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5 things to do on AFL Grand Final weekend that have nothing to do with football

Not into footy? There are still heaps of ways you can make the most of your long weekend.

Shannon Barker

This will be hard for a lot of Victorians to hear, but not everyone loves AFL. However one thing all Melbournians can agree on – regardless of which team they support, or if they even support one at all – is that a long weekend is always a good thing.

Even if you haven’t caught footy fever, there are heaps of ways you can make the most of your long weekend.

Head out of the city for a Spring break

Find yourself a hire car and escape the footy all together by heading off on a weekend camping trip. With Spring finally upon us it’s the perfect time to enjoy some warmer weather. Head to Lorne or Mornington and you’ll have the beach to yourself on Saturday afternoon, or drive into the Dandenongs for a mountain retreat.

Embark on some retail therapy and shop like a VIP

The premier day for shopping in Melbourne isn’t Boxing Day or during the end of financial year stocktake sales: it’s Grand Final day. From about 1.00pm onwards every shopping centre in the city will be deserted, leaving you free to shop 'til you drop. Get the VIP shopping experience with no crowds and sales assistants free to help you with whatever you need. You won’t even need to fight for a park at Chadstone.

Enjoy a long lunch at one of Melbourne’s most popular cafes

Love going for brunch but hate waiting for a table? Grand Final day is the perfect opportunity to hit up some of the city’s most popular (and busiest) cafes – no lines and no being rushed out the door as soon as you take the last bite of your smashed avo. Places like Grain Store in the CBD, Naughty Boy in Carlton North and Code Black in Brunswick would usually have lines out the door all weekend, but for one Saturday only you can be sure of a table at any cafe in Melbourne.

Switch the MCG for the Arts Precinct and take in some culture

While Richmond is overcome by footy fever, there’s plenty to see and do just across the Yarra. The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Fringe Festival are all staging performances at the Arts Centre on Grand Final weekend. It’s also a great day to beat the crowds at the National Gallery of Victoria and take in their latest exhibits.

Make inroads on your to-do list with a DIY blitz

With the weather fining up, you’ve got no excuse not to dust off your power tools that have been sitting on the shelf all winter. Get your yard in order ready for some Summer barbeques or finally complete all those projects that have been sitting half finished since last time we saw the sun.

Whatever your plans to avoid the footy, make sure you’ve got the wheels to make it happen. Need something with a boot big enough to handle your shopping haul? After a ute to help with your three-day DIY blitz? Or just feel like driving something a little more luxurious for your weekend away?

Choose from over 1,300 cars, vans and utes across Melbourne available for hire by the hour or day, and book the wheels you need for your footy-free weekend.

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