Boredom isn’t even an option for the little ones in the Victorian capital. There are so many fun things to do with kids in Melbourne that there aren’t enough days in the week!
The weather can be pretty temperamental, so we’ve split these options up by indoor and outdoor kids’ activities in Melbourne. There’s some free stuff too, if you’re mixing it up.
The best indoor things to do with kids in Melbourne
1. Legoland Discovery Centre
Legoland Discovery Centre is one of the most exciting indoor kids’ activities that Melbourne has to offer – proof that if you build it, they will come. LEGO lovers will find loads to do as they explore different themed zones within a huge indoor playground.
Each theme is based on a LEGO range, and kids of all ages can build exciting structures, enjoy 4D rides and watch movies. Melbourne Lego Miniland is a must. Kids will love seeing their favorite landmarks in mini, like the MCG, Luna Park, and the CBD.
How to get to Legoland Discovery Centre
Legoland Discovery Centre is located at Chadstone Shopping Centre. It’s just a 20-minute drive from the CBD. Buses are available but limited.
2. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is one of the most popular things to do with kids in Melbourne. Dive right into an aquatic adventure with a host of water-based wonders from tropical fish, to crocodiles and stingrays. Life under the water has never looked better.
Young kids will love the touch tanks. These invite little fingers to explore special creatures like corals, starfish and even shark’s eggs. In the winter, the rainforest area is a warm and humid alternative to the great outdoors, which means parents will love it too.
Want to sit down and relax? How about a seat in the 4D cinema? This isn’t included in your entrance ticket but it makes for one of the most exciting kids activities in Melbourne thanks to its immersive qualities, from blasts of air, to flashing lights designed to enhance the experience.
3. Penguin Passport Experience at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Want to win some parental bonus points? Add a Penguin Passport Experience to your SEA LIFE visit. It’s just a little extra, and your full-day admission to SEA LIFE is included. You’ll suit up in snow gear and step out onto the ice with the penguin colony in their habitat! Watch the kids’ faces light up in wonder – this is something they’ll never forget. (But no, they can’t take one home, sorry).
How to get to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is right in the CBD on the Yarra River. This makes it super easy to reach on public transport. You can catch any tram along Flinders Street, or just walk from Flinders Street station or Southbank.
4. Entermission Melbourne: Virtual Reality Escape Room
Want to experience an alternate reality? Entermission Virtual Reality Escape Room is one of the best things to do with big kids in Melbourne, and the perfect place to leave the real world behind for a while. Immerse yourself in a multisensory VR world with wind and heat to tease your senses. In Space Heroes, you’ll traverse the cosmos as a super team and make the most of your special abilities. You’ll have to think quickly if you’re going to save Earth from a dastardly soul-sucking portal. In Jungle Quest, enter a fantastical world of exotic animals and flying islands, and find your way home in 60 minutes.
Whichever game you play, it’s all about working together as a team – or family unit – and using your collective brainpower to solve the puzzles.
How to get to Entermission Melbourne
Entermission Melbourne: Virtual Reality Escape Room is located in the Chinatown area of Melbourne, not far from the CBD.
5. Virtual Room Melbourne
Continuing the VR thrills, Virtual Room Melbourne is a team-based virtual reality experience that makes for one of the best confidence-boosting things to do with kids in Melbourne. It cleverly blends the escape room concept with a cinematic experience that all makes for an exciting, and unique adventure. The kids can talk to each other, walk around, bend, throw objects and prove their worth in a host of exciting challenges. And you can enjoy a cheeky beer while they’ve got their headsets on.
How to get to Virtual Room Melbourne
This branch is located in Melbourne, Victoria, just a 3-minute walk from Queen Victoria Market.
6. Melbourne Skydeck (previously Eureka Skydeck)
Curious young eyes can see Melbourne from a whole new perspective when they travel to a dizzying height of 285 meters above the city, to the Southern Hemisphere’s highest observation deck. Even the elevator ride up to Melbourne Skydeck is a fun experience. Watch their faces as you shoot to the 88th floor, ready to soak up 360° views!
