The Yarra Valley is probably the most popular day trip for Melburnians. But with so many places to play, eat (and drink!) it’s hard to know where to start.
Here are my tips on things to do, where to eat, what to see and do and where to stay in the Yarra Valley with kids. Locations include Yarra Glen, Warburton and Healesville, the main towns in the Yarra Valley region, and as far as Lilydale, Yarra Junction and Seville.
Table of Contents
- Yarra Valley Playgrounds
- Things do in the Yarra Valley with Kids
- Places to Eat in the Yarra Valley with Kids
- Where to Stay in the Yarra Valley with Kids
Yarra Valley Playgrounds
Seville Water Park is a free water play area that has been created from the former Seville Memorial Swimming Pool.
Next to the water park is the farm-themed Seville Regional Play Space. Full review.
Seville Water Park, 20 Monbulk-Seville Rd, Seville
Yarra Glen Adventure Playground, McKenzie Reserve, cnr Anzac Ave and Bell St, Yarra Glen
Lillydale Lake is a fun nature-based playground with free water play during the hotter months. Why is Lillydale Lake spelt with two ‘l’s while the suburb Lilydale only has one? I have no idea! Full review.
Lillydale Lake Playspace, 435 Swansea Road, Lilydale
4. Melba Park
This large and popular playground has recently been revamped with new equipment and features including a drinking fountain and water-based play area.
Melba Park, Market St, Lilydale
You don’t have to be staying at the caravan park to visit Parky’s Water Park, and it’s a great destination when the weather heats up.
Party’s Water Park, 419 Don’s Road, Healesville
6. Queens Park, Healesville
Head to Queens Park Healesville and play at the recently refurbished playground, including nature play and a water pump, and take a bike or scooter for the Roll Play kids bike track.
There are toilets, drink taps, barbecue and picnic facilities at Queens Park, as well as a skate park and sports grounds.
Queens Park, 36 Don Rd, Healesville
Things do in the Yarra Valley with Kids
Healesville Sanctuary is a calm and restful bush environment to see Australian native animals and it’s one of the three zoos that is managed by Zoos Victoria. As well as animals there are playgrounds, water play and an indoor play area. Full review.
Click here to buy tickets to Healesville Sanctuary and save time at the ticket office.
Healesville Sanctuary, Badger Creek Rd, Healesville
Every summer we go cherry picking at Cherryhill Orchard for our Christmas cherries and indulge in a cherry ice cream afterwards!
Cherryhill Orchard, 474 Queens Rd, Wandin East
CherryHill Orchard, 739 Maroonah Hwy, Coldstream
Warratina Lavender Farm doesn’t really have a play area – the purpose of visiting there is to capture beautiful photographs of lavender fields!
Warratina Lavender Farm, 105 Quayle Road Wandin Yallock, Victoria 3139
Yarra Valley Railway, Healesville-Kinglake Rd, Healesville
Healesville Glass Blowing Studio may not be the right location for toddlers who like to touch everything!
But the small studio is fascinating for those wanting to watch glass being blown and sometimes they have sample sales where you can buy a little glass trinket for $5.
Healesville Glass Blowing Studio, 416-420 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville (03) 5962 2211
Blue Lotus Water Garden, 2628 Warburton Highway, Yarra Junction VIC 3797
Find Hotels and Airbnbs in Yarra Valley
13. Rayner’s Orchard
Take a tractor tour and pick fruit every day of the year (except Christmas Day) at family-run Rayner’s Orchard. You can only pick the fruit when you’re on the tour. Full review.
Rayners Orchard, 60 Schoolhouse Road, Woori Yallock, 3139
14. PEACE Farm
They run regular workshops and activities and hold an annual Tomato Festival celebrating summer and all things red and saucy!
PEACE Farm, 60 Settlement Rd, Yarra Junction
15. Redwood Forest
The Redwood Forest is a hidden gem in the Yarra Valley.
Within Yarra Ranges National Park you’ll find 1467 neatly planted Californian Redwoods reaching up to 55m high.
Redwood Forest, Cement Creek Rd, East Warburton
Within the Rainforest Gallery you’ll see 65 metre tall old growth Mountain Ash trees, ancient Myrtle Beech trees, ferns, mosses and other rainforest plants.
This site’s main drawcard is a 40 metre long observation platform which takes you into the rainforest canopy 15 metres above the ground.
Rainforest Gallery, Acheron Way, Warburton
17. Badger Weir
Badger Weir has a popular Yarra Valley Picnic spot, with roofed rotundas amongst the ferns, Mountain Ash and bird life. Badger weird picnic area is well equipped, with barbecue and toilet facilities available.
There are three walking tracks to Badger Weir from the picnic ground; Slip Creek Track, 1.4km, moderate difficulty with steps, Coranderrk Track, 1.1km, easy difficulty, Lyrebird Track, 1.1km, easy difficulty with a few steps.
The weir itself is a water catchment for Melbourne, constructed over 100 years ago. The gurgling water spills over rocks to create extremely picturesque scenery.
Badger Weir, Yarra Ranges National Park, Badger Weir Rd, Badger Creek
Maroondah Dam (one of Melbourne Water’s catchments) is a beautiful place to visit for a peaceful picnic. There are native animals and birds to spot, native and exotic trees with sections of landscaped garden and lawn, and plenty of space to spread out a picnic blanket or use one of the fixed structures at the park, such as the Rose Steps Rotunda.
You can meander through the Maroondah Reservoir Park, or stick to one of the walking trails, and you can also walk the scenic route along the dam wall. There is a waterfall and a lookout to make the most of the view.
