What’s On In Melbourne CBD: Spring School Holidays 2023

Heading to Melbourne CBD for the school holidays?

The city has so much to offer during the Spring school holidays from Saturday 16 September to Sunday 1 October 2023!

Here is a round-up of all the best things happening in Melbourne CBD and Docklands for the 2023 Spring School Holidays. Click here for September school holiday events in Melbourne’s suburbs

Note that this post is regularly updated so make sure to check back for new events.

Note that there’s a separate post for family-friendly September events in Melbourne happening from Friday 1 September to Friday 15 September 2023.

Click for more information on Australian school holidays and public holiday dates 2023.


Get ready for an exciting adventure at Melbourne Museum this spring school break from Saturday 16 September to Sunday 1 October 2023! Note that some events are included in Museum entry and some require an entry fee.

RELICS: A New World Rises 

Set in a future long after humanity’s reign, RELICS tells the story of a world where LEGO® minifigures have risen from the debris to craft intricate civilisations in discarded human artefacts, each one inspired by the object they now call home. 

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature 

Created by Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment and the Natural History Museum London, Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature exhibition highlights links between the magical creatures of the wizarding world and the remarkable animals of our natural world, rooted in scientific fact told through a fantastic lens.

Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs  

Meet the most complete real dinosaur in Australia, 67-million-year-old Horridus the Triceratops, only at Melbourne Museum.  

Triceratops in Technicolour
Join us on an adventure where kids and their accompanying adults unite their creative powers to conjure a one-of-a-kind, augmented reality Triceratops using the magical canvas of Procreate.

The Dino Show at Melbourne Museum

Join the spirited and knowledgeable character, Dr Fossiline, in this thrilling show to uncover the dinosaur fossils and footprints that unlock the secrets of dinosaurs that walked the land we call home today.  

Dino Gang Diner 

From fabulous fern salads to mighty mammal burgers, create a plate of delicious delicacies and learn about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores, the special teeth that helped them eat, and make a plate of food for a hungry dinosaur.   

Gandel Gondwana Garden 

Gandel Gondwana Garden is a living outdoor gallery where you can step into the ecosystems of the past. Touch replicas of the bones, teeth and claws of ancient creatures. Experience First Peoples’ knowledge passed through thousands of generations, and uncover traces of Gondwana, the supercontinent that once connected Australia to the world.  

Road to Zero Holiday Helmet Hunt 

Families come together in an engaging scavenger hunt, joining forces to unlock the secrets of the Road to Zero Experience Space. Amidst the adventure, delve into problem-solving puzzles to help Jessie find their missing bike helmet. Can you find the code word to reveal where the helmet is hidden?

Triceratops in Technicolour Workshop


  • Justin’s BIG Balloon Show Tickets (Mon 18 Sep – Sat 23 Sep) – Get ready for an amazing stage show with Justin Williams, the winner of the Australian TV show BLOW UP! With non-stop entertainment, this performance is bursting with grand illusions, thrilling circus stunts and, of course, Justin’s signature BIG balloon creations from the big screen!
  • Exhibition: I See You Like This (Thu 10 Aug – Sun 26 Nov) – Explore the “I See You Like This” exhibit at ArtPlay’s gallery. It showcases 30 unique portraits created by children. You can also make your own portrait at the two art stations.
  • Toys, Tales & Tenacity (Fri 11 Aug 2023 – Jul 2024) – Embark on an immersive and thought-provoking journey, exploring the intertwined stories of war, childhood, and the resilient spirit of youth in challenging times. Witness the remarkable patriotism and imagination of children throughout history.
  • The Friends™ Experience tickets (Fri 1 Sep – Sun 26 Nov) – Get ready for an exciting event! The FRIENDS™ Experience, which has been a hit in the US and Europe with over a million visitors, is finally arriving in Melbourne on September 1, 2023.
  • RESET (Sat 2 Sept – Wed 27 Sept) – This September, Melbourne’s iconic Fed Square is home to RESET – a month-long festival focussing on biodiversity, connecting with nature, and promoting easy and practical ways to live more sustainably.
  • Fitzroy Gardens Outdoor Adventure (Wed 13 Sep – Tue 19 Sep) – Entertain the kids by taking the outdoor adventure challenge in the heritage-listed Fitzroy Gardens.
  • Waru – journey of the small turtle (Fri 15 Sep – Tue 19 Sep) – Waru, created by Stephen Page along with Hunter Page-Lochard and Bangarra alumni Dancers and Choreographers Sani Townson and Elma Kris, offers a unique chance for teachers, parents, and caregivers to discuss climate change, environmental care, and cultural values with children.
  • The LUME Melbourne School Holidays (Fri 15 Sep – Tue 19 Sep) – Kids can enjoy small group art workshops and a “Little LUME” where they’re free to explore a world just for them.
The LUME Melbourne
  • PAW PATROL (Sat 16 Sep – Sun 1 Oct) – Join Chase and friends for an exciting adventure every day during the school holidays.
  • Play Capitol Arcade (Sat 16 Sep – Sun 15 Oct) – Explore a hidden street arcade in Melbourne’s CBD. Follow a trail of five playable arcade machines placed in shops and cafés, beginning at The Capitol.
  • Art and Glow in the Dark: Paint & Sip Workshop in the Dark (Sat 16 Sep, Wed 20 Sep, & Sat 30 Sep) – Explore a glow-in-the-dark painting workshop set in a retro-futuristic atmosphere. Express your creativity with a brush in hand amidst neon lights. Unleash your inner artist and let your imagination shine!
  • Trail of Mystery (Sat 16 Sep – Sun 1 Oct) – This Spring School Holiday, venture into the Old Melbourne Gaol. Take on puzzles to uncover the burglar’s identity within the gaol’s dark cells and halls. Perfect for those aged 8 and above, or anyone who enjoys a puzzle adventure.
  • A Wizardry Express (Sat 16 Sep) – Take your seat and enjoy your enchanted steam train journey! Board our locomotive at Flinders Street Station and enjoy not only a steam train ride but loads of photo opportunities and craft activities to take home. 
  • Barbie Afternoon Tea (Mon 18 Sep – Fri 29 Sep) – Inspired by Barbie herself, there is a colourful and fun array of treats for guests of all aged to enjoy!
  • Up, Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kids (Mon 18 Sep – Sun 10 Oct) – Up, Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kids invites budding designers to learn about the role of design in the world we live in. Read NGV Children’s Gallery review.
Up Down and All Around Daniel Emma for Kids
  • Eco-System Riverscape (Tue 19 Sep) – Embark on an adventure through a sculptural replica of the Yarra River (Birrarung). Find challenges along the riverbank, discover native animals and learn about ecosystems.
  • School Holiday Afternoon Tea at The Hotel Windsor (Tue 19 Sept – Sun 1 Oct) – join in for the cherished Melbourne tradition of Afternoon Tea with the family. Make the most of children’s prices and weekday discounts for grandparents.
  • Butterfly House (Tue 19 Sep – Thu 21 Sep) – Experience the wonder of flight and transformation at Butterfly House. Meet a giant Praying Mantis and befriend a caterpillar.
  • Pedal Power Pictures (Tue 19 Sep – Tue 22 Sep) – Experience the excitement of creating and watching a movie you’ve powered on the big screen. Curious about the effort needed to run a film? Visit the Edge, hop on a bike, and try the Pedal Power system, generating 250 watts of continuous power to enjoy a film on a digital screen.
