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
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Little Emperors at Malthouse
For the inaugural Asia TOPA festival, Malthouse Theatre paired award-winning Australian playwright Lachlan Philpott and maverick Beijing-based director Wang Chong to create a new work. The result explores the fraught legacy of China’s 40-year One Child Policy, through the prism of one family. The term ‘Little Emperors’ relates to a behavioural syndrome affecting the generations of only-children born in the lead up to 2016 (when the One Child Policy was officially abolished). Envisioned as a radical experiment to curb population growth, the policy unwittingly gave rise to a new breed of ultra-indulged children, who in turn will shape the future of a superpower. Philpott’s play pivots between Melbourne and Beijing, and between English language and Mandarin, to tell the story of a sister, her illegal brother, and the emotional and cultural fall-out of the environments in which they were raised. Wang Chong, founder of the world-renowned Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental, brings both his bold vision and personal experiences, as a someone born in the One Child Policy era, to bear on this rich and revelatory tale. Little Emperors runs from Feb 9-26 at Malthouse Theatre.
WTC Wharf Outdoor Cinema
To celebrate February's long, balmy summer nights WTC Wharf is hosting its very own al fresco cinema every Friday and Saturday night until mid-March. To enjoy a movie under the stars, all you have to do is book dinner at one of the WTC Wharf's restaurants and dine in from $25 per person, then you will receive free entry to that night's movie screening. Relax back on deckchairs or bean bags and watch blockbusters and classics under the stars. You can try a Chinese banquet from Man Mo, Lebanese cuisine at Byblos, Japanese fare from Kobe Jones or get a bistro feed from The Wharf Bar. Cinema highlights include The Danish Girl, The Secret Life of Pets and Les Misérables.
Savour Wayside Inn's rotisserie dish for lunch and dinner
South Melbourne pub Wayside Inn is the place to be if you're after a classic pub meal for lunch or dinner. On Monday to Saturday from noon to 9pm, the Wayside Inn kitchen is offering slow-cooked, rotisserie dishes complete with all the trimmings. For just $25, you can enjoy the day's rotisserie dish with a glass of wine in the bar area, or for $38 if you're dining in the restaurant. Dishes change seasonally, but they will no doubt be cooked to juicy perfection in the rotisserie oven. 446 City Rd, South Melbourne 3205. 03 9810 0083. Mon-Sat noon-9pm.
Cities of Architecture
The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art presents this new series of talks exploring the architectural, urban and cultural history of some of the world’s most inspiring destinations, from the skyscrapers of Shanghai to historic Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona. The series kicks off with a free launch at MPavilion, followed by monthly editions exploring some of the world's most fascinating destinations and the built environments that make them so remarkable. Whether you're travelling to any of these destinations or just want to learn more about some of the globe's most inspiring cities, this series will offer insights from leaders in the architectural fields. You'll also get to enjoy a special cocktail created for each city the talk in inspired by, from the Melbourne Gin Company and Starward Whisky. For the full list of events in this series, click on the 'Dates and Times' tab.