Kids World at the Australian Open Festival

The Australian Open just officially grew to be the largest Tennis Festival in the world with the addition of the Australian Open Festival along Birrarung Marr – including Kids World!

When: 9am – 7 pm daily from 18-31 January 2016

Where:  Located on the upper level of Birrarung Marr (if you’re familiar where Circus Oz is usually set up over winter – it’s that same spot)

Cost:  FREE

If you are up for some tennis inspired fun this summer be sure to head down to Birrarung Marr to check out the Australian Open Festival – it’s FREE to enter (and participate) and there are loads of fun activities along with some of Melbourne’s finest food and drink on offer.  At the top of the hill is Kids World – a space dedicated to kids and families!

If you’re onsite before 11.30am you might be lucky enough to get a Lavazza Latte sample (think shot sized coffee!) – if you’re after a full-size coffee the cafe is set up and there are also delicious pastries on offer.  Also located in Kids World is a Woolworths stand – where you can get all sorts of delicious, fresh and healthy meals and snacks.  We loved the kids lunch boxes, but the frozen yoghurts topped with fresh fruit as well as the BBQ all looked and smelt amazing.

In the centre of the space is plenty of seating and market umbrellas to offer some shade – with the activities located all around Kids World.  The area is fenced off with only one major entry/exit point.  And located just outside are some portable toilets.

The kids had loads of fun with the water play (think squirters, water balloons and the giant slip and slide), the inflatable world (a series of shaded inflated obstacle courses), having a go at being a ball-kid, having a hit of tennis on the mini courts with a coach, colouring the KIA and watching a bunch of kids get slimed – everyone was invited to try out the slime-lab but it was messy and we didn’t want to spend the rest of the day green and a bit crusty (also you need to wear footwear inside the slime-lab).

We arrived just before 10am and I had to drag the kids just before 1pm – so I call that a success.  I can imagine if my kids had friends with them we could have spent the better part of a day there!

Top tips:

  • If it’s a hot day arrive early in the day – shady spots fill up!
  • There is sunscreen available at the information booth (next to the Hot Shots area)
  • Catch the train to Flinder Street and walk along Birrarung Marr – the nearest car park is Federation Square
  • Pack spare clothes if you want to be slimed – the slime doesn’t stain but it’s kind of sticky and doesn’t wash off immediately with a squirt of the hose
  • It’s not essential but if your kids like to get soaked (and it’s not a blistering hot day) you might want to bring bathers and a towel
  • If you want to have a hit of tennis bring sneakers – and if you want to be slimed you need shoes on