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26 Best Ways to Experience Melbourne Without Leaving the House

We ❤️ exploring Melbourne with kids – but if you're stuck at home and can't go out then there are still lots of ways that you can experience our city without getting off the couch!

Here are my favourite ways to experience Melbourne virtually – from behind-the-scenes videos, live stream concerts, Melbourne-themed books, games and toys!

Melbourne virtual experiences

1. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

MSO is working to #KeepTheMusicGoing by streaming weekly performances online for as long as it's safe to do so.

I am a long-time MSO subscriber and I admit that I had my doubts as to whether watching a live stream of an orchestra would be enjoyable. But it's magnificent! And you get to chat with people from all around the world who are tuning in at the same time. I really felt a sense of community and solidarity as we all virtually appreciated this wonderful music.

Tune in to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra YouTube channel every Thursday night at 7:30pm AEST for Thursday Night (in) with the Symphony and you can watch the live stream or a pre-recorded concert. afterwards, you can replay performances at any time. 

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Youtube

Related: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Jam for Juniors

 

2. National Gallery of Victoria

While the NGV is temporarily closed to the public, they are continuing to share art, design and stories on social media for daily content and inspiration with #NGVEveryDay.

On NGV Channel they also offer virtual exhibition tours and talks,  videos, essays and interviews.  Families can also download free NGV Kids e-books and printables with art activities and games.

KAWS and Acute Art have released a 45cm AR COMPANION for you to use at home with the Acute Art App.  You can tag #NGVEveryDay and tag @NGVMelbourne to share your images.

Keith Haring Jean Michel Basquiat Ngv 2

Related: Best Museums in Melbourne for Kids

 

3. Melbourne Recital Centre

Live from Melbourne Recital Centre offers a series of musical performances digitally broadcast to extend beyond the walls of the Melbourne Recital Centre for your viewing pleasure at home.

Live Melbourne Recital Centre

 

4. Museums Victoria

With Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum and Scienceworks closed temporarily you can still connect, explore and learn more from your favourite museums every day.

Take a virtual tour of Melbourne Museum at Home, get into science technology engineering and maths from your couch with Scienceworks at Home and delve deeper into Victoria's immigration history with Immigration Museum at Home

You can also listen to a free podcast The Fact Detectives, which brings Museums Victoria’s research and collections to life as the hosts chat to museum experts about the coolest things about their areas of expertise. The kids will also enjoy The Listies tour of Melbourne Museum, or as Matt (one half of the LOLtastic duo) calls it, The Learnadome. They have crammed the tour with facts including the bizarre and hilarious.

Signal Summer Cypher Cr Shuttermain

Related: Best Non-Fiction Podcasts for Kids

 

5. ACMI

Join Melbourne Cinematheque for Virtual Cinematheque, a weekly movie night at home.

Virtual Cinematheque will continue the weekly calendar format of double bills that showcase classic and contemporary films on specific directors, performers or a thematic.

The films will be chosen by the Melbourne Cinémathèque Committee and ACMI's Film Department and where possible, they'll have accompanying annotations and introductions for screenings.

Ajeet Mestry Vintage TV Unsplash

Related: Best Cinemas in Melbourne for Kids

 

6. Melbourne Zoo

While visit Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary have stopped accepting visitors, behind the gates, the keepers and vets are still caring for the animals.

You can watch the #AnimalsAtHome live stream, including the adorable snow leopard cubs, penguins, lions and giraffes. Zookeeper Adam even decided to give Giraffe Cam viewers on Zoo Victoria's YouTube Channel some much-needed comic relief by busting a few dance moves!

Related: 18 Best Zoo Animal Live Streams and Webcams from around the world

 

7. Melbourne Aquarium

 The aquarists at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium are live streaming on the website and the SEA LIFE Melbourne’s Facebook page to take people at home on a journey of discovery into marine life.

The SEA LIFE Melbourne’s Facebook page will also upload videos and photos of aquarists caring for the amazing sea creatures while the aquarium is temporarily closed.

Related: Best Melbourne Memberships for Families

 

8. State Library of Victoria

State Library Victoria has more ways than ever for the whole family to entertain, educate and connect via its online offering.

Check out:                                                                                                          

Related: Best Libraries in Melbourne for Kids

 

9. Arts Centre Melbourne

Arts Centre Melbourne are sharing free digital experiences through their ‘Together with You‘ content hub. 

In the digital online hub you'll find full-length performances, artist interviews, family activities, podcasts, curated playlists and more.

Casey Donovan And The Aussie Pops Orchestra

 

10. Bunjil Place

 While Bunjil Place is closed you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram and look out for #ArtsInIsolation, a digital project that'll be bringing cool videos, workshops, art and activities right to your desktop, laptop or mobile.

Bunjil Place

 

11. Legoland Melbourne

While LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Melbourne is closed check out their Facebook page for live LEGO building challenges, Master Model Builder interviews, reviews, workshops and much more!

Legoland Melbourne

Every Tuesday at 11am for a live LEGO workshop with Kieran where he will take you through a LEGO challenge while you build along at home.  Plus keep an eye out for other bricktastic live streams and activities throughout the week!

 

12. The Australian Ballet

Melbourne is home to The Australian Ballet and at the moment all of its staff, dancers and musicians are working from home until it’s safe to return to the studios. 

