The Mornington Peninsula is one of the most popular destinations for Melbourne families, with its access to calm beaches, family-friendly attractions and great eateries.
While the northernmost part of the region is only an hour or so from Melbourne, there are so many things to see that it’s worth making it a longer stay.
Here are the best places to go with kids on the Mornington Peninsula. Also check out the best places to go in Frankston with kids.
Staying overnight? Check out the best AirBnBs on the Mornington Peninsula for families.Find Hotels and Airbnbs in Mornington Peninsula
Things to do in Mornington Peninsula for families
Dinosaur World, Cr Frankston-Flinders Road and Oneills Road, Somerville
Related: Dinosaur Experiences in Melbourne
Get up close to Australian animals in a bushland setting at Moonlit Sanctuary. You can even feed the wallabies!
Buy a general entry ticket to the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park in advance here.
Moonlit Sanctuary, 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Road, Pearcedale
Mornington Peninsula Art Gallery, 350 Dunns Road, Mornington
McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin
Enchanted Adventure Garden, 55 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat
Also at Arthurs Seat you’ll find the Arthur Seat Eagle, a gondola cable car lift linking Dromana to the summit of Arthurs Seat. Enjoy scenic views above the Mornington Peninsula, across Port Phillip Bay, towards Melbourne.
Arthurs Seat Eagle, 795 Arthurs Seat Rd, Arthurs Seat (03) 5987 0600
7. The Messy Shed, Frankston
The Messy Shed runs 45 minute art and sensory play sessions for under 5s which are all about messy fun! They’re only $12 a session and participants will get to have lots of fun experiences with regularly changing themes.
The Messy Shed, 3 Baldwyn St, Frankston, 0434 415 677
Frankston Library and Frankston Arts Centre, 60 Playne Street, Frankston
Related: Best libraries in Melbourne
Jubilee Park, Hillcrest Road, Frankston
Visit Peninsula Hot springs with this morning express shuttle (you will also get a priority entrance to the Bath House there).
Peninsula Hot Springs, Springs Lane, Fingal
11. Ballam Park
Ballam Park, 260R Cranbourne Road, Frankston
Related: Australia’s 40 best playgrounds
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens is home to Australia’s oldest and most famous hedge maze, a circular rose maze, and the flowering Lavender Labyrinth. You can also wander through the gardens on the self-guided Garden Discovery Trail. The famous Great Ashcombe Gnome Hunt is fun for all ages.
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens, 15 Shoreham Road, Shoreham
13. Boneo Maze
Boneo Maze, Location 695 Limestone Road, Fingal
14. Sorrento Park
Discover a shady wooden playground set amongst lovely gardens on a hilltop, with awesome bay views.
Mornington Railway is a heritage and tourist railway running from Moorooduc to Mornington. Trains run each Sunday of every month and some public holidays as well as Wednesdays during Victorian School Holidays.
Mornington Railway, 460 Moorooduc Highway Entry via Two Bays Rd/Mt Eliza Regional Park, Mt Eliza 1300 767 274
The farm features a large variety of farm animals with an emphasis on ‘hands-on’ activities. You can feed, cuddle and pat animals, ride on one of the farm ponies or join in for a free hayride. To make the most of your day there are indoor and outdoor picnic areas, gas barbeques and a small playground.
Rayne Hayne & Shine Farmyard, 490 Stumpy Gully Road, Balnarring Victoria 03 5983 1691
17. The Big Goose, Moorooduc
The Big Goose combines old fashioned farm experiences with the fun of an adventure park. With a huge undercover playground for all ages, giant jumping pillow, pony rides and mini-golf you could spend the whole day there!
The Big Goose, 233 Mornington-Tyabb Road, Moorooduc Victoria 0459 911 549
18. Funky Farm, Hastings
In Hastings, you will find a little private zoo called The Funky Farm.
