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What Can You Do In Melbourne Without Alcohol?

Not every night has to be a ‘big night out. There are so many things to do in this wonderful country that don’t involve a single drop of alcohol. Melbourne is a great place to explore during the day, but the city truly comes alive once the sun goes down. Of the many things to do in Melbourne, those in the nighttime hours are the most thrilling. There are hip and hidden bars to explore, restaurants of every cuisine imaginable to dine in and plenty of other fun things to do in Melbourne at night, from nighttime kayaks along the river to sleeping overnight at a zoo.

Some people say that Melbourne is Australia’s most European city, and indeed, Victoria’s capital is sophisticated and stylish. Its hidden laneways and grand arcades are packed with shops, bars, restaurants and plenty on the cultural calendar. 

Things To Do In Melbourne At Night

Get Out Into Nature

  • Go camping.
  • Go stargazing at an observatory.
  • Find a beautiful spot to sit and watch the sunset (or the sunrise).
  • Check out a night tour at your local zoo or aquarium.
  • Go for a walk on a night trail.
  • Watch a meteor shower.

Take In Some Culture

  • Take a night tour of a museum or art gallery. There’s something extra special about an exhibition at night!
  • Go to an open-mic event and check out some up and coming comics.
  • Enjoy some fresh air and a film at a moonlight cinema.
  • Get to know your host city with a cultural or historical tour.
  • Watch live music.

Enjoy Some Sport

  • Watch a sporting event – there’s always something on in Australia!
  • Have a group (or solo) workout. Head to the gym or go for a jog around your local park.
  • Put together your own sports team. There are plenty of sports that require minimal equipment that you can play at the local park. Think soccer, cricket, handball and much more!
  • Play an indoor sport—Dodgeball, rollerblading, ice skating, mini-golf, bowling, etc.

Party At Home

  • Host a themed movie night.
  • Organize a scavenger hunt.
  • Have a video game party.
  • Have a pet party – get all your best friends’ furry friends together and let them play.
  • Attempt a crazy cooking challenge. Try that insanely complicated dessert or pasta you’ve been meaning to make.
  • Invite friends over and swap your stuff. You can exchange books, textbooks, music, movies, clothes – whatever you like.

Get Your Game On!

  • Compete with friends at an arcade game night.
  • Host a board game or cards night.
  • Go to a trivia contest.
  • Try to beat an escape room.
  • Try karaoke – the truly brave can do it without a drink!

Expand Your Horizons

  • Take a night class. Think cooking, night photography, painting, pottery.
  • Volunteer. Help out at a community event or food kitchen.
  • Ask friends to name some things you want to try before leaving Australia. You’re bound to wind up with a highly original itinerary.

Melbourne At Night Bucket List

Ride The Melbourne Star

Riding the Melbourne Star is a fun thing to do in Melbourne at night.

It seems most big cities these days contain a giant Ferris wheel, and Melbourne is no exception – although it is the only city in Australia to have one of this magnitude.

You can ride by day but boarding the Melbourne Star is one of the fun things to do in Melbourne at night. There are plenty of add-ons available if you want to spice things up a bit, from sangria jugs to flights of sparkling wine. You can book a private cabin, join a yoga class, and it’s a popular place to propose, as well!

Take In A Sunset View At Eureka Skydeck 88

Visiting the Eureka Skydeck is exciting no matter what time of day, but it’s certainly one of the things to do in Melbourne at night for an experience you’ll always remember. Melbourne is beautiful after dark, and one of the nighttime activities in Melbourne, if you want to see the city in all its sprawling glory, is to head to Eureka Skydeck 88.

The tallest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere is an impressive Australian landmark. However, sipping on wine, beer or champagne on the Skydeck itself is one of the more romantic things to do in Melbourne at night. Take your experience one step further, and brave “The Edge” – adjoining glass cubes suspended 300 metres above the city. These cubes (glass ceiling, walls and floors) project out from the floor, giving visitors a clear view of the city from all angles. It’s not for the faint-hearted or sufferers of vertigo!

Eureka Skydeck 88 is also home to the tallest post office box in this part of the world – a fun fact you can add to any postcard to send home. Eureka Skydeck is open until 10 pm each night. So avoid the queue and BOOK YOUR SKYDECK TICKET HERE. 

Explore The Laneways Of The City

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Exploring Melbourne’s laneways is one of the exciting things to do in Melbourne at night. The city centre of Melbourne is famous for its laneways filled with restaurants and cafés, bars that offer plenty of late-night Melbourne activities to keep you going to the wee hours.

