It’s the first month of spring! And Melbourne is coming alive with dreamy floral events, as well as cool exhibitions, performances and food festivals. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are our recommendations on things to do, see and eat around Melbourne this September.
1. Find something beautiful at Affordable Art Fair
Explore a mixture of emerging and established artists from over 40 Australian and international galleries at Affordable Art Fair this September. Browse a wide range of art, including paintings, sculptures, installations, photography and limited-edition prints. Check it out from Thursday September 1 to Sunday September 4 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
2. Feel amazed by SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desert by Bangarra Dance Theatre
Head to Playhouse at Arts Centre Melbourne, and see Bangarra Dance Theatre present SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desert. This performance tells the unique story of this Place and the survival of its People. Despite displacement and disruption, when Aboriginal people were removed from their Country between the 20s and 60s, the people of the Western Desert maintained a connection to their land, keeping stories and kinship strong.
See it from August 24 to September 3.
3. Take part in Legacy Week
This year is the 66th annual Legacy Week, a fundraising initiative that supports the widows and children of veterans. On Thursday September 1, from 7am to 10am, ADF Members will roam the streets of Melbourne to collect donations and sell badges.
Then, go on a Teddy Bear Picnic. Melbourne Legacy has partnered with Mary Eats Cake to create delicious picnic hampers for you to try. Pre-order them for delivery between August 22 and September 19. $10 from every box will be donated to Melbourne Legacy to continue to fund essential services and support. Find your teddy bear picnic hamper here.
4. 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. Get into the spirit with quizzes, merchandise giveaways and more on Back to Hogwarts Day on September 1.
5. Catch a movie at the Korean Film Festival
The Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) is returning to Melbourne this September with a number of excellent films lined up. There’s 13 exciting shows to discover, spanning from crime thrillers to romantic comedies. See it at ACMI from September 1 to 5.
6. Spark your creativity at this LEGO exhibition in Melbourne Museum
Have fun in six interactive build zones, gaze in amazement at over 150 models, and see incredible life-sized animals and other fantastical creations. Bricktionary: The Interactive LEGO brick Exhibition will open at Melbourne Museum on Saturday September 3.
7. Embark on the Ultimate Cheese Tour at Queen Vic Market
Indulge in the best cheese that Queen Vic Market has to offer on a special cheese tour. Try local and imported artisan cheese, fresh bread, seasonal fruit, a cheesy dessert and finish up with a beer. This tour takes two hours, and will run on Saturday September 3 from 10am to 12pm. Bookings are essential.
8. Feel dazzled by White Night in Bendigo
Drive out of Melbourne this September and enjoy White Night, an immersive art festival. See vibrant projections, interactive installations, live music and street food. White Night will take over Bendigo on Saturday September 3.
9. See the wonders of Aurora Borealis in Daylesford
Head to Daylesford this winter, and marvel at BOREALIS on the Lake. Technology and art will combine to replicate the colourful wonders of this natural phenomenon. This mesmerising experience will continue until Sunday September 4.
10. Enjoy a Father’s Day BBQ at Brick Lane Brewing
Share a beer with your Dad at this Father’s Day BBQ from Brick Lane Brewing. Pop into their String Bean Alley shop at Queen Vic Market. This will take place on Sunday September 4 from 11am to 4pm.
11. Tuck into a Ribs and Wings Festival at Welcome to Brunswick
Welcome to Brunswick is celebrating everything to do with ribs and wings. Take part in a wing eating battle, feast on delicious meals, and try and buy from local makers at the Marinade Market. This food festival will take place on Saturday September 4 from 12pm.
12. Let loose at Funlab’s Day of Fun
For one day only, all Funlab venues will have $5 deals to help you have a Day of Fun. All the profits will go towards headspace, a foundation that supports the mental health of young people. Sing some karaoke, play laser tag or go bowling on the cheap, at 14 venues around Melbourne. Funlab’s annual Day of Fun will take place on Tuesday September 6. Bookings are available now.
13. See Alice Pung’s award-winning book, Laurinda, come to life on stage
Melbourne Theatre Company has adapted this award-winning book into a fresh new play. Watch as Lucy Lam, a 38-year-old woman, is thrust back to the year in which she won a scholarship to a prestigious private school. At 15, she was not prepared for this new world of wealth and opportunity. Laurinda will run until September 10.
