16 Best Indoor Places to Go with Kids in Melbourne

Melbourne is famous for experiencing four seasons in one day – and often that means rain, wind or heat.

If you’re stuck for ideas for a great indoor activity for kids, check out my list of the top kids indoor activities in Melbourne, including places to go and things to do.

Indoor activities for kids Melbourne

1. Visit the library

State Library Victoria is the oldest public library in Australia and the Children’s Quarter is amazing, filled with free indoor kids activities near Melbourne’s heart, games, toys and of course books to browse.

Local libraries are also a wonderful source of (quiet) entertainment and indoor kids activities Melbourne wide. Notable local libraries with great spaces for kids include Library at the Dock in Docklands, Kathleen Syme Library in Carlton and East Melbourne library.

Related: Best libraries in Melbourne

State Library Of Victoria Children's Quarter

2. Splash in an indoor pool

If you’re going to be wet anyway, why not head to an indoor pool? It’s one of the great rainy-day activities for toddlers who need to burn off some energy!

Glen Eira has an awesome pirate ship facility, my kids love the frog slide at our local Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre and Aquapulse has some awesome water slides.

Related: Best Indoor Swimming Pools in Melbourne

Another option to get access to swimming pools is to book accommodation with an indoor pool. Find your perfect accommodation with a swimming pool or the best Melbourne hotels with a swimming pool.


3. Catch a movie at a kid-friendly cinema

VJunior at Village Cinemas is a cinema designed by and for kids, with a play zone before the film, a slide, dim lighting, quieter sound and a more relaxed atmosphere. Movies should be relaxing indoor things to do with kids and VJunior takes any worries about disruptions or fidgety kids away.

Cinemas often have babes-in-arms sessions where you can watch the latest new releases and be comfortable knowing everyone else is a parent too and are unfazed by kids. Hoyts, Palace, Village and independent cinemas such as the Sun Theatre all have babes-in-arms sessions.

Kids will be awed by the world’s second-largest IMAX screen in Carlton and you can visit Melbourne Museum afterwards – two Melbourne indoor activities in the same building!

Related: Best cinemas in Melbourne for kids

vjunior southland

4. Eat out at a cafe with an indoor play area

There are great cafes with indoor activities for toddlers Melbourne foodies (big and little) will enjoy.

My favourite cafes with an indoor play area (or a basket of toys you can enjoy indoors) include The Eastern Bloc and the pub Stomping Ground Beer Hall.

Related: Best cafes in Melbourne with indoor play

brighton schoolhouse

The National Gallery of Victoria always has an incredible children’s gallery installation – and it’s one of my favourite indoor activities for families Melbourne CBD offers.

Up Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kids is open in the children’s gallery from June – October 2023 and it’s free!

The main galleries are showing the NGV Collections and the gallery-wide exhibition Melbourne Now. Check out What’s On with current exhibitions and events.

Plans for the planet NGV exhibition childrens gallery Children interacting with the exhbit s tables to create their own drawings

Artplay is a City of Melbourne children’s art and creative studio, offering kids indoor activities Melbourne and interstate children can attend. Check What’s On at ArtPlay – they have paid workshops but also free drop-in events and exhibitions.

artplay inside out

Heide Museum of Modern Art often have child-friendly exhibitions and they run regular Melbourne indoor activities for kids such as Heide Art Babies and Heide Mini Artists.

For a gallery experience that’s a bit different, head to ArtVo, one of the indoor family activities Melbourne’s District Docklands has. There are 80 installations to be touched and photographed! 

Buy tickets to ArtVo here.

Artvo Melbourne

6. Visit a museum

Melbourne Museum is one of the best kids indoor activities near Melbourne CBD. The Melbourne Museum children’s gallery provides hours of entertainment both indoors and outdoors. At various times they will also have additional free indoor activities for kids, e.g. during school holidays.

Scienceworks has things to do with toddlers in Melbourne! They have a fantastic play area mainly for under 5s Ground Up as well as other indoor activities in Melbourne for older kids with interactive temporary and permanent exhibits including Beyond Perception and Born or Built? Our Robotic Future.

Ground Up Scienceworks

Visit, ACMI, the Australian Centre for Moving Image, at Fed Square. ACMI is Australia’s national museum for film, television, video games, digital culture and art. It’s one of the fun indoor things to do in Melbourne for the whole family – the permanent exhibition The Story of the Moving Image is a hit for older kids especially.

Acmi Exhibition The Story Of The Moving Image 6

More niche museums include the Fire Services Museum East Melbourne with fire alarms and fire engines and the Melbourne Tram Museum full of vintage trams you can climb into and pretend to drive. Both great indoor toddler activities Melbourne junior vehicle aficionados will learn something from (while having fun)!

