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13 Best Places to go in a Melbourne Heatwave with Kids

Looking for places to go to beat the heat?

If you're stuck for ideas, check out my list of the 13 best places to go with kids in a Melbourne heatwave!

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Things to do in a Melbourne heat wave

1. Hit the beach

Melbourne is blessed with shallow, gentle and safe bay beaches. Here are the best beaches in Melbourne for kids.

Our favourites include Altona Beach, Ricketts Point and Carrum Beach, all of which are great destinations because of their proximity to playgrounds and cafes.

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

2. Outdoor pool

Melbourne has lots of outdoor pools if you know where to look, and many of them are only open in the warmer weather so make the most of them.

My two favourite outdoor pools for kids is Lara Pool and North Melbourne.  Both are only open in summer.

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 and Aquapulse has some awesome water slides.

3. Free water play

Melbourne and surroundings have loads of free water play playgrounds where you can cool down.

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 the ultimate list of free water play in Melbourne

4. Paid water play

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, Gumbuya World and Funfields Whittlesea.

Buy tickets to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary

5. Visit the library

Libraries are a free resource of cool entertainment. The State Library of Victoria is the most central and has an amazing Children's Quarter with toys, games and of course books to browse (but not borrow). 

Notable local libraries with great spaces for kids include Library at the Dock in Docklands, Kathleen Syme Library in Carlton and Melton Library.

Click here for the best libraries in Melbourne for kids

6. See a movie

VJunior at Village Cinemas Southland and VJunior at Village Cinemas Sunshine are cinemas 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, 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.

Best Melbourne cinemas for kids

The National Gallery of Victoria always has an incredible children’s gallery installation. Previously, it was all about learning to make art like KAWS.

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

Heide Museum of Modern Art often have child-friendly exhibitions and they run regular creative workshops for kids during term time.

If you like to touch the art then head to ArtVo where the 80 interactive installations are there to be photographed for the ultimate selfie! Buy Artvo tickets


Find Accommodation near National Gallery of Victoria


8. Head to the museum

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

Scienceworks has a dedicated children's STEM area mainly for under 5s called Ground Up, a permanent exhibition for teens Beyond Perception plus many interactive temporary and permanent exhibits.

There are also two specialist children’s museums  – Museum of Play and Art in Geelong and the Melbourne Museum of Play and Art is opening soon.

Buyy Melbourne Museum tickets

9. Go to the zoo

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

The Melbourne Aquarium is all indoors and air-conditioned, and their latest permanent exhibition is Ocean Invaders.

Buy tickets to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary or Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

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 Centre, DreamCity and Funtopia Carrum Downs.

Click here for the best indoor play centres in Melbourne

11. Go ice-skating

Try ice-skating at ice rinks all over Melbourne, with the biggest being at O’Brien Group Arena in Docklands.

Buy O'Brien Ice Skating tickets

12. Bowling and arcade games

Get your daggy bowling shoes on or challenge yourself on arcade games at places like Wyncity and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq.

13. We all scream for ice cream

In summer, ice cream seems to be a separate food group for our family! 

Here's a list of the best ice cream and gelato in Melbourne. Bon appetite!

Miinot gelato

15. Get the High Score at Fortress, Melbourne

Fortress Melbourne is the largest ultimate game entertainment venue in Australia and spans over two gigantic levels inside Emporium Melbourne.

It holds 160 premium Alienware PCs, two licensed bars, private party spaces, a huge themed basement Tavern restaurant with VIP video game booths and board game areas, and much more.

The venue offers broad appeal to adults and kids and it’s a great place for kids to play games to their heart’s content. 

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

Fortress Melbourne px

Best TV shows on ABC Kids and ABC Me

Click here for more outdoor play ideas

Best kids water bottles

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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

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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