Australia

Ultimate Family Adventure: Your Essential Guide To Visiting Melbourne With Kids

Best Food To Eat, Places To Stay & More!

Melbourne Travel With Kids

From a taste of the arts and fresh produce from weekend markets, to amazing outdoor adventures and wildlife parks, Melbourne is truly a wonderland for both kids and adults. Moreover, just over an hour’s drive from the city center, you can escape to serene havens overlooking surf beaches, accompanied by crisp mountain air, gourmet eateries  and quaint towns. If you’re planning your next family trip to Melbourne, equip yourself with all the info you need with our guide below!

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  • Getting Around Melbourne

    GETTING AROUND MELBOURNE WITH KIDS

    Easy Ways Of Transport

    Public transport in Melbourne is pretty accessible. A great network of trams, trains and buses take you all over the city, and most are stroller-friendly. There is the Free Melbourne City Circle Tram, which takes you to many attractions and places of interest including the Melbourne Aquarium, Etihad Stadium and Federation Square.

    You can also get a map of the city and involve your kids in planning the route and mode of transportation to take to all the attractions. The famous Melbourne landmark, Flinders Street Station, is also worth seeing by yourselves or with a tour group, even if you don't need to get a train.

  • Melbourne Beaches

    BEST BEACHES FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES IN MELBOURNE

    Amusement Parks, Photo Spots & More

    While Melbourne isn’t the most widely known city for beaches, what is Australia without some sand and sea? All year round, beaches in Melbourne are also a sight to see, thanks to their vast sea views and photo spots. For a sandy day out, consider these options to bring the little ones to!

    Brighton Beach

    • Chances are, you’ve seen photos of many colored houses on this beach. Did you know that there are exactly 82 unique bathing houses here that you can snap memories with? The beach is also a hotspot for surfers, swimmers and fishermen – activities you can partake in during a good weather day.

    St Kilda Beach

    • Water sports enthusiasts will love St Kilda Beach for their generally calm waters. Paddle boarding and windsurfing are just some of the activities you can do here. The best part? It’s near plenty of cafe and restaurants so you can fill up your tummies if you get famished. You can even stroll over to the famed Luna Park after for some family bonding play time.

    Williamstown Beach

    • If you feel up for a bit of nature in between your city adventures, head down to Williamstown Beach, just a short distance away from the Gem Pier train station. Relaxing and rejuvenating, the unblocked views of the skyline will definitely be a core memory for years to come.

    Half Moon Bay

    • Half Moon Bay gets its name from its crescent shaped shore, making it a special spot to visit with the family. What’s unique is also how the weather and waters here are generally calm throughout the year, making it an optimal spot for water activities and sports.

    South Melbourne Beach

    • Sunrise and sunsets will be in full view at South Melbourne Beach, if you and the family are up for an early morning or evening stroll. The nearby beach is great for those with short pockets of time and wanting a slower pace activity. Heads up though, swimming and surfing aren’t encouraged here.
  • Melbourne Hotels

    BEST HOTELS AND RESORTS FOR FAMILIES AND KIDS IN MELBOURNE

    The Best Hotels In Melbourne

    Whether you want to be in the thick of the action in the city, or prefer a quieter district away from crowds, Melbourne has tons of accommodation options. From artsy boutique hotels to no-frills family stays, take your pick from the list of best family-friendly hotels and resorts in Melbourne.

    Best Boutique & Luxury Hotels In Melbourne

    Best Services Apartments & Home Rentals In Melbourne

  • Melbourne Food

    BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS & CAFES IN MELBOURNE

    Cafes & Restaurants Kids Will Love

    Melbourne is world-renowned as a foodie haven, especially known for their cafe culture. If you love cafe hopping, you’d want to prepare a few days just for that! Dining with kids doesn’t have to be a head-scratcher either. Plan your itinerary in advance with this list of best family-friendly restaurants in Melbourne.

    FAMILY-FRIENDLY CAFES IN MELBOURNE

    Cubbyhouse Canteen 

    • Right smack in the middle of a sprawling park complete with two adventure playgrounds in Armadale lies Cubbyhouse Canteen. With sumptuous breakfast and lunch served seven days a week, and early children's dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, what more could we ask for? As an added bonus, all staff have experience working with children and strive to provide a supportive and fun environment for you and your little ones.

