Believe that Melbourne is all laneways, coffee shops and bearded hipsters? Think again.
While the city may be Australia’s capital of cool, there’s family-friendly fare to be had. From toddlers to teens - there’s plenty to entertain pint-sized punters, if you know where to look...
KIDS CAN BUILD THIER PERFECT GETAWAY
Fun times at Melbourne’s LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
There are LEGOLAND parks across the world and as of a few years ago, Australia now has its very own.
Set in Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping mall, just like its global counterparts, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre features a raft of attractions built around the iconic Danish bricks, including interactive rides, a 4D cinema and five ‘build and play’ zones.
THERE'S A REAL LIFE WILLY WONKA CHOCOLATE FACTORY
The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie is a Willy Wonka chocolate paradise
Although outside of Melbourne (just under an hour and a half’s drive away) the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie well worth the trip.
The stuff of chocaholic fantasies, this wonderland serves up free chocolate and ice cream tastings and kids aged 6-12 can even become junior chocolatiers by taking a special masterclass. All that’s missing are the Oompa Loompas!
THERE'S PLENTY FOR MINI-CULTURE VULTURES
Ranked among the top 10 attractions in the city, Melbourne Museum is far from fussy. Rather than hands off, this place packed with ever-changing exhibits that encourage curious little ones to touch and explore.
Budding botanists can explore the ‘discovery garden’, wannabe dinosaur hunters can dig for fossils, and every toddler will love the 'camouflage disco' complete with dancing animals.
TEENS CAN (LITERALLY) ESCAPE
If you’re struggling for ideas to entertain a demanding teenager, then Escape rooms - where players are locked inside and must solve puzzles before their time runs out - could be the answer.
Booming in popularity worldwide, Melbourne is leading the craze in Australia and one of the best is Escape Hunt Melbourne where visitors act as detectives to solve a bomb heist, or graveyard kidnapping. Prices average around $80.
ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS ARE EVERYWHERE
At Werribee Open Range Zoo you and your family can have an African safari experience
Fancy a safari experience without having to dig out the passport? At Werribee Open Range Zoo you and your brood can blink and pretend you’re on the edge of the African savannah, with cheetahs, gorillas, hippopotamuses, rhinoceros, giraffes, zebras and antelopes, all populating its 225-hectares of grassy plains. Best of all, on weekends and public holidays, entry is free for kids under 15.
The St Kilda icon, Luna Park, is filled with rides and attractions
You can’t list nipper-friendly attractions in Melbourne without including Luna Park.
A St Kilda landmark for close to 100-years, the theme park is overflowing with great rides and attractions. Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline pumping on the likes of the Pharoah’s Curse, while younger kids can climb aboard the Silly Serpent.
Ghost tours are a must for brave teens at the eerie Old Melbourne Gaol
Definitely a one for fright-loving teens, the eerie Old Melbourne Gaol is one of the city’s oldest buildings - bushranger Ned Kelly was just one of the criminals incarcerated here - and it’s also reputedly one of the most haunted. Brave visitors can stay for evening ghost tours by candlelight - goosebumps guaranteed!
GETTING THERE AND AROUND
There are multiple flights into Melbourne daily from all main Australian airports.
Traveller’s tip: Trams in the CBD are free! Melbourne operates a Free Tram Zone - designed for visitors - within the city centre, meaning that you and the kids can get around for zilch.
For more information see Visit Melbourne