Exploring Melbourne, Australia with your kids is an adventure filled with endless possibilities. From captivating attractions to engaging outdoor spaces, this vibrant city offers an array of family-friendly experiences that will leave lasting memories. Whether you're a local seeking new activities or a visitor planning your itinerary, join us as we dive into the top things to do with kids when visiting Melbourne. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery, excitement, and pure fun for the whole family.
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
Melbourne, the vibrant city in Australia, is a paradise for families seeking enriching experiences in museums and galleries. There are numerous attractions that cater specifically to kids, ensuring an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.
Start your exploration at the Melbourne Museum, where young minds can embark on an exciting journey of discovery. Interactive exhibits, including awe-inspiring dinosaur skeletons and cultural artifacts, captivate children and ignite their curiosity.
Scienceworks is another must-visit destination, combining education and entertainment in a thrilling way. This hands-on science museum offers kids the chance to engage in experiments, learn about space exploration, and witness captivating lightning shows. It's a fantastic opportunity for children to delve into the wonders of science.
Art enthusiasts will be delighted by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), one of Australia's largest and most renowned art museums. The NGV organizes engaging exhibitions and workshops specifically designed for children, encouraging their creativity and imagination. The dedicated Kids Space provides a platform for little ones to explore art through play and hands-on activities.
Immerse your family in the rich cultural heritage of Australia at the Immigration Museum. This captivating institution allows children to learn about the diverse backgrounds of migrants and their contributions to the country. Interactive displays and multimedia exhibits create an immersive experience that fosters understanding and empathy.
For film enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is a must-visit. Kids can dive into the world of cinema through interactive exhibits, virtual reality experiences, and inspiring workshops that encourage creativity and storytelling.
But the adventure doesn't end there! Melbourne has even more to offer for families seeking unique experiences. The Arvo, a 'trick art' gallery, showcases mind-bending optical illusions that will leave your family amazed and entertained.
Bunjilaka, the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, serves as a meeting place for Koorie people and offers deep insights into their traditions, art, and stories. It's a wonderful opportunity to foster cultural understanding and appreciation.
The Chinese Museum showcases the rich heritage and cultural diversity of the Chinese community in Melbourne, featuring a diverse collection of artifacts and contemporary art.
For those fascinated by medical history, the College of Surgeons' Museum takes visitors on a captivating journey through surgical advancements and the evolution of medical practices.
The Fire Services Museum of Victoria allows kids to explore the fascinating history of firefighting, discovering vintage fire engines, uniforms, and equipment while gaining an appreciation for the bravery of firefighters.
Music lovers will be enthralled by the Grainger Museum, dedicated to the renowned composer Percy Grainger. It provides an immersive experience into the world of classical music, showcasing his life, musical works, and the instruments he played.
The Hellenic Museum celebrates Greek culture and heritage, offering a diverse collection of art, artifacts, and historical objects that allow families to delve into the rich history and traditions of Greece.
Melbourne's museums and galleries truly cater to the curiosity and interests of every family. These cultural institutions offer immersive experiences, interactive exhibits, and valuable insights into art, history, science, and various cultures. Embark on a journey of discovery and ignite the imaginations of your children as you explore the diverse tapestry of Melbourne's museums and galleries
When it comes to finding the perfect accommodation in Melbourne city for families traveling with kids, you're in for a treat. This bustling metropolis offers a wide range of options that cater to the unique needs of families. From spacious apartments to family-friendly hotels, there's something to suit every taste and budget. Many accommodations provide amenities such as playrooms, swimming pools, and even special kids' menus, ensuring that little ones have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. With convenient locations near popular attractions and easy access to public transportation, you can navigate the city with ease and embark on exciting adventures right from your doorstep. So, sit back, relax, and let Melbourne's warm hospitality and family-oriented accommodations create the perfect base for your unforgettable family getaway.
During our stay, we opted for the comfort and convenience of an apartment, creating lasting memories for our little ones. So, let us unveil our top 5 picks for family-friendly accommodations in Melbourne, where comfort, excitement, and unforgettable moments await!
Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne: Located in the heart of Melbourne, Adina Apartment Hotel offers spacious and fully-equipped apartments perfect for families. With amenities like a swimming pool, gym, and a central location near attractions like Federation Square and the Royal Botanic Gardens, it's an ideal choice for a comfortable and convenient stay.
Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel: This family-friendly apartment hotel provides modern and stylish accommodations with options for larger families. With an on-site swimming pool, fitness center, and a great location close to popular sites like Bourke Street Mall and the Melbourne Aquarium, Oaks Melbourne on Market Hotel offers both comfort and convenience.
Citadines on Bourke Melbourne: Offering spacious serviced apartments, Citadines on Bourke Melbourne is an excellent choice for families. The apartments feature separate living areas, fully-equipped kitchens, and access to amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, and a kids' playroom. Its central location near Chinatown and the shopping precinct makes it a popular choice for families exploring Melbourne.
Mantra Southbank Melbourne: Situated in the vibrant Southbank precinct, Mantra Southbank Melbourne offers modern and comfortable apartment-style accommodations. Families will appreciate the spacious rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, and access to amenities like a swimming pool, gym, and a BBQ area. Its proximity to attractions like the Melbourne Arts Centre and the Crown Casino adds to its appeal.
Quest on William: Located in the city center, Quest on William provides self-contained apartments perfect for families. These spacious accommodations feature separate living areas, fully-equipped kitchens, and laundry facilities, ensuring a comfortable stay for families. With a central location near popular attractions like Queen Victoria Market and the State Library of Victoria, Quest on William offers convenience and accessibility for families exploring Melbourne.
Please note that availability and rates may vary, so it's always recommended to check with the individual accommodations and book in advance to secure the best options for your family's needs.
WHAT TO EAT
Melbourne is a culinary paradise that caters to every palate, including families seeking delicious and family-friendly dining options. During our exploration of this vibrant city, we discovered some hidden gems that left both parents and kids satisfied. Here are our top 5 picks for the best family-friendly restaurants in Melbourne. From mouthwatering pizzas to hearty burgers and delightful desserts, these eateries offer a delightful dining experience for the whole family.
The Pancake Parlour: Known for its delicious pancakes and family-friendly atmosphere, The Pancake Parlour is a must-visit for families. From classic buttermilk pancakes to creative toppings and fillings, there's something for everyone. The restaurant also offers a dedicated kids' menu and a range of savory options to satisfy all taste buds.
Mamasita: If your family loves Mexican cuisine, Mamasita is the place to be. This vibrant restaurant offers a lively atmosphere and a menu filled with mouthwatering tacos, quesadillas, and flavorful Mexican dishes. The family-friendly staff and kid-friendly options make it a great choice for a fun and delicious meal.
Gami Chicken & Beer: For a finger-licking good time, head to Gami Chicken & Beer. This Korean fried chicken joint serves up crispy, juicy chicken with a variety of flavors and heat levels. With a laid-back ambiance and a menu that caters to both adults and kids, it's an ideal spot for a casual family meal.
Gradi at Crown: Gradi is a renowned Italian restaurant that offers a family-friendly environment and authentic Italian cuisine. Their wood-fired pizzas are a hit with both kids and adults, and the extensive menu also features pasta, risotto, and delectable desserts. The welcoming atmosphere and high-quality ingredients make it a top choice for families.
Gelato Messina: Treat your family to some mouthwatering gelato at Gelato Messina. With a wide range of flavors, including dairy-free and vegan options, everyone can indulge in this sweet delight. The playful and colorful gelato creations are a hit with kids, and the friendly staff ensures a memorable experience for the whole family.
But we didn't stop there! For those health-conscious families looking for nutritious and wholesome meals, Melbourne also has a fantastic array of options. Whether you're craving fresh salads, nourishing bowls, or plant-based delights, these top 5 healthy restaurants in Melbourne have got you covered. With their dedication to using high-quality ingredients and innovative culinary techniques, these eateries provide a guilt-free dining experience that will leave you feeling energized and satisfied.
