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48 Things to Do in Melbourne with Babies Toddlers & Kids

A reader’s question inspired this post – the best things to do and places to go with toddlers, crawlers and babies in Melbourne! 

Laura B reminded me of how hard it is to find age-appropriate activities for toddlers and babies in Melbourne.

She asked “We’re spending a long weekend in Melbourne this weekend coming with our ten-month-old twins. Any suggestions on things we can do with them – they will be in their pram but very curious about the world around them and love a good crawl around?”

 

Things to do with Toddlers and Babies in Melbourne CBD

1. Artplay, Melbourne CBD

Artplay is a City of Melbourne-funded children’s art studio and they run free and paid workshops and events for children 0-12 years. Lady AB’s first trip to Artplay was at 7 months old.

New toddler and baby activities pop up every month, so be sure to check their website regularly to find fun activities for kids in Melbourne.

Next to Artplay is the Artplay playground. It is generally more suited to older kids (and can be overrun by school kids on excursions) but babies will enjoy the sandpit, baby swings and Mali the elephant.

ArtPlay City of Melbourne, 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, +6139658 9658

artplay inside out

2. Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne CBD

A trip to Sea Life Melbourne is another thing to add to your list of things to do with a toddler. Babies are fascinated by fish and at Melbourne Aquarium you can get up close to sea life big and small. Under 3s get free entry!

If you’re a regular visitor then a membership (perhaps a combined membership with Legoland as part of the Merlin Annual Pass) might be worthwhile.

Read our Melbourne Aquarium review

BUY discount Melbourne Aquarium tickets

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Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, King Street Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3000, info@melbourneaquarium.com.au

melbourne aquarium

One of my go-to things to do in the city for kids, is an outing to the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter within the State Library of Victoria.

Make the most of free weekly story time sessions, drop-in craft activities, and interactive play areas designed to spark imagination and creativity. Including fun and stimulating activities for babies and toddlers!

With dedicated spaces for fostering a love for reading, this children’s quarter offers a magical experience for families in the heart of Melbourne.

State Library Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne, (03) 8664 7000

State Library Of Victoria Children's Quarter

Step into the fascinating world of visual storytelling at ACMI’s exhibition, “The Story of the Moving Image.” From ancient shadow puppets to cutting-edge virtual reality, families can explore the evolution of film, television, and digital media. 

Little ones can engage with interactive displays, create their own animations, and play retro arcade games. Toddler activities and a Pre-schooler Program run throughout the year with both free entry and ticketed events.

ACMI, Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne, (03) 8663 2200

Acmi Exhibition The Story Of The Moving Image 6

Entry is free for NGV’s two branches at Federation Square and St Kilda Road. Both galleries generally have at least one or two family-friendly exhibitions.

There are also regular art programs for 2-5 year olds called NGV Under 5s.

The Gallery Kitchen and Sculpture Park at NGV International are also great family-friendly hangouts. We’ll often grab a picnic and eat on the lawn if we’re in the CBD, even if we don’t visit the rest of the gallery.

National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia, facebook@ngv.vic.gov.au

Related: Best museums for kids in Melbourne

NGV Mist Garden - 1

6. Library at the Dock, Docklands

It’s never too early to introduce kids to books. Library at the Dock’s children’s library has gorgeous curved shelving and seating, interactive tabletops and screens, a digital carpet and some babies’ toys like wire bead threading sculptures.

Outside the library is a soft fall playground with water play.

Read our Library at the Dock review

The Library at the Dock, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade Docklands, 03 9658 9998

Related: Melbourne’s best libraries for kids

Library at the Dock Docklands - 14

7. Teeny Tiny Cafe, Docklands

If you’re wondering where to go with toddlers in the city, Teeny Tiny Cafe was made just for them!

Also located in the Docklands, Teeny Tiny Cafe provides a wonderful playhouse perfect for preschool kids, and is also a cafe serving up yummy food.

Little imaginations will run wild with the play grocery shop and kitchen, ride-on cars, Duplo wall, soft play tunnel and slide plus a pamper room with dress-ups.

Read our Teeny Tiny Cafe review.

Teeny Tiny Cafe, Shop 3/860 Collins St, Docklands VIC 3008, teenytinycafe825@gmail.com, 0499 712 412

Teeny Tiny Cafe px

8. Playgroup and Soft Play, West Melbourne

If you’re looking for a fun and safe indoor activity for toddlers and babies, head over to West Melbourne Baptist Church & Community Centre. They offer quality playtime and community bonding on Fridays during their Playgroup and Soft Play sessions.

