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Welcome distractions for when you need a time out

Doom scrolling Twitter, stress eating an entire Kep Whitley chocolate box and letting anxiety take over as the clock strikes 11am. We can’t pretend that this isn’t a tough time for Melburnians. But we can offer a few quick distractions to break up the day. You can also visit the DHHS page outlining mental health resources available for Victorians right now.

Explore Melbourne’s weird history

Did you know the city has a treasure trove of vintage film photography, costumes, sculptures and street signs? Go for a wander through the online corridors and unearth something surreal. Council events looked a little different in the 70s. The popular Free Entertainment in the Park program featured roller girls, teddy bears and bikini models. Take a deep dive. There was plenty going on in the park back in the day.

Uncover more quirky things from the City Collection.

A woman in a bikini leaning over a park bench

Just an average day out in the 1980s

Dial into Frankenstein’s telephone

Pick a word, any word, and Frankenstein’s Telephone will use AI to turn it into an image. From there a chain of changes are applied to the image before you end up with an entirely new caption and a strangely abstract piece of digi-art. Does it make sense to us? Not really! But it is one very easy way to zone out for 20 minutes. Get generating.

Chat to an ice cream slinging robot

Last year, the world’s first ever robot run ice cream parlour opened at Fed Square. Niska’s iconic ice cream scooper Pepper the Robot recently did an exclusive AMA session over on YouTube, spilling all the scandalous details from Melbourne’s AI-ce cream scene (probably). Three minutes of pure Pepper joy are waiting for you.

A small white robot

The world’s first ice cream serving robot has logged on

Unleash your inner geek

If you’re not quite ready to lower yourself to Tik Tok for entertainment, dip your toe in the waters of Youth Culture and try out Twitch. Games Laboratory usually hosts IRL gaming events (think Magic the Gathering and D&D), but for now the team is entertaining fans online. Stream away your lunch hour with Games Lab on Twitch: play chess, paint mini figurines and more.

Paint the galaxy with watercolours

Bob Ross meets Neil deGrasse Tyson in this intergalactic craft session. For just 14 bucks the Laneway Learning crew will guide you on an hour long watercolour voyage through space, where your stress will melt away with each starry brush stroke.

A photo of a colourful galaxy

Create a galaxy at home

Watch baby snow leopards frolic at the Zoo

Melbourne Zoo’s Animal House antics have been entertaining us for months now. From keeper talks with pygmy hippos to penguin live cams, there’s plenty of cuteness to raise a smile. The baby snow leopards were one highlight the whole city could coo over.

Be mesmerised by marine life

Who doesn’t miss coming home from a big night out and switching on Channel 31’s Fishcam? Just us? Whatever. Melbourne Aquarium’s stream is a much more high def offering, featuring gentoo and king penguins as they play in their icy home. Or watch the mesmerising jellyfish pulse through the Ocean Invaders exhibit.