Fun things to do in Melbourne with kids
There are so many fun family attractions in Melbourne, it’s hard to know where to start. Whether you’re looking to meet the tigers at the zoo, test your goal kicking skills against AFL greats, milk a cow, or ride a bike along the Yarra River, we’ve uncovered all of the fun places to take kids in Melbourne.
One of the greatest things to do in Melbourne is to wander. Filled with interesting alleyways, eye-popping street art, and the best food experience in Australia, Melbourne is a city like no other. Once you have tired of that, then it’s on to explore all the other amazing attractions for families in Melbourne.
Best Street Art in Melbourne CBD
You don’t have to travel too far to discover some of Melbourne’s famous street art. It’s just about everywhere. In the Melbourne CBD some of the best street art to explore with the kids is in Hosier Lane, Caledonian Lane, Union Lane, Ac/DC Lane, Duckboard Place and Rutledge Lane.
Melbourne Zoo | Wildlife Melbourne
No kid small or tall would want to miss a trip to the Melbourne Zoo. Come and see elephants, gorillas, lions, and tigers, and discover the exciting new interactive exhibits for kids. You’ll get a chance to meet Australia’s unique native animals like the koala, platypus, wombat, and Tasmanian devil. Don’t miss the Meet the Keepers sessions to learn about the animals from the people who know them best and have a “Close-up Encounter” with the meerkats, seals, giraffes or lemurs.
We’ve rated Melbourne Zoo one of the best zoos in Australia and we think you will too.
Open daily 9:00am-5:00pm. Located at Elliott Avenue, Parkville, inside Royal Park. Entry is free for kids three and under. Tram no.58 ‘West Coburg to Toorak’ and the ‘Upfield’ train line both run from the CBD, taking about 20 minutes and stop right outside the Zoo.
Bike ride along the Yarra | Family fun Melbourne
If the weather is great, take a ride along the Yarra River. Well-maintained bike paths run from the CBD, with some paths following the river while others meander through eucalypt forests. The RACV operates a bike share scheme in the CBD, however, you need to be 15 years and older to ride and you can only hire two bikes at a time.
A better option for most families will be to hire your bikes from Rentabike at Federation Square. They offer family rates, plus have tandem bikes, tagalongs, and buggies for non-riders. Clean helmets are supplied as part of your rental and must be worn while riding.
While you’re in Federation Square, pop into the Melbourne Visitor Centre for a free city map, brochures of attractions, public transport information, and guides to events taking place around the city.
Flinders Street Station | Must see Melbourne
Before you set off on your bikes, grab a coffee and cross the street to check out the historic Flinders Street railway station, built in 1854. With its distinctive mustard yellow paint and clocks under the main dome showing departure times of the next trains, it is a true icon of Melbourne.
Collingwood Children’s Farm | Kids attractions in Melbourne
A firm favourite of locals is Collingwood Children’s Farm where you can help milk cows and cuddle guinea pigs, plus get up close with donkeys, pigs, goats, and sheep. If you’re lucky enough to visit on the second or fourth Sunday of the month, you can visit the apiary and watch the beekeepers collect honey from the beehives, all from a protected viewing caravan. The farm also hosts a farmer’s market on the second Saturday of every month, from 8:00 am-1:00 pm.
Located at 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford. Open 9:15 am to 4.45pm every day of the year. You can reach the farm by public transport or by bike following the Capital City trail from Federation Square. The trail passes right by the farm.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium | Wildlife Melbourne
For young kids, there’s the SEA LIFE Aquarium, featuring 12 themed zones with 10,000 sea creatures, including penguins, seahorses, sharks, turtles, stingrays, and many other different kinds of fish.
Open daily 9:30am-6:00pm. Located in the CBD on the corner of Flinders and King Streets.
Melbourne Cricket Ground and National Sports Museum
Sports-mad kids can go behind-the-scenes of Australia’s most iconic sporting grounds, the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Take a tour of the MCG, which lets you explore the player’s dressing rooms, media room, the Long room and so much more. Stick around and visit the National Sports Museum which includes the Australian Olympic Museum, the Sports Hall of Fame, and the Australian Cricket and Football Halls of Fame. Allow extra time here on the school holidays for the fun and interactive “Game-on!” program.
