The HOT List: Top 14 Spring Festivals in Melbourne for Families

Melbourne is Australia’s festival city any time of year, but the festival season really starts to ramp up for Spring!

Here are the top 14 Spring festivals in September, October and November for families in Melbourne, in date order.

1. Sustainable September

South Melbourne Market celebrates its 150th year with Sustainable September, a month-long festival including kids’ activities, workshops, tours, a Sustainability Circuit and a special Turning Trash to Treasure exhibition.

Sustainable September, Corner Cecil Street and Coventry Street,  South Melbourne

Fri 1 Sep – Sat 30 Sep

2. Melbourne Fringe Festival

Melbourne Fringe Festival is one of Australia’s largest independent arts festivals and this year their families program is huge!

Click here for my top picks for families visiting Melbourne Fringe 2017, with shows ranging from theatre, comedy, puppetry, dance and visual arts.

Melbourne Fringe Festival, various locations

Thu 14 Sep to Sun 1 Oct

 

  1. Tesselaar Tulip Festival

Be amazed by Tesselaar Tulip Festival and the beauty of a million tulips across 25 acres of farmland, all set in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. There is also live entertainment, market stalls and tempting foods on offer every day.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival, 357 Monbulk Road  Silvan

Thursday 14 September to Tue 10 Oct

 

  1. Royal Melbourne Show

The Royal Melbourne Show is an annual tradition that brings the country to the city. Spend a fun day filled with rides, entertainment, food, games and a showbag or three. The schedule of events changes daily so plan ahead and click here for my tips on how to make the most of your time at the show.

Royal Melbourne Show, Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington

Sat 23 Sep- Wed 4 Oct

5. Footy Festival

The annual AFL Footy Festival outside the MCG is a fun way to get into the spirit of the AFL Grand Final and it’s all free!

The large site features live broadcasts, player appearances, kids activities, food and music. Click here for a review of the festival.

Footy Festival, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 120 Brunton Avenue Jolimont

Wed 27 Sep to Sat 30 Sep

 

  1. Blossom Festival

Cherryhill Orchards are opening their Yarra Valley orchard gates for the first Blossom Festival.  

Wander through rows upon rows of our stunning cherry trees in full bloom or sit back, relax and listen to live local music. Also featuring food trucks in town, cherry beverages, giant garden games.

Blossom Festival, Cherryhill Orchards, 480 Queens Road, Wandin East

Fri 29 Sep – Mon 2 Oct

 

  1. Moon Festival

Celebrate the second-biggest Chinese/South-East Asian festival in the calendar (after Lunar New Year) at various events around Melbourne.

At the Melbourne Moon Festival the 27th year of the festival will host 60 market stalls showcasing various cuisines arts and crafts cultural activities mooncakes lanterns and more! The main stage will also provide full day of entertainment

At the Full Moon Festival discover the many delicious flavours, aromas, sounds and colours of this traditional festivity during this free day long celebration of arts and culture from Dandenong’s local Chinese community.

At Batman Market’s Chinese Moon Festival the festival is celebrated with dragon and lion dances, traditional games, incense burning, lotus root, wine, and moon cakes!

 

Melbourne Moon Festival, Main St and Market St mall, Box Hill

Saturday, 30 September

Full Moon Festival, Dandenong Market, Corner Clow and Cleeland Streets, Dandenong

Sunday 8 October

Chinese Moon Festival, Batman Market, 14-22 Gaffney Street, Coburg

Sunday 15 October

 

  1. Spring Fling

North and West Melbourne are celebrating the 40th annual Spring Fling this year.  Errol Street comes alive with pop up markets, street food, beer gardens, entertainment, the always adorable Spring Fling Dog Show and plenty of exciting offerings from local businesses.

Spring Fling, Corner Errol Street and Victoria St, North Melbourne

Sunday 15 October

 

  1. Whitehorse Spring Festival

The Whitehorse Spring Festival is a free, fun-filled day that celebrates the vibrant community and offers family-friendly day out, with a variety of activities, performances and workshops to enjoy!

