Australia is one of the most family friendly countries in the world and each state offers something special. Victoria is no exception, with loads of family attractions Melbourne and beyond.
A visit to the capital city is a must, as there is no shortage of things to do with kids in Melbourne! Where you are looking for animal encounters or educational experiences, outdoors fun or adventurous things to do in Melbourne.
Melbourne is a must visit in Australia, for families, solo travellers and couples, although our favourite trip is the family friendly kind!!
We’ve put together some of the best kids attractions Melbourne has to offer for your family city break adventure! Check them out below:
THE COOLEST THINGS TO DO IN MELBOURNE WITH KIDS
MELBOURNE ZOO | WILDLIFE
Experience a fun filled and educational day out at the Royal Melbourne zoological gardens. The zoo is located within the charming Royal park in Parkville, approximately 4 km north of the city center. Melbourne zoo is easily accessible via public transport and also has plenty of parking, plus it is open every day of the year!
Melbourne zoo provides a journey through a world of wildlife, with over 300 species to view and a diverse range of ecosystems to explore. Exhibits showcase the Australian bushland, Asian rainforest, wild sea and more. It is a great way to explore biodiversity for all ages.
The zoo offers a variety of educational programs for both children and adults through keeper talks, feeding demonstrations and close up encounters. Programs specifically aimed at children include:
- Keeper Kids – an indoor play space with games, dress ups and books.
- Growing Wild – an interactive exhibit with three zones (ground, trees and water) allowing children to explore like an animal.
- Tasmanian Devil tuesday – children will learn about the endangered tassie devil through stories and crafts
- Corroboree frog fridays learning about this endangered frog through games and stories.
Melbourne zoo offers a world class experience and is a leading conservation organisation. A visit to the world’s first certified carbon neutral zoo supports conservation and sustainability efforts and provides families with the knowledge to protect our planet for future generations as well as giving children a chance to view and learn about beautiful majestic animals from around the world.
Kelly from Wanderlust By Kelley
Located at Elliott Avenue, Parkville if travelling by car or take Tram route 58 West Coburg to Toorak. Open 9AM – 5PM daily. Entry cost for adults is $37. Children 3 and under are free.
SEA LIFE MELBOURNE AQUARIUM | MELBOURNE SIGHTSEEING
Get up close with marine animals and learn about the creatures under the sea at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. This is one of many places to visit in melbourne CBD with kids, perfect if you are staying in central Melbourne accommodation or want to explore the city centre for a day.
You will get to see penguins, fish, sharks and stingrays, plus loads more with 12 different ecosystem areas within the aquarium. Learn about the different sea creatures with educational talks and watch animal feedings are certain times each day.
Located on corner of Flinders Street and King Street, opposite the Crown Casino. Open daily from 10Am with last entry at 4:30PM. Opens earlier on weekends and school holidays. Entry is $42 for adults or $22.80 for children.
QUEEN VICTORIA MARKETS | WHERE TO EAT MELBOURNE
The Queen Victoria Markets is one of my favourite places to visit in Melbourne with or without kids, simply because it is always such a lively place to go.
The markets have some of the best street food style eats and you can get great bargains too if you are looking to go shopping in Melbourne Australia. And of course, fresh produce is always a great reason to visit the markets!
Kids will enjoy the chance to spend their pocket money on unique finds, or sweet treats. There is often entertainment at the Queen Victoria Markets too, adding to the fun, with live music, food festivals or pop up exhibits.
Check online for the latest news on What’s On at Queen Vic Markets.
Located in the centre of Peel, Franklin, Victoria & Elizabeth streets and just a short walk from the city centre, or take Tram route 58 West Coburg to Toorak. Parking is available. The market runs on different days of the week and are not open every day, so check here for times and special events. Free entry.
LUNA PARK | MELBOURNE THEME PARKS
If you are looking for a Melbourne amusement park close to the CBD, then Luna Park St Kilda is the place for you. Luna Park is one of the world’s oldest existing amusement parks with it being in operation for over 100 years.
Before entering the park, be sure to stop at the famous giant smiling face entry for the required family selfie. Entry costs $5, however if you purchase ride passes you don’t need to pay the entry fee.
