Not everyone is good at receiving gifts, so why not do something a little different and instead or even better combine useful stuff along with the gift of an experience. Experience gifting is a great option nowadays and it is by and large the memories associated with an experience that make it so special. That is one of the reason we give you the options to sing happy birthday or other creative ideas like playing their favorite songs when we are there while you use the express delivery (when requested and when possible).
There are many ways of granting a friend or loved one’s birthday wishes through experiences and memories they will cherish for a lifetime! From outdoor cinemas to escape rooms or from craft courses to nature navigation, there are lots of ideas that can either be pre-planned or booked at the last minute!
So go ahead and explore the different ways of organising the best birthday in Melbourne. Feel free to list any of your other favourites in the comments below!! We love new ideas!
For the Movie Buff
With no offense to the various popular streaming platforms nowadays, you can't deny that watching a movie on a big screen is an experience that can’t compare! And what's even better when the movie is aired in a theatre with a unique ambiance? From indoor to open-air, Melbourne has the best cinema experiences for any movie buffs!
For those who are keen on a nostalgic cinema experience, the Coburg Drive-In has that old-timey movie feeling attached to it. For an indoor vibe, the Astor Theatre in St Kilda, with its classic, single-screen, and Art Deco settings, the two-for-one sessions suit lots of eclectic tastes. Duke the Astor Cat may even plod down your aisle looking for the best seat in the house, otherwise you will find him curled up on the old sofa upstairs. Another cinema with beautiful interiors is the Lido in Hawthorn. Their movie tastes include current blockbusters, foreign language and smaller independent films.
For the open-air cinemas during summer, there is Moonlight Cinemas in the stunning surrounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens and Cameo Outdoor Cinema in the middle of the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, where even your dogs are welcome!
For the Foodie
Treat your birthday buddy with an amazing meal that’s bound to please the most demanding of tastebuds, as well as a dining experience that minimises your carbon footprint!
Apart from eateries that serve vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, native leaves in the dishes, free-range meats and wines, organic fair-trade coffee and herbal tea, or locally sourced produce, there are also those that fix a menu that is not only good for you but also good for the earth.
Check this list of Melbourne’s Most Sustainable Restaurants and choose the most innovative and wasteless cuisine! For instance, there are restaurants that turn waste into compost with a rooftop worm garden; those that implement strategies like the BottleCycler glass crusher (which means crushed glass can be recycled into new containers); those that have banned polystyrene and plastic straws; and restaurants that operate on solar power by installing solar panels on their roof!
On the other hand, if your birthday bozo is curious and loves to experiment with food that is unusual to them, culinary travel journalist Sofia Levin might have the answer! Founder of Seasoned Traveller, she has developed a culinary travel website that encourages people to eat curiously whilst celebrating differences through food. Levin knows how to get you out of your comfort zone!
If you are perhaps thinking of hosting a birthday party - surprise party or themed, the Bouzy Rouge has the best rooms and spaces that can accommodate your specific needs and tastes! The elaborate and ostentatious interior decorating of Bouzy Rouge will make you feel as though you have travelled back in time, with velvet chairs, eclectic wall hangings and majestic staff. With an extensive bar menu and a delectable food menu, you may never want to leave.
For the Adventurous One
Make his or her birthday an exciting affair with ideas such as escape rooms or obstacle courses that will give them a rush!
Some awesome escape rooms in Melbourne include Escape Hunt, where the birthday person can get stuck for free. Woodbury Escape Rooms – these guys can help organise a surprise party, play a ‘happy birthday’ song, hide the birthday presents in the room, or incorporate other creative ideas of your own. Rush Escape Game provides gift vouchers and children under 16 (with adult supervision) are welcome! On the other hand, if you looking to organise a large party, perhaps for a colleague, The Mystery Rooms’ Fitzroy space is perfect for larger teams.
Another adventurous option to get your adrenaline pumping is an obstacle course. Plan in advance with Obstacle Races Australia’s calendar which focuses purely on Australian obstacle racing and mud runs. Watch out for the Grapest Run in May which makes you run across amazing wineries (yesss drink and run!) Or get a ton of foam on you in the Foam Fest if he or she is a December born! Additionally, if you are looking to make your toddlers, juniors, kids, or young teenager’s birthday exciting, check out this year’s calendar for kids. They are sure to love the foam as well!!
Similarly, if your child wants to celebrate his or her birthday among the ropes and balance logs, organise a party at Australian Ninja Warrior HQ, where they can have fun and experience plenty of laughs while learning! The parties here include access to the kids’ obstacle courses, a complimentary professional trainer to show the ropes, and a padded mat area for the children to show off their skills!
For the Nature Lover
Melbourne can also take the nature lover in your life to places where they can celebrate their birthday surrounded by greenery and tranquillity! A 90-minute drive from Melbourne, the town of Warburton is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located amongst the forested hills of the Yarra Ranges, there’s plenty to see and do, including getting lost in the Californian Redwood Forest, taking a dip in the clear waters of the upper Yarra River, exploring the rainforests of Mt. Donna Buang, and setting out on hikes and trail rides. For accommodation, there are plenty of places to stay, including Forget Me Not Cottages. Located in Warburton among the scenic gardens by the mountainous Yarra Ranges National Park, 8 km from the Blue Lotus Water Garden and 17 km from hiking at Mount Donna Buang, this cosy and relaxing place is a great getaway to celebrate your partner’s special day! It can also make for a romantic Valentine's gift idea too!