Whitehorse Spring Festival  379-397 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading

Sun 15 Oct

 

  1. Main Street Festival

In its 22nd year, the Main Street Festival showcases the cultural lifestyle that its peninsula residents enjoy – wine, food, music, art, entertainment, shopping, and fun. A number of stages will incorporate local peninsula based bands, as well as a community stage, roving artists, and musicians.

Main Street Festival, Main Street, Mornington

Sunday 15 October

 

  1. Sunshine Lantern Festival

The Sunshine Lantern Festival is the largest lantern festival in Victoria and a free cultural community event. Enjoy a full day of family fun, entertainment, rides, street performers, music, food, magical Lion and Dragon Dancing, a Lantern Parade to celebrate the full moon and ending with spectacular fireworks.

Sunshine Lantern Festival Hampshire Rd  Sunshine

Sun 22 Oct

 

  1. Children’s Week

Children’s Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. This year there are celebrations all across Melbourne from Saturday 21 October to Sunday 29 October.

One of the biggest annual events is Wyndham City Council’s Children’s Week Picnic at Werribee Mansion. This year’s event will feature a performance by Despicable Me 3, food trucks and activities across four precincts.

Children’s Week Picnic, Werribee Park Mansion, K Road, Werribee

Sun 22 Oct

 

  1. Sydenham Kite Festival

The Sydenham Kite Festival is an annual, free family event with giant colourful and novelty kites! You can BYO kites or buy one on site. The event also features a sausage sizzle and games.

Sydenham Kite Festival, Delahey Recreational Reserve, 80 Copperfield Drive, Delahey

Sun 12 Nov

 

  1. Bacchus Marsh Strawberries and Cherries Weekend

Every year at the start of the strawberry and cherry season Bacchus Marsh hold a town-wide festival in November- the Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Weekend.

Sample succulent fruits, pick your own locally grown produce and enjoy a wide range of festive activities including entertainment, fireworks and more.

Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Weekend

Sat 18 and Sun 19 Nov

 

 

Silvers Circus in Maribyrnong – Giveaway!

Silvers Circus Image

Silvers Circus are pitching their tents in Maribyrnong these September school holidays and you could be in the crowd cheering on the acts!

Silvers Circus is a household name has been touring Australia for almost 40 years with their brand of family entertainment and fun. Their latest 2 hour show features artists from around the world, Las Vegas style illusions and captivating production techniques. Expect sparkle, glamour and death-defying acts from Australia’s premier circus.

To book tickets to Silvers Circus go to http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/Silvers-Circus-tickets/artist/1086147 or call the circus direct on 0413 880 044 or 0413 844 241


Silvers Circus, Corner of Wattle Rd and Rosamond Rd, Maribyrnong

Wednesday 20th September – Sunday 15th October

Tickets from $20-$45


Giveaway!

Thanks to Silvers Circus I have 4 x Family passes (each pass admits 4) to give away for any session in Maribyrnong.

To win, just follow the instructions. The competition closes midnight Thursday 21 September. The winners will be selected randomly and contacted via email for box office collection. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Horrible Harriet at Arts Centre Melbourne – Giveaway!

Horrible Harriet is a wickedly funny theatre adaptation of Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs’ much loved book and it is playing at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse during the September school holidays from Wednesday 27 Sepember – Saturday 30 September.

Families are invited to join Harriet’s search for identity and friendship, with songs, humour and mischievous fun.

Harriet lives in the roof of her school and keeps teachers chained in the cellar to do her homework. She doesn’t see eye to eye with the other children but really wants a friend. When Athol Egghead lands in his hot air balloon, Harriet finally meets someone who understands her. But then Mr Chicken arrives to disrupt the whole show.

Horrible Harriet is the work of CDP Kids Productions, the team behind the hit stage shows The 13, 26, and 52-Storey Treehouses, The Gruffalo and Mr Stink.

