Hot Melbourne nights: outdoor activities and events on this summer

Queen Victoria Night markets

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted December 06, 2021

As the sun goes down, Melbourne comes to life this summer with pop-ups, exhibitions, night markets, and concerts galore.

With events in abundance, the sun (sometimes) shining and an overall good mood with more freedoms and better weather, there’s plenty to see and do around Melbourne after dark this summer. 

Whether you’re looking for a pitcher at a pop-up for after-work drinks or new bar, markets that run during daylight savings, concerts, exhibitions, and everything in between, we’ve done a roundup of the top 10 activities and events you can enjoy outside after dark this summer.

Just remember it’s still Melbourne – so bring your sunscreen and your umbrella. 

Please note all events are subject to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check the event website for the most up-to-date restrictions and requirements. 

Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Live music is back with a variety of concert at Melbourne's iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Image: Getty. 

What’s on at night outdoors in Melbourne?  

Queen Victoria Night Markets 

Christmas Night Markets: Mon Dec 13 and Mon Dec 20 from 5 pm

Summer Night Markets: Weds from 5 pm

An institution of Melbourne’s night-foodie scene, the Queen Victoria Night Markets run on Wednesday evenings during the summer from 5 pm-10 pm, as well as specialty Christmas Night Markets on selected dates in December. 

Filled with an array of sizzling food stalls, drinks, desserts, artisan markets, clothing, fresh produce, retail stalls, and entertainment, heading here is more of an event than a market – make sure you don’t miss it.  

Drive-in cinema 

Various session times beginning at sundown 

The cinema has been greatly missed, and luckily, alongside old favourites at your regular cinema, the drive-in is still kicking. Whether it’s because you want your dog to come along, you want to lie in the back of a ute under the stars, or set up a deck chair for the latest on the silver screen, hot summer nights with your favourite characters and popcorn at places like the Coburg Drive-In Cinema is a guaranteed good time.  

The Australian Open

Various times, Mon Jan 17 – Sun Jan 30

Back with a force, Australia’s largest Grand Slam tournament is back in January, with matches running throughout the day and night. Tennis fans can opt for twilight or night sessions at the Australian Open to avoid the beaming sun in the day, while enjoying all the excitement the best tennis players in the world have to offer. If you decide to book one of the night matches, be wary that some have been played out until well after midnight. Consider bringing a pillow. 

Sidney Myer Music Bowl Summer Series

Various times beginning on Sat Dec 4 

Gigs, concerts, and live music are back with vengeance, and nothing screams summer music vibes like Melbourne’s iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Featuring an array of experiences ‘under the stars’ such as classical hits, Skyfall in Concert, Beyond The City, and a range of contemporary artists, pack a picnic, dust off your dancing shoes, and get ready to party in the moonlight. 

Melbourne Sunset Kayaking Experience with Dinner

Various evening sessions from Thurs Nov 25

Enjoy a tour by water rather than on foot? Whether it’s for a more interesting date night or simply wanting to get out and about in the city, take a tour on the Sunset Kayaking Experience. Including all equipment, an on-the-water fish n’ chips dinner, and a stop to view the fireball display at Crown, this sunset tour along the Yarra is not to be missed this summer. 

Nighttime at the zoo

Melbourne Zoo Do: Sat Dec 11, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm 

Sunset Safari and Moonlit Sanctuary: Various bookings available over Summer 

Whether it’s a slumber safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo with an African-inspired dinner, or a visit to Melbourne’s Moonlit Sanctuary, find out what our animal friends get up to after-hours, immersed in nature with some great food to boot. Plus, check out our guide to the eight of the best zoo sleepovers in Aus.

Feeding the animals after dark at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park. Image: Visit Victoria

Feeding the animals after dark at the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Park. Image: Visit Victoria

Spirit of Melbourne Cruising Restaurant

Various bookings available from 7.30 pm

Fancy yourself aboard the southern waters, captain? Hop on the Spirit of Melbourne Cruising Restaurant for a delectable four-course feast - including drinks - as you set sail along the Yarra River. Including indoor and outdoor views of Melbourne’s city skyline, a dinner cruise is a great way to enjoy a Melbourne summer evening out – rain or shine!

Moonlit Bathing at Peninsula Hot Springs 

Bookings can be made between 5 am- 11 pm daily

Technically this one is just out of Melbourne; but considering you can head there and back in an afternoon, it would be unfair not to include one of the most relaxing and indulgent experiences Melbourne has to offer.

While also open in the day, nighttime at the Peninsula Hot Springs brings on a whole new twilight experience. Guests can enjoy the warm baths as the weather cools, supper refreshments, hilltop sunset views, and a series of starry skied performances on the amphitheater stage.  

Luna Park

Open weekend evenings in Nov and early Dec, and from 11 am daily from Dec 18

With fun for the young and old, there’s nothing like a night out at Melbourne’s own Luna Park. With more than a dozen rides and attractions such as the ghost train, heritage-listed carousel, ferris wheel, and iconic Great Scenic Railway, come for the thrill before feasting on carnival-favourite foods.

The Exchange Beach Club

Sat Nov 6– Sun Jan 30. Bookings advised

Looking for the feels of the Italian coastline without the hefty price tag? Say hello to your new Port Melbourne relaxation destination, the Exchange Beach Club. With bookings available day and night, this dog-friendly pop up of cabanas and day beds allows beachgoers to relax on the beach with a range of food and beverage options brought to you seaside, as well as various events including midweek happy hour, late arvo oysters, and a New Year’s Eve Hawaiian party.