Things to do in January in And Around Melbourne

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So much to see and do in and around Melbourne in the month of January.

With the weather in Melbourne heating up, the beaches are great to places to take the family. The coastal beaches of Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay are safe to swim at with a lot of them being patrolled by our wonderful Life Savers.  Take care down at the back beaches and never swim alone.

There are things going on in the Melbourne central business district every day as this time of the year is school holidays, as well as holiday activities for the adults, locals and tourist alike.

There are NGV art exhibitions, summer music festivals, rooftop cinemas and more. Plus there's plenty of free attractions, art exhibitions, theatre shows and activities for kids.

If you are a keen tennis lover/player then the Australian Open tennis tournament is held at the Australian Tennis Center for two action packed weeks. 

Summertime in Melbourne is the perfect time to enjoy a twilight market and there are some great ones to check out in and around Melbourne. With the sun going down later during the day and the air warm, what better time to do some shopping, enjoy a new taste or two and enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment.

I've put together 10 top things to do in January in Melbourne that I'm sure you will enjoy and don't forget to check out the local communities for other fun things to fill up your spare time.

Clicking on each of the links here will take you to that section for more information.

Things to do in January in Melbourne, Australia

Things to do in January No' 1 - Melbourne Zoo Outdoor Film Festival

1 to 14 January

A selection of films based around the environment, sustainability and marine conservation are being featured for two weeks at the Melbourne Zoo.

Screenings will run from 5.30-8.00 pm every evening from January 1 to 14. It is recommended that you bring your own low-back chairs, pillows and picnic rugs. There will be food and drink available to purchase on site.

There will also be talks held by environmental and conservation experts.

Entry to the film festival is FREE with admission to the Zoo. Kids under 16 visit free on weekends and school holidays

For more details on what's on over this film festival check out Melbourne Zoo Up Late

Melbourne Zoo Film FestivalMovies at the Melbourne Zoo

Things to do in January No' 2 - Moonlight Cinema

November 28th - March 29th

Moonlight Cinema Melbourne is located in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, on Birdwood Avenue (near the intersection of Domain Road), South Yarra. Enter the cinema via Gate D and follow the path to the Central Lawn

Warm, balmy nights under the stars watching a great movie, what a great way to unwind for you, your friends and family. Films are screening from Thursday, November 28 until Sunday, March 29.

You can purchase food and drinks there but you can also bring your own. There's the chance to spoil yourself if you purchase a Premium Ticket and settle back on a comfy bean bag and let a waiter serve you!

Click this link for the full program and tickets as well as directions, parking and other information.

moonlight cinema melbourne januaryMovies under the stars in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens

Things to do in January No' 3 - Vida Melbourne Latin Summer Festival

10th to the 19th January

Vida is a free multicultural-themed festival that focuses on Latin America's environmental, economic and social issues that impact Australia and the world.

Enjoy two weekends of amazing food, music, and culture. Who wouldn't love to eat an authentic paella, drink a margarita and dance to Latin rhythms?

Countries represented include Chile, El Salvador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, and Spain.


Tom's   Block
Kings Domain - 3000

On St Kilda Rd across from the National Gallery of Victoria (Walker Fountain) - 500m from Federation Square

Check out more information on the Melbourne Latin Summer Festival here

Vida Latin Summer FestivalDance to the beat of Latin music at the Vida Latin Summer Festival in Melbourne

Things to do in January No' 4 - Victoria Street Lunar Festival

19th January
12.00pm till 11.00pm

Come celebrate multicultural performances and Asian food with over 60 performance and entertainment activities as well as the popular Pho Eating Competition.

  • Introducing a food, health and wellness hub featuring cooking classes, competition and expert talks.
  • Taste over 100 food choices on the street with restaurants and street traders
  • Play and ride a large selection of games and rides.
  • Special fireworks at 9pm with fire crackers and a dragon and lion dance.

There is limited street parking available during the day on Victoria and surrounding streets, but most have a 1-2 hour parking limit. Sunday is free in some places.

