Melbourne is a family-friendly city that has something for everyone – museums and galleries for adults and open spaces and playgrounds for children. It gives kids the opportunity to spend time with animals, interact with them, and to learn about the importance of the environment.
PLACES TO VISIT
You will certainly enjoy your trip to Melbourne, but there is one thing that will make it even better – many of the city attractions are free. Here are some of them.
The National Gallery of Victoria is a colossal bluestone construction with the largest stained-glass ceiling in the world. The light that comes through the glass scatters on the floor in a kaleidoscope of colors.
It would be difficult to find the equivalent to the beauty of the State Library of Victoria. Hardly is there a finer place in the world to read than The La Trobe Room or other reading rooms at the library. Over two million books and thousands of other publications are there at your disposal.
At the iconic Queen Victoria Market, you will find fresh food, snacks, souvenirs, and many other things. On Wednesdays between November and April, you can go to the Night Market and find delicious food on the stalls and music to accompany your late night shopping.
Screen World, located in the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, has interactive exhibitions that tell stories about moving images. You can also see the original costumes and objects from films and series.
The Royal Botanic Gardens are a tranquil retreat from the busy streets, spacious gardens with 10,000 native and exotic plants, and a long walking track.
If you want to do the shopping or dine, go to Melbourne's Southbank with some of the top restaurants and high-end shops or visit Crown Casino.
St Paul's Cathedral is in the central business district, St Patrick's Cathedral, St Mary Star of the Sea Church, and St Michael's Uniting Church are fine churches and exquisite places for regaining inner peace.
You should not miss Koorie Heritage Trust, the Aboriginal center, because you can learn there about Indigenous culture through the exhibitions.
The Shrine of Remembrance is certainly one of the places you should visit – a monument to the Victorians who served during World War I. It consists of many rooms with exhibitions, so you will need some time to explore it.
Just walking through Melbourne and looking at architectural masterpieces is a way to learn about the city. There are structures like Eureka Tower, Federation Square, and many other lesser-known ones that are architectural marvels.
MELBOURNE FOR FAMILIES
The Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is certainly a place that kids love. They will meet saltwater crocodiles, seahorses, sharks, Gentoo penguins of Antarctica, stingrays, and many others.
The Children's Garden is an interesting place to do different things. It is situated in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and you should certainly take your kids there. They will get dirty, but they will really enjoy it, and they will learn about the importance of the environment at the same time.
Luna Park is a must-visit for every child, so don't miss the one in Melbourne. The kids will enjoy it.
At the Wonderland Junior Docklands, there is more amusement. Kids can take different rides – the Circus Train ride, the Carousel, and others.
Not far from there is the Melbourne Star or Melbourne Observation Wheel.
Scienceworks is a museum with numerous interactive exhibits. Kids can watch experiments and demonstrations in science and applied technology such as a big Tesla Coil. They can also watch stars at Melbourne's Planetarium close to the museum.
The Children's Gallery at the Melbourne Museum is a gallery specially designed for kids under 5 where they can play and learn at the same time.
At Collingwood Children's Farm close to the city, children will have an opportunity to spend time with domestic animals and do different farm jobs like milking cows. Children love it!
At the Healesville, Sanctuary kids will spend time with koalas and kangaroos, emu, dingoes, and wallabies. They can even care for the animals in a mini wildlife hospital during a role-play. You have to drive an hour and a half to get there, but your kids will be grateful.
Visitors who like to see places off the beaten track should go to Hosier Lane, a narrow laneway famous for street art - murals and graffiti are everywhere.
Coop's Shot Tower is the central Shopping Centre in Melbourne. However, it is not just shopping that attracts visitors. It is also a historic 19th-century shot tower under the glass roof.
Australia And New Zealand Banking Group Limited are a fine Gothic-Revival building famous for its marvelous interior. It is one of Melbourne's hidden gems.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES IN MELBOURNE
There are many museums and art galleries in Melbourne that are worth visiting. Here are some of them: the Arvo, a 'trick art' gallery where artist painted directly onto the walls and floor, Bunjilaka, the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a meeting place for Koorie people, the Chinese Museum, the College of Surgeons' Museum, the Fire Services Museum of Victoria, the Grainger Museum, the Hellenic Museum, the Immigration Museum, and others.
In Melbourne, you can find family-friendly accommodation featuring family rooms and kid-friendly amenities like cribs, babysitting, and child care. There are children's books and games for their entertainment.
WHAT TO EAT
The food at Melbourne restaurants is a fusion of different national cuisines, so you will be able to order tortillas and seafood, traditional bacon and eggs or Burger, as well as Thai dishes and many other tasty ones.
Australia's national currency is Australian dollars (AUD).
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax of 10 percent.
You should have plenty of sunscreens to protect your skin from the extremely strong sun.
It is your choice whether to leave a tip. It is not added to your bill. It is common to leave a 10 percent tip to the waiters.
TIME TO VISIT
Pleasant temperatures between March and May and September and November will make your trip to Melbourne unforgettable. There are fewer tourists, and flight fares are lower.
Melbourne's Public Transport is inexpensive and efficient. It includes trains, streetcars, and buses, but streetcars are certainly the best way to see the city.
Melbourne is an especially family-friendly city. Coming there with your family will strengthen your ties in countless family activities. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy and spend quality time with your youngest ones. My daughter and I certainly had a great time exploring Melbourne and we will back for sure!
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