Serotonin Eatery: Serotonin Eatery is a plant-based cafe that promotes healthy eating and well-being. With an extensive menu of nutritious and delicious dishes, including colorful bowls, smoothies, and guilt-free treats, it's a fantastic choice for health-conscious families. The cozy atmosphere and positive vibes make it a delightful place to enjoy a wholesome meal.
Matcha Mylkbar: This unique eatery specializes in vegan and plant-based cuisine with a focus on incorporating matcha into their dishes. From vibrant salads to innovative matcha-infused creations, Matcha Mylkbar offers a wide range of healthy and Instagram-worthy options. The eco-friendly and health-conscious ethos of the restaurant adds to its appeal.
Transformer Fitzroy: Transformer Fitzroy is a vegetarian restaurant that showcases the beauty of plant-based cuisine. The menu features seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, offering a variety of flavorful and nourishing dishes. The restaurant's stylish and contemporary setting creates a sophisticated yet family-friendly atmosphere.
Patch Cafe: Patch Cafe is a cozy and welcoming cafe that caters to health-conscious diners. They offer a menu focused on wholefoods, with options like nutrient-packed bowls, vibrant salads, and wholesome brunch items. Families can enjoy fresh, flavorsome meals in a relaxed environment.
Combi: Combi is a trendy and health-focused cafe that serves up organic, plant-based dishes bursting with flavor. From nourishing smoothie bowls to superfood-packed salads and raw desserts, their menu is designed to nourish and energize. The stylish and Instagram-worthy decor adds to the overall experience.
These top 5 family-friendly and healthy restaurants in Melbourne City not only offer delicious and wholesome food but also provide welcoming environments for families to enjoy memorable meals together.
Here are 16 useful traveler tips to make your trip smooth and enjoyable:
Plan ahead: Research and create an itinerary that includes family-friendly attractions and activities suitable for kids of different ages.
Pack for changing weather: Melbourne's weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers and be prepared for both sunny and rainy days.
Take advantage of public transportation: Melbourne has an efficient tram and train network, making it convenient to explore the city with kids. Consider purchasing a myki card for easy access.
Visit the Melbourne Museum: This interactive museum offers engaging exhibits for children, including a dedicated children's gallery and a forest walk.
Explore the Melbourne Zoo: A must-visit for animal-loving families, the Melbourne Zoo houses a diverse range of wildlife and offers interactive experiences like close-up encounters and feeding sessions.
Enjoy the Royal Botanic Gardens: Take a stroll through these beautiful gardens and let the kids roam free. Don't miss the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden, a magical space for young adventurers.
Discover the Melbourne Aquarium: Dive into the underwater world at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, where kids can marvel at colorful marine life and even walk through a transparent tunnel surrounded by sharks.
Check out the Scienceworks Museum: This interactive science museum is perfect for curious young minds. Kids can participate in hands-on experiments and enjoy fascinating shows and demonstrations.
Have fun at Luna Park: Located in St Kilda, Luna Park offers thrilling rides and classic carnival games. It's a fantastic place to create unforgettable family memories.
Sample local treats at Queen Victoria Market: Visit this bustling market to taste delicious local produce, grab some snacks, and soak up the lively atmosphere.
Plan a day trip to the beach: Melbourne is surrounded by stunning beaches. St Kilda and Brighton Beach are popular choices for families, offering sandy shores and picturesque views.
Visit the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel: Take a ride on this giant Ferris wheel and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Kids will love spotting landmarks from above.
Take a family bike ride along the Yarra River: Rent bikes and explore the scenic paths along the Yarra River, stopping for a picnic or to admire the city skyline.
Keep an eye out for free events and festivals: Melbourne hosts a range of family-friendly events throughout the year, including outdoor concerts, art exhibitions, and cultural festivals.