14. Feast on bottomless gnocchi and cocktails at Leo’s Spaghetti Bar
Leo’s Spaghetti Bar in St Kilda has been serving up delicious bites in St Kilda for 65 years! To celebrate, they’re treating Melburnians to bottomless gnocchi and cocktails this September. These 90 minute sessions cost $69 per person, and will run from 11:30am to 1pm on Monday to Sunday, and 5:30 to 7pm on Monday to Thursday.
15. Relax and unwind with Wellbeing Within at Immigration Museum
The Immigration Museum is launching a new wellness program in September, that will help you slow down and take a breath. Explore free meditation, movement, sound healing and more from Wednesday September 14 to Wednesday November 30.
16. See the award-winning comedy K-Box at Malthouse Theatre
When Lucy returns to her adoptive parents’ home, she stumbles on an old cardboard box that was once full of childhood memories, but is now empty. As destabilising questions are asked about her Korean roots, fault lines begin to emerge in the family, until there’s no going back. See it at the Malthouse Theatre from September 2 to 18.
17. Discover arts and culture at Darebin’s FUSE Festival
Streets, parks, venues, theatres, galleries and other public spaces around Darebin will be transformed into hubs of culture and creativity. Explore this multi-arts festival from September 3 to 18.
18. Feel swept away by a performance from renowned pianist Maksim Mrvica
This September, the dazzling Palais Theatre in St Kilda will host the world-renowned Croatian pianist, Maksim Mrvica. This long-awaited performance comes after a three-year hiatus. On top of the live music, a dazzling audio-visual stage effect will whoosh you away. The show will take place on September 9.
19. Have fun at the Longsong Full Moon Party
Feel transported to one of Thailand’s famous Full Moon Parties at this monthly event series in Melbourne CBD. Head to the upper level of Longrain, and into the cocktail bar Longsong for their Full Moon Party. Set underneath flickering lanterns, you’ll party under UV lights, play with neon body paint and glow sticks, enjoy bucket cocktails and tasty snacks. The monthly series will follow the lunar phases, with the next party on Saturday September 10.
20. Have a blast at the Preston Market Block Party
Preston Market is inviting you to their first ever Block Party on Sunday September 11. Enjoy pop-up food stalls, craft beer, kids’ activities, live music, vibrant entertainment and more. This free event will run from 11am to 3pm.
21. Discover invisible art on the AR. Trail
Find digital works from celebrated artists like Patricia Piccinini and KAWS at this free augmented reality experience. AR. Trail is a collaboration between Fed Square, Koorie Heritage Trust, ACMI and NGV, and is the largest free augmented reality art trail in the city. Explore world-class artworks for yourself, from August 22 to September 30.
22. Find fairies and more at Blue Hills Cherry Blossom Show
This cherry farm in Silvan is throwing their first ever Blue Hills Cherry Blossom Show. Celebrate cherry blossom season and see the stunning flowers, wander through a fairy garden and more. The Cherry Blossom Show will run from Tuesday September 20 to Sunday October 2.
23. Admire the Bendigo Annual Tulip Display
Head to Pall Mall and Conservatory Garden to see this year’s Bendigo Annual Tulip Display. There, you’ll find over 53, 000 tulips with a whole range of colours, sizes and blooming times. This free display will run from September 12 to October 21.
24. Feel terrified by the UK stage play, Ghost Stories
The two-time Olivier Award nominee is coming to Melbourne, after haunting the UK with its terrifying twists and turns. Brought to you by Realscape Productions, the nightmarish world of Ghost Stories is something you won’t forget anytime soon. See it, if you dare, at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre from Friday September 16 to Saturday October 22.
25. Ride over to the Melbourne Bike Show
The Melbourne Bike Show is bringing together consumers, vendors and bike manufacturers all under one roof. The hybrid industry trade and consumer show will unveil the latest innovations, technology and advancements in the biking world across two fun-filled days. See it on Saturday September 10 and Sunday September 11.More info here.
26. Wander through colourful fields at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival
Drive out to the Dandenong Ranges and feel delighted by the visual splendour of the Tesselaar Tulip Festival. There’s nearly one million bulbs spread across five acres to discover. On top of the tulips, there will be food, drinks and entertainment. The Tesselaar Tulip Festival will run from Saturday September 10 to Sunday October 9.
