What’s On in Melbourne: August 2023

We are now officially in the depths of winter! But that doesn’t stop August from shaping up to be a month that is full of wonderfully fun family-friendly events that will warm you up with joy.

Whether you’re into the arts, sports, outdoors, music, or just looking for fun things to do to keep the boredom at bay, these awesome activities and events will help you make the most of the remaining cold winter days! 

This post is updated regularly so check back in to see what’s on in Melbourne today and this weekend, as well as what’s happening for the whole month.


Unleash your kid’s inner creativity in Chaos Lab, a hands-on experience in Melbourne that collides the joy of imagination with the magic of science!

Chaos Lab highlights include:

  • Meet a manic, mad scientist—and step into their world of chaos!
  • Explore multiple hands-on rooms designed for children to express themselves and get silly, featuring slime, a ball pit, a mirror maze, neon graffiti… and more surprises!
  • Learn about the science involved in each room

Chaos Lab is the perfect experience to create great family memories and it’s open for a limited time at The District Docklands.

Chaos Lab, The District Docklands 18 Wharf St, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia

Friday 6 January – Sunday 1 October 2023

Saturdays and Sundays

What’s On in Melbourne CBD / Docklands

  • Winter Night Market (Wed 7 Jun – Wed 30 Aug) – this is one of the ultimate ‘whats on Melbourne’ events in winter! Every Wednesday evening enjoy delicious street food, hot bevvies, roaring open fires, great shopping, live music and fun at the silent disco. Winter Night Market review.
  • Imaginator (Fri 10 Jun – Sun 6 Nov 2022) – Fully interactive bespoke sounds, scents and lights activate in response to your movement as you walk, slide and glide through the dreamlike landscapes. Walk into a giant inflatable bubble, navigate a futuristic light maze or jump into a cosmic abyss. Imaginator Review
  • Lightscape (Fri 24 Jun – Sun 7 Aug) – For the very first time, an immersive, after-dark experience comes to Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne this winter. Iconic tree canopies will be drenched in colour, and vibrant bursts of light will tumble from the undergrowth and run-up trees like fizzing fireworks. Lightscape Review.
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup™ FIFA Fan Festival™ – (Thu 20 Jul – Sat 19 Aug) – Experience the FIFA Fan Festival™ in Melbourne/Naarm at Fed Square, a vibrant hub to watch FIFA Women’s World Cup™ matches and enjoy a thrilling football and entertainment program.
  • Craft & Learn at FIFA Fan Festival™ (Fri 21 Jul – Sat 12 Aug) – Get ready for fun at the Atrium! Kids can enjoy sustainable craft stations, a community message wall, and learn about the FIFA Women’s World Cup and football. 
  • This Is Going to Be Big (Wed 9 Aug – Sun 20 Aug) – Neurodivergent teens prepare for a time-traveling musical in their school. Experience their journey to come of age and hit the stage.
  • Storytime by State Library Victoria (Wed 9 Aug) – Share the delight of stories, songs, and picture books with your preschooler on Wednesdays at the Library. State Library of Victoria Review.
  • 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.
  • Scarygirl MIFF (Sat 12 Aug – Sat 19 Aug) – Scarygirl’s 3D adaptation, with an all-star cast, is based on Nathan Jurevicius’ creations. The imaginative quest explores identity, family, and climate issues in a vast world.
  • The Indian Festival Melbourne (Sat 12 Aug – Sun 13 Aug) – The annual Indian Festival is back at Queen Vic Market! Enjoy delicious winter warmer flavors, energetic performances, and amazing energy.
  • Now or Never Art Trail (Thu 17 Aug – Sun 20 Aug) – Explore the Now or Never Art Trail, a magical journey to the future. Along the Docklands promenade, experience a luminous outdoor gallery merging the physical and digital worlds. Don’t miss this free and wondrous adventure!
  • Classic Kids: The Making of the Orchestra (Sat 19 Aug) – Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra helps young music lovers understand orchestral music.
  • Teeth & Tails – SEA LIFE Melbourne (Sat 19 Aug – Mon 4 Sep) – Explore the fascinating world of marine creatures! Learn about the moray eel’s sharp teeth and hidden jaws, sea stars’ unique digestion, and meet the impressive Mega croc Pinjarra.
  • Melbourne Now (until 20 Aug 2023) – Kids will love this huge, explorative art exhibition showing more than 200 Victorian artists. Best of all, it’s free!
  • Arts Centre Sunday Market (Sundays) – find unique, quirky and handmade items at the stalls. There are always some yummy treats too!
Acmi Exhibition The Story Of The Moving Image 6
  • The Story of the Moving Image (ongoing) – Journey through the past, present and future of the moving image through interactive experiences, digital innovation and captivating stories. Story of the Moving Image ACMI Review.
  • Shrine Kids (Daily) – The Shrine of Remembrance is the National War Memorial of Victoria and it makes for an educational (and sobering) outing for families. Shrine Kids Review.
  • 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. 
  • Melbourne Book Market (Saturdays & Sundays) – curated collection of more than 5,000 new and pre-loved titles selected and presented by 15 of Melbourne’s most experienced booksellers.

