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.
Visit the library
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.
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.
Catch a movie
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.
ACMI hold regular screenings of children’s films as part of Kids Flicks.
Eat out at a cafe with an indoor play area
Visit an art gallery
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.
For a gallery experience that’s a bit different, head to ArtVo where the 100+ installations are there to be touched and photographed!
Head to the museum
Melbourne Museum children’s gallery provide hours of entertainment both indoors and outdoors.
Go to the 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.
Go shopping or visit a market
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.
Indoor play centres
A really good indoor play centre is a godsend on a rainy day. My favourites include Rabbit Hole, the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Play Central, PlanetKids and the trampoline/inflatable park combo at Airodrome.
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.