As the second-largest city in Australia, Melbourne shows time and time again why it is one of Australia’s most travelled to destinations. With plenty of activities and attractions for families to explore, the options are almost endless of what you can get up to – even the locals are continually finding new things to do!
With different things to do right across the city, Melbourne’s attractions cater for all the different ages from the young ones right through to the young adults – even the adults who are just wanting to feel young again too!
Here’s a list of our top picks that are bound to make you and your children’s holiday:
10. Visit SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Location: SEA LIFE Melbourne: King Street & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Melbourne’s great aquarium consistently receives strong reviews on holiday reference sites, and with good reason! Situated in an easily accessible location in central Melbourne, SEA LIFE aquarium has a dazzling array of aquatic animals from all corners of the globe. With plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with many of the animals, children can touch and feel the creatures making this adventure that much more surreal. With a reasonable entry price, and family passes available that offer further savings, Melbourne Aquarium is really an attraction to add to the top of your list.
One of the definite must sees when travelling to this fabulous city, this aquarium is a great place for both the kids and the kids-at-heart. Melbourne Aquarium offers several hours’ worth of entertainment (depending on the attention span of your kids!) with thousands of different species of tropical, cold, fresh and saltwater marine creatures that range from the Atlantic to the Antarctic!
“One of the definite must sees when travelling to this fabulous city, this aquarium is a great place for both the kids and the kids-at-heart.”
Watch as the sharks swim above and around you, or check out one of the Aquarium’s major highlights – the colony of charismatically cute sub-Antarctic penguins. Kids typically love the funny antics of these cute creatures and the well-maintained exhibits provide unobstructed views of their habitats! Another popular exhibit for the kids is the glowing jellyfish room, as the special illumination makes not only the jellyfish glow with vibrant colours but clothes also!
With multiple levels and underwater themed tanks and enclosures, you and the kids will come across coral reefs, freshwater rivers, sharks, rays, turtles and much more. Lastly, don’t forget to check out the touch pool, where kids will be able to get their hands on some of these weird and wonderful aquatic creatures. A day out at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium will not just be fun for the kids – they may even learn something while they’re there!
– Kids (3-15 years) from $22.40
– Adults from $33.60
– Animal Encounters cost extra
9. Visit Phillip Island Nature Parks
Location: 1019 Ventnor Rd, Summerlands VIC 3922
If your children appreciate wildlife, then there are few better places to get a more “natural” experience in the greater Melbourne area than the nature parks on Victoria’s Phillip Island. While it requires a fair amount of driving to access from the city centre, (roughly 90 minutes from the CBD) it is well worth the trek! The island plays the role of a sort of “wildlife wonderland” and acts as a fitting escape from the hustle and bustle of the city’s more urban attractions.
The island has become particularly famous for one unique reason – the nightly “penguin parade” conducted by its colony of tiny, cute Little Penguins. Your kids will no doubt enjoy watching these cuddly creatures making their journey along the beach to their roosts! Take it in from one of the general stands or boardwalks that are set up specifically to provide the best possible spot to watch it all take place.
“The island plays the role of a sort of “wildlife wonderland” and acts as a fitting escape from the hustle and bustle of the city’s more urban attractions.”
The penguins aren’t the only wildlife attraction on the island however; there are also chances to see koalas up close from the elevated treetop boardwalks at the Koala Conservation Centre! The southern hemisphere’s largest colony of fur seals can also be found basking on the rocks of the area known as the “Nobbies”.
Add to this range of sights with plenty of opportunities for bird watching, swimming and scenic walks, and it’s easy to see why Victoria’s Phillip Island is a wildlife and nature wonderland! Phillip Island serves as a great location for a day trip when in Melbourne – not just for animal lovers, but also for everyone.
Three Park Pass:
– Kids (4-15 years) from $20.80
– Adults from $41.60
8. Visit Melbourne Museum
Location: 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053
An outstanding venue with displays dedicated to all aspects of natural history, the Melbourne Museum is annually ranked among the top 10 attractions. Whilst the first word that comes to mind when imagining a museum may not always be fun, Melbourne Museum breaks that stereotype and gives kids plenty of chances to get hands-on and play, with an emphasis on involvement and engagement rather than simply bombarding them with information. With an amazing convoy of exhibits that are ever changing, no two visits to the Melbourne Museum are ever quite alike.