The centre offers morning and afternoon sessions and cost $8 per session or $30 per term. They are catered to little ones aged 6 months to 4 years old.

West Melbourne Baptist Church and Community Centre, 4 Miller Street, West Melbourne, VIC 3003, (03) 8394 7139, hello@wmbc.org.au

Things to do with Babies + Toddlers in Melbourne NORTH

9. Collingwood Children’s Farm, Abbotsford

It’s so much fun for toddlers to experience a bit of the country in the city, and watch the cows being milked, pat the goats and chase chickens.

Lady AB’s first visit to Collingwood Children’s Farm while she was still crawling – so don’t dress your baby in his/her best clothes as they’ll be on their knees in dirt, grass and barnyard floors! 

The Farm Cafe is an excellent family-friendly cafe on-site with pram access, high chairs and a kids menu.

Read our review of Collingwood Children’s Farm and The Farm Cafe

Collingwood Children’s Farm, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC

Collingwood Children's Farm, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

10. Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo, Parkville

For plenty of fun for toddlers, discover Melbourne Zoo‘s indoor play area Keeper Kids. There are different zones related to zookeeping, construction, veterinary science, horticulture and animal research.

Crawlers will love the soft toys and getting up close to the animal enclosure. My kids visit Keeper Kids more than the animals! If you have a zoo membership, this ends up being a cheap toddler activity to come back to every week or so.

BUY tickets to Melbourne Zoo

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Melbourne Zoo Indoor Play ‘Keeper Kids, Elliott Ave Parkville, 03 9285 9300

Keeper Kids Melbourne Zoo

11. Jungle Kids Indoor Play Centre, Wallan

Experience the Jungle Kids Indoor Play Centre. With a multi-level climbing gym and a specially designed play area for younger children, there’s plenty of fun things for toddlers to get stuck into. Also check out Kindy Groove Thursdays, with fun drama and dance sessions for added fun and entertainment.

Jungle Kids Indoor Play Centre, 2B Commercial Drive Wallan, (03) 5783 4104

Jungle Kids

12. Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen

Art Babies is a weekly program at Heide Museum of Modern Art where parents, carers, and babies can connect through creativity. Led by an art therapist, the baby sensory session includes exploration in the sculpture park and directed activities in the gallery. Participants engage in sensory play, story time, and songs. The Art Babies program is not suitable for active crawlers or walking babies. 

For children aged one to five, Gallery Kids at Heide is a creative program providing art-based learning and storytelling, connected with Heide’s exhibitions. Led by Art Therapist Tanis Douglas, these sessions include playful activities and mindfulness exercises, in a world of fun for toddlers. 

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen, 03 9850 1500

heide art babies

13. It’s Time to Play Now, Fairfield + Bundoora

Discover the magic of sensory play with It’s Time To Play Now weekly preschooler events. 

Engage your child’s senses as they dive into sensory tray sessions, where pouring, scooping, and splashing are all part of the fun. Designed to stimulate creativity and imagination, these events offer a hands-on experience that is both educational and fun for toddlers and babies. 

It’s Time to Play Now
Fairfield Community Centre, 84 Arthur St, Fairfield,
Janefield Community Centre, 2 Manchester Cres, Bundoora, 

Baby Sensory classes

14. Bundoora Park Farm, Bundoora

Similar in feel to Collingwood Children’s Farm, Bundoora Park Farm is located in the northside’s largest green space.

You can see and pat farm animals, visit the historic Cooper’s Settlement, ride a tractor and crawl about in the adventure playground inside the farm. Then there’s the fully fenced all ages playground adjacent to the cafe (which doesn’t require an entry fee).

Read our Bundoora Park Farm review

Related: Best memberships for Melbourne families

Bundoora Park Farm, 1069 Plenty Rd, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia, +61 3 8470 8170

Bundoora Park Farm

15. Play Nook, Northcote

Play Nook in Northcote is not your average play centre – it’s a magical wonderland where kids can explore, learn, and laugh to their heart’s content. Boasting a diverse range of play areas, from soft play structures to sensory tables and imaginative cubbies, this venue offers something for every young adventurer. We found this to be one of the most fun places for babies, compared to other indoor play centres.