  • Disney’s Winnie the Pooh (Thu 21 Sep – Sun 24 Sep) – Brought by TEG Life Like Touring & Rockefeller Productions with Disney Theatrical Productions, experience the beloved characters of Winnie the Pooh in a beautifully crafted musical adaptation.
  • What’s on at ArtPlay (Thu 21 Sep – Sun 1 Oct) – ArtPlay provides opportunities for kids aged from babies to 13 years to engage with artists and create unique art experiences that promote self-expression and playful interaction.
  • Numinous Bloom (Fri 22 Sep – Sun 24 Sep) – A garden of interactive machines suitable for all ages. It comes alive with moving parts, sound, and light. This installation is not just for viewing – you can engage with it. It’s designed using technology that imitates how plants interact with each other using special connections with fungi.
  • Mellow Art Market (Sat 23 Sep – Sun 24 Sep) – a cosy stationery, sticker-filled, arty market full of cuteness and paper goods!
  • 2023 Queen Victoria Market Moon Festival – (Sat 23 Sep – Sun 24 Sep) – Dive into a captivating ambiance filled with mesmerizing cultural showcases, vibrant music, and exciting interactive events.
  • Chinese Traditional Cultural Festival – (Sat 23 Sep – Sun 24 Sep) – Experience the Chinese Traditional Cultural Festival (CTCF2023) at Federation Square this September. Enjoy diverse activities, captivating performances, and hands-on cultural experiences.
  • CRFT* WRK (Sat 23 Sep) – Shop, source, commission and explore a variety of art, craft, jewellery, homewares, gifts and artisanal produce stalls.
  • NGV Teens Drop-by and Make with Collective Closets: Bracelet Beading Workshop (Tue 26 Sep – Wed 27 Sep) – Are you a teenager looking for creative activities these holidays? Join Collective Closets sister duo Fatuma and Laurinda Ndenzako, for a bracelet beading workshop at NGV.
  • Family Art Day – Open Glossary (Tue 26 Sep) – Join ACCA Education for a free, drop-in program where kids and families can create art in the galleries, inspired by ACCA’s Open Glossary exhibition.
  • Trash Puppets (Tue 26 Sep – Wed 27 Sep) – Join Melbourne’s Trash Puppets for a free show, creative workshop, or both. Discover how to turn everyday trash into home-made puppets
  • Europa Night Market (Wed 27 Sep, Wed 4 Oct, Wed 11 Oct, Wed 18 Oct, and Wed 25 Oct) – The Europa Night Market is back this spring! Indulge in European street food and Euro-inspired Spritz Cocktails, explore traditional wares, art, and entertainment under Melbourne’s iconic sheds.
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre present Yuldea (Wed 27 Sep – Sat 7 Oct) – From the incomparable storytellers of Bangarra Dance Theatre comes a major new work.
  • Hello Kitty’s Symphony Concert (Thu 28 Sep – Fri 29 Sep) – The concert will showcase timeless classical melodies like Beethoven’s Für Elise, Baucherini’s Menuet, Mozart’s Turkish March, Austin’s Dolly’s Dreaming and Awakening, and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
  • Luminous at 206 Bourke Street (Fri 29 Sep – Sun 1 Oct) – Enjoy a weekend of free, family friendly fun as 206 Bourke Street celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival in the heart of Chinatown.
  • Melbourne International Games Week 2023 (Sat 30 Sep – Sun 8 Oct) – During Melbourne International Games Week, ACMI becomes a central hub with live events and activations. Experience live performances, films, games, and more.
  • Neverland Melbourne (Until 31 Dec) – Experience the wonder of the Blue Lagoon, climb aboard the Jolly Roger, and hang out at the Lost Boys Hideout. Keep an eye out for family sessions as normal sessions are 18+ years.
Imaginaria 7
  • Arts Centre Sunday Market (Sundays) – find unique, quirky and handmade items at the stalls. There are always some yummy treats too!
  • Docklands Community Market (2nd & 4th Sunday of Each Month) – Grab your early morning coffee, enjoy a lovely stroll & support your local producers at this lovely market.
  • The District Makers Market (Last Sunday of every month) – creative and colourful market stalls showcasing a variety of art, craft, jewellery, homewares, gifts and artisanal produce last Sunday of the month. 
O Brien Icehouse × px

See the What’s On September 2023

Check out what’s happening in What’s On September 2023 – FREE

Check out the Spring School Holidays in Melbourne

Learn more about Spring School Holidays in Melbourne – FREE

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About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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