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100 Best Things to Do in Melbourne with Kids

Looking for the best things to do with kids in Melbourne? That’s easy – it's our home town and our family has been exploring places to go with kids for almost a decade!

Here are 100 ideas for Melbourne things to do that are 100% guaranteed fun.

All of these things to do around Melbourne are open all year or open regularly during the year. For seasonal things to do use the search box on the site and look for lists such as Easter events in Melbourne, things to do in Melbourne at Christmas or Melbourne Halloween events.

Better still – you can subscribe to my weekly newsletter to find out more ways for your family to have fun together!

Happy adventuring! I know you'll find a lot of fun things to do in Melbourne and lobe about the city!

Best Things to Do in Melbourne CBD / Docklands

1. NGV is one of the must sees in Melbourne! See great art at the National Gallery of Victoria and check out their regular rotation of Children's Gallery exhibitions and art programs for kids such as NGV Under 5s.

2. Stroll through Chinatown Melbourne, the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. Every foodie visiting or living in Melbourne must go to enjoy Hong Kong-style yum cha at Secret Kitchen, the cheapest Michelin Star restaurant in the world Tim Ho Wan and world-famous dumplings at Din Tai Fung.

3. Artplay is a unique place where babies to 12-year-olds can explore their creativity with professional artists. It's full of Melbourne fun for kids with free and paid workshops and next door is the awesome ArtPlay Playground at Birrarung Marr.

4. Queen Victoria Market is Melbourne's iconic market and has been operating since 1878, and one of the Melbourne must dos for foodies. The quality of the produce is second-to-none and throughout the year they host pop up festivals, the Summer Night Market and the Winter Night Market.

5. Looking for top things to do in Melbourne? Melbourne SkyDeck offers Melbourne's highest views (get your tickets here) and they have The Edge experience for those not scared of heights!

6. Window shop or sit down and enjoy a coffee/hot chocolate/babycino between Melbourne city activities in Melbourne's famous arcades, such as Block Arcade and Royal Arcade.

7. Melbourne Central is a good starting point for things to do in the city – home to a train station and a shopping centre, but also one of Melbourne's most photographed landmarks, Coop's Shot Tower. Simply go up to Level 1 and enter through the RM Williams Store to gain entry to this iconic structure.

8. When you're exploring Melbourne; look down the laneways for awesome street art. The art on the street is vibrant, topical and ever-changing and often located in unexpected places.

9. Get the High Score at Fortress Melbourne's largest ultimate game entertainment venue with over two gigantic levels inside Emporium Melbourne and holds 160 premium Alienware PCs, two licensed bars, private party spaces, a Tavern themed restaurant with VIP video game booths and board game areas, and much more.

10. Head to The District Docklands to see the trick art gallery ArtVo (buy discounted ArtVo tickets first), and enjoy crazy arcade games and bowling at Archie Brothers.

11. State Library of Victoria is Australia's oldest library and home to the landmark Reading Dome, one of the Melbourne top things to do for anyone interested in books, history or architecture. The Children's Quarter is spectacular, and they run children's events.

12. Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia's largest performing arts venue and they regularly have fun things to do in Melbourne CBD with children's performances, exhibitions and more. You can also visit through a guided tour or a backstage tour (the latter is only for children 12+ years. also note that the guided tours are currently not available.)

13. Library at the Dock is a stunning Green Star public library and community space by the water. There's a small and unusual playground outside at Buluk Park plus delicious goodies from Italian cafe Saluministi.

14. The Immigration Museum is a museum displaying Australia's immigration history and is housed in the historic Customs House. I'm even an exhibit in the ‘Identity' section – see if you can find me on my bike! During school holidays they run programming which is more suitable for young kids.

15. Melbourne has the largest urban tram network in the world and it is free to ride trams within most of the CBD as it's within the Free Tram Zone‘. However, only the historic City Circle Tram provides a commentary on what you're seeing as you trundle on the tracks. The only issue is that the vintage W-class trams are not great for accessibility or those with mobility difficulties.

16. Wondering where to go in Melbourne to see a show? Melbourne is considered the home of Australian theatre – through Sydney or Brisbane may argue otherwise! Nevertheless, Melbourne is the only Australian city performing the worldwide smash theatrical hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Enhance your Harry Potter in Melbourne experience with a visit a stay in The Windsor Hotel's Wizard’s Suite.

