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 475 incredible events to discover. Find free events, comedy acts, cabaret, dance, theatre and more in the city and the suburbs. Melbourne Fringe Festival will run from Tuesday October 3 to Sunday October 22.
2. Strut your way to Melbourne Fashion Week
Melbourne Fashion Week is coming back with a whole heap of striking runways, exhibitions, masterclasses and more. Check it out from October 23 to 29.
3. Enjoy the good vibes at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Melbourne will soon come alive with the sound of jazz. Get ready for over 100 performances and events across the city, from massive concert halls to intimate venues. Even the Melbourne City Baths will hum with the sound of music. The line-up this year is bigger than ever, with ten-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan celebrating 50 years in music at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) will run from October 20 to 29.
4. Voyage around the world in the immersive BBC Earth Experience
Take a 360-degree audio-visual journey through the seven continents of the world, with narration from the iconic Sir David Attenborough. This technological marvel will use footage from the BBC Studios Natural History television series, Seven Worlds, One Planet. Melbourne is the second city in the world to host this incredible experience. The BBC Earth Experience will open at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday October 27.
5. Check out Festival Park at Queen Vic Market
Festival Park is taking over Queen Victoria Market as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival. There will be two pop-up tents, showcasing acrobatics, comedy and cabaret acts. After the show, grab a drink at the beer garden and feast on something from a local food truck. This pop-up will run from October 3 to 29.
6. 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. Europa Night Market will end on October 25.
7. Celebrate Mean Girls Day at Cinema Nova
Cinema Nova is playing their annual screening of Mean Girls on October 3rd. Pair the film with a You Can’t Sip With Us cocktail for $15, or $10 if you’re wearing pink. See more here.
8. Feel like a dancing queen at Mamma Mia! The Musical
Mamma Mia! The Musical is coming to Melbourne for a round of feel-good song and dance on stage. The musical will feature some of ABBA’s greatest chart-topping hits, sparkly costumes, vibrant set design and classic ’70s nostalgia that’ll get you out of your seat and dancing in the aisles. The timeless dance musical will play at the Melbourne Princess Theatre from October 4.
9. Have fun at Big Games Night Out
Head to Fed Square and surrounds for an immersive night of games, music and cosplay. In this free event, you can look forward to games activations, esports tournaments, tabletop games, treasure hunts and more. See ARIA award-winning comedy group Tripod with special guest Montaigne. Then, watch or take part in the cosplay parade. Big Games Night Out is great for all ages, and will run from 5pm until late on Thursday October 5. Click here for more.
10. Take part in PAX
This famous games festival is back for its 10th anniversary! Browse the expo hall, take part in tournaments, listen to panels, see special guests, play games and more from October 6 to 8. You’ll find PAX at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. See more here.
11. Feel spellbound by Maho Magic Bar
Head to Chinatown and discover the Japanese-themed pop-up experience, Maho Magic Bar. Enjoy delicious drinks, and feel captivated by musicians as they perform close-up magic at your table. Get your tickets here.
12. See the king of rock and roll at Elvis: A Musical Revolution
Celebrate the life and music of Elvis Presley at the Elvis musical. The show will take over the Athenaeum Theatre from Friday October 6.
13. Light up your night at So Soirée
Immerse yourself inside a neon playground of art and theatre at So Soirée. Produced by the City of Stonnington and part of Melbourne Fringe Festival, this event will showcase talented performers, pushing the boundaries of comedy, circus, cabaret and burlesque. This year, there’s 18 dazzling shows for you to look forward to over two glorious weeks. It will run from Saturday October 7 to Sunday October 22.
14. Have a feast at the International Hawker Festival
Head to Queen Vic Market and treat yourself to some delicious street food at the International Hawker Festival. Look forward to Malaysian satay, African BBQ, Maui Polynesian food, ramen, Portuguese tarts and more! This festival will take place on October 7 and 8. See more here.
15. Stay out late for NGV Friday Nights
The popular NGV Friday Nights is coming back this winter, in celebration of the upcoming Pierre Bonnard exhibition. Expect a massive line-up of live performances, DJ sets, bars and dining inspired by regional French cuisine. NGV Friday Nights will run until October 7.
16. 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. It features 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 will run until October 8.
17. Find a sense of magic in Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature at Melbourne Museum
An enchanting exhibition is now showing at Melbourne Museum, all the way from the Natural History Museum in London and Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment. Grab your wand and get ready for Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature. This remarkable exhibition combines science, nature and fantasy, connecting the animals that roam our planet with the magical creatures from the Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts film series. The exhibition is on until October 8.