Leigh Hobbs will be signing copies of Horrible Harriet in the foyer at 12pmWednesday 27 September and 1pmFriday 29 September. Bring along your book and have it signed, or you can buy one when you get here!


Horrible Harriet, Arts Centre Melbourne, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Wednesday 27 September: 11am & 2pm
Thursday 28 & Friday 29 September: 10am, 12pm & 3pm
Saturday 30 September: 10am & 12pm
*Auslan interpreted performance: Friday 29 September, 3pm
*Relaxed performance: Thursday 28 September, 12pm

Recommended for ages 3-8

 


Giveaway!

I have 2 x family passes (4 tickets) to give away for Horrible Harriet at Arts Centre Melbourne Wed 27 September 2pm show.

To win just follow the instructions below. The competition closes midnight Monday 25 September and the random winners will be notified by email within 24 hours. Open to Australian residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOT: Waratah Hills, 20 Cottmans Rd, Fish Creek

waratah hills

Waratah Hills is an award-winning Prom Country winery in Southern Gippsland on the road to Wilsons Promontory.

It is one of Australia’s southern-most wineries and thus specialises in pinot noir and chardonnay.

waratah hills

All Waratah Hills and Prom Road wines can be tasted and purchased at the vineyard cellar door. As well as a cellar door they serve lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The best way to approach the menu to order a lot of plates to share and enjoy it with a glass of wine!

waratah hills

I recommend the savoury pastries, the calamari, spicy chicken wings and of course don’t miss the cheese board with local cheese.

waratah hills

While you’re there admire the stylish decor, including this stunning bespoke wine and cheese trolley produced by the owners’ son Nick Travers (director of Techne Architects and Interior Design, responsible for many of Melbourne’s most famous restaurant fit outs).

waratah hills

waratah hills

waratah hills

From every dining room there are views overlooking the vineyard and the Hoddle Ranges.

waratah hills

Waratah Hills is a must-do destination if you’re in the area, with beautiful wine and food in a stunning, relaxing setting.

Click here for more places to go with kids in Gippsland


HOT Tips:

  • High chairs;
  • Standard menu suitable for children;
  • Few outdoor toys;
  • Outdoor gardens/vineyard;
  • Free parking;
  • Bookings are available for groups 8+ and recommended on busy days.

Waratah Hills, 20 Cottmans Rd (Off Promontory Rd), Fish Creek 03 5683 2441

Friday 12 noon to 4pm

Saturday 11am to 4pm

Sunday 11am to 4pm

Open every weekend and Public Holidays 11-5pm

Daily from end of December to end January 11-5pm

Lunch served until 3pm.

Cheeseboards available from 3pm to 5pm

 

 

What’s On – Friday 15 September to Thursday 21 September 2017

One more week before school holidays -and still lots of fun things happening in Melbourne! I’ll be at Footscray Finds with my store CycleStyle while T learns some hair-styling skills with Lady AB at Beers & Braids!

CBD/Docklands

 

