Plonk two very active and adventurous kids from the country into a thriving metropolis like Melbourne and what happens next? Can the Big Smoke seriously entertain children like mine? For kids who spend the majority of their time outside, hanging out with Mother Nature – are they able to handle some serious urban vibes and soak up a bit of culture like the Melbourne kids do?? Here’s my kids ratings of what was FUN when they hit Melbourne town…..
Its interactive, fun, well laid out and full of fascinating facts, and its hard to know who’s enjoying it the most when you explore this spot.
For me, museums were always a place to house skeletons, stuffed animals and musty old gear my grandparents once used. Now you can physically hear, touch and watch things come to life, PLUS you get to be involved. In fact, the only element really missing is smell…..
Melbourne kids are truly blessed to have this museum on their doorstep. Each exhibition is full of awesome interactive spaces that gets ALL ages learning and curious to know more.
Our favourite exhibits were:
The Dinosaur Walk – Impressive thanks to its massive skeletons all positioned as if they were undertaking some great migration.
The Melbourne Story – Totally encapsulates this ever changing city and it is visually stimulating throughout.
The kids loved the replica slum houses of ‘Little Lon’ with rooms laid out as if somebody was about to return home. Soundbites of the residents who once lived this lifestyle greeted us as we walked from room to room.
Kid’s rating: 9/10 – There is NOTHING boring about this place!!!
It’s a place where you can literally watch your kids seek out their zone, and the good thing is, unlike TV or a computer game, this time the kids are actually learning.
My daughter headed straight for Sportsworks where she pitted herself against Cathy Freeman’s speed plus all the other machines to see how she rated athletic wise.
My son on the other hand was totally absorbed by the robotics and technology displays.
He was totally fascinated (almost obsessed actually) by the visual displays which showed the differences between past and present, and what could happen in the future.
The Nitty Gritty Super City, on the second floor would have been our first point of call if the kids were younger.
It’s an interactive space totally dedicated to building, experimenting, creating and role playing. The added bonus was that none of the school groups could visit this area so it wasn’t as ‘busy’ as the rest of the building.
Kid’s Rating:- 8/10 – Awesome…the only thing that sucked was waiting.
(Please Note: We came mid-week and timed it when there were big groups of school groups visiting.)
For some Extra Fun: Scienceworks isn’t in the Melbourne CBD – take a river cruise from the city to make the journey more exciting for you and the kids.
Who better than the city of Melbourne to display what multiculturalism has meant for Australia.
You can physically see how previous generations have travelled to Australia and how they assimilated themselves into Australian society. The way different immigrants had still managed to hold onto important elements of their culture and their traditions was also highlighted.
Kid’s Rating:- 8/10 – Really interesting!!! (from my 12-yr old)….5/10 – So So (from my 10 yr-old).
Please Note: We found it a bit hard to keep our younger kid ‘captivated’ here – best for 12+.
It’s got to be the funnest and coolest way to get around Melbourne with kids.
In fact, ALL of us loved travelling around the CBD on the trams and we could have happily spent more time journeying this way if we all could have. The best part about it is that travelling around the city on the trams is FREE!!
Kid’s Rating:- 9/10 – Soooo much fun
Urban grunge at its best and our kids loved the fact that graffiti and street artists have been openly embraced in these inner city alleyways, even to the point you can stand and watch them at work.
The only thing you have to be wary of is your kid’s ability to point out the ‘rude’ stuff, and make a HUGE fuss of it (like ours did 😉 ).
Kid’s Rating:- 8/10 – Cool pics & pretty unusual people hanging around.
South Bank is a great spot to wander, explore, watch the flow of urban traffic and admire the Melbourne’s skyline. It’s a bustling waterfront hub with renowned restaurants, public art and hip retailers sitting side by side.
To really appreciate it however, I believe you need to bring your kids at night, when this strip of riverbank comes alive with buskers, restaurants, bands and the Crown Casino Towers that light the strip up and shoot fire into the sky.
Kid’s Rating:- 7/10 – The sculptures & buskers were heaps of fun at Southbank.
You’d be mad to miss a visit to Australia’s oldest theme park, so good its been entertaining visitors for over a century.
In the age old tradition of carnival rides and theme park fun you’ll find retro inspired fun that still send shivers down the spine of your most adventurous kids.
Luna Park suits kids of all ages and it was hard to get them, or us, to leave.
Kid’s Rating:- 9/10 – Best carousal ever & the Egyptian ride was awesome fun.
For top notch Gelatis you need to experience one from the city that had them on the menu before before they became trendy throughout the rest of Australia.
Kid’s Rating:- 10/10 – YUMMMMM!!!!
As luck would have it we were in town for Australia’s biggest RV, camping and 4×4 show – the Melbourne Leisurefest.
Kid’s Rating:- 10/10 – Loved getting up onstage PLUS seeing all the new camp gear & meeting lots of people that loved camping like us.
Free stuff happens happens all the time all the time for Melbourne kids but there are two parks that need highlighting because of their wide, open space for kids to run around in and their uniqueness. The first one is the McClelland Sculpture Park which showcases over 100 works by major Australian artists and lies 1-hour south of the city centre.
And the second one is the Royal Park Nature Play which has won all sorts of awards because its designed specifically to help inner-city kids take risks in a safe environment…no probs with my two with regards to this though. 😉
Kid’s Rating:- 8/10 – The Sculptures were pretty wild & it was fun to run around.
So for kids like mine, who thrive on active adventures, Melbourne really does offer some serious fun. The good news is there’s definitely a lot of cool experiences that rate high and yet they can be enjoyed without breaking the family’s bank balance.
Good Things to Know:
So inspired by Melbourne’s urban vibe during my ‘Adults Only’ trip a few years back, I wrote “10 Things I’d LOVE to do in Melbourne with the kids”. AS you can see we did have the opportunity to visit with the kids, thanks to our ‘journey of a lifetime’ opportunity with Dometic Australia. A few things were missed off my original bucket list BUT a few extras have now been added……
Are you a FAN of Melbourne? What other Melbourne kids activities would you suggest for some family fun?