The Australian Ballet Dancing With David

During this time, you can watch a host of online content that showcases the artistry of The Australian Ballet. Watch high-quality production recordings on Ballet TV and even take a ballet class with Artistic Director David McAllister AM on ‘Dancing with David‘. 

 

13. Heide Museum of Modern Art

The doors of the Heide Museum of Modern Art may be closed but art, architecture and landscape are still very much alive at Heide.

Heide Museum of Modern Art Bulleen Melbourne

Until the museum reopens, they are sharing stories about gardens, exhibitions, including new shows Joy Hester: Remember Me and Agnieszka Polska: The New Sun, and the collection.

Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to experience #heideathome.

 

14. Royal Botanic Gardens

Enjoy the Royal Botanic Gardens' gorgeous greenery online in the Virtual Garden.

Explore the virtual garden when you need a bit of peace with wellness tips, pics of their endless living collection, updates from staff working on-site and more.

Outdoor Escapades Forest School Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne 3

 

15. Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Melbourne International Comedy Festival hasn’t stopped laughing. And now neither will you, because every day for the duration of what would have been the festival, they’ll be sharing throwbacks to festivals gone by.

Spiegeltent

 

16. High Tea Delivery Melbourne

Melbourne has some of the best high tea venues you can find in Australia, but if you can't leave your house then the next best thing is to get high tea delivered to you! Here are the high tea delivery in Melbourne.

A Little Bit Fancee

 

Melbourne books for kids

17. Found in Melbourne

Found in Melbourne is a picture book by Joanne O'Callaghan and illustrated by Kori Song. It is a counting book and a story of friendship with iconic Melbourne scenes as its backdrop. 

There is also a simplified Chinese version of Found in Melbourne as Joanna Callaghan lived in Hong Kong for many years. 

Found In Melbourne

 

18. All the Buildings in Melbourne:…That I've Drawn So Far

All the Buildings in Melbourne is part of an illustrated series by James Gulliver Hancock, who has travelled the world making meticulous drawings of world cities.

In this gorgeous hardcover book, kids can explore the city's architectural cityscape organised by neighbourhoods. James' illustrations are colourful and packed with fun and offbeat details – it's the like the ultimate Melbourne search and find! 

All The Buildings In Melbourne
All The Buildings In Melbourne

 

19. When You Go to Melbourne

Maree Coote has created a delightful rhyming picture book that asks kids to look for the details of Melbourne's treasures. “When you go to Melbourne, see if you can see…” Can you find the golden whale? Can you work out how many gryphons? How many Bridges? Can you find the Giants?

And when the story is finished, there are hidden motifs on every page for extra fun and engagement.

 

20. Letters From Melbourne

This is a great introduction to typography for kids learning to spell. It's a clever illustrated book where the letters are constructed in a way to spell the object or location's name!

Make a game of finding all the letters; Letters From Melbourne improves letter recognition, observation, spelling and design skills.

alphabet city melbourne

 

21. Alphabet City Melbourne

To round out the Maree Coote trilogy is the board book ‘Alphabet City Melbourne‘.

See if you can recognise the letters of the alphabet and the Melbourne landmarks and locations that make up these letter forms. Alphabet City is fun, educational and lovingly local.

 

22. Melbourne Word by Word

Take a meander through Melbourne’s iconic landmarks and hidden gems, and soak up the distinct Melbourne atmosphere, letter by letter and word by word. 

Melbourne Word by Word is a fun celebration of the city, created by a Melbourne-based illustrator. There's a board book version of Melbourne Word for Word for little ones too. 

Melbourne Word By Word
Melbourne Word By Word

 

23. Hello, Melbourne!

Hello, Melbourne! is a picture book by Australian author-illustrator Megan McKean.

Her recognisably bright drawing style takes you on a tour of Melbourne's laneways, icons and attractions with the help of your tour guides – a charm of magpies. There's a Chinese edition of Hello, Melbourne! as well. 

Hello Melbourne
Hello Melbourne

 

Melbourne games and toys for kids

24. Melbourne Monopoly

Monopoly is a classic family board game and there's a Melbourne edition featuring all your favourite locations!

Move around the board with cool game tokens that capture Melbourne's essence (such as a Sherrin, a spray can, coffee cup and tram) and buy up the Shrine of Remembrance, Brighton Bathing Boxes and Melbourne Zoo!

Melbourne Monopoly
Melbourne Monopoly

Related: Best Toys, Games & Activities to Keep Kids Busy & Learning

 

25. Melbourne Tram Toy

Make Me Iconic make wonderful Australian-themed toys and one of our favourites is the classic wooden Melbourne Tram toy

Another fun Melbourne-themed toy we own (which can be easily posted to overseas friends and family) is the Melbourne Magnets

 

26. Melbourne Map Jigsaw Puzzle

Discover all of Melbourne’s nooks and crannies from the couch and put together the Melbourne Map jigsaw puzzle.

This 1000-piece puzzle is a brain busting family activity – and it’ll save your sanity when you just need something to keep everyone occupied. Order from the Melbourne Map website, and get it delivered to your door.

Melbourne Map Jigsaw Puzzle
Melbourne Map Jigsaw Puzzle

 

More books toys and games to keep kids entertained indoors at home

Best kids non fiction podcasts

Best shows for kids on ABC Kids and ABC Me

Best kids educational shows on Netflix, Stan and Disney+

 

Best Melbourne Virtual Experiences
Best Melbourne Virtual Experiences

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce

Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits 1000 X 667

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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