These lanes are often adorned with an impressive display of Melbourne street art, and one of the fun things to do in Melbourne at night is to scour the streets for the best murals. However, the artwork takes on a different dimension after dark, and you will find the best ones in these places: 

  • Hosier Lane
  • Union Lane
  • Degraves Street
  • AC/DC Lane

A word of warning. Although these lanes are interesting to explore in Melbourne at night, I wouldn’t wander down any that look too creepy – safety is paramount after all! These Melbourne lanes are where you will find the best coffee in Melbourne.

  • Ride a bicycle.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Meet a friend for lunch.
  • Read a book.
  • Play a board game.
  • Try a new nonalcoholic drink.
  • Attend an exercise class.
  • Organize old photos, albums or books.

8 Ways to Be Social Without Drinking

  • Adopt your signature nonalcoholic drink.
  • Have an excuse ready.
  • Be the designated driver.
  • Go for coffee or lunch.
  • Try more engaging activities.
  • Focus on what you have rather than what you're missing.
  • Go to meetings.
  • Volunteer.

9 Things to Drink Instead of Alcohol

  • Tea (hot or cold)
  • Fruit and herb-infused water.
  • Sparkling water.
  • Coffee (hot or iced)
  • Club soda with flavoured syrup.
  • Spiced apple cider.
  • Juice.
  • Soda water, and herbs.

FAQs About Things To Do In Melbourne At Night Without Alcohol

Tour The Old Melbourne Gaol

Melbourne Gaol officially closes at 5 pm each day but opens its doors to anyone brave enough to join the nightly ghost tours. Three tours are on offer, including A Night in the Watch House, which allows you to take an hour-long tour of the original cell block.

You can spend an hour ghost hunting throughout the gaol or go on a night tour with a Hangman, who can tell you many stories about those who were hanged at the gaol, including famous Australian bushman Ned Kelly. If ghosts are your thing, there are a range of other spooky tours you can do around Melbourne at night.  It’ll allow you to get acquainted with Melbourne’s many streets, laneways and even outer suburbs while learning a little about its slightly macabre history.

Tour the city’s CBD, the disused Pentridge Prison in Melbourne’s north, the old port town of Williamstown and even a haunted homestead out west in Altona. A tour of Old Melbourne Gaol costs $38 (adults), and here are some ghost tours to book:

  • Melbourne Ghost Tour
  • Haunted Melbourne Ghost Tour
  • Eynsbury Homestead Dinner and Ghost Tour
  • Point Cook Homestead Ghost Tour

Belly Laugh At The Comic’s Lounge

Melbourne is the place for comedy and is host to the four-week annual International Comedy Festival that starts in late March. So it’s not surprising that going to a comedy show can be a fun night out in Melbourne. You can see shows by local Australian talent or mix it up with comedians from further-flung places around the globe. If you’re not in the city during this time, visit The Comic Lounge, where up and coming comedians practice performing. In addition, well-established comics often visit to test new material in front of an audience.

Tuck Into Some Food At The Queen Victoria Night Market

Things to do in Melbourne at night victoria market, looking for things to do in Melbourne on Wednesday night? Head to the Queen Victoria Building night market for food and drinks. If it’s summer or winter and a Wednesday, head to the Queen Victoria Night Market.

There are all sorts of food options on offer, from pizza to burgers – you can even grab a dozen oysters for an appetizer if you feel so inclined. The area is licensed, so you can stroll around with a cold beer or cider to cool you down in the summertime. A mulled wine or hot cider in the winter is just the thing to keep you cosy. If you’re a foodie, it’s worth taking a tour of the Victoria markets with a local who can guide you to find the best spots to eat. 

Go For Late Night Fondue At Milk, The Cow

Here, you can order delicious cheese to have on its own, choose to pair it with your beverage of choice (from wine to whisky and sake) or tuck into a delicious pot of fondue. It’s one of the things to do in Melbourne at night in winter with a group of friends. They also do to-go bags, so if you try something you love, you can take it back to your accommodation to snack on later.

Watch A Movie In An Outdoor Cinema In Summer

The Rooftop Bar has an outdoor cinema – seeing a show is a fun thing to do in Melbourne at night. Melbourne is a city of film buffs, and in the warmer months, outdoor cinemas spring up all over the city. The most popular is the Moonlight Cinema in the Royal Botanic Gardens, which screens a range of new flicks and old favourites (such as Home Alone and Love Actually before Christmas and Australian cult classics like Muriel’s Wedding and The Castle).