There are accessible toilets at Maroondah Reservoir Park, as well as barbecue facilities and plenty of car parking. The park’s opening hours vary based on time of year, so it’s best to check before visiting if you plan to be there particularly early or late in the day.
Maroondah Reservoir Park, Maroondah Hwy, Healesville
Other things to do:
- high on our wishlist is a Hot Air Balloon Ride in the Yarra Valley! The minimum age is 6 years old. Buy a discounted ticket for hot air ballooning in the Yarra Valley.
19. The Big Bouquet
the Big Bouquet in Healesville Yarra Valley is a combination of both a gerbera flower farm and an alpaca stud that is designed for the full enjoyment of families and flower enthusiasts alike. Inside the farm, you can find a lovely cafe with light lunch options, a gerbera flower nursery, and alpacas that you can pet and feed.
The farm also has a space where you can also shop for some local and imported alpaca wool products such as incredibly soft socks and poncho, bee-friendly seed packs, honey and tons of buzzing trinkets to remind you to plant native and support the native bee population.
Places to Eat in the Yarra Valley with Kids
A hugely popular chocolate factory, shop, cafe and grounds to explore. Full review.
Over the year they run regular events such as the Brownie Festival, Hot Chocolate Festival and Ice Cream Festival!
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, 35 Old Healesville Rd cnr Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen VIC
21. Oakridge Wines
An upmarket winery and cellar door with pram access, high chairs and outdoor games. Full review.
Oakridge Wines, Maroondah Highway, Coldstream Yarra Valley 03 9738 9900
Some of the best pizza I’ve had EVER had. Full review.
A child-friendly pub with classic pub fare and a fantastic outdoor beer garden with nature play area. Full review.
Healesville Hotel, 256 Maroondah Highway, Healesville
24. Hutch & Co
A cool cafe at the foothills of the Yarra Valley in Lilydale. Hutch & Co review.
Hutch & Co, 251 Main Street, Lilydale
An architecturally stunning winery in Yarra Glen with a contemporary art gallery museum next door. TarraWarra Estate review.
TarraWarra Estate, 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Yarra Glen
Rochford Wines is one of the most popular family-friendly wineries in the Yarra Valley. At their restaurant Isabella’s the service and attention to detail for those with little ones is notable. Isabella at Rochford Wines review.
Rochford Wines, 878-880 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream 03 5962 2119
27. 400 Gradi Yarra Valley
Famous for their pizzas, the restaurant also offers traditional Italian cuisine complemented by an authentic winery experience.
400 Gradi Yarra Valley, Enter via Rochford Wines main gate on Hill Road and follow 400 Gradi signage, 878-880 Maroondah Hwy Coldstream VIC 3770
If you get there near closing time it’s 50% off pastries and pies!
Habituel Yarra Valley Bakery & Coffee Roasters, 314 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777 03 5957 3230
Innocent Bystander, 16-334 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville
30. Giant Steps
Giant Steps Yarra Valley, 336 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777
31. Mocha and Lime
In the centre of Healesville township is a popular community haunt Mocha and Lime. The cooking is what I’d term ‘home-style’ rather than high-end so the main drawcard is the corner play area with toys, books and games plus the wall of secondhand books for sale.
Mocha and Lime, 11 Green Street, Healesville
Quaint little bakehouse and tea rooms with pies, sausage rolls, baked treats and more!
Gladysdale Bakehouse, 2568 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction
What’s behind the hedge? Discover Dame Nellie Melba’s former home and indulge in a delicious lunch or afternoon tea in the converted stables. Coombe Yarra Valley review.
Coombe Yarra Valley, 673-675 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
Where to Stay in the Yarra Valley with Kids
For great family-friendly accommodation in the Yarra Valley, I recommend searching for what’s suitable on Airbnb.
Here are some other places we’ve stayed that I recommend.
Like the idea of camping but don’t have the right equipment or gear? Then try affordable glamping at Big4 Yarra Valley.
For only $220 a night you can hire two adjoining belle tents for 2 adults and 2 children plus enjoy all the facilities of a Big4 Holiday Park such as a jumping pillow and pool. Big4 Yarra Valley review.
Big4 Yarra Valley Holiday Park, 419 Don Rd, Healesville (03) 5962 4328
35. Holly Lane Mews
Holly Lane Mews is a working horse stud and the owners live in a big house on the land, with a few private cottages nearby.
There are lots of animals to look at it, including the bird aviary and the resident dogs. Apparently, native wildlife appears at night too.
Our 2 bedroom cottage (which could be 3 bedrooms if we needed) is $210 a night. This includes a substantial cook-your-own breakfast with eggs, bacon, bread, cereal, yoghurt, fruit and even some homemade biscuits. Parking is free and on site and if the weather had been better the kids could have enjoyed the swing set more. In summer there’s a small pool too! The owners provided a portacot and high chair at no extra charge.
Holly Lane Mews, 28 Willow Bend Drive, Steels Creek
36. Balgownie Estate
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa is one of the most well-established wineries with accommodation in the Yarra Valley and the 4.5 star resort is a great place to visit as a family. Balgownie Estate review.
Balgownie Estate, 1309 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen
For other accommodation options in the Yarra Valley, I recommend checking out what’s available on Booking.com and Airbnb.
If you don’t have your own transport or are short of time then consider joining a Yarra Valley Gourmet Tour, Yarra Valley Wine Tour or Yarra Valley Food and Wine Pairing Tour.
This post contains affiliate links. If you book using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce