Keep your budding artists, intrepid explorers and mini zookeepers busy with these toddler-friendly activities. We promise you’ll have some fun on these adventures too.

Go wild at the Melbourne Zoo

Walk with the animals and discover over 250 species from across the world at Melbourne Zoo. The best bit? Kids can visit for free on weekends, public holidays and school holidays (remember to book ahead). Don't miss the free giraffe keeper talk at 11.30am daily. If they're feeling brave, book a close-up encounter with a kangaroo. The kids will be pumped to get nose-to-nose with these powerful, furry creatures and learn about their habitats.

A meerkat sitting on its hind legs on a rock.
Melbourne Zoo

Play at Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery

Designed especially for babies and kids up to five years of age, the Children’s Gallery at Melbourne Museum is a great place for curious tots to learn, climb and discover. There’s a huge outdoor area where they can play in the sandpit, forage for fossils and explore the garden. Inside they can dance in the ‘camouflage disco’ or clamber through nooks, crannies and sensory experiences. Entry is free for kids under 16 and booking is recommended. 

Explore parks and playgrounds

Got some energetic little legs in your house that need to let off some steam? The City of Melbourne is full of pretty parks and adventure-packed playgrounds. Located near ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr playground is a family favourite with tube slides, swinging hammocks, balance beams, and rock and rope climbing. Pack a picnic and leave the busy city behind in the tranquil Treasury Gardens. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife too! Over in Fitzroy Gardens, the kids can gaze in wonder at the magical carved Fairies' Tree and pint-sized model Tudor village. 

A walkway at a children's playground covered with paintings.
Birrarung Marr playground

Dine at the best family-friendly restaurants

Keep the rumbling tummies at bay with a feast fit for a family. Who could say no to a delicious plate of steaming dumplings? Even the fussiest kids will adore the baos and buns at Mr Bo and China Red. Afterwards, treat their taste buds (and yours) to an ice cream. At Aqua S, youngsters can go wild decorating a dessert with toppings from fairy floss to popcorn. Or keep it simple with Piccolina Gelateria's traditional Italian gelato. Just don't hold back on the Nutella on tap.

Visit the NGV’s free animation exhibit for kids

25 June to 3 October

Put your superhero-in-training to work making plans to save the planet. Artist Olaf Breuning brings this free interactive event to NGV so children can share their thoughts about the world they live in. At Plans for the Planet they'll see animated drawings by the artist, help save a forest and draw their own self portrait. Who knew saving the world would be this fun?

Two children running through a gallery space
Plans for the Planet at NGV

Wander the Vic Market's Mini Markets

31 July to 18 December

The colours, sights and smells of Queen Victoria Market seem like a wonderland in the eyes of a child. And the Mini Market Series is every bit as exciting. Bring your pooch along to the Pet Lovers Market. The kids will love picking out a pressie for their furry best friend. Or make their wildest dreams come true at the Toys and Collectibles Market. The next market is on 5 September.

Free Orchestra Victoria performance

23 September

For one day only, State Library of Victoria is transforming into a live music wonderland for your little mate. Visit The Quad for Little Puggle's Song, a musical storytime performed by Orchestra Victoria. Watch on as they sing and dance their way through the 30 minute performance. Catch one of the four sessions at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm or 2.30pm.

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12 Nov - 30 Jan

Imaginaria

An interactive dreamlike landscape where imagination meets futuristic play.

5 Nov - 30 Jun

Cluedo Experience

Step back in time to solve a mysterious murder that brings the iconic board game Cluedo to life.

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