Due to the lockdown in Victoria, events may be cancelled and businesses may temporarily close. Please check before attending and follow advice from the Victorian Government.
Being stuck at home in lockdown doesn’t mean Melbourne’s culture is out of bounds. See what our galleries and hotspots are streaming.
Join the Fringe Fest art party online
30 September to 17 October
Branch out and tune in to mini musicals, live weaving, sonic art and more, when Melbourne Fringe goes digital. Indie artists from down the street and across the globe bring ground-breaking, noise-making art to you at home. Book now and stay tuned for IRL show announcements.
Learn about art at the NGV
The NGV has an inspiring line-up of activities for schoolkids and adults to enjoy from home. Taking a leaf from NGV’s current exhibition, the virtual program looks at impressionism. You can also access a huge range of past and present exhibitions with the NGV virtual tours. If you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve – and who hasn’t – enrol in their online course to study the art movement’s legacy.
Section Aid 12-hour charity live stream
Laneway legends Section 8 joined forces with a bunch of epic performers for a Saturday night sesh like no other. Dress up in your best trackies and bop to tunes from College of Knowledge, DJ Smilez, Elle Shimada and more coming live from their respective lockdown abodes. Free to re-watch online. Feeling generous? Pay it forward and help hospo staff, performers and more creatives out of work due to lockdown by making a donation.
Volunteer to be a puppy carer
Seeing Eye Dogs is hosting free puppy carer information sessions online. Register to learn the ins and outs of looking after a future assistance dog. You’ll be their loving source of care and attention for 12 months, from the age of eight weeks. Not only could you meet a new best friend, you’ll help make a difference for people who are blind or have low vision.
Spot your favourite critter at the zoo
Tune in to feeding time at Melbourne Zoo and catch snow leopards and giraffes in action. The zoo’s Animals at Home live cams introduce the stars of the show, including Zuri the male zebra and Edward the cross-beaked penguin. You’ll also meet meerkats and red pandas in their archived live streams.
Pirouette with the Australian Ballet
The Australian Ballet has opened its virtual doors to bring you at home studios. Get familiar with the barre in a beginner class, or focus on honing your technique in their advanced sessions. A seven day pass to either set of classes is $16.
Go behind the scenes at the Arts Centre
There’s heaps of free online content to explore at Arts Centre Melbourne. Full-length performances, artist interviews, podcasts and more. You’ll get the idea when you browse the Together with You programming. Watch a docu-series to view a performance from the artist’s perspective. Or hear a First Nations playlist of songs from across Australia.
Go classical with MSO on-demand
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is streaming live and on-demand performances via MSO.LIVE. To get a taste of what’s in store, sign up for a seven-day free trial. New concerts are added monthly, featuring the MSO and other world-famous orchestras. The stellar selection includes exclusive presentations, archival specials and international recordings.
Watch sea creatures at Sea Life
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium may be closed right now, but its finned and feathered inhabitants are still getting up to mischief. See what’s going down in the virtual aquarium on Sea Life’s live streams. There’s an hour of penguin shenanigans, camouflaged cuttlefish and turtle teatime. Find your zen with underwater mindfulness meditation, or just get an animated penguin to give you a compliment. Anything goes in lockdown!
Hear from artists in lockdown
The Victorian Opera is sharing stories of their performers in the free Artists in Isolation video series. Peek into the domestic lives of opera singers such as Siobhan Stagg and Sam Dundas as VO’s Scott Whinfield zooms into their homes.
Do a puzzle with Museum at Home
Tours and stories from Melbourne Museum are available online at Museum at Home. Complete a digital jigsaw of a dodo or technicolour weevil. Skill levels start at an easy 10 pieces, but the hard 200-piece puzzle will pose a challenge. For a bit of nostalgia, journey back to the 1950s and ’60s on a tour of the Good Old Days exhibition.
Take a virtual trip to Cannes
ACMI is taking us to the Cannes Film Festival with their on-demand Cinema 3 service. View past competition favourites like Parasite and Russian Ark. The film treats don’t stop there though. Download new releases, focus on Aussie cinema or watch restored classics like Breathless.
Play a game of virtual destruction
Build, destroy and reimagine a city with Convergence, a fun online-slash-table top game about climate emergency. Two to six players can take part in this dystopian game that requires no prior knowledge or special equipment. Choose your own adventure and navigate between catastrophe and survival.
More of the best free and cheap online fun
Melbourne Fringe Festival
The Fringe returns in 2021 with boundary-pushing and formidably fabulous art.
The Listening Club with Madeleine and Tim
Listening Club is a low-participation audio experience offering a moment to unlink from the visual.
Miles Allinson: In Moonland
Hear novelist Miles Allinson in conversation with fellow writer Toni Jordan.
Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow - Virtual Tour
Experience NGV's Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow exhibition virtually.
Within 5km? Try these takeaway spots and outdoor spaces for weekend fun.
Elsie's Butter Chicken
Melbourne chef Mischa Tropp is serving up his heart-warming Delhi-style butter chicken from the CBD.
The best spring walks in Melbourne
See spring flowers in bloom on these stunning city walks.
The Cricketers Bar Side Hustle
Serving hot Indian street snacks every Friday, Saturday and Sunday to take and go.
Last updated on Thu 23 Sep 2021
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The Changing Face of Victoria
See more than 150 objects, artworks and photographs in a free exhibition.
Objects of My Affection: Stories of Love
An exhibition of objects gathered by William Johnston during his life.
Ross Gibson: head_phone_film_poems
Virtual exhibition featuring films that creatively remix an array of ‘readymade’ online archives.