Where to get Santa photos in Melbourne
The Christmas spirit is in the air and Melbourne is full to the brim with festive fun and exciting Christmas events, including opportunities to take photos with Santa himself. It's the perfect opportunity to update your family photo, so to help you out we've compiled a comprehensive list of places in Melbourne where the man of the hour will be ready for his close-up. From shopping centres and festivals to markets and a special Elf Academy, have a scroll and figure out how your Christmas photo will look this year. Need help with the rest of your Christmas checklist? Don't forget to pick up your tree and figure out where to have your Christmas Day lunch. Time Out's 100 Days of Summer calendar is here to help you plan your entire summer in Melbourne.
The 8 best places in Melbourne to buy kids' clothes
If you're a busy parent shopping for kids' clothing, it's easy to just turn to the major department stores and retail brands. But on occasions like photoshoots, weddings, parties and more, perhaps you want your child to dress in something a bit more special. To help you hunt down some one-of-a-kind duds, we've gone ahead and done the research for you and rounded up our city's best proprietors of quality kidswear. In these stores, you will find exclusive and designer pieces, as well as quirky and cheerful prints and designs. The clothing is sure to bring extra joy and brighten your little one's morning while getting dressed. Bonus: many of these shops also sell a great range of carefully curated quality toys so you can get some of that gift shopping done while you’re there. After some family-friendly fun? Here are the best playgrounds in Melbourne.
The best co-working spaces in Melbourne
In a post-pandemic world, one trend that continues to grow and evolve, and one that we can get around, is hybrid working. People are keen to minimise their time in a dreary office, opting to work from home – or from a co-working space – instead. As a result, the last few years have led to a rise in exciting, innovative and non-traditional spaces. What's the appeal of co-working? Well, according to Hub Australia's “Liberated Work” report, 55 per cent of workers said hybrid work has benefitted their work-life balance, while 38 per cent said they were more productive. And the research also shows that it's not just about having the flexibility to work from home; it's also about being in spaces that foster a culture of care, empathy and well-being. That's why many modern co-working spaces offer perks like wellness facilities, snacks, drinks and events. They're not only spaces to work from, but also networking and recreation opportunities. If that appeals to you, we've rounded up some of the best co-working spaces in Melbourne where you can book in and begin to collaborate, connect, craft ideas, eat, work and have fun. Keen to work while enjoying a tasty brekkie? These are the best cafés for freelancer workers in Melbourne.
The best places to see cherry blossoms near Melbourne
There's a lot to love about spring, like planning a spring getaway, enjoying spring festivals and events and visiting one of Melbourne's many beautiful gardens to see spring flowers –especially cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms are a celebrated part of Japanese culture, and the Japanese celebrate the spring blossoms, known as sakura, by picnicking beneath the blossoming trees. The blooms are so beloved that they've become Japan's national flower, and they're seen as a symbol of renewal and hope. Luckily for Melburnians, there are several places near our city where you can see blossoming cherry blossoms. We've rounded up our top picks below, so have a scroll and plan a trip to some of these spots – it'll be a perfect opportunity to capture some lovely photo memories, with the pretty blooms as the backdrop. When do cherry blossoms bloom in Melbourne? Cherry blossom season usually starts in the last week of September and runs until around the end of the first week of October. That means that there's only a two-week window for you to see these gorgeous blossoms; in this way, the flower embodies the ancient Buddhist wabi-sabi philosophy of appreciating beauty that is fleeting or impermanent. "The cherry tree loses its leaves over autumn and goes dormant over winter, and in spring it produces the blossoms that are then pollinated by bees," says Krys Barker of CherryHill Orchards. "From the pollination, the blossom petals drop off and leave the ‘baby’ cherry. The cherry then grow
Your ultimate guide to Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie, or “The Port” as locals fondly call it, boasts no less than 17 beaches, it’s a top spot for whale watching and has one of the world’s largest hedge mazes, as well as a vast range of wildlife experiences and other outdoor adventures within striking distance. Just a four-hour drive or one-hour flight from Sydney, it makes for an easy, low-fuss, relaxing escape to the sleepy charms of a quintessential coastal town and its lush hinterlands, all without leaving the state. The Port is jam packed with experiences, whether you like adventure, relaxation, nature, art, animal experiences or family fun. Hop in the car (or hire one) and you'll find attractions are within an easy hour of the town centre. There's also a surprisingly vibrant food scene across a broad spectrum of tastes from fine dining restaurants to casual fish and chip joints by the beach. While by no means exhaustive, this handy guide is a great place to start when planning your visit. Getting there Recent upgrades to the highway now make it an easy four-hour drive from Sydney’s northern suburbs. QantasLink and Virgin Australia fly daily between Sydney and Port Macquarie with a flight time of just one hour. There’s also the option to get there by rail, from Sydney via NSW Trainlink, arriving at Wauchope station, 20 minutes inland from Port Macquarie, with a coach connection to Port Macquarie. Get even more short getaway inspo with our pick of the best short holiday destination in NSW.
