Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, cnr Ballato Rd and Botanic Drive Cranbourne

Nature Play Week is an annual national program by Kids In Nature Network that celebrates events and initiatives that reconnect kids with nature and the outdoors.

This year Nature Play Week runs from Wednesday 6 April to Sunday 17 April, with a launch event at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne with Jackie French, author/illustrator and former Australian Children’s Laureate on Wednesday 6 April.

Here are my pick of the Top 20 events for Nature Play Week in Melbourne and surrounds.

  1. Nature Play Week 2016 Launch with Jackie French

Date: April 6, 2016 @ 9:30 am – 11:15 am

Location: Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne 

Summary: Join Kids in Nature Network, partners and friends at the world renowned Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne to launch Nature Play Week 2016.


2. Build a bush bark shelter

Date: April 6-17, 2016

Location: Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne

Summary: Build your own bush bark shelter using natural bushland plant material.


3. Urban Nature Connection Family Workshop – Darebin Parklands

Date: April 7, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Darebin Parklands, Darebin Parklands, Separation Street VIC 3078 Australia

Summary: You are invited to explore Darebin parklands and share your natural curiosity with us.


4. Nature Treasure Hunt

Date: April 8, 2016

Location: Various – in Melbourne including Jawbone Sanctuary Williamstown, Brimbank Park Keilor, Westerfolds Park Templestowe

Summary: Parks Victoria is hosting the biggest nature treasure hunt in Australia for Nature Play Week!


5. Bush Playgroup

Date: April 8,15, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Summary: Come and try our nature playgroup! We are an all weather, outdoor playgroup that meets weekly along the Merri Creek.

children's garden botanic gardens

6. Weekly bush playgroup session

Date: April 8, 15, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Location: Maribyrnong River bush corridor, 18 Halong Drive, Sunshine North, Victoria 3020 Australia

Summary: SBG meets on Friday mornings for babies & toddlers (aged 0 – 3 years) & their carers to explore & enjoy a bush environment.


7. Nature Mobiles

Date: April 8, 2016 @ 11:00 am – 11:45 am

Location: McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin 

Summary: Join us for a walk around the sculpture park, collecting natures treasures as we go, then use them to make your own nature mobile to take home.


8. Nature Play in the Banyule Flats

Date: April 10, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Banyule Flats Reserve, Somerset Drive, Viewbank, Victoria 3084 Australia

Summary: Hunt out the nature-based activities and find out more about the local flora and fauna as you explore the Banyule Flats Reserve.


9. Ecotopia Junction Festival 2016

Date: April 10, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Yarra Junction Parklands

Summary: This is a family friendly Earth Festival. The theme this year is ‘River to Sea’ This is a popular, wacky and innovative festival that is a fantastic free day out for the whole family.



10. Reach Out with Ranger Rich

Date: April 10, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Location: Edinburgh Gardens North Fitzroy

Summary: Ranger Rich helps to inspire kids to engage with nature!

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin


11. Autumn Fun in the Dandenongs

Date: April 10, 2016 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Location: Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke, Victoria 3789 Australia

Summary: Allow your kids to play, explore and discover and follow their lead.


12. Natured Kids: Connecting with, caring for and contributing to our natural environment

Date:April 12-13, 2016 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Location: Carrum Indigenous Nursery, Learmonth Rd, Carrum Downs, Victoria 3201 Australia

Summary: Come along and help plant a leafy green sanctuary, a ‘food forest’ for injured Koalas and possums at Carrum Indigenous nursery. Make a Koala mask to take home.


13. Nature Play Story and Playtime

Date:April 12, 2016 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Location:Diamond Valley Library, Civic Drive, Greensborough, Victoria 3088 Australia

Summary: Stories about cubbyhouses and finding shells on the beach, followed by play and craft with all things from nature


14. Woodland’s Nature Play Walk

Date: April 13, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne 

Summary: Activities based around a children’s book are provided along the path trail at the Woodland’s Picnic Area, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Cranbourne


15. Platypus Picnic

Date: April 13, 2016 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Edendale Farm, 30 Gastons Rd, Eltham , Victoria 3095 Australia

Summary: Did you know that Nillumbik is home to platypus? Come along and learn about this very secretive animal.

Murrumbeena Park, 37 Kangaroo Road, Murrumbeena


16. Bug Detectives

Date: April 14, 2016 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Location: Mallanbool Reserve, Corner of Murrumbeena and Leila Roads, Murrumbeena, Victoria 3163 Australia

Summary: Exploring the wonderful world of bugs in Glen Eira


17. Nature Play Day

Date: April 14, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location:  Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne VIC 3004 Australia

Summary: Float a boat in the rill, play in autumn leaves, or build a cubby with bamboo.


18. Nature Memory Box

Date: April 15, 2016 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Edendale Farm, 30 Gastons Rd, Eltham , Victoria 3095 Australia

Summary: Join one of Edendale farmers on a nature and animal hunt around Edendale.


19. Nature Play – That’s the Way @ Blackburn Lake Sanctuary

Date: April 17, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Central Road, Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia

Summary: Kids will enjoy a range of creative play opportunities with natural materials while adults learn about inspiring outdoor play ideas in a beautiful bushland setting.


20. Heidelberg Heights family picnic at Johnson Reserve

Date: April 24, 2016 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Johnson Reserve Heidelberg Heights

Summary: A family friendly picnic where people can meet other local families in the area. There is a children’s playground plus we’ll bring some kid friendly activities. Picnic goers will be asked to bring food to share. 

Full calendar of events.

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