Events

The Urban List’s Guide to a Sizzling Melbourne Summer

By Ella Pleasant - 17 Jan 2014

Can you believe we're half way through summer already? The whole Christmas / New Year celebration was a beautiful boozy blur and now, here we are, back at work (sob!) with only a month and a half to enjoy summer in Melbourne, and what's left of the sunshine. 

Not sure where to start? Well you're in luck as we've scoured the city to bring you our epic round up of what's on in Melbourne this summer, from sporting events (hello Australian Open!), to music festivals, store openings and more!

In need of a reprieve from the heat? We've got the city's hottest spots to cool down covered, with everything from Melbourne's favourite gelato joints to the newest restaurants making it to our list. Realising things are 1000% better when done outdoors, we've also covered Melbourne's best outdoor cinemas, as well as the city's hottest rooftop bars, for your ultimate al fresco viewing and sipping pleasure. 

So, without further ado, here's what's on for the end of January, the whole of February, and maybe just the start of March (after all, who doesn't wish summer was another month longer?). 

SPORT

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, oh my! For one adrenalin-charged fortnight, world-class tennis superstars will be descending upon Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the year. So folks, it's time to lace up those tennis shoes, adjust those sweatbands and read up on everything you need to know about the Australian Open, right here! Want to get your stalk on? Here are our tips on where the tennis aces will be hanging out. 

Missed out on tickets to the big match? Don't fret, there are plenty of places around town screening the Australian Open. Common Man's 'Front Yard' will be broadcasting all the Grand Slam action live on their big screen, with pop-up kitchens from South Wharf Promenade's popular restaurants (BangPop, Akachochin, Bohemian and Meat Market) and daily happy hours from the friendly folk at Plus 5. 

Melbourne Central's Rooftop Tennis Club is another prime viewing spot where you can also hit a tennis ball, buy some sweet Nike sweats, and sample tasty gourmet delights. Score!

Australian Open | Now on until 26th January | For more details, click here

Common Man 'The Front Yard' | 39 Dukes Walk in South Wharf 

For more details, click here

Melbourne Central Rooftop Tennis Club | Level 3 Melbourne Central, Corner LaTrobe & Swanston Street in Melbourne

For more details, click here

SLAM BEACH VOLLEYBALL FESTIVAL

Entering its 14th season, SLAM Beach Volleyball Festival is on the road once again, heading to St Kilda Foreshore for the Victorian leg of their sizzlin' summer tour.  You don't need to be spiking superstar to register a team: just round up a group of friends, design a ripper team costume and celebrate victory/defeat at the party afterwards! From serious players to serious partiers, all are welcome to have a whack. 

SLAM Beach Volleyball Festival | 18th January | St Kilda Foreshore in St Kilda

For more information, click here

Don't miss the beach volleyball action at SLAM in St Kilda! Image Credit: Tobias Lundkvist

THE GREAT AUSTRALIA DAY SWIM

It's time to don those budgie smugglers, baysiders: The Great Australia Day Swim is just around the corner! Organised by the Brighton Rotary Club and held at Middle Brighton beach, the day will feature a number of races including a Celebrity Relay lead by three-time Olympic medallist, Andrew Lauterstein, and marathon swimmer, John Van Wisse. What better way to celebrate Australia than with a Barbie, a boogie and a dip in the ocean with your favourite sporting celebs?

The Great Australia Day Swim | 26th January | Middle Brighton Beach in Brighton

For more information, click here

KFC INTERNATIONAL T20 AUSTRALIA VS ENGLAND

The biggest names in Aussie cricket take on England in the Melbourne KFC T20 INTL. This thrilling series match promises non-stop fun and all the fast-paced action of the game's shortest format, making it perfect for restless kiddies (and busy adults). In fact, it's the family outing, with kids under 15 getting in free. Bit rusty on the old cricket jargon? Take a peek at this bluffer's guide to the cricket.  

KFC International T20 Australia vs England | 31st January

Melbourne Cricket Ground, 120 Brunton Avenue in East Melbourne

To book your tickets, click here

CUPID'S UNDIE RUN

Making its Melbourne debut over the Valentine's Day weekend, Cupid's Undie Run is a one-and-a-half-ish kilometre fun run completed in your bedroom best, with all proceeds going towards the Children's Tumor Foundation of Australia. The event kicks off with a pre-race party at Watermark Docklands, followed by a half-naked dash through Victoria Harbour Promenade, and then it's back to Watermark for post-race festivities and prizes for the day's highest raising fundraisers. Start a team, join a team, or just run solo (what better way than to make a mate than in your undies?).

