In a 1/2 hectare corner of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens is a fabulous space for children – be warned though there is running water, so pack spare clothes (or bathers) for your little ones if they can’t say no to an opportunity to splash about.
Where: near the main entrance to the Gardens in the Observatory Precinct, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra
When: 10am – Sunset: Wednesday to Sunday during school term, every day during Victorian State School holidays and public holidays
Closed: for eight weeks for rest and maintenance over winter, usually mid July to mid September
Little children love love love the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden – there are spaces to explore, paths to follow, forests to run through, natural objects (and a viewing platform) to climb, a stream and fountain to play in, a digging patch in the veggie garden and more.
There is open water in the gardens so it’s strongly advised you supervise children at all times while visiting.
It seems that rules surrounding picnicking have been relaxed in recent years – but it is still a dog, glass, alcohol and smoke free zone.
Be warned on a warm day the Children’s Garden is a very popular spot to visit! And only when the weather is forecasted for 25C or above are the fountains turned on, the streams, however, run every day from 10am – 4pm.
Outside the gate, and 30 seconds up the path, is the nearest public toilet – which is attached to the Observatory Cafe. The Observatory Cafe does have pretty decent food (but the coffee is inconsistent; usually average) and expect to pay more – however it’s the only decent café located within the gardens. If you’re looking for a good coffee and more choice then head to Domain Road, South Yarra (about 10 minute walk away), the strip of cafes and eateries here includes some Melbourne gems – think My Legendary Girlfriend and The Bot for starters.
For more information about what’s on at the Botanical Gardens click here.