This year, Victoria's winter school holidays fall from June 30 to July 15. The weather may be chilly, but Melbourne is packed with super fun indoor activities to suit little ones of all ages.
When you're done, check out our round-up of the best playgrounds in Melbourne. Then, perhaps for the sake of your own sanity, round it out with a quick bevvie at one of Melbourne's family-friendly pubs.
The best winter school holiday events
Strap those skates on, an all-weather ice skating rink has opened in Eastland Town Square. This custom-built rink is back for its second year, and this time there's more of it to enjoy. Eastland has increased the rink's size to 250 metres, 20 per cent larger than the rink was in 2017. People of all skill levels are invited to glide around the larger rink while surrounded by snow-topped trees and twinkling lights. Plus, the rink is covered by a marquee so you can live out your winter wonderland fantasies during rain, hail or shine.
Take your kids to the Big Apple without leaving Melbourne. An interactive kids' exhibition is happening at NGV, coinciding with MoMA: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art. The installation provides several activity areas that will keep your children occupied as though they are at Coney Island. City Blocks allows children to use building blocks to create their own miniature version of the Empire State skyline. There is also an area called Let’s Go to New York City! which has an interactive quiz that provides digital souvenir rewards. It will be on display at the NGV until October 7.
Lego's first Legoland Discovery Centre in the southern hemisphere is in Melbourne. Occupying a massive space (2800 sqm) at Chadstone Shopping Centre, the brick-filled play centre will delight little and big Lego fans. The space is packed with more than 1 million Lego bricks and features attractions including Miniland Melbourne, where the city's best-known landmarks have been recreated out of thousands of Lego bricks. There are also play zones for the kids and Lego-themed rides called Kingdom Quest and Merlin's Apprentice. Test your skills at the Creative Workshops and see how you fare against fellow Lego fans, or visit the Lego store to get some bricks to take home.
Live Wire Park is essentially a huge adventure playground just outside of Lorne where you’ll climb, swing, leap, wobble and fly through towering eucalyptus forest. The park has four experiences: the Canopy Circuit, the Shockwave Zip Coaster, the Short Circuit and the Super Circuit. If you’re here for a challenge, book in for a two-hour stint on the Super Circuit, where you’ll be pushed to your limits physically and mentally. That’s not hyperbole – from wobbly wire bridges to vine-like rope crossings, some of the mid-air obstacles you’ll face on the circuit really will stump you.
It’s well over a century since Dorothy first strolled down the yellow brick road in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The story of the lost girl from Kansas and her unlikely companions has barely dulled in our collective imagination since then. At it's core, this show is a plainly wonderful fantasy-adventure, set in a magical world full of illusion and fascinating characters. See this glorious production when it hits the Melbourne stage this June and July.
On the first Sunday of every month, ACMI hosts a day of free family- and kid-friendly events and interactive activities for Family Sundays. Kids can create art-making robots or code their own video games in these hands-on activities, which use media, technology and the moving image. Kids of all ages are able to take part, and keep your eye out for themed days that explore everything from superheroes, television production to Lewis Carroll's Wonderland and some famous Pixar and Disney characters. This free event runs from 10am to 4pm.