Cupid's Undie Run | 9th February | Watermark Docklands, 9 / 800 Bourke Street in?Docklands 

For more information, click here

NEON RUN

The smart folk at Neon Run have created a pumpin' nightclub on the move, complete with DJs, black lights, strobes, neon body paint and a killer after party to boot. Whether you're a runner, jogger, walker or shuffler, you can pick your pace, party your way through the 5ks around Albert Park Lake, and then dance 'til you just can't dance any more! All proceeds go to Beyond Blue, so slap on some Neon paint, put a smile on your dial and party-run for a good cause!

Neon Run | 24th February | Albert Park Lake in Melbourne

For more information, click here

FESTIVALS

MIDSUMMA FESTIVAL

Melbourne's annual queer celebration of arts and culture is back and set to take our city by storm. Film, music, performing arts, educational talks and sports galore, there truly is something for everyone. See same-sex couples perform everything from the cha cha to the tango at Australia's biggest and best Same-Sex Dancesport competition.  

Make sure you make time to boogie down in Bar Kylie at The 86; the pop-up bar will be playing all of Miss Minogue's hits, complemented by free Gelato Messina (for first in, so get there early!) and $10 Kylie Kocktail specials. 

And, of course, we couldn't forget Midsumma Mooning if we tried. Touted as 'Melbourne's premier bare-arse & wet jock competition', this tongue-in-cheek night promises bare behinds, a rapid-fire auction and hilarious half-time comedy, all for a measly $10 entry fee. All money raised from the event goes to the David Williams Fund, so join in on the cheeky fun and show your support for those living with HIV/AIDS! 

Midsumma Festival | Now on until 2nd February | Various locations

For more information, click here

Midsumma Festival is a fantastic celebration of queer arts and culture. Image Credit: Pinterest

MONA FOMA

Okay, okay, we know it's in Tassie, but the line-up is so good you'll want to swim across the Tasman. Curated by Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie, Mona Foma 2014 (or MOFO, as it's known these days) will feature musical legends such as the intergalactic Sun Ra Arkestra, Client Liasion, punk pioneers The Julie Ruin, and Björk collaborators Matmos, rocking out alongside a wealth of talented Tassie artists. 

If the superb line-up isn't enough to get you jumping into your togs, there'll also be a stack of installations, exhibitions and workshops taking place across Hobart that are sure to tickle your fancies. Make sure you check out Faux Mo, MOFO's official nightclub. It's shrouded in secrecy (they literally won't tell us anything!), but if the whispers are anything to go by, it's set to be a wild weekend. 

MONA FOMA | Now on until 19th January | Various locations around Hobart

For more information, click here

THE MELBOURNE LATIN SUMMER FESTIVAL

The Melbourne Latin Summer Festival is a free multicultural festival that will spice up Fed Square with circus-style roving performances, live music, DJs and outdoor dance classes. ?If that doesn't sound good enough, there will also be a salsa parade, saucy street food, a licensed bar and a market filled to the brim with Latin American handcrafts (made locally, to reduce that pesky carbon footprint!).

The Melbourne Latin Summer Festival | 1st February | Federation Square in Melbourne

For more information, click here

ST KILDA FESTIVAL

At first just an epic one-day gig, St Kilda Festival has evolved into a nine-day event featuring a heap of Australian music and everything from extreme sports demonstrations to dance classes, to family activities and fun community workshops (plus more!). The festival will wrap up on the 9th of February with the iconic Festival Sunday, where the streets of St Kilda will be closed to all traffic and the crème de la crème of Australian musicians will rock out on five music stages. Our pick? We can't wait to see Art Vs Science bring their silky dance floor beats to the Main Stage at sunset. 

St Kilda Festival | 1st – 9th February | Various locations

For more information, click here

WHITE NIGHT MELBOURNE

Kicking off at dusk, Melbourne's city streets will once again be transformed into a cultural playground.  Bigger and better than last year's debut, White Night Melbourne 2014 will offer a mix of free and ticketed entertainment including exhibitions, street performances, fashion, lighting installations, film screenings, multimedia projections, concerts, dance and interactive events, keeping the city alive 'til the crack of dawn.

White Night Melbourne | 22nd – 23rd Melbourne | Various locations

For more information, click here

OUTDOOR CINEMAS

ROOFTOP CINEMA

Ahh, we all know that dreaded seven-floor hike to Rooftop Bar. While the ascent may leave you damp on the brow and cursing your footwear choice, the destination is well worth the physical exertion. Once the mercury rises and the sun comes down, this hipster hotspot transforms into a cinephile's paradise complete with deckchairs, an eclectic mix of slick flicks, a fully stocked bar and All Day Burger shack's tasty fare to keep you sated. 