The Funky Farm started as a homestead and hobby farm. Now it has been turned into a wildlife sanctuary, where animals that have been rescued or have been injured can happily live. You can go to see animals rescued from the wild or rehabilitated after injuries, and even feed and cuddle them.
The Funky Farm, 209 Coolart Road Hastings 3915
19. The Briars, Mt Martha
The Briars is National Trust property in Mount Martha with a wildlife sanctuary, heritage homestead and Eco-Living Display Centre. The Briars also features a visitor’s centre, wetlands, gardens, cafe, restaurant, outdoor education camp, astronomy centre and picnic areas.
The Briars, 450 Nepean Highway, Mt Martha Victoria 03 5974 3686
20. Searoad Ferries, Sorrento
Take a scenic trip across Port Phillip Bay between Sorrento and Queenscliff aboard the Searoad Ferries. You can walk on as a foot passenger, take a bike or even drive your car onto the ferry. They run hourly and it makes for a fun day trip from the Mornington Peninsula to the Bellarine.
Searoad Ferries, Sorrento
best beaches in MORNINGTON PENINSULA FOR kids
21. Frankston Beach
Frankston Beach, Frankston Waterfront Reserve, Pier Promenade, Frankston
22. Rye Beach
On the foreshore of Rye Beach is ‘Rye’s Up‘ – a community-built gated adventure playground with easy access to the beach.
Check the accommodation options near the Rye Beach here.
Rye Beach, 2387A Point Nepean Road, Rye
Related: Best beach playgrounds in Melbourne
23. Dromana Beach
Dromana Beach is a a popular family beach with soft sand, a pier, foreshore playground and lots of shops and eateries across the road.
Dromana Beach, Marine Drive, Dromana
24. Mornington Beach
Mornington Beach is famous for its colourful beach boxes plus there is a boating pier, Main Street shops and playground across the road.
Check the accommodation options near the Mornington Beach here.
Mornington Beach, Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington
What an amazing playground! On the foreshore of Rosebud Beach, you’ll find a multi level play area with lots of swings, slides, a flying fox, climbing structures, cubbies and other impressive modern facilities for a full day out!
Rosebud Foreshore Playground, Point Nepean Rd & Jetty Rd, Rosebud
26. Sorrento Rock Pools
At Sorrento Back Beach you’ll find some amazing rock pools which are deep enough to swim in! You’ll also be able to spot amazing sea creatures inside the crystal clear water.
Sorrento Rock Pools, Sorrento Back Beach
27. Sorrento Front Beach
Sorrento front beach offers stunning sunset views just off the main street of Sorrento. You can also spot the Searoad Ferries departing from the shore.
Sorrento Front Beach
28. Diamond Bay Beach, Sorrento
A secluded beach with fun waves, small rock pools and great views. It’s not patrolled for swimming so we like to go for walks rather than swims there.
Where to Shop in the Mornington Peninsula
29. Red Hill Market
The Red Hill Community Market runs on the first Saturday of the month from September to May 8am to 1pm. It’s a farmers market with food and produce, plants and fresh flowers, combined with a high-quality craft market
Red Hill Community Market, 184 Arthurs Seat Road, Red Hill Victoria 03 5976 3266
On the second Sunday every month, the Mornington Racecourse Market opens from 9am to 2pm for seasonal and fresh produce and local crafts.
Mornington Racecourse Market, 10 Racecourse Road, Mornington 03 5976 3266
Where to eat in the Mornington Peninsula with kids
31. Blue Mini
Blue Mini is a retro-styled cafe and gift store located inside a converted old bowling alley!
On the menu you’ll find innovative dishes, delicious home made cakes and treats and local wine, beer and cider.
Blue Mini, 2 Colchester Road, Rosebud Victoria 03 5981 2520
Heronswood is a historic house situated on two hectares of formal gardens in Dromana. It is the home of the Digger’s Club, a gardening organisation, as well as a restaurant that uses the freshest organic heirloom vegetables and fruit from their own gardens matched with local produce and wines.
