Cool places to buy kids' clothes
There's no excuse for dressing your kid like a dork, irrespective of budget
Chooks in Dinner Suits
Museum Victoria publishes a beautiful and clever kids' picture book about penguin conservation
Where to buy child-friendly soaps
These brightly coloured, lollie-scented soaps will win over even the most reluctant of bathers
The best playgrounds in Melbourne
Oh, adventure playground, you were awesome (ignoring skinned knees, a few broken bones and a chipped tooth). Thankfully, OHS standards have improved somewhat since we swapped Cherry Bar for the monkey bar, but it doesn't mean that it's still not great fun to get outdoors and revisit being five. Or you could, you know, take the kids. Once you're done, refuel at one of Melbourne's best kid-friendly cafés or family-friendly pubs.
Activities for kids in Melbourne
The best activities for kids in Melbourne
There's plenty to entertain pint-sized punters in Melbourne. Rain, hail or shine, our guide will keep your crew out of trouble for an 'arvo. And if everyone's super good, maybe you could treat them with a spin through one of Melbourne's cutest toy shops or fuel up post-play at one of Melbourne's kid-friendly cafés.
Cheap Melbourne activities for kids
You don't need to take out a mortgage to entertain the kids in Melbourne. There are plenty of free and inexpensive activities to delight young 'uns. While you're at it, check out our suggestions and get a few ideas tucked up your sleeve for rainy days as well as a handful for when the weather is glorious.
Cute and cuddly activities in Melbourne
Pushing a kid out of the way (gently) to cuddle a guinea pig or new lamb at the Collingwood Children's is one of life's great joys and the concept of sleeping out at the zoo is almost too exciting for words (replete with lions roaring all night). When you're done walking on the wildside, check out our round up of activities for big kids and the sporting bucket list to further indulge your inner kid.
Rainy day activities in Melbourne
You could sit around and complain that we don't have weather like Sydney – but that would be to deny all the fun that can be had indoors and undercover in Melbourne (plus all those comforting hot chocolates that you're totally entitled to drink). If you're determined to stay indoors, perhaps a good read from one of Melbourne's best bookshops is in order?
The best toy stores in Melbourne
You can get disposable, plastic action figures anywhere, but you can't deny that there's something just that little bit more special about a well-made toy that will last well beyond Christmas or the little tyke's birthday. Get the gifts at these specialty toy stores, then take the kids for a spin around Melbourne's best kid-friendly cafés. Strapped for cash? Check out our guide to cheap kids' activities in Melbourne.
Fun places for families in Melbourne
The best kid-friendly cafés in Melbourne
Having kids might mean that your sleep patterns change, but it doesn't mean that your tastebuds will
The best kid-friendly pubs in Melbourne
Melbourne is full of family-friendly watering holes; these are our favourites
The best playgrounds in Melbourne
We regressed an intern back to childhood to review Melbourne's best playgrounds
The best adventure parks and playgrounds in Victoria
For when you fancy getting out of town for the weekend with the kids in tow
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Where to spend the Melbourne Cup Carnival
The Melbourne Cup Carnival kicks off this spring, culminating with the Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday November 1. Whether you're going to the races or having a flutter at your local pub, some of Melbourne's best pubs are getting in the spirit with pre and post-race events, Happy Hour deals, and guaranteed good times.
The party vibes are already strong on an average weekend in Fitzroy, and Fitzroy Social is adding to that with its sprawling, high-ceilinged bar space. Open seven days a week, Fitzroy Social really takes off on Bloody Mary Sundays, when Bloody Marys fly off the bar counter for $12 all day, from 11am to closing time. Choose from four varieties, including the Classic Bloody Mary, the Bloody Maria with Olmeca Altos tequila, the Spicy Sailor with house made spiced rum and a cinnamon sugar waffle, and Bloody Hell with bacon-infused vodka. Lock in Happy Hour in your calendar every day from 5-7pm and 8-10pm, and make Fitzroy Social your local summer bar, they'll be pouring frozen Margaritas and Frosés for $10 a pop to quench your thirst. The bar food menu caters for whatever mood you're in. Get in on the brunch burger and Bloody Mary deal all day on Sundays, and top it up with pizzas and chicken wings to share. Set menus are available for those special weekend dinners, and check out the vegan and gluten-free menus for those with dietary requirements. Brought to you by the team behind Asian Beer Café, Father's Office, The Shaw Davey Slum and The Bank on Collins, Fitzroy Social takes up the space left behind by the Little Creatures Dining Hall. The colourful space is adorned with artwork by renowned local artist David Bromley, whose work grace the venue's custom upholstery, wallpaper, and the statement mural running the length of the dining room. The icing on the cake is Bromley
Every trip to Melbourne Zoo is different. Despite being Australia’s oldest zoo, this vibrant animal world is constantly evolving with new exhibits, events, and of course, creatures great and small. A trip to Melbourne Zoo done right takes a day. The largest exhibit is the majestic Wild Sea, where penguins and seals bask on land before slipping into clear waters and showcasing their elegant aquatic skills. Another highlight is the sprawling Orang-utan Sanctuary, where a family of beautiful, intelligent orang-utans swing from tree to tree, play with each other and feed high off the ground. Then there’s the Trail of the Elephants; an immersive Asian village and garden where five Asian elephants thrive. We could go on and on about the lions, lemurs, meerkats, butterflies and native animals that you’ll encounter, but we’ll let you discover it all for yourself. Throughout your Melbourne Zoo experience, you’ll learn about all the conservation work that happens behind the scenes; saving wildlife, conserving habitats and raising awareness of initiatives like Palm Oil labelling. For children and adults alike, a trip to Melbourne Zoo is a way to reconnect with our animal friends and gain a closer understanding of the delicate ecosystems of the world. If it’s been a while between visits, then there’s a world of adventure waiting for you. Children aged 0-15 get in for free on weekends and public holidays (Mon-Fri $16.30) and adult prices range from $24.90 (concession) to $32.50.
Melbourne's favourite local bookstores
Good bookshops offer expertly curated ranges and equally expert staff. Very few other shopkeepers can rival the knowledge and passion booksellers have for their treasures. Hand written endorsements, honest discussion and that blissful sense of tranquility all help make bookshops wonderful places to idle away an afternoon. But, of course, they can be great for last minute gifts, and other panic purchases, which is why it’s so helpful when they have no minimums on card payments. It’s a little thing, but it’s definitely a factor in making these seven booksellers so superlative.