It’s spooky season! And while we can’t wait for Halloween, there’s plenty of wonderful (non-scary) things to see, do and eat in Melbourne this October. Have fun at some blockbuster events, check out some festivals and stay busy during the month of October with this list of recommendations.
1. Feel amazed by Melbourne Fringe Festival
Fringe is back! And this year, there’s over 450 incredible events to discover. Installations, cabaret, exhibitions, theatrical shows, parties, there’s something for everyone! Melbourne Fringe Festival will run from October 6 to 23.Learn more here.
2. March at the Fringe Parade and Lygon St Block Party
Celebrate Melbourne Fringe’s 40th birthday with this iconic parade and block party. Celebrate creativity and the arts, and discover plenty of roving performances. There will also be food and drink. This event will take place on Saturday October 15.More info here.
3. Lose yourself at RUNAWAY Festival Park
This boutique festival playground is all a part of Melbourne Fringe. Expect cabaret, comedy, circus, children’s entertainment and more in the heart of Queen Vic Market. Feel amazed by the incredible atmosphere and performances from October 6 to 30.
4. Grab a drink at this Netflix-inspired pub
For just five precious days, you’ll feast on Netflix-inspired food and drink, like an Emily in Parma or a Rickety Rickety Wrecked pilsner.. There will also be plenty of props to discover, and entertainment to enjoy. The Who’s Watch Inn will take over Carlton’s Clyde Hotel from Wednesday September 28 to Sunday October 2.
5. Sip on boutique wines at Rutherglen in the City
After a three-year hiatus, winemakers from North East Victoria will come to Melbourne to showcase their best drops. Head to The Timber Yard in Port Melbourne, and enjoy unlimited wine tastings of over 100 wines from the Rutherglen region. There will also be wine masterclasses, live music and delicious food to try. Rutherglen in the City will take place on Saturday October 1.
6. Do your best at the NIKE Melbourne Marathon Festival
Whether fitness is your life, or you’re just looking to give it a go, all are welcome at Australia’s largest running festival. Athletes of all ages, abilities and experience levels are invited to take part in six distances, starting at Batman Avenue, and finishing at the MCG. The Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival will take place on Sunday October 2.
7. Have fun at the Melbourne Royal Show
There’s still time for you to see the Show! Go on rides, cuddle up with animals, enjoy entertainment, try delicious food and more before it ends on October 2.
8. Feel mesmerised by the Wisdom and Light digital exhibition
Immerse yourself on Golden Square Rooftop at the incredible Wisdom and Light experience. This experience will fuse light, art and sound with digital technology in the heart of Melbourne CBD. This event will end on October 2.
9. Wear pink on Mean Girls Day at Cinema Nova
October 3rd is coming up so put on your best pink outfit and head over to Cinema Nova for a special screening of the iconic film, Mean Girls. This independent cinema is playing the insanely popular comedy on Mean Girls Day, and serving up cheap cocktails to add to the fun.
10. Have fun with Big Games Night In at ACMI
Pass the time away with free games curated by ACMI. This selection showcases the diversity of Australia’s games industry. Big Games Night In is a part of Melbourne International Games Week. It will run from October 2 to 9.
Ready to play? Click here.
11. 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. This festival will end on Sunday October 9.
12. 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.
13. Stay out late for NGV Friday Nights
Have fun at NGV, with live performances, DJ sets, bars and Spanish-inspired dining. Friday Nights will end on October 7.
14. 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.
This October, enjoy Halloween compositions at the aquarium, the best soundtracks of Tim Burton and more. See all upcoming shows here.
15. Feast on tacos at Preston Market
World Taco Day is on October 4, and to celebrate, Preston Market is serving up a whole heap of taco specials. Barburrito is serving up a different taco each day from Wednesday October 5 to Sunday October 9. Meanwhile, Cornutopia Tacos is slinging $4 tacos on Taco Day.
16. Have a spookily good time at the Astor Theatre
The Astor is here to help you get into the Halloween spirit this October. Check out all your favourite horror films during the month, then on October 29, feel terrified by The Great Astor Spooktacular – The Sequel. This horror-thon will focus on sequels, including Evil Dead 2 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3.
17. Take part in PAX
This famous games festival is back! Enjoy panels, tournaments, special guests and more from October 7 to 9.
Click here to learn more.
18. Feel dazzled by White Night in Geelong
Drive out of Melbourne this October and enjoy White Night, an immersive art festival. See vibrant projections, interactive installations, live music and street food. White Night will take over Geelong on Saturday October 8.
19. Check out the festival, Alter State
Alter State is an arts festival that celebrates disability, creativity and culture. Enjoy a range of in-person and unique events from now until October 9.More info here.
