Melbourne is filled with fun and cool things to keep you occupied this weekend. There’s heaps of arts and cultural events happening, as well as plenty of food to try and shows to see. Here are some of our top recommendations on where to go, what to eat and what to look forward to this weekend in Melbourne.
1. Admire some Art After Dark
Stay out late in the city on Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14 for some incredible late-night experiences. Feel amazed by projections, installations, exhibitions and more, at Arts Centre Melbourne, NGV International, Ian Potter Centre, Fed Square, ACMI, State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Museum. These destinations will stay open late, from 6pm to 1am.Find more info here.
2. Discover new ideas at 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.Learn more here.
3. Have a blast at Games Day
Have fun at Games Day this Saturday, as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week. There’s eight cool events to try, from a scavenger hunt at QV to a musical installation at State Library of Victoria.See what’s happening here.
4. Celebrate Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival
This three-day festival is having its 26th anniversary this weekend. This free festival celebrates the birth of Buddha, as well as our multicultural and multi-faith society. Head to Golden Square Carpark from May 13 to 15, and enjoy a vast program of art, music, performances and traditional Buddhist ceremonies. Also of note is the animated Bodhi Tree mural. This five-storey high mural depicts the sacred fig tree that the Buddha sat under when he attained Enlightenment. Every night, from 6:30pm to 11pm, the mural will come alive with digital animations, showing the tree experiencing different states, and symbolising the challenges that the young prince faced.Learn more about the festival here.
5. Have a spicy Saturday at the Hot Sauce and Chilli Festival
Welcome to Brunswick is throwing a party in celebration of the spiciest local sauces and food that Melbourne has to offer. Browse through the Hot Sauce Market, take part in a hot sauce taste battle, try spicy meals and drinks, and more!
This hot festival will run from 12pm to 6pm on Saturday May 14. Find more details here.
6. Feel amazed by PHOTO 2022: International Festival of Photography
Australia’s largest photography biennale has landed in Melbourne. 123 local and international artists and photographers will feature across 90 exhibitions around the streets and galleries of Melbourne and Victoria. This festival will run from April 29 to May 22.Learn more here.
7. 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 April 29 to January 29 next year. Find more info here.
8. Remember the magic at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The spellbinding Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been reimagined, and is now a one-part play! Be one of the first to see it, and see the preview shows this weekend at the Princess Theatre.Find out more here.
9. Gaze at this gigantic sculpture of the Earth
Luke Jerram’s Gaia installation has landed at St Paul’s Cathedral. See this inspiring installation from April 22 to June 30. Entry is free!
10. See Girl from the North Country
After selling out seasons on the West End, Broadway and more, Girl From The North Country has finally come to Melbourne. Step back in time to 1934 Minnesota, and follow the story of a group of wanderers who cross paths at a guesthouse. This musical weaves together the legendary songs of Bob Dylan in a way that you’ve never heard before.See it at the Comedy Theatre this weekend.
11. Go to the largest LEGO store in the Southern Hemisphere
Go to Melbourne Central this weekend and have fun at the newest, largest LEGO certified store in the Southern Hemisphere. This store features an extensive range of merchandise, large-than-life builds, and interactive table for adults, and a Mosaic Maker for you to make your own portrait.
12. Admire some beautiful autumn leaves
Travel around Melbourne and Victoria this weekend and admire vibrant hues of gold and crimson. Whether you’re in one of the city’s gorgeous gardens, or in a regional town, you’ll be sure to find the perfect backdrop for your Instagram feed.
13. Check out Australian Burlesque Festival
See the largest touring burlesque festival in the world this weekend in Melbourne. Head to Max Watts, and enjoy some glamourous burlesque, drag, cabaret and more. This festival is on now, and will end on Sunday May 15.Check out the program here.
14. Meet Peppa Pig at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
Meet Peppa Pig at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium this April. Visit between April 1 and May 20 to meet Peppa, take a picture and collect a free activity booklet.Learn all about it here.
15. 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. See this fascinating exhibition at Melbourne Museum, from now until August 14.Learn more here.
16. Meet Horridus the triceratops at Melbourne Museum
See the world’s most complete triceratops fossil at Melbourne Museum this weekend.More info here.
17. Check out the South Side Festival
Head down to Frankston this weekend for heaps of art, music, exhibitions, food and more at South Side Festival. One event of note is Frankston Generator by international design team Mandylights. Wander underground into an immersive, self-guided experience at Frankston Arts Centre. Lighting, audio and video installations combine into a mesmerising, sensory journey. South Side Festival will run until May 15.See the program here.
18. Feel thrilled by a performance of Hamilton
After months, nay years, of anticipation, you can finally be in the room where it happens, and see this revolutionary musical live on stage. Hamilton is currently playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
19. 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.
20. Treat yourself at the Rocky Road Festival
The chocolateries in the Yarra Valley, Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula are whipping up 31 different flavours of rocky road over the 31 days of May. Go for a drive and treat yourself to some classic and experimental flavours this weekend.
21. Drink exclusive 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.Find out more here.
22. See the Art of Everyday Melbourne
Pop into City Gallery at Melbourne Town Hall this weekend and discover the exhibition, From Mundane to Friday: The Art of Everyday Melbourne. Learn more about who we are and who we want to be by checking out some artworks of the overlooked and forgotten.Learn more about it here.
23. Enjoy a 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.
24. Check out the Spanish Film Festival
Escape to Spain or Latin America this weekend by catching a film at the Spanish Film Festival. This is your last weekend to see it, as the festival will end in Melbourne on May 15.See the program here.
25. Save some money when dining out with 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.
26. 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.
27. Celebrate all things hip hop at Homegrown Festival
Enjoy local hip hop artists at Homegrown, a one-day festival that will take place at Port Melbourne Industrial Centre for the Arts (PICA). On top of the music line-up, there will be market stalls, interactive installations, live art, food trucks and bars. Homegrown will run from 2pm to 10om on Saturday May 14.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. See 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.