What’s On – Friday 3 February to Thursday 9 February

School holidays are over but there’s still heaps to explore in the city! Here’s this week’s list of what’s on in Melbourne for families. 

CBD / Docklands

  • Victoria Harbour Pop Up Cinema (Fri 3 Feb) -free open-air cinema, Park Cinema, will be popping up at Victoria Harbour’s Buluk Park. Over three Friday night’s people will be able to watch old school favourites – The Wedding Singer, Back to the Future and The Dish
  • Invisible Light Garden Artplay (Wed 8 Feb – Sun 26 Mar) – Discover the interaction between digital imagery and physical action in this interactive art installation.
  • Artplay workshops (Thu 2 Feb – Thu 9 Feb) – changing timetable of art workshops for kids.
  • Hawkers Bazaar Crown (Fri 3 Feb – Sun 5 Feb) – To celebrate the Year of the Rooster, more than 60 stalls along the riverside at Crown will feature a series of activities and entertainment.
  • Lunar New Year at Crown (Fri 3 Feb – Sun 12 Feb) – Visit the Lunar New Year display at The Atrium at Crown Towers, showcasing a stunning fire rooster.
  • QV Outdoor Cinema (Fri 3 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – live entertainment, free cocktails, special food, red carpets, instafamous dogs, charity screenings, a film festival and more.
  • Play Pod State Library of Victoria (Fri 3 Feb – Tue 28 Feb) – free play space inspired by Herman and RosieFull review.
  • Sustainable Living Festival (Sat 4 Feb – Tue 28 Feb) – Earth-lovin’ activities including workshops, DIY-days, pop-ups and markets in both central and outer Melbourne.
  • Viktor & Rolf For Kids NGV (Fri 3 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – interactive children’s gallery exhibition developed by designers Viktor & Rolf. FULL REVIEW.
  • NGV Car Wash (Fri 3 Feb – April 2017) – enjoy a neon pink installation in the sculpture garden inspired by a car wash. FULL REVIEW.
  • Queen Victoria Night Market (Wed 8 Feb) – Eat and drink your way around the world one dish at a time with more than 50 street food traders cooking up a global feast plus specialty shopping and entertainment.
  • Pirate Sunday Polly Woodside (Sun 5 Feb) – Dress as a pirate and come help us search for hidden treasure, play tug of war and have your face painted.
  • Bolte Beach and Pooch Party (Sun 5 Feb) – Spend the summer’s day with a hit of table tennis, a rickshaw riverside ride or get involved with the many beach games and prizes on offer. Don’t forget to also stop by Woofy’s gourmet taco truck for a bite to eat.
  • NGV Summer Sundays (Sun 5 Feb) – free family friendly concerts in the NGV Sculpture Garden.
  • Melbourne Tennis Week (Mon 6 Feb – Sun 12 Feb) – free events and activities taking place in various City of Melbourne tennis clubs.
  • Summer Pirate Adventure Harbour Town (Sat 4 Feb – Sun 5 Feb) – Neverland Adventure Experience and Pirate Craft Village. Full review.

Pirate Playground Harbour Town


Batman Market, 14 -22 Gaffney Street, Coburg


  • Hank Marvin Market (Sat 4 Feb) – weekly Saturday market with awesome playground at Alma Park.
  • Elwood Community Market (Sat 4 Feb) – trash and treasure, plants, clothes, jewellery, pastries fruit & veg and other eclectic and unique surprises.  A jumping castle, animal farm, ice-cream van and an ever growing variety of fun and games to keep the children amused.
  • Como House Tours (Sat 4 Feb – Sun 5 Feb) – A Como house tour offers a glimpse into the privileged lifestyle of former owners, the Armytage family, who lived there for nearly a century.
  • South Melbourne Night Market (Thu 2 Feb) – street food, copious stalls, eclectic entertainment and music every Thursday night until 23 Feb. Full review. 
  • Sandsculpting Frankston Waterfront (Fri 3 Feb – Tue 25 Apr) -Twenty sculptors carve out themed sculptures from the sand. 
  • Summer Sessions Rippon Lea (Sun 5 Feb) – Spend Sunday afternoons trying your hand at croquet, bocce or quoits, listening to live music or simply pulling up a rug on the shady lawn of Rippon Lea every Sunday until 12 March.
  • Glen Waverley Lunar New Year Festival (Sun 5 Feb) – Lion Dance, Firecrackers, Traditional Folk Music, Dancers, Martial Artists and much more.
  • Melbourne Tennis Week (Mon 6 Feb – Sun 12 Feb) – free events and activities taking place in various Port Phillip and Stonnington tennis clubs.


