HOT: Children’s Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne is a fantastic free destination for Melbourne families. We are so lucky to have this wonderful sensory space that’s suitable for kids of all ages and physical abilities to play in, learn from and enjoy.

children's garden botanic gardens
Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

The Children’s Garden features plants, water, structures and pathways that reflect Melbourne’s changing seasons. It’s a dedicated, fully fenced space for families within the Royal Botanic Gardens and it is a popular destination during spring and summer for picnics and parties.

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

The spiral fountains at the entrance switch on once the temperature hits 25 degrees. It’s best to wear bathers and have a change of clothes!

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

The Rill is a gentle waterway that meanders through most of the Children’s Garden, getting quite deep in places. Baby 2.0 likes to stand on the jets and float leaf boats down the water.

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens
Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens
Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

‘The Island’ is a sandpit set upon a hump at the end of The Rill.

children's garden botanic gardens

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A rope hammock swing has been installed there since our last visit which I think is actually a shame because it prevents children from making the most of the sandpit.

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

Another favourite area is the tall bamboo forest which has a soft sandy base and provides some cool shade from the hot sun.

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

You will find Mali the elephant hiding in the bamboo and she’s even got a stool ready so kids can climb on her back.

children's garden botanic gardens

The enclosed Gathering Lawn is gated and only available for booked functions such as parties and school groups. Inside you’ll find shady trees, a water feature and plenty of green space to run, jump and play.

children's garden botanic gardens

The Children’s Garden is fully fenced with single exit/entrance with a childproof lock. However, little kids still need to be supervised closely as some of the water features are deep – the main pond is 80cm.

children's garden botanic gardens

There are also lots of hidden nooks and crannies where kids can hide or get lost.

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

The Children’s Garden is free and open Wednesday to Sundays during school terms and every day during school holidays and on public holidays. You can bring your own food and drink for an alfresco picnic or buy goodies at Jardin Tan – their pastries are amazing!

Click here for more free water play in Melbourne.

Click here for my review of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne.

Click here for more places to go in Melbourne with babies and toddlers.

HOT Tips:

  • take a towel or a change of clothes – kids won’t be able to resist the water play!;
  • BYO food and drink for a picnic or buy goodies at Jardin Tan;
  • $2 per hour (max 3 hours) paid parking along Birdwood Avenue;
  • go for a punt ride for extra fun!

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About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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