Arctic winds, torrential downpours and downright depressing weather patterns…yep, winter has announced its arrival in Melbourne loud and clear! While you may want to do nothing more than stay home snug in your uggs, let us remind you of the many fun (and toasty!) activities you can partake in around town.
My friends, here's a list of super cool things to do in Melbourne this winter.
Take a dip (yes, really!)
While stripping down to your skivvies may be the last thing you want to do this winter in Melbourne, Peninsula Hot Springs may just convince you otherwise! This natural hot spring and day spa boasts over 20 bathing experiences, including a cave pool, Turkish steam bath and saunas, making it the ultimate place to warm up. Their pools heat up to a maximum temperature of 42 degrees, so you're guaranteed to stay toasty no matter how frosty it gets. Our hot tip? Hire a cosy robe for the dreaded dash between dips.
Go ice-skating at Medibank Icehouse
You can book for a game of group hockey, try your hand at curling or just drop by for a casual glide at Medibank Icehouse. There's a range of skating options available for all ages and abilities, with free 15-minute lessons offered to skating novices (ahem…us uncoordinated folk). Those in a mood for a bit of disco need to head to the Icehouse on a Saturday night – the rink turns into a glow-in-the-dark dance floor complete with UV lights and DJ-spun tunes. Stay on for some après action at St Moritz Bar.
The best thing about crafts is a) it's a hobby best completed indoors and b) you can create something warm to adorn yourself in this winter. Knit a scarf, sew some thermal underwear, crochet a matching beanie for your cat…whatever! If you're going a little stir crazy knitting indoors, there are craft cafes around the city where you can get creative, grab a coffee and socialise with other creative types. Check out our list of Melbourne's best craft shops, brilliant book stores and innovative craft cafes to inhabit this winter.
Enjoy a facial
Along with the usual grey skies, downpours and chilly winds of winter comes dull, dehydrated skin. And jeez, ain't it just the pits?! Luckily enough for our mugs, Melbourne has heaps of salons and spas that offer nourishing, hydrating treatments to get your skin back to its original dewy, glowy perfection. Check out our list of the very best facials in Melbourne.
Shop, shop, shop!
Okay, while we never really need a reason to give our credit cards a workout, cold weather does provide a prime excuse to go shopping. Those searching for a good read need not look further than our list of Melbourne's best independent bookstores. Looking to inhale a bit of that glorious old book smell? Check out our guide to the best second-hand bookstores around town. Oh heck, why not also visit the best vinyl stores too! If all that shopping leaves your pocket a little light (or completely empty), check out Melbourne's best op shops to bag a second hand woolie jumper or a kooky beanie for your noggin.
Colder weather means we need more insulation, and we're more than happy to oblige this law of survival in the most fun way possible: stuffing ourselves senseless with fromage from Melbourne's best cheese shops. Goat's or cow's, gouda or gruyere, we'll gladly stack it on a cracker and scoff it until we burst!
While we don't have a preference for variety, we do have a soft spot for fondue. Milk the Cow are delving into the warm gooey heart of cheese with their Fondue Night, held monthly during winter, while the Swiss Club never disappoints with their gruyere, emmentaler, wine and kirsch fondue for two, available whenever a cheese craving strikes this winter. Fancy even more fromage? Join Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder's Cheese Club (holy Swiss cheese, there is such a thing!) and partake in a cheese masterclass at Spring Street Grocer.
Warm up with a curry
One of our hands down favourite things to do in Melbourne in winter is indulge in a fiery vindaloo and some naan bread. There truly is nothing like a hearty serve of Indian food to fill you up and warm your tummy. Chicken tikka masala? Goan fish curry? Stack upon stack of buttery, garlicy naan? Oh lord yes! Lucky for us, Melbourne is spoilt for choice when it comes to the Indian joints, with plenty of great places just waiting spice up your night. Whether you're more Korma than Vindaloo, there's something for all heat tolerances at Melbourne's best Indian restaurants.
Enjoy Winter Lunch Deals
If there's one thing we love more than good food, it's good food at a good price! Check out Crown's new winter weekday special, including tasty, pocket-friendly delights from Koko, Nobu, Silks and Conservatory. For just $40 per person, guests can dig into Koko's famous Shokado boxes, dine on Nobu's winter designed menu, or delight in Silks' traditional two-course Cantonese lunch. You can also indulge in a High Coffee experience for only $40 per person on weekdays 'til the end of July. There are also some super deals running at our favourite venues across Melbourne as part of The Roast Collection throughout June, plus a bunch of fab foodie events that are definitely worth a look at!
Eat your way through '50 Meals'
So, as you've probably gathered by now, we're alllll about the extra padding in winter. So much so, we've officially deemed the stretchy, elastic-waisted pant the 'must-have' of the season (don't let Vogue tell you otherwise!). This winter, we'll be donning our stretchiest of slacks to make our way through the list of 50 meals you should have eaten if you live in Melbourne. We also urge you, dear readers, to think of your tastebuds, banish #cleaneating and put the #foodporn hashtag to good use by working your way through Melbourne's favourite meals before spring rolls around (…did someone say spring rolls?)
Get bendy at hot yoga
Frankly, exercise is the last thing we want to do when the weather's arctic and a lamb shank beckons. But, as we all know, a sad side effect of this winter gluttony is a bod that is not so beach-ready come summer. The answer? Hot yoga. There's a range of benefits of bending and stretching in a room heated between 30 – 40 degrees – it helps to detoxify the body, relaxes the mind and gives you a great cardio workout – plus, it means you can indulge in even more delicious winter grub! Check out our list of the best hot yoga studios in Melbourne.
Main image credit: Amanda K by the Bay