Mark your diaries, Melbourne friends. From world-class LOLs and under-the-sea soirees to Aussie movie royalty and coveted blooms, autumn is an exceptional time to visit Melbourne. Here’s what’s on.

BEST MEDICINE

Need some LOLs in your life? The world’s top comedians will have you in stitches across our city this month. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival returns on March 27, and will bring the giggles until April 21. Comedians take to theatres, pubs, clubs and glittering gala stages to shine a spotlight on the silly, serious, heartbreaking and hilarious. Internationally acclaimed comedian Hannah Gadsby is a must-see, and we’re also eyeing off Chris Redd, Dave Hughes, Kitty Flanagan and Tommy Little.

UNDERWATER WONDER

Spend your Friday night diving to new depths at the aquarium. Sea Life Melbourne’s 18+ soirées give guests access to roam the whole aquarium, with underwater wandering options including the 2.2 million litre Oceanarium and the Penguin Playground. Lounge bars are set up across the space and curators host talks about some of the attraction’s most interesting residents. The next one is on March 29.

FLOWER POWER

Get ready to bloom. The smell of freshly cut grass and bursting blossoms will scent the city’s air when the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show returns from March 27-31. You’ll experience total sensory immersion as you’re treated to breathtaking floral installations, show gardens and the unique celebration of lifestyle and our great outdoors. While you’re there, try out your green thumb at a floral design workshop and stop for a chat with the industry’s top designers and experts. Check it out at the Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens.

CONCEPTUAL CROSSOVER

There’s still time to catch the groundbreaking exhibition Escher X nendo – Between Two Worlds. Beeline to the National Gallery of Victoria before April 7 to see the works of Dutch artist M. C. Escher presented in an environment designed by acclaimed Japanese design studio Nendo. Celebrated as a master of optical illusion, Escher created some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. And lucky you, because you’ll be privy to 160 of them at this enigmatic exhibition.

HOMEGROWN HIT

Relive the magic of one of Australia’s most adored movies – and movie icons – on a bigger stage. Muriel’s Wedding the Musical has kicked off at Her Majesty’s Theatre after a sold-out premiere season – and the critics are raving. Expect a big, brash and wonderfully cheeky offering with music by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall plus your favourite ABBA hits.