Great Ocean Road Chocolate


HOT: Community Bank Adventure Playground, Hadfield Park, Cnr Northern Highway and Queen Street, Wallan

Hadfield Park Wallan

This summer Victoria’s newest water play park Community Bank Adventure Playground opened at Hadfield Park Wallan. Unfortunately we pick a day to visit when the council are doing maintenance work on the splash park.

Hadfield Park Wallan

Luckily the rest of the playground is pretty awesome too!
Hadfield Park Wallan

The all-abilities playground is dominated by a five storey wooden climbing fort with various slides stretching out from it, including a very high tube slide.

Hadfield Park Wallan

For older kids there are also two large nest swings, a bank of normal swings and two flying foxes, one with an accessible seat.

Hadfield Park Wallan

Younger kids will enjoy the spinning cup (though it does go super fast!), the multi-person see saw, musical elements under the tower, sheltered sandpit and the imaginative play with the tractor.

Hadfield Park has numerous picnic tables, sheltered BBQs and public toilets with change facilities so it’s the perfect destination for a day out – just check that the water play is open before you arrive!

HOT Tips:

  • Check Mitchell Shire Council’s Facebook page or call to check if the water play is open;
  • splash park operates from 10am to 8pm between the months of December and March;
  • Suitable for toddlers;
  • Suitable for older kids;
  • Water play;
  • Flying fox;
  • Water taps;
  • Picnic tables and free BBQ shelters;
  • Public toilets; and
  • Free street parking.

Community Bank Adventure Playground, Hadfield Park, Cnr Northern Highway and Queen Street, Wallan

Splash park operates from 10am to 8pm between the months of December and March


The HOT List: Top 10 Family Travel Links on the Web – January 2017

TOT Travel links Jan 2017

Hello 2017! This month’s roundup of the best family travel articles around web this month, full of holiday inspiration for our upcoming trips – cruising Tassie and New York City!

Hope you find it useful and interesting, I’d love to hear your feedback parents@tothotornot.com!

  1. 7 Good to Know Tips for Cruising with Kids
  2. 14 Kid Friendly Things to do in Hobart
  3. Exploring Australia’s convict history at Port Arthur
  4. How to get in free to 20 New York City Museums
  5. Best Kids Playgrounds in New York City
  6. List of Child Friendly Wineries in the Yarra Valley
  7. Europe’s Coolest Inner City Airbnb Properties
  8. Family Adventure Destinations
  9. Eco Accommodation in Australia
  10. How to Travel Stylishly with a Baby

For previous family travel roundups click here.

What travel articles have you read this month that have inspired you?

HOT: pARk by Mosster, Eastland Shopping Centre, 171 – 175 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood

Park Mosster Eastland

Since the renovation and revamp of Eastland shopping centre in 2016 I’ve noticed that they’ve really been creating some exciting and unique experiences for school holidays. Their holiday programs aren’t just the usual workshops you’ll find elsewhere – they often work with artists and creators to develop children’s programming that’s unique and exciting.

This week at Eastland they are hosting an augmented reality playground for kids called pARk. Developed by creative studio Mosster Studio, the 30 minute experience is a fun way to introduce kids to the features of augmented reality and to interact with digital technology in a physical way.

Park Mosster Eastland

You need to book in a session (up to 10 children per session) and then after a quick debrief kids use cardboard cubes labelled with different images that ‘talk’ to a camera and control what’s happening on screen.

Park Mosster Eastland

It’s very intuitive and the three games range from simple tumbling blocks and graffiti drawing to a more sophisticated game involving a ball run.

While you’re waiting there’s a break out space where you can play with colourful cardboard cubes.

Park Mosster Eastland
pARk is a fun and free interactive digital experience and suitable for all ages. Adults are encouraged not to participate – let the kids explore for themselves!

HOT Tips:

  • Places are limited and bookings are essential. Drop-ins may enter only once all booked children are accommodated and there is spare space;
  • Best parking is South parking or use the valet parking service!; and
  • Sessions are 30 minutes long and kids of all ages are welcome.

pARk by Mosster StudioEastland Shopping Centre, Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood

Level 2, near H&M

Monday to Wednesday:

First session – 10am

Last session – 3.30pm

Thursday & Friday:

First session – 10am

Last session – 7.30pm



HOT: Crocs Playcentre Derrimut, Unit 3 & 4, 21 Elgar Road, Derrimut

Crocs Derrimut Playcentre

Crocs Playcentre Derrimut is the newest addition to the Crocs franchise chain of indoor play centres all over Australia.

Being relatively new the equipment is clean and the spacious location is not overrun on the rainy weekday we visit.

The play centre is one large room with good sightlines to most areas. There’s only one gated entry/exit and the space is clean and well-lit.  

If your kids are comfortable with most of the equipment then you can confidently sit down and enjoy a break while they climb, jump, slide and ride (free wifi available!).