17. Federation Square is arguably the city's heart, and full of interesting things to do in Melbourne, with numerous places, spaces and eateries to enjoy. Check out Australian art at the Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria, stumble across a special event or community festival and visit Australia's national museum of film, video games, digital culture and art at ACMI.

18. Want to do Melbourne by boat? Take a ride along the Yarra and see the city from another angle. GoBoat allows you to drive your own electric picnic boat without the need for a licence! Alternatively, you can go on a 2-hour river cruise on Yarra and see the most popular highlights of Melbourne.

19. SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium is a popular family attraction where you can meet sharks and crocodiles. It's a great activity in Melbourne to do if the weather is cold or wet. Pair your ticket with entry to Legoland Melbourne and save!

20. Fancy historical activities in Melbourne? Meet Ned Kelly and other famous inmates at Old Melbourne Gaol. Don't miss the watchhouse and Magistrates Court guided tours!


Find accommodation in Melbourne CBD


what to do in melbourne NORTH / NORTH-EAST

21. Melbourne Museum is full of things to do and see in Melbourne! It's the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere and home to the amazing Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery. Adjoining the museum is IMAX Melbourne cinema and the very cool playground in Carlton Gardens.

22. While you're in Carlton there are cool places to go in Melbourne for bookish kids; visit Kathleen Syme Library which has an excellent children's section, the Reading Kids speciality bookshop for children's literature. A little further in Fitzroy North is the world's oldest children's bookshop The Little Bookroom.

23. On every Muggle's Melbourne to do list is the Myers’ Harry Potter Store!

24. Food is on every Melbourne bucket list! Head further down Smith Street taste some of the best gelato in Melbourne at Piccolina. They also have branches in Hawthorn and St Kilda, as well as the CBD and Richmond.

25. ‘Cubbies' Fitzroy Adventure Playground is a solar-powered junkyard playground just made for adventure! The adventure playgrounds are cool things to do in Melbourne with kids and each space is unique.

26. STREAT is a hospitality social enterprise dedicated to helping young people who need a hand. Their headquarters and cafe is a green oasis tucked away in the industrial part of Collingwood.

27. Another Collingwood warehouse-conversion resident is Stomping Ground, an independent craft brewery with a beer hall housing an awesome cubbyhouse!

28. Edinburgh Gardens is an English style garden with not one, but two excellent playgrounds. A bonus is the artisan ice cream shop Billy Van Creamy across the road.

29. Australia's best playground (as awarded by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects) is Royal Park Nature Play in Parkville. It's one of the excellent places to go in Melbourne when kids need to use up some energy!

30. Melbourne Zoo is one of the best things to do Melbourne; it's Australia's oldest zoo and home to lions, lemurs, penguins and more – tickets can be purchased here.

31.Collingwood Children's Farm is one of the best things in Melbourne to let little ones enjoy country life in the city The Farm Cafe on site is an excellent place for a pit stop.

32. Next door to Collingwood Children's Farm you'll find Abbotsford Convent. Today the site and its buildings are used as an arts, educational and cultural hub with cafes, a bakery, a farmers market and other public events regularly. It's home to children's art organisations such as Polyglot Theatre (creators of fun activities to do in Melbourne) and Kids Own Publishing

The Grand Imaginarium Kids Own Publishing

33. CERES is a not-for-profit, sustainability centre and urban farm located on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick. There's a cafe, organic groceries, animals and a play area to explore.

34. We Rock the Spectrum is Australia's first indoor play centre that caters for children with special or additional needs such as autism – but welcomes kids of all abilities!

35. Bundoora Park is one of the largest green spaces in Melbourne's north and home to Bundoora Park Farm where you can pet and feed animals.

36. Looking for some Melbourne activities with indoor play for babies to teens? Look no further than GoClimb, Latitude or Playshed Cafe.

37. What is there to do in Melbourne's outer north east? In the hills of Eltham you'll find Gothic and Tudor style buildings in Montsalvat, an artist colony. There are buildings and grounds to explore, a cafe, and regular public events are held on site.

38. Diamond Valley Railway is a miniature railway that operates every Sunday. It adjoins the excellent Eltham Lower playground making for a great family day out.

39. Looking for some water play? Check out Hadfield Park‘s splash pad and other great equipment for all ages.

40. A huge insect has landed at Golden Sun Moth Park and it's spectacular! Craigieburn Library is in the same suburb and one of the most spectacular libraries in Melbourne.

