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.
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.
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!
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.
‘The Island’ is a sandpit set upon a hump at the end of The Rill.
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.
Another favourite area is the tall bamboo forest which has a soft sandy base and provides some cool shade from the hot sun.
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.
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.
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.
There are also lots of hidden nooks and crannies where kids can hide or get lost.
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!