What’s on in Melbourne North / North-East

  • Tiny Tour Melbourne Museum (Fri 14 Jul – Fri 15 Sep) – a 45-minute tour created for early year audiences that will invite them to wonder, discover and be amazed.
  • Yarra Grooves (Sat 23 Jul & Sat13 Aug) – a free series of Silent Disco Walking Tours around the City of Yarra celebrating the unique character of Yarra’s main street villages
  • Gertrude Street Projection Festival (Thurs 27 July – Sun 6 Aug) – See Gertrude Street walls and buildings come alive with projections, live events and performances! Gertrude Street Projection Festival Review.
  • Science on Show (Sat 12 Aug & Sun 20 Aug) – See some of the rarest and most fascinating species displayed at Melbourne Museum, with Museums Victoria scientists sharing insightful stories linked to the unique collections
  • Roll On at Rubix (Sun 13 Aug – Sun 12 Nov) – Experience the Malt Shop Rollers’ amazing pop-up roller rink at Rubix Warehouse every second Sunday of the month! Let’s welcome summer with disco vibes, one skate at a time!
  • Wonders of the Deep Sea (Wed 16 Aug) – Scientists on RV Investigator explored seamounts and seafloor near Christmas and Cocos Islands, uncovering fascinating deep-sea life, contributing to marine conservation.
  • Be a Wombat Warrior! (Sat 19 Aug) – A day in the bush connecting to nature and learning bush survival and bushcraft skills through hands on activities that are fun, engaging and connects your child to nature in a deep and meaningful way.
  • Beyond the Screen (Sat 19 Aug – Sun 20 Aug) – Experience the future with interactive VR gaming, where digital immersive experiences come to life like never before.
  • Neversphere – Now or Never tickets (Sat 19 Aug – Sun 20 Aug) – Experience the Neversphere, Now or Never’s time and space portal. Located in the Melbourne Museum Plaza, it’s a pop-up planetarium with a 360° screen wrapped around its curved interior walls. Plunge into this immersive journey of wonder and discovery!
  • Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown with Dr Tanya Hill (Sun 20 Aug) – Explore the captivating world of Black Holes in a vividly detailed film narrated by Geoffrey Rush. Join the screening in the darkness of the Neversphere for an extreme and fascinating experience.
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Cry Baby Session (Tues 22 Aug) – Do you love movies but can’t take your young child along? Come join us for our Cry Baby edition of Cinema Yarra! For parents/ Carers and children 0-18months.
  • Hurstbridge Wattle Festival (Sun 27 Aug) – A rural street festival held on the last Sunday in August in Hurstbridge.
  • Italian Day Festival (Sun 27 Aug) – Enjoy live entertainment, cooking demos, pop up food stalls, free kids activities, and more!
  • Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo (Ongoing) – Educator-led daily activities that promote learning through storytelling, craft and play.
Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo
  • Bite-Sized Science Melbourne Museum (Every Saturday of the Month) – Discover our natural world and uncover the secret life of the creatures around us and their ecosystems in these monthly Bite-Sized Science sessions.
  • Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs (ongoing) – An immersive voyage into a lost world, where visitors will explore the landscapes of the Cretaceous and get to know the creatures that thrived there.
  • Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery (Ongoing) – A world-class immersive learning and play experience – and a wonderland for little learners! The exhibition combines hands-on exploration and discovery, open-ended play-based learning, extraordinary immersive environments and unique museum collection objects.
  • Under 5s Art Classes (Fridays until 15 Sep) – Sessions will explore the elements of art such as colour, shape, texture and pattern through material exploration and experimentation.
  • Fitzroy Market (Saturdays) – a one-stop hub for everything produce, food, artisan, handcrafted, vintage, second hand and local.
  • Abbotsford Farmers Market (Saturday) – Shop local and seasonal produce and visit the Collingwood Children’s Farm which is just next door.
  • VU Play Coburg pop-up playspaces (Tuesdays – Saturdays) – VU early childhood pre-service teachers create pop-up play spaces for children to play.
  • Rose Street Artists’ Market (Saturdays and Sundays) – Shop directly from Melbourne’s best artists, designers, crafters and makers at Fitzroy’s iconic Rose Street Market.
  • Diamond Valley Railway (Sundays) – miniature railway with a playground next door. Diamond Valley Railway Review.

