Get ready for a month of massive cultural celebrations as January passes the fun baton to February. You and your family can look forward to popular ethnic and multicultural events, with major festivities by the Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese population as they welcome in the Lunar New Year. The icing to the festive cake includes summer concerts, queer parade and audience seats to a television game show. Whatever your choice, there is plenty of free reasons to be out and about in one of the world's most livable cities this month.
Lygon Street is one of Melbourne's well known cultural precinct. The Anatolian Cultural Centre will be presenting a family fun day which promotes harmony between cultures and celebrates multiculturalism in Melbourne. You and your family can enjoy live performances and musicians on stage, scrumptious ethnic delicacies from Turkey, children's entertainment and the chance to win fantastic prizes. Join in the buzz with the Anatolian and Turkish Australian families in Melbourne. For more information, visit the website.
While the festivities are less busy than Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, there are no lack of ways to welcome in the Lunar New Year around Melbourne. In a showcase of colour and exciting performances, the festive celebration hosted by the City of Melbourne and Federation of Chinese Associations captures the essence of the biggest event in the Chinese calendar with a marvellous line-up of events over 15 days.
You and your family can look forward to the opening celebrations on 2 February and cultural activities on 3 and 4 February in Queensbridge Square; entertainment and fireworks at Docklands from 8 to 10 February; family day at the Melbourne Museum on 9 February; Dragon Boat Regatta at the Harbour Promenade in Docklands on 16 February and lantern parade on 17 February at the Melbourne Museum. For more information, visit the website.
The much anticipated Midsumma Pride March returns to St Kilda this February. It is one of the highlights of the Midsumma Festival, galvanising and celebrating Victoria's LGBTQIA, arts culture and our diverse communities with the public. This colourful parade celebrates difference, acceptance, equality and extravagant costumes. You can join the kilometre-long procession of Victoria's diverse queer communities as they walk, dance, sing and catwalk through St Kilda towards the festivities at Catani Gardens. For more details, visit this website.
Time: 11am – 4pm
Venue: Fitzroy St & Catani Gardens
Address: Fitzroy St and St Kilda West VIC 3182
6, 8, 20 and 22 February – Hard Quiz Audience Tickets
Photo courtesy of Token Artists
Sit back and watch one of the country's best comedians go head to head against some of the biggest know-it-alls in Australia. In its fourth season, Tom Gleeson invites you to be part of the studio audience, and to make the game even harder for contestants! Stepping up will be four challengers, three of whom will leave the studio, and one will take home the prized Big Brass Mug. See everything, even the moments which won't be put on television while you laugh your socks off. For more information and to book your FREE tickets, visit the website.
Time: Depends on your preferred date
Venue: ABC Studios and Media Production
Address: 120 Southbank Blvd, Southbank, VIC 3006
8, 16 and 20 February – 2019 Sidney Myer Free Concert Series
Photo courtesy of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Pty Limited.
You and your family can look forward to an excellent line-up of music performances at one of Melbourne's most loved venues whilst taking in the surrounds of the lush gardens and city skyline. Celebrating 90 years of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's FREE concerts and 60 years at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, these concerts present a magnificent showcase of classical music across three different dates. With a selection of wines, beers, spirits, soft drinks and hot/cold food for purchase, or the option of bringing some of your own food and drinks to the venue, you'll be sure to enjoy a night out. Gates open at 4.30pm and entry is based on a first in, best-dressed basis. For more information, visit the website.
This annual festival attracts over 400,000 people and offers an exciting program of activities such as performing musicians, carnival rides, sporting activities, market and food stalls, dance performances, workshops, a kids' zone for the little ones and so much more! A must-go to event for the Summer, the St Kilda Festival is perfect for a fun day out with family or friends. Don't miss this massive event filled with Australian artists and entertainment surrounded by the scenic St Kilda foreshore. For more details, visit the website.
Time: 10am – 10pm
Venue: St Kilda foreshore
Address: St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC 3182
Through a generous display of music, performances, cuisine and activities, the Point Cook Cultural Community aims to demonstrate and highlight the amazing and rich diversity throughout its community. More than 20,000 people attended last year and an even greater turn up is expected this year with a stage and production three times that of 2018, two lion dances, a dragon dance and a spectacular firework finale to welcome the Lunar New Year! You and your family can also expect hawker food stalls, Chinese art and calligraphy, traditional performances, fun rides, jumping castles, face-painting and a number of cuisines from local restaurants. For more information, visit the website.
Time: 12pm – 9.30pm
Venue: Stockland Point Cook
Address: Corner of Main St & Murnong St, Point Cook VIC 3030
Over three days, St Kilda will be transformed into a fiesta of fun, flavour and ethnic experiences celebrating the rich and diverse Latin culture. You can look forward to an array of food stalls offering a mouth-watering spread of Latin American dishes from over ten different countries, a fully licensed beer garden with accompanying DJs and a bar with Latin cocktails and beverages. There is an entertainment program fit for all ages including Latin American performances and dance classes ALL DAY LONG! For more details, visit the website.
Time: 2pm – 10pm (22nd), 12pm - 10pm (23rd), 12pm – 8pm (24th)
Venue: O'Donnell Gardens (next to Luna Park)
Address: O'Donnell Gardens, St Kilda VIC 3182
23 and 24 February – Lonsdale Street Greek Festival
The Lonsdale Street Greek Festival has been running for 32 years and is known to all Melburnians as one of top cultural events in the annual calendar. It transforms Lonsdale Street into a giant carnival which showcases Greek culture, cuisine and entertainment. Elenora Zouganeli will headline the event as one of Greece's most popular singing sensations on her first Australia visit. A huge part of the festival is the live entertainment, with music and dance performances taking to three stages with both international and local artists performing. The little ones will be kept busy with fun rides, storytelling and Greek dancing lessons as you take a stroll through the varied stalls. For more information, visit the website.
Time: 11am – 10pm
Venue: The Greek Centre
Address: 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
24 February – Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival
Photo courtesy of Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Melbourne
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this annual event is one of Melbourne's popular ethnic events. It is organised by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Melbourne and Japanese Society of Melbourne to showcase Japanese culture. You and your family can look forward to traditional and contemporary performances, Japanese cuisine from food stalls along the River Terrace, and a fun range of activities at Federation Square. The day will end with an exciting raffle draw offering over 40 amazing prizes, inclusive of three economy return tickets to Tokyo! Come in your Kimono/Yukata/Cosplay and enter Best-Dressed Award competition to win lots of prizes. For more details, visit the website.
Time: 11.30am - 5.30pm
Venue: Federation Square
Address: Swanston St and Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000