Posted: 19 Jun 2014

5 ways to celebrate winter
solstice in Melbourne

Why hide away from Melbourne’s decidedly crisp winter when you can dig out your warmest clothes and celebrate the winter solstice in style.

It’s the longest night of the year on Saturday, June 21, but let’s not be all maudlin about it. Winter solstice also marks the start of longer days. How’s that for glass half full? So get out there this weekend and celebrate Melbourne’s fabulously chilly weather (and the slow slide into spring). Here are five of the best places to do it…

1. Collingwood Children’s Farm bonfire

Collingwood Children’s Farm, from 4.30pm on Saturday, June 21

This annual event attracts big crowds, so get your tickets before you go. The family-friendly festival of light starts with lantern parades and moves on to fire twirlers, drummers and a giant bonfire from 6.10pm to 8.30pm. Rug up and wear gumboots to keep your feet dry in the paddock.

2. Get your roast on

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Roast Collection, throughout Victoria in June

There’s nothing better than a delicious roast meal in the depths of winter, so make the most of The Roast Collection before it finishes at the end of June. Restaurants across Victoria are participating in the festival. Here are 5 of the best.

3. Light up winter at Federation Square

Federation Square, corner of Flinders and Swanston streets, Melbourne, 5-8pm on June 21

Enjoy the longest night of the year with art, music, dance and food, all illuminated in vivid light festival. The Solstice Celebration is the grand finale of month-long free arts and multicultural event bathing the city centre in a warm glow on chilly winter nights. It’s worth the trip into town, with plenty of delicious food options nearby for dinner.

4. Punt across the Royal Botanic Gardens

Ornamental Lake, Royal Botanic Gardens, cnr Alexandra Pde and Anderson St, South Yarra

Here’s a wonderful new perspective on Melbourne’s beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens – a half-hour guided tour around the the Ornamental Lake in Melbourne’s stunning Royal Botanic Gardens. Settle back in a wooden punt while your personal punter tells of history, environment, wildlife and plants ($25 for adults, $12 for children)..

5. Warm up with a whisky

Old Melbourne Gaol, 377 Russell St, Melbourne, from 6-9pm on Friday, June 20

It might be the night before winter solstice, but this is a great way to start your solstice weekend – tasting your way through a whisky pop-up at the spooky Melbourne Gaol. What a great way to visit one of the city’s spookiest buildings. Work your way through 12 small bars, each one representing a whisky, wine or beer brand. The $40 ticket includes entry, two drinks and some food.

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