Mornington Beach

46 Best Things to Do in the Mornington Peninsula with Kids

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

 1. Dinosaur World

Dinosaur fans unite! Enjoy roaring good fun at Dinosaur World, a small museum with animatronic dinos. Full review. 

Dinosaur World, Cr Frankston-Flinders Road and Oneills Road, Somerville

Related: Dinosaur Experiences in Melbourne

Dinosaur World

2. Moonlit Sanctuary

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.

Full review

Moonlit Sanctuary, 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Road, Pearcedale

Moonlit Sanctuary Pearcedale - 1


Mornington Peninsula Art Gallery (MPAG) is a small regional gallery with touring exhibitions and regular children’s singing and art sessions. Full review.

Mornington Peninsula Art Gallery, 350 Dunns Road, Mornington

lynley dodd exhibition


At McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park you’ll find stunning art works, mainly Australian, in a bushland setting. Full review.

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin


5. Enchanted Adventure Garden

Enchanted Aventure Garden is a lovely garden-based theme park with mazes, puzzles, tube slides and tree surfing for older kids. Full review.

Enchanted Adventure Garden, 55 Purves Road, Arthurs Seat

enchanted adventure garden


6. Arthurs Seat Eagle 

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

Arthurs Seat Eagle 4

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

The Messy Shed

8. Frankston Library and Frankston Arts Centre

Frankston Library boasts gorgeous Alice in Wonderland murals and a spacious children’s section. FAC occasionally hosts family-friendly shows and school holiday workshops. Full Review.

Frankston Library and Frankston Arts Centre, 60 Playne Street, Frankston

Related: Best libraries in Melbourne

Frankston Library

9. Jubilee Park Frankston

Jubilee Park in Frankston has a sand and sea theme. Full review.

Jubilee Park, Hillcrest Road, Frankston

Jubilee Park playground, Hillcrest Road, Frankston


10. Peninsula Hot Springs

At the Peninsula Hot Springs you can relax in natural thermal pools and there’s even a family bathing area. Full review.

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

Peninsula Hot Springs Mornington Peninsula


11. Ballam Park

At Ballam Park you can double the fun with two regional playgrounds, skate park, parkour equipment, multi-use court and BBQ/picnic facilities. Full review

Ballam Park, 260R Cranbourne Road, Frankston

Related: Australia’s 40 best playgrounds

ballam Park

12. Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens

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

Enjoy a mini golf game, as well as mazes, super-sized games, enclosed gardens, wildlife and winding wetlands at 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.

Sorrento Park 1000px

15. Mornington Railway

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

Related: Train Experience in Melbourne for Kids

16. Rayne Hayne & Shine, Balnarring

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 

Funky Farm Hastings 667px 1

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

Searoad Ferries 2

best beaches in MORNINGTON PENINSULA FOR kids

21. Frankston Beach

Frankston Beach has a historic pier and an excellent adventure playground. Full review. 

Frankston Beach, Frankston Waterfront Reserve, Pier Promenade, Frankston

Related: Best beaches in Melbourne for families and kids

Frankston Beach playground - 1

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

Rye's Up Community Playground

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

Mornington Beach


25. Rosebud Foreshore Playground

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

Rosebud Foreshore Playground

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

Sorrento Rock Pools Sorrento Back Beach 14

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

Sorrento Front Beach 11

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.

Diamond Bay Sorrento 2

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

30. Mornington Racecourse Market

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

Blue Mini Rosebud 2 2

32. Heronswood House and Garden

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


33.  T’Gallant

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

johnny ripe


35. Flinders Hotel, Flinders

Excellent award-winning kid-friendly gastropub. Full review.

Flinders Hotel, Corner Cook and Wood Street, Flinders

flinders hotel


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

sunny 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

green olive red hill


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

red hill epicurean


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

Main Ridge Dairy


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

Woodman Estate


41.  Eeny Meeny, Frankston

Best food and coffee in Frankston’s CBD. Full review.

Eeny Meeny, 96 Young Street, Frankston

Eeny Meeny, 96 Young St, 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

Related: Best family friendly cafes in Melbourne

Hungry Peacock

43.  Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie and Ice-creamery, Flinders

Ice-cream, chocolate, family-friendly cafe and yard games – what’s not to like?? It’s a branch of the popular Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.

Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie and Ice-creamery, 45 Cook Street, Flinders 03 5989 0040

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44. Merricks General Wine Store

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

Itali.co Sorrento 1

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

Hotel Sorrento 1000px

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.

Cabana Sands Sorrento 12

Ocean Blue Coastal Retreats

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.

ocean blue coastal retreats
mornington peninsula kids

This post contains affiliate links. If you book 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

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

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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