Rooftop Cinema & Bar | Now on until April (end date TBC) | Level 6, 252 Swanston Street in Melbourne

For more information, click here

HOT TUB CINEMAS

Yeah, you read that right. Hot tubs. On a rooftop. The rooftop is also a bar. And a cinema. While we may have already covered this phenomenon a month or so ago (read allll about our excitement here), we thought we'd share a friendly reminder, seeing as they're pulling the plug (temporarily, thank the lord!) some time in February. 

Hot Tub Cinemas | Now on until February (end date TBC) | Rooftop of 2 Acland Street in St Kilda (Enter via Jackson Street)

For more information, click here

Who are we kidding...you had us at hot tub! Image Credit: Olivia Harris

MALTESERS MOONLIGHT CINEMA

Pack a rug and slather yourself in Mortein; Maltesers Moonlight cinema is back at the Royal Botanical Gardens for the summer. There's a range of cinematic delights on offer, with everything from advance previews to family favourites and cult classics being played on the big screen up until the end of March. Forgot to pack a picnic? No stress, you're able to order a hot meal and bottle of wine at the bar (their nosh trumps a soggy sanga any day). For those who need a bit more padding than the old tartan picnic rug, bean beds are available for hire and a 'gold grass' ticket will get you one in prime viewing position. 

Maltesers Moonlight Cinema | Now on until 30th March | Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra

For more information, click here

THE SHADOW ELECTRIC OUTDOOR CINEMA

Located in the grounds of The Abbotsford Convent, The Shadow Electric is an outdoor cinema and bar complete with a band room, a food truck parked in the courtyard (Pierogi Pierogi, Mr Burger and Trailer Made have all been there) and ping pong tables to keep everyone entertained…so it's pretty much the coolest place to be this summer. Back for its third season, the outdoor cinema has already gained some serious film buff cred with its solid program of musical docos, cult flicks, and new releases. Head to Shadow on a Monday to experience the weirder side of cinema, with cult creepers like Massage Parlour Murders and Night Train to Terror screening at just $10 a pop. You know where you'll find me…

The Shadow Electric | Now on until 24th January | Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street in Abbotsford

For more information, click here

MUSIC

THE SHADOW ELECTRIC BAND ROOM

While they haven't released their 2014 band program yet (we're checking their Facebook page every day for updates!), you can still get your groove on to the DJs spinning their silky tunes in the courtyard. Those is need of a greater musical fix should catch one of the musical docos screening at The Shadow Electric's outdoor cinema. We're keen to get an insight into the balaclava-clad, anti- Putin feminist punk rockers in Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. Oh, and like we've already pointed out: DJs, bar, food truck and ping pong table. Need we say more?

The Shadow Electric | Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street in Abbotsford

For more information, click here

STREET PIANOS 'PLAY ME, I'M YOURS'

Touring internationally since 2008, Luke Jerram's 'Play Me, I'm Yours' has seen more than 1,000 pianos installed in 37 cities across the globe, each one bearing the simple instruction 'play me, I'm yours'. The Arts Centre has now brought the international street piano project to Melbourne, setting up 24 artist-decorated street pianos in public spaces all around the CBD. Whether your skill is more Chopsticks than Chopin, anyone is welcome to have a go at banging out a couple of tunes. It's sticking around 'til 27th January, so pull up a stool and get playing!

Street Pianos 'Play Me, I'm Yours' | Now on until 27th January | Various locations

For more information, click here

PORT ROYAL STREET PARTY 

This year, Port Melbourne's Fennell Street will be playing host to the inaugural Port Royal Street Party, featuring a killer line-up of local bands, food, booze and sideshow shenanigans. Punk-rockers Cosmic Psychos will lead the charge, joined by the Meanies, the Murlocs, Harmony, Straight Arrows, Batpiss, Bits of Shit, the Spinning Rooms, Drunk Mums, Ausmuteants and Yo Grito DJs. Like all good Street Parties, all the neighbours are pitching in: Matilda Bay Brewery will be on hand with plenty of kegs (brewed on site, no less!), the Salford Lads Club will be serving up some scrumptious nosh (alongside Huxtaburger and Uncle), and the fellas from Rocco's Barber Shop will be offering snips to festival goers. Sailor Jerry will be serving up cocktails all day and their classic Airstream tattoo trailer will be on site for those after a permanent memento of the festival…

