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Top 12 Places to go with Kids in a Melbourne Heatwave

Looking for places to go to beat the heat?

If you’re stuck for ideas check out my list of the best places to go with kids in a Melbourne heatwave!

1. Hit the beach


Eastern Beach Reserve, 95 Eastern Beach Rd, Geelong

Melbourne is blessed with shallow, gentle and safe bay beaches. Our favourites include Altona Beach, Ricketts Point and Carrum Beach, all of which are great destinations because of proximity to playgrounds and cafes.

Further afield check out Frankston Beach, Eastern Beach Geelong, Lorne and the beaches of the Mornington Peninsula.

Click here for the best family-friendly beaches in Melbourne.

Click here to check the water quality and cleanliness of every beach in Melbourne.


2. Outdoor pool


lara pool

My two favourite outdoor pools for kids is Lara Pool and North Melbourne.  Both are only open in summer. Thomastown Recreation and Aquatic Centre is an indoor pool but has an outdoor water play area. 

I’m not a huge of indoor pools when it’s hot but if you want to get away from the sun then 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.

Here’s a list of all the public swimming pools in Melbourne.

3. Free water play


Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, cnr Ballato Rd and Botanic Drive Cranbourne

Melbourne and surrounds have loads of free water play playgrounds. Our favourites include Royal Park, Riverwalk Water Play Park, Ron Barassi Snr Park, the Children’s Garden at Royal Botanic Gardens and Australian Garden.

Click here for a full list of free water play in Melbourne.


4. Paid water play

hippo beach werribee zoo

Lion Gorge at Melbourne Zoo, Hippo Beach at Werribee Zoo and Badger Creek at Healesville Sanctuary all have great water play areas. For older kids try Adventure Park in Geelong and Funfields Whittlesea


5. Visit the library

Play Pod State Library of Victoria

State Library Victoria is the oldest public library in Australia and the kids play area Play Pod is free and has a rotating literary theme.

Local libraries are a free resource of cool entertainment. Notable local libraries with great spaces for kids include Library at the Dock in Docklands, Kathleen Syme Library in Carlton and East Melbourne library.

Click here for the best libraries in Melbourne for kids.


6. See a movie

vjunior southland

VJunior at Village Cinemas Southland 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.

During school terms cinemas offer babes-in-arms sessions where you can watch the latest new releases with your baby. Hoyts, Palace, Village and independent cinemas such as the Sun Theatre all have babes-in-arms sessions.

See movies on the world’s second-largest IMAX screen in Carlton and you can drop into Melbourne Museum afterwards.

ACMI hold regular screenings of children’s films as part of their Kids Flicks series.


7. Visit an art gallery

NGV car wash

The National Gallery of Victoria always has an incredible children’s gallery installation. Currently it’s We Make Carpets as part of the NGV Triennial and The Pool

Artplay is a City of Melbourne children’s art and creative studio. They have paid workshops but also free drop in events and exhibitions.

8. Head to the museum

Melbourne Museum Children's Gallery

Melbourne Museum children’s gallery provide hours of entertainment both indoors and outdoors.

Scienceworks has a dedicated children’s STEM area mainly for under 5s called Ground Up as many interactive temporary and permanent exhibits, including the planetarium.

At Australian Centre for the Moving Image check out the free interactive Screen Worlds exhibition.


9. Go to the zoo

Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo

In addition to water play Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary all have indoor play areas and under cover exhibits such as the reptile house or penguin area.

Finding Dory & Friends: The Experience, SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, cnr Flinders St and King St, Melbourne

The Melbourne Aquarium is all indoors and air-conditioned.


10. Indoor play centres

There are loads of play centres to choose from and many offer air conditioning. My favourite air conditioned play centres include LEGOLAND Discovery CentreLatitude, Play Central and PlanetKids.


11. Go ice-skating

Enjoy trying the ice-skating rink at O’Brien Group Arena in Docklands.


12. We all scream for ice cream

Miinot gelato

In summer, ice cream seems to be a separate food group for our family! Here’s a list of the best ice cream and gelat0 in Melbourne. Bon appetit!

Where do you like to go to beat the heat?

Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts loves to blog about ways in which families can have more fun together!

She's a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned entrepreneur who combines her love for kids, food, travel and bikes into several passion projects.

She owns an online bike store; develops and produces bike-related creative experiences for families via; and writes another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne with (non-kid related) reviews about things to do and places to go in Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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