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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Winning Tastes asks: What do you like to eat and drink?
Winning Tastes celebrates the best of the best in food and drink from Australia and beyond. Highlighting award-winning contenders from the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria's awards programs, Winning Tastes is a great way to find out about the best food and drink products around, as judged by events including the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards, Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards, Australian International Beer Awards, Australian International Coffee Awards and Australian Distilled Spirits Awards. To make the Winning Tastes experience better for users, Winning Tastes is asking readers to fill out a simple survey on consumer food and drink interests and habits. Survey participants will be well rewarded, by going in the draw to win twelve bottles of wines awarded with the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards tick of approval. The survey runs now until Friday October 28.
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.
Jack Daniel’s serves Australians an American Tradition
As the weather heats up, Jack Daniel’s is coming to the rescue of your house party, barbecue or end of the work-week kickback, with their new American Serve. It gives you a stronger Jack taste while still only being two standard drinks, served up in a neat little 250ml can. Leave the glass bottles, cups and two-litre soft drinks at home and sling a four-pack of Jack Daniel’s American Serve cans and some ice into your esky for a little American flavour that will go with you, anywhere. The reason they’ve gone with a 10% ABV for the cans comes down to taste. If you’ve spent any time propping up a dive bar in America you’ll know they favour less mixer in their standard serves, and the American Serve is designed to bring that ratio across the Pacific. And as Australians say goodbye to long, sweet drinks and hello to shorter serves, the 250ml size fits right in – more of the good part, less sugar. If you like to mix it up a little, you’re in luck. The American Serve comes in three flavours: there’s cola for traditionalists, lemonade for a refreshing citrus taste, and a dry ginger ale for a sharper option. American Serve is available in all good bottle shops. RRP of $25.99 for a four-pack.
Taste of Melbourne
Taste of Melbourne heats up again at Albert Park's Pelican Lawn in November, when Melbourne's hottest restaurants will be temporarily popping up alongside masterclasses from top chefs, pop-up bars, cooking demonstrations, and market stalls from artisans providores. This year's four-day festival includes some new names, so we've made things easier for you with our top five picks on what to see, eat, and drink at Taste of Melbourne this year. 1. Say hello to Pickett's Deli and Rotisserie and Hotel Jesus There are a few exciting Taste debuts this year, none more so than Pickett's Deli and Rotisserie and Hotel Jesus, which both opened in September. Pickett’s Deli, Scott Pickett’s new deli and eatery, opened at Queen Victoria Market recently to serve market-goers their morning breakfast and take-home meals. Northcote's Estelle Bistro will also be making its first Taste debut. Meanwhile, Hotel Jesus comes from the team behind Mamasita to serve up casual Mexican fare and mezcal tastings. 2. Revisit old favourites Taste of Melbourne repeat offenders MoVida, Cumulus Inc and Supernormal are returning to bring foodies delicious Spanish tapas and contemporary takes on Asian food respectively. Our tip: make room for both MoVida’s fish tacos and Andrew McConnell's famous lobster rolls and twice-cooked duck bao from Supernormal. 3. Check out one of Victoria's best regional restaurants We get it, we can’t all drive to the Grampians for a long lunch at Royal Mail Hotel, which is why we