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Shakespeare Under the Stars
The Comedy of Errors
Royal Botanic Gardens
Moulin Rouge
The Musical
Regent Theatre
Free garden tour
Government House
Once a month
Parliament House
Open Day
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The White Hat Guide to

20 Things to do in Melbourne on a Thursday


Things to do

20 Things to do in Melbourne on a Thursday

  1. Go to a free lunchtime organ recital at St Michael's Church.
  2. Visit the Fire Services Museum at Eastern Hill.
  3. On summer evenings you might enjoy the St Kilda Open air Cinema.
  4. Enjoy leisurely Thursday night drinks at a watering hole of your choice. Friday night can be hectic and crowded so Thursday night is a bit more civilised.
  5. Visit the Werribee Park Mansion & Zoo. It is a short trip from Melbourne and well worth the journey.
  6. Wander through St Patrick's Cathedral and take advantage of the atmosphere for some quiet contemplation close to the city.
  7. Have a leisurely coffee at a sidewalk cafe and enjoy the passing parade.
  1. On the third Thursday of the month (except January) enjoy a free tour of the wonderful Government House gardens.
  2. Hire a bike and investigate Melbourne's bike paths.
  3. Have a picnic at Studley Park and maybe hire a rowboat at the same time.
  4. Wander through Melbourne's Chinatown and stop for a snack or a meal.
  5. On the last Thursday of the month you may be able to trek up a dark alley and enjoy the screenings provided by the Melbourne Horror Film Society.
  6. Visit the community garden called Sprout and maybe pick up some fresh fruit, vegetables and chutneys.
  7. Of course there is always shopping in the CBD. Start at Bourke Street Mall and see how far you get before the credit card runs out. Thursday and Friday night are late night shopping in Melbourne CBD with many stores open until 7pm and later.
  8. Attend a lecture, seminar or workshop and come away knowing something you didn't know before. For instance, there is usually a free lecture at the Royal Society of Victoria on the second Thursday of the month. You will find some suggestions at The White Hat Guide to Lectures, Seminars & Workshops in Melbourne.
  9. Try tracking down some of White Hat's 7 Monuments of Melbourne.
  10. Spend some time in Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square. There are always exhibitions and screenings every day of the week.
  11. Visit Errol Street in North Melbourne. A country town within walking distance of the city.
  12. On a balmy evening try dinner in the European atmosphere of Hardware Lane in the city where you will probably have live jazz playing outdoors and a choice of cafes and restaurants.
  13. Head to Melbourne's northern suburbs and explore some of its early history at Westgarthtown. You will probably have the area to yourself.
  14. Search out a market. You can find a comprehensive list of Thursday markets at The White Hat Guide to Thursday Markets in Melbourne
  15. Watch the sun set over the Yarra. We would recommend a glass of wine at one of the cafes in Yarras Edge or on the western end of the ANZ Building. After sunset wander along the river where you may come across some laid-back bands at some of the restaurants or at the Mission for Seamen. If you prefer something more lively head for the restaurants and bars at WTC Wharf.
  16. If you have a baby or two, take them along to the Babes in Arms cinema sessions. At about $10 per adult and bubs under 3 free it is an opportunity to catch up on latest release films.
  17. Take a free tour of Federation Square. No need to book, just turn up at 11am at the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags in the Swanston Street Forecourt.

Choose a particular Thursday

Some forthcoming events on a Thursday in Melbourne

Free Government House garden tour

Government House garden

Garden lovers can enjoy a free tour of the Government House gardens. Tours start at 11am and are free but bookings are essential.

The gardens feature magnificent lawns, specimen trees surrounded by large beds of trees and shrubs, and the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden. The gardens also feature ceremonial trees planted by members of the Royal Family and previous Governors.

The tour goes for about one hour and you will need a general level of fitness. There are some steps, small hills and uneven surfaces.

While each tour caters for up to 30 people, there are no group bookings available.
Bookings close at 12 noon the day before the tour, or when the tour is full. Bookings can be made online through the official website

Wear casual clothes with sensible footwear. Bring photo ID (passport, drivers licence, student ID etc.,). Check in at the Government House Gatehouse 15 minutes before the tour starts.
Entry will involve passing through a security checkpoint and bag inspection.

You are encouraged to take public transport: Flinders Street Station is a 15 to 20-minute walk to Government House Take the St Kilda Rd/Coventry St tram - routes 3/3a, 5, 6,16, 64, 67 and 72 - and get off at the Grant Street - Police Memorial stop.

Parking is not available at the House. If you drive, there is metered parking on Linlithgow and Birdwood avenues.

Tours can be cancelled in extreme weather or for operational reasons.

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Parliament House Open Day

Apart from its regular free daily tours, Melbourne's Parliament House has an annual open day. On this day not only are the interior spaces of Parliament House open to the public, the grounds and gardens are also accessible. More details at Parliament House Open Day >>

Our rating - 4 Hats

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Moulin Rouge! The Musical

L'Amour sign on steps of Regent Theatre

Baz Luhrmann’s film comes to life on stage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. A theatrical celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and - above all - love.

