Melbourne with kids

What to do in Melbourne with kids? This city in southern Australia is a great place to spend a few days with kids. The city has lots of different activities you can do with kids. We visited the city for several days as part of our 2-month tour of Australia, and in this blog we list the best kids’ activities in Melbourne.

Best travel time Melbourne with kids

You can basically visit the city of Melbourne with kids all year round. The city has a mild maritime climate, so it doesn’t get super cold in winter either. Summer and winter in Australia are just reversed from summer and winter in Western Europe, making summer in Melbourne during the months of December through March.

The temperature is then between 20 and 25 degrees. In terms of rainfall, there is about the same amount each month during the year and, of course, you have to get a little lucky with that. We visited the city in September, when it was still quite chilly, but dry most days. So not the most ideal time to go to the beach in Melbourne, for example.

Melbourne with kids

Transportation to Melbourne

Most families with kids visit Melbourne as part of a tour of Australia, and you have several ways to get to Melbourne with the family. Distances in Australia are quite long, so many tourists fly between the country’s highlights. If you go by car or motorhome from, say, Sydney to Melbourne, it will already take you at least 10 hours.

You can also travel between cities by public transportation. Greyhound’s buses make it easy to travel between cities. With kids, this can be less ideal because you can’t stop when you want to. Make up your own mind here as to what is most enjoyable for you to travel through Australia with the kids.

Melbourne with kids

Transportation in Melbourne

There are several ways to get around Melbourne with kids. First, it is nice to have a nice walk around town. You get the most of the city then, and we always find it one of the nicest ways to explore a city. It is also possible to explore the city by bicycle. For example, you can take an organized 4-hour bike tour of the city with Baja Bikes led by an English-speaking guide.

Of course, it is also possible to explore the city of Melbourne by public transportation. Streetcars run to various parts of the city. You can buy a Myki card at the various stations or at different stores such as the 7Eleven. You put money on the card and you can then use it to use Melbourne’s buses, streetcars and trains.

Of course, in a big city like Melbourne, there are of course Hop on Hop Off buses. In Melbourne, these 2 different routes run through the city and stop at the various sights in the city. This way you can also already see a lot in a short time with kids. Often you buy a ticket for 24 or 48 hours. This is then the time you may use these red buses.

Another option for getting around Melbourne with kids is by cab. In Melbourne, the Uber cab runs, so you can download the app in advance and then also make sure you buy an Australian phone card and you can order a cab anywhere in the city. Especially for short trips around town, this can be a very nice mode of transportation.

Melbourne with kids

Children’s Activities Melbourne

#1 Melbourne Zoo

You can take kids to the zoo in Melbourne. The Melbourne Zoo is located in the center of the city and you can view many of the great African animals here such as the lion, elephant, giraffe, zebra, hippo and various monkeys. Of course, the zoo also features typical Australian animals such as the kangaroo and koala.

You can easily spend an entire morning or afternoon here entertaining yourself at the zoo with kids. The zoo also has plenty of catering establishments for a bite to eat and a drink. For kids ages 3 to 8, you also have an indoor play area, with, of course, the theme: animals. Kids can do all kinds of things at this play area! You do have a number of places in the zoo for kids to play, but not really a large outdoor playground like we are used to in most zoos in Europe.

Children's Activities Melbourne

#2 Werribee Open Range Zoo

Another place to view animals in Melbourne with kids is at the Werribee Open Range Zoo. This safari park is located slightly outside the center of Melbourne about half an hour away by car. In this park you have 225 acres of land, where you can spot different animals. You can go on a guided safari in this park. This tour in a safari bus takes about 40 minutes. You also have a special safari bus here for kids ages 0 to 6.

Besides being able to go on safari with kids by bus, you also have several hiking trails that lead past different animals. So you can walk 3 different trails in the animal park, taking about 2 hours in total. So all in all, you can easily spend an entire morning or afternoon enjoying yourself at this safari park. At the zoo, you have several places where you can get something to eat or drink.

You can also book certain experiences at this safari park. For example, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at this zoo before the safari park opens to the rest of the visitors. There is also an experience with lions. On this tour, you will go out with the caretakers of these magnificent animals. This does come with a minimum age of 8.

#3 St. Kilda

St. Kilda is a fun place to go with kids in Melbourne. If the weather is warm in Melbourne then St. Petersburg is the place to be. Kilda also a great place to go to the beach. Although you have nicer beaches in the Melbourne area, it is a nice place because of the many cozy restaurants, cafes and stores you have near the beach.

From the pier at St. Kilda you have a nice view of the Melbourne skyline and you can walk to a cliff at the end of the day, where you can see a colony of little penguins sitting there. Usually you can spot them there when the sun is about to set. You also have at St. Kilda are the famous Luna Park.

This Luna Park has a very nice entrance gate and you have several fun attractions in this amusement park for both young and older kids. At this amusement park, you can choose to buy a pass for the entire day and then you can go in all the attractions or you buy only an entrance ticket to the park and then you pay per attraction separately.

Melbourne with kids

#4 Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

You can also go to a large aquarium in Melbourne with kids to see all kinds of different marine animals. The Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is located right in the center of the city and this aquarium is quite large. You have several aquariums here with tropical fish, seahorses, jellyfish, sharks and rays.

You have several areas at the aquarium, and one of the highlights of this aquarium is the tunnel where you can walk under the fish (including the sharks). There are also penguins to view at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium.

#5 Day trip to Philip Island

A fun day trip to go to from Melbourne with kids is Philip Island. Philip Island is about a 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne and you can do several things here. It is a beautiful nature reserve, where you can go to see penguins, among other things. We did the same here and it was a lot of fun to do. They call this the penguin parade, where the critters walk toward the beach.