It’s among the top things to do in Melbourne with kids, and it’s an education. They’ll have fun spotting city landmarks like the MCG, Federation Square, and Flinders Street Station.
Do you dare go to The Edge?
Opt to add The Edge Experience to your ticket, and you’ll step into a glass cube that hovers almost 300 meters over the city. The Edge Experience might be a little scary for really young kids, but the slightly older ones will get a kick out of it.
How to get to Melbourne Skydeck
Melbourne Skydeck is located on the Riverside Quay in Melbourne, right in the heart of the city.
Melbourne Skydeck & LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne Combo Pass
Psssst: Want to see both attractions with the kids, but don’t want to pay full whack? Getting a combo pass for both will save you money!
The best outdoor things to do with kids in Melbourne
7. Melbourne Zoo
Brimming with gorillas, mandrills, flamingos and more, Melbourne Zoo is a must for young animal lovers, and one of the best things to do with kids in Melbourne thanks to its abundance of kids’ activities.
You’ll need to prioritize which animals you want to see most, because the zoo is huge and little kids might get tired before you’ve seen it all. Trail of the Elephants boasts a lush Thailand theme, while the Lion Gorge is a great place to see the big cats napping. Kids will be mesmerized watching the penguins waddling, swimming and splashing.
There’s also a great Australian animal section, a carousel, a playground and loads of room for young kids to run around and burn that excess energy.
How to get to Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Zoo is located near Melbourne’s CBD. If you’re coming by car, there’s ample paid-parking close by. You can also catch a train to Royal Park or take a tram along William Street.
8. Melbourne Star
London might have started the obsession with big wheels in cities, but the Melbourne Star makes it onto the list of fun things to do in Melbourne with kids because it’s pretty fun for grown-ups, too.
The full circle on the Melbourne Star lasts an hour and the specially designed gondolas give you an amazing view of the city and the Docklands. Kids won’t get bored spotting the city landmarks from up high, especially if you get a gondola to yourself and they can run about freely.
While the views are always spectacular, for something different, consider taking the kids at night. They’ll love seeing the city lights and you’ll all remember this special Melbourne experience.
How to get to Melbourne Star
The Melbourne Star is located in the Docklands precinct. Trams run to the Docklands, and the City Circle tram stops a couple of minutes away. If you’re driving you should have no problem getting a paid parking space nearby.
9. Melbourne: Street Art Exploration Game
There’s nothing like solving a set of clues to get the brain buzzing and the confidence soaring! This adventure-packed Melbourne Street Art Exploration Game is one of the most thrilling things to do in Melbourne with kids, incorporating smartphone technology with using your own eyes and imagination to navigate your way around town. Play the game as a family. Along the way you’ll uncover new places, amazing stories, and heaps of awesome Melbourne art you might not have found otherwise.
10. Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
If your kids ever talk about wishing they could fly, you can always treat them to the next best thing – a bird’s-eye-view of the rainforest canopy, courtesy of Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. Surrounded by the lush Otway Ranges this is one of the most scenic and immersive things to do with kids in Melbourne – or, just outside of it.
The 600-metre-long, 25-metre-high elevated walkway will give you unrivaled views of the unique beauty of the region’s flora and fauna. They’ll never forget swaying gently above the treetops!
How to get to Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures is just 20 minutes from the Great Ocean Road and easy to reach by car, although it’s 2.5 hours from Melbourne’s CBD. Why not make it part of an adventurous weekend?
11. Trees Adventure – Glen Harrow Park
Continuing with the trees theme, Trees Adventure – Glen Harrow Park is another of the best outdoor kids’ activities in Melbourne. On a thrilling aerial obstacle course the kids can boost their courage across nine courses and six vertical challenges. Let them loose in the hands of the experienced staff, or ride with them on up to 23 flying foxes!
The surrounding nature is nothing short of stunning and the obstacle course in the treetops of the Dandenongs will give them something to talk about for months. Watch them climb, crawl, and clamber through challenges that can tower as high as 15 meters!
How to get to Trees Adventure – Glen Harrow Park
The Trees Adventure – Glen Harrow Park is located in the Dadendong Ranges National Park, about 50 minutes by car from Melbourne.
