Melbourne’s unpredictable weather can ruin even the best-laid plans. Here are some great rainy day activities to try in the city when it’s looking rough outside.

Visit iconic art galleries

One of the best ways to while away a few hours indoors is at one of Melbourne’s many fine galleries and museums. Head along to year-round favourite ArtVo, where visitors young and old become the masterpiece. ACMI is ideal for kids, offering interactive exhibits and an in-house cinema. Or head to Melbourne Museum, where younger kids can burn off a little energy in the excellent Children’s Gallery.

A family posing in a 3D art gallery in a painting of a whale jumping.
ArtVo

Discover underwater wonders at the aquarium

No one wants to get wet when it’s raining, but how about heading underwater instead? Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is one of the best rainy day activities on offer, particularly if you have a family in tow. The aquarium has just revealed its 9-million-dollar renovation, marking the return of sharks and rays to this captivating underwater space. Don't skip a visit to the adorable penguins before you leave!

Try family-friendly indoor sports

Active fans have plenty of options in the city when the weather isn’t behaving. Embrace the chill and venture to Docklands for an ice skating session at O’Brien Icehouse. Then explore the Australian Sports Museum once you’ve perfected your axels. Everyone will love a few ten pin bowling games at Strike Bowling, or, for the more adventurous, try indoor rock climbing at Hardrock Climbing.

People in an ice-skating rink
O'Brien Icehouse

Head to the movies or see a show

Melbourne’s theatre and musical scene is starting to heat up again, and a rainy day matinee is the perfect excuse to head indoors. The kids will adore an afternoon at the theatre, see what's on for families. If you’re a movie buff, head to the world’s largest screen at Melbourne’s record-breaking IMAX theatre. It's currently screening an exclusive new 3D journey into the Serengeti. Or see the latest releases at one of the many cinemas in town, including the much beloved boutique Cinema Nova.

Experience a giant digital art gallery

Explore a family-friendly, larger-than-life multi-sensory digital art gallery at The Lume where big and little kids will be immersed in the world of First People's art. This popular art experience is now offering a discounted family group rate at $136 for a family of four. And kids four years and younger go free!

A digital art gallery with colourful paintings projected.
The LUME

Eat out at a family-friendly restaurant

Bust holiday hunger without breaking the bank at China Red and Hawker Chan. Or visit The Clyde on Fridays for fish and chip lunches under $15. Then treat your little mates to Melbourne's most OTT snacks. Marvel at jumbo burgers from The Beast or take away a campfire hot chocolate at Mörk.

Connect with history

Create your own historical city tour by starting at the Koorie Heritage Trust. This cultural centre runs a program of exhibitions and cultural activities to celebrate Koorie art and culture. Next, head to the Old Treasury Building to see where gold rush bullion was stored, or the Arts Centre to explore our music history at the Australian Music Vault.

A couple with a tour guide in a museum
Koorie Heritage Trust

More indoor family activities in Melbourne

Rififi: Jean Jullien for Kids
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Rififi: Jean Jullien for Kids

Experience the NGV's kids' gallery as it's transformed into an underwater world for summer.

Bunjilaka

Bunjilaka

Celebrating the history, culture, achievements, and survival of Victoria's Aboriginal people.

Glow Golf

Glow Golf

Good old-fashioned mini golf transformed into an amazing glow-in-the-dark-experience.

Immigration Museum

Immigration Museum

An exploration of the stories of people from all over the world who have migrated to Australia.

Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

The world’s first major gallery dedicated exclusively to Australian art.

State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria

Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free public libraries in the world.

Kino Cinema

Kino Cinema

Boutique cinema in Collins Place showing art house, independent and mainstream films.

ArtPlay

ArtPlay

A creative arts centre for children to share unique experiences with professional artists.

Last updated on Mon 8 Jan 2024

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