I’m experimenting with a new weekly blog post – it’ll be a listicle of family and kid-friendly events happening around Melbourne suitable for under 5s (as my kids are 3 years old and 1 year old). I figured since I keep a list of events for my own reference I might as well share my list for the benefit of others.
The list will also be split into locality – CBD, north, south, east, west – as I know from experience that most families tend to stick to activities in their nearby area.
I hope that you’ll find the “Thursday What’s On” posts useful. Please note that I won’t include every single under 5s event that I can find as I think sometimes ticket sellers over-estimate the attention span of kids (my kids could never sit through a 2 hour show or do a 3 hour craft activity). Nevertheless, please feel free to contribute your listings to help make it a useful resource for others. If you’re looking for activities for school-aged kids 5+ years then head to Meetoo.
So without ado….what’s on for April 2014 (a little bit late due to dental emergency!).
CBD / Docklands
- Monski Mouse Baby Disco Dance Hall (until Sun 20 April) – bop to pop hits and cool nursery rhymes in the Spiegeltent. Read our review.
- Very Big Laugh Out Loud (until Sun 20 April) – free family entertainment for Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
- Mexican Holiday at Immigration Museum (until Mon 21 April) – Explore the colourful cultural traditions of Mexico with storytelling and craft activities.
- Artplay (throughout April) – Artplay offers a range of workshops covering a variety of art-forms from babies to school kids.
- Kids’ Flicks (thoughout April) – ACMI’s cruated program of children’s films. Read our review.
- The Wiggles’ Children’s High Tea at The Langham – a sweet treat for little ones in a very kid-friendly environment. Read our review.
- Under 8s Ice Fun at Medibank Icehouse (Sat 5 April – Mon 21 April) – unique toddler experience in shoes or skates.
- Paper, Plots and Plants at Melbourne City Libraries (Sat 5 April – Thu 17 April) – Various activites and storytime.
- Pirate Sunday at Polly Woodside (Sat 6 April) – Dress as a pirate and come help us search for hidden treasure, play tug of war and have your face painted
- Veggie Patch Kids at Federation Square (Mon 7 April –Wed 16 April) – Interactive gardening workshops for children from 4+ years.
- Adventures in Singing and Imagining at Federation Square (Tues 8 April and Tues 15 April) – A musical journey through imaginative play and song, exploring the big city and noticing nature.
- Disney Fun Zone at Melbourne Star (Mon 7 April – Sun 20 April) – Animal farm, craft station and the Easter Bunny for ticket holders.Little Foodies Easter Bickie Decorating at Queen Victoria Market (Tue 8 April and Tue 15 April) – Put on your very own apron and chef’s hat (supplied) and whip out your creative skills to decorate your biscuits with coloured frostings, sprinkles, lollies and other wonderful things.
- Mini Sports at The Hub Docklands (Tue 8 April and Tue 15 April) – Kelly Mini sports will be providing the professional instructors to introduce a variety different ball sports for 2 + years.
- Autumn Fairy Dancing at The Hub Docklands (Wed 9 April and Wed 16 April) – fairy disco dancing, ribbon twirling, rainbow walking, games, storytelling and making an autumn fairy wishing tree.
- Parklands Animal Farm at Queen Victorai Market (Thu 10 April – Thu 17 April) – children will be able to touch, feed, hold and play with these friendly farm animals in the Parklands Animal Farm.
- Bag of Tricks at Wonderland Fun Park (Fri 11 April – Sun 20 April ) – See Magic Tony & his delightful menagerie cast of bunnys Sebastian & Kevin, flying doves and a guinea pig called Giovanni.
- Viva Italia Family Day at State Library of Victoria (Sun 13 April) – A magnifico day of free activities dedicated to Italian culture at the Library, inspired by Italy’s centuries’-old tradition of the family scampagnata (picnic).
- Goldilocks and the Frog Prince at Melbourne Recital Centre (Wed 16 April) – The exciting and mischievous adventures of Goldilocks and The Three Bears featuring a live orchestra, dancers from Patrick Studios Australia and narrator, Grant Smith.
