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The HOT List: Top 10 Indoor Places to Go with Kids in Melbourne

Indoor Play with Kids in Melbourne

Melbourne is famous for experiencing four seasons in one day – and often that means rain, especially in winter.

If you’re stuck for ideas as to what to do with kids on a cold or rainy day, check out my list of Top 10 indoor places to go and things to do with kids in Melbourne.

  1. Visit the library

Library at the Dock Docklands - 12

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 wonderful source of (quiet) entertainment for kids. 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.


  1. Indoor pools


If you’re going to be wet anyway, why not head to an indoor pool? 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.


  1. Catch 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.

Cinemas often have babes-in-arms sessions where you can watch the latest new releases and be comfortable knowing everyone else is a parent too and are unfazed by kids. Hoyts, Palace, Village and independent cinemas such as the Sun Theatre all have babes-in-arms sessions. 

Kids will be awed by the world’s second-largest IMAX screen in Carlton and you can visit Melbourne Museum afterwards.

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

  1. Eat out at a cafe with an indoor play area

brighton schoolhouse

My favourite cafes with an indoor play area (or a basket of toys you can enjoy indoors) include The Eastern Bloc and The Hub.

Click here for the best cafes with indoor play.

  1. Visit an art gallery

artplay inside out

The National Gallery of Victoria always has an incredible children’s gallery installation. 

Artplay is a City of Melbourne children’s art and creative studio. They have paid workshops but also free drop in events and exhibitions, including regular seasons of creative indoor play called Artplay Inside Out for under 5s.

Heide Museum of Modern Art often have child-friendly exhibitions and they run regular creative workshops for kids such as Heide Art Babies and Heide Art Kinder

For a gallery experience that’s a bit different, head to ArtVo where the 100+ installations are there to be touched and photographed!


  1. Head to the museum

Fire Services Museum, 39 Gisborne St, East Melbourne

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

Scienceworks has a fantastic play area mainly for under 5s Ground Up as well as many interactive temporary and permanent exhibits, including Test Lab and the planetarium.

The Screen Worlds exhibition at Australian Centre for the Moving Image is interactive fun for the i-generation. 

More niche museums include the Fire Services Museum East Melbourne with fire alarms and fire engines and the Melbourne Tram Museum full of vintage trams you can climb into and pretend to drive.


  1. Go to the zoo

Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo

It may seem counter-intuitive to visit the zoo when it’s raining but 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 under 3s get free entry too.


  1. Go shopping or visit a market

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea 2016 - 1

Some of Melbourne’s best markets are under cover. Explore Queen Victoria Market, Prahran Market, South Melbourne Market, Dandenong Market or Footscray Market for a delicious sensory experience. South Melbourne Market and Prahran Market both have weekly kids events such as face painting, music and dance classes.

Some shopping centres also feature indoor play, for instance the play spaces at Eastland or Mini Makers at Highpoint.

  1. Indoor play centres

play central port melbourne

A really good indoor play centre is a godsend on a rainy day. My favourites include Rabbit Hole, the LEGOLAND Discovery CentrePlay Central, PlanetKids and the trampoline/inflatable park combo at Airodrome.


  1. Get active

TunzaFun Xtreme

Get active indoors – try the ice-skating rink at O’Brien Group Arena in Docklands, trampolining at Bounce, indoor climbing at Clip n Climb, climbing and arcade games at TunzaFun Xtreme, climbing and active play at Funtopia or bounce, climb and fly at Latitude

Footscray Community Arts Centre run drop-in toddler circus classes during school term too. 

Where are your favourite indoor play spaces in Melbourne?

Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned entrepreneur. She 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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