Port Royal Street Party | 18th January | Fennel Street in Port Melbourne

For more information, click here

Oh you know, just a regular evening hanging out at the zoo! Image Credit: Nick Fletcher

ZOO TWILIGHTS AT MELBOURNE ZOO

This summer at Melbourne Zoo, fourteen artists will take to the stage over fourteen nights, all to fight wildlife extinction. Explore the Zoo at dusk (selected animal exhibits open exclusively for Twilight guests), catch a talk from one of the keepers, unpack the picnic (or purchase one of their scrummy gourmet hampers) and finally settle in for a night of musical bliss under the stars. Our pick? You can't go past the serious lols Perfect Tripod (comedy trio Tripod and Eddie Perfect, could there be a better foursome?) will surely provide.     

Zoo Twilights at Melbourne Zoo | 24th January – 8th March

Melbourne Zoo | Elliott Avenue in Parkville

For more information, click here

ART & FASHION

ROYAL BOTANIC RUNWAY 

On the 30th of January, Guilfoyle's Volcano at Royal Botanic Gardens will be transformed into a spectacular open-air runway, graced by the gowns of world-renowned Australian designers Akira Isogawa, Aurelio Costarella, Collette Dinnigan and Martin Grant. After the show, partake in an after-party at The Botanical, a dinner and auction in the Gardens by ever-popular chef, Shannon Bennett, or a screening under the stars at the Maltesers Moonlight Cinema. All funds from the night go towards the final stage of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Water Strategy Project, designed to fully drought-proof the Gardens. 

Royal Botanic Runway | 30th January | Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra

For more information, click here

SUPERGRAPH ART FAIR

Taking over the Royal Exhibition Building, SUPERGRAPH is more than just an art fair, it's the ultimate celebration of design, print, illustration and graphic art! The exhibition features original and limited edition artworks from Australia's leading graphic artists and brightest emerging talent, and with prices starting at just $30 there's something to suit all budgets. Feeling inspired?  Sharpen your pencils and join one of the creative workshops, artist-led master classes, and competitions running throughout the event. We're looking forward to the So You Think You Can Draw? competition: running every hour, self proclaimed Pictionary masters can pit themselves against family, friends and maybe even a famous illustrator for the ultimate bragging rights. Not going to lie, I've been practicing. 

SUPERGRAPH Art Fair | 14th – 16th February | Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street in Carlton

For more information, click here

SPECTACLE: THE MUSIC VIDEO EXHIBITION 

Who else dedicated their weekend mornings to Rage and Video Hits growing up? This summer, ACMI presents Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition, an extraordinary exploration of the music video as a contemporary art form. Showcasing more than 300 music videos spanning nine decades, the exhibition is screening everything from early clips of 1920s jazz legends to the viral videos of today, as well as featuring original props and costumes from well known clips. Can't wait!

Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition | Now on until 23rd February

ACMI | Federation Square in Melbourne

For more information, click here

PAUSE FEST 

Thinkers, practitioners and entrepreneurs of digital culture, this one's for you! Pause is Australia's most progressive digital festival, promising four glorious days of workshops, screenings and conferences (plus a few 'networking' parties). While there are a heap of ticketed events available for those in the industry, the free offerings this year are more than worthwhile for those of us who overly enjoy our smartphones. We're most excited about Project:Roam, a unique projection concept that sees a group of artists bringing to life large scale digital using just their iPhones, mobile projectors and a couple of reusable batteries. The result is a truly incredible, completely immersive experience. It was a major success at last year's Gertrude Street Projection Festival, and now projecting on walls across the CBD, is sure to be even more popular this year.   

Pause Fest | 13th – 16th February | Various Locations

For more information, click here

Shop up a storm at the Uniqlo Pop-Up on Swanston Street. Image Credit: Retail Evolution

UNIQLO POP-UP STORE 

It's weird to think that just a mere three years ago us Melburnians couldn't get our mitts on Zara, Top Shop or Gap without an international shipping wait or overseas holiday (dark, dark days). Well, my fashionable friends, get excited, because this January Uniqlo will be making its way onto the Melbourne sartorial scene! 

The Japanese retailer will open its Swanston Street pop-up store on the 18th, offering up affordable, super cool casual wear to us lucky folk. As if it doesn't get more exciting, the pop-up store will be replaced by a permanent megastore in Emporium Melbourne by late March (yay!). Uniqlo is just one of many hugely popular international retailers coming to Melbourne in 2014, with Williams Sonoma, River Island and H&M soon to follow suit. Finnnnnalllly! 