18. Feel intrigued by the Dark Moon Halloween Faire
Get into the Halloween spirit with this immersive shopping experience. Enter the Darlington Manor, speak to the Lady of the house, and browse through products from over 45 businesses. Find tarot decks, spell kits, witch supplies, spooky dolls and much more. Find the Dark Moon Halloween Faire in Coburg on October 7 and 8. See more here.
19. Have fun at Festival Indonesia
Pop over to Argyle Square in Carlton for Festival Indonesia. Find treasures at a variety of stalls, feast on Indonesian cuisine, see cultural performances and join in a flash mob. This cultural event will take place on October 8 from 10am to 6:30pm.
20. 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 in Southbank. Grab your tickets here.
21. 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.
22. Stay out late with the Melbourne Museum Nocturnal program
The electrifying, after-hours event, Nocturnal, is coming back to Melbourne Museum. Explore exhibitions, and enjoy tours, curator talks, trivia and DJ performances. Nocturnal will take over Melbourne Museum on the second Thursday of each month. This time, it will take place on Thursday October 12.
23. 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.
24. Feel enchanted by Disney Princess — The Concert
Feel swept away by Disney magic and listen to a quartet of Broadway, television and animated film stars sing unforgettable hits from your favourite Disney princess movies. Look forward to tracks like How Far I’ll Go, Part of Your World and more. Alongside the singers, you’ll see animation and theatrical effects. Dressing up is encouraged. Disney Princess — The Concert will play at the Plenary in Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 14.
25. Have a spectacular time at Moulin Rouge! The Musical!
After a sold-out premiere season, Moulin Rouge! The Musical! is now playing in Melbourne. Celebrate truth, beauty, freedom and love at the Regent Theatre.
26. 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.
27. Have a pup-tacular time at the Melbourne Dog Lovers Festival
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. The Melbourne Dog Lovers Festival will take place at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Friday October 13 to Sunday October 15.
28. Go shopping at the Finders Keepers Markets
Head to Royal Exhibition Building this October and browse for goods from over 250 local makers and designers. Discover fashion, ceramics, art, food and more. Take part in creative workshops, enjoy a drink or two, and vibe to live DJ sets. The Finders Keepers Markets will run from October 13 to 15. See more here.
29. Sip on boutique wines at Rutherglen in the City
16 winemakers from Rutherglen are showcasing their best drops at The Timber Yard in Port Melbourne. Taste over 100 rare and boutique wines, and enjoy masterclasses, live music sets and paired food options. Rutherglen in the City will take place on Saturday October 14.
30. 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 and Fed Square. With more venues being added to the growing list, there’s a Candlelight concert around every corner.
Candlelight concerts in October include a celebration of movie soundtracks, tributes to Taylor Swift, the best of Joe Hisaishi and more. See what’s coming up here.
31. 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 five, starting at Batman Avenue, and finishing at the MCG. The Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival will take place on Sunday October 15.
32. Grow over to the Mushroom Festival at Queen Vic Market
Feel like a fungi and check out the Mushroom Festival. Browse the Mushroom Marketplace and find plenty of mushroom-related products and experiences from local producers and growers. Then, find mushroom-inspired treats, see live cooking demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment and more. The Mushroom Festival will take place at Queen Vic Market on October 14 and 15. See more here.
33. Feel whisked away to Mexico at Arbory Afloat
Melbourne’s original floating bar and restaurant, Arbory Afloat, is emerging from hibernation, and transforming into Afloat Viva Mexico. Sip on margaritas and feast on tacos and more.
34. 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.
35. 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 38 intricately designed spaces across over 1500 square metres at The Austral in Collingwood. Go at your own pace, and become active participants in the story. Love Lust Lost will run until Sunday October 29.
36. Check out the Starry Sky exhibition at Met Art World
Visit Met Art World in Port Melbourne and feel transported to another world, with their immersive Starry Sky exhibition. Journey through mazes, enter a digital tunnel, see plenty of twinkling lights and more. Get your tickets here.
37. Dive in to Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
Go on an immersive journey with their digital exhibition, Submerged, and see the wonder of underwater worlds. Start on a shimmering shoreline and dive below the depths into the bioluminescent unknown.
38. Tantalise your senses at Dining in the Dark
39. Immerse yourself in the theatre experience, Hour of the Wolf
Explore the fictional town of Hope Hill on the longest night of the year. In this immersive theatre experience, you’ll discover over a dozen fully realised locations and observe a cast of 11 actors. In Hour of the Wolf, you’ll find three interweaving stories about a wolf that visits the town once a year. See it at The Malthouse from October 19 to December 3.
40. Pass go and discover Monopoly Dreams
Australia’s first Monopoly-themed attraction is coming to Melbourne Central. Immerse yourself and wander around Monopoly City and Mr. Monopoly’s Mansion. Monopoly Dreams will open on Saturday October 21.
