What's On

19 Awesome Things To Do This Long Weekend In Melbourne

By James Shackell
28th Sep 2017


Grand Final Long Weekend. Is it just us, or does the fact we’re getting a day off for a football game make you feel, like, 21% more Australian?

Well, turns out there’s heaps to do this weekend, whether you follow AFL fanatically, or have so little clue that if someone told you there was a team called the Pakenham Possums, you’d believe it (carn, possums). Makers’ markets, pirate pork parties, high tea and plenty of Grand Final luncheons.

Sound the siren. We’re ready for a long weekend.

All weekend

AFL Footy Festival

Can’t wait until the Grand Final to get in on the action? For four days this week, Yarra Park outside the MCG is going full AFL. There’s gonna be interactive games, footy clinics, massive bouncy castles (shotgun), and cooking classes from AFL players. Biggie Smalls, Fancy Hanks and Gelato Messina are bringing the grub, and the AFL has set up big screens everywhere—come Saturday, they’ll be broadcasting the big game. Check the web for a full list of events.

Where: Yarra Park, East Melbourne
When: Wednesday 27 September – Saturday 30 October
For more info, click here.

Royal Melbourne Show

Here today, gone tomorrow, that’s the Royal Melbourne Show. This is your last weekend to catch the Show before it trundles off into the horizon, carried on the backs of a billion Bertie Beetles. Swing by for the usual assortment of terrifying rides, strange-smelling animals and huge men with axes. And if you want a low-down on the best bags at this year’s show, we’ve got you covered.  

Where: Melbourne Showgrounds
When: 23 September – 3 October
For more info, click here.

Phillip Island Design & Makers’ Market

Grab the car keys—we’re doing a Sunday road trip. The Mermaid crew are setting up another epic Phillip Island market, complete with food trucks and live tunes, homewares, fashion, jewellery, food, cakes and more. It’s free entry and parking over Grand Final weekend (score) and your pups are welcome (double score).

Where: The YMCA Leisure Centre, 10-14 Church St Cowes
When: 9am – 2pm, 30 September – 1 October
For more info, click here.

CherryHill Orchards Blossom Festival

You don’t need a ticket to Kyoto to check out cherry trees. This weekend the Yarra Valley is hosting a blossom festival all of its own. CherryHill Orchards are throwing open their doors to the public. You can wander the rows of blossoming cherry trees, listen to live local music, grab a food truck snack or kick back with a picnic hamper. Best of all—it’s only 60 mins from Melbourne.

Where: CherryHill Orchards, 474 Queens Rd, Wandin East
When: 10am – 5pm, 29 September – 2 October
For more info, click here.

Friday 29 September

Pirate Roast Pork Party At The Arbory

Eating hot pork rolls in the sunshine at The Arbory—now that’s a public holiday. Pirate Life Brewing have teamed up with The Arbory for a special Roast Pork Party this Friday. Chef Nick Bennet will be smoking an entire pig (hand-reared on spent Pirate Brewing grain) and serving it in potato buns with lashings of BBQ sauce. You can grab a roll and a Pirate Life tinnie for just $18.

Where: The Arbory
When: From 12pm, Friday 29 September
For more info, click here.

QV Fresh Take Party

It’s the last day to get among the action at Fresh Take: a program of wellness and lifestyle events at QV in the CBD. Friday is its closing party, and there’s gonna be wine tastings from Red Hill Estate and a surprise program of food and entertainment, plus live music and a bunch of wellness events (think guided meditations and hula hoop classes). Just head into the city and follow the crowd.

Where: QV Melbourne
When: 1pm – 5pm Friday 29 September
For more info, click here.  

Punch Drunk Love

“Boxing, booze and babes”. That’s what’s on offer at this off-beat singles event. Punch Drunk Love is basically a combination of kickboxing class, piss-up, picnic and female dating seminar. Start with a 45-minute kickboxing session, then move on to ice-cold bevvies, cheese, and inspiring women like Emily Chadbourne and Megan Luscombe chatting about dating, love and self-worth. The conversation, and the booze, will be flowing freely.

Where: One Roof, 77/83 City Rd Southbank
When: 2pm – 6pm, Friday 29 September
For more info, click here.

Butteredbeer Pop-Up Bar

It’s the most Harry Potter fun you can have without being sued by Warner Brothers. Welcome to Melbourne’s annual Butteredbeer pop-up bar! That is one crucial ‘ed’, let me tell you. The Butteredbeer Bar is everything a generic, non-trademarked wizard could want. You can get alcoholic Butteredbeer, Potent Potions and Fierywhisky (note the spelling), plus your very own custom-made goblet. There’s also be a few non-alcoholic potions if, you know, you’ve got a big Quidditch match on Saturday and need to have a quiet one.

Where: Butteredbeer Bar, 147 Commerical Rd
When: 7pm – 10pm Friday 29 September
For more info, click here

Friday Nights At The NGV

The NGV’s excellent Friday Night series is back for another run, and this time it comes with a side of Dior. Swing by and check out the new House of Dior exhibit (your Friday Night ticket gets you after-hours access), or kick back with food and booze, plus local DJs and performing acts like Lupa J, Japanese pop rockers Shonen Knife or Aussie superstar Kate Miller-Heidke. Bet you didn’t know you could get all that in a gallery...