In Australia, tipping is optional, so it's your choice whether to leave a tip. Leave a 10 percent tip for exceptional service if you wish. Prices in Australia already include a 10 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST), so no need to add it separately. Enjoy the relaxed dining culture without any pressure to tip.
Embrace the café culture: Melbourne is known for its vibrant café scene. Discover family-friendly cafes where you can enjoy a delicious brunch while the kids have a play area or activities to keep them entertained.
TIME TO VISIT
I highly recommend visiting the city during the beautiful autumn and spring seasons, which are from March to May and September to November. These times offer the perfect balance of pleasant weather and fewer crowds, creating an ideal environment for family adventures.
During autumn, we were mesmerized by the stunning colors as Melbourne's parks and gardens transformed into a vibrant tapestry of red, orange, and golden hues. It was a joy to take leisurely strolls, have picnics amidst nature's beauty, and enjoy the crisp, mild temperatures. The city truly comes alive with the magic of fall.
Springtime in Melbourne is equally enchanting, as the city bursts into a kaleidoscope of blossoming flowers. We marveled at the cherry blossoms and tulips, adding bursts of color to every corner. The botanical gardens became our haven, providing a peaceful escape while immersing ourselves in the wonders of nature.
What makes these seasons even more special are the numerous cultural events and festivals that take place. From comedy shows to food and wine celebrations, there is always something exciting happening in Melbourne. We immersed ourselves in the local arts, savored delectable cuisines, and embraced the lively atmosphere of the city's festivities.
While Melbourne's weather can be unpredictable, it only adds to the excitement of exploring this vibrant city. So, plan your trip during autumn or spring, and you'll create cherished memories with your family amidst the picturesque landscapes, engaging activities, and the warm, welcoming spirit of Melbourne.
When it comes to transportation in Melbourne city, families traveling with kids have several convenient options to explore the city. The first and most popular mode of transportation is the iconic tram network. Melbourne's trams cover extensive routes, making it easy to hop on and off at various attractions. Families can purchase a myki card, which can be used on trams, trains, and buses, providing a convenient and cost-effective way to travel. Another great option is the City Circle Tram, a free service that takes you around the city's major landmarks.
For those who prefer a more private mode of transport, taxis and rideshare services like Uber are readily available. They offer flexibility and convenience, especially when traveling with younger children or if you have specific destinations in mind. Additionally, Melbourne has a well-connected train network that can take you to suburban areas and popular attractions outside the city center.
If you're feeling adventurous, renting bikes or using shared bikes can be a fun way to explore Melbourne. The city is known for its bike-friendly paths and lanes, allowing families to pedal around at their own pace. Finally, Melbourne also offers excellent pedestrian infrastructure, with well-maintained footpaths and pedestrian-friendly streets, making it safe and enjoyable to explore the city on foot.
When planning your family's transportation in Melbourne, consider a combination of these options based on your itinerary and preferences. With a variety of transportation choices available, getting around Melbourne with kids can be hassle-free, allowing you to make the most of your family adventure in this vibrant city.
Melbourne, the epitome of a family-friendly city, offers endless opportunities for creating cherished memories with your loved ones. From thrilling adventures to cultural explorations, this vibrant city ensures that every moment spent together strengthens the bond within your family.
Immerse yourselves in the wonders of Melbourne as you embark on exciting family activities tailored to all ages. Delight in the laughter and joy that fill the air as you explore the captivating museums, indulge in delectable treats at family-friendly restaurants, and partake in exhilarating outdoor adventures.
Our own experience exploring Melbourne with my daughter left an indelible mark on our hearts. The city's welcoming atmosphere and diverse range of activities allowed us to connect on a deeper level, fostering unforgettable moments that we will cherish for a lifetime.
So, gather your family, pack your bags, and get ready for an outstanding adventure in Melbourne. Prepare to be captivated by its charm, enchanted by its cultural richness, and embraced by its warm hospitality. Melbourne awaits with open arms, ready to create memories that will forever resonate within your family's story.
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