Folks, if you're looking for things to do in Melbourne, this weekend is set to be another cracker! With everything from winter wine festivals to warehouse cinema openings to barbecue tong-offs, there are heaps of things to keep you busy (and full!) this weekend. Dig in to our guide to the best events, activities, and festivities Melbourne has to offer.
The best thing about this wintery weather is being able warm our bellies with big reds, warm spiced cider, hearty homemade pies and, of course, decadent chocolate. You can eat all this (plus more!) at Winter Flavour Exchange, running over the next two days at Federation Square. For just $25, you'll score 14 tasting tokens to be exchanged for delicious samples and sips from Victoria's top producers, including Bass & Flinders Distillery, Peninsula Fudge, Pacdon Park, Lucky Duck Cider and Coldstream Brewery…just to name a tasty few! Not to be missed.
Winter Flavour Exchange | 19th – 20th June
Are you looney for 'toons? Then the Melbourne International Animation Festival is for you! Kicking off today, the eleven-day animation celebration will showcase over 400 of the best contemporary and historical films from around the world. The animation action kicks off tonight with an Opening Night Gala Screening, where you'll see a cracking selection of festival highlights, teamed with insider insights and a glass or two of bubbles. The perfect way to whet your appetite for the days ahead!
Melbourne International Animation Festival | 19th – 29th June
Jazz hands at the ready — the fifth annual Melbourne Cabaret Festival begins today! As always, the program is absolutely bursting with musical theatre sensations, with over 30 shows featuring on the program. All of the theatrical festivities kick off tonight with a two-hour, fun-packed Opening Gala, where you can sneak a peek at the festival highlights and mingle with world-class cabaret performers. Dust off your fineries and get jazzy!
Melbourne Cabaret Festival | 19th June – 6th July
Dr. Martens' St Kilda pop-up store has finally opened to the public, to the glee of shoeless rockers the city over. Running 'til Sunday, the pop-up features heaps of limited edition and new Dr Martens stock from around the globe. While you're perusing the shoes, you can pick up a complimentary coffee from Code Black Coffee Roasters and a free dog or two from the friendly folk at Massive Wieners. Rock on!
Dr Martens Pop-Up Store | 19th – 22nd June | Lulu Bar, 18 Grey Street in St Kilda
Just can't get enough of the golden stuff? Heck, neither can we! This Friday night, The Old Melbourne Gaol will be transformed into an American-style whisky pop-up, hosting 12 small bars, each one representing a whisky, wine or beer brand. A $40 ticket includes entry, two drinks and a yummy meal, while additional food and drinks can be purchased throughout the night.
Whisky Pop-Up Bar | Old Melbourne Gaol, 377 Russell Street in Melbourne | 6:00 – 9:00pm
Northside cinephiles, Warehouse Cinema is opening its doors this Friday in Brunswick! This hip new cinema is kicking things off with the Warehouse Cinema Short Film Competition, showcasing the best in up-and-coming cinematic talent. Those who can't watch a film without something to nibble on (guilty!) will be pleased to know that The People's Market will be handling food and beverages throughout the night, while those looking to continue the fun can boogie on down to some sweet beats at the after party.
Short Film Competition | Warehouse Cinema, 13-19 Leslie Street in Brunswick | Doors open 6:30pm
Calling all musos looking for things to do in Melbourne! This Friday, Melbourne will join 460 cities around the world in celebrating Fête de la Musique, a live international concert that embraces amateur and professional musicians of all musical styles. Held at The Espy, Melbourne's Fête de la Musique will feature some of the city's best local talent, rocking out from 7pm through to the wee hours of the morning. Party time? Oui, oui!
Fête de la Musique | The Esplanade Hotel, 11 The Esplanade in St Kilda | 7:00pm 'til late
My Geelong friends, the only thing we love more than burgers is free burgers, and we're absolutely seething with jealousy that you lucky folk can enjoy a free Grill'd lunch this Friday. The first Grill'd in Waurn Ponds is opening this Saturday and, to celebrate, they'll be treating you locals to unlimited free burgers at the store between 11am 'til 2pm. Hey Melbourne Grill'ds, where's our free burgers, eh? Eh?!