Uniqlo Pop-Up Store | 18th January – 31st March | 171 Swanston Street in Melbourne

For more information, click here

DATES FOR THE DIARY

AUSTRALIA DAY – 26th January

Ah, Australia Day – a national day of beer, snags and pavs. This year the national celebration falls on a Sunday, and what's more Australian than a beery session with the mates, I ask you?! We've compiled a list of the Melbourne's best Sunday sipping spots for your boozy pleasure. We must also highly recommend the new and already adored HuxtaBrussels Sunday sesh (Huxtaburger + Madame Brussels = culinary genius).

Now, as we all know, we Aussies love drinking sky high, so take a look at our list of Melbourne's best rooftop bars for some al fresco sipping on Australia's finest roofs. Recently opened, Loop Rooftop also deserves a special mention for their exotic setting, wet-weather preparations (sadly perfect for the Melbourne summer) and killer cocktail concoctions including a vodka-based snow cone. Yes, please!

Now, if there's one thing we can't go without doing on Australia Day, it's a true blue Aussie barbeque.  We've done our research on the very best spots to scoff those charred snags this Australia Day, so get check out this guide to Melbourne's best BBQ and picnic hotspots, pack your Frisbee and get Cheryl to make her famous potato salad. 

VALENTINE'S DAY – 14th February

As you've probably gathered by now, the way to an Urban Lister's heart is through their stomach. Here are our verdicts on the best places to celebrate sweet, sweet lurrrrve in Melbourne:

Mr. Calombaris and his famous souvlaki. Drool. We all want a piece of Gazi

To me, nothing's more sexy than a big, fat pizza (can you tell I'm single?). 90 Secondi do a mouth-wateringly good job.

If you haven't been to hotspot Hammer and Tong 412 yet, prepare to fall in love. Order me the 500g wagyu steak and I'll be putty in your hand. 

Beautiful seaside views with St Kilda's most beautiful? Captain Baxter, we say YES. 

While we're serious about our love of food, we wouldn't mind getting flowers too. Canary Jane's Flowers, Bud Flowers and Lulu Bird are all wonderful places to buy something sweet smelling this V-Day.  

EATING

ICY TREATS

As the mercury rises, we search for a cool, icy treat to spare us from the heat. Peach & Basil? Butter & Kaya Toast? Poached Figs in Marsala? Yes, yes and GOD YES! Whether you're a fan of the traditional vanilla or like to spice things up with a chilli-laced salted caramel (a la Gelateria Primavera, drool!), or go a little loco for froyo, we've got your taste buds covered. Have a read of our tried-and-tested list of the very best places to grab ice cream, gelato and froyo in Melbourne

Beat the heat with some mouth-watering ice cream, gelato or froyo. Image Credit: Rooi Rose

MELBOURNE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

Starting at the end of February, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival will be bringing together the very best chefs and sommeliers to celebrate the world's most precious resource, water. Can't wait to dive in? Here are a couple of our picks:

Anchored to the banks of the Yarra in Queensbridge Square, The Immersery Kitchen, Bar and Raingarden is definitely the place to be this festival. Chefs Florent Gerardin (Silo by Joost), Jesse Gerner (Añada & Bomba), Daniel Wilson (Huxtable & Huxtaburger), Joel Alderson & Adam Liston (Borrowed Space), and Hamish Nugent & Rachel Reed (Tani Eat & Drink) will design a mouth-watering menu for the Festival Kitchen, while a line-up of the country's craftiest bartenders will be creating one-off cocktails that are sure to wet your whistle throughout the festival. 

The Immersery Kitchen, Bar and Raingarden | 28th February – 16th March | 1A Queensbridge Street in Southbank

For more information, click here

A festival favourite, Restaurant Express, sees Melbourne's favourite restaurants offering tempting lunch menus at an exceptional price. From North to South, East to West and all through the city, over 70 of the hottest restaurants in town will present a two-course lunch, a glass of Victorian wine and tea or coffee for only $40. There are seriously too many good restaurants doing this; take a look at the list here and see for yourself. 

Restaurant Express | 28th February – 13th March | Various restaurants around Melbourne

For more information, click here

Okay, while Rickshaw Run technically takes place in autumn, it just seems too fun not to include in our round up of summer foodie events. Sit back in a traditional rickshaw and whiz through the streets of Footscray, sampling the very best Vietnamese markets, restaurants and street food Melbourne has to offer. The route, designed by local food blogger Lauren Wambach, will take you on a culinary journey through Vietnam, sampling delectable delicacies from the North to the South. It's a sell out every year, so make sure you get booking quick sticks! 

