HOT: Jump Central, 2/117 Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin

Jump Central

Jump Central is an indoor trampoline park coupled with indoor sports fields in industrial Moorabbin.

Jump Central

The trampoline area is not large compared to some other places I’ve been but Baby 2.0 still spends 1+ hour navigating around the four distinct trampoline areas.

Jump Central

There’s dodgeball, a free jumping area, foam pit and hoops. Note you need to wear grip socks to jump – you an BYO or buy a pair for $2.

On a weekday it’s particularly quiet as most kids are in school so for only $8 preschoolers can jump for 2 hours.

Jump Central

Baby 2.0 makes friends with some of the kids playing in the hoops and spends most of his time fruitlessly trying to get the ball into the hoops.

Jump Central

After about 1 hour he is tired out and becomes mesmerised by the big screen TV showing the Minions so if your kids are under 5  don’t necessarily expect to stay for the whole 2 hours.

Jump Central

Jump Central offers party packages with catering options. There is a small onsite kiosk with  coffee, tea, soft drinks, cookies, fruit and packaged snacks are also available. From a quick glance I think you’ll be better off BYO your own healthy snacks or heading to family-friendly cafes Genoa Place or The Tradesman.

Jump Central is a cheap weekday destination when the weather’s cold or wet and your kids need to burn off some energy.

Note your trampoline entry price is just for the trampoline area. The indoor tennis, soccer and basketball courts are available for casual hire.


HOT Tips:

  • There is no air-conditioning or heating. While it’s spacious I think it’s a venue that’s best for cold and rainy days;
  • book online especially on weekends and school holidays, to avoid disappointment.
  • Kids  have to wear grip socks (supervising adults don’t need socks). You can buy grip socks for $2 a pair. I seem to have to buy new grip socks everywhere we go so I suggest leaving them in your glovebox!
  • Jump sessions start on the hour, every hour. Standard entry is for 1 hour.
  • On weekdays for preschoolers entry fee includes a 2 hours of play.
  • BYO food and drinks.
  • Free parking on site.

Jump Central, 2/117 Cochranes Rd Moorabbin 3189 VIC 03 9555 3900

Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday 10am – 6pm

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10am – 8pm

Preschool Sessions

Mon-Fri 10am – 12noon

2 hours of jumping for only

$8 per child + $2 for JC socks

*walking age till 5 years

*parents jump free

*parental supervision at this time is required.

 

Off Peak 1 hour sessions

Mon-Fri 10am till close

$10 per jumper + $2 for JC socks.

Mega Jump 2 hour sessions

Wed & Thur

6pm till 8pm inclusive.

$10 per jumper + $2 for JC socks.

Weekend 1 hour sessions

Must be 3 years and above

10am – 6pm

$15 all jumpers + $2 for JC socks.

 

School holidays & Public Holidays

Prices per hour

Adults $15 + $2 socks

Juniors (under 18) $12 + $2 socks

 

What’s on – Friday 27 October to Thursday 2 November 2017

CBD/Docklands

  • Creswick Mills Queen Vic Market (Fri 27 Oct – Sun 29 Oct) – petting zoo, complete with alpacas and sheep, and a special appearance from a country stockman.
  • ASEAN Fair: 50th Jubilee Celebration (Sat 28 Oct – Sun 29 Oct) – celebrate the 10 South East Asian nations united by ASEAN with two days full of live musical performances, cultural displays, ASEAN social clubs and fun activities for the whole family.
  • MPavilion (Fri 27 Oct  – Sun 4 Feb 2018) – An event hub, a meeting place and an invitation to experiment, each MPavilion brings creative collaborators together to present a free, four-month program of talks, workshops, performances and installations from October to February.
  • Play Pod State Library of Victoria (Fri 27 Oct – 5 Dec) – Play Pod is the SLV’s program for children aged under 8 years with activities to read, create and play. This season’s theme is The Very Noisy Bear.
  • Under 8s Ice Fun (Sun 29 Oct) – unique toddler experience in shoes or skates.
  • Funny Bones Artplay (Sun 29 Oct) – Print your own Halloween cards to make your friends and family laugh and scream.
  • Kids Oktoberfest Munich Brauhaus (Sun 29 Oct) – every Sunday kids eat for free, face painter and activity packs.
  • Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman (Fri 27 Oct – Sun 29 Jan) – take an extraordinary trip from sketches and models through to elaborate sets as these beloved characters take shape on screen. Full review. 
  • The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity ( Fri 27 Oct – Thu 1 Feb 2018) – A multi-sensory installation of water, light, scent and sound, The Pool is an interactive space, complete with wooden decking and pool lounge chairs.
  • Aladdin the Musical (Fri 27 Oct– Sun 22 Oct) – Disney film turned into lavish musical. Read the review.

