Melbourne is a beautiful city that offers a lot of free things to do with kids all ages and families.
Here are some ideas, I hope you enjoy it!
Bushwalking for all ages
Bushwalking is an educational and fun family activity. There are tracks more challenging for teenagers and older kids but also easier tracks for toddlers and young children. Mums can also take their toddlers or babies in a pram for a bushwalk at the Botanical Gardens or other major parks around Melbourne.
- Inner Melbourne Parks:
- Emerald Lake Park is free to enter, has playgrounds, walking tracks, picnic and bbq areas. If you want to visit the train museum it costs around $5 and to rent a paddle boat about $15. There are other things you can do too.
- The You Yangs Regional Park is a fantastic park with two mountain biking areas with exciting trails catering for riders of all ages and abilities. The park is also popular for its magnificent views, birdlife and for bushwalks and picnics.
- Brimbank Park offer ideal settings for picnics, walks along the extensive network of trails, fishing, canoeing and bird watching, all set within peaceful parklands surrounded by prolific birdlife.
- Coburg Lake Reserve is a popular park offering a great variety of activities including picnicking, playgrounds, barbecue facilities, walking and bike paths and nature play all set in a beautiful heritage setting overlooking Coburg Lake.
- Junior Ranger Program:
- Botanic gardens:
- At the Melbourne location no bikes are allowed but there is a nice area called The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden. The Children’s Garden is an interactive educational environment in which children of all ages can play, explore and discover the natural world. They also offer special events and workshops but have a break in winter for regular maintenance. Download the To do Checklist from the park before you go!
- The Cranbourne location bikes are allowed. There are picnic areas, 10 or 20 minutes bushwalks, more intense walks with lookout, water play area. It is great fun for the family!
- Water reservoirs:
- Yan Yean Reservoir Park offers visitors peaceful picnic areas, a variety of walking tracks and breathtaking views of Melbourne’s oldest water storage. Visit the extensive wetlands and watch the abundant birdlife that lives and feeds in this area.
- Sugarloaf Reservoir Park is great for a picnic or a stroll near the reservoir shores, offering wonderful views across the water. Some of the more popular things to do at Sugarloaf is fishing, walking and picnicking.
- National Parks:
- Visit the William Ricketts Sanctuary at Mount Dandenong. It has four acres, 92 ceramic sculptures, near the top of Mt Dandenong. Look for the mystical sculptures half hidden among the ferns along the pathways as you walk though it!
Get fit with your family and enjoy the nature! Little kids can go on a child sit and the ones who can pedal can join the ride!
- Go for a bike ride along St Kilda beach or a good options is The Bay Trail! Stop by a café for an ice cream or a coffee!
- Find other places to ride your bike along a creek or near a water way.
- Click here for a complete map of the Capital City Trail
Walk along the Yarra River
- Get a train ride to the city and go for a walk along the Yarra River. It is great fun for all ages! Along the river at the CBD are playgrounds and beautiful places to sit for a picnic. Follow the Main Yarra Trail.
- You can also walk along the Yarra River in Warrandyte! The river town has great cafes for a nice lunch or a pub and along the river you can feed ducks, wet your feet or even go for a swim! There is also one big playgorund next to the river.
Dogs are allowed to go in the water!
Have some fun at the beach
If it is not summer or not hot enough for a swim you can still go to the beach and let the kids play with sand, play cricket, footy or have a picnic! Make sure you check what the beach rules are before you go!
- Find a beach near Melbourne.
- Walk along the St Kilda Pier. Just before dusk try to spot the wildlife as St Kilda Breakwater is home to a colony of Little Penguins. Up to 100 Little Penguins call the breakwater their home.
- Go fishing at a pier or the beach! Or you can find parks to go fishing too!
Festival & Markets
- Free Seasonal Festivals are really good for the whole family to go together. Most of them have markets, carnivals, games for the kids, music, food and is fun for the adults as well! Find a free festival near you by finding out which council your house is located and search for Festivals and Events Calendar or visit our Events page for more!
- Visit Victoria Market or any local market. Your family will enjoy the variety of things you can find in markets! Second hand products, new products and food. Some well known markets around Melbourne are Caribbean Gardem Market and Laverton Market but you pay something like $3 to enter. Find a local market by finding out which council your house is located and search for Markets or visit our Events page for more!
Is it a hot day?
- Look at these Water Play areas around Melbourne
- Refresh at Olinda Falls. A wondeful place to go for a swim, do a picnic, enjoy the nature and that is not too far!
Looking for something different?
- Discover Sailing Days are offered for free at many sailing clubs around Australia. They are a fantastic way to have a great day out with your partner, friends, work colleagues or family. Clubs look forward to showing you just how fun, safe, accessible, and affordable sailing is.
- Go to the Melbourne Airport Lookout and try to spot the planes.
- Help with Frog Census. Being a frog monitor is easy and fun to do, you don’t need to be a frog expert.
- Visit CERES Community Environment Park. Unique, non-profit centre offering an organic grocery & cafe, nursery & environmental education.
- Go to a famous adventure playgrounds around Melbourne. Here are some that I know: Eltham Adventure Playground, Thomas Street Reserve, Hays Paddock or Beckett Park.
- Take the kids to see some Street Art or Graffiti. Melbourne is known as one of the world’s great street art capitals for its unique expressions of art displayed on approved outdoor locations throughout the city.
Indoor family activities
- Visit the ACMI Screen Worlds or ACMI’s Family Sundays Program. It is a great spot for kids, with hours of free entertainment, as well as families can have a bite to eat at the ACMI café during their visits. ACMI’s Family Sundays Program is on the first Sunday of every month with a different theme for the family to have fun together.
- Visit the NGV kids corner. NGV Kids corner is a space where children and their families can enjoy creative installations and activities designed just for them.
- Love planes? The RAAF Museum is one of Australia’s most important aviation stories. It is located in Point Cookand has Interactive Flying Displays that are presented at 1pm on Sundays.
- Visit the Police Museum. Enry is a gold coin donation.
- Visit a famous building: Parliament Building, The Old Treasure Building, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Shrine of Remembrance, St Pauls Cathedral or the ANZ Gothic Bank.
- Go to the State library and enjoy a Play Pod session. Play Pod is the Library’s program for children aged under eight years, packed with activities to read, create and play.
- Visit a local library. Find a local library by finding out which council your house is located and search for libraries.
- Go for a drive to the Yarra Valley and have fun watching how chocolates are made at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery.