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Cheap Melbourne: Kids

If you've exhausted all your faithful options in the school holidays, try these ideas

Photograph: Graham Denholm

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

Cheap kids activities in Melbourne


Enrol at a toy library

For an annual subscription, the Moonee Valley Toy Library offers a choice of 1,000 toys (for ages 0-6) for three weeks. Subs cost $50 ($25 conc) for three toys, or $80 ($40 conc) for six toys, and free if your kid is under six months. Lots of other suburban toy libraries offer similar deals, so find your nearest one.

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Act like a kid in a candy store at Suga

Bring the kids along to the Royal Arcade to watch Suga’s resident lolliologist stir, pull, squeeze and twist rock candy to perfection – and if you’re there at the right time you’ll get a sample to try.

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Get drenched at the Seville Water Park

There’s a barbecue area and lots of water activities – including the Magic Buttons, which trigger one of 15 random water eruption sequences. Enter the rockery and amble through the echoed pipes or roll down Dinosaur Hill.

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Feed lambs, pet horses and milk cows

Bringing the country to the city, the Collingwood Children’s Farm gives urban kids a chance to give farming life a go. A farmer’s market (rated as one of the best in Australia) takes place every second Saturday of the month.

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Or sit them down with a hot chocolate