    Brunetti 

    • It has been said that if you have never been to Brunetti, you have never fully experienced Melbourne. Right in the heart of Carlton, Melbourne's Italian precinct, Brunetti has the most tantalizing selection of pastries, Italian savories, gelato, coffee and more. You can request coloring sheets and pencils to keep the kids entertained while you sit back and get a breather.

    Ladro Junior

    • If pizza is one of your kid’s favs, then Ladro Junior is the place to go. This no-frills pizza place is known for its crispy thin crust pizzas and fresh wholesome ingredients. The kids’ menu doubles as an activities worksheet to keep them entertained. Pizza making classes are also available.

    Cowderoy’s Dairy

    • If you're looking for a good spot for coffee or afternoon tea, Cowderoy's Dairy is an old-school style milk bar, complete with retro fittings and delicious home-made foods. Located a 10 minute walk from St Kilda Beach, the nondescript brick building backs onto Jacoby Reserve playground, so you can take that babycino to go and head outside to play.

    Leroy’s Cafe

    • A little further out of town, Leroy's Cafe serves up seasonal, local produce from 7am to 4pm. As well as a dedicated kids' menu, which features healthy and gluten-free options, there's an outdoor courtyard with toys, play equipment and a giant chalkboard to keep the kids entertained while you dine. To get there via the scenic route you can take a ferry along the Yarra River from the city to Williamstown, then Newport is a short train ride away.

    FAMILY-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS IN MELBOURNE

    Chocolate Buddha

    • With a name like Chocolate Buddha, you know you’re in for a fun time. The kid-friendly restaurant is conveniently located in Federation Square, so you can easily head over after some shopping or sightseeing. It’s also a Japanese restaurant, meaning that you can expect the likes of ramen, sushi and bento sets. Kids will love the sushi train that will deliver every order!

    The Boatbuilders Yard

    • For dining with a view, The Boatbuilders Yard is your best bet. The restaurant is situated next to the Promenade South Wharf, promising unblocked views of the waterfront next to your table. It’s also both kid and pet friendly, so furry friends can join in on the action. Menu highlights include fish and chips, burgers and chicken wings.

    Three Blue Ducks

    • Open every day and located within a surf park, Three Blue Ducks is the perfect place to get your fill after riding a wave. Even if you’re not dining after a workout, you can still soak in the vibes with pasta, poultry and seafood dishes that are made with locally sourced ingredients.

    Campground Kitchen & Bar

    • The great outdoors and greater food? Look no further than Campground Kitchen & Bar. Located in Braybrook, the kid-friendly restaurant is an idyllic spot for families with Italian dishes spanning meatballs, pasta and woodfire pizzas. Cap off your meal with desserts like sweet pizzas or ice cream!

    Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall 

    • With a dedicated cubby house area where kids can socialize and be busy with, Stomping Ground Brewery & Beer Hall is great for parents who want a break. Let the little ones dig into cheeseburgers or fish and chips from their kids menu, before satisfying their sweet tooth with ice cream or a soda.

    Want more? Check out more family-friendly cafes and restaurants below:

  • Melbourne Attractions

    BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS IN MELBOURNE

    Things To Do For The Whole Family!

    The options for play are endless in Melbourne, but there are several places that are a distinct ‘must’ when you are there. From museums to nature spots, shortlist these landmarks to make Melbourne your next playground wonderland!

    National Gallery Of Victoria

    • The National Gallery of Victoria is the oldest art museum in Australia. Be sure to enquire about activity books, workshops and child-specific labels on artwork at the information counter at the gallery entrance. Audio-visual guides are also available for kids.

    Werribee Open Range Zoo

    • A visit to all three zoos is essential when you are in Melbourne. The Werribee Open Range Zoo allows you and your kids to experience an African adventure. Here, you can arrange for an off-road safari for an intimate encounter with the magnificent African wildlife as you travel across the Zoo’s open plains. Your kids can also take a journey through the African savannah in the Zoo’s indoor play space. Their Slumber Safari package is an overnight stay in a unique accommodation with a fully hosted experience, which includes amazing close-up animal encounters, an extravagant dinner and awesome night-time activities.

