THINGS YOU CAN ONLY DO IN SUMMER…
The city offers a selection of season specific offerings aside from pools and parks, beaches and bikinis.
Cinema under the stars: The original open air cinema, Moonlight Cinema sets up screen nightly in the Botanic Gardens until Mar 14 (Birdwood Ave, South Yarra, moonlightcinema.com.au). A more urban affair awaits at Rooftop Cinema, perched seven floors up on the rooftop of Curtin House, right in the middle of town (252 Swanston St, rooftopcinema.com.au). By the beach, the St Kilda Open Air Cinema runs from Jan 13 to Feb 26 at the Sea Baths (Jacka Blvd, stkildaopenair.com.au).
Night and open air markets. On Wednesdays until Feb 24, the Queen Victoria Market opens from 5.30pm – 10pm with craft and design stalls, food vendors and live music. Be warned, it gets busy. (qvm.com.au). On Thursdays until Feb 25, the St Kilda Beach Night Market sees the grassy knoll next to Luna Park become a vibrant, at times hippy-ish marketplace with fashion, homewares and food vendors. On the second Saturday of the month until April, Market in the Gardens is held in the Royal Botanic Gardens, 9am – 2pm, near the Observatory Gate. Expect food, art and craft, with a strong emphasis on products made from or inspired by plants and gardens. The environs are lovely, needless to say (marketsinthegarden.com.au).
High culture in the park: Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, the Australian Shakespeare Company presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Botanic Gardens’ Southern Cross Lawn (shakespeareaustralia.com.au, 1300 122 344), until March 13. A rare chance to hear the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for cheap (nothing!), the tradition of retailer and philanthropist Sidney Myer lives on with the MSO’s yearly series of free performances. (Feb 17, 20, 24 & 27 at 7pm, Myer Music Bowl. mso.org.au) Festivals. Melbourne’s gay & lesbian cultural festival, kicks off with its annual carnival and T dance on Jan 17 and closes with a pride march on Feb 7 (midsumma.org.au). Celebrating its 30th year, the St Kilda Festival is the Southern hemisphere’s largest street party and music festival, with crowds around 400,000 on the day. Fun… or hard work? It’s up to you (Feb 14, stkildafestival.com.au).
Pool Party. Every Sunday in February, the Fitzroy Pool has DJs playing poolside from 1 – 5pm. (Alexander Parade at Napier St, 92055180)