Crocs Derrimut Playcentre

Baby 2.0 begs to go on one of the motorised electric race cars ($2 a ride) then most enjoys riding the tricycles.

Crocs Derrimut Playcentre

In the Jungle themed play area there are your usual inflatables, tadalafil slides and climbing structures as well as a gated area for kids under 4 years (which requires active adult supervision).

Crocs Derrimut Playcentre

The Muffin Break on site is an addition that’s a step above your standard play centre fare.

Crocs Derrimut Playcentre

You’re not allowed to BYO food (baby food and formula excepted) and there are high chairs.  The toilets are remarkably clean and stylish, with a kid-sized toilet as well, and the change facilities are in a different room so both men AND women can do the changing!

Crocs play centre in Derrimut is a cut above your usual play centre and recommended if you’re local to the area. Access is easy and there’s free parking on site.

HOT Tips:

  • Pram-friendly;
  • Free unlimited off-street parking parking;
  • Entry fee includes unlimited play. No need to book;
  • Children and adults must wear socks. No socks no play;
  • You cannot BYO food and drinks, baby food and formula excepted;
  • High chairs, kids menu;
  • Change facilities;
  • Free wifi;
  • Party rooms and packages available;
  • Reserve a table for a minimum of 4 mums or dads Monday to Friday and receive $8 all day play (except school and public holidays or after 3pm on special event nights). Bookings essential;
  • FREE ENTRY between 9.30 – 10.30am on the first Thursday of the month when you share their post on Facebook;
  • Kids Disco Nights on 3rd Friday of every month from 5pm (except Dec        and Jan);
  • If you’re a regular visitor buy 10 entry pass for $80, valid at any Crocs Playcentre for any day (including weekends and public holidays).

Crocs Playcentre Derrimut, Unit 3 & 4, 21 Elgar Road, Derrimut (03) 9363 0872

7 days 9.30am to 5pm

Fridays until 8pm

School DaysGeneral Entry
Children 1-2 years$9.50$10.50
Children 3-5 years$11.50$12.50
Children 6+$12.50$13.50


Twins entry – $8 per child Monday to Friday. $2 off the general entry price for twins on weekends, school and public holidays.

10 entry pass = $80. Valid at any Croc’s Playcentre on any day including weekends and public holidays.

HOT: Superhero Training Academy, School holidays at Gasworks Arts Park, Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne

Superhero Training Academy by Gasworks Arts Park, Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne

Gasworks Arts Park holds kids workshopevery school holidays and this summer we were invited to try out Superhero Training Academy!

As the theatre is undergoing renovations this class is held in Port Melbourne Town Hall. From the moment we enter it is an extremely fun and energetic atmosphere.

Superhero Training Academy by Gasworks Arts Park, Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne

As well as the show the children learn how to dance and rap and even get the chance to do some arts and crafts and create their own superhero masks, shields and cuffs that they are able to take home. Parents and carers were welcomed to join in the fun for free.

Superhero Training Academy by Gasworks Arts Park, Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne

During 90 minutes the kids participate in a three stage workshop and come together for the finale where they get to use their new superpowers to help save the day!

Superhero Training Academy by Gasworks Arts Park, Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne

If you are looking for some great entertainment these school holidays Gasworks is holding other holiday activities on Friday 27 January at Gasworks Arts Park 21 Graham Street, Albert Park. Prices start at $25 per child and the programs include make Australian animals out of clay, fencing, magic, wand making, Van Gogh sun flower painting and Bollywood hula-hoop dancing.

If you’re visiting Gasworks also drop into the kid-friendly cafe Priscilla Jones and check out Elizabeth Taylor: Queen of Celebrity Activism exhibition – it’s free and family friendly, open till Sunday 5 February.

Gasworks will be running Autumn school holiday activities from 14 April. For more information or to book head to www.gasworks.org.au ( 03) 8606 4202

Thanks to Tanya Husnu for her guest post! Tanya is a mother of five children and you can follow her adventures @melbaustralia

HOT Tips:

  • There is ample metered parking on Bay Street however there is limited free 2 hour parking on Heath Street.
  • Just a short walk from number 109 tram stop
  • Once you arrive you will need to attend the cashier desk to go to the performance as it is up on level one.
  • There is lift access for wheelchairs and prams;
  • There are many great cafes and eateries just a stroll down Bay Street;
  • If you’re visiting Gasworks also drop into the kid-friendly cafe Priscilla Jones and check out Elizabeth Taylor: Queen of Celebrity Activism exhibition until 5 Feb.

Superhero Training Academy, School holidays at Gasworks Arts Park, Port Melbourne Town Hall, 333 Bay St, Port Melbourne


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