Heronswood, 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana 03 5984 7318
Winery, cellar door and casual dining with pizzas. Full review.
T’Gallant, 1385 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge
34. Johnny Ripe
Small bakery cafe famous for their apple pies and pastries. Full review.
Johnny Ripe, 284 Main Creek Road, Main Ridge
35. Flinders Hotel, Flinders
Excellent award-winning kid-friendly gastropub. Full review.
Flinders Hotel, Corner Cook and Wood Street, Flinders
36. Rocky Creek Strawberry Farm, Main Ridge
Tempting desserts to reward you after picking your own strawberries. Full review.
Rocky Creek Strawberry Farm, 244 Shands Road, Main Ridge
37. Green Olive at Red Hill, Red Hill
Daytime cafe with paddock-to-plate philosophy and an in-ground trampoline! Full review.
Green Olive at Red Hill, 1180 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge
38. Red Hill Epicurean, Red Hill
Stunning restaurant, cafe and produce store famous for their pizzas. Full review.
Red Hill Epicurean, 165 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
39. Main Ridge Dairy, Main Ridge
Pat some goats and taste some goats cheese at this working dairy. Full review.
Main Ridge Dairy, 295 Main Creek Road, Main Ridge
40. Woodman Estate, Moorooduc
*Currently close as they’re under new management and undergoing refurbishment*
Old fashioned charm with luxury accommodation and spa on site plus breakfast, lunch and high tea served.
Woodman Estate, 136 Graydens Road, Moorooduc
41. Eeny Meeny, Frankston
Best food and coffee in Frankston’s CBD. Full review.
Eeny Meeny, 96 Young Street, Frankston
42. The Hungry Peacock, Tyabb
The best child-friendly cafe in the area with so many play zones and even messy play. Full Review.
The Hungry Peacock, 16 Mornington Tyabb Road, Tyabb
43. Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie and Ice-creamery, Flinders
Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie and Ice-creamery, 45 Cook Street, Flinders 03 5989 0040
A beautiful country general store with fine wine, artisanal food, art and produce. You can reserve tables at the family-friendly bistro for breakfast and lunch and enjoy French-inspired country cuisine in stunning surroundings.
Merricks General Wine Store, 3460 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks
45. Italico, Sorrento
If you’re after great Italian food then head to this restaurant and pizzeria opposite the beautiful bay of Sorrento.
Italico 1 Esplanade, Sorrento (03) 5984 4004
46, Hotel Sorrento, Sorrento
Iconic Hotel Sorrento sits on the Sorrento clifftops overlooking the sparkling waters of Port Philip Bay. The restaurant offers a short kids menu, high chairs, change facilities and cosy fireplaces or water views.
Hotel Sorrento, 5-15 Hotham Rd, Sorrento VIC 3943 +61 3 5984 8000
Where to stay in Mornington Peninsula
For family-friendly options on the Mornington Peninsula, I recommend checking out what’s available on Airbnb. Plus here are some other places that I particularly recommend too.
Cabana Sands, Sorrento
Cabana Sands is a renovated Coastal Boho style house and bungalow just 450 metres to the water’s edge of Koonya surf beach in one direction and an easy 10-minutes’ walk to the calm bay beach.
We stayed in the fully self-contained 2 bedrooms, 3 bed bungalow with a private garden, cubby house and sandpit. It was a very comfortable stay, with stylish decor, super-quiet and lots of space to play.
This accommodation company manages several properties on the Peninsula and they specialise in family-friendly accommodation. We stayed in ‘Summer Cottage’ in Tootgarook/Rye, a spacious 3 bedroom house in a quiet residential street about 600m away from the beach.
The accommodation comes with a portacot, high chairs, a large collection of toys, a BBQ, dog kennel and heaps of room so you can actually fit in a large group or two families! It’s fully air-conditioned and heated, has a wood fire, separate laundry and two bathrooms, plus off-street parking for one car.
Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats, multiple addresses.
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