Run by parents who understand the importance of quality play experiences, Play Nook ensures a clean, safe, and engaging environment for families to enjoy. The on-site cafe caters to hungry tummies with a selection of family-friendly treats, making it the perfect spot for a day of fun-filled memories.

Play Nook, 2 Arthurton Rd, Northcote 

Play Nook

16. Bounce, Heidelberg

The Bounce in Heidelberg, stands as a sprawling indoor play haven, boasting an exclusive Kids Zone tailored for children aged 18 months to 5 years. Nestled in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs, this baby play destination is ideal for ensuring the little ones expend their boundless energy.

Bounce, 590 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg West, (03) 9131 5097

Latitude, 590 Waterdale Road, Heidelberg West

17. CERES, Brunswick East

Chooks, organic groceries, playspaces and a cafe – what more could you want?

CERES is a green oasis that’s a wonderful place in the inner city for a parents group meetup or just a day out in greenery. 

Read our CERES Brunswick review

CERES, Cnr Roberts & Stewart Sts, Brunswick East

CERES

18. Melbourne Museum, Carlton

The children’s gallery at Melbourne Museum has so many experiences, both inside and out – with plenty of fun baby and toddler activities included!

In other parts of the museum, you can crawl along the dinosaur walk, see the various rocks and stones, explore the rainforest gallery or just stare at the tiny (and not so tiny) insects. Be sure to check their website to see what’s on for Melbourne kids this week.

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Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson St, Carlton

BUY tickets to Melbourne Museum

Bugs Melbourne Museum Ant Colony

19. Playshed Cafe, Thomastown

This indoor play centre caters only for under 5s, so you know that your little ones will have fun and be safe. If you need a day of activities for a baby and toddler, this is a must-visit!

Everything is soft fall with equipment for little hands. Playshed Cafe review.

Playshed Cafe, 6 Abruzzo Crescent, Thomastown

Related: Best indoor play centres for babies and toddlers

Playshed Cafe Thomastown

Things to do with Babies + Toddlers in Melbourne SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

20. Museum of Play and Art Melbourne, Sandringham

The Melbourne children’s museum also known as MoPA Melbourne is the largest Children’s Museum in Melbourne and one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.

It’s a colourful and exciting location for families who are looking to can have fun and learn together through play-based learning and creative exploration. The indoor play centre also gives kids multiple opportunities to get creative, immerse themselves in art or participate in active play. Museum of Play and Art Review

Museum of Play and Art Melbourne, 247 Bay Rd, Sandringham, 1800 006 672

Related: Best indoor things to do with kids in Melbourne

Museum of Play and Art Melbourne px

21. Children’s Garden at Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra

This fenced garden is within the Royal Botanic Gardens and provides opportunities for water play and nature play in a popular picnic spot.

You can also take your under 5s on a Punt Tour for free!

Read our Children’s Garden Botanic Gardens review

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra 

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

22. Murrumbeena Park, Murumbeena

Murrumbeena Park is home to a huge playground with different zones for different abilities, including a separate toddler area.

I particularly love the wooden sculptures and nature play elements.

Read our Murrumbeena Park review.

Murrumbeena Park, 37 Kangaroo Road, Murrumbeena

Murrumbeena Park, 37 Kangaroo Road, Murrumbeena

23. Australian Gardens Cranbourne, Cranbourne

Stunning Australian Garden, which showcases the diversity of Australian flora, plus free water play.

Read our Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne review. 

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, cnr Ballato Rd and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne

Australian Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, cnr Ballato Rd and Botanic Drive Cranbourne

 24. Carrum Beach playground, Carrum

A nautical-themed playground in a huge sandpit, right next to the long expanse of sand at calm and safe Carrum Beach. It’s sandpit squared! 

Carrum Beach, Cnr Johnson Ave and Old Post Office Ln, Carrum

Related: Melbourne’s best beaches for kids

Carrum Beach Playground, 15 Old Post Office Lane, Carrum Beach Foreshore, Carrum

25. VJunior

VJunior at Village Cinemas 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.

It’s a great place for kids to relax, watch and enjoy a great fun movie.

Read our VJunior Cinemas review.

VJunior at Village Cinemas Plenty Valley, Sunshine, Knox, Southland & Fountain Gate

Related: Best cinemas in Melbourne for kids

vjunior southland

 26. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Chadstone

An indoor play centre for the ultimate LEGO fan! While it is mostly geared towards kids 3+ years there are some spaces that are suitable for toddlers.