What’s on in Melbourne South / South-East / Bayside

  • Circus Royale Westfield Southland (Sat 29 Jul – Sun 10 Sep) – Circus Royale brings Australia’s only travelling animatronic zoo and 3D Hologram display to Westfield Southland! Damian Syred’s 2023 Circus Royale features The Globe Of Death, Amazing Aerial Artistry, Jaw-dropping Illusions, The Wheel Of Steel Daredevil High Wire and so much more – all under the bright blue and yellow big top!
  • Kids Mornings (Tuesday and Fridays from 18 Jul – 15 Sep) – Bring the kids to Westfield Fountain Gate for twice-weekly Kids Mornings filled with free fun! Enjoy various activities like drawing, crafting, singing, and dancing.
  • Under the Sea at Karingal Town Square (Thu 27 Jul – Sun 27 Aug) – Immerse in deep-sea wonders with immersive art, neons, and glowing inflatables. Book & attend this FREE event for a chance to win $10k in vouchers!
  • PLAY at McClelland (Fri 28 Jul – Fri 4 Aug) – Families with young children are invited to the winter PLAY series at McClelland. Enjoy guided play in nature and art with the McClelland educator, creating beautiful memories together.
  • Little Play Times (Every Wednesdays Starts Aug 9) – Legoland’s new program that is designed to teach pre-school children new skills through meaningful parent-child play!
  • Moorabbin Junction After Dark (Fri Aug 11) – Station Street’s first-ever street party, celebrating local community. Experience the magic as neon light artist Carla O’Brien transforms the street into an interactive wonderland.
  • Hiccup Bunjil Place (Tue 22 Aug – Wed 23 Aug) – Hiccup is a hilarious rocking musical about teamwork, friendship, and overcoming hiccups once and for all!
  • Just Live On Stage! Bunjil Place (Thu 24 Aug – Fri 25 Aug) – JUST (tricking, annoying, stupid, crazy, disgusting, shocking, doomed) LIVE ON STAGE! Hilariously brings Andy Griffiths’ JUST books to life. Brace for laughter, invisibility pills, and wild adventures. Not for the faint-hearted!
  • Mini Makers (Wednesdays) – Back for Term 3, Mini Makers provides masterclasses for kids ages 2 – 5, where they can explore science, craft, cooking, music, movement and more!
  • Stories and Songs in the Square (Mondays) – Nurture your child’s early literacy skills by joining in to read aloud stories and sing action songs and rhymes.
  • Mornington Railway (Sundays) – Climb aboard the Mornington Railway steam train for a fun-filled outing.
DUPLO Farm Adventure Tot Hot or Not x.jpeg
  • Bentleigh Sunday Market (Sundays) – plants, clothing, cosmetics, jewellery, books, videos, tools, antiques, crafts, pre-loved goods, and more! Every Sunday.
  • Camberwell Sunday Market (Every Sunday) – second-hand retro, vintage, antique, fashion and collectible goods you just can’t find anywhere else
  • Gasworks Farmers’ Market (Third Saturday of every month until Sun 18 Dec) – On Saturdays soak up the vibrant atmosphere and sample the very best of local Victorian produce, directly from Victorian farmers and specialty makers.
  • Gardens House High Tea – Retro Edition (Every second Sunday from May to August) – Transport yourself to the past with a delightful selection of sweet and savory bites, inspired by the flavors of childhood.
  • Gumbuya World Wildlife Wanderers (ongoing) – join a fun day for your little ones with a 30-minute program, which will include storytime, games and Nature Play-based activities.
  • Little Play Squad Legoland  (Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays) – An interactive parent-child Play & Learn session based on LEGO® DUPLO®.
  • Prahran Market Mini Marketeers (Every Tuesday) – Enjoy free, guided activities teaching toddlers the fundamentals of eating well and putting the ‘yum’ in healthy food choices.
  • Young at Art Mornington Peninsula Art Gallery (Tuesdays) – program for 0-5 year olds. Sing, dance, clap and stomp your feet with Matteo! Do an exciting activity with the Education Coordinator afterwards.

