Melbourne Museum, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Royal Exhibition Building
Gut Feelings at Melbourne Museum explores the connection between our brains and our guts in a new exhibition aimed at an adult audience interested in the phenomenon of gut health. It uses interactive technology, multisensory art installations and object displays to take visitors on a visually stunning, personal journey into the world of microbiomes (a community of microbes) and ecosystems – other people’s, and their own. On until February 2.

Also at the Museum, Revolutions: Records and Rebels looks at youth culture in the late 1960s and was developed by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Key moments and movements explored in the show include Woodstock, Beatlemania, the Vietnam War, sexual liberation, environmentalism and the beginning of the technology revolution. A sound experience by audio company Sennheiser helps the exhibition to use film, music and objects to consider the seismic changes of the 1960s and the impact this period had on the way we live today, and how we think about tomorrow.

Melbourne Museum’s popular Nocturnal sessions also return on August 23 (coinciding with White Night) with live music, DJ sets and access to the museum after dark.

In the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre (in the Melbourne Museum), Miḏawarr, which means “harvest” in the Yolgηu matha language, is the season when rich plant life on Yolgηu country is ready to be collected and prepared. Meeting every miḏawarr for the past five years, Mulkuṉ Wirrpanda and John Wolseley have researched and documented the useful plants that have sustained communities in this unique part of the continent for centuries. This exhibition presents Wirrpanda and Wolseley’s complementary responses to plants and inspires viewers to think about the way we use, connect, value and understand our environment. On until July 14.

Across the courtyard from the museum in the heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building, The Finders Keepers Market – Australia’s leading (and longest-running) design market featuring the work of independent makers from all over the country – will open for business from July 12 to 14.

Where to eat, drink and shop when you visit: Day visitors who want to eat, drink and shop outside of the museum (which has two on-site cafes) can wander north-west towards Carlton. Our pick for daytime eats and a drink within walking distance is King & Godfree. For shopping you can’t go past the museum shop. But if you insist, we recommend La Parisienne Pâtés for snacks to take home, and Gertrude Street for everything from indie designers to cult perfumeries.

Escaping the cold by sitting in a toasty cinema is a no-brainer, really. This winter, you can catch Mystify: Michael Hutchence, and Spider-Man: Far From Home 3D (Marvel’s latest) and Toy Story 4. Check out the program here.

Where to eat, drink and shop when you visit: Imax is located next door to the Melbourne Museum, so the same recommendations for daytime eating, drinking and shopping apply. After dark, Lord Lygon and Agostino are good spots for a glass of wine, and Capitano, Añada and Marion will do the trick for dinner.

Immigration Museum
Located in Customs House – which has been witness to this state’s complex immigration history – the Immigration Museum now celebrates Melbourne’s rich cultural diversity. This winter Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks – effectively three mini-exhibitions in one – explores the stories bodies tell through tattooing. Documenting the Body: Curated by Stanislava Pinchuk presents local and contemporary perspectives on tattooing as it intersects with themes of immigration, journeys, the body, heritage and identity. Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World is a ground-breaking photographic exhibition by Kip Fulbeck and Takahiro Kitamura that explores the rich history of traditional Japanese tattoo culture and its influence on modern tattoo practice. Tatau: Marks of Polynesia showcases the work of traditional tatau (tattoo) masters alongside that of younger practitioners and artists who are adopting tatau’s motifs and styles for new media and art forms in Samoa. The Immigration Museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Where to eat, drink and shop when you visit: In the streets and laneways near the Immigration Museum you’ll find Altius Coffee Brewers (also on Flinders Street) for coffee, Kisumé for an upmarket Japanese lunch and Wonderbao on A’Beckett Street for cheap and delicious steamed buns all day long. For shopping, try Craft Victoria on Watson Place for beautiful local objects.

Scienceworks in Spotswood is worth a visit any day of the year. But special winter events worth making the effort for include teen music event SYNC, a live music event with tech activations, virtual reality, exhibitions and experiences (Saturday June 22 from 6pm to 9 pm). And Footsteps on the Moon, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (Saturday July 20 from 6pm to 9pm). During National Science Week (August 10 to 18) there is a great line-up of exhibitions, weekend workshops and lightning room shows. Highlights include Particle/Wave, an experience that has been described as “a love letter to gravitational waves”, Extreme Science with international exobiologist Dr Darlene Lim and Planetarium screenings and (weather permitting) telescope viewings. The Planeterium is also open Friday night for adults-only film sessions – think astronomical wonders under the fulldome screen. And on Saturday 3 and 10 August there will be two special late-night MIFF sessions. More information here.

Where to eat, drink and shop when you visit: Scienceworks has an on-site cafe, and there will be a bar for the Planeterium’s night-time events. For daytime cafes, try The Duchess of Spotswood and Candied Bakery. For a combined bar and restaurant open in the evening, Hudsons Road Wine and Beer has you covered.

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