Tours depart regularly between 10.00am and 3.00pm daily and run for 75 minutes. Open daily 10:00-5:00pm. Tour and museum hours are modified when events are on at the grounds.
Melbourne Museum for kids
Next for the family is the newly opened Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery (for kids aged 0-5) at the Melbourne Museum. Get set for some serious exploration, hands-on discovery, and play-based learning, using unique objects from the museum collection. While bubs are having fun, the big kids can be inside exploring the skeletons of prehistoric animals: ten dinosaurs, three pterosaurs, and one mammal-like reptile. Animated reconstructions show how these animals lived, fought, and died millions of years ago. They can even touch dinosaur teeth!
Located at 11 Nicholson St. Carlton (tram ride from CBD on City Circle and other routes). Open daily 10:00am-5:00pm.
ScienceWorks and SportsWorks | Best family activities Melbourne
For kids over five years old, you can’t beat a visit to ScienceWorks. Push it, pull it, spin it, bang it – a hands-on fun and interactive adventure. While you’re there, stop in at Sportsworks (included in your Scienceworks ticket) to discover the science behind moving your body. You can race against an Olympic runner, try out as a soccer goalkeeper, or zoom down the slopes in a snowboarding simulator. Located at 2 Booker St, Spotswood. Open daily 10:00-4:30 pm. Free entry for kids under 16.
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel | Best view Melbourne
While you’re at Docklands, don’t miss the chance to fly aboard the only giant observation wheel in the Southern hemisphere, the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. From 120 metres above the ground, you’ll enjoy 30 minutes of 360-degree views over Melbourne’s CBD, and out over Port Phillip Bay. Open daily 11:00am-7:00pm (May to August) and 11:00am-10:00pm (September to April).
Acland Street Cakes | St Kilda cake shops Melbourne
Feeling hungry? Take a 20-minute tram ride to St. Kilda, and get off at Acland Street; an entire street dedicated to cake shops. Heaven for sweet tooths!
Luna Park Melbourne | Theme parks Melbourne
Just around the corner, the next stop is for thrill-seeking kids. Luna Park is home to the oldest, continually operating wooden roller coaster in the world. Entry to the park is free, individual ride tickets or unlimited day passes are available. Opens 11:00am-6:00 pm weekends and public holidays, and local school holidays. Located at Lower Esplanade, St Kilda.
St Kilda Adventure Playground | Melbourne playgrounds
If the kids still need to burn off excess energy, nearby there’s the St Kilda Adventure Playground, with a flying fox, trampolines, a wooden maze, giant ship, and castle. Best suited to 5 to 12-year-olds. Open Mon-Fri 3:30pm-5:30pm, and Sat-Sun 10:00am-5.30pm. Located off Neptune St, St Kilda.
Where to stay in Melbourne
If you are looking for family-friendly accommodation in Melbourne, we recommend you choose something close to the CBD or in the inner-city suburbs to allow easy access to public transport.
Our favourites places to stay in Melbourne for families are:
Alto Hotel on Burke > Check here for latest prices
Best Western Riverside Apartments > Check here for latest prices
Citadines on Burke > Check here for latest prices
Mantra on Russell > Check here for latest prices
Stamford Plaza Melbourne > Check here for latest prices
You can reach all the attractions and activities mentioned easily by tram, or local train, which run from early morning to late night. You’ll need to buy a MYKI card before you ride. They are available at MYKI machines at all train stations, some tram stops, and at all 7-Eleven convenience stores.
There is even a FREE tram, the No. 35 City Circle that plies a route around the CBD, passing many popular tourist attractions.
Are you interested in going on the free Melbourne walking tour? Take a look at what Wandermust Family learnt on their tour.
We hope you’ve discovered some wonderful places to explore in Melbourne. Now it’s time to see how many cool experiences you can pack into your trip.