Things To Do In Melbourne With Kids Australia

Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, is also the Australian capital city of all things art and culture. We can never get enough of it’s alleys and street art, lush gardens, delicious cafes and animal encounters. There are so many things to do in Melbourne with kids!

Things to do in Melbourne with kids


Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria, Australia

Old Melbourne Gaol was built in the mid-1800s, as a place for Melbourne to put its dangerous criminals, petty offenders, homeless and mentally ill.

It’s a stark and confronting place, especially when faced with the gallows that are still hanging inside – between 1842 and 1929, 133 people were hung inside these walls, including Australia’s infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly.

The gaol itself is quite small and tours are self-guided. We did a family activity while we were there that took us all around the goal, in and out of cells, to solve clues and “escape” the goal. The activity was an excellent way to engage kids in history and teach them a bit about what happened here – without freaking them out too much. The Old Melbourne Gaol is popular on lists of Melbourne attractions for a good reason – it’s a great little spot that’s rich in history and experiences.

Get more info on visiting Old Melbourne Goal here.

Old Melbourne Gaol
377 Russell St, Melbourne

National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Australia’s oldest and largest art museum is a must-see in Melbourne. The National Gallery of Victoria, popularly known as the NGV,  was founded in 1861. As well as an incredible selection of European, Australian and Asian art, it also has dedicated kids’ space and garden with sculptures, plants, shade, tables and small climbing structure.

Get more info on visiting the NGV here.

National Gallery of Victoria
180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Royal Botanic Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden

Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden, Melbourne, Australia

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria are split between two sites, Melbourne CBD and Cranbourne. Both are well worth a visit. The Melbourne garden features an Aboriginal Heritage Walk, Ornamental Lake, a wide variety of plants such as succulents, roses, herbs, camellias and perennials.

Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden, Melbourne, Australia

You will also find the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden here. This beautiful garden gives kids plenty of nooks and crannies to explore in a natural setting. Plant tunnels to crawl through, rocks to climb and a bamboo forest for hiding. The gardens are a must for any list of things to do in Melbourne with kids.

Get more info on visiting the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden here.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Birdwood Ave, South Yarra

Royal Botanic Botanic Gardens Victoria (Cranbourne)

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, Australia

The Cranbourne gardens are a 45 minute drive from Melbourne’s DBD. The focus is on Australia’s landscape, featuring more than 170,000 native plants. The water display area is particularly popular with kids, and there is a small children’s garden. Keep your eyes open for wildlife – we saw a bandicoot!

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
Enter via cnr Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive, Cranbourne

Melbourne Museum and Carlton Gardens

Royal Exhibition Hall, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, Victoria

The Melbourne Museum is located in the heritage-listed Carlton Gardens, along with the majestic Royal Exhibition Building and IMAX Cinema. The gardens also contain a beautiful fountain, flowers, lakes and plenty of wildlife.

Melbourne Museum, Victoria, Australia

As the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, the Melbourne Museum is an absolute must for any itinerary of things to do in Melbourne with kids!

Inside the museum you’ll find plenty to keep everyone in the family entertained, from Australian history buffs to dinosaur fans, and even the junior set, who will be hard to drag out of the children’s’ gallery and garden. Melbourne Museum kids are especially spoiled with these brand new sections that are especially designed to engage kids aged 0-5.

The Melbourne Museum runs lots of activities year-round, so it’s a good idea to check them out when looking for ideas on what to in in Melbourne with kids.

Get more info on visiting the Melbourne Museum here.

Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson St, Carlton

State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria Australia

Australia’s oldest public library, and one of the first free libraries in the world, the State Library of Victoria is a beautiful, quiet spot to visit in the hustle and bustle of the city. Check out the chess boards and soaring domed ceiling in the La Trobe Reading Room, Ned Kelly’s armour and the kids’ play area.

State Library Victoria
328 Swanston St, Melbourne

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Melbourne

Take LEGO-lovers to Australia’s first LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Billed as the “ultimate indoor LEGO playground”, it’s a great day of fun with 2 rides, 5 LEGO build and play zones plus a 4D cinema. If your kids love LEGO then this is an absolute must for things to do in Melbourne with kids.

Get more info on visiting the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre here.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone

Melbourne Zoo

Get up close to Australian wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats and emus at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, AKA Melbourne Zoo. The zoo is also home to tigers, monkeys, lemurs, Little Penguins and Australian Fur seals. The zoo often tops lists of kids attractions in Melbourne with its excellent facilities and well cared for animals.

Melbourne Zoo
Elliott Ave, Parkville

Werribee Open Range Zoo

You’ll feel like you’re in Africa visiting Werribee Open Range Zoo, located in Werribee, about 32 kilometres south-west of Melbourne. This African-themed zoo houses gorillas, lions, monkeys, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes, zebra and antelope on 225 hectares of wide, open savannah.

