Finding a big, safe place for kids to run around in Melbourne’s CBD can be challenging. That’s why one of our favourite CBD fringe destinations is Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne.
Fitzroy Gardens is one of Melbourne’s most historic and beautiful gardens. The magnificent tree-lined avenues and extensive lawns provide ample opportunity for running and are a gorgeous backdrop for children’s photos.
The English-style garden contains a few attractions which are good for kids – a small playground, a model Tudor village, the Fairies tree, Cook’s Cottage and conservatory.
Note that there are water features and fountains in the gardens so keep a watch on young children.
The playground is small but amusing because the climbing structure/slide consists of a sleeping dragon and the swings hang from a giraffe’s neck. The playground is not shaded.
Cook’s Cottage is the oldest building in Australia and was built by the parents of Captain James Cook. The cottage was brought to Melbourne in 1934, with each brick individually numbered, packed into barrels, shipped and reconstructed.
The Conservatory has five different floral displays a year and is built in the Spanish mission architectural style.
Ola Cohn’s Fairies Tree has been carved into the stump of one of the original Red Gum trees in the Fitzroy Gardens which is over 300 years old. Next to it is the cute model Tudor village. Unfortunately it is fully fenced so you can’t walk through it and can only admire from behind the gates.
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After Fitzroy Gardens fun we like to go toSquare and Compass for a kid-friendly cafe stop as I’m not such a fan of The Pavilion. There is also the KereKere café at the visitor centre where you can also buy entry tickets to Cook’s Cottage. KereKere is of particular note because it invites customers to help in the distribution of monthly $500 donations by selecting to support one of four Cause Categories – Environmental, Cultural, Social or Health.