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The Summer Hot List: Must-do Activities

Regina Karis

Tue Dec 11 2012

moonlight cinema

Roll up your sleeves, trade in your thick pants for a flowy dress or colourful shorts, and show off your sunnies… it’s that time of the year again! Summer has arrived and Regina Karis tells you about things you could be doing this season to spice up your holidays.

Opel Moonlight Cinema

If you’ve ever dreamt of sitting under the stars and catching a movie in the midst of nature, well, dream no further. This summer, Opel Moonlight Cinema returns to Melbourne with screenings of long-awaited advance previews and various contemporary, cult and classic films.

Moonlight at Melbourne. Photo: Opel Moonlight Cinema

Movie selections range from new releases such as Argo (2012) to family favourites like Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010) and romantic comedies like To Rome With Love (2012). Classic flicks such as Dirty Dancing (1987), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) will also be screening.

Moonlight’s got you covered on the food and beverages front, too. You can either bring your own picnic or order a hot meal of hotdog and chips from their onsite catering.

When: December 6, 2012 to February 14, 2013. Gates open at 7pm and screenings start at sundown.
Where: Central Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens on Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
Prices: $18 for adults, $16 for concession. Check out the complete program here.

Under the Sea Sand Sculpting Exhibition

Australia’s renowned Sand Sculpting Festival is back this year in Frankston, Melbourne with the theme “Under the Sea”. More than 3,000 tonnes of sand is ready to be converted into a watery wonderland by a team of international and Australian sculptors.

An Asian-themed sand sculpture. Photo: Sandstorm Events

Featuring the work of Graeme Base, an Australian children’s author and illustrator, the exhibition offers various activities for visitors of all ages including sand-sculpting workshops, giant sand pit, face painting, and speed carving displays, Lego Play Zone and Channel 9 Summer Chill Zone.

Last year, the event was themed “Toytopia” and showcased award-winning sculptures from a talented group of 25 sculptors from Australia and around the world, attracting more than 100,000 visitors over four months.

When: December 26, 2012 to April 28, 2013, starting from 10am every day.
Where: 510N Nepean Highway, Frankston, Victoria
Prices: $12.50 for adults, $10.00 for concession. For more details, click here or call (03) 5986 6684 during business hours.

Medibank Icehouse

Escape Melbourne’s intense summer heat by taking refuge in the Icehouse, one of the city’s newer world-class ice sports and entertainment venue’s located in the heart of Waterfront City, Docklands. Featuring two Olympic-sized ice rinks, advanced sound and light systems, and a cafe, the ice skating centre has something fun for everyone, young or old.

Skating at Icehouse. Photo: Medibank Icehouse

Skating virgins need not fear—Medibank Icehouse offers free 15-minute beginner lessons from qualified instructors for you to learn how to glide, balance, stop, and even dip and swizzle like a professional before you try your fate at the public rink.

When: Open 7 days a week from 9am until late, all year long!
Where: 105 Pearl River Road, Docklands, close to the Harbourtown Shopping Centre
Prices: $25 for adults, $23 for concession including skate hire. Visit Medibank Icehouse or call 1300 756 699 for more information.

Kayak down the Yarra River

Kayaking down the Yarra River. Photo: Melbourne Adventure Hub

Crank up your adventurer gears and visit the Melbourne Adventure Hub for some real good paddling on a two-person kayak down the Yarra as you enjoy some of Melbourne’s most iconic sights.

The scenic tour is a 2.5-hour trip, beginning across the river from Federation Square, where a professional guide will give a short safety briefing and quick skills session. Depending on the weather, you may head either upstream, past the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Olympic Park, or downstream, travelling around Southbank, Crown Casino, and Docklands.

All safety and kayaking equipment will be provided.

When:Visit the website for tour dates and times.
Where: Yarra River
Prices: $85 per person