20. Sip your way through Shedfest in the Yarra Valley
After a two-year hiatus, 14 wineries in the Yarra Valley will open their cellar doors for a superb springtime wine festival. Enjoy a weekend filled with wine tasting, as well as live music, delicious food, and picturesque views. Shedfest will take place on Saturday October 8 and Sunday October 9.
21. Strut your way to Melbourne Fashion Week
Melbourne Fashion Week is coming back with a whole heap of striking runways, exhibitions, talks and more. Check it out from October 10 to 16.See more here.
22. Light up your night at So Soirée Fringe Garden
Immerse yourself inside a neon playground of art and theatre at So Soirée. This festival will showcase talented performers, pushing the boundaries of comedy, circus, cabaret and burlesque. It will run from Thursday October 13 to Sunday October 23.
23. Enjoy the good vibes at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Melbourne will soon come alive with the sound of jazz. Get ready for over 85 performances and events across the city, including exclusive concerts from international stars, one-off festival collaborations, outdoor events, free experiences and more. Concert halls, arenas, clubs, bars, parks and other gorgeous venues like the Planetarium will hum with the sound of music. This festival will run from October 14 to 23.
24. Keep your spirits up at gin festival Junipalooza
Discover over 50 different craft distillers from both around Australia and overseas at Junipalooza. With your very own tasting glass, you’ll explore over one hundred types of gin, and sample them both neat and with tonic. Then, meet the makers and learn all about the gin producing process. Junipalooza will take place at The Timber Yard in Port Melbourne from Friday October 21 to Sunday October 23.
25. Lose 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.
26. Watch the peregrine falcons on 367 Collins
Watch all the highs and lows of the peregrine falcon family as they wait for their eggs to hatch this spring.
27. Run for a good cause at run4reef
This running event will simultaneously take place in 21 cities across Australia and New Zealand. This is all to shed light on the urgency of protecting the Great Barrier Reef. In Melbourne, the race will kick off at Fitzroy Gardens on October 16.More info here.
28. Have fun at Antipodes Festival – a massive Greek street party
Get ready to celebrate Greek culture at this colossal festival on the historic Lonsdale Street Greek Precinct. There’s going to be over 90 stalls, entertainment, children’s activities, and of course, delicious food and drink. Antipodes Festival will take place on Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23.
29. 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.
30. Unwind at Alba Thermal Springs & Spa
Head to Mornington Peninsula for the peaceful new destination, Alba Thermal Springs & Spa. Treat yourself to a soak in the thermal pools, try out a broad selection of spa services, eat at the restaurant and more. Alba is now open and ready for you to visit.
31. Explore regional Victoria with Stella the Stargazer
A new off-grid tiny home is travelling to gorgeous destinations around Victoria, so that you can appreciate the best that this state has to offer. Stella the Stargazer will pop up in Maffra, Gippsland from October 14.
32. Indulge with plenty of carbs at Vapiano
Feast on a cob loaf loaded with three delicious pasta flavours. Choose between carbonara, Bolognese or Pomodoro. These loaves are available until the end of October.
33. Feel uplifted by the musical Come From Away
This inspirational 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 October.
34. Feel transported to Europe at the Europa Night Market
Head to Queen Vic Market on Wednesday nights this October for some incredible European street eats. Each week, the market will take you to a different destination around the continent. On top of the food, there will be live music and entertainment. The market will end on October 26.
35. Relax and unwind with Wellbeing Within at Immigration Museum
Slow down and take a breath at the Immigration Museum this October. Explore free meditation, movement, sound healing and more on Wednesdays from now until November 30.
36. Treat yourself to an Instagrammable staycation
The Doubletree by Hilton Melbourne is serving up their most Instagrammable hotel experience yet, to make all your sugary sweet dreams come true. Check in to this hotel on Flinders Street, and enjoy this Sugar High Stay filled with shimmering walls, neon lights and more. Bookings are available from now until October 31.
37. 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 now until mid-October.
38. 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.
39. Have a pup-tacular time at the Melbourne Dog Lovers Show
If you’re a dog lover, this might just be your idea of heaven. Meet and interact with heaps of dogs, listen to educational talks, check out the adoption zone, shop for pet goodies and more. This event will run from Friday October 14 to Sunday October 16.
40. Go shopping at the Finders Keepers Markets
Head to Royal Exhibition Building this October and browse for good from over 240 local artists, makers and designers. There will also be food, drink and workshops to try. Check it out from Friday October 14 to Sunday October 16.Learn more here.
41. Follow the smell of smoke to the International BBQ Festival at Queen Vic Market
Enjoy BBQ flavours from South America, Jamaica, Greece, South East Asia and more. After that, enjoy a drink and check out live entertainment. This festival will run on Saturday October 15 and Sunday October 16, from 9am to 4pm.