The park has 20 different rides, with various rides aimed at different age groups. There are slow rides for the little munchkins, crazy rides for the adrenaline junkies, and all kinds of rides in between. As well as the rides, there are various carnival games and places to eat.
Whilst Luna Park is not massive like most theme parks, I actually loved how it is small and so it is easy to get from ride to ride in a short period of time. There were no real line ups either which meant we could go on multiple rides in a short time span.
Melissa from Thrifty Family Travels
Located at 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda. If travelling by Tram take route 16 and 96 St Kilda or get off at Balaclava train station. Open 11AM – 6PM on weekends and school holidays, with extended hours during summer and special events. Entry cost is $5 for ages 4 and up, and this can be taken off the cost of upgraded ride passes. Unlimited ride passes start from $17.50 for under 3, $39.95 for 4-12 and $49.95 for 12+.
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS | BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN MELBOURNE
The Royal Botanic Gardens are a great option for Melbourne attractions free of charge that are family friendly. Enjoy some outdoor time and open spaces with the kids, wander through the beautifully landscaped gardens.
There is a Botanic Gardens Melbourne information centre within the gardens where you can find out information about tours and special events. Ride the Explorer for a fun way to tour the gardens and rest your legs, or hire a deck chair and unwind under a shady tree.
Visit the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden (closed for 8 weeks each year following July school holidays) to discover plants and interactive opportunities for kids to get their hands dirty and learn more about gardening and growing seeds. The Children’s Garden is only open for school groups on Monday and Tuesday during school term.
There are several cafes located within the gardens so you can stop for lunch or a light snack on your way to your next things to do in Melbourne with kids.
Located at Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne. Open from 7:30AM until sunset all year. Entry is free. No ball sports, scooters or bikes are allowed in the gardens, to help preserve keep it preserved.
The Eureka Skydeck is the highest point in Melbourne and offers impressive views of the Melbourne CBD. The skydeck is 285 meters above ground and you get there by the fastest elevator trip in the Southern Hemisphere – a total of 38 seconds. The speed will impress the kids, along with the views!
It offers 360 degree views of Melbourne, with viewfinders all around the deck to get a closer look at your favourite Melbourne landmarks.
They also have The Edge – a glass cube that projects from the 88th floor of Eureka Tower, suspending visitors almost 300 metres high over Melbourne. Eeek! That one might only be for daredevil kids who aren’t afraid of heights! Same goes for you mum and dad… do you dare enter The Edge?
Located at Riverside Quay, Southbank. Open from 10AM until 10PM daily. Entry is $23 for adults and $15 for kids 4 and up. The Edge experience is $12 for adults and $8 for children over 4.
MCG | MELBOURNE SPORT STADIUM
A visit to Melbourne wouldn’t be the same without visiting the MCG, often referred to as the Holy Grail, the MCG is the Home of Australian Rules Football (AFL). MCG stands for the Melbourne Cricket Ground and while its a multi purpose ground it is used only for cricket during the summer and AFL during the winter.
The MCG easily holds 100,000 people, one of the biggest stadiums in the world. The MCG will see a full capacity crowd at least a few times each year including Boxing Day cricket test match, AFL semi finals leading up to the ‘one day in September’ depending which teams are playing, on Grand Final Day which is the last Saturday in September and on the ANZAC Day footy match each year.
‘The G’ as us locals call it, is located in Jolimont, a 15 min walk from Flinders St Station or a 10 min tram ride will drop you right at the door.
The other option is to get the train to Richmond Station and walk across the lawn. While ‘the G’ accommodates huge crowds, the various transport options enables the crowds to disperse quickly.
The MCG is also located in the Melbourne Sports Precinct which includes the MCG, Melbourne Park where the Australian Open is held each January, AAMI Stadium, home to Melbourne Storm Rugby team and the Glasshouse, home of the Melbourne Tigers Basketball team.
Sally from Our 3 Kids Vs The World
Located at Brunton Ave, Richmond. Check the MCG website for the best way to get there and for the schedule of events throughout the year.
OLD MELBOURNE GAOL | HISTORIC MELBOURNE
We visited the Old Melbourne Gaol before our kids came along and it was loads of fun. It is a great attraction if you’re looking for unique things to do in Melbourne, all while learning a piece of Melbourne’s history at the same time.
