The weekend is here, and Melbourne is filled with cool and interesting things to keep you occupied. There’s plenty of fun things to do, 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 and beyond.
1. Have a blast at the Melbourne Royal Show
The iconic Melbourne Royal Show is back for its 175th year. Check out over 100 free experiences, explore new animal precincts, enjoy live entertainment and feast on delicious food. Find it at Melbourne Showgrounds from Thursday September 21 to Sunday October 1.
2. Have fun at the AFL Footy Festival
Head over to Yarra Park and get excited for the AFL Grand Final with activities, player appearances, giveaways, music, food and more! The AFL Footy Festival is free to attend, and will run from now until Saturday September 30. Learn more here.
3. March over to the AFL Grand Final Parade
Celebrate the Grand Final teams, as well as the Brownlow and Coleman medallists, by cheering them on at the AFL Grand Final Parade. The motorcade will start at Melbourne Park Live Site, move on through Birrarung Marr, into the Footy Festival and end at the MCG. It will run from 10:30am to 12:30pm on Friday September 29. See more here.
4. Get on the beers at Perseverance
Persa is kicking off your long weekend with their special Get On The Beers event on Friday night. Rapidly, rapidly head on over for $6 beers, or enjoy a beer for free if your name is Dan or Dani. Entry is free, and there will be DJs from 8pm.
5. Feel spellbound by Maho Magic Bar
Head to Chinatown and discover a Japanese-themed pop-up bar. Enjoy delicious drinks, and feel captivated by musicians as they perform close-up magic at your table. Maho Magic Bar will open on September 15. Get your tickets here.
6. 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 30 from 9am to 4pm.
7. Feast on Sundays with Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters
Treat yourself on the weekend with the help of Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters at Fed Square. Try their Spring Sunday Sessions, and enjoy seasonal shared grazing plates and bottomless Four Pillars cocktails. Or, book yourself in for The Sunday Grill, and enjoy a seasonal BBQ feast of shared plates. More details here.
8. Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival
Melbourne is coming to life with all sorts of festivals and events in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival this weekend. See lion dancers, feast on mooncakes, browse through stalls and more. See what’s happening here.
9. Spark your imagination with RELICS: A New World Rises at Melbourne Museum
Perth duo Jackson Harvey and Alex Towler have channelled their creativity to create 15 different LEGO worlds. See an imagined future, and discover LECO minifigures living in discarded treasures. Find RELICS: A New World Rises at Melbourne Museum this weekend.
10. Dive into the immersive theatre experience Love Lust Lost
Hop aboard the E.V. Nautilus, and descend into an underwater theatrical playground at the choose-your-own-adventure production, Love Lust Lost. Explore over 40 intricately designed spaces across three floors, spanning over 1900 square metres, at The Austral in Collingwood. Go at your own pace, and become active participants in the story.
11. Celebrate Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus
Hofbräuhaus Melbourne turns 55 this year, and to celebrate, they’ve got some exciting things happening for Oktoberfest this weekend. Take part in the festivities by trying delicious food, drinking plenty of beer, and enjoying live entertainment. Oktoberfest will run at this venue from September 16 to October 28. Learn more here.
12. Create a masterpiece at Art and Glow in the Dark
In this unique paint and sip experience, you’ll sit in the dark and create something beautiful with a neon mixture of classic and fluorescent paint. This class includes a complimentary drink. Check it out at Hanover House this weekend. Grab your tickets here.
13. Have a spectacular time at Moulin Rouge! The Musical!
After a sold-out premiere season, Moulin Rouge! The Musical! is back in Melbourne this weekend. Celebrate truth, beauty, freedom and love at the Regent Theatre.
14. Feel whisked away to Mexico at Arbory Afloat
Melbourne’s original floating bar and restaurant, Arbory Afloat, has emerged from hibernation, and transformed into Afloat Viva Mexico. Sip on margaritas and feast on tacos and more at this iconic Melbourne venue this weekend.
15. Feel a sense of Connection at The Lume
The Lume is celebrating First Peoples art and music with their immersive exhibition, Connection. Feel amazed by swirling projections around the 3,000 square metre gallery space, and check out a display of original art. Over 110 visual and musical artists are featured, making Connection the largest representation of First Peoples art and culture ever assembled.
16. Take part in a Mosaic Mini Table Lamp workshop
Create your own beautiful lamp to take home at Art Masterclass. In this lamp workshop, you’ll use colourful tiles to design and lay dreamy patterns on your lamp. As you work, enjoy some homemade Turkish shortbread and sip on Turkish tea. Get your tickets here.