Victoria Street Lunar Festival, Victoria Street Richmond, Richmond

For more details checkout the Victoria Street website

Lunar Festival MelbourneCelebrate Asian Culture at the Victoria Street Lunar Festival

Things to do in January No' 5 - Slide The Square

4th to the 15th January

A great way to beat the heat right in the heart of the city at Federation Square, providing 75 metres of slip ‘n’ slide fun

Bring your friends and family for a wet and wild ride down the slope of The Square. Fed Cam will be streaming live images of Slide The Square to

Not keen on sliding, that's fine as you can sit back and relax on the viewing platform from The Stage and wave at your friends and family as they go down the Slide.

There is plenty of food and cool drinks along with Cuban sandwiches, Brazilian BBQ plates, potato twists, burgers and more. Use the deck chairs to sit and relax and enjoy a delicious ice cream or slushy or fruit cup.

Ticket prices include the use of an inflatable to ensure you enjoy a smooth ride. You get a 50 minute sessions allowing you to snap up some pretty interesting pics of the fun had.

You can buy tickets through Ticketmaster or at the ticket booth on Swanston St Forecourt during the event.

For safety reasons, all participants must be at least 110cm tall to slide, there are lots of fun activities for the smaller kids to enjoy here as well.

Check out the official Slide the Square page for more information and ticket bookings.

Slip and slide at Federation Square in Melbourne, AustraliaSlip and slide at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia

Things to do in January No' 6 - The Australian Open

20th January - 2nd February

Don't let Melbourne's heatwaves put you off enjoying watching the superstars of tennis battle it out at the Australian Open.

This annual tennis event continues to attract the world's best tennis players and their fans for the southern hemisphere's only Grand Slam tournament.

If you can't make it to the actual staged event, no problem, as the matches are 'screened live' at Birrarung Marr during the Australian Open Festival.

Enjoy live performances as well as visiting world-class chefs will be dishing up gourmet delights!

Visit the official AO website for more detailed information

Melbourne's Australian Open TournamentMelbourne loves to celebrate tennis at the Australian Open

Things to do in January No' 7 - Sand Sculptures at Boneo Discovery Park

14th December - 30th April

Yearly this event is now held at the Boneo Discovery Park which is located at 695 Limestone Rd, Fingal on Victoria’s stunning Mornington Peninsula.

Sand Sculpting Australia and Boneo Discovery Park presents ANIMALIA IN SAND – the world’s first Sand Sculpting Exhibition with augmented reality technology.

Animalia in Sand brings to life the much-loved classic children’s book by Graeme Base through 26 giant sand sculptures created by some of the world’s most renowned sand sculptors. See the sculptures come alive through our innovative sand and screen immersive experience.

Click here for more information on Sand Sculpting Australia

Sand Sculptures at Boneo Discovery Park - Animalia theme 2019The 'ANIMALIA IN SAND' display at Boneo Discovery Park

Things to do in January No' 8 - Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony

26th January
10.30am - 11.00am

The Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate and build community pride in our nation. The Official Flag Raising Ceremony marks the beginning of Melbourne’s Australia Day celebration.

Held at the Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street

Hosted by the Premier of Victoria and attended by the Governor of Victoria, the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne and other dignitaries, the Official Flag Raising ceremony features ...

  • an inspection of the Tri-Service Royal Guard of Honour, 
  • the Australia Day Affirmation 
  • and the singing of the Australian National Anthem.
Australian flagRaising the Australian Flag on Australia Day

Things to do in January No' 9 - Australia Day Parade

One of the things to do in January is to Celebrate Australia Day right in the heart of the city.

Immediately following the Official Flag Raising Ceremony, spectators will be treated to a vibrant public display of Australia's diverse community with more than 1000 participants from over 80 community and cultural groups taking part in Melbourne’s annual Australia Day Parade.

The parade kicks off at 11:00 am outside the Melbourne Town Hall and heads down Swanston St before finishing at the Kings Domain Gardens

Packed with family-friendly events and activities, the free all-day event will feature food trucks, the annual Roulettes flyover, children’s yoga and various entertainment.

Things to do in January No' 10 - Australia Day Fireworks

Finish your Australia Day at the fireworks spectacular down at Docklands!

Located along Harbour Esplanade, the Australia Day at Docklands celebration will keep the family entertained with roaming artists, entertainment and markets.