Grill'd Waurn Ponds Free Burgers | Warun Ponds Shopping Centre |11:00 am – 2:00pm
We all know gorging ourselves sensless on food and wine is one of our favourtie things to do in Melbourne. This weekend, the city's foodies and vino-lovers will migrate to Nillumbik for the region's Winter WineFest. This progressive eating and drinking festival will see visitors dine on winter produce and sip fine wines from eight of Nillumbik's boutique wineries. So, do you fancy a weekend of progressive eating and drinking at just a stones throw from the city? What a silly question…of course you do!
Winter WineFest | 21th – 22nd June
This Saturday, designer furniture and homewares haven, West Elm, will transform their Chapel Street store into Etsy pop-up shop. You'll have the chance to peruse a selection of art, crafts and other handmade goods from local Etsians, eat yummy treats and listen to some funky tunes.
West Elm Etsy Pop-Up | West Elm, 464 Chapel Street in South Yarra | 1:00 – 6:00pm
Savvy shoppers — Round She Goes Fashion Market is in Box Hill this Saturday! The vintage and pre-loved fashion market will feature over 60 stallholders, selling everything from high-end brands to high street labels. A pop-up nail art salon by Critter Claws will keep paws in check, while Round The Way Bagel Burgers and Mister Nice Guy Vegan Cupcakes will keep you sated through the day. Get your vintage skates on and go, go, go!
Round She Goes Fashion Market | Box Hill Town Hall, 1022 Whitehorse Road in Box Hill
After even more vintage buys? Sure, why not! Luckily enough for us thrifty folk, Hello Sailor Vintage Fair has joined forces with Create Digger Record Fair, bringing us the ultimate retro market this Saturday. Head to Yah Yah's in Collingwood to pick up vintage threads, accessories and trinkets, crockery and artwork from Hello Sailor and peruse the vinyl goods from Crate Diggers. Entry is free, the beers will be cold and the tunes promise to be oh so sweet.
Hello Sailor Vintage & Crate Diggers Record Fair | Yah Yah's, 99 Smith Street in Fitzroy
Run as a side project of Thread Den, North Melbourne Market is a monthly affair featuring small labels, creative makers and artisans selling their incredible handiwork. The bulk of stallholders are fashion and accessory labels with a focus on the local, handmade, vintage and fair-trade, while there's also a strong smattering of stalls selling homewares, kawaii goodies, and yummy treats.
North Melbourne Market | The Lithuanian Club Melbourne, 44 Errol Street in North Melbourne
Not enough market for you? Head to the Kensington Arts and Crafts Market to browse the goods from Victoria's finest artisans, crafters and fresh food producers. Everything is either made or grown by the stallholders themselves, who are always more than happy to have a friendly chinwag.
Kensington Arts and Crafts Market | Kensington Primary School, 62-74 McCracken Street in Kensington
This Sunday, Langhorne Creek's finest winemakers will descend upon Arteveneta in Prahran for Discover Langhorne Creek. Punters can sip and savour the region's finest drops before they dig into some soul-warming Italian food to the soundtrack of DJ Sammy Sax.
Discover Langhorne Creek | Arteveneta, 37 Thomas Place in Prahran | 1:00pm – 5:00pm | $35
Our dreams of feasting on a suckling pig are set to come true at Bomba this Sunday. The porcine feast will begin with charcuterie and tapas, featuring crispy pig ears, house pickled pork belly, and jamon and manchego croquets….yummo! The main occasion, of course, is the roasted suckling pig, which will be plonked on the middle of the table and served with a selection of tasty sides. Oh, Babe!
Cochinillo Asado Suckling Pig | Bomba, 103 Lonsdale St in Melbourne | 12:00-3:00pm | $55
Who wants in on a smokin' hot BBQ off? This Sunday, Newmarket Hotel and San Telmo are duking it out in BBQ Throwdown, an epic battle of the tongs. Each venue will prepare one dish across three categories — Bay, Bones, and Beast — for guests to sample and score, the winning restaurant crowned BBQ throwdown champ. Will Newmarket Hotel's 24-hour smoked St Louis cut pork rib win over the crowd? Or will San Telmo's charred octopus with panzanella salad secure their victory? Your tastebuds will be the judge! For $75, guests will dine on all six courses, plus Rogue wines, James Squire beer, Octagonal cava and softies. And you said there aren't any great things to do in Melbourne...
BBQ Throwdown | Newmarket Hotel, 34 Inkerman Street in St Kilda | From 12:00pm | $75