27. Feel mesmerised by the Wisdom and Light digital exhibition
Immerse yourself on Golden Square Rooftop at the incredible Wisdom and Light experience. Go on a journey and learn all about spiritual leader Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist organisation, and famous for his writing, teachings and one-stroke calligraphy. This experience will fuse light, art and sound with digital technology in the heart of Melbourne CBD. This event will start on September 1, and end on October 2.
28. Feel like you’re in a period romance at The Garden at Broughton Hall
Set against the rolling hills of West Gippsland, overlooking the man-made Tarago Reservoir, The Garden at Broughton Hall offers a dreamy landscape that’s perfect for an afternoon stroll. And it’s reopening to the public on Thursdays to Sundays, from September 1.
29. Celebrate Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus
After a two year hiatus, Oktoberfest is coming back to Hofbräuhaus Melbourne for six glorious weeks. Enjoy Steins, specials, live music and more! The festivities will start on September 17 and end on October 29.
30. Set the alarm for Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical
See this sensational show, inspired by the hit film from the 80s. It includes a stellar Australian cast, with familiar names like Marina Prior and Casey Donovan, as well as a score from Dolly Parton herself. This show is now on at the Arts Centre’s State Theatre, and will run until September 17.
31. Experience the magic of Candlelight at the Aquarium
Dive into the depths at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, and listen to some of the best film scores in this dazzling Candlelight concert experience. This event will take place on Tuesday September 20.Get your tickets here.
32. 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.
33. Immerse 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.
34. 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 stay in town until November 13.
35. Check out costumes and props from Thor: Love and Thunder at ACMI
In this free exhibition, you’ll see costumes worn by Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and other stars from the blockbuster film, Thor: Love and Thunder. You’ll also see props from the film on display, including Thor’s famous hammer, Mjölnir. Find this showcase inside The Story of the Moving Image exhibition, from now until July 28 in 2023.
36. Feel the romance of spring at this Cherry Blossom Festival
Drive out to the Yarra Valley and celebrate spring at the Blossom Festival by CherryHill Orchards. Take your family, your friends, and even your dog, and explore the stunning rows of blooming cherry trees. During the festival, there will be workshops to try, delicious food to eat, photography packages and more. This year, the Cherry Blossom Festival will run from September 17 to October 2.
37. Hear the bells at Hairspray the Musical
Get ready to shake and shimmy at the feel-good musical, Hairspray. The Tony-award winning Broadway production of Hairspray is grooving and moving at the Regent Theatre this month. Listen to your favourite bops, and see the nicest kids in town, live on stage
38. See the light at the Moon Lantern Festival
Check out this free event over two fun-filled days. Queensbridge Square will be illuminated with beautiful lanterns. There will also be kids rides, street food, lantern-making activities and a line-up of cultural performances, including Lion dance, Bollywood dance, fan dances and hip hop dance covers. The festival will run on Saturday September 10 and Sunday September 11.
39. Treat yourself to some delicious mooncake
The Mid-Autumn Festival will take place on Saturday September 10. To celebrate, enjoy some tasty mooncake. We’ve found some awesome bakeries around Melbourne, serving up mooncake in a variety of flavours.See more here.
40. 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 end on October 9.
41. Stay out late for NGV Friday Nights
Have fun at NGV, with a massive line-up of live performances, DJ sets, bars and Spanish-inspired dining. Friday Nights will end on October 7.
42. Check out the Malaysia Hawker Festival at Queen Vic Market
Celebrate Malaysia Day and the Mooncake Festival with Malaysian hawker food, lantern making, mooncakes and roving cultural entertainment. There will also be free durian fruit sampling on September 11 while stocks last. The festival will run on Saturday September 10 and Sunday September 11 from 9am to 4pm.
43. 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 September 24 from 9am to 4pm.
44. Wander through a nocturnal world at Tyama
Go on a multi-sensory journey through Victoria’s natural world at this stunning exhibition. Informed by First Peoples knowledge, this exhibition features interactive worlds that respond to movement and sound. Journey from the night sky, through caves and into the sea at Melbourne Museum this September.