NORTH  / NORTH-EAST

SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

  • Crocs Playcentre Carnegie (Fri 27 Oct) – Trick or Treat with Mr Croc and fancy dress competition.
  • Crocs Playcentre Knox (Fri 27 Oct) – Trick or Treat with Mr Croc and fancy dress competition.
  • Halloween Disco Lollipops Noble Park (Fri 27 Oct) – $15.00 per child which includes entry and a kids meal. Costumes encouraged.
  • Halloween Party Thompsons Parkway (Fri 27 Oct) – Come and enjoy trick or treating in a safe friendly environment, free family entertainment with face painting, fairy floss and kids’ carnival ride.
  • Spooktober St Kilda Town Hall (Fri 27 Oct – Tue 31 Oct) –free entry on festival grounds, family-friendly haunt and two haunts for mature audiences.
  • Luna Dark at Luna Park (Fri 27 Oct – Tue 31 Oct) – Get set to scream this Halloween as Melbourne’s Luna Park transforms into Luna Dark, a spook-tacular Halloween weekend full of Carn-Evil delights!
  • Halloween at Sk8house (Sat 28 Oct) – Dance the night away to Thriller, Monster Mash, Time Warp and many more ghostly favorites.
  • Halloween on the Green (Sat 28 Oct) – Local musicians, roving circus performers and musicians, sack races, poison ball games, food stalls and tarot reading.
  • Halloween on Fitzroy Street (Sat 28 Oct) – stilt walkers, fire twirlers, and face painters.
  • Say Cheese Festival Prahran Market (Sat 28 Oct) – Enjoy live tunes, vibrant zones to just chill out, tasty drinks and a whole lot of cheese.
  • Stonnington Toy Library Play Day (Sat 28 Oct) – As well as tonnes of family activities, the little ones can get up close to furry friends at the mobile animal farm and even get their face painted by Princess Elsa.
  • Australian National Aviation Museum Open Day (Sat 28 Oct – Sun 29 Oct) – see some of the unique aircraft held at its headquarters.
  • Halloween Spooky Weekend The Big Goose (Sat 28 Oct – Sun 29 Oct) – Dress up in your best Halloween costume and join our fashion parade, trick or treat treasure hunt and more.
  • Halloween Ghost Hunt Como (Sat 28 Oct – Sun 29 Oct) – Children from 6 to 12 years old and parents are invited to join us on a special house tour that explores the unique and spookier side of the mansion and find out who and what haunts the halls!
  • Little Train of Horrors Mornington (Sat 28 Oct – Sun 29 Oct) – Mornington Railway and Little Shop of Horrors Costumery are holding an event. Come dressed up and enjoy face painting, treat bags, model train displays and train rides.
  • Halloween Monster Bash (Sun 29 Oct) – ‘trunk’ or treat, family friendly activities, American food trucks.
  • Dandenong Market celebrates Halloween (Sun 29 Oct, Tue 31 Oct) – trick or treat, magic show, balloon art.
  • Halloween Costume Party Boneo Maze (Sun 29 Oct) – balloon artists, face painters, kids crafts and costume competitions.
  • Hampton Street Halloween (Tue 31 Oct) – Dress your little witches, goblins, warlocks, Wizards, minions etc…. and Trick or Treat your way down Hampton Street, Hampton.
  • Playdays Halloween (Tue 31 Oct) – free activities including Kids Face Painting from 12-2pm and a very special guest appearance from Paw Patrol’s Marshall at 11am.
  • Halloween at the Old Cheese Factory (Tue 31 Oct) – treat making, haunted inflatable maze, giant inflatable slide, Halloween themed children’s disco, mask making, face painting and various Halloween themed areas to explore and participate in trick or treating.
  • Bayside Food Truck Fiesta (Thu 2 Nov – Tue 7 Nov) – full bar, live music and a rotating roster of over 20 of Melbourne’s finest food trucks.

EAST

WEST

HOT: Woodcutters Kitchen, 69 Mackie Road, Bentleigh East

Woodcutters Kitchen is a woodfired nano-bakery and family-friendly cafe in Bentleigh East.

What is a nano-bakery? Everything is small batch, made from scratch from local and where possible organic ingredients, then baked in a woodfired oven. 

woodcutters kitchen

Two pizza ovens take pride of place in the front dining room. The kitchen is busy pumping out loaves (and toast) for breakfast and pizzas at lunchtime.