    Melbourne Zoo

    • Within minutes of the city center is Melbourne Zoo, where you can encounter over 300 different species from around the world. Be sure to check out the Growing Wild exhibit which caters for kids aged 3 to 8 years. Kids can burrow through tunnels and even climb inside Giant Tortoise shells. At the Keeper Kids playspace, your kids can have a first-hand experience of what it is like to work at the zoo! To finish off your zoo experience, be sure to visit Healesville Sanctuary, where little ones can explore a bushland haven for Australian wildlife.

    Pauline Gandal Children’s Gallery 

    • The Pauline Gandal Children's Gallery at the Melbourne Museum is a wonderful place for kiddos to excavate fossils in a dino dig, become botanists in the discovery garden and transform into disco dancing animals! The exhibition is a mix of hands-on exploration and discovery, open-ended play-based learning as well as unique immersive environments. Mums and dads can also relax and enjoy a cuppa nearby as you watch your kids get creative and go wild in their discoveries!

    Lego Education Learning Centre

    • If your little one loves building bricks with Lego, let them discover the science and magic behind one of their favorite toys at the Lego Education Learning Centre! Their interactive workshops are available during holiday season or every Saturday during their Saturday Funday session. There are also merchandise so you can do a bit of shopping to continue the fun at home.

    Luna Park

    • Thrillseekers must visit the famed Luna Park during your Melbourn trip. With similar outlets in Sydney and New York the amusement park has plenty of rides and rollercoasters to cater to the brave and not-so-brave. Go for the Pharaoh's Curse if you’re looking to challenge your fear of heights, while younger kiddos can sit the Moon Balloons or Carousel.

    Want more? Check out more family-friendly attractions below:

  • Melbourne Shopping

    SHOPPING IN MELBOURNE: BEST MARKETS AND WALKING STREETS IN MELBOURNE

    Boutiques, Walking Streets & More!

    What's travel without hitting the shops for some retail therapy for both you and the kids? The beauty of Melbourne is that you can buy just about anything - from designer fashion to locally made goodies. You'll find local boutiques on Gertrude Street and Fitzroy, while high-street Aussie brands are found on Chapel Street, South Yarra and Bridge Road. Vintage stores line Sydney Road, Brunswick, and in the heart of the city Swanston and Collins Streets are the spots to go to for the major luxury labels. If malls are more your thing, or you're pressed for time, here is a list of the must-visit shopping malls in town. Visiting the direct factory outlets is key in getting the best deals!

    DFO South Wharf

    • Shop with a view at DFO South Wharf, which boasts over 170 brands that span both local and international alongside the boardwalk next to the sea. Think everything from Calvin Klein to Nike and Adidas. Look out for their massive seasonal sales that can rack up to 70% off, so you can save massive dollars on your purchases

    Melbourne Central 

    • Connected to the Melbourne Central train station is the Melbourne Central shopping mall. Its convenience means you can zip right to your store after disembarking off the subway. On top of a bevy of retail outlets and fashion boutiques, the five storey mall has 300 retailers that also include dining and entertainment options.

    Bourke Street Mall

    • It’s highly unlikely that you’d miss Bourke Street Mall – a walking shopping district located right in the heart of the city. You and the little ones will spend hours strolling past plenty of shops here – don’t forget to check out department stores like David Jones and Myer too.

    Chadstone

    • One of the oldest shopping malls in Melbourne, Chadstone shopping centre is a classic mall that both young and old can enjoy. With over 550 shops to explore, there’s never a dull moment here. Take note that you can access it via the free shuttle bus from the central business district (CBD) to the mall directly.

    Emporium Melbourne

    • Emporium Melbourne is a more modern mall to check out, having opened since 2014. Appealing to a more fashion and luxury crowd, the seven floors span plenty of designer boutiques and high fashion brands. If you’re hungry from all that shopping, there’s also a food court to refuel you.

    Want more? Check out more shopping options below:

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