Summer is finally upon us again! This means summer holidays, sunny days and balmy nights, spending endless days down by the beach with friends and family and getting out an about in the sunshine exploring our beautiful city. Below is a list of upcoming events, festivals and activities that would be perfect to check out this summer with your family and friends.
The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held annually over the last fortnight of January in Melbourne. This year is set to be bigger and better than ever, whether you want to catch a match inside Rod Laver Arena or spend the day with a ground pass ticket which gives you access to the outdoor courts as well as Melbourne Arena. This year the Australian Open is staging the country’s longest music festival, with 15 days of global music acts performing on the AO Live Stage. This event will take place at Birrarung Marr and is set to be a really great atmosphere with tons of live performances. A special mini theme park area for children will also be onsite this year at the AO Ballpark, featuring exciting activities, live entertainment and a 60 metre zipline ride through the centre of the park.
When: 14-27 January 2019
Where: Melbourne Park
Cost: See the Australian Open website for complete pricing details
Summer Night Market at Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Night Market returns to the Queen Victoria Market every Wednesday evening this summer and features over 60 global street food stalls and more than 100 specialty shopping stalls, bars and a rotating line-up of live music and entertainment. This summer they have amped up the activities and entertainment which include backyard style games for all ages such as totem tennis, Jenga and chess as well as many roving live entertainment performances. Making an appearance at the night market from Jan 9th will be Séance (20 minute immersive sound performance held in complete darkness) which is sure to spark some interest. Right in the heart of the city, the Summer Night Market makes a great dinner stop for anyone coming straight from work, or tourists looking to experience the famous markets after dark.
When: Wednesdays-21 November-20 March
Where: Queen Victoria Market
Cost: Entry is free
Moonlight Cinemas at Royal Botanical Gardens
The Moonlight Cinemas located at the Royal Botanic Gardens is a popular destination on a warm summer evening. There is nothing quite like sitting under the stars in a beanbag on the lawn whilst watching your favourite blockbuster film. Settle back with friends and family for a movie and treat yourself with delicious food from the Moonlight Cinema food truck or BYO food and drinks if you wish. This summer’s programming has the usual mix of Oscar acclaimed blockbusters, kid’s favourites and retro films that will appeal to the whole family.
When: 29 November-31 March
Where: Central Lawn via Gate D, Royal Botanic Gardens
Cost: Adult-$20, Children/Seniors- $15, Family Pass-$60
St Kilda Festival
Soak in the sun at Australia’s biggest free celebration of summer at the St Kilda festival. Located on the beautiful St Kilda beach foreshore, the one-day festival attracts over 400,000 attendees. Enjoy amazing music, explore the market stalls, feast on delicious food and take part in excellent activities like dance lessons and art stalls. International and local artists perform at the festival each year which brings great atmosphere to the event and is a perfect day out with family and friends.
When: Sunday 10th February 2019
Where: St Kilda Beach foreshore, St Kilda
Cost: Free event
Penguin Parade, Phillip Island
Phillip Island located just outside Melbourne and offers visitors remarkable wildlife, water sports and breath-taking sights. Enjoy the natural wonders of the area and watch the famous Penguin Parade on Summerland Beach. The whole family will enjoy this natural phenomenon as you witness the little penguins returning to their burrows at dusk. The Island is a great place to take the whole family as there are so many things to do and see including Churchill Island, Koala Conservation Centre, The Nobbies and of course beautiful sandy beaches.
An excellent and sometimes more convenient way to visit Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade is by taking a Phillip Island Day Tour from Melbourne with Gray Line. With 1:15pm departures from Federation Square daily it is the perfect way to visit Phillip Island’s famous Penguin Parade and witness the little penguins waddle back home from the shore. There are several different Penguin viewing options available such as General Viewing, Penguins Plus Premium Viewing, Underground Viewing and VIP Skybox so visitors have the opportunity to watch these gorgeous little penguins however they prefer.
When: 365 days a year
Where: Penguin Parade, Phillip Island
Cost: Penguin Parade Tour $145-$219
Visit: Gray Line Philip Island Penguin Parade tours for a full list of tours and options.