Be sure to leave enough time when planning a visit to the museum, as the wide array of exhibits are typically enough to cover half a day. During your time, you’ll encounter a range of sections divided up into individual galleries, including the Science & Life gallery, the Forest gallery, the Children’s gallery (with a series of exhibits aimed at kids between the ages of 3 to 8 years old), a Melbourne gallery dedicated to exploring the city’s history in entertaining detail, and many more!
“With an amazing convoy of exhibits that are ever changing, no two visits to the Melbourne Museum are ever quite alike.”
If you’re looking for an attraction to spend time in Melbourne with kids that provides a nice combination of entertainment, education and reasonable pricing, the Melbourne Museum is a more-than-solid choice.
– Kids Free
– Adults from $14.00
Some exhibitions will cost extra.
7. Ride Puffing Billy Steam Train
Location: 1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave VIC 3160
Give the kids a taste of riding a real life Thomas the Tank Engine with a ride aboard the authentic Puffing Billy steam train that runs through the beautiful Blue Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. This famous narrow-gauge railway winds its way through the mountainside and offers some great views of not only the surrounding forests but also the many different types of wildlife that can be found in the trees.
The Dandenongs can be reached by a roughly one-hour drive outside Melbourne itself and offer a great bonding experience for the family. With the engine drivers being very accommodating towards children, they may even get the chance to blow the train’s whistle! With both open and closed carriages to choose from, you can sit in whichever you feel most comfortable with as many kids enjoy dangling their legs outside the carriage as they soak in the pleasant atmosphere of times from the past.
“With the engine drivers being very accommodating towards children, they may even get the chance to blow the train’s whistle!”
Both the engines and carriages have been lovingly maintained over the years and the dedication to the trains themselves is obvious from the enthusiasm shown by all the staff members involved in the Puffing Billy experience. Listen to the informative and entertaining commentary throughout the journey and take in all there is to know about this fantastic area. If you’re planning to invest a full day, you may want to bring along a picnic and stop off at one of the great, green hillside locations along the way before catching the train again for the ride back.
Lastly, a couple of tips for the ride: arrive around 30 minutes prior to the train departure time (or earlier on public and/or school holidays) if you wish to get a decent seat as it can fill up quickly. Also try to avoid either you or your kids wearing white clothing as it can become easily stained from stray ash and soot emitted from the engine up front!
– Kids (4-16 years) from $26.50 for a return journey
– Children under 4 ride free!
– Adults from $51.50 for a return journey
6. Visit Melbourne Zoo
Location: Elliott Ave, Parkville VIC 3052
Home to more than 320 different wildlife species from across the world, Melbourne Zoo is bound to be a guaranteed hit with children of all ages! From the cute Asian Elephants and Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats through to the more terrifying Philippines Crocodiles and Sumatran Tigers, there is so much to see we can promise, that your kids will be entertained for hours!
Explore the Zoo and be mesmerized by the array of different attractions and exhibits you won’t want to miss! Let them experience what it’s like to work at a zoo in the Keeper Kids playspace, explore the interactive Growing Wild exhibit and watch as they patrol for danger alongside the Meerkats, burrow through tunnels and climb inside Giant Tortoise shells, or immerse themselves in the magical Butterfly House, home to hundreds of vibrant coloured native butterflies as they effortlessly land upon their shoulders, head and arms.
“If you’re after not only a fun and exciting day out, but also one that offers an educational experience, you can’t look past Melbourne Zoo.”
Melbourne Zoo is located only minutes from the city centre in Parkville and is easily accessible by both public transport and car – best of all, parking is only $2 for 5 hours! If driving isn’t an option for you, catch tram 55 and get dropped directly outside Melbourne Zoo, or catch the train from Flinders Street Station on the Upfield line and stop at Melbourne Zoo’s very own Royal Park Station.
