To top it all, Melbourne's favourite cultural precinct is hosting a Winter Festival of sorts with many FREE events, exhibitions and performances. Here's a list of the top things to see and do with the family in Federation Square this winter.
1 June to 7 July - The Light in Winter
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Federation Square's winter program. You and your family can look forward to a schedule of art, music and performances every evening.
The Giant Theremin is a super-sized musical instrument with an array of distinctive sounds. It is created by renowned Melbourne-based artist, Robin Fox, whose works have travelled to over 50 cities around the world and Australia including London, Glasgow, Sydney and Hobart. Standing more than 7 metres tall, the warble is activated by movement like running, dancing and jumping, and can be played by 8 people at the same time. It is located in St Paul's Court and operational between 2pm to 10pm on weekdays and 10am to 10pm on weekends.
The program will officially launch on 2 June. Running from 5pm to 7.15pm, you and your family can view the lighting of the Indigenous Campfire, kaleidoscopic projections on the facades of Federation Square and live entertainment including a rare collection of early Australian Indigenous contemporary songs composed and performed between 1900 to 1999.
2 to 5 June - Reko Rennie with The Electric Canvas
You've seen the Christmas animations on Melbourne Town Hall. Now internationally acclaimed Indigenous artist Reko Rennie and The Electric Canvas have teamed up to transform Federation Square's facade into a moving picture of colours and lights for 4 nights from 5.30pm till late. Rennie's contemporary works that explore Aboriginal themes have been shown internationally including New York, Jakarta, Paris, Berlin, Venice and Shanghai. This spectacular kaleidoscopic light projection premiered at White Night Melbourne.
Leempeeyt Weeyn', which means campfire in the Gunditjmara language group of Western Victoria will burn continuously throughout the festival. A centrepiece since the inaugural 'The Light in Winter' 10 years ago, this Indigenous Campfire designed by Vicki Couzens will extend a warm welcome to all visitors. It serves as a symbol of people coming together and serves as the node for Aboriginal storytelling, workshops and performances by Footscray Community Arts Centre and the Koorie Heritage Trust on selected evenings.
Take the kids to Federation Square's Atrium for some art and craft with artist Tanja Beer. She will be leading Kokedama making workshops where you and your family can learn the ancient Japanese sculptural art by wrapping plants in moss and string. Your finished piece will be added to a bush refuge installation in the Atrium Fracture Gallery, which will be relocated to The Square during the Solstice weekend.
Dates & Times: 5 & 12 June - 1pm to 4pm
6 & 13 June - 5pm to 8pm
7 & 14 June - Indigenous Language Workshops
If you always wanted to learn the indigenous language, then join Koorie Heritage Trust between 6pm to 7pm around the Campfire. Language experts Mandy Nicholson (Wurundjeri) and Fay Stewart-Muir (Boonwurrung) will share insights into the Aboriginal languages.
You can view the world premiere of The Sonic Light Bubble daily from 5.30pm till late. Created by award-winning art and design practice ENESS, this 4.5 metres installation contains over 200 LED lights and responds to your touch with mesmerising visuals and sounds.
Celebrate the winter solstice with an evening of roving entertainment, stage performances and pop-up food stalls in Federation Square. You and your family can enjoy a roving puppet performance by by Australia Pacific Arts Network and Snuff Puppets, classical and contemporary Indian dance, stage music by various artists from Pacific Rim nations and many others. Satiated your hunger with feed from popular food trucks and caterers like Mr Burger, Afrofeast and Senor BBQ and top coffee roastery, St Ali.
Make a stop at the Melbourne Design Market for some of the most innovative products from emerging designers in Australia. The Market is now 20 years in then running and continues to attract thousands of design enthusiasts and shoppers. It is located in the Federation Square car park and operates from 10am to 5pm.