Woodcutters Kitchen

The front room leads down a ramp into another dining area, then there are two toilets (one with the change table) and then the best part of all – a gorgeous courtyard with a custom-built cubbyhouse by Castle and Cubby. It’s styled as ‘Little Woodcutters Bakery’ and is filled with ride-on toys and a few books. 

Woodcutters Kitchen

The courtyard catches the midday sun and is filled with raised garden beds and furniture built with recycled apple crates, pallets and fence palings by Dan the Veggie Bin Man.

Woodcutters Kitchen

Woodcutters Kitchen serves Dukes coffee and uses the coffee in their menu items. If you’re there in the morning I reckon the best looking item on the menu is the oven toasted chocolate rum and raisin loaf, Dukes Coffee Highwire Organic infused mascarpone and berry compote.

As we’re there at lunchtime our choices are limited to loaves, pizzas and salads. I hope they decide to do an all-day breakfast menu (as is the trend with many Melbourne cafes) so that more options are available for lunch goers.

woodcutters kitchen

Baby 2.0 and I share a Margherita style Bakers Pizza ($15). The dough is bready, rather than stretchy and pliable like Neapolitan style pizza, so it’s a matter of preference. The wood gives the crust a nice charred taste and I like the flavour of the red sauce that hints at oregano.

The children’s menu offers the same pizza at half the size for $9 but I reckon if you have a hungry child they’ll probably demolish the Bakers Pizza easily. The kid’s menu also includes pancakes, toast, cereal and shakes ($7-$9).

woodcutters kitchen

The charred asparagus salad comes with baked lemons, parmesan and incredibly hard croutons that I have to leave behind. It’s not much chop for $17 so I reckon stick with the pizzas and forgo the greens.

Woodcutters Kitchen

On your way out you can buy their artisan bread loaves including spelt, country white and wholemeal. The aroma of the 12-grain loaf keeps us salivating on the way home!

woodcutters kitchen

As we visit during the soft opening the service is a bit harried and confused, but with time these issues should be ironed out.  Woodcutters Kitchen is sure to be popular with local families with the warmer weather, as the outdoor space is a great place to hang out and enjoy a pizza and a drink while the kids play.

Click here for the best cafes with outdoor play areas.


HOT Tips:

  • Pram access;
  • High chairs;
  • Change table;
  • Cubbyhouse in courtyard;
  • Children’s menu; 
  • Standard menu suitable for kids; and
  • free street parking.

Woodcutters Kitchen, 69 Mackie Road, Bentleigh East 0410 854 984

Wednesday to Sunday 9am – 3pm

Coming soon Fri-Sat 5pm – 11pm
Woodcutters Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The HOT List: Top 35 Train Experiences in Melbourne for Kids

It seems that all young kids like Thomas and his friends and Melbourne has loads of train-related activities to satisfy the littlest trainspotter. 

Save time and read this later! Click here to receive a pdf checklist of the Top 35 Train Experiences in Melbourne for Kids

Train Playgrounds in Melbourne

  1. Marie Wallace Bayswater Park

Bayswater Train Park

Massive playground featuring an authentic steam train engine that you can climb into. 

2. Puffing Billy playground Emerald

Emerald station has a small playground with a train theme to honour the Puffing Billy that travels along the tracks regularly.

3. Edwardes Lake Park

The playground houses a full-size A2 class locomotive.

4. Windsor Siding Reserve

Small fenced toddler playground with a wooden train engine and a carriage with four seats, right by Windsor station. 

5. Train Street Park

A fully-fenced train-themed playground on Train Street, next to the train line at Highett!

6. Trains inside playgrounds

Bicentennial Park Chelsea

While not actually train-themed playgrounds, Bicentennial Park, Presidents Park and Harmony Park all have pretend train play equipment.

Train play in Melbourne

 

7. Toot Toot Toys

A toy store with a gated play area and cafe at the back full of train tables and trains. One of Baby 2.0’s favourite indoor hangouts.

8. Readings Kids

Popular children’s bookshop has a popular train table for play. Little Bookroom in Carlton North also has one.

 

Train-spotting in Melbourne

9. Southern Cross station

Grab a snack and hang out high up above the concourse of Southern Cross station to watch the trains enter and exit the stunning wave roof.

10. Golden Square Bicentennial Park

serotonin burnley

The mound in the middle of the playground at Golden Square Burnley has a great view of bypassing Metro trains. The excellent family-friendly cafe Serotonin is a bonus.