As you can see from the pic below, we had a bit of fun though… and fit right in! HA
Old Melbourne Gaol offers kid friendly tours with the added fun of code breaking, while you wander through exploring the inside of the jail. You will have fun discovering some of the infamous past residents and how things worked back in the days when still housing prisoners.
There are several different tour programs, including a few night time options that are fine if you are visiting with teenagers 16 and over instead.
Check the website for the latest tours and events, including the seasonal school holiday activities they have coming up.
Located at 377 Russell Street, Melbourne. Catch the train to Melbourne Central Station or the free City Circle Tram to stop 7. Open 9:30AM – 5PM daily. Entry is $28 for adults and $15 for children 5-15.
SCIENCEWORKS | MELBOURNE SCIENCE CENTRE
Learning can be fun and Scienceworks is the perfect way to bring fun into teaching your kids about science! We haven’t visited with our own kids yet, however we had a blast at Scienceworks with my niece and nephew on a visit to Melbourne.
Enjoy the interactive exhibits and hands on experiences with your kids.
They will also love learning about the human body and how it performs at the Sportsworks exhibit, included in your entry ticket. Race against Australian Olympic medalist Cathy Freeman or try your hand at being a soccer goalie, plus loads more active fun.
Scienceworks is also home to the Melbourne Planetarium in case you are looking for unique things to do in Melbourne during your visit, to appeal to your little space enthusiasts. This requires a separate ticket to Scienceworks, or you can attend the Planetarium without visiting the science centre.
Located at 2 Booker St, Spotswood. Open 10AM – 4:30PM daily. Entry is $15 for adults and FREE for children under 16. Tickets for Melbourne Planetarium shows are $8 for adults and children.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA | MELBOURNE MUSEUM
LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE | FAMILY FRIENDLY FUN
Who doesn’t love LEGO? Doesn’t matter if you are 5 or 55, Lego is loads of fun for the whole family. And when you’re in Melbourne, you have the chance to embrace your Lego Master Builder status at Legoland Discovery Centre.
There is fun for all ages, including a dedicated junior Duplo zone for the younger kids and rides the whole family can enjoy. Check out the video below for a quick look around:
Here are just a few of the fun things you can do at Legoland Discovery Centre Melbourne:
- Explore a mini replica of Melbourne made from Lego
- Join a Lego Master Model Builder workshop
- Watch a 4D Lego movie
- Take a Lego factory tour
- Get creative in the Lego play zone
- Play in the indoor playground
- Try to beat the earthquake tables and build the tallest Lego tower
- Enjoy the 2 Lego themed rides
- And loads more
Located at Level 2, Chadstone – The Fashion Capital, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone. Catch the free Chadstone shuttle bus from the CBD or get off the train at Caulfield. Open 9:30AM daily with last entry at 4PM daily, or 5PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Entry is $32.50 for adults and children.
COLLINGWOOD CHILDREN’S FARM | MELBOURNE FARM FUN
Collingwood Children’s Farm is a fun way to give kids a chance to experience life in the country, without having to go far from the city to do so. They will have the opportunity to learn about farm life, with different activities on each day of the week.
Each day there is a chance to hold guinea pigs and brush cows. There are craft activities on the weekends too and special scheduled events added during school holidays. The first Sunday of the month is a dedicated family day, so if you can make it then, you will have loads of extra fun during your visit, such as pony and tractor rides.
Collingwood Children’s Farm is located less than 5KM from the Melbourne CBD and accessible by public transport.
Located at 18 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford. Open 9.15AM to 4.45PM with last entry at 3.30PM. Entry is $12 for adults and $3 for children, or $25 for a family pass with up to 4 children.
MELBOURNE STAR | MELBOURNE CITY ATTRACTIONS
WERRIBEE OPEN RANGE ZOO | MELBOURNE WILDLIFE
Like the Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo is a must visit when in Melbourne for animal lovers. Werribee has an African theme to the zoo, so you and the kids can feel like you’ve stepped into an African safari, while only venturing 32kms outside of Melbourne.
Yes it is a little further from the city centre, however it is worth making the trip if you have the time. The drive will take you a little over half an hour from Melbourne CBD.
You get to experience a free safari bus tour when you visit Werribee Open Range Zoo amongst some of the world’s most iconic grasslands animals – bison, addax, rhino, zebra, giraffe and ostrich. There are loads of other animals you will get to see up close through uniquely designed enclosures and viewing points.
