Melbourne has always been one of our favourite places to visit. The restaurants, the trendy cafes, the laneways with street art, the shopping – we love Melbourne. But taking the kids for a family holiday to Melbourne was certainly a different experience. The kids loved Melbourne just as much as their folks do! If you’re thinking of a trip to Melbourne – here are the highlights from our visit.
Royal Melbourne Show
If you’re thinking of visiting Melbourne – the spring school holidays are a fab time to go with events like the Royal Melbourne Show taking place. We’ve been to our fair share of shows and showgrounds and we have to say this show was absolutely excellent! We went to Flinders St Station and bought a Myki pass which got us around on the trains and trams the whole week. We were able to board a train that went straight to Showground Station and the absolutely amazing part was we didn’t have to walk far to find the entrance to the show – it was right there on the platform!
We quickly made our way to the Entertainment Precinct where we watched Hi-5 perform and then had a meet and greet with them after the show. In this area we found rides, the Family Fun Pavilion and the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion. We ventured down to the farmyard area and played some sideshows along the way. The kids loved patting the baby goats and lambs wandering around the farmyard nursery.
Of course we had to grab some show bags and then we caught a live motorbike show in the main arena before heading back to the train.
Brighton Beach and St Kilda Esplanade
We really wanted to visit the iconic Brighton Beach bathing boxes and loved spending some time walking along the beach, collecting shells and posing for photos in front of our favourite boxes. The bathing boxes are all painted and decorated in different colours and themes which the kids found delightful.
We caught a train to Middle Brighton station and walked a few blocks down to the beach to check them out. We walked back to Brighton Beach station and hopped off at Balaclava where we navigated our way to a tram that dropped us off at St Kilda esplanade.
St Kilda has markets all along the esplanade on a Sunday so this trip could be best done on a Sunday. If you pack a towel and swimmers it’s a great spot for a dig in the sand. We grabbed lunch on the esplanade at Republica which had a delicious menu and a great kids menu too.
We finished off with a couple of rides at Luna Park and then jumped on a tram that took us straight back to Flinders Street.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
This was high on our list of places to visit with the tribe and it didn’t disappoint! As soon as we arrived at the zoo we found the Safari Station and jumped on board the safari bus to see the animals out roaming around the grounds. We saw so many animals from hippopotamus’, to rhinoceros, zebras, giraffes, camels, buffalo and antelope. We got to get up close to the animals and watch them from the safety of the open-air bus which was a fantastic experience.
We enjoyed wandering around the rest of the zoo to see all of the animals, but what made it really great was every area had interactive areas for the kids to stop and play. At the cheetah enclosure, they got to draw cheetahs on the chalkboard and see how fast a cheetah can run. At the monkey enclosure, they got to be monkeys themselves and swing on the ropes. There was a great playground and some huts to either sit and eat lunch or just play right outside the Australian animals section of the zoo. The best part about visiting Werribee Open Range Zoo was in the school holidays – kids are free making it a really affordable day out for the tribe.
Mornington Peninsula and Royal Botanic Gardens
We decided to hire a car and go somewhere a little further out of Melbourne and for us it was an easy choice – a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula. We drove into Mornington and came across Mornington Park right on the foreshore and much to our tribe’s delight – it was a pirate ship park. This lovely park was a great place to stretch our legs and get some fresh air before a walk along the beach where we discovered some more cute bathing boxes.
We had a delish brunch at Boyz 4 Breakie which was tribe friendly with colouring booklets ready for us as soon as we found a table.
After we’d explored Mornington we decided to head to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne which was about halfway between Melbourne and Mornington. We walked to the Woodlands Picnic area which has a great kids park. You could have easily enjoyed a longer day at the Botanic Gardens with lots of interesting walks and exhibits happening.
We had a fantastic time in Melbourne with the kids and loved navigating our way around on the trams to see more of the city. For more on holidays in Melbourne with kids click here.