Melbourne is a big city with a lot of public amenities and parks for anyone to use. There are a number of picturesque parks and gardens that are open to the public where friends can gather over a barbeque and a couple of cold ones. There are venues that you can rent, but for the purposes of this article we will only look at publicly accessible spaces that are virtually free to use.
If you want a chilled out spot where you can invite friends for some al fresco dining and maybe a minute or two of frolicking on the grass with Melbourne's city skyline as your backdrop then Alexandra avenue is the place for you. Just off the banks of the Yarra River is the city's prime spot for hosting an outdoor get together. There are multiple barbecue spots with seating for use.
Princess park is to Melbourne what Central Park is to New York. This iconic park is an urban paradise stretching two kilometers between Carlton and Brunswick. It literally sits in the middle of the city. It gets really busy over the weekend with joggers, Frisbee throwers and social cricketers using the available space for their own leisure. If you want to capture the vibrancy of the inner city, just get a spot on one of the public barbecues just south of Visy Park.
Want a beach setting for your outdoor get-together? Then Catani is the ideal place for you to have an outdoor party with great music and good food and the scent of the sea wafting in the air. Catani gardens is a six-hectare space just above St Kilda Beach. You have direct access to the beach if you and guests feel the need to dip your feet in the sea. There are palm trees that look wonderful in pictures. There's even an Edwardian-style Rotunda that makes a great photo backdrop.
You can take your party a little out of the hustle and bustle of the city by going to Bundoora Park, located just 15 minutes north of Melbourne. This 180 hectare park has wide open spaces and breathtaking vistas when the weather permits. There are other things in the park that you can do besides barbecuing. You could take a walk to the heritage village or the wildlife reserve. Incidentally, this could be a great place for children's parties because there's a little kiddies playground and a rustic kiddie park to keep the little ones busy. Lots of photo opportunities. Bundoora Park is definitely a place you want something to remind you of your time spent there like a great picture.
Studley Park Boathouse is a firm favourite for locals and tourists alike. You can order lunch and then hire a canoe to lazily explore the Yarra River. There is a nice picnic area where you can have a small outdoor party away from the crowds. There are so many scenic views it's a photographer's dream. Plan your next party somewhere open with verdant landscapes and a river flowing by.