Life is looking pretty good here in Melbourne this weekend. December is finally here, which means it’s time to feel festive, go out and see all that this city has to offer. 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. Find your Happy Place
The World’s Most Instagrammable Exhibit is now open at Crown.
2. Watch movies under the stars
The beloved Moonlight Cinema is back at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
3. See the Chanel exhibition at NGV
The highly-anticipated exhibition is finally here. This weekend, there will also be a series of free talks from NGV curators to enrich your experience.
4. See Santa and get in the festive spirit at Fed Square
There’s so many fun activities to try at Fed Square.
5. Explore the city and feel the magic of Christmas
The Christmas Festival is here and ready to spread some cheer! See festive lights and dazzling projections all around the city.
Fly into the summer with this unique, pop-up adventure experience.
7. Take part in Melbourne Music Week
Melbourne will come alive with the sound of live music, both indoors and on the city streets. The program this year is massive, with over 300 artists playing nearly 70 events around the city. Melbourne Music Week will run from December 3 to December 12.
8. Marvel at MPavilion
MPavilion has finally opened the cultural season. Their new space, “The Lightcatcher” by MAP Studio, is an architectural playground that should be enjoyed from every possible angle. Find it at Queen Victoria Gardens.
9. See the Myer Christmas Windows
Take part in this beloved Melbourne tradition and see the adorable Peter Rabbit through the windows.
10. Engage your senses at The Lume’s Van Gogh exhibit
Immerse yourself as dazzling images of Van Gogh’s famous paintings are projected around the room. Be transported to another time and place through curated aromas and tastes. Tickets are on sale now.
11. Enjoy a fun night at So Soirée
Enjoy a variety of performances in this celebratory festival of the arts. There will be cabaret, circus, comedy and more.
12. Have a feast at Melbourne Street Eatz
Enjoy a variety of awesome food trucks in South Wharf.
13. Celebrate the Melbourne International Jazz Festival
There will be 70 live jazz performances across the city over four days.
14. Try a Frozen-inspired treat at Sweetie & Moustache Dessert Lounge
With cakes, crepes and cocktails, this is something you don’t want to let go.
15. Discover Melbourne’s newest laneway market
Next to the GPO building, you’ll find unique Christmas presents at Postal Lane Markets. This market will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until January 30.
16. Plan your Christmas shopping around some of these other Christmas markets
Find unique and local gifts for the favourite people in your life.
17. Be moved by the Japanese Film Festival
Returning to the cinema for its 25th year, this festival showcases the latest and greatest in Japanese cinema. See it at ACMI or the Kino Cinemas from November 18 to December 5.
18. Get boxed up at We Built This City
Build a city made out of carboard boxes at University Square in Carlton on December 4 and 5.
19. Go cherry picking on the Victorian Cherry Trail
Wander the cherry orchards, chat to the growers and pick your own cherries in four regions around Victoria.
20. Treat yourself to a posh picnic at CherryHill Orchards
Gather your friends for a dreamy private picnic session at this cherry orchard in the Yarra Valley.
21. Feel like you’re in a European summer at these pop-up bars in QV
Sip on refreshing cocktails and listen to live music.
22. Take part in an augmented reality scavenger hunt
Go on an adventure through Melbourne this weekend. In XPlore Melbourne, an augmented reality treasure hunt, you’ll discover street artists, musicians, authors, special competitions, offers and more. Your journey begins by clicking here.
23. Feel your dreams come true at ACMI’s Disney exhibition
See original sketches and rare artwork from your favourite childhood movies. The magical Disney exhibition will stay in Melbourne until January 23.
24. Enjoy a performance of As You Like It
Return to the theatre with one of Shakespeare’s beloved plays. Presented by Melbourne Theatre Company, As You Like It will perform at Southbank Theatre from November 13 to December 18.
25. See Treasures of the Natural World at Melbourne Museum
Discover rare and precious artefacts all the way from the Natural History Museum in London.
26. Be dazzled by new installations at Imaginaria
Push the boundaries of your imagination at this futuristic, immersive space in Docklands. There are new installations waiting to be explored. Imaginaria will stay in town from November 12 to January 30.
27. Roar with excitement at Jurassic World by Brickman
Go on a thrilling journey through Jurassic World at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This exhibition will last until the end of January, so check it out before it goes extinct.
28. See the spectacular Moulin Rouge
Enjoy a night of glitz and glamour with this fabulous musical at the Regent Theatre.
29. Go to the zoo
Whether you choose Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary, you’ll be sure to have a wild time. Bookings are required.
30. See A Miracle Constantly Repeated
Step into the mysterious Flinders Street Ballroom and see this surreal exhibition by Patricia Piccinini.
31. Immerse yourself in Higher Order
In this otherworldly, culinary experience, you’ll enter a space where scent, taste and sound collide. Sample the menu from Scott Pickett (Estelle, Longrain and Matilda) and go on an ethereal adventure through Hanover House. This experience will run until December 19. Tickets are available now.
32. Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens by Seeing the Invisible
At this free exhibition, you’ll explore some magnificent works of art with the help of augmented reality. Discover 13 immersive virtual pieces by artists like Ai Weiwei and Refik Anadol.
33. Challenge yourself with an escape room
Round up your crew, put your brains together and see if you can escape one of these escape rooms around Melbourne.
34. Explore Melbourne’s laneways, transformed by the Flash Forward Project
Head to the CBD and see new artwork hidden amongst the laneways of Melbourne this weekend. In this creative project, 40 of the city’s laneways will be transformed into something new. After that, check out the pop-up store and see their range of artworks, vinyl, merchandise and one-of-a-kind pieces.
For more information, stay tuned to their social media for updates.
35. Check out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
At the moment, you can see this magical play in its original two-part form. However, next year, this show will be condensed into a one-part play.
36. Enjoy the Italian Film Festival
Discover the best in classic and contemporary Italian cinema from November 19 to December 12. Browse the full list of sessions here.
37. Feel transported to Turkey at Arbory Afloat
Travel to the Turquoise Coast in Turkey and enjoy Melbourne’s largest outdoor floating bar and restaurant.
38. Get summer ready at this pop-up beach club in Port Melbourne
Lounge on the sand, sip on icy cocktails and more at The Exchange.
39. Go punting on the lake
Take in the views of Ornamental Lake on a romantic boat ride in Royal Botanic Gardens.
40. Feel as though you’re in France in this beautiful lavender farm
Drive out to Warratina Lavender Farm and get lost in ten thousand rows of blooming lavender.