42. 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.
43. Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fed Square
To celebrate this incredible milestone, Fed Square will be filled with a rich program of free experiences to try out in October. Get ready for music, art, film and more. Find out more here.
44. Visit ACMI for their birthday weekend
ACMI is also turning 20 this October! Enjoy half-price entry to the exhibition, Light: Works from Tate’s Collection, and half-price tickets to all cinema sessions on Saturday October 29 and Sunday October 30. During this period, they will also give away free choc tops and cookies, while stocks last.
45. Step into Flinders Street Ballroom and admire installations by Rone
Discover a forgotten era of Melbourne inside the mysterious Flinders Street Ballroom. Brought to life by internationally renowned artist, Rone, Time will be his most expansive project yet. Explore 11 large-scale installations, meticulously placed around the heritage-listed space. This exhibition, which has been in development for three years, will open to the public on Friday October 28.
46. Feel terrified by the UK stage play, Ghost Stories
The two-time Olivier Award nominee is here in 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 now until Saturday November 5.
47. Unwind in the sauna at Aurora Spa & Bathhouse
The Continental Sorrento will soon have another luxurious feature in the 20, 000 square metre precinct. On top of the lush accommodation and multiple dining areas, this seaside destination will boast a new and relaxing spa. Aurora Spa & Bathhouse will include ancient bathing traditions with a modern twist, as well as meaningful rituals, evidence-based remedies and hot and cold contrast therapy. This wellness experience will open in late October.
48. 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 at Bricktionary: The Interactive LEGO Brick Exhibition.
49. 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 October.
50. Check out the exhibition, Naadohbii: To Draw Water at Melbourne Museum
This exhibition brings together over 20 contemporary First Peoples artists from Australia, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Turtle Island (Canada). Explore the solidarity between First Peoples nations around environment, political and cultural connections, and relationships with water.
51. Feel spellbound by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The magical story of 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.
52. Immerse yourself with the works of Monet and more at The Lume
Go on a journey across bohemian Paris and countryside France, and discover the breath-taking period of French Impressionism. Lose yourself in a world with Monet’s waterlilies, dance with Degas’ ballerinas and more. Monet & Friends Alive will open at The Lume from October 26.
53. Celebrate Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus
After a two year hiatus, Oktoberfest is back at Hofbräuhaus Melbourne. Enjoy Steins, specials, live music and more! The festivities will end on October 29.
54. 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.
55. 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 now until October 29.
56. Hear the bells at Hairspray the Musical
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.
57. Fall in love with Romeo and Juliet by The Australian Ballet
You already know Shakespeare’s tragic romance. See it brought to life on stage with John Cranko’s mesmerising vision. Romeo and Juliet will play at Arts Centre Melbourne from October 7 to 18.More info here.
58. 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 October 22.
59. Have a good time at the Arriba Melbourne Mexican Festival
Celebrate Mexican culture at this free festival in Melbourne. Expect plenty of Mexican cuisine, a stacked entertainment program, costumes and more. This festival will run from October 28 to 30.More info here.
60. Return to outdoor cinema with Lido on the Roof and Cameo Outdoor
We’re halfway through spring, which means outdoor cinema is back on the cards! Lido on the Roof is returning this October, launching with a special screening of Bros on Thursday October 27. Meanwhile, Cameo Outdoor Cinema is also joining in on the fun, screening Bros on Friday October 28.
61. Celebrate at the Victorian Festival of Diwali
Head to Fed Square for the Victorian Festival of Diwali. Expect plenty of music, dance, craft, games, workshops and food. The festival will end with fireworks on the Yarra. See it on Saturday October 29.
62. 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 October 29 from 9am to 4pm.
63. Drive out of town and relax at Metung Hot Springs
Escape to East Gippsland and bathe in the soothing waters at Metung Hot Springs. Enjoy spectacular views, check out the day spa, and stay the night by going glamping. These hot springs will open on October 29.
64. 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 October 30.
65. Have a feast at the International Dumpling Festival
After a two year hiatus, the International Dumpling Festival is coming back to Queen Vic Market. Enjoy xiao long bao, pierogi, gyoza and much more. There will also be plenty of entertainment. This festival will run on Monday October 31, from 4pm to 10pm.
66. Have a screaming good time at Luna Park
Luna Dark is coming back this spooky season. Dress up in your scariest costume, and bump into other ghouls and gremlins at Luna Park. Scream on the rides, play VR horror games, try on special effects make-up and much more. There will be day sessions for the little ones, and creepy sessions after dark. Luna Dark will run over four days, from Friday October 28 to Monday October 31.