Father's Day usually takes the backseat while Mother's Day gets all the hype and attention every year. However according to research firm IBISWorld, more will be spent on dads this year in Australia for Father's Day. So dads will be receiving more clothing and accessories, cosmetics and grooming products,footwear, electronics, tools and hardware totally some $731.7 million, with $176.7 million spent on Father's Day lunches and dinner alone. This works out to an average of $51.60 per Australian on dad. While buying a present is great, it can sometimes be nerve-wrecking to find stuff that meets dad's interests. Instead of the usual gifts and meals this year, here are my top picks which offer you and your family FREE and affordable ways to enjoy time with dad on Father's Day weekend in Melbourne. Here's wishing your dad a very 'Happy Father's Day'.
For the 'Top Gear' dad
St Kilda's Greatest Show on Wheels
Photo courtesy of St Kilda Village Traders' Group Inc.
If dad loves his cars and his 'Top Gear' television programme, then he'll be ecstatic when you take him to St Kilda on Father's Day. The Acland Street Village Traders Association has decided to close Acland Street and Shakespeare Grove to all traffic and trams for the first time ever. Instead, this pedestrian zone will play host to a flotilla of over 200 classic cars and bikes and a V8 pit stop challenge. There will also be entertainment for the whole family in addition to dad, with a live music stage, kids clown show, face painting, show bags and awards for best categories of cars. Best of all, this event is FREE for everyone.
Melbourne's independent contemporary arts space, BLINDSIDE is presenting a FREE public art event featuring Australian artists and art collectives. Instead of viewing from the sidelines, dad will be able to participate in various live art works. Highlights include an interactive installation by 'LEAKY WAVE' where dad can help make some floppy sounds from 12pm to 6pm and stay on from 8pm to 10pm where Melbourne-based zinester supergroup, The Newport Dolls will present an evening of zinemaker readings and zinemaker rock. For more information, phone: 03 9650 0093.
Date: 6 September
Time: 12pm - 10pm
Venue: Blindside Gallery, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Take dad to Docklands for a FREE exhibition of artworks by the University of Melbourne. 5 pieces of public art are presented by young artists currently studying in the University's School of Art. Dad can enjoy viewing the 2014 collection, which includes a diving board emerging from the water, a rainbow lighting installation, a sculptural version of a shipping container, an interactive work of mirrored surfaces and a lunchtime performance piece with semaphore flags.
Date: 6 and 7 September
Venue: Victoria Harbour Promenade, Corner of Merchant Street, Docklands, Victoria 3008
Take dad out to the Wonderland Spiegeltent where Melbourne meets Paris. 'The Paris Underground Cabaret' presented by magicians Julia Madotti and Richard Vegas who have been performing locally and in Sydney, will transform dad's mundane evening into a night of jaw-dropping live entertainment. In addition to the most unique magic act in Australia, there will be song, dance, burlesque, comedy, circus and cabaret.
If dad enjoys a well choreographed classic European cabaret and variety show with some star-studded performers, then grab your tickets to 'The Paris Underground Cabaret' here before they are all gone.
Date: 6 September
Time: Door open 7.30pm / Show 8.30pm - 10.30pm
Venue: 120 Pearl River Road, Harbour Town, Docklands 3008
Take dad out the National Gallery of Victoria for an afternoon of FREE live music with singer and songwriter Missy Higgins. Missy is one of Australia's young and successful musicians whose accolades include winning Triple J unearthed whilst she was still at high school, topping the local charts and winning 7 ARIA Awards. Returning to the studio after time spent in college, Missy's mid-2012 album made it to Billboard Top 100 in America and she's working on a new album for release this year. For more information, phone: 03 8620 2222
Date: 7 September
Venue: The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Collection galleries, Level 2
The Mimir Chamber Music Festival features outstanding artists from the world's leading orchestras, music schools and concert halls. It returns to Melbourne after celebrating its 17th season in Fort Worth Texas, bringing together leading North American and local musicians. Dad can enjoy this rare opportunity to hear from Mimir Artists like Nathan Cole, the Principal Associate Concertmaster of the LA Philharmonic, Brant Taylor from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Frank Huang, Concertmaster of the Houston Symphony and Curt Thompson violin, Head of Strings at MCM on 6 and 7 September. Click here to purchase your tickets or visit the website for more details.
Date: 6 and 7 September
Time: 6 September, 7.30pm / 7 September, 3pm
Venue: Melba Hall, MCM, The University of Melbourne, Gate 12, Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3010
Take dad to explore the most popular French story of all time at the State Library of Victoria. This exclusive world's first exhibition features rare items related to the Victor Hugo's novel borrowed from the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Maisons de Victor Hugo, Musée Rodin and Cameron Mackintosh Archive. Dad can view Victor Hugo's original handwritten Les Misérables manuscript, costumes and designs from the Academy Award-winning film, rare scores from the 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company theatre production and many more. Best of all, admission is FREE. For more information, phone: 03 8664 7099
Date: 6 and 7 September
Time: 10am - 6pm
Venue: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
If you happen to have one of those fashionable dads, then this is your chance to dress him up and take him out to Southgate where Melbourne Spring Fashion Week meet's one of the city's popular retail precinct. There are FREE exhibitions and displays dedicated to Melbourne's iconic and emerging designers.
Dad can enjoy browsing photographic works from Nixi Killick, one of the world's top 100 independent designers (chosen by ORIGIN PASSION & BELIEFS showcase in Italy) and students from the Photography Studies College in Melbourne at the Nixi Killick Centre Stage exhibition in the podium level alcove gallery.
Then there's the fashion college garment exhibition at the upper level which showcases the most outstanding garments from some of Melbourne's most promising up and coming designers. There is also a outdoor promenade exhibition of Melbourne's fashion design world icons, the talents and their unique styles.