If you’re after not only a fun and exciting day out, but also one that offers an educational experience, you can’t look past Melbourne Zoo. From the moment you step foot inside the gates, you and your children will be enthralled by all the wonderful animals that call this great attraction home! Even better, visit on the weekend and children under 15 receive entry for free!
– Kids (4-15 years) from $15.80
– Free on weekends, public and school holidays
– Adults from $31.60
5. Visit the Enchanted Adventure Garden
Location: 55 Purves Rd, Arthurs Seat VIC 3936
Let your children climb, zip, or slide their way to fun at the Enchanted Adventure Garden! Spread across 22 acres of land, this great attraction boasts a number of different fun activities for you and your children to explore, including hedge, mini and indoor 3D mazes, tube slides and canopy walks – just to name a few!
Offering a couple of additional extras, you can’t make a trip to the Enchanted Adventure Garden without you and your kids giving the Big Zip and Tree Surfing a try! Reaching high speeds, the Big Zip are 2 lines measuring more than 270m in length, 20m above ground that take you on an exciting ride throughout the Enchanted Adventure Garden grounds.
“Let your children climb, zip, or slide their way to fun at the Enchanted Adventure Garden!”
Tree Surfing on the other hand is an adventure park in the air! With several different levels and stations to suit the different climber, participants can swing on ropes between trees and master suspended rope bridges! Whether you and your children choose to do one or perhaps even both of these, we guarantee they will have a blast!
Located in the stunning Mornington Peninsula, the Enchanted Adventure Garden is approximately just over an hour drive from the city centre. Easily accessible by car, public transport or day tour services, Mornington Peninsula is situated on the gorgeous Port Phillip Bay. With so many other great attractions to see and do perfect for children in the Mornington Peninsula, including horse riding, kayaking and simply dolphin watching, this beautiful part of Victoria is definitely worth a visit!
– Kids (ages 3-17 years) from $19 (Big Zip and Tree Surfing are extra)
– Adult from $29 (Big Zip and Tree Surfing are extra)
4. Visit Scienceworks
Location: 2 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015
Imagine an interactive adventure, learning about all things science and technology in a fun and enjoyable environment. At Scienceworks, this is exactly what your kids will experience! A visit to this fantastic Melbourne attraction will keep curious minds entertained whilst introducing them to new and exciting ways science is changing every day life!
“Your children will fall in love with the ever-changing exhibitions that explore topics such as space, the human body, and transport.”
Located just 5 minutes from Melbourne CBD in Spotswood, Scienceworks is easily accessible by both public transport and car, with an onsite parking lot available to visitors at a meager $3 per day. If arriving via public transport, Scienceworks is a small 10 minute walk from Spotswood train station, or accessible by the Williamstown Ferry!
Your children will fall in love with the ever-changing exhibitions that explore topics such as space, the human body, and transport. In this hands-on environment, Scienceworks incorporates many different machines and displays that encourage children to get their bodies moving.
Perfect for young children or teenagers, there will be some form of exhibit that will not only entertain their minds, but also educate their brains! Don’t forget to check out the optional extras for a small-added price. You and your children can visit the Planetarium show and learn all things space, or view the Lightning Room Show that teaches all things electricity!
– Kids (16 and under) Free
– Adults from $14.00
Planetarium show and Lightning Room show:
– $6.00 each
3. Visit Werribee Open Range Zoo
Location: K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030
Let you and your children experience an African Adventure without leaving the comfort of Melbourne! At Werribee Open Range Zoo, this is what you’ll experience as you immerse yourself in an environment shared with Cheetahs, Gorillas, Hippopotamuses and so much more!
Situated just 35 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne city, Werribee Open Range Zoo located on the Princes Highway adjacent to Werribee River, is just a small drive by car, shuttle or public transport. By car, the thirty-minute journey is easily manageable; likewise, the shuttle and public transport option are also convenient! If travelling from Melbourne, the Werribee line from the CBD will take you to Werribee station, where a bus to the zoo is accessible. Alternatively, several shuttle bus and tour buses can help make your journey to Werribee Open Range Zoo possible!
