NOT heading home for the festive season this year? Rachel Furolo has got you covered on where to go and what to do as the weather warms up.
Here are four fantastic activities that will get you out of the house, away from the air conditioner and outside soaking up the culture and spirit of Melbourne in what is arguably it’s most beautiful season.
The Myer Christmas windows
Where: Myer, 314-336 Bourke St, Melbourne
When: until 5 January
Celebrating its 58th year, the Myer Christmas window display is a perfect (and free!) way to spend an afternoon or evening. This longstanding Melbourne tradition is extremely popular and every year crowds flock to Bourke Street Mall to see the highly anticipated creations and adaptations of Christmas brought to life through animation.
This year’s theme is Gingerbread Friends, while in previous years The Twelve Days of Christmas, Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and How the Grinch Stole Christmas have all been featured.
Moonlight Cinema at the Royal Botanical Gardens
Where: Royal Botanical Gardens on Birdwood Avenue
When: Various weeknights and weekends until 28 January
Cost: $16 for concession, Thursdays are $12
On one of Melbourne’s notoriously balmy nights, there’s no better place to be than lying back and watching a good flick at the Royal Botanical Gardens’ open-air cinema. The latest blockbusters, as well as cult classics will be projected onto a giant screen on the Central lawn, making for a cozy setting to enjoy a movie with the manicured gardens and city buildings as your backdrop.
Book tickets online to secure a spot, then bring a picnic rug, some nibblies and good company for a chilled night of outdoor entertainment. Read our review of this year’s Moonlight Cinema.
Suzuki Night Market
Where: Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Victoria St and Elizabeth St.
When: Wednesday nights from 5-10pm until 26 February
Cost: Free entry, varying costs for food and drinks
Now a permanent fixture in the Melbourne summer lineup, the Suzuki Night Market is back for another year. Set in the open-air sheds of the Queen Victoria Market, the Night Market boasts an impressive and vast selection of stalls, sure to suit everybody.
From Spanish quesadillas and sangria to German ‘bretzels’, Nepalese momos or Korean potato twists, you’ll be unequivocally spoilt for choice on the food front. It’s not all about the eats though with a heap of shopping stalls, live music and even a host of psychic readers ready to predict your future (which will almost definitely be another week of night-marketing cause it’s that good!).
Where: Melbourne Park
When: 13-26 January
Cost: Starting from $34 for a ground pass
One of the four Grand Slams in the international tennis circuit, the Australian Open is a sure fire way to enjoy both the sunshine and sporting prowess of talented athletes. For two weeks in January, Melbourne Park attracts thousands of Melburnians and is the go-to place for a day out.
Secure a seat in one of the big courts like Rod Laver Arena to have a close encounter watching your favorite player take on their opponent. Alternatively, simply grab a ground pass and view the matches on the big screen under the sun in Garden Square, or head to Grand Slam Oval to lounge around listening to live music on the big stage. The Australian Open is a quintessentially Melbourne event and will definitely be fun day spent with friends.