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What To Do In Melbourne When It’s Cold?

This list includes activities and places to see or visit, with a few unique to the winter season. Others could also be done in summer, although the high temperature may be a problem. Some of these places and activities are indoor, which make them perfect for the rainy days (more than a few in winter).

The Melbourne cold may be set outside, but there is certainly no shortage of fun to be had in the cultural capital of Australia. So put on your warmest winter woollies and discover the best in local and international art, design, music, literature and food & wine that Melbourne has to offer. You won't want to miss these fabulous winter events, from festivals and markets to live shows and exhibitions.

Things To Do In Melbourne In Winter

Ice Skating In Melbourne At The Oakleigh Rink

Let me be honest from the beginning. This is not the most modern rink in Melbourne. It's more on the vintage side. It's like stepping back in time, which makes it so interesting. Most of the seats, as well as the changing rooms, still have a wooden design. In saying that, the ice oval is perfect and, if you go with kids, you can hire a friendly penguin for $5 to help in the learning process.

Free Climbing

There are a few indoor free climbing places in Melbourne, and Northside in Brunswick is one of my favourites. It has all difficulty levels, so you can start easy and move up on more challenging walls. Another great place, especially for kids, is Clip' N Climb in Richmond. Besides the walls, this place has some interesting spots to climb and jump between to get that freefall feeling for the adrenaline seekers.

Trampoline Park

A great attraction for both kids and adults. I love Bounce in Glen Iris for its many sections, with some dedicated to kids and others for the grownups. X-Park is an area with obstacles and challenges that give even the fittest adults a hard time.

Indoor Go Karting

Go-karting in summer can be a hot and sweaty experience, driving around the track for hours racing friends with your blood pumping. However, when you go during winter, you'll enjoy the cooler temperatures but still get heated up, vying for first place. So go to Auscarts Racing in Port Melbourne for the indoor experience on those horrible rainy days.

  • Five winter activities in Melbourne
  • Queen Victoria Markets. Everybody loves a good market, and Melbourne's sprawling bazaar is so well-loved that it's known affectionately to locals as 'Vic Market' or 'Queen Vic'.
  • The Melbourne Aquarium.
  • The Melbourne Museum.
  • O'Brien Group Arena.
  • Eureka Skydeck.

Snow in Melbourne is extremely rare. To experience the snow, head to the Victorian High Country, which receives good snowfall throughout winter. Skiers and snowboarders can hit Hotham, Mount Buller and Falls Creek.

Essential winter events in Melbourne

  • Terracotta Warriors and Cai Guo-Qiang. ...
  • The Winter Village at Fed Square. ...
  • Winter Night Market. ...
  • Melbourne International Jazz Festival. ...
  • Emerging Writers Festival 2019. ...
  • ACMI at the re-born Capitol Theatre: Viva Varda. ...
  • More winter wonders.

FAQs About The Things To Do In Melbourne When Winter

Rally Car Drive

This is fun in all seasons, but it becomes awesome and unique when you have mud and possibly rain, making for a slippery, slidey race track. Perfect for the average winter day. Go to Werribee (Mount Cottrell) for a few laps at the organised rally circuit.

Racing And Flight Simulator

Driving a V8 race car is every little boy's dream come true. Simulator Word in Docklands has one of the best simulation systems in Australia and has been a spot locals flock to during the colder days in winter.

Another unreal simulation activity is the ability to sit in a 'real' cockpit and fly one of the commercial aeroplanes that you see in the skies daily. You get to be the pilot for one day and practice your aviation skills. The simulator is in Essendon Fields, just next to the airport (what a coincidence).

Escape Room

Starting to see a pattern that during winter, a lot of the activities we like to get up to are inside! Well, now you will be stuck inside with friends trying to solve puzzles and escape your confinements using only the available items in that room. The unique thing is that the story evolves in different directions based on the decisions you make to revisit the place multiple times. Another interesting set-up is the LOST Australia Station in Carlton, with some of the toughest escape rooms in Melbourne.

St Kilda Sea Baths

The Sea baths are right in front of the beach, and they have a hot pool for thalassotherapy and a steam bath. The greatest shock you can give to your body is to spend some time in the steam bath and then dive into the freezing sea. So if you're looking to visit this beautiful beachside suburb, book St Kilda accommodation nearby and visit the amazing sea baths as much as possible.

Cooking Classes

The cold weather is always a great incentive to spend more time in the kitchen, especially on drizzly days.

