The Shrine of Remembrance is the National War Memorial of Victoria and it makes for an educational (and sobering) outing for families.
Many Australian families have some connection to the armed conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has participated. So the Shrine a good place to bring family history, as well as national and international history, alive for kids.
Shrine Kids is a set of four activity cards, each of which highlights four displays or areas within and outside the Shrine with questions and stories. Baby 2.0 and I use them to inspire a discussion about why people fight wars, what's special about particular objects and why we need to keep quiet in the Sanctuary.
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The Explorer Kits are an army satchel bag containing items such as a magnifying glass, compass, book and more. It inspires kids to interact with the historical themes and look more carefully at the displays.
They are available year round and suitable for kids 4-8 years. However, I think children who are able to read fluently will get the most out of the content as many of the displays are static.
The Shrine of Remembrance also holds school holiday programs which are usually designed for families with children aged 4-10 years. Each program runs for 55 minutes from 10.30-11.25am. At the end of each session, participants are invited to attend the 11.30am Ray of Light Service in the Sanctuary. Bookings are essential. Make sure you add a poppy underneath the stunning poppy canopy at the Education courtyard too.
- free entry;
- allow 30-60 minutes to complete a Shrine Kids booklet, depending on the interest of your child;
- paid parking along Birdwood Avenue and near Royal Botanic Gardens;
- closest tram stop is Domain Interchange, all trams going down St Kilda Road (other than #1) stop there;
- toilets and change facilities; and
- nearest cafe is Jardin Tan in Royal Botanic Gardens.