life at Hamer Hall on June 10.Learn more here.
19. Treat yourself at the Brownie Festival
Chocolatiers from the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Great Ocean Road have blessed us with a Brownie Festival. Running from June 8 to 26, you’ll be able to try 16 different brownie flavours! On top of that, there’s brownie ice creams and brownie bites to enjoy every day of the festival.
20. Rethink everything you know about the Tudor wives at SIX the Musical
A witty, pop-fuelled musical about the six wives of Henry VIII is coming to the Comedy Theatre. Watch them remix their years of heartbreak, with inspiration from iconic performers like Beyoncé, Ariana Grande and Britney Spears. See it from June 17.More info here.
21. Discover Night Creatures at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
Wander through the aquarium, and learn all about the weird and wonderful creatures that come out after dark. Night Creatures is on from now until June 9.More info here.
22. Satisfy your foodie cravings at the Good Food & Wine Show
Sample plenty of good food and wine, chat to producers and distillers, watch live cooking demos and more at the Good Food & Wine Show. This event will take place at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from June 3 to 5.
23. Stay cosy in your own private igloo
Enjoy a bit of winter magic at four restaurants around Melbourne. Enjoy a private dining experience in a warm igloo, and try different food and beverage packages at each location.Find more details here.
24. 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.
25. Cuddle cats at the Melbourne Cat Lovers Show
Have a purr-fect time at the Melbourne Cat Lovers Show. There’ll be plenty of cats of course, as well as accessories, wellness tips, a cat cuddling zone and more! Find it at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 4 and 5.See more info here.
26. 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.
27. 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 until June 26.Learn more here.
28. Feel spellbound by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The magical 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.See more here.
29. Feel the magic with legendary duo Penn & Teller
You’ve seen the fun Penn and Teller on TV. Now, see the magic unfold in real life, when they embark on their first ever Australian tour. The pair will take over Hamer Hall in Arts Centre Melbourne, from Tuesday June 14 to Saturday June 18.See more here.
30. Feel swept away by the Melbourne Magic Festival
See the largest magic festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, right here in Melbourne. There’s heaps of live magic shows, workshops and special events to discover. The Melbourne Magic Festival will run from June 27 to July 9.Learn more here.
31. Feel amazed by The Magic Menu Live!
Head to The Laneway Theatre, and see enchanting tricks from award-winning magician Tim Ellis. No two shows will be the same, as the audience gets to choose what they want to see.Get your tickets here.
32. Roam through edible fog and more at Bunjil Place
London-based creative studio Bompas & Parr will create a fully immersive, sensory installation for the Casey Winter Arts Festival at Bunjil Place. This installation, Casey Cornucopia, will feature fruit-flavoured fog, fruit sculptures and more. Wander through the cornucopia from June 24 to July 17.Find more info here.
33. Feast on pasta straight from the cheese wheel at Cucinetta
Back by popular demand, the Cucinetta team in South Yarra are serving up their fettucine Cacio e Pepe, a classic and traditional dish made with cheese and pepper. But, they’re taking it up a notch, by taking it straight out of a 24 month Parmigiana Reggiano cheese wheel.
Try it from Tuesdays to Sundays, from May 31 to June 12. Bookings are recommended.
34. Loosen up those gumdrop buttons at Shreklesque
See Shrek in all his glory at this hilarious, burlesque parody show. See it at Athenaeum Theatre from June 29 to July 2.Find more info here.
35. Immerse yourself in light and music at the Hume Winter Lights Festival
Broadmeadows is lighting up this winter for the inaugural Hume Winter Lights Festival. Discover plenty of art and light installations, dine in your own private igloo, heat up with some fire dancers and more in this dazzling, night-time event. The Hume Winter Lights Festival will take place around Town Hall Broadmeadows and the surrounding areas on Saturday June 18.
36. 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.
37. 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 try delicious food at Café Terrace 1888.Find more info here.
38. Take a journey inside the Darkfield shipping containers
Step into one of four white shipping containers around Melbourne, put on headphones and be enveloped in darkness. Your other senses will heighten and the narrative experience, which uses binaural audio, sensory deprivation and special effects, will take you on a journey that feels real. So real that you might want out.
Darkfield will stay in town until July 31. Learn more here.
