I am a big fan of sharing foodie experiences with kids as it’s such a delicious and fun way to learn and spend time together. Every year the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is like Christmas come early for me!
Here are my picks for events suitable for families in location and date order:
CBD / DOCKLANDS
- Crown’s Alfresco Kitchen at Crown Riverwalk 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank (Fri 27 Feb, Sat 28 Feb, Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Join us riverside to catch all the action, and taste the best offerings from signature restaurants like The Merrywell, Gradi, Sho dumpling, and sweet treats like Mövenpick ice cream and the renowned crepes from Crown Banquets. FREE.
- Kids’ Weekend at Pop Up Patch at The Little Veggie Patch Co’s Pop Up Patch (Sat 28 Feb 2015, Sun 1 Mar 2015) – The special ‘Kids’ Open Weekend’ will include hourly guided tours and free scarecrow-making workshops, Book one of the ticketed offerings: Edible Gardening Workshop is all about growing food and includes making a self-watering milk bottle planter, while Creepy Crawlies Workshop is hands-on, composting fun with worms and bugs to discover, plus making a terrarium from a plastic bottle. $20
- Pirates & Pimm’s – Adventure for Friends and Family at Polly Woodside 2A Clarendon St, Melbourne (Sat 28 Feb 2015, Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Find out all about the history of the ship and the period of sail in our gallery and learn all about the hardship and adventure of life at sea.There’ll be pirates to meet and storytelling for the whole family. Food will be available for purchase courtesy of CNK – Food Design. FREE.
- Grazing by the River at South Wharf Promenade (Sat 28 Feb 2015, Sun 1 Mar 2015) – For one delectable weekend, our chefs will come out of their kitchens to showcase what they do best, creating scrumptious food for their customers, this time served hawker style. On Sunday the precinct will transform into a Harvest ‘n’ Graze family friendly food, music and wine festival.
- Food & Fun with your Granny at Artplay (Sat 28 Feb 2015, Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Artplay and the Children’s Food Education Foundation present fun activities to get kids tasting, learning and thinking. The Snack Habitat Van will serve kid-sized snack foods and talk about “b”foods and bees. Create some bee-art, taste local honey and take home your own bee-friendly seeds. On Sunday learn some cool granny skills like making jams and pickles (2 classes only for 6-9 years and 9-12 years). $15 per person.
- Little Foodies Corner at Queensbridge Square, Melbourne (Sat 28 Feb, Sun 1 Mar, Sat 7 Mar, Sun 8 Mar, Sat 13 Mar, Sun 14 Mar) – mini budding bakers get their hands dirty in the kitchen with local baking specialists. 5-8 years or 9-13 years. FREE
NORTH / NORTH-EAST
- Kids Cooking Workshop at Rivers Lifestyle Centre, The Gallery 28 Kurrak Rd, Yarrambat (Sat 28 Feb, Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Primary-aged children get to dress up as mini chefs and learn from the team of friendly chefs and horticulturists at Rivers. $20
- Lunch with the Lions at The Royal Melbourne Zoo Elliott Avenue, Parkville (Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Enjoy lunch to the beat of African music with African-inspired food and drinks providing an authentic taste of lands far away. Exciting kids’ activities will include face painting and a chance to play African drums. $30-$150.
- Think Eat Talk Grow at University Square, University of Melbourne (Wed 4 Mar 2015) – Think, Eat, Talk, Grow will launch the new University Square Farmers’ Market, with foodie activities hosted by Richard Cornish and presented by producers, farmers and gastronomes from the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Farmers’ Markets. $0 – $40
- Kids Cook Lunch with George at Hellenic Republic Brunswick 434 Lygon St, Brunswick East (Sat 7 Mar 2015) – kids will learn the art of kneading, mixing, stirring, preparing and presenting a two course menu for mum and dad. $55.
SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE
- Mordialloc Food Wine and Music Festival at Peter Scullin Reserve Beach Road, Mordialloc (Sat 28 Feb 2015, Sun 1 Mar 2015) – local festival offers a wide range gourmet food vendors, wine, microbrewed beer, blues and jazz music across two stages. Lots of children’s activities, market stalls and an exhibition. $2 entry or $5 for family of four.
- Bright ‘n’ Sandy at Green Point Foreshore (Sun 1 Mar 2015) – food and wine event for the whole family, including cooking demos, tastings, music and kids activities. $2.50 entry.
