Are you looking for some fun things to do in Melbourne with toddlers or other young children? Staying at home day-on-day can drive anyone up the wall. When you have the opportunity for fresh air and adventures, you should definitely check out these experiences.
There are plenty of parks, museums, galleries, and other attractions for the whole family to enjoy. It is a beautiful city filled with rich and diverse cultures and lots of fun things to do.
Before you set off on your adventure, there are several options you should consider. Melbourne City is a fabulous place to live, filled with rich and diverse cultures and lots of fun things to do. There are plenty of:
- Parks with playgrounds or space to run around with a kite.
- Museums with tailored children’s experiences.
- Galleries and creative play-based spaces.
- Farms with petting, feeding and special shows.
- Zoos with exotic and Australian animals.
- Family-friendly attractions too.
Best places to visit with children in Melbourne
Many places require pre-bookings and have seasonal attractions, so check out their websites before you head out. While you may feel like driving to your destination, there may be more enjoyable ways to travel that add to your child’s experience, such as travelling by walking, taking the tram or going by bicycle.
Our list includes some of the things we’ve done and places we’ve visited in Melbourne City and surrounds with toddlers and pre-schoolers from Petit Early Learning Journey.
1. Chesterfield Farm
Chesterfield Farm is located in the suburb of Scoresby, in the City of Knox, Melbourne. Our kindergarten children from Petit ELJ Forest Hill have visited the farm. The children went there by bus and then walked around the farm on foot saying hello and feeding the hungry goats, deer, cows, horses, pigs and sheep.
When the children’s feet grew tired, they were fortunate to have a tractor ride to take them around the farm. The tourist educational farm includes a working sheepdog show, cow milking, feeding, handling of baby animals and many shaded BBQ areas. There was also a camel, llama and emu to see!
2. Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Zoo is one of the most popular zoos in the world. It is located in the suburb called South Yarra, in the City of Melbourne. This zoo has been operating since 1879. If your child loves animals, they’re going to love Melbourne Zoo where zookeepers help to fight wildlife extinction.
At Melbourne Zoo, toddlers will enjoy seeing a range of Australian wildlife at the Australian Bush habitat. They can also listen to keepers’ talks about other wildlife habitats including the Lion Gorge and the Trail of the Elephants, as well as the main trail containing various frogs, reptiles and birds.
3. Your local library
Most libraries offer free programs for children and it is never too early to introduce your children to stories and books. Some libraries have story-time, craft sessions, science experiments, art classes, music lessons, computer games and much more.
4. Royal Park
Royal Park is the widest open outdoor area in Melbourne. It contains several sporting facilities and is situated on land of great significance to the people of the Eastern Kulin Nation. The park has several facilities for families including picnic areas, barbeques and playgrounds. You can also take your dog along to try out the off-leash areas.
5. Melbourne’s walking tracks or bike paths
Melbourne’s walking tracks and bike paths are perfect for family outings. You can walk, jog, run, cycle, skate, rollerblade, inline skate or just enjoy watching others doing the same thing. If you enjoy cycling, you could cycle along the Yarra River to Collingwood Children’s Farm. Just add a baby bike seat so your toddler can enjoy the outdoors with you.
6. Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is definitely worth visiting. Bring along the pram to give tired little legs a rest. There are lots of shows and interactive zones to see and learn about. Also, bring along some healthy snacks or drinks to enjoy while you watch the attractions.
Our children just love being up close to all the sea creatures. It’s a wonderful experience strolling through the exhibits. It is like visiting a whole other world! You may want to read some sea animal-themed books to your children before going and then see which animals from the stories they can spot.
7. Fairy Park
This fun outdoor playground appeals to children of all ages. It is Australia’s oldest themed attraction. The adventure park is located west of Melbourne, set in the beautiful open rolling countryside of Anakie. When children visit Fairy Park, they can meet their favourite fairy tale characters.
There are lots of rides and activities for them to enjoy. There’s even a train museum and an awesome adventure playground called Camelot. There are lots of open outdoor spaces at Fairy Park where children (and families) can let their imaginations run wild!
9. Collingwood Children’s Farm
Located at Abbotsford this community farm is easily accessible if you live in Melbourne City. Collingwood Children’s Farm is one of our favourite places to visit with toddlers because it has an abundance of animals including goats, rabbits, ducks, chickens, alpacas, sheep, cats, dogs, geese, peacocks, guinea fowl, turkeys, and even a donkey.
They also have a playground and picnic area which makes it a great day out for families.
10. Children’s Gallery Melbourne Museum
At the Melbourne Museum, children can explore, play and learn through interactive exhibits, activities, programs and events. This wonderful attraction supports families, educators and carers with children from one to five and older. It’s an amazing place for children and adults alike to get lost in time and experience history first-hand through play-based learning.
Scienceworks is a great learning space for children of all ages. There are lots of hands-on science and STEM experiences and shows. Children love going to the planetarium. Special days run for younger children every few months and there are themed attractions that change regularly.
12. Alexandra Gardens
Closer to home for our Petit ELJ Kew families and children is Alexandra Gardens. This lovely garden is perfect for exploring and playing. There are plenty of interesting features for kids to discover such as waterfalls, ponds, bridges and tunnels.
13. Birrarung Marr Playground
Behind Federation Square in Melbourne City, situated on the north bank of the Yarra River is Birrarung Park. It was an important meeting ground of the Wurundjeri people. There is an awesome playground here next to ArtPlay for children to explore and it is completely free.
If you’re seeking a creative outlet for your child, ArtPlay behind Federation Square in the city centre encourages children to explore their creativity and self-expression alongside professional artists. It has programs suitable for babies and children up to 13-years-old. Bookings and registrations are required for children’s ArtPlay workshops.
15. St Kilda Beach
St Kilda has a lot to offer the entire family from adventure playgrounds to community gardens. Walks, bike rides, swimming and cycling are just some of the freely available activities. The sandy beach at St Kilda is an iconic Melbourne beach and the perfect spot to make sandcastles with children.
There are many other family-friendly places within walking distance from the beach including Luna Park, St Kilda Botanic Gardens and shopping districts like those on Acland Street. Alternatively, you could take a stroll along the St Kilda Pier where you might spy a tiny cute Little Penguin or a Rakali, a native water rat with its white-tipped tail.
There are so many things to do in Melbourne with toddlers
Whether you want to spend the day at the beach or take your family to see the wildlife in Royal Park, there’s no shortage of experiences to enrich children’s minds.
Parks, beaches and even walking around your local neighbourhood can benefit children and families. Keep an eye out for loose parts and natural materials that you can bring and use at home for play-based learning.
We recommend always checking opening times for venues especially on public holidays, as well as pre-bookings and any other special requirements.
Inspire your child with the best experiences at Petit Early Learning Journey
At Petit ELJ, we believe the environment is a place for children’s learning filled with promise, opportunities and the best experiences. Our services connect with our communities in so many ways including excursions to some of the best local places.
Are you seeking an early childhood education and care service that will inspire your child with wonder, curiosity and a love for learning? Discover the possibilities of learning and enriching your child’s life with the best experiences.