Welcome to Melbourne! Melbourne is our home town and we love it. We reckon you will too – and to get you sorted here are some insider tips to get you on the ground and running in Melbourne with kids from the moment you arrive.
Melbourne is a wonderful city to visit with children – there are many world class experiences to be had and lots to see and do. We have tried to break up our favourite things to do into a few different logical lists (well we hope they are logical!). I know whenever I arrive in a new city (or am about to embark on a holiday somewhere) there is always an over load of information. What you will find here is our personal favourites that we would make sure our friends visiting Melbourne with kids from abroad or interstate would have on their to-see list.
Top five places to visit in Melbourne with kids
- The National Gallery of Victoria has two venues (both located in the CBD). The St Kilda Road gallery is dedicated to international art and the Federation Square space is for Australian art. Most major exhibitions contain kid specific information panels within the exhibitions, kids audio visual guides (hire for $5) and specific activities book published for the exhibition (usually about $15). You will also find that at any given time the NGV will have an exhibition that has been specifically developed for young gallery visitors – this is often as much a play space as an opportunity to explore creativity and the work of artists.
- Museum Victoria boasts three venues. Be sure to check out Melbourne Museum‘s First Peoples exhibition and explore the Museum at large (the outdoor Forest Gallery, the Children’s Gallery and the Melbourne Gallery are all worth visiting). Had enough walking? The IMAX is next door and usually has enjoyable 45 minute documentaries that suit audiences aged 4+. The Immigration Museum is located in Flinders Street and is the smallest museum – housing a collection of stories and histories about our populations post European settlement. Our favourite museum is Scienceworks – a museum dedicated to science but in a fun and interactive way. Not especially a “Melbourne” type experience, but one of the best interactive learning experiences I have come across in my travels around the world. Access to Scienceworks is a possible vis public transport – but I highly recommend saving this for when you have a hire car or catching a taxi (approximately $30 one way).
- Royal Botanic Gardens has two venues. RBG Melbourne is located in the CBD and is a perfect day out. Located next to the Shrine (worth visiting if you are interested in history about war and Australian troupes), the Yarra River and the suburb of South Yarra. The gardens are a beautiful space to explore – and if you have children aged 8 or under then you must visit the Children’s Garden. Just up the path from the Children’s Garden is Jardin Tan, if Vietnamese/French fusion isn’t to your taste then head to the South side of the gardens to Domain Road where there is a great collection of cafes – alternatively pack a picnic and enjoy it on one of the many lawns of RGB Melbourne. The second location is RGB Cranbourne and you will need a car to visit here – but if you are looking for inspirational Australian native planting then these gardens are not to be missed – plus plenty of great spaces for the kids.
- Get a birds eye view! Melbourne has two great look out points – The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and the Skydeck at Eureka Tower. These are both different experiences and you will need to decide which one will suit your family – or maybe you want to do both!
- Zoos Victoria includes Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. We are fans of all three, but you will need a car to visit Werribee or Healesville.
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