Well it's that time of the year again. When the sun starts to shine, when hayfever out comes to play and when it's socially acceptable to quote that line from The Devil Wears Prada.
Winter hiberation is over and it's time to * gasp * venture outside. We hear you – the light of day has barely touched your skin the past three months – so where to begin? Here's what's happening in the hood.
1. Free Retro Gaming Festival
QV Melbourne | 31 August – 23 September
QV Melbourne has transformed into a real-life, gaming paradise. They've decked their precinct with all the old-school arcade games you could dream of. Your pals Mario, Pong, Space Invader and Donkey Kong will all be there to join the party.
Face off in quick heats of Super Smash Bros, compete in the VR scavenger hunt and try to snag some sweet prizes (there's up to $10,000 worth of goodies to be won).
Every Friday night from 4-7pm, celebrate with vodka-based syringe shots (yes, really) and go wild in their Nintendo-themed candy bar. Groove to retro tunes and enjoy their live art installation – what a way to get the weekend going.
Where To Eat – 8Bit
Swanston St | Collins St | Footscray
This match made in heaven is a no brainer. Possibly the coolest kid on the block, 8bit is a ’90s kid’s nostalgic dream. Blue and yellow Nintendo graphics deck out the walls and there’s even an arcade machine inside. Patties are made from your choice of beef, fried chicken, mushroom or chickpea. Classic sides, shakes and hotdogs are not to be missed. 👾
Pay with Liven at 8Bit and earn 20% of what you spend in Liven Cash – your digital dining currency.
2. Friends Trivia Night + Bottomless Dranks
Supersmall Club | Select dates between 13 September – 27 October
Like Janice would nasally say, "OH. MY. GOD."
Round up your gang and bring your best Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Ross and Joey impressions. It's time to put your pointless Friends knowledge to the test. If you've watched (or rewatched) all 10 seasons, all 236 episodes and have an uncontrollable urge to clap four times during the theme song, this is the trivia night for you.
PLUS, the cost of your ticket covers bottomless cocktails or beer! Top up your glass with frosés, margaritas, fruit tingles, cosmos, daiquiris or Furphys. How you doin'?
Where To Eat – Tequila Mexican
Looking for somewhere for pres or kick ons? Tequila Mexican have alllll the alcohol options you and your mates could want. This trendy spot is sure to fill your stomachs – there are heaps of sharing dishes and all are authentically Mexican. From salads and dips to tacos and burritos, they're here to satisfy every appetite. Even Monica would approve.
Liven allows you to earn 25% of your bill at Tequila Mexican as Liven Cash! Yep, you get to eat and earn.
3. Pack Your Own Picnic
Basically anywhere with grass... but we recommend Edinburgh Gardens
Nothing screams spring more than a sunny arvo spent lazying around in a park with a packed picnic. Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy is one of Melbourne's favourite and most popular parks. It's complete with a skate park, basketball court, tennis court, ping pong tables and is next door to a bowls club. There's even a dedicated Instagram page for doggos who visit.
Bring a footy, bring a book and don't forget to bring the picnic rug!
Where To Eat – Madame Saigon
Rice paper rolls and bahn mi are PERFECT picnic food. They're easy to eat, light, snacky and super yummy. That's why we recommend Madame Saigon's Vietnamese for your next picnic. PS try their taco sliders with either grilled chicken, crackling pork, grilled pork or tofu.
At Madame Saigon, if you use the Liven app, you'll get 15% of your spend in the form of Liven Cash!
4. Spring Design Market
Federation Square | 16 September
Melbourne's creative scene just keeps on getting better and better. For one day only at Fed Square, the Melbourne Collective is running a free design market showcasing many of Melbourne's talented makers.
Offerings include fashion, art, ceramics, accessories, homewares, body products, health products and prosecco on tap. Support your local creatives and pick up some goodies this Sunday.
Photo credit: Hello Miss May @ Markit+BakeSale
Where To Eat – Lord of the Fries
Corner Elizabeth & Flinders St
Right across the road (because you don't wanna do any more walking than you have to), is Lord of the Fries – Australia's favourite veggo fast food chain. Here you can pick from their burgers, hotdogs, sides and their ulmighty fries. Plus, with their new (vegan) breakfast range – it'll make the early market morning all the more worth it.
Don't forget to use Liven when paying at Lord of the Fries! 'Cos you'll earn 20% of what you bought as Liven Cash – ready to spend at any of our other partners.
5. Year 10 Formal
Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall | 27 September
It's time to travel back in time – leave your time machine at home, we ain't using that. Melbourne Fringe is hosting a free formal (in your face expensive uni balls) for you to relive a night of daggy hits and awkward dancing.
Sketch comedy queens Double Denim will be hosting the night so expect skits, songs and a whole lotta fun. Bring your regretful fashion choices, heavy eyeshadow and ill-fitting suits.
Where To Eat – Errol's
You'll be needing your fuel before you hit the d-floor so head to Errol's for dinner. If you're after hearty, comfort food with Italian and Lebanese influences, they've got your back. Pasta, pizza and a whole range of mains are sure to please your appetite.
You'll score 25% of your total bill as Liven Cash – how gooood!