When the weather is just too unpleasant to be outdoors, what is there to do indoors with kids in Melbourne?
Indoor play centres are a convenient way to get kids out of the house, be active and provide some good indoor activities. However, not every play centre is suitable for all age groups and if you have little ones they can be intimidating places if you're mixing with bigger, boisterous kids.
After roadtesting play centres for years, here is a list of the best play centre options for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, i.e. kids under 5 years.
best Playcentre Melbourne for babies & toddlers
1. Relax and Play, Altona North
Relax and Play invites children to PLAY in a large secure play area, while their adults RELAX with exercise and beauty treatments and free child-minding included in the play centre entry fee!
It's a great play centre for toddlers as the soft play area is bright and spacious and building up the foam blocks is a favourite activity! There is a cafe on site with more inspired (and healthy) options than the usual fare, and spots to set up a laptop to take advantage of the free WiFi. Relax and Play Review.
Relax and Play, 1 Gilbert Drive, Altona North
2. Playshed Cafe, Thomastown
Playshed Cafe is designed specifically for 0-7 year olds but I think given its size and popularity it's one of the ideal playcentres for toddlers and other under 5s.
There is a specific area for 0-3 years, and the equipment throughout is generally soft and padded. The cafe is at the front of the centre, and there are good sightlines to all of the equipment. Playshed Cafe Review.
Playshed Cafe, 6 Abruzzo Crescent Thomastown, 03 9464 6199
3. Playdays, Doncaster
Playdays is one of the best play centre for toddlers and it's also a party venue. They're only open school hours during school term – so just for under 5s!
You'll find lots of soft play equipment and three jumping castles. Playdays Review.
Playdays Doncaster, 350 Blackburn Rd East Doncaster 03 9842 8844
4. PlanetKids, Southbank
Conveniently located in Southbank / South Melbourne, PlanetKids has play areas set up in 5 rooms, including spaces specifically for babies and soft / gentle play.
There is a play gym for older kids, and a choice of two cafes, one with quality coffee and pastries, and another with a more varied cafe menu. PlanetKids Review
PlanetKids, 10-12 Cecil Street Southbank, 03 9896 7976
5. Landing Playcentre, Bundoora
The large, space-themed play space is one of the best playcentre for toddlers, especially with the giant ball pit, imagination play kitchen and dedicated (though small) soft play baby area.
Landing Playcentre & Cafe, 2A/445 Grimshaw Street, Bundoora
6. Latitude, Heidelberg
Latitude is a huge indoor play centre that includes a dedicated under Kids Zone play area for kids 18 months to 5 years old. It's a baby play centre near Melbourne's north-eastern suburbs that's perfect for tiring out the smallest family members.
Latitude, 590 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg West 1300 123 528
7. Legoland Melbourne, Chadstone
Legoland Melbourne is the ultimate indoor playground and for little ones they have a DUPLO Farm play area with active play and DUPLO play opportunities, like a toddler play centre especially designed for 2 – 5 year olds.
Also DUPLO kids club is run from 10am – 1pm weekdays (excepting school holidays and public holidays) when LEGO team members play with children to provide learning opportunities. Legoland Melbourne DUPLO Farm Review
Legoland Melbourne, Level 2 Chadstone – The Fashion Capital, 1341 Dandenong Road Chadstone
8. Flip Out Box Hill
Newly opened in Box Hill is a multi faceted centre with trampolines, parkour equipment, climbing walls and a range of lessons. It’s fun for the whole family!
Trampoline parks are often reserved for older kids, but Flip Out Box Hill has special sessions for younger kids and playgroup sessions available, making it one of the great play centres for toddlers.
Flip Out Box Hill, T2, 249 Middleborough Rd, Box Hill, 03 9890 7213
9.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. It's a toddler play centre Melbourne families will love to visit for messy fun!
The Messy Shed, 3 Baldwyn St, Frankston, 0434 415 677
Museum of Play and Art Melbourne is a colourful and exciting play centre that is currently the largest Children's Museum in Melbourne and one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.
MoPA Melbourne just like its original location MoPA Geelong offers lots of fun opportunities for play-based learning and creative exploration. The wonderful space is nothing Melbourne has ever seen and experienced so far and is a great place for children and families to have fun and learn together. Read the full review
Museum of Play and Art Melbourne, 247 Bay Rd Sandringham, 1800 006 672
Pixel Playcentre, 49 Cameron St Cranbourne and FY 2 151-159 Princes Highway, Hallam – Lots of active play equipment and an onsite cafe. Note that this play centre appears to have a religious affiliation.
Play Nook, 2 Arthurton Rd Northcote, 03 9481 0128 – A small play centre with an onsite cafe and sensory play activities available some days (included in entry fee). There are additional surcharged activities such as dance classes available at specific times.
Hopscotch Play Cafe, Shop 14, 101 Seebeck Drive Narre Warren South, 03 9705 6532 – A cafe and childrens play area running two sessions daily. Booking in advance is recommended.
Kids Space, 79 Star Cresent Hallam, 03 8786 3909 – Kids Space has a designated toddler area and an onsite cafe.
Jungle Kids Indoor Play Centre, 2B Commercial Drive Wallan, 03 5783 4104 – multi level climbing gym and a dedicated play space for smaller children. Plus Kindy Groove on $5 Thursdays, a free drama and dance session.
Kidz n Fun, Action Indoor Sports 160 New Street Ringwood, 03 9879 4777 – Play centre designed for children from 6 months to 6 years. Jumping castles, soft play Melbourne and climbing equipment are all featured.
Little Rascals, 3/1140 Burwood Highway Ferntree Gully, 03 97536488 – designed for 0-7 year olds, Little Rascals has a soft play area making it a great play centre for babies, LEGO pit, smaller-scale climbing equipment and plenty of cafe tables and couches.