There are bean beds on offer, or you can bring your blanket and a picnic. The Rooftop, as mentioned earlier Bar is also the location of the Rooftop Cinema, where you can chow down on burgers and sip drinks while you watch the latest flick. In addition, there’s the South Wharf Pop-Up Cinema and Park Cinemas at Docklands.

At the Gourmet Cinema in the city’s east, you can watch a flick surrounded by food trucks from local restaurants selling delicious wares. Melbourne’s famous stadium, the MCG, occasionally opens its grounds for outdoor cinema. Many suburbs around the city will close a street every few weeks, lay down some astroturf, pop some popcorn and throw a flick on as a fun, family-friendly activity. Remember that just because it’s summer in Melbourne doesn’t mean it’ll be warm. So make sure you check the local weather forecast and bring some extra layers to snuggle up in if it’s going to be a cool night.

Catch A Double Feature At A Beautiful Old Cinema

The Astor in St Kilda is a one-screen cinema, which showcases films old and new. It tends to have feature nights with two screenings, and much thought is put into the program. Movies will be paired together based on a common theme (such as Clueless with Mean Girls) or director (like a double billing of Alfred Hitchcock or David Lynch).

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They often have movie marathons, too, such as all the Harry Potter or Fast and the Furious films back to back. I once sat through 14 hours of Mission Impossible films, which was… interesting. The cinema is also home to a fluffy and friendly cat called Duke, who’ll usually be waiting around for pats from patrons once the movie is over.

Take A Dinner Cruise Along The Yarra River

Melbourne at night: a cruise on the Yarra River is a lovely way to spend the evening. A city is always best seen from the water, and Melbourne is no exception. However, night sightseeing in Melbourne delivers a different perspective compared to during the day. This three-hour cruise will take you along Melbourne’s best-known waterway while you stuff yourself full during a four-course meal (inclusive of beverages, to boot!).

Go For A Moonlight Kayak

If you don’t want to be stuck on a boat for hours but still want to get out on the water, opt for a kayak ride instead. This tour leaves from the Docklands area at sunset, with patrons paddling up Victoria Harbour, stopping to have fish and chips in their kayaks for dinner. The tour continues up past the city, Crown Casino and Flinders Railway Station, before ending in the sports precinct.

Visit A Luna Park Historic Amusement Park

Luna Park in St Kilda opened in 1912, making it the country's oldest continuously running theme park. Its most famous ride is the Scenic Railway, which runs around its perimeter. The park is open until 11 pm, and there’s plenty to do onsite – dodgem cars, carousels, carnival games and a ghost train. Don’t forget to snap a picture under the giant face that serves as the entrance to the park, which definitely won’t haunt your dreams later on that night. Hrmm.

See The Phillip Island Penguins

One of Australia’s most popular attractions, it’s worth making the journey out to Phillip Island to see its population of Little Penguins returning home at sunset after a day spent fishing for food. The island itself is home to many other attractions, such as a giant maze and chocolate factory. You can make a day trip of it, exploring the island for a few hours before heading to Penguin Parade to see the little cuties shuffle on home.

Go On An Overnight Safari

If you want to make your day out at Werribee Zoo in Melbourne’s west memorable, consider booking a place on the Slumber Safari. You’ll clamp in tented lodges, be fed an African-inspired dinner and breakfast buffet and receive a two-day entry pass into the zoo. The deal also comes with private tours and unique animal encounter and viewing opportunities. Victoria is Australia’s smallest mainland state, and one of the advantages here is that it’s small. In a vast country like Australia, which has wide-open spaces, it’s not uncommon to travel for days without seeing another soul. So being a small state has obvious advantages for travellers wanting to explore a variety of regions. 

You can go from the city to the wilderness in less than an hour, from the city to Phillip Island, where little penguins are an attraction, or along the spectacular coastal drive of the Great Ocean Road, which is one of the Australian landmarks to put on your bucket list. As you can see, there’s a wide variety of things to do in Melbourne at night, no matter your travel style, budget or preference. And if you’re looking to spend a few days in the city, here are the best neighbourhoods to stay in in Melbourne.

Conclusion:

Even wandering around the city has its rewards, as Melbourne is utterly beguiling at night. In addition, you don’t have to restrict yourself to the city’s CBD (Central Business District), now that the transport hours for the tram network have been extended.

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