Buy LEGOLAND tickets or Buy the Melbourne SEA LIFE Aquarium & Legoland Discovery Centre Attraction Pass and visit both parks for less. The attraction pass is valid for admission within 90 days.

Read our LEGOLAND Melbourne review

Also check out their new program Little Play Times, that is designed to teach pre-school children new skills through meaningful parent-child play!

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LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne, Level 2, Chadstone – The Fashion Capital, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone 

DUPLO Farm Adventure Legoland Melbourne

27. Kid Factory, Dingley

Entertain the kids for a few hours at Kid Factory, where they can enjoy classic jungle gyms, slides, climbing frames, ball pits, single-person trampolines, and a mini trampoline park complete with basketball hoops. 

We love that this play centre offers fenced areas and age-specific equipment for children under 4 and under 2, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Kid Factory, 300 Boundary Rd, Dingley 03 9551 3919

Kid Factory Dingley

28. My Puzzle House, Pakenham

My Puzzle House is a sensory play gym in Pakenham that only allows 15 children at a time and always with at least one session host. Some of the active play equipment may be too advanced for little ones but they will love the quieter play equipment and a sensory room that’s dark and calming. 

Read our My Puzzle House review

My Puzzle House, 5 Embry Court, Pakenham 

My Puzzle House Pakenham 12

Things to do with Babies + Toddlers in Melbourne EAST

 29. Hays Paddock, Kew East

Hays Paddock Playground is currently being renewed. Construction is expected to complete by mid-2024 (weather permitting). 

A huge sprawling fully fenced playground with a good assortment of equipment for little ones such as numerous swings with safety belts, a large shaded sandpit, springers, seesaws and coloured panels to look through.

Read our Hays Paddock Review

Hays Paddock, Enter via Lister St or Leason St, Kew East 

Hays Paddock

 30. Olinda Playspace, Olinda

A beautiful nature-based playground with lots to do for younger kids, including water play and sandpits. 

Olinda Playscape

31. Playdays, East Doncaster

Playdays is an indoor play centre built just for under 5s! It’s huge and clean with great sightlines to all the equipment.

Read our Playdays review

Playdays, 350 Blackburn Rd, East Doncaster

playdays doncaster

 32. Mini & Me Eastland, Ringwood

Sign up to the free Mini & Me kids club at Eastland (for kids 4 and under) and receive exclusive offers, invites to free events and $5 valet parking!

Mini & Me, Eastland Shopping Centre, Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood

Eastland Mini and Me

33. TwistED Science, Moorabbin

This award-winning, science-based indoor play centre aims to help you and your children to be curious, to create, and most importantly to connect.

The facility’s Tangerine room is a cosy no big kids zone specially designed for pre-school children under 5. Within the Tangerine zone, there is also another separate area for babies and toddlers that are 2 and under. 

TwistED Science, 36 Bulli St Moorabbin

Twisted Science px

Things to do with Babies + Toddlers in Melbourne WEST

34. Scienceworks, Spotswood

Head straight to Ground Up, a STEM learning and play area for younger kids. It’s full of fantastic hands-on fun and suitable for crawlers.

Scienceworks also runs regular under 5s only sessions called ‘Little Kids Day In‘ with a different theme every time. 

BUY Tickets to Scienceworks

Scienceworks 2 Booker St Spotswood

Ground Up Scienceworks

35. Werribee Open Range Zoo, Werribee

Ranger Kids is an indoor play space with three play areas for imaginative play – an African village, the savannah and a field hospital.

The Village Kids playground is next door but the climbing and ropes mean it’s not as suitable for crawlers.

Werribee Zoo also has water play and a sandpit at Hippo Beach which is great for summer family fun.

BUY tickets to Werribee Zoo

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Ranger Kids Werribee Zoo, K Rd, Werribee South

ranger kids

 36. Pirate Ship Park, Aberfeldie

It’s a pirate ship playground set amongst a huge sandpit!

The ramps mean that you can wheel a pram right inside the boat and then let kids out to crawl around the deck.

Read our Pirate Ship Playground review

Pirate Ship Playground, Riverside Park, 118 The Boulevard, Aberfeldie

pirate ship playground

37. Funtopia, Maribyrnong

Funtopia is a clean, spacious and huge indoor play centre with a dedicated fenced and padded area for under 2s.