- Easter at South Wharf Promenade (Fri 18 April – Mon 21 April) – Easter egg hunts, mini train rides, circus school, trapeze performances.
- Good Friday Appeal Kids Day Out at MCEC (Fri 18 April) – MCEC will be transformed into a wonderland for kids, with Australia’s biggest roller-skating rink, Laser Strike, the popular Teddy Bear Hospital, art and play zones, kids cooking classes, music and dancing and so much more.
- Easter Sunday Treasure Hunt at Queen Victoria Market (Sun 20 April) – Roam the fruit and vegetable aisles and specialty stalls to meet market traders and find fun Easter surprises along the way.
- ANZAC Day Football and BBQ at The Common Man South Wharf (Fri 25 April) – watch Essendon and Collingwood battle it out in the annual ANZAC Day football match along with a tasty lunch time BBQ.
- Buddha’s Day & Multicultural Festival at Federation Square (Sat 26 April – Sun 27 April) – Includes Buddha’s Day Baby Blessing Ceremony, where children under the age of six will be blessed by the Venerables of Fo Guang Shan Melbourne, so that they may live a happy and fulfilled life under the protection and guidance of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas.
- Celebrate the Aztecs at Melbourne Museum until Mon 21 April) – A daily program of family friendly activites inspired by the Aztecs.
- Aztecs Opening Party at Melbourne Museum (Sun 13 April) – Aztecs Opening Party celebrations with food, music, free activities and see the amazing Aztecs exhibition.
- Keeper Kids at Melbourne Zoo (throughout April) – In Melbourne Zoo’s newest indoor play-based experience, you can put on a safety vest and tool belt and learn the tools of the trades that are used every day by Keepers, Veterinarians, Horticulturists, Researchers and Works crew.
- Peter Rabbit at Hoyts Jnr Northland / Broadmeadows (until 15 April) – When Jemima’s new egg goes missing, only Peter Rabbit is able to put together the clues and find the culprit. But can he find the egg before it hatches, or has he finally met his match in the devious newcomer, Samuel Whiskers?
- Easter Bunny Trail at Cooks Cottage Fitzroy Gardens (Sat 5 April – Sun 27 April) – Entry includes a map with fun-filled facts and riddles to help find the missing bunnies at Cooks’ Cottage. Children receive an Easter treat on completion in the Discovery Centre.
- Holiday Program at Westside Circus Brunswick (Mon 7 April – Thu 17 April) – Workshops for kids 3+ to improve general circus skills, make your own circus equipment and learn how to put on a show.
- Moreland City Council libraries (Mon 7 April – Thu 17 April) – Various performances craft activities.
- Snoopy Craft Village at Westfield Plenty Valley (Mon 7 April – Fri 11 April) – Get Crafty with Snoopy and decorate a bird house.
- Great Dane Family Day Fitzroy (Sat 12 April) – Kids activities like plank building games by Green Hat Workshop and cookie decorating all alongside the best in Scandinavian Design.
- The Wizard of Oz show at Greensborough St Savas Hall (Tue 15 April) – new, interactive re-telling of Frank Baum’s classic story.
South / South-East / Bayside
- In Season Arts & Craft Sessions Kids Program at Jewish Museum Elsternwick (throughout April) – In Season has been designed specifically for children and families. It is jam-packed with plenty for kids to do, including dress-ups, arts and crafts, plus regular activities and workshops.
- Artea in Albert Park (throughout April) – Daily creative time and art programs for under 5s.
- Gasworks School Holiday Program at Gasworks Art Park Albert Park (Fri 4 April – Wed 16 April) – Gasworks’ kids programs offer creative and entertaining experiences for children aged 4 to 14 both during and outside School Holidays.
- The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe at Tivoli Theatre Malvern East (Mon 7 April – Sat 19 April) – Panto, traditional lemon drink and fairy bread!
- PrimeSCI! School Holiday Program Wantirna (Mon 7 April – Fri 11 April) – Attention young scientists! It’s time for eggstraordinary eggsperiments and to learn about science in the kitchen!
- Facepainting at South Melbourne Market (Wed 9, Fri 11, Wed 16 & Thu 17 April)
- Westfield Southland (Mon 7 April – Thu 17 April) – various activities.
