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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Last year, Malthouse Theatre opened its 2015 season with Blak Cabaret, an irreverent flip on Australia's colonial past written by Nakkiah Lui and starring a bevvy of talented Indigenous musicians, dancers and comedians. This time around, Lui (who is best known as the writer behind ABC's hilarious Black Comedy) is back, this time to close Malthouse's 2016 season. Blaque Showgirls is the story of Ginny, a white-skinned 'blaque girl' who dreams of becoming the best Aboriginal dancer in Brisvegas. With the help of the Asian hostess of Kum Den, Ginny realises that cashing in on cultural tourism could be her way to reach her dream. Expect twists on dance-film clichés, music, dance, and plenty of laughs.
30 days of Food Porn with Deliveroo
How many of Melbourne's most food porn-worthy dishes have you tried? Food delivery service Deliveroo has teamed up with Food Porn to launch 30 Days of Food Porn, a project that presents a feast for the eyes daily by highlighting a menu item a day from the best restaurants Australia-wide. Every day, the dish of the day will be featured in a series of videos on Deliveroo and Food Porn. The best part is, for thirty days only foodies will be able to order the food porn they see on 30 Days of Food Porn and have it delivered direct to your doorstep exclusively by Deliveroo for a limited time. Melbourne's Stokers Fine Pancakes was the first eatery off the rank on 30 Days of Food Porn, followed by Middle Eastern restaurant Rumi, Little Cupcakes, and Miss Chu. Celebrity chefs have also joined the Food Porn train, with Guy Grossi presenting pezzos from his casual diner Ombra Salumi Bar on Day 7 and 400 Gradi's Johnny Di Francesco presenting his legendary chocolate calzone with strawberry sauce on Day 8. Plenty more Melbourne restaurants will have their dishes unveiled over the 30 Days of Food Porn, so keep an eye out for: Horn Please, Pickett's Deli and Rotisserie, Schmucks Bagels, Tokyo Tina, Hanoi Hannah. To find out more visit the Deliveroo Facebook page.
William Hill Cox Plate Carnival
Kicking off day one of the two-day carnival is the William Hill Manikato Stakes – Australia’s richest race under lights. Witness the return of the 2015 winner, Chautauqua, as he attempts to defend his title. Enjoy the other seven races as live music from the Antipodean Rock Collective (ARC) carries you through the night. Return to the Valley for day two – the William Hill Cox Plate Day. The ten-race program has eight stakes races and is highlighted by the 96th annual William Hill Cox Plate (also known as the ‘The Race Where Legends Are Made’). Watch Winx and Hartnell as they go head-to-head in the William Hill Cox Plate and experience the excitement as the winner for 2016 is crowned. If a party atmosphere is more your go, a ticket to the Pure Pleasure Enclosure is your best bet, which provides access to the biggest marquee music festival of the racing season, with music from international DJ Hot Dub Time Machine and Australia’s DJ duo, Mashd N Kutcher. Visit the food trucks or wide array of on course food outlets, all while listening to performances by Daryl Braithwaite, Michaela Baranov and more. General admission tickets can be purchased here for $20 (Friday) and $55 (Saturday).
The Cut Steakhouse
What does $100,000 worth of beef look like? Well, if you stroll down Alfred Place, you can find out pretty quickly. Fresh on the Melbourne scene The Cut, a New York-style steakhouse, is a meat-lovers daydream. It has one of the city's largest dry-aging rooms, with glass walls, on street level so you can have a gander at the prime cuts mellowing and tenderising over time, any time. Some of The Cut's cuts are global exclusives, like the Seven Creeks full-blood wagyu MB+9 scotch fillet. Others, sourced from esteemed Australian farms like Cape Grim in Tasmania and northern New South Wales' Ranger's Valley, have been aged between 80 and 200 days. The oldest steak in the house – a wagyu from Seven Creeks – has been aged 600 days, giving it a buttery flavour and marshmallowy texture unlike anything else you've tried before. The Cut is even sourcing limited release 'vintage beef', which is known for its very strong flavour. This style of meat is popular in Northern Europe, but it's rare to come across it Down Under. With an increasing public interest in farm to table, it’s a good chance to get more familiar with your food. The lamb and seafood choices are equally plentiful, including highly sought-after Hidden Cove oysters from Tasmania. Arrive early for a pre-dinner drink at The Library, a cocktail bar adjacent to The Cut which boasts an impressive global wine list of over 300 varieties and 80 top whiskies. The Library's whisky collection has been carefully curated to offer whi