HOT: Lego City Play Zone, Harbour Town Melbourne, 440 Docklands Dr, Docklands

The LEGO City Play Zone is open for every day of the school holidays Monday 3 July to Sunday 16 July at Harbour Town Docklands. If you’re looking for something free and fun to do with the kids then check it out.

Lego City Harbour Town

I was invited to get a sneak peek of the activities and can report that it’s a great place to relax, learn and play with kids. There’s lots of fun photo opportunities too!

Lego City Harbour Town

There are several different play stations. Starting with building challenges…

Lego City Harbour Town

…Lego City iPad games…

Lego City Harbour Town

…and free build zone at the back where you can display, photograph and share your Lego creations.

Lego City Harbour Town

Lego City Harbour Town

There are also opportunities to meet and greet the Lego City Policeman and to win a Lego Prize pack valued at $1000!

Lego City Harbour Town

Lego City Harbour Town

These school holidays the LEGO City Play Zone ensures that everything is awesome!

Click here for more free winter school holiday activities.

Click here for more winter school holiday activities in the CBD and Docklands.

HOT Tips:

  • there are facilitators but adults still need to remain on site to supervise;
  • it’s not fenced or gated;
  • site is undercover;
  • free entry, no time limit for play;
  • best for 3+ years as only Lego (small parts) are used so little kids will need to be supervised to ensure they don’t put the pieces in their mouth;
  • LEGO City Policeman will meet and greet for 20 minutes and rest for 20 minutes;
  • Le Cirque cafe is next door though please be careful with food and drinks inside the play zone of course;
  • closest parking is West carpark off Pearl River Road.

LEGO City Play Zone, Harbour Town Melbourne, 440 Docklands Dr, Docklands (Located at Kids play area next to Le Cirque cafe) (03) 9328 8600

Monday 3 – Sunday 16 July 2017

12pm – 4pm daily

Free entry

HOT: Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

If you’re looking for a perfect nature play + cafe combo that’s not too far from Melbourne…then Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and The Piggery at Burnham Beeches in Sherbrooke is it.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

The gardens is one of the jewels of the Dandenong Ranges. It is particularly stunning in Autumn, with the changing colours of maples and beeches, and in spring the park blooms with azaleas and cherry trees.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

The large garden was part of the historic Burnham Beeches Estate, home of Alfred Nicholas, developer of the Aspro formula. It is over 13 hectares but you shouldn’t miss the ornamental lake with boathouse at the bottom of the hill.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

Make it your first stop as what goes down must come up….and it’s better that you tackle the uphill climb while little legs still have energy.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

On the upper levels of the garden you’ll find a small pond with sculptures as well as many paths leading under the canopy of mountain ash trees.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

Take a picnic and while away a day away from the bustle of the city or head next door to The Piggery at Burnham Beeches for food and drinks and a child-friendly venue.

HOT Tips:

  • Toilets and water available near entrance.
  • The car park is situated opposite the main entrance, no vehicle entry into the gardens.
  • Walk next door to The Piggery at Burnham Beeches for food and drinks and a child-friendly venue.

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke, Dandenong Ranges, 13 1963

Open 10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day

Admission free






HOT: LightTime at Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood

Be immersed in Scienceworks latest temporary exhibition LightTime, which explores the different phenomena of light, optics, sound, movement and perspective through the display of eleven art installations.

Adults and kids alike will be mesmerised by these stunning works!

lighttime scienceworks

LightTime includes an infinity room that will challenge your sense of space  by Kit Webster….

….floral arrangements that open and shut with moving colours and light inside by Skunk Control….

lighttime scienceworks

lighttime scienceworks

…double-handed drawing with light by Eiichi Tosaki and Steve Stelios Adam

lighttime scienceworks

…there’s even one that explores how our senses cause motion sickness by (((20hz)))!

LightTime is a chance to engage with art and science in a different way – take some time out to appreciate each work slowly and carefully to engage your senses. While you’re there check out the interactive Laser Maze and Forest in the Pumping Station created by Monster Studio. I got a sneak peek while they were installing the works and I can assure you it’s amazing!

Join the LightTime facebook event to stay up to date with special programming, artist news and behind the scenes content.

HOT Tips:

  • The exhibition is displayed in dim light, with some smoke, strobe and lighting effects that may not be suitable for very young children;
  • pram-friendly as each display is set out in a separate space; and
  • For adult adventurers, there will be NightLight an after hours event at LightTime on Friday 18 August.

LightTime at Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood

$5 plus eumeum entry

From 1 July 2017 10am-4:30pm


HOT: The Little Art Yurt, Yarraville

little art yurt

The Little Art Yurt is a gorgeous American-built yurt (Mongolian style bell tent) art studio tucked away in the sunny Yarraville backyard of Melbourne artist Dawn Tan.

little art yurt

After an laborious flat-pack building process by Dawn and her husband (Dawn described it as Extreme IKEA),  The Little Art Yurt is now open for school holiday art classes for kids, after school classes during term time, adult art workshops and soon, private art party bookings.

The Little Art Yurt is like a dream come true for any budding artist.

little art yurt

There’s rows of neat art supplies in rainbow hues….