In addition, Philip Island has several activities you can do with kids. For example, here is A Maze N Things which has a large maze and where you can also play miniature golf and games with kids. There is also a large indoor climbing hall, where kids can climb and clamber (Clip ‘n Climb Philip Island). There is also a go-kart track at Philip Island, where you can go karting with kids. A game of bowling with the family is also possible on Philip Island.

Melbourne with kids

You can also go into nature on Philip Island with kids. For example, there are several hikes you can take here. You walk along the coast here and have great views in several places. You can also rent bikes, go whale watching at sea, there is a petting zoo and you can visit a koala park. In short, there is enough to do here to entertain your family for at least 2 days.

Melbourne with kids

Other children’s activities Melbourne

You have more things to do in Melbourne with the family in the city besides the children’s activities described above. We list them briefly below.

#6 Treetops Adventure Belgrave: You can also visit a climbing park just outside Melbourne. At Treetops Adventure Belgrave, you have 10 different courses with more than 100 different obstacles and 23 ziplines. Kids as young as 3 years old can come here to climb with parents. We ourselves always find this a very fun activity to do with our daughter. The older the kids are, the more courses they get to climb, and thus the longer you are also busy. You can buy a special family pass for the whole family here.

#7 Lego Discovery Centre: if your kids love the toy Lego, then this children’s activity in Melbourne is a fun option. The Legoland Discovery Centre is in the center of the city, and if you and your family have been to a Lego Discovery Centre in another city before, you already have a good idea of what there is to do at the Lego Discovery Centre in Melbourne.

Kids can play with Lego here, there is a 4D cinema with movies with Lego dolls, there is a play area, a small attraction where you have to shoot and there are several buildings recreated with Lego that you can see.

#8 Melbourne Tram Museum: If you enjoy visiting a museum during your city break to Melbourne with kids as well, this could be a fun option. The Melbourne Tram Museum is free to enter and you’ll find all sorts of old streetcars to check out.

#9 Nature play park Royal park: this is a fun park to go to in Melbourne with kids. The park is in the city and you have several climbing equipment here where the kids can have fun. There are also several swings and a slide. In the hot summer months, kids can also play with water here by the fountain, so be sure to bring a set of dry clothes for your kids.

#10 Artvo: This is a fun place to take funny pictures with kids. Kids can go into all kinds of 3d backgrounds, making it seem like they are part of the situation. For example, they can stand on a surfboard and float in the universe and stand on a dolphin at sea. Our daughter always enjoys this kind of museum.

#11 Melbourne Botanical Garden: If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city with your kids, the Melbourne Botanical Garden is a nice option. You can visit these gardens for free and take a nice walk among all the different trees and plants. On weekends, you will also see many families picnicking in this park. You can also have lunch at the restaurant in this garden.

#12 Beaches in Melbourne: Melbourne is located by the sea and therefore in the Melbourne area you have several beaches you can visit with the family. We mentioned before in our blog the city beach of St. Petersburg. Kilda that you can visit, but nearby you can also visit other beaches.

For example, you have Elwood Beach where you can lie on the beach just fine in the summer. The only disadvantage of this beach is that it is difficult to reach by public transportation, but a car or rental car will get you to this beach from the city in 20 minutes.

Another beautiful beach to visit in Melbourne is Half Moon Bay. This beach is located in a bay and there is also a wreck near the beach here, where it is possible to snorkel. You also have beautiful rocks near the beach here.

Beaches in Melbourne with kids

#14 Melbourne museum: this is a fun museum to visit with kids if you want to learn a little more about the history of the city of Melbourne, Aboriginal history and nature in Australia. It is a museum that you can visit for free and the exhibits in the museum change all the time. This is a great option to visit with the family on a rainy day in Melbourne.

#15 Enchanted Adventure Garden: this climbing park is an hour away from Melbourne by car. You have a climbing park here, kids can band down the mountain, you have several beautiful gardens here where you can walk and there is a maze. A great place to spend an entire morning or afternoon having fun with the family.

#16 Swimming with Dolphins: near the Enchanted Adventure Garden, it is also possible to swim with dolphins and seals in Sorrento. Kids as young as 5 can take this tour organized by the Moonraker organization.

Melbourne City Card

Melbourne with kids

Family-friendly restaurant Melbourne

In a big city like Melbourne, of course, you can eat great food. You have lots of different family-friendly restaurants in Melbourne, and you also have lots of different options in terms of cuisine. We list below some family-friendly restaurants in Melbourne, some of which also have a playground at the restaurant for the kids.

The Glasshouse Caulfield: at this sports bar you can eat a variety of dishes, including fries with a burger. This restaurant is located right in the center and you can park your car in front of the door if necessary. This restaurant has a large interactive screen in the restaurant for kids as well as a play area.

Moreland Hotel: this hotel is also located downtown in the Brunswick district. Also at this restaurant is an indoor playground with several slides and tubes for kids to play in.

Da Guido: if you are looking for a nice restaurant, where you can go out for pizza with kids then this restaurant is one of the best rated restaurants. Unfortunately, this restaurant does not have a play area at the restaurant, but the food is tremendously good. This restaurant is also in the middle of downtown Melbourne. They also have vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu here.

Queen Victoria Market: this is an indoor market where you can buy all kinds of delicious things. Nice to walk through and possibly grab a bite to eat. You can park your car here for free on weekends in the morning.

Family-friendly restaurant Melbourne

Family-friendly hotel Melbourne

You can stay in Melbourne with kids just fine. You have plenty of family-friendly hotels in Melbourne and also several nice options in different price ranges. We have listed below for each price range the top rated hotels by families with kids. Click on the blue link for more information about the hotel.

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