Try Holaconlola. Lola runs this Spanish cooking class in South Melbourne. Firstly, she will take you to the local market to source all the ingredients. Then it's time to cook delicious paella. Once ready, sit and enjoy your food with your fellow chefs: a great social experience and something you can take home and adapt upon.

Explore The State Library Victoria

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The State Library Victoria is an underrated place to visit in Melbourne, especially in winter. Once in, go straight to the reading room, under the dome. You will be surprised by the beautiful Victorian architecture. You also have free unlimited internet and access to most Australian and international magazines and newspapers here.

The Winter Night Markets

There are a few winter night markets in Melbourne. This should not be missed, the Queen Victoria Night Market. Starting June 6th through to August 29th, every Wednesday, you can embrace the cold with the lovely locals and experience the great atmosphere between 5–10 pm.

You can easily spend the full night here with an incredible selection of international food stalls, live music throughout the night and occasional art performances. In addition, of course, hot chocolate and mulled wine are available, essential for those extra cold nights. You almost feel like you're in a European market during Christmas time.

Afl Game.

The Australian Football League (Aussie Rules) is the main winter sport in Victoria and possibly Australia (or is it rugby league? We'll, it probably depends on which city you ask LOL) Melbourne certainly lives for AFL in winter. Many games are played across the weekend with a unique atmosphere that can only be experienced at the stadium. Try to book a ticket at the MCG, the biggest stadium in the southern hemisphere.

Federation Square

There is a weekly event happening in Federation Square. Check the website for more information about what's on and coming up. The best is the solstice celebration with the Aboriginal campfires and art installations, Highly suggested by the clients taking the time to make it to one event.

Open House Melbourne Weekend

This event is usually scheduled for the end of July. The Open House Melbourne Weekend allows you to visit places otherwise usually closed to the public, like the Parliament house, the synagogue, the town hall, the underground Russell Place substation, and many more.

New Gallery

Unmissable in any season, but during winter, it's just perfect for avoiding those stormy days. Instead, the kids can enjoy themselves in the kid section right after you've seen all the art pieces you wanted to see first.

Enjoy The Pub By The Fire

There are so many pubs in Melbourne. However, only a few have a great selection of craft beers, a beautiful interior and a lovely warm, real wood fireplace surrounded by old leather armchairs.

Hot Yoga

It gets harder and harder the colder the weather turns to remain active and fit with a nice jog outside or gym session.

Things To Do In Melbourne During Winter With Kids

The Melbourne cold may be set outside, but there is certainly no shortage of fun to be had in the cultural capital of Australia. So put on your warmest winter woollies and discover the best in local and international art, design, music, literature and food & wine that Melbourne has to offer. You won't want to miss these fabulous winter events, from festivals and markets to live shows and exhibitions.

Indoor Playgrounds

There are a lot of great indoor playgrounds around Melbourne. Another suggestion is one in Docklands called Chipmunks. It has a fantastic cafe for the parents to relax, while the kids go crazy on the playing equipment. Moreover, they offer 2 hours of parking included in the ticket, giving you enough time to do some quick shopping.

Indoor Skate Park

If you are after a place to get your kids physically exhausted, then Rampfest in Braybrook is the perfect destination. It's a huge indoor park with ramps and half-pipes, perfect for skateboarding, scooters or BMX. Scooters and helmets can be rented on site. The 5 x 7 foam pit section is every kid's favourite, being able to test new tricks and dive into the deep cushion pool.

Laser Tag

NRG Force in Thomastown is another indoor adventure great at keeping the kids busy. A large group of kids can spend all day here and still come back for round two the next day. Two teams are organised on-site, and every member has a laser gun. The objective is to run around the level and tag the opposing team.

Fireworks At The Docklands

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Every Friday in winter, you can view some beautiful fireworks in the Docklands area. They usually start at 7:30 pm; however, food trucks and the music kicks off at 6:30 pm and finishes at 8:30 pm: all free and a big favourite with kids of all ages.

Other Things To Do

Good Food & Wine Show

Treat your tastebuds this winter at Melbourne's Good Food & Wine Show. With over 250 exhibitors and 800 wine varieties, you can sip, sample and discover some of the best in local and international produce. Watch live demonstrations from celebrity chefs and learn something new at one of the many masterclasses. There is something for every taste, from cheese, chocolate, wine, and spirits.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

I am calling all Jazz lovers! First held in 1998, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival is a world-class celebration of the genre and will return in 2019. The smooth sounds of jazz will resound across concert halls, arts venues, jazz clubs, and streets throughout the city. From unmissable golden-age headliners to genre-bending innovators, late-night jams and family-friendly events, the 10-day program has something for everyone.

