Five Things To Do In Melb This Winter That Will Actually Make You Want To Leave The House

Image By Adam Renyard

The days may be getting darker (and colder) but I’ll be damned if I spend another winter sitting in my house knitting with a blanket over my knees like I’m 70 years old. Yes, this is a thing that really happened in 2020 but I digress. 

While folks have spent summer in Melbourne making up for lost time with picnics on the Yarra, Aperols at Arbory Afloat and walks around the Tan, now it’s time to plan out your winter. There’s a whole bunch of things to do now that we’re open for business, baby. Plus, everyone knows that Melbourne gets more exciting after dark. 

Read on and get your weekends penciled in ASAP to avoid FOMO this winter.

Winter Night Market 

Honestly, the Winter Night Market is the highlight of my winter every year, so therefore it gets pride and place in this list. Held at the hallowed Queen Victoria Markets, every Wednesday evening from June 1 to August 31 there’s a whole bunch of delicious food, drinks, and goodies to buy. The atmosphere is so cosy and the local products are always the best. Grab a beer from Brick Lane Brewing, have a taste of Wonderbao buns and top it off with some roasted chestnuts from The Apple Corner. Bon appetit, binch.

Firelight Festival

Yes, it’s freezing right now but the Firelight Festival is coming to get us fired up. From the 1st to the 3rd of July, the free winter festival is taking over Melbourne’s Docklands. Alongside wintery pop-up food and drinks, there’ll be fire sculptures, flame jets, fire twirlers and even flaming trumpeters. Basically it’s a celebration of fire (and warmth, thank God). This year, you can also see a new liquid, laser and light show featuring a larger-than-life fiery phoenix. Harry Potter, who? Consider me intrigued. 

National Gallery of Victoria – The Picasso Century 

Did you even go to Melbourne if you didn’t go to the NGV? (The answer is no). This winter, the one and only Picasso is coming so consider your date day sorted. The Picasso Century explores the career of Pablo Picasso and many of the artists, poets and intellectual types he worked with throughout the 20th century. It opens from June 10 so you can escape the wintery winds along Southbank. If you’re more into after-dark activities, head to NGV Friday Nights where you can swan around the gallery with cocktails, dining and live music. We love. Fun fact: did you know that a Picasso was stolen from the NGV in 1986? That’s my party fact. Find your own at the NGV this winter.

Igloo Wonderland at Wharf Hotel 

What’s cosier than an igloo? Not much. Hang out with your pals in this cute Igloo pop-up along Southbank. You’ll be able to watch the sparkling river, see the stars and spend time eating and drinking with your friends but unlike camping, you’ll actually be warm. Prices start from only $59 per person. Someone get me a hot toddy, stat.

Luke Jerran: Gaia

In case you haven’t noticed yet, we love art in this city. That’s why you must make a stop in at Luke Jerram’s Gaia exhibition. It’s a detailed sculpture of earth measuring seven metres in diameter that rotates once every four minutes. It was actually created using images from NASA of the earth’s surface. So cool. It’ll be suspended in the truly beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral this winter. Pop down between 6 and 9pm for the full light effect. Apparently, the artwork aims to create a sense of awe in the viewer. The same feeling experienced by some astronauts who get a feeling of awe for the planet and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all life. Skip the expensive space trip and head to the city. 

These are just a handful of activities happening this winter. I could wax lyrical about them all but winter may be over by then.

If you want to stay up to date what’s on, head to What’s On Melbourne and follow @WhatsOnMelb on FacebookInstagram and TikTok.