Stay cool this summer (even without a pool!)

IF you’re not a water baby, don’t fret during the summer heat. Melbourne offers plenty of summer activities that don’t involve swimming and Juliana Mare has the best picks of the lot.

Make your own icy-poles

Image from Kathy Mackey on flickr.

Photo: Kathy Mackey via flickr.

There’s nothing too exciting about a 12-pack of lemonade icy-poles so why not experiment a little and customise your own fruity icy-poles this summer? Whether you want to use fruit, soft drink, yoghurt or alcohol, there’s definitely a recipe available online and you can pick up the moulds from Ikea for $2.99.  Not only are icy poles dead easy recipes to follow, there are countless ways to customise the flavours you like, plus it’s something a bit different to just sipping on a cold drink. Have a look at Martha Stewarts Fruit Salad Ice Pops recipe or for something with a bit more kick, try a Watermelon-mint Tequila Popsicle.

Go to the drive-in

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Some summer days make you just want to stay inside where there’s air-conditioning blasting on full power. But once the sun sets and the temperature drops, it becomes the perfect weather for an outdoor movie. Lunar Drive-In, located in Dandenong, is Australia’s largest drive-in, which screens all the current flicks and will only cost you $28 for a car-load (up to 7 people). Be sure to bring an energy drink with you though, especially if you see a double feature because daylight savings pushes the start time back to around 9:30pm. This summer, you can catch Gangster Squad, Jack Reacher, Django Unchained and more.

Summer music festival

If you’ve got the stamina to withstand a crowded outdoor mosh pit in the summer heat, then your summer is sorted as Melbourne has a pretty massive line-up of music festivals to keep you busy until March. Rita Ora, Fun, The Prodigy and the master of Gangnam Style Psy are scheduled to play for Future Music Festival on March 10 so be ready to get your dance on. If it’s something a little more low-key you’re after, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is a unique music experience that features the best fresh music that hasn’t been overplayed on the radio. Whatever your music taste, Melbourne is bound to have a live act over summer that will be well worth your money.

Go for a bike ride

Photo by Plinkk on flickr.

Photo: Plinkk via flickr.

Melbourne isn’t all towering buildings and city streets. There are some scenic bike routes just out of the CBD like Albert Park or Beach Road which are open to cyclists, joggers and even the odd skater on roller-blades. Alternatively, if you want to stick to the city, there’s always the Melbourne Bike Share. All you need is your own helmet and a credit card and you can rent a bicycle to stroll through the streets at your own pace.

Catch an outdoor performance

If you love theatre and you love the outdoors, then the Royal Botanic Gardens has delivered the ultimate summer night with performances of Shakespeare’s famous Romeo & Juliet running until March 9. By 8pm, the weather will have cooled down enough to enjoy a picnic in one of the most beautiful gardens in Melbourne while watching one of literature’s most famous plays. Tickets are $35 and don’t forget to bring your own picnic rug and some cushions.

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