If your nature-loving person is your grandparent or parent, take them on a nostalgic trip on the Puffing Billy train that winds its way through the magnificent, lush Dandenong Ranges, located only one hour east of Melbourne. While they relive their childhood memories, the kids can enjoy the almost fairytale-like world! A perfect way to bring the old and new generations together!!
Adventurous, sporty, and nature-loving at the same time? Then make your way up with your birthday buddy towards the Sugarloaf Peak! Sans rope, this is some serious rock climbing that is challenging and fun at the same time! With a tight squeeze through the Wells Cave and a stunning view along the razorback of the Cathedral Ranges, there are lots of memories to be accomplished in this experience!!
For Outdoor Adventures
What experience gift can you get for a sports fanatic in the sports capital of the world? A ticket to an event at the ‘G’ or surfing at Lorne on the Great Ocean Road Victoria, there are many options for anyone obsessed with kick, throw, hit, or ride!
If not a sporting event, you could make the day special by organising a 25-minute scenic helicopter flight with an expert pilot and get another perspective on Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay, or you can take them on a full-day sports and beer tour of Melbourne with lunch. Get an insider’s view of Melbourne’s most iconic sporting venues, feel the rush during a lap around the Formula 1 circuit, and end the day with a refreshing taste of beer at Stomping Ground Craft Brewery! If you are looking for more, check out the list here! Hot air balloons, cruises, bike tours, the options are endless!!
If your friend or partner is into water sports take them out to Lorne on the Great Ocean Road. Known as ‘where the bush meets the beach,’ this place offers more than a surf but is also a breath-taking place for any water baby! Catch the best waves at Lorne point, perfect for beginners or intermediate, Cathedral Rock for the experts, or the Main Beach where the tide is rather kind to those who want to take their first step in paddling out!
For an Artisanal and Holistic Experience
A budding florist, home chef, painter, beer critic, or someone passionate about wellness and fitness, several courses are blooming right here in Melbourne! You never know by the end of it they may share their creations as a thank you or a surprise on your birthday!
Have a friend or mother who can’t stop talking about the assortment of flowers and wants to learn more about creating the perfect bunch? Delanie at Dope Florals can show you how. Super sustainable with her arrangements, having flowers that are Aussie-grown, and using plastic-free, natural and recycled material, learn how to create the best earth-friendly bouquet!
For those who want to improve their culinary skills and don the chef’s hat at home, Otao Kitchen’s cooking classes might be it! From Mexican to Indigenous Australian, these classes teach how to make fresh, healthy meals of various chosen cuisines. You should definitely invite yourself over for dinner when they practice their newfound skills.
For all the beer lovers or an aspiring beer critic, Burnley Brewing is the place to be! Recognized for offering a wide selection of beers along with organizing parties, the best part of this brewpub is that you can try six drinks for under $20 before ordering your favourite ones!
An aspiring beer critic is one thing and an aspiring artist another! For someone who wants to improve their painting skills, book a studio session with Bayside Bottle and Brush. All you need to do is bring your own drinks and snacks and have fun at this relaxing paint and sip class! Voila! A master is born!
For the health and wellness afficionados, get a holistic approach to the skin from Fresh Face Bar – Melbourne's first express facial bar and LED light lounge. These skincare specialists make you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. Trophy Wife is another beauty salon you could send your friend or loved one to, especially if she is into funky nail art! After you’ve gotten your nails done, pop into Luna Skin and Brow Bar, which operates in the same building. It is a chilled-out beauty space to get relaxing facials and brows done.
Alternatively, if your birthday girl or guy is a bit fancier who likes to spend a lot of time at the spa, or doesn’t have the time to, this is your chance to pamper them and make them feel rejuvenated from the stressful life they’re leading! Japanese Country Spa & Wellness Retreat Shizuka Ryokan - a traditional Japanese inn located in country Victoria, offers a tranquil authentic Japanese experience. A Geisha Facial or a Shiatsu Massage maybe?
If you can’t get your girl or guy to take time off to get to Daylesford for Shizuka Riyokan, you can certainly get them to BodyActive Therapies on Bridge Road Richmond for their Natural Therapy Services, including acupuncture and naturopathy!!
Therapy and beauty services aside, do you have a friend or loved one who has a retro flair and loves to express themselves theatrically? Well, the luscious Maison Burlesque is the right place to get them enrolled!! From burlesque for beginners to open level boylesque classes, there is something for anyone who is vintage-inspired and interested in saucy performance art that also helps them keep fit!
On the other side, if your friend or loved one is less dramatic and is constantly saying: “I want killer abs and core strength!” make their dreams come true through a class at Studio Pilates, where the experience is ultimate to the core!