Time Out Melbourne

Melbourne may have four seasons in one day, but let’s face it, they’re all likely to involve rain. Here’s how to keep yourself amused…

Stuff your face with fancy sugar

Tis the time for padding. Cacao has launched a chocolate lab in the CBD and they're selling a whole range of eclairs filled with chocolate, vanilla and pistachio creams and topped with images of tigers and Aubrey Hepburn. Southside? Get down to A La Folie patisserie in South Yarra where pastry chef Mercédé Coubard is doing her own custard-filled almond choux bombs and macarons.

Eat philanthropically

Go and grab yourself a sandwich and a coffee from the STREAT café in Melbourne Central, Mackillop Street or in Flemington, or head to Ways and Means in Lonsdale Street. The crew at all these cafés are at-risk youth who are being given training and support to help them build a better future. It's the excuse to eat cheese toasties you've been waiting for.

Indoor Markets

Avoid the droves at Chadstone or Emporium with a good ol’ crafty market. Craft Hatch Market in the CBD’s fine café-cum-gallery 1000 £ Bend is quarterly, with Etsy-style delights including a large range of handcrafted stationery and buttons. Hungry? Get your grocery shopping out of the way and grab dumplings and dim sum at the South Melbourne Market. Make sure you check out the new section for emerging fashion designers, SOME Space. Once you’re finished in the market you can duck around the corner to Chez Dre for a coffee and a cake.

Red Triangle Snooker Room

To spice up a dull day inside, sneak in a game of pool at Red Triangle. The cavernous venue is open until 2am every day. You can play pool, snooker or billiards on their full-sized tables and there’s also a selection of board games for those who are cue-challenged. Red Triangle is unlicensed, but it’s famous for its outrageously good milkshakes in flavours like Jam Donut or Snickers. From its no-nonsense website to its beat-up leather couches, this venue is about as authentically old-school as it gets.

Bookshop Cafés

The cosy Booktalk Café in Richmond is perfect for a toddle around their wide selection of new and second-hand books with a pit stop for a healthy meal. Alternatively, don your specs and head down to Mr. Tulk (attached to the State Library of Victoria), for some fantastic flatbread sandwiches that you can munch while you curl into a booth with your own book or one of the kooky volumes from the café. If you’re around Flinders Lane, seek refuge and a warm drink at the Journal Café, attached to City Library. This place is always busy so be prepared to wait or get friendly with a cute stranger and share a table.

Yoga and Dinner 

Attend Urban Yoga night at the CBD’s Hare Krishna centre on Monday or Thursday, and you can have a yoga class followed by dinner. The sessions are cheap as chips, the food is scrumptious and it’s a fantastic way to switch on your mind and body after the drudge of a rainy day.

Go past the first floor

Melbourne has some truly gorgeous buildings just waiting to be discovered and like the arcades, serve as a quick (and undercover) walkway. On a rainy day, scan the list of tenants or jump in a lift and go for a wander. Go beyond the first floor where you’ll find antique jewellers, local artists and vintage clothing boutiques. Go exploring in the Nicholas Building (21-47 Swanston St, Melbourne), Curtin House (252 Swanston St, Melbourne) or the Manchester Unity Building (220 Collins St, Melbourne).

Get all Blades of Glory and head to the rink

Who says you have to head somewhere warm when it’s raining – why not rug up and go ice skating instead? Icehouse is also a ‘safe’ place you can be as daggy as you like and revisit your adolescent almost every night of the week - albeit on skates - without judgment. Skate for cheap on "tight-ice" Tuesday or wear all white for glow in the dark night every Saturday.

More winter warmers...

Toasties   Hot chocolate   Pubs with fireplaces

Updated on 20 Jan 2016.

By Matilda Dixon-Smith and Vanessa Mulquiney   |  
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