The best winter activities in Melbourne: Keep your spirits high despite the cold
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22.05.2024

The best winter activities in Melbourne: Keep your spirits high despite the cold

winter activities melbourne
Words by Brandon Bentley 

In need of a mid-winter pick-me-up? Take a peek at our list of exciting events, amazing activities and delicious food and drink hot spots firing up Melbourne this frosty season.

 Winter is right around the corner. There’s a chill in the air, the hot coffee is brewing and the wool blankets are cozying up couches. While most people head into hibernation for the season, Melburnians aren’t ones to be antisocial. But that begs the question: what do you do to spice up your Melbourne winter?

 With a range of chic bars for some midnight cocktails by the fire, snuggly cafes with endless comfort food options and enticing events and activities to fill your calendar, there isn’t a single reason to spend your nights nesting indoors this winter.

Toasty Treats

 Sip some delicious mulled wine in Collingwood

Mulled wine is a must during the chilly season, so look no further than Glou in Collingwood for a steaming hot mug. Sophisticated yet subtle, this sustainable wine bar and shop will make all your winter wine dreams come true. Just make sure to book in early to bag a good spot!

GLOU – COLLINGWOOD

 Dine among Vikings in the CBD

 

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With world-class Australian craft beer and the most scrumptious canapes this side of Valhalla, Mjølner is the perfect location for a homely mid-winter feel. Located in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, this Norse-inspired restaurant will have you feasting like a true Viking warrior.

MJØLNER – MELBOURNE CBD

Rock your tastebuds socks off in South Yarra

Want some good ol’ rock and roll energy mixed with comfy fireplace vibes? Leonard’s House of Love is your one-stop shop. This dive bar meets burger joint comes equipped with not just great tunes, but an incredible range of cocktails that’ll make your trek down to Chapel Street worth it. 

LEONARD’S HOUSE OF LOVE – SOUTH YARRA

Put your trivia expertise to the test in Fitzroy

Did someone say trivia? Hit up the Fitzroy Pinnacle for their delightful Trivia Tuesdays! This outrageously fun game night is complemented by an array of cheap drink specials and a cheeky taco night discount. You’ll want to reserve a table as soon as possible; this tends to fill up quickly!

THE FITZROY PINNACLE – FITZROY

Grab a late-night hot choccie in North Melbourne

 

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In the mood for a piping hot chocolate to warm up your evening? Head to Palette. At Night in North Melbourne for an intimate slice of candlelit heaven. Prepare yourself for a cozy evening as you enjoy their range of creamy hot drinks, scrumptious waffles and decadent desserts.

PALETTE. AT NIGHT – NORTH MELBOURNE

Break the ice for some chilly cocktails in Fed Square

 

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Grab your ski jacket and sled down to IceBar in Federation Square for some sweet ice-cold cocktails. Featuring a variety of unreal ice sculptures plus a free cocktail and shot with every booking, you won’t need to hit the slopes to feel the frosty vibes this winter.

ICEBAR MELBOURNE – FEDERATION SQUARE

Red-Hot Experiences 

Light up the night sky in the Royal Botanic Gardens

 

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Looking for an immersive night out in the CBD? Take a walk through the illuminated flora and fauna of Lightscape. Back for another year in the Royal Botanic Gardens, this re-imagined light installation, complete with mouth-watering snack stands, is a feast for all senses.

LIGHTSCAPE – ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS 

Feel the fiery-hot flames at Docklands

 

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Swing by Dockland’s Firelight festival for some toasty temperatures to melt your frosty night out. With a tasty range of flavourful food and drink pop-ups mixed with incredible light shows and intricate fire-based sculptures, you’ll be left feeling red-hot in no time.

FIRELIGHT – DOCKLANDS

Experience your first winter Christmas in the CBD

Pop on your Christmas sweater and head to The Butterfly Club for a mid-winter holiday treat! Over four sparkly nights, you can listen to A Very Popera Christmas in July turn your favourite Chrissy classics into opera sensations. Be sure to book your tickets early to nab this pre-Christmas gift!