What’s on in Melbourne East

  • BUSY BODIES (Tue 11 Jul – Tue 12 Sept) – Join the fun each Tuesday during the school term for FREE activity sessions tailored for pre-school aged children.
  • Bumble Bee Baby and Children’s Market (Sun 6 Aug) – high quality pre loved, handmade, and new goods at reasonable prices.
  • Melbourne Tram Museum (Wed 17 Aug & Sat 27 Aug) – Visit a Melbourne icon at this quirky museum. FULL REVIEW
  • Park Orchards Market (Sat 19 Aug) – Enjoy music, kids activities, playgrounds, plenty of parking, coffee, bread, pastries, fresh fruit & veg, local eggs, honey, wholesale meat, artisan deli goods, cheese, wine, plants, gifts, homewares, dogs & cats painter, arts & crafts and jewellery.
  • Heide Art Babies (Tuesdays) – 30 minutes of sensory play in the gallery, looking, thinking and talking about art. Heide Art Babies Review.
  • Heide Gallery Kids  (Fridays) – Join Art Therapist Tanis Douglas, who supports pre-school children and their carers to gain confidence observing artworks in a small group.
  • Mini Twitchers Heide (Ongoing) – Be a twitcher for a day and spot some beautiful birds in the Heide Sculpture park! Use a map to locate each area where the twelve painted birds are hidden in trees in the sculpture park.
  • Yarra Valley Railway (Every Sun) – take a trip on the historic Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Yarra Valley Review.
  • McAdam Square Winter Wonderland (Until Sat 13 Aug) – Enjoy inflatable igloos, face-painting, meet and greets with a real-life ballerina and more!
  • Belgrave Big Dreams Market (2nd Sunday of the month) – discover original and bespoke design pieces, some of the yummiest and freshest produce the area has to offer, live music, bouncy castle and face painting for the kids.
  • ECOSS Valley Market (Fridays) – Experience the vibrant Valley Markets, connecting local growers, artisans, and musicians in the heart of the Yarra Valley.
Winter Igloo Garden Auburn Hotel Hawthorn East .jpg