Best things to do melbourne SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

41. Museum of Play and Art Melbourne is a colourful and exciting in-door play centre that is perfect for families who are looking to can have fun and learn together through lots of fun opportunities for play-based learning and creative exploration.

42. Wondering what to see in Melbourne with historical significance? The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria's War Memorial. To assist families to make the most of their visit, The Shrine of Remembrance has two free kids programs, Shrine Kids and Explorer Kits.

43. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria are botanic gardens across two sites – Melbourne and Cranbourne, and they're full of outdoors stuff to do in Melbourne. Go on a punt tour or head to the Cranbourne Gardens explore the amazing Australian Gardens and explore play areas.

44. The southside has not one, but two staffed adventure playgrounds – St Kilda Adventure Playground and Skinners Adventure Playground in South Melbourne – both exciting things to do in Melbourne for kids!

45. Como House is a historical house and gardens in South Yarra. Como offers a glimpse into the privileged lifestyle of former owners, the Armytage family, who lived there for nearly a century. The excellent family friendly cafe The Stables of Como is also located on-site plus hosts events once in a while.

46. South Melbourne Market is a lively undercover market with stalls for produce, art and design and cafes with restaurants. They often close off Coventry Street to hold events including for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, and the market also holds regular events – see what's on at South Melbourne Market.

47. See a movie in Melbourne's grand old cinema The Astor Theatre.

48. Caulfield Park is a huge space with three playgrounds!

49. Booran Reserve is a $10 million playground in Glen Huntly repurposing an old water reservoir.

50. Luna Park is an old-fashioned amusement park, one of the top things to do in Melbourne and its iconic entrance is on many a Melbourne postcard.

51. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne is the ultimate indoor LEGO play space in Chadstone Shopping Centre. Combine your ticket with SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium and save! While you're at the centre enjoy a meal at New Shanghai‘s Chadstone branch or play in the Play Pods.

52. Valley Reserve is an award-winning play space with nature play elements and lots of opportunities to climb.

53. Another place you'll find a historical house and garden is at Ripponlea. It is also managed by National Trust and hosts events such as school holiday theatre for kids.

54. National Aviation Museum is a must do for young (and old) plane and aviation fans.

55. Melbourne is lucky to have calm bay beaches which are perfect for kids. We love Half Moon Bay and the playground and beach combos at Albert Park and Carrum Beach.

56. Picture-postcard perfect Brighton Beach Boxes are one of the must do things in Melbourne for every visitor (and resident)! Nearby in Brighton you'll find the awesome North Road Foreshore Playground.

Brighton Bathing Boxes, Dendy Street Beach, cnr Dendy St and Esplanade, Brighton

57. Look out for aliens when you visit the UFO Park at The Grange Reserve Clayton!

58. Looking for more fun things to do near Melbourne where you'll see animals? Go on a tractor ride and feed and pat animals at city farms Myuna Farm and Chesterfield Farm.

59. Casey Fields is an amazing playground for all ages.

60. The Old Cheese Factory is part of the 1860s historic Springfield Homestead and offers beautiful gardens, a large children’s playground, barbecue/picnic facilities and the Homestead Café.

what's to do in Melbourne EAST

61. Looking for things to see in Melbourne for sports fans? Australia’s Australia’s National Sports Museum sits alongside the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground (get your tickets here). Every year before the AFL Grand Final the grounds of Yarra Park come alive with the Footy Festival.

62. If you're looking for fantastic beasts then look out for the dragon inside Fitzroy Gardens!

63. There's plenty of fun in Melbourne's Fire Services Museum, the original headquarters of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. You can ride a vintage fire truck in this privately owned museum run by wholly by volunteers with a background with fire services.

64. At health food cafe Serotonin there's pram access, high chairs, kids menu, playground across the road, easy free parking – but the main feature is that the cafe seats are SWINGS.

65. The Melbourne Tram Museum at Hawthorn Tram Depot is one of the quintessential things to see Melbourne visitors and residents shouldn't miss! You can learn more about the oldest and most extensive still existing tram networks in the world.

66. Heide Museum of Modern Art is one of the things in Melbourne for art lovers! Heide is an art museum set within sixteen acres of heritage-listed gardens and a sculpture park. During school terms they run Heide Art Babies and Heide Mini Artists and in school holidays there's an extensive arts program.

67. Ruffey Lake Park boasts three separate playgrounds as well as walking tracks, cycling paths and rolling parklands.

68. Once a month the Box Hill Miniature Railway toots around a track within Elgar Park (technically in Mont Albert North).

