Planning a visit to Melbourne with kids? Today I’m sharing my space with Australian travel blogger, Natasha, who shares all her favourite family-friendly things to do in Melbourne, Australia…
Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is a thriving metropolis with tons to see and do. The city is home to educational museums, beautiful beaches, delicious food, and tons of outdoor spaces to enjoy.
Whether you’re passing through on your way to see Great Ocean Road waterfalls in Otway National Park or plan on staying in Melbourne for a couple of weeks, traveling with the family can be stressful at times. Here are some of our favourite family-friendly activities in Melbourne to help you plan your trip.
My City: Melbourne
Visit Luna Park
Located in the St Kilda suburb of Melbourne is one of the city’s most famous attractions – Luna Park. Opened in 1912, Luna Park is the oldest amusement park in Australia. Walk-in through the iconic gaping mouth of Mr. Moon and enter into a world of fun. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the huge range of rides and games. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the roller coasters, while rides like the carousel and Ferris wheel provide a more relaxing experience.
One of Luna Park’s highlights is the Scenic Railway, which is the oldest continually running roller coaster in the entire world. The 3-minute ride takes visitors around the park and includes several steep dips and turns. Not only will you get an exciting thrill, but you’ll also get read views of Port Phillip Bay and St Kilda. Since this is one of the park’s most popular rides, we recommend taking this ride early in the day when the park isn’t as busy.
Spend the day at St Kilda’s Beach
Just 30-minutes from central Melbourne by tram is St Kilda’s Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the area. This family-friendly beach is great for swimming, though it is always recommended to stay within the flagged areas. Other popular activities include kite surfing, windsurfing, and beach volleyball.
Pack a picnic to enjoy on the foreshore, or pick up some takeout to enjoy with the family. Sunset at St Kilda is beautiful, so stick around and watch the sun go down for a magical experience. If you enjoy St Kilda, be sure to check out the best Great Ocean Road beaches, which are 1-2 hours drive from Melbourne.
Check out the Melbourne Zoo
Animal lovers will enjoy a trip to Melbourne Zoo, the oldest in all of Australia. This family-friendly activity is the perfect way to get to see iconic Aussie animals up close, including kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies. Other popular tracks to explore include the Elephant Trail, Carnivores Trail, and Australian Bush. Not only is entrance free for children on weekends and holidays, Melbourne Zoo is also carbon-neutral, making it one of the most sustainable zoos in the world.
Explore the Queen Victoria Market
Kids and adults alike will enjoy visiting Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne. This huge family-friendly market spans over 7-hectares, hosting over 600 small, mostly-family run, businesses. With food options from around the world, even the pickiest of eaters will find something to their liking. The whole family will enjoy exploring the rows of food options as well as hand-crafted crafts, clothing, and jewelry. The market is a great spot to pick up a fun souvenir to take home.
Queen Victoria Market hosts several family-friendly activities throughout the year, particularly around the holidays and school vacations. Check out their ‘What’s On’ page for up to date information on what activities are coming up. Whether you make a quick stop for lunch or spend a few hours exploring, the whole family is sure to enjoy this destination.
Go for a bike ride
If your kids are a bit older, cycling can be a great way to explore Melbourne. The city has over 135-kilometers of biking trails, spanning from the CBD all the way to the outer suburbs. Popular cycling trails for kids include the Capital City Trail, Lusterfield Park Trail and Jells Park. You can rent bikes from several locations in the city. Check out Rentabike and Blue Tongue Bikes, both which offer kids bike rentals.
Check out the Sea Life Aquarium
Another great family-friendly activity in Melbourne is the Sea Life Aquarium. Located near the city’s center, the aquarium is home to many unique animals including penguins, sharks, dolphins, stingrays, crocodiles, starfish and so much more.
The Sea Life Aquarium offers some unique family-friendly experiences. Check out Penguin Passport – this 45-minute tour takes you onto the ice with guides, where you’ll get to see the King and Gentoo penguins up close. You’ll also get to see how the aquarium takes care of the penguin colony on a regular basis. Another unique experience is the glass-bottom boat tour. Visitors will hop on board a glass-bottom boat with a guide, and glide on top of the Aquariums 2.2 million liter tank. You’ll get to see huge stingrays up close and personal, and watch as the guide hand-feeds them. For the best price, we recommend buying your family pass online ahead of time.
Admire the Street Art
Lastly, no trip to Melbourne is complete without checking out the amazing street art that can be found throughout the city. Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring the cobblestone laneways of the CBD where local artists continually add to the ever-growing plethora of murals and art installations. Check out Hozier Lane and AC/DC Lane, two of the most popular laneways which feature layered graffiti and murals. Other good spots to visit include Croft Alley, Duckboard Place, Rankins Lane, and Caledonian Lane.
We hope this guide will help you plan for the perfect family-family activities in Melbourne. Whether you’re just taking a quick weekend trip or spending a couple of weeks exploring Melbourne, you and your family are sure to enjoy exploring this thriving metropolis.
About the Author
Natasha is of the Great Ocean Road Collective. A website dedicated to sharing the beauty of the Great Ocean Road in Australia with travelers far and wide. If you are planning your trip, need some inspiration, or looking for authentic advice on Aussie travel visit our website The Great Ocean Road Australia or check out her Instagram.