Rickshaw Run | 7th – 10th March | Starts Corner Leeds & Byron Street in Footscray

For more information, click here

PRIX FIXE DINING

Melbourne cafe king Jason M Jones (Porgie + Mr Jones, Friends of Mine, Snow Pony and The Stables of Como) and celebrated chef Philippa Sibley (formerly of Albert St Food & Wine) are setting up a new joint on Alfred Place, and we couldn't be more excited! Opening its doors to the public on the 21st of February, Prix Fixe is flying in the face of the popular 'no bookings' restaurant policy, offering Australia's first ticketed dining experience (you go Melbourne). 

Set-priced tickets for lunch and dinner will be purchased no more than two month in advance, with changing menus made available four weeks prior on the restaurant's website and social media channels. The focus here is on the theatrical and whimsical, with Ms Sibley's monthly menus inspired by people, the arts and music, as well as the very best seasonal, regional produce.  We simply can't wait!

Prix Fixe | Opening 21st February | Albert Place in Melbourne

For more information and to book, click here

DRINKING

COCKTAILS

Shaken or stirred, dirty or dry, muddled or mashed – you name it, we love it. With the weather in prime cocktail sipping form (well, any weather will do), we'll be enjoying these super summer cocktails around Melbourne

CIDERS

Now, while our love for cocktails is more than well documented, just remember that we don't discriminate, and our affection for local ciders is equally strong this summer. Perfect for sipping at a rooftop bar or sharing with your friends at a barbeque, read our tasting-guide to the best, sunshine-in-a-bottle ciders Melbourne has to offer

BAR EXPRESS

As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Bar Express map will guide you through Melbourne's laneways in search of speciality, water-inspired cocktails. Nope, we're not talking about a watered-down OJ and vodka here, we're talking about mouth-watering flavour combinations so good they'll induce the euphoria of lying by the pool at a tropical resort. 

Trunk's water-inspired cocktail, Riding Johnny Utah, is an inspiring mix of Cariel Vodka, freshly pressed lime juice, house made sugar syrup, coconut water, ocean foam, sweet coconut sand and coconut mist. I'm a little intrigued about the sea foam but mostly, YUM!

BALLARAT BEER FESTIVAL 

Pale ales and weizens, browns and Belgians, pilsners and porters: Ballarat Beer Festival has all the suds you could ever dream of sipping. Showcasing an amazing selection of craft beers and ciders from Australian brewers, the day will also feature beer master classes, top class musical acts and scrumptious food to soak it all up. 

Ballarat Beer Festival | 18th January | City Oval Ballarat, Corner Pleasant & Mair Street in Ballarat

For more information, click here

Sample a brew or two at the Ballarat or Geelong Beer Festivals. Image Credit: The Crafty Pint

GEELONG BEER FESTIVAL 

Can't get enough of the gold stuff? Head to the Geelong Beer Festival, where you can meander through Australia's biggest alfresco beer garden while sipping and sampling some (or all) of the 150 plus craft beers and ciders on offer. You can also chat to brewers, catch a free seminar on how to make your own home brew and feast on culinary delights from the region.  

Geelong Beer Festival | 1st February | Geelong Beer Racecourse, 99 Breakwater Road in Breakwater

For more information, click here

TOP SHELF FESTIVAL 

Melbourne's newest boutique drinks festival, Top Shelf, promises a weekend of sipping and sampling of the finest beers, wines and spirits, giving you a chance to meet and greet the people who make them. With an impressive line-up of international speakers, pop-up bars, top notch food (Chignon will sharing their taco love with all) and the unveiling of the rarest cocktail machine in the world, Top Shelf is set to be a tip top day!  

Top Shelf Festival | 9th February | Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street in Carlton

For more information, click here

GRAPE GRAZING 

One of Yarra Valley's favourite festivals, Grape Grazing, is back for another year, promising three fun-filled days of fine wine, yummy food and boutique ciders and craft beers. Kick the festival off with a sunset hot air balloon flight, then head to Healesville for its Big Street Breakfast, be wined and dined at one of Yarra Valley's many winery restaurants and enjoy a bit of al fresco opera in the evening. Heavenly!

Grape Grazing | 14th – 16th February | Various locations around Yarra Valley

For more information, click here

Main Image Credit: The Editorialite

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