Cheap activities for kids and families in Melbourne
When going out with the kids, the costs can quickly add up to a very expensive day out — especially when you have more than one child. Thankfully, there are heaps of low-cost or free kids' activities to take advantage of across Melbourne, it’s just a matter of knowing where they are. Whether you're looking for indoor or outdoor activities or are after something arty, educational, nature-filled or active, we've rounded up some of our top affordable picks for you to try. And to sweeten the deal even further, many of these spots allow you to BYO food for a picnic. Have a scroll and prepare to enjoy a fun day out and quality time together without the stress over the hole it’s going to burn in your pocket. Afterwards, check out the best kid-friendly pubs or cafés. While you're at it, check out the best playgrounds in Melbourne, plus 25 things to do for under $25 in Melbourne.
The best toy stores in Melbourne
Kids toys are a dime a dozen these days, with mass-manufactured products getting bought and thrown out time and time again. If you're looking to fill your child's room with high-quality toys that can be treasured for a lifetime — and potentially even passed down to their children — then we've got you covered. These top-notch stores in Melbourne specialise in selling well-made toys ranging from quirky puzzles to handcrafted wooden pieces. Some even have hard-to-find imported products, like beautiful handmade teddy bears from Merrythought. Looking for family-friendly things to do? Check out our guide to the best activities fork ids in Melbourne. Kids can be expensive – to save a buck, check out our guide to cheap kids' activities in Melbourne.
The best playgrounds in Melbourne
We've all got fond childhood memories of visiting the local playground, and luckily Melbourne is chock-full of some really great ones. Across the city and its suburbs, there are plenty of sites for kids to run amok, with everything from swings to sandpits on offer. Many of these playgrounds also offer picnic tables and barbecues, so you can pack a picnic or fire up the grill and spend the whole arvo soaking up some sunshine. After more fun for the family? See our guide to Melbourne's best activities for kids. Does your family love a bike ride? Here are Melbourne's best cycling paths.
Listings and reviews (27)
Established nearly two decades ago at the site of an old printing factory in Yarraville, Chalkstore stocks clothing for ages ranging from newborns to seven years of age. Most of the stock is local brands, while the toys and homewares are sourced from countries like Germany, France, Denmark and the United States. To give you an idea of what to expect, the range includes products like Flensted baby mobiles, Coconuts helmets and coloured kids' hair chalk that rubs out. Owner Mick says “Customers love to find something new and different at Chalk," says Mick Pearson.
Ollie’s Place has been around since 2005, and you will find fun, cute, timeless pieces that your children can wear to play in style and comfort. The shop prides itself on high-quality garments, without the high-end price tag. There are several locations across Melbourne, including in South Wharf, Maribyrnong, Broadmeadows and Epping.