- Dandenong World Fare at Dandenong Market, 39 Cleeland St, Dandenong (Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Circumnavigate the globe at this enchanting “food fare” extravaganza. Experience the delicious abundance and tempting aromas of global cuisines and entertainment inspired by some of the world’s most exciting cultures. FREE.
- Port Phillip Mussel Festival at South Melbourne Market, Cecil St, South Melbourne (Sat 7 – Sun 8 Mar 2015) – Port Phillip Mussel Festival street party is back. Expect jazz, fun and mussels galore. Come to dance, bring the family, eat and drink, and be with friends. FREE
- Brunch By The Bay at Port Melbourne Beach, The Esplanade and Bay Street (Sun 8 Mar 2015) – entertainment for the whole family and mobile food vans, book a brunch box or Port Melbourne’s best ethnic food venues will be offering international brunch menus. Free entry or $15.00 pre-booked brunch boxes
- Kids’ Raw Food Class at St Ali, 12-18 Yarra Pl, South Melbourne (Sun 8 Mar 2015) – Let you kids Roar – raw food is natural medicine. Allow your kids to discover the healing powers of raw food in a fun, learning environment taught by Patrick Drapac from Pat’s Veg. Price $25
- Flavours at Grattan Gardens, Grattan St, Prahran (Sat 14 Mar 2015) – Celebrate Stonnington’s cultural diversity through tastes, sights and sounds. Be invigorated and inspired by market stalls, cooking demonstrations, entertainment and children’s activities in this fun day for family and friends. FREE
- Teddy Bear’s Picnic goes to the Circus at The Karralyka Gardens Mines Rd, Ringwood East (Sat 28 Feb 2015) – professional face painters, a jumping castle, Teddy Bear Biscuit and craft activities, a fabulous circus show, Teddy Bear’s Hospital, pony rides, fizzy drinks and popcorn too. $5 kids under 18 months free.
- A Global Gathering at Bridge Road – Various Venues (Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Discover the flavours of the world in a leisurely stroll along Bridge Road, calling into restaurants for a snack or drink and having your ‘passport’ stamped along the way. FREE
- Asian Market Tour & Dumplings at Box Hill Central 1 Main St, Box Hill (Sat 7 Mar 2015, Sun 8 Mar 2015) – Enjoy a family friendly guided tour through Box Hill Central’s Fresh Food Market sampling the tastes of Asia from stallholders. After the tour, roll up your sleeves for a hands-on workshop with local celebrity cooks, Carly and Emily Cheung, and make your own dumplings. $10-$20. Age 7+.
- Family and Fauna Picnic at Healesville Sanctuary (Sat 7 Mar 2015) – bush BBQ, Yarra Valley wine and cider tastings, face painting and games for the kids. $20-$35.
- Abbotsford Convent Pop Up Picnic at Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford Sun (15 Mar 2015) – Grab your friends, BYO picnic rug and join us on the grass for a delicious picnic hamper filled with a seasonal selection of treats and homemade lemonade. Price $35 – $55
- Pier to Plate at Seaworks at Seaworks Williamstown (Sat 28 Feb 2015) – Demonstrations and feasting during the day will take you through to music and entertainment into the night. $15 adult entry, kids under 16 years free.
- Autumn Harvest Festival at Mansion Hotel & Spa 320 K Rd, Werribee South (Sun 1 Mar 2015) – Enjoy a barbecue of locally sourced ingredients and indulge in some regional wine and craft beer. Bring the kids along for animals, face painting and more. $10 entry.
- Seddon Festival at Seddon Village, Victoria and Charles Sts, Seddon (Sat 7 Mar 2015) – Seddon Village comes alive at this boutique festival which is a true celebration of all things local. Featuring non-stop music, food and wine tastings and an abundance of kids’ activities and entertainment. FREE
- Morning Tea with Alice at Fels Park, Yarraville (Sun 8 Mar) – The Hatter, the Dormouse, the March Hare and Alice are coming to tea. Bring the kids and join in this fun family event. Wear outrageously large hats, learn the Lobster Quadrille, drink tea out of large tea pots and join Alice in scrumptious cakes and other delights.
- Go West at The Maribyrnong Boathouse, 7 The Boulevard, Moonee Ponds (Fri 13 Mar 2015) – Meet MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan and recent MasterChef contestants at a twilight festival on the banks of the Maribyrnong River, celebrating the gastronomic diversity of Melbourne’s Western suburbs. FREE