What's On

This (Long) Weekend in Melbourne

By Megan Osborne
22nd Jan 2015

It’s the Australia Day long weekend, Listers! You betcha—three glorious days away from the hustle and bustle of work… into the hustle and bustle of feasting, frivolity, frocking up and festival-attending! Celebrate Australia Day with loads of epic things to do in Melbourne. But it’s chockas all weekend, not just on the Monday! 

So, kick back and relax in true blue style, with our guide to what’s on in Melbourne this Australia Day long weekend!

Thursday 22nd

Darebin Arts Loud Mouth and NGV have created a great workshop for kids called Express Yourself! Littlies and their parents can visit the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre for a free interactive session. Caitlin Murray, local Darebin artist, will teach children a range of creative experiences, from creating a drawing book, to making jewellery and other multi-media activities. There’s also a cafe on site for parents looking to zone out and relax!

Express Yourself NGV Kids on Tour | Bundoora Homestead Art Centre 
Free | 10am - 12pm | Suitable for children aged 7 - 12

Loving Repeating, A Musical of Gertrude Stein is a production by the Vic Theatre Company and part of the Midsumma Festival. Adapted from writings by Gertrude Stein, this musical explores the American expatriate, and influential queer artist and writer’s life, language and romantic history. Premiering tonight at Chapel off Chapel.

Loving Repeating, A Musical of Gertrude Stein | Chapel off Chapel in Prahran
$49, $43 (concession) 21st January - 8th February 


Flex those visors, Listers. The Australian Open is back and in full throttle mode already! If you want to catch some matches, but don’t fancy a dose of heatstroke, then here’s our guide to where to watch the Australian Open in Melbourne… in style! 

Where to Watch the Australian Open…in Style | Around Town
January 19th - February 1st 

Check out work from talented photographer, Erin Neale, in the Learn to Live exhibition’s launch party. Bunaken features photographs taken by Neale during her Artist-in-Residence stint in the Learn to Live health clinics program in Indonesia. Proceeds from purchased artwork will be implemented by Learn to Live in their ongoing humanitarian work.
Erin Neale: Bunaken, Learn to Live Exhibition Launch Party 
Gallery 136, Lygon St in Brunswick | Free Entry | 6pm-10pm 

Food Trucks and Movies. What an epic combo! If you haven’t yet caught some action at the Coburg Food Truck Festival, then get excited for their weekly sessions in January! Catch the movie American Sniper tonight, while you feast on delicious snacks from Mr Burger, 3 Lil Monsters Pizza Truck, Treat Yo Self, Pappa Pita, Vango Farm Fresh Food, Yogurddiction, and The Currywurst Co. (Note our all inclusive use of the word ‘and’.)

Coburg Food Truck Festival | Village Cinemas Coburg Drive-In in Coburg
Prices Vary | Screening starts at 9:00pm | Running January 22nd, 27th, 28th & 29th

Friday 23rd

January in Melbourne brings so many great things. Hot weather, tennis, the Australia Day public holiday. And Kong BBQ in Richmond have decided that this is a pretty good reason to celebrate. They’re taking bookings (gasp!) from 3pm-6pm every day during the Australian Open, for two or more with a choice or two seven-course set menus! Seven-courses at Kong? Seventh heaven here we come!

Kong Bookings for Australian Open | Kong BBQ
3pm - 6pm, January 19th - February 1st | Call 9427 1307 to book 

SummerSalt Outdoor Arts Festival is a new initiative where Southgate’s promenade will host a range of music, dance, circus, theatre and art events. Free events will be available to festival goers, spanning from interactive theatre to puppetry and giant art installations, all collaborations by Melbourne’s leading art organisations. Get yo’ culture on, Listers!

SummerSalt Outdoor Art Festival | Southgate Promenade, Southbank
January 23rd - February 21st 

The name of this event is enough to induce giggles, but once you get past that, the Prahran Market’s Inaugural Sausage Fest is the place to be this Friday! Butchers and Poulterers from the market will compete, with their snags being cooked by famous BBQ-er Bob Hart, and the crowd tasting and voting! With a blind testing format, get excited to sample some great products from the Prahran Market’s sausage offerings!

Sausage Fest Competition | Prahran Market in South Yarra
Free Entry | 11:30am - 1pm (Winner announced 1:30pm) 

Don’t be a gutless wonder, and book tickets to see Strictly Ballroom the Musical before it sells out! Presented by Global Creatures, the show is playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, for a limited time only! Get excited for new songs from artists such as Eddie Perfect and Sia, as well as the old favourites, Love is in the Air and Time after Time. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, revisit this fantastic Aussie classic in full-blown musical majesty!

Strictly Ballroom The Musical | Her Majesty’s Theatre 

Saturday 24th

Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder have joined forces with The Pipes & Drums of the Victorian Scottish Regiment Association to present their annual Burns Supper. Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist, and this four-course feast will celebrate his history, as well as other Scottish icons and traditions. Think haggis, bagpipes and a whisky toast!

Burns Supper | Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder
$100pp | 7pm 

Summer in Melbourne is celebrated with Aussies flocking to the beach or local pool. Some of the more determined even book tickets to more exotic destinations—who hasn’t spent a sleepless, sweaty night dreaming of the slides at Wet N’ Wild after all? Well a little taste of the fun and frivolous water park set-up is heading to Melbourne today, with Nova’s Slidestreet! Lansdowne Street will play host to a 315m slip ‘n’ slide, running alongside the Fitzroy Gardens. Get soaked, Listers!

