Part of the appeal of this big, buzzing, wonderful city of ours comes from the constant parade of activities, restaurant openings, festivals and cultural fun it's got on offer. But with only 24 hours in a day, how are we supposed to cram it all in and keep the #fomo to a minimum?
No, the answer is not to stop sleeping. You can get out there and enjoy this fine city while still maintaining the routines of everyday life (like, y'know, sleeping eight hours a night and rocking up to work in the morning). Melbourne life can be pretty hectic, which is why we're here to help you harness the power of a coffee break — be it in the morning, at lunchtime of when you knock off work. Take the break you, as a hardworking human being, deserve.
UP YOUR COOKING GAME WITH MELBOURNE'S TOP CHEFS
Sure, you might be all over the latest restaurant openings and know the ins and outs of the hottest café dishes around town, but how about your own kitchen prowess? If those culinary skills don't scream Melbourne foodie half as much as your Instagram does, The Neff Market Kitchen is here to help. Held in the iconic South Melbourne Market, this ripper cooking school will whip your skills into shape, offering a broad program of classes, run by the chefs behind some of your favourite local eateries. Let Tony Twitchett of Taxi Kitchen turn you into a Thai food whiz, or learn how to create an Austrian feast under the guidance of Union Dining's Nicky Riemer.
EMBRACE SUMMER AT THE QUEEN VIC MARKET
Even the most scorching of temperatures aren't enough to stop us Melburnians from enjoying a good night market — proof of which you'll quickly discover with a Wednesday evening visit to the Queen Victoria Market. For four months of the year, this grand old dame hosts a buzzing, weekly Summer Night Market, where punters can get stuck into a global array of street food, browse locally-crafted goodies, and enjoy an assortment of colourful entertainment, all under the one roof. Plus, it all kicks off from 5pm so you can head there straight from the office.
Healthy Lifestyle Lounge
GET FIT FOR FREE AT FED SQUARE
Ditch that crowded gym in favour of the great outdoors, with an after-work sweat sesh at Fed Square. Here, you can soak up some truly Melbourne vibes while working on that bod with one of the precinct's free fitness classes. From 6pm every Tuesday head down to the picturesque Riverside Terrace, where instructors from Healthy Lifestyle Lounge will get those endorphins firing, with an invigorating circuit workout of body weight exercises, cardio training and core strength movements. It's just one cheap way to keep fit in Melbourne. Classes run for 45 minutes, so you'll still make it home for dinner.
CHAT ABOUT YOUR BOOK FEELINGS AT BOOK CLUB
If you're a bookworm in your spare time, you can hook up with some like-minded folk to dissect the works you've been reading. There's a plethora of book clubs around. If you're into classics, the Classics Book Club is held at the City Library on the third Thursday of every month, and will get you stuck into some of history's great page-turners — and then see you chatting them out with some new pals. The library also hosts a monthly Story Lounge where you can head along to hear texts read aloud. For a full list of clubs happening at libraries around town, head here. Or why not start your own?
LEARN SOMETHING NEW AT KNOWLEDGE MARKET
Shrug off any of that work-day stress, by tapping your creative energies and dabbling in a fun, new skill. Over in Docklands, you'll find the Knowledge Market, a new creative hub offering a smorgasbord of fun, eye-opening and sometimes unconventional workshops, with a focus on peer-to-peer learning. You might find yourself channelling that inner child with a Hoop Sparx hula hooping class, taught by a circus performer, or even turning your musical fantasies into reality, with a DJing workshop. Class times vary, but there are plenty of after-work gems on offer.