1. Go to see live music.
Across the world the live music and arts industry has been gutted by non-essential gathering legislations and Melbourne has been no exception. While Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia for many reasons it’s our music and performance scene that really wins us that coveted title. With venues and artists to fit any genre and budget the Melbourne music community is ready and waiting to get back to basement, back alley venues as soon as hygienically possible.
While our venues may be shut, bands and artists are rallying from their houses, creating new and engaging ways to connect with the Melbourne community. If you’re suffering from a case of music withdrawals make sure you’re following your favourite musicians on social media and tune in to their live streams as much as possible.
2. Have coffee/brunch at our local cafe.
While our hospitality industry is working hard to keep their delivery doors open we cannot wait until we can sit in and immerse ourselves in that Melbourne cafe atmosphere we all know and love. Melbourne has become synonymous around the world with absolutely bangin’ coffee and it’s the cafe laneways and hideaways across our city that have kept the locals coming back.
While we’re waiting for the restrictions to be lifted don’t forget you can still order yourself a takeaway/delivery coffee from your local cafe. You could even go a step further and set up your own barista style coffee contraption at home, thanks to the help of local coffee roasters across the city. It may not be the same as your weekly brunch with your friends but it’s a crucial step in restricting the potentially devastating switch to instant coffee looming on the horizon.
3. Watch AFL at The G.
If you’ve never been to an AFL game, it’s an absolute must for any Melbourian or Melbourne convert when we come back out of isolation. The atmosphere at the AFL is an absolute riot and for many of us, some of our favourite nights in Melbourne have been spent drinking beers in the freezing cold, eating scolding hot pies and watching some of the best sport our nation has to offer.
The 2020 season is currently postponed until at least July at this stage but once spectators are able to return to the stands we will be there with stripy coloured beanies (and bells) on.
4. Do pub trivia in an actual pub.
Thanks to the advances of the digital age the Pub Trivia industry may not be completely lost during isolation but no matter how hard we may try, playing trivia on a laptop is simply not as good as playing in a pub. Melbourne’s pub trivia scene caters to quizzers from all kinds of niche knowledge backgrounds and once we are allowed back into our local watering holes the questions won’t be far behind.
If you’re looking to keep your trivia skills sharp during lockdown you’ll find loads of great trivia games running online weekly and with bottle o’s being an essential service, the pub vibe is never too far away.
5. Explore the hidden lanes, arcades and street art of Melbourne’s CBD on an I’m Free Tour.
Honestly though how great is Melbourne? This time has made us realise just how much we’ve taken for granted, including the history and culture of our own city. How many of us know the weird stories or historical anecdotes behind the making of our city? Or who knows how we came to have so many street art laneways? Why do we even call them laneways? Once we’ve kicked covid-19 to the curb, why not rediscover your own city on an I’m Free Tour? There are two great tours to choose from: Uncover Melbourne’s Sights and The Hidden Culture Tour and both tours are based on a ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ basis.
Just head online, register and turn up. All tours are run by locals who are busting to get back on the streets and show you how weird and wonderful our city truly is.
6. Have Dumplings and BYO wine in Chinatown.
Ask any 18 – 30 something-year-old Melburnian the best way to celebrate a birthday, pre-drink for an event or have dinner on a budget and 9 times out of 10 they will send you to Chinatown. Melbourne Chinatown is one of the oldest in the western world and the food there is some of the best the city has to offer. A pre/post isolation night in Chinatown usually includes lining up shoulder to shoulder with strangers, bumping past diners to get to your seat and shouting loudly over plates of $9 dumplings.
While Chinatown has arguably been suffering the longest since the initial outbreak, many of the restaurants are still open for takeaway and delivery! No matter your suburb “Drunklings” are but a phone call away.
7. Walk around our Galleries and Museums.
Gallery and Museum hopping is possibly one of the best ways to spend a day in our city, and we are just busting to get back to it once the coast is clear! As we mentioned earlier Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia and has a hugely diverse range of galleries and museums on offer. While many of these institutions have an entry fee for certain experiences/exhibits we have spent many an hour viewing the free galleries of the NGV, the Immigration Museum and even the State Parliament of Victoria.
During lockdown, most of our favourite spaces are running virtual exhibitions or interactive classes to help us stay connected. Following your favourite spaces on social media is also a great way to show your support.
8. Drink Beers in the Park with a group of mates.
Melbourne is absolutely brimming with beautiful parks, ranging from modest-sized historical gardens to large scale community green spaces. With spaces for BBQ’s, sports and off-leash dog zones, boozy picnics in the park with mates will be the go-to Sunday ritual come isolations end.
Of course, it’s not legal to drink alcohol in just any park! You need to do your research before cracking open a cold one in public so make sure you know the city permit zones before you plan your “After Iso” picnic.
9. Get lost in the hustle and bustle of a local market.
For many of the local markets around Melbourne, the produce sections are still well and truly open, offering all essential food items to the public during this time. However, for the non-essential aspects of these markets, it will be a welcome return to normality once the lockdown is lifted. You’ll find us spread all over the city searching for bargains, trinkets and street food galore, making the most of that bumper to bumper foot traffic of a local Melbourne market.
Markets are a quintessential part of Melbourne life so if you do live nearby a market that is currently still operating why not do your weekly shop with a local grocer? What could be more Melbourne then that?
10. Watch a movie in an actual cinema.
Melbourne has a plethora of cinemas to choose from for your next blockbuster screening, from classic movie hot spots like The Astor to budget-friendly favourites like The Sun Cinema out west. As soon as the restrictions are lifted you’ll find us lining up for choc-tops and lukewarm popcorn ready to watch whatever cinematic masterpiece Taika Waititi has in store for us next.
Of course, while our cinemas are closed, streaming services are here for us all hours of the day with great Australian films right at our fingertips. It won’t be quite the same as visiting the Nova but our film industry will reap the benefits of your marathons one stream at a time.