Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about homemade heart cards and French pear-scented candles (although cute, right?).

There are some great (and non-daggy) things happening around the city this Sunday. Enjoy with a date, friends – or anyone you like, really.


There are a few great romantic classics screening around town, and even better, they can be enjoyed in the open air. Dirty Dancing will light up the screen at Shadow Electric at 8pm, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s is showing at Moonlight Cinema in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Rooftop Cinema is hosting a free event this Valentine’s Day. It will screen the critically acclaimed Tangerine (which was filmed entirely on iPhone 5). The party starts at 12pm, the film will roll at sundown.

ACMI is also worth checking out with a free screening of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. And for a very affordable $13–$17 you can watch City of Gold – a documentary about LA Times food critic, Jonathan Gold.

Dirty Dancing at Shadow Electric
1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford

Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Moonlight Cinemas
Central Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

Tangerine at Rooftop Cinema
Party from 12pm, film at 8.30pm.
252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 5394

Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf at ACMI

City of Gold at ACMI
Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne
(03) 8663 2200

Australia’s largest free music festival is happening this Sunday for those keen to share the love with many, many people. Headlining acts at St Kilda Festival include The Beards, Client Liason, The Grates and Hayden James. Music starts at 11.20am and goes right through until 10pm on St Kilda Beach. To celebrate the festival falling on Valentine’s Day this year, there’ll also be a public wedding ceremony on the main stage at 1.45pm.

Ella Thompson will headline this week’s free Summer Sundays session in the NGV garden. Sprawl on the grass to her dreamy synth-pop, getting up only to enjoy the bar and barbeque.

Piknic Electronik (a weekly electronic music festival originating in Montreal) will host its fifth event for the year at The Paddock, Federation Square. Tickets are between $20 and $30 and will get you up nice and close to the music acts: Phil K, Christian Vance and Cut Copy DJs.

On the north side, check out Love is in the Air at the Fairfield Summer Series. Kenyan singer and songwriter Louis Majiwa will play his funk-soul tunes in the open-air Fairfield Amphitheatre.
St Kilda Festival
11am–10pm. Free entry.
St Kilda Beach
(03) 9209 6490

Summer Sundays with Ella Thompson at NGV
1pm–6pm, headline act at 3pm. Free entry.
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
(03) 8620 2222
Piknic Electronik at The Paddock
Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne

Fairfield Summer Series at Fairfield Amphitheatre
5pm–7.30pm. Free.
Fairfield Park Drive

Maybe a Valentine’s Day heart-shaped card just needs to be edible to be acceptable. At Café Bu on Saturday and Sunday, cookie company Sweet Mickie will set up a pop-up shop between 10am and 12pm selling its heart-shaped cookies with cheeky messages stamped on them.

Continuing the sweet theme, the Yarra Valley Ice-Cream Festival is running all weekend. It’s only a little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne.

Or perhaps you’re more ravenous than that. Sunday is the final evening of the Lunar Night Markets in Docklands, so this is your chance to hit up the Black Star Pastry stall.

If you’d like something a bit more set, Entrecote is offering a five-course French feast for $99 at both its restaurants. At the South Yarra outpost you can enjoy the balcony views over the Tan.

Over in St Kilda, Luxembourg Bar & Bistro has four courses (finishing with a baked-to-order chocolate tart) at $90 per person.

On Flinders Lane, indulge in a five-course special at Om Nom. Have champagne on arrival, followed by oysters, kingfish ceviche, pork-cheek ravioli and more at $150 per person.

Sweet Mickie Pop-Up Shop at Café Bu
585 Canning Street, Carlton North

Yarra Valley Ice-Cream Festival
35 Old Healesville Road, Yarra Glen
(03) 9730 2777

Lunar Night Markets
4pm–9pm (Sunday hours). Free entry.
The Harbour Esplanade

131–133 Domain Road, South Yarra
(03) 9804 5468

Luxembourg Bar & Bistro
2/157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
(03) 9525 4488

Om Nom
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 8080 8888

You don’t need a date for this one – just a buddy. Trophy Wife Nails has set up a pop-up shop for free matching manicures at Highpoint for you and a date or a friend.

It’s always nice to drive out of town and spend a relaxing day on the beach, but seeing as it’s a special day this Sunday, why not pick a nice beach that also sounds good (please take note of rips and tidal patterns before your visit). Our picks are: Fairy Cove, Discovery Bay, Paradise Beach, Kitty Miller Bay and how charming does Pea Soup Beach sound?

If bikes are your thing, have a good laugh on a tandem bike with your date or a mate. Tandem bikes are available for hire at St Kilda Cycles at $70 for the day, and you can ride around the esplanade and cycle through St Kilda Festival.

The Sustainable Living Festival offers environmentally conscious classes and events scattered all over Melbourne. On Sunday there’s a Dandenong Ranges Eco Day Trip; a Simple Cider Making or Grow Your Own class; and the Great Barrier Beer Bar is open, where you can drink Australia’s first social-enterprise beer, The Good Beer Co at Birrarung Marr. 

Trophy Wife Pop-Up at Highpoint
12pm–3pm. Free
Level 1, 120–200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong

Tandem Bike Hire at St Kilda Cycles
150 Barkly Street, St Kilda
(03) 9534 3074

Sustainable Living Festival