What Melbourne lacks in snow we make up for with cool creativity. From an ice slide and ice bar to see-through igloos and Christmas in July, we love to party when it’s cold. So put on your winter woollies and get out there for fun fuelled by warming treats like fondue and hot buttered rum.
Mont Plonk at Melbourne Public
You don’t need to go to Mount Hotham let alone Europe for Alpine-themed après-ski revelry. From fire pits and furry blankets to hot buttered rum and bratwurst sausages, Mont Plonk at Melbourne Public ticks all the boxes. Want to do ski shots (that’s shot glasses attached to a ski!) with your mates? Prefer to share baked brie and body heat with someone special among the sheepskins? Either way, don’t miss this urban ski lodge, from opening day on 14 June to last drinks on 28 July.
There are a few problems with igloos, like they’re really far away, really cold and aren’t great for views. The Wharf Hotel’s Igloo Wonderland solves that with cosy, transparent igloos by the Yarra, and ups the food and beverage situation too. This year the igloos come in two sizes – book a little one for up to eight people, or a big igloo for communal dining and private functions. Then snuggle up with warming food like pork belly in chilli caramel sauce and drink options including a thermos of warm cider. Good times await every day until winter’s last stand on 31 August.
Have fun with fondue
If you can’t do fondue in the Alps, then get dipping right here in Melbourne at the The Swiss Club of Victoria. The restaurant is decorated in traditional Swiss style, and specialises in fondue made with gruyère and emmental cheeses, white wine and garlic. Expect a big party for Switzerland’s national day on 1 August!
You can choose from three kinds of gourmet fondue at Milk the Cow Licensed Fromagerie after 5pm on weekends. If you need more warm, gooey cheese indulgence, check out High Cheese at The Westin Melbourne, on every evening until 31 August.
Get a taste of those northern hemisphere ice hotels with a visit to Icebar Melbourne, now open daily in Fed Square. It’s the place to take chilling to the next level with family-friendly icy mocktails or ice shots with your besties. You’ll be kitted out in Arctic attire for a -10C experience among expertly carved ice sculptures. In other words, it’s Insta gold.
With two rinks in an Olympic-standard arena, this is the best place in town for ice-skating. Are you a beginner or can you land a double-axle with ease? Either way, check out the schedule for classes and public skating sessions at O’Brien Icehouse.
It’s home to Melbourne’s two Australian Ice Hockey League teams, so catch a game and even learn how to play. You can also get into speed skating and curling, or watch the kids have the coolest party ever. If you time your trip to 22 June you can catch some of the best ice hockey pros from the US and Canada as they go head to head in the Ice Hockey Classic.
Winter Night Market’s Christmas in July
The Winter Night Market’s back for another season of cold-weather pleasure, from hot chocolate by local legend Mörk to a silent disco. The very best time to make this your Wednesday night priority is during the market’s Christmas in July celebrations. Think eggnog and Christmas pudding, snow machines, Christmas trees and carollers. Rock up to this winter wonderland in an ugly festive sweater and you could win a voucher. Ho, ho, ho!
The Winter Village at Fed Square
‘Tis the season to be jolly, with everything from ice-skating to hot chocolate and caramel apple hot toddies. All this and more await at The Winter Village at Fed Square, a winter-long hot spot filled with see-through igloos.
Gather in the big dining-hall igloo, or book a smaller private one and snuggle up with cold-weather treats. There’s a fun program of wintry events and activities ahead, including a ‘bad winter sweater’ party on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. The village is laughing in winter’s face until the first day of spring, 1 September.