Mind Body Spirit Festival

This winter, head to Australia's largest health, well-being and natural therapies festival for a little self-care. Celebrating its 30th year, the MindBodySpirit Festival is a free event featuring inspirational seminars, psychic readings, body pampering, meditation sessions and health food tastings. There will also be over 200 exhibitors to discover everything from jewellery, natural cosmetics, clothing, crystals, books, educational courses, body treatments and more!

City's Famous Arcades And Laneways Better In Winter

Etihad Stadium At Docklands

The great Melbourne songwriter Paul Kelly wondered whether there was "anywhere you'd rather be" than watching Australian Rules football at the MCG. It is a spectacular stadium, the home of the great winter game and has the National Sports Museum that is worth a visit whether there's a game on or not. But if you'd rather not suffer for your sport, head along to Etihad Stadium at Docklands, where a retractable roof means you can take in a game without getting waterlogged.

Disney On Ice Production Of Frozen.

Skaters Merryn O'Keefe, Cailin O'Keefe and Victoria Alcantara at The O'Brien Group Arena Docklands. Picture: David Caird

Take To The Ice

Fancy getting your skates on? Catch a tram to Melbourne's home of ice-skating, the O'Brien Group Arena at Docklands. Whether you're a wobbly beginner or a more seasoned skater, it's a fun day out. And if you like your ice-skating fast and furious, you can cheer on the local teams Melbourne Ice and Melbourne Mustangs in Australia's premier ice-hockey league. Then there's the bonus of the temperature: it is 16C inside the O'Brien Group Arena – and that's warmer than Melbourne's average winter temperature of 14C.

Warm Up With A Hot Spa

If it's cold outside, the steam is rising off the waters at Peninsula Hot Springs, just 90 minutes south-east of Melbourne. Among the 20 bathing experiences on offer are a cave pool, Turkish steam bath, a hilltop pool, and cold plunge pools for the brave. A little further afield is Daylesford, 112km northwest of Melbourne, where you can soak up the history at the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa. Opened in 1895, it draws water directly from the Hepburn mineral springs.

Shop Til You Drop

Were you feeling the cold? What a perfect excuse to hit the shops for some new boots and winter woollies. Hunt for bargains at DFO South Wharf, browse the high-end boutiques along Collins Street or soak up the atmosphere of Queen Victoria Market. There's also the eclectic retail strips in the suburbs like Richmond, Fitzroy and South Yarra and, if you want to beat the chill, head for cover in Australia's biggest shopping centre at Chadstone.

Warm Up With A Real Coffee

Melbourne fancies itself as the coffee capital of Australia – and with good reason. People take their coffee seriously, and the city regularly appears on lists of the world's best coffee cities. It's about the cutting edge cafes, their locations across the city and suburbs, their award-winning baristas and – of course – what they do with the coffee itself. In winter, it's also about getting warm from the inside out.

Trip Down Arcades And Lanes

From the heritage grandeur of The Block Arcade to the bars and restaurants, so hip they don't need signage, Melbourne's love affair with arcades and laneways has spanned more than 100 years. Take a tour of the famous and historic arcades or wander the cobblestones of the laneways with a map. Check out the street art in hotspots, including AC/DC Lane, Hosier and Rutledge lanes and Drewery and Snider's lanes. The best part is that you're never far from cover if the weather turns wet.

Find A Fireplace

There is nothing better than a fireplace – especially if it's inside a pub serving good food and local beverages. Melbourne has a fireplace for every occasion, from sinking into the Chesterfield lounges at Yarraville's Aqua e Vino, perching beside the open fire at the hip rooftop bar of The Local Taphouse in St Kilda or heading to the old Fitzroy favourite, the Napier.

Docklands Fireworks

Welcome your weekend with the spectacular Friday night light show of the Docklands Winter Fireworks. Make your way to the Docklands waterfront for the free fireworks display every Friday night in July and August. Entertainment, including live music and roving performers, starts at 6.30 pm and the show begins at 7.30 pm. You could also watch the display from above aboard the nearby Melbourne Star observation wheel.


These are the detailed guides of some of the most interesting things to do in Melbourne during winter. Adults and children have plenty of activities to tick off and keep warm during the cold season.

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