45. Explore First Peoples connection to water at this exhibition in Melbourne Museum
Naadohbii: To Draw Water brings together contemporary First Peoples artwork from Turtle Island (Canada), Aotearoa (New Zealand), and First Peoples Nations from Australia. This exhibition features over 20 artists, with film, sound, painting, sculpture, print, photography and textiles. This exhibition will open at Melbourne Museum on Friday September 23.
46. Stay out late with Saturday Sessions at Melbourne Museum
Enjoy a night at the museum in this monthly series. Check out all of their cool exhibitions, then enjoy a line-up of performances, listen to DJs, check out the pop-up bar, listen to curator talks and more. The museum will stay open until 9pm on Saturday September 24.
47. Stay cosy in your own private igloo
Winter might be over, but some venues around Melbourne are still offering a private dining experience in an igloo. Try different food and beverage packages in each location.More info here.
48. Check out the Melbourne International Coffee Expo
Set during Melbourne Coffee Week, this expo is all about showcasing the coffee roasters and suppliers behind your morning brew. Go down Roasters Alley and discover a new favourite bean, wander down Origin Alley and learn where your coffee comes from, see the World Barista Championship and more. The Melbourne International Coffee Expo will run from September 27 to 30.
49. Feel uplifted by the musical Come From Away
Tony and Olivier award-winning musical, Come From Away, is returning to Melbourne for a limited season. This production follows the real-life journey of 7,000 air passengers, who were grounded in Canada after the tragic events of September 11. The small community in Gander, Newfoundland, welcomed these passengers into their lives, and provided hope and compassion to those that desperately needed it. See it at the Comedy Theatre this September.
50. Have fun with this retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac
After being cancelled due to lockdown, Cyrano returns to the stage in 2022. This gender-flipped version of Cyrano delivers the self-aware, theatrical rom-com that we need in these times. See it at Southbank Theatre from September 24 to October 29.
51. 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.
52. Go roller skating at the Collingwood Artisan Market
Enjoy a fun day out at Collingwood Artisan Market, which will light up Hoddle Street with a full-size roller rink, plenty of cool stalls, gourmet food and live music. Run by the Bourne Local artisan market team, and in partnership with UEM Sunrise, this market will take over the former Honda showroom site on the last Sunday of every month, from July to December. See it on September 25.
53. Discover the work of Bruce Munro at the Heide Museum of Modern Art
Feel amazed by indoor and outdoor pieces from internationally celebrated artist, Bruce Munro, at Heide. Discover over twenty works inside the museum itself, as well as an immersive outdoor installation that will illuminate the surrounding parklands every night. Bruce Munro: From Sunrise Road is on now, and will run until Friday October 16.
54. Celebrate Ballarat and surrounds at Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters
This new restaurant in Fed Square will celebrate the best of Ballarat and surrounds in the first of their region in residence program. This program will shine a spotlight on unsung ingredients, guest chefs, hero winemakers, brewers and distillers from the region.
This will start on September 1, and run for three months.
55. Have fun at the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular
Head under the heated big top at Westfield Southland in Cheltenham and see a world class Sesame Street circus performance. There will be aerialists, jugglers, acrobats and of course, your favourite Sesame Street characters. See it from September 2 to October 9.
56. Enjoy an exceptional program at the Music, She Wrote festival
Radio station 3MBS Melbourne 103.5FM is throwing a music festival at Malvern Banquet Hall. There’s three different concerts to choose from – all of them celebrate women composers past and present. The shows will run from September 23 to 25.
57. Experience a Sustainable September at Fed Square
After a two year hiatus, Sustainable September is coming back to Fed Square. Enjoy a month-long festival filled with family-friendly events and activities. There will be a Vegan Market, a Zero Waste Festival, film screenings, panel discussions and more, with the aim of promoting a healthier planet for the future. See the full program here.
58. Return to the Melbourne Royal Show
The Show is back! Go on rides, cuddle up with animals, enjoy entertainment, try delicious food and much more. The Show is on from September 22 to October 2.
59. Stay out late with Melbourne Royal Show After Dark
Get pumped up for 11 nights of thrilling live music, featuring Aussie artists like The Veronicas, Baker Boy and Sneaky Sound System. The Show After Dark will run from Thursday September 22 to Sunday October 2.
60. 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.
Discover the music of Tchaikovsky, accompanied by a live ballet dancer, a special Mid-Autumn Festival performance and more. Check out all the upcoming shows here.