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Shakespeare Under the Stars - The Comedy of Errors

Audience at Shakespeare Under the Stars

Shakespeare Under the Stars has become one of Melbourne's most loved annual events. Pack a picnic and enjoy the bard in the unmatched surroundings of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

This year's offering is The Comedy of Errors in a fast-paced and joyful production. Full details and bookings available on the Australian Shakespeare Company's website.

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The Wind in the Willows

This critically acclaimed outdoor theatre production with music, songs, and laughs has been a Melbourne institution for over 35 years. Young and old in the audience participate in the interactive theatre with Ratty, Mole, Badger, Otter, Portly,  and, of course, Mr Toad as they bring Kenneth Grahame’s immortal story of life on the riverbank to the wonderful surroungs of the  Royal Botanic Gardens.

Full details and bookings at the Australian Shakespeare Company's website.

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Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

Join the magical fairies as they go on a musical adventure. In an enchanting world of song and dance, Tinkerbell meets up with the fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The audience is invited to dress up and join in the fun. Come as a fairy, an elf, a Jedi, pirate or a superhero.

Full details and bookings at the Australian Shakespeare Company's website.

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Alice in Wonderland

The Australian Shakespeare Company presents Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in Glenn Elston’s highly acclaimed production of this familiar tale is lifted right from the pages. Complete with the White Rabbit, the Duchess, the Cheshire Cat, Humpty Dumptyand Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Then of course there's the Mad Hatter with the March Hare and Dormouse at Alice's tea party. Great fun for the whole family.

Full details and bookings at the Australian Shakespeare Company's website.

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Free Organ Recital
Get away from the city bustle and enjoy a free organ recital in historic St Michael's Church. ..
Free Tour of Federation Square
Free Tour of Federation Square. No need to book, just turn up on time at the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags in the Swanston Street Forecourt. ..
Free Salsa Classes
The Salsa Foundation offers free beginners salsa classes every week, Come for a drinks, meet new people, and learn to dance salsa. Dress comfortably and casual, call or SMS 0400 933 285 for venue details and to book your place. Numbers are limited! Bring a friend too - the more the merrier. (enter via the alleyway next to Hungry Jacks) ..
Melbourne Horror Film Society
The Melbourne Horror Film Society has a regular monthly screening. This is usually (but not always) on the last Thursday of the month and usually (but not always) at 1000 Pound Bend, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne. A mini membership (3 months) will cost you $20, a full membership (12 months) will set you back $70. Details of screenings at ..

Selected attractions open on certain Thursdays in Melbourne

Duldig Studio museum + sculpture garden

The Duldig StudioAn artists' house museum - the former home and artists' studio of sculptor Karl Duldig (1902-1986) and his wife - artist and inventor Slawa Duldig née Horowitz (c1902-1975). Both artists fled the Nazis and ended up making a significant contribution to Australian life. You can read more about their remarkable background and the studio at Duldig Studio >>

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Grainger Museum

Green tick

To the best of White Hat’s knowledge, this event or location is operating as usual despite COVID-19 precautions. However, due to rapidly changing conditions, always double check with the organiser or institution before making a special trip.

Grainger Museum

Built by arguably Australia's finest musician, Percy Grainger, to house his collection of music-related instruments, scores and other items associated with his life and career. more info > >

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Old Treasury Building

One of Australia's finest Victorian era buildings. It is open to teh public on Wednesdays and Sundays and features fine displays related to Melbourne history. More info >>
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Australian National Aviation Museum
A collection of aeroplanes and displays relating to Australia's aviation history. The museum is at Moorabbin Airport. more info > >
Bundoora Homestead
Bundoora Homestead is a wonderful Queen Anne style Federation mansion operating as a historic house, art gallery and licensed café. Free admission.More info >>
Free Tour of Melbourne Town Hall
A free tour of the historic Melbourne Town Hall. Numbers are limited so bookings are essential and required one day in advance. More information >>
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Hellenic Museum
Situated in the historic Former Royal Mint buildung, this small but important museum is Australia' foremost centre of Hellenic history, ciuture and the arts as well as documenting Greek migation and contributions to Australia. More information >>
Ian Potter Museum of Art

The Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University is a short tram ride from the city and a short walk from Lygon Street Carlton. Entry is free but from time to time there are special exhibitions in part of the gallery which may entail an entry charge. Exhibited works are chosen from teh art clocction of the Unversity of Melbourne - the largest university art collection in Australia. More info >>

Jewish Museum of Australia
Preserving and exhibiting Jewish heritage, arts, customs and religious ritual in all its diversity. It includes the significant contrbutions of Jewish people to Australian life. more info > >
Melbourne Fire Services Museum
Australia's largest collection of fire brigade memorabilia housed in a historic fire station. More info >>
National Gallery of Victoria - Australian Collection
National Gallery of Victoria - International Collection