12. Kryal Castle
Gather your little knights and journey back in time inside Australia’s only medieval-themed park. At Kryal Castle the kids are free to let their imaginations run wild inside a sprawling medieval village packed with kids’ activities. It’s more than 1,000 years of medieval history in one place, and as one of the best things to do in Melbourne with kids of all ages, it guarantees hours of fun!
Slightly older kids can become knights and try their hand at axe-throwing. Elsewhere the resident blacksmith is waiting to teach them a few skills. Look out for the jousting tournaments with mounted knights in the Castle Arena, plus wizardry, squire training, archery, and sword battles!
How to get to Kryal Castle
Kryal Castle is located just outside of Ballarat, approximately one hour’s drive from Melbourne. You can also catch a train to Kryal Castle direct from Melbourne’s Southern Cross station in less than 90 minutes.
Phillip Island can’t be beaten for getting back to nature. Famous for its Penguin Parade, it’s a special place for a wildlife encounter at sunset. But there are heaps of other things to do on Phillip Island.
13. Phillip Island Nature Parks
Get yourself a 4 Park Pass for Phillip Island and you’ll be able to make the most of an abundance of natural wonders. It includes a Penguin Parade ticket, plus admission to the Koala Conservation Centre, where little ones can spot koalas from a platform high in the trees.
The 4 Park Pass also includes the Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies Centre and Churchill Island Heritage Farm. This one makes for one of the best things to do with city kids near Melbourne. They’ll have a great time milking cows, learning to crack a whip and discovering the art of sheep shearing
14. Cape Woolamai Cruise from Phillip Island
For animal fans it doesn’t get better than watching the seals and dolphins who roam the waters around Phillip Island. One of the best things to do with kids from Melbourne is to board a scenic Cape Woolamai Cruise and spot them from the water itself, complete with cake and soft drinks. With this option, you’ll get up close to the base of the Cape Woolamai cliffs, hear stories and commentary from a local guide, and give the kids a giggle as you all wave at the surfers.
15. Phillip Island Seal Watching Cruise
The seals around Phillip Island are a lively bunch, and never fail to impress the little ones with their antics. There aren’t many places in the world where you can get this close to thousands of seals, all in their natural habitat, so take the Phillip Island Seal Watching Cruise and get close up to Seal Rocks. They’ll be able to say they’ve seen one of the biggest seal colonies in Australia.
16. Phillip Island Day Trip from Melbourne
Don’t have more than a day to spend? Luckily there’s a great 8-hour Phillip Island day trip option! Point at the sights through the windows on the roundtrip coach ride from Melbourne to Phillip Island and explore all of Phillip Island Nature Parks with a local guide.
How to get to Phillip Island
Phillip Island is roughly 2 hours from Melbourne by car.
17. Surfing at Torquay
Get your little one down to Torquay for a surfing lesson and watch in pride as they learn the basic techniques of surfing. Soon they’ll be able to stand up on the board with perfect balance and wave at you from the water. They’ll get their own beginner’s board, wetsuit or rash shirt, and even some waterproof sunscreen. You’ve got nothing to worry about here, the surfing pros are in control and won’t let your little one out of their sight.
How to get to Torquay
It’s just over an hour from Melbourne to Torquay by car. Alternatively, take the train to Geelong, walk to Geelong Station/Railway Tce, then take the bus to Torquay Holiday Resort/Surf Coast Hwy.
18. iVenture Unlimited Attractions Pass
If you can’t decide what to do, boost your options with access to all of Melbourne’s top cultural attractions with the iVenture Unlimited Pass Melbourne. This is your ticket to a happy child and more for either 3 or 7 days.
From sightseeing bus tours to fun at the zoo and the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre, to fresh air at Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens and more – this is unlimited access to the very best cultural attractions, leisure spots, and tours around the greater Melbourne area. The only stress will be deciding what to do first!
The best free things to do with kids in Melbourne
If the purse strings are a little tight, there are loads of free things to do in Melbourne with kids. From climbing on old airplanes to building cubby houses in a botanical garden, check out these child-friendly ideas.