- Easter Bunny at South Melbourne Market (Thu 17 April & Sat 19 April) – Easter Egg Hunt will be open to the first 40 children who find the Easter Bunny on Sat 19 April.
- Wildlife Xposure at Prahran Market (Thu 17 April) – interactive wildlife demonstration.
- Belgrave Carnival (Fri 18 April) – Family carnival complete with rides, food stalls, easter egg hunt, animal displays and of course, face painting and kids entertainment. All proceeds will go to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
- National Trust Easter Fun Day at Rippon Lea and Mulberry Hill (Sun 20 April) – egg hunts, access to open houses and the opportunity to pack a picnic or enjoy delicious treats from the on site food market.
- Peter Rabbit at Hoyts Jnr Victoria Gardens (until 15 April) – see above
- Celebrate Corroboree at Healesville Sanctuary (Sat 5 April – Mon 21 April) – Healesville Sanctuary’s biggest celebration of Indigenous people and culture.
- Mr Peabody and Sherman Dance Workshop at Westfield Knox (Mon 7 April – Fri 11 April) – Join Mr. Peabody & Sherman as they take you through an international dance workshop from the four corners of the globe.
- Box Hill Community School Holiday Program (Mon 7 April – Thu 17 April) – Kindy Clay and Kindy Art classes for 3-5 year olds.
- Box Hill Central Farmyard Craft (Mon 7 April – Fri 11 April) – Create a farm animal using recycled materials and take it home.
- Children’s Week at Skyhigh Mt Dandenong (Mon 7 April – Sun 20 April) – Lots of free kids activities.
- Box Hill Central Farmyard Fun (Mon 14 April – Thu 17 April) – Pet and feed live farm animals, and take home a free Explorer activity bag.
- Pretzel Mini Class at Westfield Doncaster (Tue 15 April) – Learn how Pretzel World make and bake their delicious pretzels fresh on site. Then then decorate (and eat!) your own Pretzel creation!
- Grandparent’s Day at Heide Musem of Modern Art (Wed 16 April) – Enjoy a morning of gardening and craft activities in the picturesque autumn gardens at Heide.
- Family Day: Easter Fun at Heide Musem of Modern Art (Sat 19 April – Mon 21 April) – Easter activities including an egg hunt in the sculpture park, where you will follow clues around the garden to discover where the eggs are hiding and make your own pop-up Easter chick card!
- Heide Art Bubs: Sculpture Park (Thu 24 April) – monthly program welcomes parents, babies and toddlers for a guided tour of the sculpture park with activity stops to entertain the children followed by a delicious morning tea from Café Vue Heide, crayon drawing and other art activities. Read our review.
- Easter and School Holiday fun at Dandenong Market (from Tue 8 April) – Loads of free fun from Easter egg hunts to craft activities.
- Ranger Kids at Werribbee Open Range Zoo (Sat 5 April – Mon 21 April) – Take kids on a journey through the African savannah with an exciting new indoor play space, Ranger Kids!
- Apron Design Workshop and Cupcake Decorating at Highpoint (Mon 7 April – Thy 17 April) – Design your own apron and decorate Easter themed treats with Cupcake Central.
- Get Arty at Truganina Homestead (Sat 5 April and Sun 6 April) – A weekend of free art activities, demonstrations and displays, including kids’ art activities, painting, sketching, woodwork, fabric painting, recycled art, wire sculpting and more.
- Plaster Mould Painting at Westfield Airport West (Mon 7 April – Fri 11 April) – Ignite your child’s inner artists and bring them along to the ever-popular plaster mould painting activity.
- Maribyrnong City Council libraries (Mon 7 April – Thu 17 April) – Various activities and shows happening at Footscray, West Footscray, Yarraville and Maribyrnong libraries.
- The Wizard of Oz show at Altona City Theatre (Sun 13 April) – new, interactive re-telling of Frank Baum’s classic story.
- Circus Royale at Hoppers Crossing (Fri 11 April – Sun 27 April) – family entertainment staged in a modern Big Top tent.