The National Gallery of Victoria, known as the NGV, is Australia’s oldest, largest and most visited art museum. It’s divided into two buildings, the NGV International and Ian Potter Centre.
The International building houses blockbuster exhibitions and international art, while the Ian Potter is home to the Australian collection, which includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous art from the colonial period to the present day. The galleries are a short walk from each other, and both are free to enter the permanent exhibitions.
We always visit the NGV International when we visit Melbourne. The temporary exhibitions are always extraordinary, even without mentioning the permanent collection of works. The NGV International houses over 70,000 art works from Europe, Asia, Oceana and the USA.
While we visit the NGV for the incredible art, we stay longer and enjoy it even more because of how welcoming the gallery is for families.
There is a permanent NGV Kids space that changes inline with the temporary exhibitions and is always free to enter. The NGV works with contemporary artists and designers to engage kids in the arts and culture from around the world.
The NGV also has a place on their website to check out what are the most family-friendly exhibitions currently on display, as well as tips for experiencing the gallery with young children (here).
Free NGV Kids activity sheets are available to collect from the Information desk on Ground level at NGV International and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
The NGV International features a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden that is also free to enter. It features a “mist” installation, flower gardens, sculptures, shade clothes, tables and chairs and a climbing structure for kids to play on. It’s a gorgeous place to enjoy a picnic lunch.
While the NGV has several eateries on site, we found the food to be overpriced and not very nice (ie cold hard sandwiches). I would suggest bringing your own food.
National Gallery of Victoria International
180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Looking for more things to do in Melbourne? Check out this free walking tour.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!