17. See Arthur Miller’s timeless tale, Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman is playing in Melbourne for a limited season. This masterpiece by Arthur Miller explores the American Dream and its consequences, providing insights into the human psyche and portraying our vulnerability, hope and despair. This Pulitzer Prize-winning story is on at Her Majesty’s Theatre from September 1 to October 15.
18. Check out the NGV exhibition, Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi
NGV has partnered with France’s Musée d’Orsay to present their Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi. See over 100 works by Bonnard, a 20th century French painter, presented within a contemporary scenography by award-winning architect and designer, India Mahdavi. The exhibition is open from now until October 8.
19. Step right up to Circus Royale on Burnley Oval
Hop under the Big Top and have fun with live circus performances from Circus Royale. They’ve got two new attractions to keep the kids happy. Check out the Animatronic Zoo, then feel mesmerised by the 3D Hologram Display. They’re taking over Burnley Oval from September 15 to October 8. See more here.
20. Go on a journey to Paris in this bottomless high tea experience
Take a seat in a lavish Parisian salon, and devour a selection of delicious French finger food and bottomless French champagne. Find this dreamy high tea experience at Appartement 26 in Prahran this weekend. Get your tickets here.
21. Dance over to see Swan Lake
See the Australian Ballet perform the timeless tale of Swan Lake. Find it at the State Theatre in Arts Centre Melbourne from now until Saturday September 30. Learn more here.
22. Feel awed by the ACMI exhibition, Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion
ACMI is paying tribute to formidable women on screen with their blockbuster exhibition, Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion. Check out large-scale projections, never-before-seen costumes, cinematic treasures and more. There will also be events and interactive experiences, like curator tours and live music nights. Goddess is showing in Melbourne from now until October 1.
23. Find a sense of magic in Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature
Grab your wand and visit Melbourne Museum for a spellbinding exhibition that combines science, nature and fantasy. See the the magical creatures from the Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts film series, and learn how the natural world inspired myths and legends throughout history.
24. Watch a movie at the Italian Film Festival
See the best in contemporary Italian cinema at the Italian Film Festival. Find it at select cinemas around Melbourne from now until October 18. See more here.
25. Treat yourself to a free coffee
Head to Coffee Supreme Abbotsford Café on Saturday September 30 and try their off-world futuristic coffee. This drink is available for free to the first 100 customers. The drink is made up of three layers, representing earth, water and clouds. Look forward to a coffee brew concentrate, with yuzu brown sugar and cold milk foam made from Minor Figures Barista Oat Milk. If you can’t make it on Saturday, this limited-edition drink is available to try until October 7.
26. 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. Find it at The District Docklands. Tickets are on sale now.
27. Dive into Submerged at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Go on an immersive journey and see the wonder of underwater worlds in this multisensory digital exhibition at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium this weekend. Start on a shimmering shoreline and dive below the depths into the bioluminescent unknown.
28. Go on a mystery picnic date
Go on a self-guided food adventure with the help of Amazingco. They’ll send clues and riddles to you, taking you own a journey to collect gourmet treats for your own picnic. Each clue will lead you closer to your final, stunning picnic spot. There are picnics available in Melbourne and the Yarra Valley.
29. 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 16 to Sunday October 15.
30. Feel pretty in pink 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 16 to October 1.
31. Find fairies and more at Blue Hills Cherry Blossom Show
Blue Hills Berries & Cherries are bringing back their delightful Cherry Blossom Show. Feel a touch of whimsy at this cherry farm, and discover a fairy garden, stunning flowers and face painting. On the weekends, there will be live music and a roaming Blossom Fairy. The Cherry Blossom Show will run from Saturday September 23 to Sunday October 1. Learn more here.
32. 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 start on Thursday July 20, and run until Sunday October 1.
33. Escape to Kryal Castle and see roaring dragons
Dragons are descending on Kryal Castle. Come face-to-face with the fearsome creatures in a meet and greet, take part in dragon-related activities like Dragon Spell Casting and Dragon Warrior Training, and watch knights battle it out for the Dragon Cup. Stick around after sunset for the Feast of the Dragon dinner. The dragons will stick around from September 16 to October 1, with an encore on October 7 and 8. See more here.
34. Amble along the Cornella Canola Walk
Shiraz Republic and Cornella Brewery have teamed up to create the Cornella Canola Walk. Take a day trip to Cornella and traipse through a special track and viewing platform within their 100 acre fields. Cornella Canola Walk is open from Friday to Monday from 11am to 5pm, and it’s your last weekend to check it out.
35. 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. The tulips are now blooming, and will likely be good for visiting until early October. Check here for more information.