There is a children’s indoor play zone too, so they can take on the role of mini zoologists in this fun playground area. And if you are visiting with younger kids, they have toddler focused activities and tours every weekday or free entry for all kids up to 15 years on weekends and school holidays.
Located on K Rd, Werribee South. Open 9AM-5PM daily. Entry is $37 for adults and $19 for children 5-15 during weekdays. Children are free on weekends and school holidays.
ARTVO IMMERSIVE GALLERY | UNIQUE MELBOURNE CULTURE
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STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA | FUN WITH READING
The State Library of Victoria holds an impressive collection of print and digital media, open to the public. They have regular events and exhibits held in the library, to suit different ages, including children’s programs.
The library is currently undergoing major renovations on certain sections and as such, some of the regular events and family activities have been put on hold until later 2019. Once they recommence, The Courtyard offers regular child focused activities to encourage a passion for learning.
There is also regular school holiday activities for children as well. Or if you are a Melbourne local, encourage a love of reading through borrowing books with your children. They will love discovering something new each time they visit.
Located on the corner of Russell and La Trobe streets, Melbourne. Open 10AM to 9PM Monday to Thursday and 10AM to 6PM Friday to Sunday. Free entry.
STUDLEY PARK | OUTDOOR FUN
PAULINE GANDEL CHILDREN’S GALLERY | ARTY MELBOURNE
If visiting Melbourne with younger children, the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery is a must. This art gallery is focused on creative, open-ended play based learning for toddlers and young children. The gallery is especially suited to children under 5.
Located within the Melbourne Museum, the Children’s Gallery can dance around in the camouflage disco, discover special art objects, and try their hand at excavating fossils in the fun dinosaur dig area.
There is also a climbing net to help develop motor skills, suited to children 5 and under. It is also an Autism friendly museum.
Visit the website to find out about the latest events happening at the Children’s Gallery, or for Visiting Melbourne Museum.
Located within the Melbourne Museum at 11 Nicholson St, Carlton. Open 9AM to 5PM daily. Entry is free for children and $15 for adults, which includes entry into the Melbourne Museum and the Children’s Gallery.
STREET ART WALK | MELBOURNE CULTURE
IMAX MELBOURNE | WORLD’S LARGEST CINEMA SCREEN
Sure, a trip to the movies doesn’t sound that exciting, but what if it’s the largest cinema screen in the world? IMAX Melbourne is exactly that!
32 metres wide and 23 metres high, there’s no way you will miss a thing on a screen this big!
The Melbourne IMAX cinema screens the latest Hollywood blockbusters plus unique IMAX documentaries and 3D films as part of its viewing schedule. Find the latest session times here.
There is no cooler way to watch a movie in Melbourne and it’s a great way to chill out for a couple of hours between Melbourne sightseeing!
Located at Rathdowne Street, Carlton within the Melbourne Museum complex. Take the City Loop train or Tram routes 86 or 96. Open daily with session times running from around 10AM until 9:30pm daily. Ticket prices vary depending on type of session and ticket type – choose from standard or premium seating.
PHILLIP ISLAND | MELBOURNE DAY TRIP
While it may not be right in the city centre, if you have the chance to visit Phillip Island during your stay, it is well worth it. Located under an hour from the city centre, Phillip Island is known for incredible wildlife and scenery.
The Phillip Island penguins will delight all ages. There are several ways to see the penguins at Phillip Island, with the penguin parade viewing area for their sunset wander up the beach. There is also a viewing platform, underground viewing and VIP tours to give you different opportunities to see the penguins.
Take a Phillip Island day tour to see the penguins or make your own way there. The penguin parade is one of the best things to do in Melbourne at night.
Penguins aren’t the only wildlife on Phillip Island! There is a Koala Conservation Centre and the Maru Koala and Animal Park, where kids can hold a koala or feed kangaroos and wallabies. There is even a mini golf zone for more family fun.
WHERE TO STAY IN MELBOURNE
With so many things to do in Melbourne with family, you are going to need somewhere to stay! There are load of family friendly accommodation in Melbourne, either in the city centre or on the outskirts. Melbourne has a great public transport system connecting you quite easily, no matter where you are staying in the city.