Where: National Gallery of Victoria
When: 6pm, Friday 29 September
For more info, click here.

Saturday 30 September

AFL Grand Final

Start with the obvious, right? The Grannie kicks off at 2:30pm on Saturday. So if you’re wondering why the deserted streets look like something out of I Am Legend, that’s why. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket, you should gloat on social media incessantly. For everyone else, here are 12 pubs screening the game this Saturday.

Where: MCG (duh)
When: 2:30pm, Saturday 30 September
For more info, click here.

DIY Bloody Mary Bar

Everyone celebrates a long weekend in their own, special way. And for The Mill House, that way is setting up a DIY Bloody Mary Bar. The Mill is doing boozy Grand Final brunches, and you’ll have the chance to build your own Bloody Mary concoction (depending on how wild you wanna take it). Tobasco, olives, celery, chilli flakes—go nuts. They’re just $10 all day long.

Where: The Mill House, 277 Flinders Ln
When: Brunch 9am – 12pm, Saturday 30 September (the Mill House is open till late)
For more info, click here.

Footy Lovers’ Buffet

It’s about as close to the G’ as you’re gonna get, without being in it. The Cliveden, right across the road, are throwing an epic Footy Lovers’ Buffet this Saturday, with more 64-inch plasmas than you can shake a stick at. Need a kicker? They’ll be slinging ‘The G Roast Roll’ (either Wagyu beef with béarnaise and 'fancy gravy' jus, or pork loin with apple sauce). Pro tip: bring stretchy pants.

Where: The Cliveden, 192 Wellington Parade
When: From 11am, Saturday 30 September
For more info, click here.

Grand Final Day At The Pinnacle 

Fitzroy's beloved Pinnacle is back open and running at full steam. Fire damage and council permits have slowed the old girl down for the last couple of years, but she's back open now, just in time for GF weekend. This Saturday they're throwing a footy feast with a revamped menu, ice-cold tinnies and drink specials, the game on the big screen and live music from Juke Box Racket. Fair warning, this is a pro-Richmond pub. Adelaide supporters, better hide that scarf...

Where: The Pinnacle, 251 Georges Rd Fitzroy
When: 12:30pm – 9:30pm, Saturday 29 September
For more info, click here

Footy Fun At Arthur’s Seat

The Eagle cable car ride at Arthur’s Seat is throwing a footy-themed bash this weekend. There’s gonna be footy comps for the kids, live broadcasts of the match on big screens, footy food (be prepared for pies), face painting, St Kilda players and stilt-walkers. The cherry on top: you also get 15% off the chair lift. Score.

Where: Arthurs Seat Eagle, 795 Arthurs Seat Rd
When: 10am – 5pm, Saturday 30 September
For more info, click here.

Sunday 1 October

Mornington Vegan Market

The peninsula’s first ever Vegan market is kicking off this Sunday, and it’s looking like a cracker. Cruelty-free products from Australia’s biggest vegan brands will be there, along with 80+ craft brans, food stalls and beauty products. Food trucks and live bands will be providing the entertainment, and entry is 100% free. Nice one.

Where: Civic Reserve Leisure Centre, 350 Dunns Rd Mornington
When: 10am Sunday 1 October
For more info, click here,

Euphoria Cafe High Tea

Finger sandwiches for a good cause? We’re there. Euphoria Cafe & Wellness Centre in Camberwell is hosting a special High Tea this Sunday to support the Dine Pink Breast Cancer Foundation. Tickets are $45 and you get a variety of sweet and savoury tarts, biscuits and house-made cakes, slices, sandwiches and organic tea and coffee. Bookings are a must, so drop the cafe a line to secure your spot.

Where: Euphoria Cafe, Camberwell
When: From 2pm, Sunday 1 October
For more info, click here.

For The Diary


Nope, it’s not a festival of sheds. Well, not quite. Shedfest is a roving food and wine fest in the Yarra Valley, and it’s kicking off next weekend (7 & 8 October). It’s designed to show off some of the smaller, boutique wineries in the region. You can attend cellar door tastings, try Nonna’s homemade gnocchi, relax with a picnic and live tunes and meet the families behind Victorian wine. Check out the website for a full list of events.

Where: Yarra Valley Wineries (various)
When: 7 – 8 October
For more info, click here.

Flow After Dark

Flow Athletic are back after a sell-out national tour, and this time they’re doing silent after-dark yoga. 90 minutes of all-level Vinyasa, led by Flow co-founder Kate Kendell, pumping along to the beats of Sydney DJ James Mack. This isn’t your standard Zen session. It’s more like a moonlit silent disco. Check out the website for more info.

Where: Melbourne Town Hall
When: 7pm, Wednesday 4 October
For more info, click here.

Zambrero Meal Packing Day

You probably know Zambrero as the place that puts mysterious bean smoosh in its burritos (we just want to eat a big tub of this stuff with a spoon), but it’s also an active social enterprise. On Friday 20 October, they’re hosting their annual Meal Packing Day: a volunteer event that’s popping up all over Aus. You can rock up and help the team pack meals for Rise Against Hunger. Session times and venues will be released soon, so watch this space.

Where: Various
When: Friday 20 October
For more info, click here

 Pop this in the diary too—Melbourne's getting a festival dedicated to pies, pooches and tinnies.

Image credit: QV Fresh Take 

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