“Let you and your children experience an African Adventure without leaving the comfort of Melbourne! “
There are so many things to see and do over the 200-hectare property, that we can guarantee your children will not get bored! Take a ride on the free Safari tour and keep an eye out for some of the majestic animals that roam these parklands, or sit back and enjoy one of the presentations as you watch the talented keepers feed and interact with the animals. These options are just two of the many great things Werribee Open Range Zoo has to offer.
If you’re after something a little more hands on, take advantage of the Wild Encounters that allow you to get up close and personal with the animals. Choose from packages such as a Giraffe Feed Encounter or an African Cat Encounter and so much more for a small extra cost!
– Kids (4-15 years) from $15.80
– Free on weekends, public and school holidays
– Adults from $31.60
2. Visit Collingwood Children’s Farm
Location: 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
For an experience all about interacting with nature, you can’t look past Collingwood Children’s Farm. The perfect attraction for any families visiting Melbourne, this park introduces children to all things farm animals – including how to feed them, how to care for them, and even how to milk them!
Only 5km from the centre of Melbourne city, Collingwood Children’s Farm is located on the bend of the Yarra River. Set upon seven hectares of paddocks, gardens and rustic buildings, Collingwood Children’s Farm can be reached by car, public transport, bike or even foot! Choose the active option, and follow the Capital City cycling and walking path which takes you directly to the site from Victoria Park Train Station or hop on one of the buses from the same station and you’ll be dropped just after the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Whilst the location is easily accessible by car, parking can quickly add up which is why the alternative transport options are our favoured choices!
“The perfect attraction for any families visiting Melbourne, this park introduces children to all things farm animals – including how to feed them, how to care for them, and even how to milk them!”
A visit to the Collingwood Children’s Farm will see you and your kids interacting with farm animals such as the famous Ayrshire Cow named Heather, the resident donkeys, goats and so many other gorgeous creatures! Don’t forget to take advantage of the daily cow milking shows at 10am and 4pm, where everyone is welcome to have a try!
With a delicious café on site well known for its great food and atmosphere, close proximity to the city and plenty of animals to befriend, Collingwood Children’s Farm is perfect for a great day out – and one the whole family will adore!
– Kids from $5.00
– Adults from $10.00
1. Visit Luna Park
Location: 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182
Celebrating more than 100 years of fun, laughs and squeals, Luna Park Melbourne is one to add to the top of your to do list! Perfect for families, and even those without kids, Luna Park is overflowing with great rides and fantastic attractions making this one adventure you don’t want to miss out on! With rides for the more timid, right through to the thrill seekers after their next adrenalin rush, Luna Park is the ultimate day out! Step through the iconic smiling mouth, and get ready for a wild adventure you’ll never want to end!
Overlooking Port Phillip Bay in St Kilda, Luna Park is easily accessible and can be reached by car, train, tram or bus making it perfect for whatever your travel situation may be! With parking on site for roughly $11.00 a day, and public transport options for a similar price, getting to Luna Park is both simple and affordable!
“Step through the iconic smiling mouth, and get ready for a wild adventure you’ll never want to end!”
Luna Park Melbourne is home to a number of iconic rides, but also an array of new ones to keep you and your children on the edge of your seats! Most famous for the Great Scenic Railway roller coaster that travels throughout the whole park, this is the world’s oldest continually operating roller coaster after opening in 1912! With so many other fabulous rides including the Twin Dragon swinging ship and the Sky Rider Ferris wheel, no matter your fear tolerance or height, there is sure to be an attraction here that you and your children be able to enjoy!
When travelling to Melbourne with children, a visit to Luna Park cannot be missed! Take advantage of the family ticket packages, for an even more affordable day or night out!
– Unlimited Ride Ticket (13+ years) from $49.50
– Unlimited Ride Ticket (4-12 years) from $39.50
– Unlimited Ride Ticket (0-3 years) from $16.50
These are just a few of the most popular attractions in Melbourne for kids! If you’re looking for even more things to do in Melbourne be sure to check out our main region page for dozens more activities and attractions!