If you would really like to splash out for your child or for an exclusive type of gift, Bonpoint is the place. Bonpoint’s fashion house was founded in 1975 in Paris and is renowned for its beautiful and luxurious French-chic style pieces. Think merino wool, cashmere, delicate prints and timeless French berets. Bonpoint has stores all over the world but currently Chadstone Shopping Centre is the only location in Australia. It even stocks some beautiful classic pieces for mums too.
Mount Eliza kidswear establishment Little Nook was established in 2016 by a mother-and-daughter team, and it's since become a mainstay for the local community. It supports and stocks local brands and sources brands from overseas, as well as hard-to-find labels. Shelves are stocked with a varied selection of clothing, shoes, toys, books and gifts. "We keep a selection of affordable but great quality gifts for kids to gift their friends. We have really special pieces, such as the Banwood bikes/scooters," says Nicole, one of the founders.
Located in South Melbourne, Little Darcy caters for ages zero to eight, stocking fun and quality clothing as well as toys, furniture, homeware and gifts. It stocks Australian and internationally designed children's wares such as Bergstein boots, Grimm’s wooden toys and shoe brands recommended by podiatrists like Pretty Brave. Filled with wooden items, pastel colours and pretty prints, this store is full of cuteness and softness and its motto is ‘keep it fun.’
Buckets and Spades
If you are looking for designer or trendy gear for your children, Buckets and Spades prides itself as the premier destination for designer children's fashion. Here, you'll find products from leading Australian and International designers such as Minti, Munster Kids, Huxbaby, Bobo Choses, Mini Rodini, Nature Baby, Tutu Du Monde and BOSS. The Brighton shop has been around since 1996, and since its opening, its been hand-picking high-quality kids' clothing for babies to teenagers.
The next time that you're on a trip to the lovely Mount Macedon region, incorporate a visit to Sticky Fingers boutique in nearby Gisborne. Your children will stand out in the adorable pieces you’ll find here, which include standout brands like the Bobux podiatrist-recommended shoes, Oh Flossy! non-toxic children’s make-up brand and the popular Tap A Shape toys that keep kids entertained. Sticky Fingers also has a toy box in the store to keep your little ones entertained while you browse and shop.
Give your productivity a boost when working from the beautifully designed workspaces in this light-filled, open-plan converted warehouse space. The friendly team will ensure you're well taken care of, and you'll also have access to bookable meeting and board rooms, soundproof phone booths, bottomless beverages and monthly events. This location, which is nestled right smack dab in the heart of Collingwood, is the sister location to the Cluster in the CBD. Abbotsford and St Kilda locations are also expected to open soon.
Creative Cubes has locations across five locations, all offering flexible arrangements suited for everyone from freelancers to larger corporations. Bookings and memberships include access to amenities like barista coffee, mail service, showers, fully stocked kitchens, fresh fruit and more.
Our HQ is a stylish, comfortable co-working space designed to make you feel at home while nurturing collaborative work with others. Inside, you'll find amenities like a concierge, on-site parking, high-tech meeting rooms and ergonomic sit-stand desks, as well as on-site café Baketico. Membership also entitles you to perks like brunch and meet sessions, masterclasses and other monthly social events with free nibbles and drinks.
This large and vibrant co-working space in St Kilda is close to the beach and features an on-site café. Members will have access to professional events, including upskilling workshops and sessions on subjects like digital marketing, financial planning, meditation and leadership, and wellness activities like yoga and meditation sessions. Network with other members at B.A.S. Club, an initiative aimed to help businesses connect, grow and learn from each other, and make new friends at Friday night drinks.
When Inspire9 opened in 2008, it was Melbourne's first community-led co-working space for freelancers, creatives, start-ups and small businesses. Situated in Richmond within the heritage-listed Australian Knitting Mills building, it offers an abundance of naturally lit workspaces, height-adjustable desks, multi-sized meeting rooms equipped with AV media, community drinks, lockers, rooftop fitness classes, a games area and lounges for meetings. Fitness classes are included in memberships.