Coronavirus: Due to the current situation, events may be cancelled at short notice and businesses may temporarily close. Check with the venue before planning to attend. More information on coronavirus.

Ten reasons why Melbourne is the best place to be in cold weather

You’ve explored the laneway bars,  restaurants and galleries, but there’s still another month of winter to go.  Here’s another ten ways to stay toasty warm in Melbourne’s ‘great indoors’.

Aerial yoga at Little Mandarin

Have you discovered Little Mandarin Yoga among the Nicholas Building’s intriguing warren of studios and boutiques? As well as familiar mat-based yoga classes, this welcoming place also offers aerial yoga, which utilises special hammocks suspended from the ceiling. They reduce the effects of gravity and stress on the body, help build upper-body and core strength, and also enable deep relaxation.

A woman in exercise clothes hangs suspended from the ceiling in a yoga pose

Little Mandarin Aerial Yoga

Royal Botanic Gardens’ tropical glasshouse

If rain spoils your stroll in the Royal Botanic Gardens, discover flora from low latitudes in the tropical glasshouse. Significant, spectacular and often both, rainforest plants thrive in this hideaway’s warm, humid conditions. Highlights include the aggressive-looking Tiger-spotted Stanhopea, and Titan arum, whose enormous flowers are straight out of Alice in Wonderland.

Old Treasury Building’s hidden gold vaults

There was so much gold pouring into Melbourne in the 1850s that a purpose-built structure was soon needed to store it. A grand Renaissance Revival-style structure, what’s now known as the Old Treasury Building includes a series of secure underground vaults. They’re open to the public as part of the building’s current use as a free museum of Victoria’s history. One vault has a pile of faux gold bullion that looks amazingly real! Delve deeper into this golden past with the Gold Rush: 20 Objects, 20 Stories exhibition.

Embiggen Books

This is a bookshop for book lovers, as the name that references Gulliver’s Travels suggests. Specialising in popular science and philosophy, Embiggen Books also likes fiction, history, economics, art, design, architecture, politics, young adult, kids and cookbooks. This cosy shop that often does charming window and in-store displays also has a coffee cart serving superior java and hot chocolate.
For more wordy escapes, see our Six bookstores to see you through the winter post.

A bookstore shopfront with ornate gold text on the window

Embiggen Books

Painting classes at the pub

Life with Paint are art classes, but not as you know it. For one thing, they’re held at different pubs around town, so you can add a meal and some drinks to the experience. Each stand-alone class is about reproducing a painting under the guidance of a professional artist in a sociable environment. All you need is provided, and no experience is necessary. Browse their website for their extensive program of classes which take place at venues such as Captain Melville (Monday nights) and Coopers Inn (Wednesday nights).

Cheese fondue at Milk The Cow

Combining some of the best things in life, Milk The Cow Licensed Fromagerie is a delicious escape when it’s cold and wet. Especially during their Night in the Alps winter fondue series, which is equal parts cooking class and good times. Actually, between sipping glühwein (German for mulled wine) and dipping into warm, gooey melted Alpine cheeses, good times might win out. Especially when the accordionist gets going!

Holey Moley Golf Club

It’s been such a hit since opening in 2017 that Holey Moley Golf Club just got bigger and better. In addition to the fun on level one, there’s now another bar and nine new pop-culture-themed holes downstairs. Come for the mini-golf, stay for the karaoke, pizza and drinks, like their Long Island Iced Tee and Sugar Caddy cocktails.

A dimly lit bar with neon signs on the walls

Holey Moley

See a show!

From plays and musicals to cabaret and burlesque, this town knows how to put on a show. We’ve gathered the best of the season in our post about Melbourne theatre shows to see this winter. From Oscar Wilde’s witty classic An Ideal Husband to Mamma Mia! the musical, escape the rain somewhere over the rainbow. Many shows have matinee performances that can turn a dreary afternoon into a day you’ll never forget.

Explore Melbourne’s historic buildings

Take a break from the everyday – and the nasty weather! – by stepping back into the past. Make a start with our post about historic buildings to explore. Can’t decide which ones to visit first? We love the grandest of Melbourne’s Victorian-era structures, the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Exhibition Building, and the Art Deco Manchester Unity Building.

Ice-skating at O’Brien Group Arena

If the weather’s put a dampner on your outdoor exercise plans, there’s an indoor alternative at O’Brien Group Arena. This Olympic-standard venue has regular public ice-skating sessions, as well as lessons. Whether you’re a novice skater or can land a triple axel, are taking the kids or going with friends, it’s cool fun!