39. See Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical
Have a bit of a throwback this month by seeing this musical, based on the iconic Cruel Intentions film. Expect plenty of nostalgia, with songs from Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Boyz II Men and more. See it at the Athenaeum Theatre, from now until June 25.See more here.
40. 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 now until August 28.Learn more here.
41. 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.
42. Experience a Mad Hatter G&Tea party at State of Grace
Fall up the rabbit hole to this CBD rooftop, and enjoy plenty of drinks and bites at the Mad Hatter G&Tea Party. There will also be familiar characters, including Alice and the Queen of Hearts. These Mad Hatter parties will run on Saturdays, from now until August 27.Find more info here.
43. Nom your way through a chicken nugget festival
Welcome to Thornbury is celebrating the humble chicken nugget. Enjoy the classic variety, as well as nugget burgers, nuggets on a stick and more. There will also be heaps of dipping sauces and bar specials.
The Chicken Nugget Festival will run from 12pm on June 11. More info here.
44. Have fun at Oz Comic-Con
Whether you want to get an autographed signed, cosplay as your favourite character, buy one-of-a-kind creations, or just have a nice day out with friends, Oz Comic-Con is the perfect place to get in touch with your pop culture side.
Oz Comic-Con will take place at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 11 and 12.
45. 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 is now open at Melbourne Museum, and will stay in town until August 14.Learn more here.
46. Meet Horridus the Triceratops at Melbourne Museum
See the world’s most complete triceratops fossil at Melbourne Museum this June.Learn more here.
47. 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.
48. Try the virtual reality experience at Archie Brothers
Stay indoors during the colder months and visit Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq in Docklands. Show off your skills in the new free-roam virtual reality experience from Zero Latency, then try out their new laser tag arena.
49. Indulge in a treat from the Lobster & Co pop-up
Lobster & Co is coming back to Arts Centre Melbourne’s forecourt. Warm up with lobster chowder and a sourdough bowl, from May 31 to July 10.
50. Celebrate winter at Montsalvat Winterfest
51. Solve the murder 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.
52. Stumble across some animal sculptures along the Yarra River
Walk along Yarra’s Edge, and see 20 life-sized endangered animal baby statues, and their mother gorilla. These sculptures were created by internationally renowned Gillie and Marc. This interactive exhibition is all about raising awareness about endangered animals. There’s QR codes on each sculpture, so you can make direct donations to WWF Australia.
The Wild About Babies exhibit will stay on the riverfront for the next six months. Learn more here.
53. 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 the corner.
Candlelight concerts in June feature tributes to Taylor Swift, Daft Punk, Queen, Elton John and much, much more. Check out all the upcoming performances here.
54. Hop aboard the Train of Lights by Puffing Billy
Rug up this winter for an unforgettable moving light show. Journey through the Dandenong Ranges at night in an illuminated steam train, and see bright projections, hypnotic patterns and more. This experience starts on June 24 and ends on July 10.Learn more here.
55. Have fun at Adventure Park’s Winter Glow
Adventure Park is bringing back their dazzling Winter Glow experience this year. Escape to their delightful winter wonderland, and frolic in the snow, go on the rides, and marvel at the fire twirling and ice sculpting displays. This event will run from June 17 to 19, and June 23 to July 10.
For more information, visit the Adventure Park website.
56. Celebrate the winter solstice with small-batch wines at The Shortest Lunch
After a two year hiatus, The Shortest Lunch is coming back to the Yarra Valley. Treat yourself over one wintery weekend, and sample tasty drops from twelve small-batch wine producers. Meet the makers at their cellar doors and enjoy handcrafted wines and tasty bites in front of a warm fire. The Shortest Lunch will take place on Saturday June 25 and Sunday June 26.Find out more here.
57. Head out of town for the Ballarat Winter Festival
Get into the winter spirit in Ballarat, with heaps of fun experiences. Gaze at the Winter Wonderlights in Sovereign Hill, go ice skating and more! The festival starts on June 25 and ends on July 17.Find more info here.
58. 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.
59. Experience the magic of White Night in Shepparton
White Night is taking over Shepparton for the first time this June. Celebrate art, culture and community, and discover the unexpected at this wonderful event on June 26.
Keep an eye out for updates here.
60. Escape to the alpine regions this winter
Snow season is almost here! Get ready to hit the slopes in one of Victoria’s amazing alpine regions.