11. Sebastian’s Food and Wine

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

A great cafe right on the railway lines at Hampton Station. 

12. Eastern Bloc

The Eastern Bloc, 133 Bell St, Coburg

Eastern European inspired cafe with a view of the Upfield path and Coburg train station.

Miniature railways in Melbourne

13. Diamond Valley Miniature Railway

Diamond Valley Railway

Weekly miniature railway runs with a fantastic gated playground next door.

14. Bulla Hill Railway

Bulla Hill Railway, Bulla Recreation Reserve, 15 Green St, Bulla

Public runs on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month with a dinosaur theme! There’s a playground next door too.

15. Altona Miniature Railway

Altona Miniature Railway

Public runs on the 3rd Sunday of every month. There’s even a 9 ¾ platform there.

16. Steam Locomotive Society of Victoria

The SLSV operate for the general public at their Moorabbin site from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm in the afternoon of the FIRST Sunday of every month except January.

17. Mooroolbark & District Miniature Railway & Steam Club

Train rides run 11-4pm on the 4th Sunday of each month, except December.

18. Box Hill Miniature Railway

Public runs on the 3rd Sunday of every month around picturesque Elgar Park. The playground next door also has a train theme and features a wooden train with carriage.

19. Springvale Live Steamers

A working miniature railway In Springvale South. Public run days are held at the track between 12 and 4pm on the 3rd Sunday of every month except December & January.

20. Campbelltown Miniature Passenger Railway

This charming little railway is privately owned and named after train buffs Colin and Nancy Campbell.

 

Special train rides in Melbourne

21. Puffing Billy

Thomas the tank engine puffing billy

The most famous train ride in Victoria and popular tourist attraction in the Dandenongs. It’s particularly popular with families when they run the themed Day Out with Thomas sessions.

22. Little Red Train

Little Red Train, Werribee Park Mansion, K Road, Werribee South

A trackless train that runs in picturesque Werribee Park. There’s a second train that runs in Berwick.

23. The Bellarine Railway

Every Sunday heritage train rides run between Queenscliff and Drysdale stations and they also hold Day out with Thomas and other special events.

24. Mornington Railway

Mornington Railway celebrates steam trains, diesel locos, passenger cars and freight carriages on the first three Sundays of each month, plus special events.

25. Yarra Valley Tourist Railway

Yarra Vally Railway

Steam train that runs every Sunday on a restored track between Healesville and Lilydale.

Railway displays and museums in Melbourne

26. National Steam Centre

Every Sunday see engines up-close in the museum and take a spin on the miniature railway. Just across the road from the excellent Chesterfield Farm for a full-day adventure.

27. Emerald Lake Model Railway

Emerald Lake Model Railway

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest model railway is found at picturesque Emerald Lake.

28. Fairy Park

Victoria’s oldest theme park also houses a collection of model train sets and a train museum.

29.  Scienceworks

The museum holds “Machines in Action Family Days” several times each year where you can see a steam locomotive and engines on display.

30. Australian Railway Historical Society

The railyards hold the largest collection of Victorian Railways steam locomotives on display and is open every Saturday and Saturday and Sunday during school holidays.  

31. Steamrail Victoria

steamrail victoria

Steamrail Victoria is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the restoration and operation of vintage steam, diesel and electric locomotives and carriages. At the Newport workshops and railyard they hold an annual open day and throughout the year they run mainline steam train tours.

32. Train and Hobby Show

Every year at Sandown there are displays of large and small model railway layouts, Live steam engines, ride on train rides and Thomas the Tank train rides.

 

Train-themed restaurants in Melbourne

33. Easey’s

Easey’s is an eatery located inside a Hitachi 153M train carriage hoisted five stories up a Collingwood rooftop! Enjoy burgers (and beers) with views overlooking the Melbourne skyline.

34. Carriage Cafe

A charming cafe in Seville set inside carriage constructed over 100 years ago.

35. Rattling Red Cafe

At the back of train is located at the rear of the Tyabb Packing House and Antiques Centre you’ll findRattling Red Cafe, a cafe inside a reconditioned red rattler train carriage. Tuck yourself into a cabin for a Devonshire Tea or sit out on the platform and enjoy the view.


What are your favourite train experiences with kids in Melbourne?

HOT: Park Street, 815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

park street north carlton

Park Street in North Carlton is the revamped version of the beloved Green Park. There cafe and restaurant has new owners, a new look and a new menu, while still offering one of the best family-friendly cafe experiences in Melbourne.

