A party in an underground car park, drinks matched to “big, dick-swinging abstract paintings”, and a stunning alpine campsite Parks Victoria has been keeping from us all this time. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser will be checking out this month.

On the 22nd, a massive new gallery-bar hybrid is launching. Matt Bax is the man behind Bar Americano and now-shut Der Raum, and when Grau Projekt opens he’ll be showing his own exhibition, Cockrocker (featuring “big, dick-swinging abstract paintings”), with drinks matched to the art. I can’t say I’ve ever had a dick-swinging Martini, but I’ll try anything once.

On the 6th, Melbourne Cup will be upon us. If you don’t have the stamina – or the headgear – to hit up the races, here’s where to go instead.

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Or, if you’d prefer to be a safer distance from all the gambling and strappy heels, head to the alpine ranges, where Parks Victoria is allowing glamping at Mount Buffalo for the first time. Everything you need for a super luxe, super remote getaway is there.

In an underground car park in Collingwood on the 2nd, classical music meets contemporary at Play On. Arrive tuxedo-clad or rocking Timberlands for the fifth in a series of inclusive, unexpected gigs that match electronic artists with classical musicians. Tickets are $30 on the door, and attendance is free for residents of the Collingwood Public Housing Estate.

A few blocks away, the Grace Darling hosts the second Peel Street Festival, a free day party with tunes from locals Coloured Stone and Totally Mild, and food, art and clothing stalls. Dogs are not only welcome, they’re encouraged, and you can kick on at Lazerpig Pizza Parlour until 1am.

Seems we’re now dedicating entire festivals to dogs on the reg. Dogapalooza is a very canine-friendly affair happening in Richmond, with live music, food trucks, and froths, fittingly, from Moon Dog Brewery. Dogs enter free, and proceeds from human ticket sales go to animal welfare charities.

Ever wonder who’ll write these articles when the robots take over? Futurist Michio Kaku might have some ideas. He’ll be speaking about all-things futurism when he heads to Melbourne on the 14th. Expect to walk out astronomically demystified and well-versed in interplanetary colonisation (this is probably not one to bring your dog to).

It being November is a shocking reminder that it’s almost December, a time when the intensity of the outside world can overwhelm. I recently had my first reiki session at this calming new women’s-only space in Seddon, and it was a really beautiful and grounding experience. I’ll be going back this month to continue sorting myself out. If you’re not into reiki, there’s yoga; pregnancy and postpartum support; and a talk on self-love and sexual empowerment on the 25th.

Speaking of the moderately athletically inclined, a ’70s roller disco is coming to town. Broadsheet Melbourne assistant editor Nick Buckley used his annual exclamation mark allowance writing this piece, so you know it’s going to be good.

Cheek is the CBD’s new three-storey restaurant (by the Dexter and Takeaway Pizza crew), serving up killer contemporary American barbeque with the friendliest service around. Try the buttery, chimichurri-rubbed charcoal edamame; the creamed corn with house-made XO sauce and crème fraiche; and the mapo tofu and pork-cheek empanadas. It’s all truly wonderful.

When I was a small human, we’d go to Melbourne Zoo and I’d go directly to the meerkats. Every time. Other animals be damned (with the occasional exception of otters). Now, as a childless adult, I’ve got a reason to head back because DJ crew Animals Dancing's Zoo Block Party series is happening over three November Saturdays. Expect house bangers, '80s obscurities and a heavy dose of tropical humidity. Finally, an excuse to creep on those little critters again.