Making Time For Fun: Awesome Things to Do in Melbourne This Summer

by Nyamka Bayanmunkh in

This year I am working on scheduling fun experiences so I don’t end up working too much (Annual Review - A Girl Called Nyamka). Often I just focus on work without planning for other parts of my life, which means I miss out on other things. For example, if I want to rent out a beach pad in the summer for a small holiday, in order to get places I need to book them early, and I need organise it with other people so they can fit it into their schedules. But because I don’t think to plan for fun like I do with work, I miss out on it.

Another benefit for early scheduling, besides not forgetting something important, is that it increases the pleasure people get from an experience. A recent study suggests that longer people wait and build up anticipation for upcoming experiences, the more pleasure they derive from those experiences (Waiting for Merlot - Psychological Science). By just planning earlier people can get a lot of joy out of planning, preparing, and looking forward to the experience, as well as the experience itself.  

To make sure I make time for fun I have made a list of things I want to do and see in Melbourne this summer. It is mostly outdoor activities because I have a tendency to stay home all the time if I let myself. Plus, Melbourne is such a lovely city. However, sometimes I notice myself taking it for granted. 

When I go to other places I make an effort to enjoy the place as much possible. I take long scenic walks instead of taking the shortest route possible, I actively seek out art and culture, and I stop just to people-watch instead of rushing past them to get somewhere. I don't do this automatically in Melboune, and as a result, I haven’t taken advantage of the many beautiful places and activities Melbourne offers.

I know that when I look at my city with the perspective of a tourist I enjoy it as much as I do to Paris or Den Haag. Now, I just need to plan like a tourist Nyamka would do. Here is my list of places and activities I would like to do in Melbourne this summer. This list is tailored for me but I hope it inspires you to make a list of all the things that you want to do in your city and make the most of it too!

1. National Gallery of Victoria and The Ian Potter Centre

Image from the

Image from the

Until April 2016,  the NGV is showing is an exhibition exploring the similarities and differences between Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei, which looks fantastic.

2. Camberwell Sunday Markets

Camberwell Market ("Steel Wool", Flickr Creative Commons)

Camberwell Market ("Steel Wool", Flickr Creative Commons)

On Sundays, Camberwell Market is mostly filled with people selling really cool second-hand stuff, where most of the stuff looks like it should be in museums. They also have lots of people selling vintage dresses and since I am still doing the Buy Nothing New challenge it might come in handy in the future.

3. Sunset Ritual at M Pavillions

Photo by John Gollings from

Photo by John Gollings from

The M Pavillion is a cool meeting place and they have interesting events. One of it is the Sunset Ritual, which is an all-sensory experience with music and light from the sunset interacting with the structure's roof pedals and led lights. 

4. Twisted Tales Tour 

Image via Rexness on, via Creative Commons

Image via Rexness on, via Creative Commons

The Twisted Tales Tour is a walking tour that shows the creepy side of Melbourne. I enjoy grizzly tales and I like walking. Not sure why I haven't done this before.

5. ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)

Image from Acmi Online

Image from Acmi Online

ACMI always has the most fun exhibitions. So far I have been to the Studio Ghibli, Pixar, and Disney exhibitions. My favourite parts are the character development sketches, where you can see what our beloved characters might have looked like.

6. Sustainable Living Festival

I keep missing this event. Last year I managed to see it when it was closing down, and I am probably going to miss it this year. Maybe, I'll schedule this one for 2017, nice and early.

7. Melbourne Farmers Markets

Flemington Farmers Market

Flemington Farmers Market

There are lots of  farmers markets in Melbourne and last year I went to two. You can find things you can't get from normal markets like nettles and kefir. Most of them are located in school ovals on the weekend. However, one of them was situated just in front of a forest and next to a small mountain (I may have made the mountain up in mind, but I am 100% sure about the forest)  

8. St Kilda Festival

St Kilda Festival is lauded as Australia's largest free music festival, which I only found out after searching what people should do in Melbourne. Not only is it free, it's also at the beach!

9.White Night

Royal Exhibition Building

Royal Exhibition Building

White Night is where half a million people come together to appreciate and partake in art, culture, and music from dusk till dawn. When I went a few years ago it was fantastic. We spent our evening dancing at a silent disco, looking at art installations, and making our own prints. The trick for a successful White Night is to eat before, go with a few friends, and have plenty of snacks. 

10. Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens

The local parks of Melbourne are what take the city from good to great. There are so many  just in the metropolitan areas.  My old favourite is the Royal Botanic Garden because it is lush, huge and quiet. This January I went to the St Kilda Botanic Gardens by accident and now it is my new favourite. It may not be as big as the Royal Botanic Garden but it has a community garden with fruit trees in which I got pick an apple. 

11. Melbourne Beaches

St Kilda Pier  Flickr: gcmenezes

St Kilda Pier Flickr: gcmenezes

Whether it is a warm day or cold, as long as it is not too windy the beaches in Melbourne are fun and accessible. Often, you get to see schools of small fish and a bloom of jelly fish. I went a few times last year but I want to up the ante this year.

12. Libraries of Melbourne

State Library of Victoria  Flickr: yewenyi  

State Library of Victoria Flickr: yewenyi 

Normally I stick to same few libraries in my area, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't just limit myself to those ones. This year, I would like to sample all the different libraries in Melbourne.

13. Bike Riding

I enjoy bike riding however during most of 2015 my bike has been in disrepair and I have forgotten how to fix it.  This summer, I am going to fix my bike and ride on some of the old bike trails that I used to ride.


Do you make time for fun in your life? What would you like to do add to your life to make it more enjoyable? As always, I love to hear from you!

With love and simplicity,