Our cycling-loving family love the big windows facing out onto the Capital City trail bike path and the adjacent playground which has also had an upgrade.

park street north carlton

The interior is light and bright, with a long leather banquette along one wall, numerous communal tables and a bar area with stools and cosy booths for singles or groups (though they tend not to seat families there).

park street north carlton

The venue is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The daytime menu is split between all day breakfast and a lunch menu 11-3pm.

My waffles with PX braised beef cheek, cavolo nero and fried egg is a solid and satisfying dish, with melting slabs of meat atop a crispy waffle ($19). The Park Street pie changes daily and comes with salad – it’s good without being particularly remarkable ($16).

park street north carlton

The prettiest dish and the one most fought over are the coconut hotcakes, topped with roasted pineapple and a lime mascarpone ($18).  The pancake is particularly fluffy and perfect slathered with the creamy sweetness of the accompaniments.

park street north carlton

 

The kids menu features five items – waffles, egg and soldiers, toastie, chicken burger and pasta ($8-$9). The toastie I request on sourdough and is substantial.

park street north carlton

The only downer is that during our weekend visit the service and food is very slow. Might have been just-opened teething issues but fortunately the kids discover the shelf with picture books and toys.

park street north carlton

The playground next door is also a drawcard – particularly as you can still sit at the cafe while the kids play. The playground is more suited for toddlers, with lots of low-rise and fairly gentle equipment. Nevertheless Baby 2.0 and Lady AB still enjoy themselves.

park street north carlton

park street north carlton

Park Street has all the makings of a lively, friendly, neighbourhood hub where you can grab a coffee or settle in for a classy dinner. It is very popular with local families and well worth a special trip from across town too.

 

Click here for the best family-friendly cafes in Melbourne

Click here for more child-friendly cafes with outdoor play areas

Click here for the best cafe + playground combos


HOT Tips:

  • pram access;
  • numerous high chairs;
  • kids menu;
  • kid-friendly standard menu;
  • change table in disabled toilets;
  • toys and books;
  • next to playground;
  • short walk to The Little Bookroom children’s bookstore and other stores in Nicholson St;
  • free 1 hour parking on Park Street and Nicholson St;
  • walking distance to #96 tram; and
  • next to Capital City bike trail.

Park Street, 815 Nicholson Street, Carlton North (03) 9380 5455

MONDAY – TUESDAY 7:30 AM – 4 PM

WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY 7:30 AM – LATE (KITCHEN CLOSES AT 10 PM)

 

HOT: Craft and Caffeine, 16 A Herbert Ave, Hoppers Crossing

craft and caffeine

Craft and Caffeine is a tucked away shop in suburban Hoppers Crossing that offers exactly what it says – crafty activities for the kids and caffeine for the tired adults!

craft and caffeine

The space is set up with kids in mind and it’s a relaxing location for a cold or rainy day adventure.

craft and caffeine

The room filled with a range of art materials, with a structured activity on offer (it was making Father’s Day cards on our visit) as well as free play. You can choose from painting, pasting and playdough.

craft and caffeine

The craft is free or you can contribute to the cost of the materials with a gold coin donation.

craft and caffeine

There’s also a reading corner with books and toys and every Thursday and Friday at 10:30am there’s free story time.

craft and caffeine

The gift shop area at the back sells craft made by local craftswomen – check out the cute tea cosies!

craft and caffeine

The food menu is basic but very reasonably priced. The sweet treats are from a nearby bakery and a local home baker. The babycinos are free!

craft and caffeine

Baby 2.0 plays quietly and happily while I enjoyed a hot drink and then we both do some more craft together.

craft and caffeine

When the weather’s warmer you can take a picnic blanket and sit in the outdoor grass area and let the kids play with hoops, toys and pavement chalk. 

craft and caffeine

Craft and Caffeine  is particularly busy in the mornings (especially the free morning story times) and school holidays. They also offer party bookings on weekend at a very reasonable price. While the food is not that exciting it’s a quiet, relaxing place to hang out, particularly with young kids on a weekday afternoon.

For more crafty or messy play visit The Messy Shed, Crafternoon and Craftercise.


HOT Tips:

  • Pram access;
  • High chairs;
  • Change table;
  • Standard menu suitable for kids;
  • Toys and craft materials;
  • Mums and Bubs happy hour each Wednesday 10am-12pm – coffee for $2; and
  • Free storytime on Thursdays and Fridays 10:30am.

Craft and Caffeine, 16 A Herbert Ave, Hoppers Crossing 0434 331 878

Mon-Fri 8-5pm

Party bookings on weekends

Craft and Caffeine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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