NORTH  / NORTH-EAST

  • Agent 88 Warehouse Sale (Sat 16 Sep) –  clothing, shoes, ex display toys & furniture will be on sale including Christmas decorations  & trees.
  • Kiddyrock Family Jam (Sat 16 Sep) – Music, drums, singing, dancing, art activities and a special performance by Ally Boom Boom and the Cool Bananas.
  • All for Kids Market (Sat 16 Sep) – baby and kids market for boutique and pre-loved items.
  • BE Block Party (Sat 16 Sep) – DJ, food trucks, coffee.
  • Writing Workshop Ailsa Wild (Sat 16 Sep) – Spend an hour making stories with Ailsa Wild: she promises laughter, way too many ideas, and to answer anything you can think of to ask at this Writing Workshop!
  • Diamond Valley Railway (Sun 16 Sep) – miniature railway and two adventure playgrounds. Full review. 
  • Coburg Farmers Market (Sat 16 Sep) – farmers market every Saturday near Harmony Park playground.
  • Pirate Market (Sat 16 Sep) – Melbourne’s finest sellers of Piratical Wares come together to showcase their range of strange and wonderful things.
  • Darebin Family Fun Day (Sun 17 Sep) – AFL Star Ben Brown, AFLW legend Daisy Pearce, Face painting, Craft Stalls, Photo Booths, Food Trucks, Coffee, Proud 2 Play Sports Activities, Fairy Floss, Popcorn, Book Corner, Silent Disco, Westside Circus, Music, Rainbow Families Victoria, Blackfulla’s for Marriage Equality doing a weaving / yarning circle and much much more!
  • Hermione’s Birthday Party (Tue 19 Sep) – celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest girls in modern fiction: Hermione Granger!
  • Preston Food Trucks French Foodie Festival (Fri 15 Sep – Sun 16 Sep) – vibrant, edgy and attractive venue offering Melbourne’s favourite food trucks on rotation, events and entertainment. FULL REVIEW.
  • Bug Lab Melbourne Museum (Fri 15 Sep – Oct) – exploring the world of bugs. Full review. 
  • National Geographic Photo Ark (Fri 15 Sep – 1 Oct) – exclusive photo exhibition is using the power of photography to inspire people to save animals before it’s too late.

big fish little fish

SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

EAST

  • Tesselaar Tulip Festival (Fri 15 Sep – Tue 10 Oct) –  tulip fields, live entertainment, market stalls and tempting foods.
  • Victorian State Schools Spectacular (Sat 16 Sep) – Across the two shows, over 10,000 people will have the chance to see some of the rising stars of today.
  • Schwerkolt Cottage Heritage Family Day (Sun 17 Sep) – Pack a picnic and have a wonderful FREE day out with friends and family enjoying old-fashioned sack races, pony rides, an animal farm, face painting, live music along with demonstrations of spinning, weaving, woodturning and blacksmithing.
  • Yarra Valley Railway (Sun 17 Sep) – take a trip on the historic Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Full review.
  • Box Hill Miniature Railway (Sun 17 Sep) – Every 3rd Sunday the ride this wonderful Miniature Railway, the track winds through the picturesque surrounds of Elgar Park. READ THE REVIEW.
  • Party Time Eastland (Mon 18 Sep – Wed 20 Sep) – Join in the fun with Poppies for Grace’s PARTY TIME. A morning of party craft and games. Free for 3 to 5 years.

Altona Miniature Railway

WEST

 

HOT: Regatta Beach Playground, Cnr Sanctuary Lakes Blvd North and North Shore Dve, Point Cook

regatta park

A beach is already a giant sandpit of fun but when you combine it with a playground then the fun is doubled! Regatta Beach Playground is a gorgeous man-made beach playground, located lakeside inside the Sanctuary Lakes resort and housing estate.

The playground setting is quiet and serene, with a gentle cool breeze and bird life fluttering by the shore.

regatta park

The water is shallow and you can dip your feet in, but it’s not made for swimming. Note the shoreline is unfenced but the water and the playground are quite far apart so you should have enough time to chase down any wandering tots!

regatta park

The playground contains slides, swings, a network of rope climbs, a small water play and sand play digger area and basketball rings.

regatta park

regatta park

regatta park

regatta park

There is also a volleyball net on the sandy beach.

regatta park

Shade sails provide some cover over the picnic tables and the water play and digger area, though not on the main equipment.

Regatta Beach playground is a lovely quiet spot for some sand and water play, with enough facilities to make it worth a half-day visit…until someone needs the loo!

Click here for more free water play in Melbourne.

Click here for the best beaches for kids in Melbourne


HOT Tips:

  • suitable for toddlers;
  • suitable for older kids
  • some shade by shade sails;
  • water is unfenced;
  • unshaded and shaded picnic tables;
  • water tap;
  • BBQs;
  • no toilets; and
  • free street parking.

Regatta Beach Playground, Sanctuary Lakes, Cnr Sanctuary Lakes Blvd North and North Shore Dve, Point Cook

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