This is a free event, wheelchair accessible and you can get there using public transport. There s also parking at the Docklands Carpark

Things to do in January No' 12 - Share the Spirit Festival - Balit Narrun

26th January
2-18 Spring St
East Melbourne

A celebration of Survival

Come on down to the Treasury Gardens for a family-friendly day of music, dance and culture, with performances by some of the country's most talented Indigenous artists.

Share the Spirit, or Balit Narrun, is Victoria's longest-running Aboriginal music festival and an all-inclusive celebration of the culture of Indigenous people from all over the country. 

The festival also runs markets vending everything from arts and crafts to food. 

A free event for all.

Things to do in January No' 13 - NGV Kids Summer Festival

11 – 19 January

Nine days of artist-led activities, performances, music and dance especially for children and all members of the family.

There will be making activities for the kids in the 'Great Hall'

Please feel free to bring picnic lunch to eat in the Great Hall and the Grollo Equiset Garden or you can purchase a great selection of food options at the Gallery Kitchen.

This is a FREE entry activity

Also for the kids and being held at ...

NGV International
Ground Level
General entry is free

Open daily 10am-5pm

There will be a group of teachers grooving away and getting everyone movin’ and shakin’ to popular songs. Previous dance experience is not necessary; with easy-to-follow moves, children as young as two can join in and bop to a playlist of party music songs.

More happenings over at NGV Australian Federation Square with workshops especially designed for teens. And at the The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, explore Indigenous and non-Indigenous art from the colonial period to the present day.

General entry is free
Open daily 10am-5pm

aerial view of the National Gallery of VictoriaAerial view of the National Gallery of Victoria taken from the Eureka Tower

Things to do in January No' 14 - Best Selection of Summer Markets

In and around Melbourne there are plenty of fun and interesting markets to be found if you are looking for interesting things to do in January. I have selected 4 fantastic ones for you to visit this month.

1 - Family Market Riverside

Dates and Times

08/12/2019 to 23/02/2020
Sun: 10am – 4pm

Riverside Summer Purple Patch
39 Dukes Walk
South Wharf, near the Melbourne Convention Centre

Plenty of variety to choose from here, including jewellery, face painting and henna, candles, soaps and gifts.

With DJs spinning tunes from 1:00pm, lawn games, an all-day breakfast and brunch menu with cocktails, beer and wine, this riverside market is one of a kind.

The perfect place to relax with your family.

Face painting  at the Riverside Summer Purple Patch MarketFace painting at the Riverside Summer Purple Patch Market

2 - Summer Night Market

Dates and Times

Wednesday nights until Wednesday 11 March
5pm - 10pm

Queen Vic Market,
513 Queen Street,

Melbourne’s original and favourite Night Market returns to Queen Vic Market.

Explore over 100 global street food and shopping stalls, sample the freshest summer drinks and enjoy free live local entertainment.

A fun time to visit Melbourne's best Market atmosphere with your family and friends.!

Summer Night Market MelbourneSummer Night Market, Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia

3 - St Kilda Twilight Market

Thursday evenings during summer
From 5.00 to 10.00PM

The O'Donnell Gardens comes alive on 

 The St. Kilda Twilight Market is excited to be able to bring a wonderful array of artworks, vintage wear, craft, hand designed fashion and jewellery, exotic clothes, produce, emerging designers and foods of the world.

All made and presented with quality and care
Beneath the palm trees beside Luna Park

St Kilda twilight marketSt Kilda Summer Twilight Market

4 - South Melbourne Night Mk't

Dates and Times

January 8 and running for five weeks until February 5.
The Market will open at 8:00 am each Wednesday with Night Market festivities kicking off from noon each day.

South Melbourne Market will offer late night shopping at the Night Market. In addition to the traditional array of outdoor food trucks, entertainment and family fun.

There will be roving entertainment, kids’ activities and free cooking demonstrations.

South Melbourne Night MarketSouth Melbourne Night Market

"Wherever you go and whatever things to do in January you have chosen to add to your diary, I hope that you thoroughly enjoy it and come back here to my website whenever you want to know if there is something special to do every month in and around Melbourne.
Please share the news with your friends through your favorite Social Media and I would love you to follow me"
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