I’m a country girl at heart and thanks to our location, way up in the north of Australia, so are my kids. They have yet to experience the delights of a big ‘southern’ city – the vibes, the people, the urban pulse. On a recent trip to Melbourne – one of Australia’s most cosmopolitan and multi-cultural city’s – it made me realise that there’s a few things my country kids are missing out on……
Here are 10 Things I’d LOVE to do in Melbourne with the kids:
What kid doesn’t love a ride on a tram. I found Melbourne’s tram system super easy to work out, fun to use and loaded with character. The inner-city ring route (which is free) still runs with the old style carriages.
Hopping on and off and riding the Melbourne trams would provide loads of entertainment for my children, as it did for me. Plus, it’s a cheap alternative to getting around the city and saves kids legs from getting worn out walking.
A true Blast from the Past for this eighties child. Luna Park dates back to the 1930’s and it seems not a whole lot has changed about it either. The rides still have a wonderful old fashioned sense of retro and style about them and yet the thrills still exist.
The rollercoaster or ‘scenic railway’ impressed me the most – mainly because it has someone that rides shotgun, who stands up between the carriages and applies the brakes around the tracks. Nothing electronic here!!
The horse carousal has to be my favourite and what little girl (or mum for that matter) doesn’t dream of riding a real life version of these prancing steeds.
Ultimately, Luna Park is a retro invasion of the senses and it is guaranteed to take us BIG kids back to a time when life was a little simpler.
Gelato shops are common all over Australia now but Melbourne is the city that can lay claim to it’s beginnings thanks to its multicultural heritage.
Gelato is the quintessential Melbourne dessert so its a essential for you to check out the displays, not only are they delightful but they look like they’ve been created by Willy Wonka himself. You’ll be hard pressed to not join the kids and enjoy a gelato treat from here.
Melbourne fans have a reputation for being fanatical when it comes to their sporting events and this is a city with a huge supporter base for any form of sporting code. You can guarantee that any sporting event will always draw the highest levels of attendance in Melbourne.
A small walk along the Yarra to the Sports Precinct will bring you to a series of very impressive stadiums – the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, the Rod Laver Arena (International Tennis) and AAMI Park. If you want your kid to experience the thrill of a big crowd and a true dose of total devotion to a sport or live music, then take them to an event here!
This stretch along the Yarra River has a vibe all to itself. With the city skyline on display you can walk along the riverside and enjoy buskers, shows and watch the river boats glide by.
With Australian’s largest casino (the Crown Entertainment Complex) running the full length of a city block it’s worth making a special trip at night time to view the ‘fire-breathing dragons’.
These large metal towers are lined up along the river walk and ‘fire-up’ every hour upon the hour. Trust me, you’ll love it as much as your kids will.
South Bank is also home to Eureka Tower, the tallest residential building in Melbourne. Make sure you take the lift up to level 88 (which takes less than 40 seconds) to view the city from above. If you’re keen, then try ‘The Edge’, a switchable glass cube which slides out from the building with you inside! Here you and your kids can take in Melbourne in all its glory. It’s a little bit like a ‘real life’ version of Google Earth 😉
Who can resist the delights of fresh market produce. Hit the markets early and get the kids to help choose from all the yummy variety of breads, meats, vegetables and fruits on display.
Let your kids choose some food for a picnic lunch cause you never know, it may get them eating something a little bit different.
I don’t know about you, but my kids have always been fascinated by graffiti. Maybe it’s the opportunity to pronounce a ‘rude’ word out loud in front of their parents that attracts them to this funky street art.
Melbourne has embraced their street artists and actively encourage people to be creative (within reason) throughout their inner city alleyways. It’s fascinating to see the graffiti artists at work and you could spend a whole afternoon wandering.
I did this as a school excursion many, many, many years ago and it’s one of the few things that stand out in my memory of that trip. It’s a great way to engender excitement, curiosity and the thrill of science knowledge in your child, as well as unleash the inner child in you.….
Another exciting way to encourage your childs thirst for knowledge and learning. The Melbourne Museum displays Phar Lap and often has separate displays of other iconic Australian history. Small or large, any kid will love what’s on offer at this museum. Book it in!!