Werribee Open Range Zoo
K Rd, Werribee South VIC

Collingwood Children’s Farm

Milk cows, bottle feed lambs, feed farm animals and cuddle a guinea pig at the Collingwood Children’s Farm, a not-for-profit, inner city farm on the Yarra River in the Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford.

Collingwood Children’s Farm
18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

Healseville Animal Sanctuary

See Australian wildlife in their natural habitat at the Healesville Sanctuary, located in the Yarra Valley. Set across 70 acres of bushland, the sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to get up close to  koalas, kangaroos, wombats, emus, dingoes, birds of prey and platypus. The interactive platypus show is not to be missed.

Healseville Animal Sanctuary
Badger Creek Rd, Healesville

Penguin Parade Phillip Island

A highlight of things to do in Melbourne with kids: taking the little ones to see the world’s smallest penguins as they return ashore at sunset after a day fishing. Each night the Little Penguins can be seen at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade, a two-hour drive from Melbourne.

Phillip Island
1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Explore 12 discovery zones at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, home to thousands of aquatic creatures such as elephant sharks, crocs, King and Gentoo Penguins and brightly coloured fish.

Get more info on visiting SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium here.

Pic courtesy of

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
King St & Flinders St, Melbourne

Federation Square

Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia

There’s always something happening at Federation Square, from art exhibitions to events and cultural attractions. Right in the centre of town, Federation Square is a great place to start when looking for kid-friendly Melbourne CBD attractions and activities. Check the website to see what’s on when you visit.

Federation Square
Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne

Australian Centre for Moving Image

ACMI Melbourne, Australia

Located in Federation Square, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is the place to go if you’re into movies, TV and digital culture. The ACMI has seasonal exhibitions, many of them extremely kid-friendly. When we visited last the exhibition was on the cartoon characters Wallace and Gromit.

Australian Centre for Moving Image
Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne

Eureka Skydeck 88

Peer down at the city from the 88th floor gold-plated observation deck of the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere.

Eureka Skydeck 88
7 Riverside Quay, Southbank

Fitzroy Gardens

Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

Stroll through one of Melbourne’s most historic gardens, conveniently located in the CBD. Features in the garden include Captain Cook’s cottage, a dragon slide and giraffe swings, a dolphin fountain, fairy tree and miniature Tudor village.

Fitzroy Gardens
230-298 Wellington Parade
East Melbourne

Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat

Take a day trip from Melbourne to enjoy the Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat. Kids will love running through mazes, discovering art and themed gardens and hurtling down slides. Stop by the Amazing Lolly Shop for a giant lolly pop if you dare.

Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthurs Seat
55 Purves Rd, Arthurs Seat

Puffing Billy Railway

Puffing Billy Railway Victoria Australia

This is one for the train-lovers! Hop on board an 100-year-old stream train and wind your way through the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The Puffing Billy Railway is located an hour east of Melbourne so plan on making a day trip out of it.

Get more info on Puffing Billy Railway here. Pic courtesy of

Puffing Billy Railway
1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave


Scienceworks Melbourne Australia

If your kids are into science (like mine!) then a trip out to Scienceworks is for you. This world-renowned science museum is a bit of a drive out of the centre of Melbourne, so you’ll need to drive or get a taxi (which is pretty expensive).

Scienceworks Melbourne Australia

Scienceworks is designed to challenge young minds with hands-on exhibits and machines. There’s also the Melbourne Planetarium that can be visited there, and a great playground outside.

Get more info on visiting Scienceworks here.

St Kilda Beach & Luna Park

St Kilda Beach Melbourne AustraliaKill two birds with one stone on a trip to St Kilda. Easily accessible by tram, bus or train, St Kilda is home to a family-friendly beach and also the historic Luna Park.

Luna Park Melbourne Australia

Luna Park opened in 1912 and is still the place to go for a day of family fun. From jaw-dropping thrill rides to the carnival atmosphere of Coney island, a day at Luna Park is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. A day trip to St Kilda is a top choice when looking at things to do in Melbourne for kids.

Luna Park
8 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda

2 Booker St, Spotswood

Getting around

Melbourne Tram

We usually stay in the CBD and use the tram to get around, or walk by foot. On the odd occasion the trams don’t go to where we’re going, you can catch a taxi or the river ferry.

Trams are free in the city loop – check here where the loop goes. If you travel outside it you will need a MYKI transport card.

Where to stay

Novotel Melbourne on Collins via

We like to stay central in the CBD when we visit Melbourne as it means many things are then in walking distance. We have previously stayed at the Novotel Melbourne on Collins Street and found it to be an excellent location.

Read my review of the Novotel Melbourne on Collins here.

Get the best deals on Melbourne Hotels here.

More ideas for Melbourne and surrounds

Looking for sweet treats in Melbourne? Check out the best sweet spots right here.

Looking for more kids activities Melbourne? Find out what’s on in Melbourne for kids by clicking here.

Get a list of current family activities Melbourne by clicking here.

Rainy day in Melbourne? Find plenty of indoor activities here.

Things To Do In Melbourne With Kids Australia

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Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!