Nova Slidestreet | Lansdowne Street in Melbourne
Prices Vary | 9am - 7pm 

Looking for more foodie things to do in Melbourne this Australia Day long weekend? Well, Blanco Kitchen at the Prahran Market are offering more fun this Saturday, with a cooking demonstration by Brad Simpson from The Smith, hosted by Alice Zaslavsky! Simpson’s culinary history is impressive, with a past working at Icon & Citron (New Zealand), as Sous Chef at Taxi Dining Room, and Head Chef at Lamaro’s before moving on to The Smith. Simpson will be given 30 minutes to shop the market, then 45 minutes to prepare something delicious! Get inspired, master chefs!

Edible Adventures Chef Challenge with Brad Simpson 
Prahran Market in South Yarra | 1pm

Sunday 25th

The Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood is kicking of its latest initiative, Collingwood Open. Set to run through summer in Melbourne, Collingwood Open brings some talented music acts to perform in the Gasometer’s unique open-air space. Tonight sees acts Teeth & Tongue and Fraser A Gorman hitting the stage. Look out for Gareth Liddiard, Lanie Lane and Twin Beasts later in the season.

Collingwood Open | The Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood
$21.45 | 7:30pm 

Swim into Sundays with style this summer, with the help of The Adelphi Hotel in Flinders Lane. Hosting Sunday sessions through till March, the Adelphi Hotel’s iconic rooftop (complete with pool jutting out over the edge) is the place to sip and… well… swim! Get excited for modern spins on your favourite retro cocktails (we particularly like the names of ‘No Sex on the Pool Deck’ and the ‘Midori Delusion’), and a sizzling barbecue in true Aussie style!

Adelphi Rooftop Pop Up Bar | The Adelphi Hotel Rooftop in Melbourne
Free Entry | 12pm - 6pm, Sundays until March 29th (Excluding February 1st) 

Running for two exciting days, the International Street Food Festival lets visitors sample food from all corners of the globe! Placed across Australia Day, this family-friendly event is chockers full of shopping, eating, entertainment and activity!

International Street Food Festival | Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Ascot Vale
Prices Vary | 10:00am - 10:30pm, 25th - 26th January

Say goodbye to the sun with Jardin Tan’s Sunday Sunset Sessions! Featuring Way of the Eagle, spend your evening in the glorious surrounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens with ice-cold drinks, ice cream, and live music!

Sunday Sunset Sessions with Way of the Eagle
Jardin Tan, Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne
Sundays in January | 2pm-7pm | Free Entry 

The good ol’ Queen Vic Market is shaking things up a bit with their new Sticky Fingers initiative! Running Sundays, this food festival has asked market food vendors to think outside the box… and put it on a stick! Choose from skewered, tooth-picked or pronged delicacies! Sit back and savour your sticks, with a frothy or two at Two Brothers Brewery’s beer garden, complete with live music and all! 

Sticky Fingers Sunday Market Food Festival | Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne
18th January - April 12th | 9am - 4pm 

Monday 26th

It’s that time of year again. Get your Aussie pride (and love) on! Need some ideas on how to spend your day? Here’s our guide to all the best things to do on Australia Day in Melbourne! And, if you’re in need of a coffee come Monday, here are some of the best Melbourne cafes open on Australia Day.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, our favourite summer-lovin’ river terrace, Fatto Bar & Cantina, is hosting one of the coolest events for the hot summer, Club Aperol! The trendy spot has transformed into a swanky Italian country club, complete with table tennis and Aperol Spritz specials each Wednesday – Sunday up ‘til the end of the month. 

From midday today, Club Aperol at Fatto is serving up a unique Australia Day Party, with an Italian twist. Grab a tasty BBQ lunch box with pork, veal and fennel sausage, marinated lamb, Italian slaw and James’ potato salad for $19 and wash it down with some Aperol cocktails (natch). DJ Bags will hit the decks from 4pm, with a few Aussie classics thrown into the mix. Challenge your mates to a table tennis match or three, and let the good times roll. 

Club Aperol | Fatto Bar & Cantina in Melbourne 
From Midday January 26th
Wednesdays through to Sundays until January 31st | 4pm - 11pm

Tuesday 27th

If you’re right in the thick of the Australian Open excitement, and you’ve officially been diagnosed with tennis fever, then this event is perfect for you! Vue Events is holding a Tennis Legends Cocktail Party, featuring tennis heroes such as Pat Cash, Goran Ivanisevic, Henri Leconte, The Woodies, Michael Chang, Martina Navratilova and Lindsay Davenport! Todd Woodbridge will lead the evening, complete with canapés, wine, beer and Champagne. Rub shoulders with some of the tennis world’s biggest figures, while listening to a live DJ set by Way of the Eagle. Even better? Proceeds go towards Challenge, a charity helping support kids with cancer. 

Tennis Legends Cocktail Party | Vue Events in Melbourne | $120pp
7:00pm - 9:30pm | Reservations essential on 9691 3888

That’s what’s on in Melbourne this Australia Day long-weekend, Listers. Make the most of the time off and embrace that Monday hangover!

Image Credit: Raspberri Cupcakes.

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