Under 4s can also go on the climbing walls at specific times during the week.

Read our Funtopia Maribyrnong review

Funtopia, 98 Hampstead Rd, Maribyrnong, also Carrum Downs

Funtopia Maribyrnong

38. Footscray Community Arts, Footscray

Footscray Community Arts is Australia’s longest-running community arts centre. 

During school term it runs drop-in babies and toddler classes from music to circus.

Read our Toddler Art and Toddler Jam reviews.

Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray

5 Rhythms Dance

 39. Playnastics, Airport West

Playnastics casual gymnastics sessions are a perfect first taste of the sport for kids aged from babies up to 4 years old.

Run by the innovative Essendon Keilor Gymnastics Academy, these fun sessions allow preschool children to explore real gymnastics equipment in a safe and fun environment.

Read our Playnastics review.

Playnastics, 194-196 Roberts Rd, Airport West (03) 9336 4077

Playnastics

40. Incy Wincy Babies, Aberfeldie

Every month the Incinerator Gallery holds a special art program for babies called Incy Wincy Babies.

Preschoolers are also catered for in their regular Arty Tales program.

Incy Wincy Babies Incinerator Gallery, 180 Holmes Rd, Aberfeldie 

incy wincy babies incinerator gallery

41. Animal Land Children’s Farm, Diggers Rest

Only 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, Animal Land Children’s Farm offers families a full day of fun on a real working farm! Enjoy two playgrounds, pony rides and endless opportunities for feeding and patting cute farm animals.

Read our Animal Land Children’s Farm review.

Animal Land Children’s Farm, 190 Duncans Lane, Gate 2, Diggers Rest, Victoria 3427, 03 9740 0750, fun@animalland.com.au

Animal Land Childrens Farm px

42. Relax & Play, Altona North

At Relax and Play, children are encouraged to explore and enjoy themselves in a generously sized, secure play area, while their caregivers can unwind with beauty treatments. It’s an excellent choice for toddlers, with a bright and spacious soft play area where building with foam blocks is a favourite choice. 

Relax and Play, 1 Gilbert Drive, Altona North, (03) 8676 8111

Relax And Play Altona North 3

Things to do in Melbourne with Babies and Toddlers – Multiple locations

43. Baby Sensory Classes

Baby Sensory classes are regular classes for babies under 18 months based on scientific and educational research with activities promoting visual, social and physical development.

Classes currently run in Richmond, Port Melbourne, Brunswick, Blackburn, Mount Waverley, Kensington and Thornbury.

Baby Sensory Classes , Various locations

Baby Sensory classes

44. Intergenerational Music Playgroups

Hey Dee Ho holds free Intergenerational Musical Playgroups within various aged care facilities, inviting families with young children to attend to join in singing, dancing and playing percussion instruments with the elderly residents.

The children benefit from interacting with different generations, the residents love seeing children having fun and both experience the amazing benefits of music.  Music gets their entire brain going – memories, emotions, rhythm and beat – and is especially beneficial for residents with dementia. Something fun for the whole family!

hey dee ho, 2/1 Heversham Drive, Seaford 3198 VIC, 1300 139 631, info@heydeeho.com.au

IMG 9258

45. Miniature Railways, Melbourne and Victoria

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a train ride, and miniature trains bring such joy to little tots! Whether you are into trains or just love a bit of adventure, check out this list of miniature railways open on various weekends throughout the year.

moorabbin miniature railway

46. Water Play

We’ve all seen that water play can be one of the most fun activities for toddlers and preschool aged kids.

Cool off and play at one of the many free water parks or indoor aquatic centres across Melbourne with your little ones.

Broadwater Parklands Southport

47. Your Local Library

Every council library has a schedule of free drop-in storytime for babies 0-18 months and toddlers 2-5 years. If you’re in the city then the State Library, City Library, Library at the Dock and Southbank Library all run regular storytime events.

48. Music Playground Baby Steps

Music Playground Baby Steps is a gentle and heartfelt activity where parents can make friends, educate and encourage their young child. The classes are also free!

Sing, move and play instruments while guided by qualified, experienced teachers.

Join at any time to learn and share new joyful, musical ways to bond with your little one.

The Music Playground, 41 Challis Street, Newport

IMG

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About Joyce Watts

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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