Fire Services Museum, 39 Gisborne St, East Melbourne

There are also two specialist indoor places for kids near Melbourne- the children’s museums  – Museum of Play and Art in Geelong. and Museum of Play and Art coming soon to Melbourne.

Related: Best museums in Melbourne for kids

7. Go to the zoo

When you’re looking at the rainy day activities Melbourne has on offer, it may seem counter-intuitive to visit the zoo; but Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary all have indoor play areas and undercover exhibits such as the reptile house or penguin area.

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BUY tickets to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary

Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo

The Melbourne Aquarium is a favourite Melbourne indoor activity for many big and little kids, and under 3s get free entry.

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BUY discount tickets to SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium

melbourne aquarium


8. Go shopping or visit a market

Some of Melbourne’s best markets are undercover, and they’re fun indoor things to do Melbourne wide. Explore Queen Victoria Market, Prahran Market, South Melbourne Market, Dandenong Market or Footscray Market for a delicious sensory experience. You could even join a Queen Victoria Market Foodie Tour!

South Melbourne Market and Prahran Market both have weekly kids events such as face painting, music and dance classes.

If you’re looking for free indoor activities Melbourne shopping feature indoor play, for instance, the play spaces at Eastland or Mini Makers at Highpoint both run varied and engaging activities.

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea 2016 - 1

9. Play inside at an indoor play centre near you

A really good indoor play centre is a godsend when you’re looking for rainy day activities for toddlers Melbourne wide.

My favourites include Rabbit Hole (Rabbit Hole Play Centre is closed until further notice), the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, and the trampoline/inflatable park combo at Airodrome.

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At Relax and Play there is indoor activity for kids and adults: you can get a manicure or pedicure, join an exercise class, do yoga or Zumba – while your kids are supervised in the awesome play area!

Families with neurodiverse kids will particularly enjoy We Rock the Spectrum and My Puzzle House. These sensory gyms welcome kids of all abilities.

we rock the spectrum melbourne

Related: Best indoor play centres in Melbourne & Best play Centres in Melbourne for toddlers and babies

10. Get active with indoor play

Wondering what active indoor activities Melbourne has to offer?

Try the ice-skating rink at O’Brien Group Arena in Docklands, trampolining at Bounce, indoor climbing at Clip n Climb or active play at Funtopia!

For even more indoor activities Melbourne kids love try Rampfest is an indoor skate park in Braybrook.

If you’re looking for a play centre that encourages learning through play, TwistED Science is a fantastic place to check out as it’s jam-packed with STEM play stations that brings science to life via fun activities that make the topics easy and entertaining.

Related: Best indoor climbing centres in Melbourne for kids & Best indoor trampoline parks in Melbourne

TunzaFun Xtreme

11. Play a round of mini golf

Play a round (or two) of mini golf at an indoor course. Holey Moley combines 80s and 90s nostalgia with mini golf and a bar, all indoors, Glow Golf is an 18-hole course with 10 holes under UV lights, and there’s an 18 hole medieval-themed Castle Putt-a-lot at Sidetracked Entertainment Centre.

Related: Ultimate guide to mini golf Melbourne

Holey Moley

12. Go Bowling or play Laser Tag

Wear your stealthy shoes and play a round of laser tag, or play a game or two of 10 pin bowling. Wyncity in Point Cook has both (as well as other activities), as does Sidetracked Entertainment Centre, Gravity Zone has laser tag (also trampolines, dodgeball and more), and Kemizo Family Entertainment Centre has laser tag (and a roller skating rink, and climbing walls).

wyncity point cook

13. Get the High Score at Fortress, Melbourne

Fortress Melbourne is the largest ultimate game entertainment venue in Australia and is a great place for kids to play games to their heart’s content. It spans over two gigantic levels inside Emporium Melbourne and holds 160 premium Alienware PCs thanks to its official partnership with the popular gaming brand Alienware.

Other things to enjoy at the Fortress Melbourne are the two licensed bars, private party spaces, a huge themed basement Tavern restaurant with VIP video game booths and board game areas, and much more.

Fortress Melbourne, 23 Caledonian Lane, Melbourne, +61 3 9606 8800

Fortress Melbourne px

14. Hit the Escape Rooms

Whether you’re a puzzle enthusiast, an adrenaline junkie, or simply seeking a unique experience, Melbourne’s escape rooms are bound to unlock a world of unforgettable fun.

With atmospheric settings, breathtaking visuals, and mind-bending challenges, escape rooms in Melbourne guarantee an adrenaline-pumping experience that will transport you to another time and place!

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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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