A VERY POPERA CHRISTMAS IN JULY – THE BUTTERFLY CLUB

Lose yourself in a journey through film in St. Kilda

A celebration of emerging artists, St Kilda Film Festival is a movie extravaganza you don’t want to miss. Laugh your socks off in the Australian Comedy Showcase or support local Victorian filmmakers in the Made in VIC sessions. Whatever you’re looking for, this year’s expansive program has you covered. 

SAINT KILDA FILM FESTIVAL – ST. KILDA

Test out your Spanish language skills at the Spanish Film Festival

When the temperatures take a dive, it’s all too easy to find yourself daydreaming about the sun-soaked Mediterranian coast. The Spanish Film Festival lets you indulge your holiday fantasies from home with some of the world’s best Spanish language cinema at your fingertips. 

SPANISH FILM FESTIVAL – VARIOUS LOCATIONS

 Reinvigorate your style at the Royal Exhibition Building

Feel like a little mid-season refresh? The Finders Keepers Design Market is the place for you. Over three crafty days in July, this creative market will house unique clothing from independent designers, tasty appetizers and some lively tunes from local DJs. Let your creativity run wild!

FINDERS KEEPERS DESIGN MARKET – ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING

Melbourne Winter Activities

Show off your skating skills at Docklands

Break out your skates at the O’Brien Icehouse in Docklands! Hit the ice for a public skate with your friends, watch local teams face off in a gripping game of ice hockey, or expand your skills with a private figure skating lesson. There’s ice-bound fun in store for everyone. 

O’BRIEN ICEHOUSE – DOCKLANDS

Swell your whisky tastebuds in Albert Park

 

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If you’re a fan of whisky, head south of the Yarra for a winter delight. Hosted by The Pullman Hotel, The Melbourne Whisky Show has over 100+ whiskies from around the world all in one place. Tempt yourself with a delicious whisky-tasting adventure and secure your ticket now.

THE WHISKY SHOW MELBOURNE – THE PULLMAN HOTEL

Revamp your winter wardrobe on Sydney Road

It’s layering season! There are countless amazing local boutiques and op-shops in Melbourne and Syndey Road may or may not be the centre of the action. Whether you’re hunting for a hoodie, a beanie or a coat, check out Concrete Jungle which carries Melbourne streetwear brand LOWF

 CONCRETE JUNGLE – BRUNSWICK

Relax within warm serene waters in Collingwood

Nothing heats up icy weather quite like a spa day. With a world-class mineral bath, a fiery Finnish sauna and several sizzling steam rooms, Sense of Self in Collingwood has everything you need to feel ready and rejuvenated to face the winter chill.

SENSE OF SELF – COLLINGWOOD

Grab a drink and paint a masterpiece in the CBD

Need to unleash your creativity? Look no further than Pinot & Picasso in the Melbourne CBD. Perfect for groups or couples looking to get out of the house, you can crack open a bottle of wine as you whip up a one-of-a-kind painting that’ll rival Michelangelo himself.

PINOT & PICASSO – MELBOURNE CBD 

Explore the illuminated maze in Port Melbourne

Lose yourself in the lights of the Starry Sky Exhibition at Met Art World. Featuring a kaleidoscope-inspired maze, a bright and colourful enchanted forest, a sparkly indoor star-gazing experience and an immersive visual treat within the 360° tunnel. This is one dazzling sight you won’t forget.

STARRY SKY EXHIBITION – MET ART WORLD

Face off with friends in a go-karting frenzy in Footscray

On your marks, get set, go! Race your friends to the finish line at Battle Kart in Footscray. With a variety of game options from soccer and pool-inspired team challenges to one-on-one battles atop a disco-inspired dancefloor, this indoor go-kart experience is a unique video game-style adventure. 

BATTLE KART – FOOTSCRAY 

For more on keeping warm this winter, head here