19. RAAF Museum
If you have a young aircraft fanatic on your hands, The RAAF Museum (re-opening June 2022) makes a great Melbourne excursion with little kids, being located on Australia’s first airbase. Fuel their imagination with fighters and jets, while you read the “boring” snippets of history and captions.
The little ones can learn all about the history and development of Australia’s air force while exploring a huge, converted aircraft hangar. See two old bi-planes and a variety of retired aircraft, some of which the kids can climb on and sit in for photos.
How to get to The RAAF Museum
The RAAF Museum is located in Point Cook, roughly 30km from the center of Melbourne. Entry is free!
20. ACMI Screen Worlds
ACMI Screen Worlds is one of the most educational things to do with kids in Melbourne and even better, general admission is free. Teach the kids the history of the moving image including all the things they now can’t live without, like TV, digital art and virtual reality.
There are loads of interactive elements for little ones to enjoy. Let them play Minecraft, watch snippets from old TV shows, and experiment with making shadow puppets.
The best time to visit ACMI Screen Worlds is early morning when you’re less likely to run into school groups. While entry is free, some other exhibits might have a fee.
How to get to ACMI Screen Worlds
ACMI is located in Melbourne’s Federation Square, opposite Flinders Street Station
21. Melbourne Tram Museum
Show the kids the world’s largest tram track network at the Melbourne Tram Museum. It’s free to enter, but a donation is encouraged. This museum is based inside an old Hawthorn tram depot and is home to an interesting collection of heritage trams that have all been restored.
Some trams are seriously beautiful, and the artistic and historic styles will impress any kid who’s only ever seen the current working trams in Melbourne.
Older kids will find it interesting to learn the history of trams in Melbourne, which has been one of the world’s great tramway cities since 1885. Toddlers will enjoy exploring inside the trams and getting into the driver’s seats to ring the bell.
How to get to Melbourne Tram Museum
Melbourne Tram Museum is located in the suburb of Hawthorn. Public transport access to the museum is excellent. Why not take a tram?
22. Royal Park Nature Playground
Melbourne is home to some brilliant adventure playgrounds and they’re some of the best things to do with kids in Melbourne – not only because they’re free, but because they get you out into the fresh air, too.
The best playground of all is the Nature Playground in Royal Park, especially in hot weather. You can dunk yourselves in the water fountain. Climb, slide, swing and run, or sit back and watch the kids burn the calories instead. You’ll find BBQs, seats, as well as lots of nice grassy areas that are great for a picnic.
How to get to The Royal Park Nature Playground
The Royal Park Nature Playground is located next to the Royal Children’s Hospital on Flemington Road, Parkville. It’s easy to reach by tram from the CBD.
23. Ian Potter Children’s Garden
Another free thing to do in Melbourne with kids is a visit to the Ian Potter children’s garden. Located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, this is a great escape for outdoor adventurers to play and also learn a lot about plants. There’s lots for preschoolers too, like building cubby houses, digging in sandy pits and exploring the green gardens.
Various zones include a Meeting Place, where kids can scream and be sprayed by water fountains, a kitchen garden, a tree tower, a bamboo forest and more.
How to get to Ian Potter Children’s Garden
Ian Potter Children’s at the Royal Botanic Gardens is located just outside of Melbourne’s CBD.
24. St. Kilda Penguins
If you can’t make it out to Phillip Island for your penguin fix, the waddling birds have a hang out in Melbourne, too. Spot the penguins almost every night for free at the end of St Kilda pier. You’ll be able to hear them coming in at sunset – they can be a noisy bunch. Remember not to aim your flashes at them if you’re taking photos.
How to get to the St. Kilda Penguins
Trams 12, 16 and 96 all stop at St Kilda Pier. Catch any of these routes from Melbourne CBD
25. Junior Ranger Programs
Little ones who love the outdoors can join a park ranger to learn about what they do in a number of different free programs. Junior Rangers can experience a range of different ranger-guided activities from rock pool discovery to spotlight night walks, fire recovery, walks to explore the habitats of koalas, birds and sea creatures, environmental games, and more.