…inspiring picture books to read…

 Little Art Yurt

…and even the denim art smocks are stylish.

little art yurt

There’s a purpose built toilet in the backyard too so you don’t have to troop inside Dawn’s house.

little art yurt

When it’s not in use for teaching The Little Art Yurt doubles as Dawn’s studio where she works on her renowned watercolour images and makes perfumed soap.

dawn tanThe Little Art Yurt, Yarraville

Dawn is a bubbly personality and a trained art teacher. It’s evident that she loves working with kids and she generally teaches children from 4-12 years. The yurt is cosy and fits about 8 children comfortably, meaning all the children’s workshops are drop-off sessions. It’s heated in winter and ventilated in summer – the top of the roof opens up so you can look at the stars!

little art yurt

Note that as the Little Art Yurt is located in Dawn’s home the exact address is only emailed to you when you sign up for a class. Bookings are now open for School holiday workshops and Term 4 art classes .

Little Art Yurt, Yarraville ( Off Gamon Street )

School holiday workshops

Term 4 art classes 


HOT: Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne

wallace and gromit melbourne

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: the Magic of Aardman is a fantastic special exhibition that marks 40 years of one of the most successful world studios, Aardman.

The exhibition is exclusive to ACMI Melbourne in Australia after being first displayed at the Art Ludique Museum in Paris.

I get a sneak peek and I’m telling you – set aside a couple of hours because animation fans are in for a treat!

British animation studio Aardman are the brains behind popular films and television shows Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run.

Their characters are immediately recognisable and all their work is done via clay stop motion animation.

It’s laborious, detailed work and the exhibition really highlights the creative and technical abilities of the studio.

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: the Magic of Aardman displays more than 350 objects, including sketchbooks, storyboards and Aardman’s distinctive handmade puppets and claymation figures.

There are also more than 50 original sets including Gromit’s vegetable garden…

….city streets from Shaun the Sheep the Movie…

…the flying machine from Chicken Run…

…and the spectacular five-metre tall ship from The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Each set is logically located near a short the relevant film, so take the time to watch everything then appreciate the detail close up.

The large exhibition is split up into various themes and not in chronological order, so there’s no need to start at the beginning.

Sections cover topics such as light, movement, sculpture, houses and architecture, machines and inventions (my favourite!).

There’s also a sneak peek of their upcoming feature ‘Early Man’ which is being released in 2018.

At the end of the exhibition you can get hands-on with creating your own claymation characters and developing a stop motion animation.

wallace and gromit melbourne

Here’s my rudimentary effort – Space Slug!

You can also manipulate the giant robot and watch as the camera takes photos to create an animation on loop.

When you leave check out the cool animation toys in the gift shop. I’m enamoured of the wooden Shaun the Sheep build toys, which teach scientific concepts and look like great fun!

During the period of the exhibition, ACMI will also host related film screenings, talks, interactive workshops and education programs. Make sure you take a ‘cheese-y’ selfie at the end!

Click here for more winter school holiday events happening in Melbourne.

HOT Tips:

  • The exhibition is down a set of steps so you will need assistance getting a pram down;
  • Free cloakroom;
  • Photography allowed, no flash;
  • Kids under 5 will enjoy the claymation studio at the end of the exhibition best;
  • Kids over 5 will enjoy watching the shorts and seeing some of the stunning sets close-up;
  • Toilets are at the end of the exhibition;
  • If your kids love their creature comforts, you might like to become a Wallace & Gromit family member;
  • Discover the joy of animation and the opening of the exhibition with free activities on ACMI Family Sundays 2 July;
  • After the exhibition check out the free Screen Worlds exhibition or head to ACMI Bar & Cafe for a break.

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne +613 8663 2200

Thursday 29 June – 29 January 2018

Open daily 10am–5pm
Cinemas until late

Full $24 Family $65 Concession $20 Child $15 Member $19


HOT: Bayview Park, Alamanda Boulevard, Point Cook

Bayview Park

Argh me hearties! The Bayview Park pirate ship playground in Point Cook has risen from the ashes after an arson attack in 2014.

Bayview Park

The playground has been rebuilt as it was, meaning that one of Melbourne’s most-thrill seeking slides has been reinstalled along with extensive climbing equipment both on top of the hill and at ground level.

Bayview Park

The slide is steep but modified with ridges so it’s a bit bouncy for little bottoms – but does stop the breakneck drop.

Bayview Park

The hill provides a great view of all the ant-like activity below!

Bayview Park

Little kids don’t miss out though, as there’s a mini slide right next to the big one…

Bayview Park

…a sandpit with digger and sand play structure…

Bayview Park

Bayview Park

…and a large nest swing.

Bayview Park

There is a little bit of shade under the sandpit, some of the large established trees and at picnic tables and barbecues.

The only thing missing is a public toilet, which is problematic for a playground which is otherwise built to cater for all-day play. The closest toilet is probably at the Alamanda cafe which is a long walk or short drive away.

HOT Tips:

  • Suitable for toddlers;         
  • Suitable for older kids;
  • Picnic tables and BBQ areas;
  • Water tap; and
  • Free parking.

Bayview Park, Alamanda Boulevard, Point Cook

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