69. If you're looking for a big indoor play space for younger kids then Playdays is the answer!

70. Clamber aboard the full-size steam engine at the Marie Wallace Train Park in Bayswater.

71. Bring your bathers for some water fun at Lillydale Lake!

72. Slide down the fast slides at the playground inside Ringwood Lake Park.

73. At the foothills of the Dandenongs you'll find a magical playground at Tim Neville Arboretum.

74. Ride the Puffing Billy, the most famous steam train in Melbourne that chugs through the forested Dandenong Ranges.

75. One of the stops on the Puffing Billy is at Emerald Lake. While you're there visit the Emerald Lake Model Railway.

76. Wondering what to see and do in Melbourne's Dandenongs? Make sure you stop into The Piggery Cafe at Burnham Beeches for a bite to eat and a play and then head next door to Alfred Nicholas Gardens to walk off your meal.

77. Out in the Yarra Valley don't miss the Australian animals at Healesville Sanctuary.

78. For the best child friendly wineries in the Yarra Valley try TarraWarra Estate, Oakridge Wines and Innocent Bystander.

79. Drop into the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie for a sweet treat.

80. Rayner's Orchard has fruit to pick (and taste) all year around. When berries are in season you can pick cherries at Cherryhill Orchards.

what to do melbourne WEST

81. I'm a Footscray local so I guess I'm biased – but Footscray has the best food in the west! Start your visit at Footscray Market then eat your way through Vietnamese, Ethiopian, French, Japanese, ice cream, burgers, pizza and more. Then head to Footscray Park to work off your meal.

82. See a film at the Art Deco Sun Theatre and have a party in the Hogwarts party room! Next door is Pizza d'Asporto with some of the best pizza in the west.

83. Funtopia offers two different play areas – Climbing World and Playground World. It's one of Melbourne's best indoor play centres.

84. Scienceworks is one of the coolest places in Melbourne! It is Melbourne's science museum and always has brand new exhibits that always put a fun spin on learning. Visit Ground Up a special gallery for kids under 5 and Beyond Perception aimed at teens. For a kid-friendly cafe nearby head to Duchess of Spotswood.

85. Dunk yourself into the enormous ball pit at Rabbit Hole Play Centre!

86. Fly up up and away at Braybrook's Aeroplane Playground next to the site of the Braybrook Library and Community Hub.

87. Enjoy a walk through nature, some bird watching or a picnic at Newport Lakes, one of the lesser known day activities Melbourne's west has to offer.

88. My favourite beach in Melbourne is the often overlooked Altona Beach. Shhh don't tell anyone!

89. Historic Williamstown boasts numerous cafes, shops, the Seaworks Maritime Precinct and city views across the bay for a lovely day out in Melbourne.

90. Imagine you're in San Sebastian and enjoy stunning city views and Basque food at Sebastian at Williamstown Beach while the kids play on the sand.

91. Zoom up into space at Buckingham Reserve's Rocket Ship playground in Sunshine!

92. Sunvale Community Park is a playground right in Sunshine CBD with a skate park and water play.

93. I'm calling it – Melton Library is the most beautiful library in Melbourne.

94. Go playground hopping at Woodlea in Rockbank – check out Woodlea Playground, Pioneer Drive, Nugget Place and Muster Drive.

95. Climb onto the safari bus and spot animals in the Savannah at Werribee Zoo, one of the best activities in Melbourne for animal lovers (click here to book your entrance ticket). You'll also find indoor play at Ranger Kids, the Village Kids outdoor playground, water play and sandpits at Hippo Beach. Animal lovers can get up close to some animals with Wild Encounters.

96. Picnic in the historic grounds of Werribee Park or visit when they're hosting of their festivals such as The Lost Lands family friendly music festival and French festival So Frenchy So Chic.

97. At Serendip Sanctuary you can get up close to native Australian animals…for free!

98. Slip and slide at the indoor aquatic centre Aquapulse.

99. Och aye! Did you know that there's a Scottish Castle in Melbourne? Overnewton Castle is definitely one of the best things to see in Melbourne for anyone who enjoys a bit of history.

100. Wave welcome or say goodbye to Melbourne! Look out for planes arriving and leaving Melbourne at the Tullamarine Airport viewing area.


Click here for my 100 best free things to do in Melbourne with kids

Best playgrounds in Melbourne

Best short walks in Melbourne for families

The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Melbourne Markets

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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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