41. Keep your spirits up at gin festival Junipalooza
Celebrate the best of Australian gin at Junipalooza. There will be over 50 different distillers, showcasing over hundred different gins. Try your favourites and meet the makers. This event will take place at the Town Square Pavilion in Melbourne Showgrounds from Friday October 20 to Sunday October 22.
42. Feel amazed by Spanish dance at Authentic Flamenco
The Royal Opera of Madrid has been touring around the world with Authentic Flamenco, and it’s finally arriving in Melbourne this October. Audiences will have an opportunity to see Paula Rodríguez, one of the most sought-after flamenco dancers, live on stage. Check it out on select days from October 20 to 28. Tickets for the performance at The Capitol are on sale now, and you can find yours right here.
43. Celebrate Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus
Hofbräuhaus Melbourne turns 55 this year, and to celebrate, they’ve got some exciting things happening for Oktoberfest. Take part in the festivities by trying delicious food, drinking plenty of beer, and enjoying live entertainment. Oktoberfest will run at this venue from now until October 28. Learn more here.
44. Party it up at Oktoberfest in the Gardens
Get a taste of Oktoberfest and head to Catani Gardens in St Kilda for a massive celebration, with German food stalls, a beer hall, roving performers, thrill rides and much, much more. Oktoberfest in the Gardens will take place on Saturday October 21.
45. Swing over to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Live In Concert
In this incredible fusion of visuals and sound, you’ll watch first Spider-Verse movie unfold alongside a 32-piece orchestra and a scratch DJ. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Live In Concert will take over the Plenary Theatre in Melbourne on Saturday October 21.
46. 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. The Arriba! Melbourne Mexican Festival will run from October 27 to 29 in Flagstaff Gardens. More info here.
47. Have a screaming good time at Luna Park
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. Luna Dark will run from Friday October 27 to Tuesday October 31. See more here.
48. Check out The Eighty-Six Festival
Journey along the 86 tram along High Street from Westgarth to Preston, and celebrate Melbourne’s exciting music culture in this concentrated strip of live music venues. The big event to watch out for is Super Saturday on October 28. Experience over 200 music acts at 40 venues over almost 24 hours. But there’s other events too, like a tasty street party and an expo to exchange independent music. The Eighty-Six festival will run from Monday October 23 to Tuesday October 31.
49. 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.
50. 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 28 from 9am to 4pm.
51. Sip your way through Pinot Palooza
Look forward to a wine-derful line-up, with over 50 producers showcasing a massive array of pinot noir, like organic, biodynamic, vegan and low-intervention wines. Pinot Palooza will take over The Timber Yard in Port Melbourne, on Friday October 27 and Saturday October 28.
52. See the thrilling musical Miss Saigon
The acclaimed production of Miss Saigon is coming to Melbourne. This story of love and loss in war-torn Vietnam will play at Her Majesty’s Theatre from October 29 to December 3.
53. Float over to the Melbourne Boat Show
Head to Docklands and find all sorts of watercraft and equipment at Melbourne Boat Show. See luxurious yachts, find plenty of fishing equipment, learn all about boating and fishing in workshops, and try out some family-friendly activities. This event is free, and will run from October 26 to 29. See more here.
54. Watch a movie at the Greek Film Festival
Head to Palace Cinemas and celebrate the essence of Greek culture at the Greek Film Festival. The festival will run from October 19 to 29. See what’s playing here.
55. Have a roaring good time at Dinos Alive
Journey back in time and encounter over 80 life-sized, moving dinosaur replicas. See all of your favourites, including stegosaurus, velociraptors, the fearsome T-rex and more. Then, dive into the depths and interact with sea giants in a unique virtual aquarium. You’ll find Dinos Alive at Fever Exhibitions Hall in Brunswick from late October. Get your tickets here.
56. 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 run until Sunday October 1.
57. 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 should last until the start of October. Check here for more information.
58. Grow over to the Garden Lovers’ Fair
Take a drive over to Bolobek at the base of Mt Macedon for the Garden Lovers’ Fair. Browse through over 50 stalls, selling rare plants, succulents, garden tools and more. The Fair will take place on October 7 and 8.
59. Sip your way through Shedfest in the Yarra Valley
Embrace the spring sunshine and take a day trip or a weekend getaway to the Yarra Valley for Shedfest. In celebration of the event’s 20th anniversary, 11 wineries will open their cellar doors and sheds for wine tasting, live music and delicious food. The wineries stretch all around the Yarra Valley, in locations like Seville, Healesville and Yarra Glen. Check it out on Saturday October 14 and Sunday October 15.
60. 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.