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Guide to What's on Grand Final Eve

Home > Melbourne > Family | Lists | Long Weekend | Sport
by JoM (subscribe)
I'm a young mum living in bayside Melbourne. Join me as I explore new activities and places to entertain young & old. Subscribe to my articles to keep updated.
Make The Most of The New Public Holiday
Everyone loves a long weekend. And thanks to the newly declared 'Grand Final Eve' Public Holiday, Victorians have been lucky enough to score another one!

Friday 2nd October 2015 has officially been declared a Public Holiday across the state. It is the day before the AFL Grand Final, and the last day of school holidays.

Whether you are a football fan or not, there are many great activities to enjoy in Melbourne and beyond. Although many small businesses are making the most of the day and giving their staff the day off, there are still lots of places open. Here is a guide to give you some ideas.

AFL Grand Final Parade
The Grand Final Parade is an iconic annual event in Melbourne, and it's celebration is the reason behind this new Public Holiday. It has traditionally been held in the middle of the CBD, but has a new route this year to make the most of some new improvements at Yarra Park. Players from the teams playing in the Grand Final will travel in open cars, where fans can cheer to show their support before the big game.

Grand final parade, grand final eve, grand final, public holiday
The Captains with the Premiership Cup at Grand Final Parade 2015 (Image credit:

It will start at the Old Treasury Building on Spring Street, and conclude at Yarra Park (just outside the MCG). There will be a range of family-friendly activities all day at Yarra Park. Keep an eye on the AFL website for details.

Where: The Parade will start at the Old Treasury Building on Spring Street, then travel left down Wellington Parade, before turning right into Yarra Park.

When: Friday 2nd October. Times have not been confirmed by AFL at time of writing. Check AFL website for details.

Cost: Free

More Information: AFL website

Finders Keepers Market
As I've said before, Finders Keepers Market is one of my favourite things to do in Melbourne. This huge market is held in the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton twice a year. The Spring-Summer edition is running for the whole long weekend in October, so you will have lots of opportunities to check it out. As usual, there will be loads of creative finds from Melbourne's best designers and artists, as well as food trucks, bars, live music and more. Don't miss this one!

Finders Keepers, Finders Keepers Melbourne, long weekend, public holiday, Melbourne market

Where: The Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton

When: Friday 2nd October 6pm-10pm, Saturday 3rd October 10am-6pm, Sunday 4th October 10am-4pm

Cost: $2 entry for adults, Free for Children under 12

More Information: Finders Keepers website

Tesselaar Tulip Festival
If you haven't already checked out the popular Tulip Festival this year, then the Public Holiday is the perfect time to do it. In addition to seeing over half a million blooming tulips, this whole weekend is a celebration of Irish culture. There will be Celtic bands, Irish dancing performances, Irish market stalls and more. This will be the final weekend of the festival which finishes on Tuesday October 6th.

Tulip Festival, Tesselaar Tulip Festival, Irish Weekend, Public Holiday, long weekend, tulips
Irish Weekend at the Tulip Festival (Image credit:

Where: The Tulip Farm, 357-359 Monbulk Road, Silvan (within the Dandenong Ranges)

When: 10am-5pm Daily from September 10th - October 6th 2015

Cost: Adults: $24, Concession $20, Children under 16: Free

More Information: For more information and to purchase tickets online, see Tesselaar Tulip Festival website.

Moonee Valley Racing
Continuing the sporting theme of this weekend, the annual City Jeep Moir Stakes are being held at Moonee Valley Racecourse. Gates open at 5:15pm for this evening racing event. There will be plenty of food and beverages available to the public, as well as dining packages if you are interested in something more special.

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Night Racing at Moonee Valley (Image credit:

Where: Moonee Valley Racecourse, McPherson Street, Moonee Ponds

When: Friday 2nd October, Gates Open 5:15pm, First Race 6:45pm, Last Race 10:15pm

Cost: Adults: $20, Concession: $10, Children under 17: Free

More Information: Moonee Valley Racing website

Hop For Hope
For a free family-friendly outing, the Hop For Hope exhibition is perfect. It is a unique outdoor art exhibition in the grounds of the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery. Entry to the exhibit is free, but there are several fundraising activities where all funds go to supporting the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, which aims to protect children from violence and bullying.

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Kangaroo Art Exhibition at Hop For Hope (Image credit:

Where: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery, 35 Old Healesville Road, Yarra Glen

When: 9am-5pm Daily from 1st September-1st November 2015

Cost: Free entry

More Information: Hop For Hope website

Enjoy the long weekend! If you have any other suggestions for fun activities, please share them in the comments section below.
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Why? Make the most of the long weekend
When: Friday 2nd October 2015
Your Comment
I'm still trying to adjust to the concept of a public holiday for Grand Final Eve but then it's not much different to Melbourne Cup Day. We certainly love our sports down here.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8042) 1862 days ago
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