What’s on in Melbourne West

  • Footscray Art Prize (Sat 15 Jul – Sun 6 Aug) – See the exhibition of Footscray Art Prize winners.
  • Australian Model Railway Association 2023 Exhibition (Sat 5 Aug – Sun 6 Aug) – Experience the Australian Model Railway Association (AMRA) 2023 Exhibition, a captivating showcase of model trains.
  • The Vegan Market – Melbourne (Sun 6 Aug) – Discover The Vegan Market, a one-of-a-kind platform supporting independent, ethical, and sustainable businesses across Australia. Shop from a wide range of local, plant-based brands offering 100% vegan products.
  • Altona Homestead Devonshire Tea (Sun 6 Aug) – historical homestead is open every 1st Sunday for Devonshire Tea.
  • Love Your West (Fri Aug 11) – Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop in style with an evening of free entertainment.
  • Incy Wincy Babies (18 Aug, 22 Sept, 27 Oct, 17 Nov) – Barking Spider Creative artist guides carers with their babies through a visual art experience at the Gallery.
  • Energy is a Superpower Museums Victoria (Sat 19 Aug) – Girls and non-binary people aged 10-12 can apply their STEM superpowers in this half-day workshop which explores the many forms of energy we employ to power our lives.
  • Grand Opening Festival Little Malop Street (Sat 19 Aug – Sat 23 Sep) – Geelong Arts Centre invites you to its grand opening on Saturday, August 19th. Enjoy two exciting events featuring acclaimed artist Jessica Mauboy and a hilarious Australian comedy lineup with Dave Thornton, Dilruk Jayasinha, and Lizzy Hoo.
  • Kryal Castle’s: Highland Spectacular (Sat 19 Aug – Sun 20 Aug) – Step into Scotland this August. For two days only, August 19 and 20, Ballarat’s iconic medieval castle will welcome visitors to the world of pipe bands, highland dancing and clan tents, all paired with an array of decedent Scottish food and drink.
  • Eynesbury Market (Sun 28 Aug) – Genuine farmers, producers and makers meet and sell directly to the public fresh, local and organic foods.
  • Toddler Jam (Thurs & Fri during school term) – getting toddlers active and learning through play, with a mixture of percussion, singing, dancing, story-time and mindfulness. 
  • Toddler Art (Wednesdays during term) – Join mother and artist Kate Golding as she leads you and your kids to collaborate playfully and make art together.
  • Toddler and Kids Art Classes (Various dates) – ‘The Fun In Art’ provides art classes for toddlers and kids where they’re more about the fun of creation and less about the outcome of the artwork.
  • Bulla Railway (3rd Sunday of each month) – Ride the dinosaur trail on the miniature railway. Bulla Railway Review.
  • Altona Miniature Railway (3rd Sunday of the month) – between 10am and 3pm ride this wonderful Miniature Railway. Altona Miniature Railway review.
  • Grazeland (Fridays – Sundays) – huge dining precinct with city views and 50 stalls to choose from. Read the Grazeland Review
Grazeland Meadow Bar.jpg
  • Essendon Traffic School (Saturdays) – Essendon Traffic School is a mini road set up for kids aged two to ten years, complete with road signs, railway bells and traffic lights. Essendon Traffic School review.
  • Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together (Ongoing) – An exhibition for babies to five-year-olds where curiosity is rewarded around each bend with surprising and intriguing sights, sounds and touch sensations.
  • Robotics and coding kit – Discover the power of mBot robots in this fun introductory workshop that explores how simple programs can control complex machines.
  • Melbourne Planetarium (Ongoing) – Sit back and enjoy the wonder of the stars regardless of the time of day – or the weather!
  • Animal Land  (Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays) – Children’s Farm in Diggers Rest offering an authentic farm experience for children and families.
  • Playnastics (Wednesdays & Thursdays) – Casual open play sessions using a selection of Preschool Gymnastics equipment and resources, as well as puzzles, blocks and more.
  • Sunday Funday Station Hotel (Sundays) – Every Sunday The Station Hotel prepares an animal farm and other entertaining activities to keep the little ones busy, while you sit back and relax. Station Hotel Review
  • Enterprize Sail Williamstown (usually sails the third Sunday of every month) – go for a one hour sail on tall ship Enterprize in Williamstown

All You Can Eat Buffets
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This post contains paid inclusions. We carefully select who we include in our content and if you purchase with our partners it helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks, Joyce

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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