Looking to plan a trip to Melbourne with your little one in tow? As one of the world’s most livable cities, Melbourne is extremely family-friendly with loads of activities and attractions perfect for babies and toddlers.
From interactive museums and indoor playgrounds to lush gardens, farms and zoos, Melbourne offers plenty of stimulating and engaging things to see and do to keep your tiny travelers happy and entertained.
If you’re heading to Melbourne with a baby, here are the top 10 things to add to your itinerary for a memorable vacation the whole family will enjoy.
1. Get Up Close to Animals at Melbourne Zoo
As one of the oldest zoos in Australia, Melbourne Zoo is home to over 320 animal species from Australia and around the world. Stroll along walking trails to see wildlife like kangaroos, koalas, emus, lions, tigers, gorillas, butterflies and more.
The zoo has lots of grassy areas perfect for a picnic and nursing breaks. Babies and toddlers will love observing the animals, and the zoo even offers free entry for kids under 16 on weekends, public holidays and during school holidays. Be sure to ride the carousel and check out the butterfly enclosure while you’re there.
2. Play and Explore at the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery
Located within the National Gallery of Victoria, the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery is a must-visit activity for families with babies and young children. This bright, lively and creatively designed space provides a range of interactive exhibits and open-ended art materials and toys that will stimulate your baby’s senses and emerging motor skills.
Babies can enjoy sensory experiences like crawling through soft tunnels, while toddlers will have a blast in the outdoor playground. Nursing nooks, high chairs, and baby change facilities make it easy to spend hours here having fun with your little one.
3. Stroll Through the Royal Botanic Gardens
When you need a break from museums and crowds, head to the stunning Royal Botanic Gardens for fresh air, green spaces and gorgeous gardens. Spread out a blanket on the grassy lawns for a picnic or meander along gravel paths through specialty gardens showcasing cacti, herbs, camellias and more.
The Children’s Garden has kid-friendly elements like sculptures, mazes and fountains guaranteed to delight toddlers. Escape the summer heat in one of the many large shady trees. With plenty of wide open spaces for your baby to crawl or walk, plus duck ponds and birds to look at, the Royal Botanic Gardens is a relaxing outdoor oasis for families.
4. Explore Hands-On Science at Scienceworks
Babies may be a bit young for the science concepts, but Scienceworks is still a fun activity for curious toddlers who love push buttons, levers, lights and sounds. This interactive science and technology museum offers exhibits where kids can play with air cannons, giant pulleys, musical instruments and more.
Don’t miss Scienceworks’ most popular exhibit - the lightning room - where little ones get to control lightning flashes and thunder claps with the push of a button. There’s also an outdoor playground and picnic area when you need a break. Scienceworks provides pram parking and baby change and feeding facilities too.
5. Discover Interactive Fun at Melbourne Museum’s Children’s Gallery
The Children’s Gallery at Melbourne Museum packs interactive learning and play into a child-sized space perfect for babies and preschoolers. Toddlers can climb, crawl, build, dig and role play, developing cognitive and motor skills through hands-on play.
Babies will enjoy the texture-rich sensory zones and playing peek-a-boo around giant sculptures. Nursing nooks, baby feeding chairs and changing areas make it easy to visit with your infant. Don’t forget to explore the other family-friendly exhibits at Melbourne Museum too like the IMAX theatre and the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. experience.
6. See Farm Animals Up Close at Collingwood Children’s Farm
At Collingwood Children’s Farm, little ones can meet and get up close to all types of friendly farm animals like cows, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits and chickens in the middle of the city. Babies will love petting and feeding the animals (with supervision of course), while toddlers can burn off energy in the large outdoor playground.
Collingwood Children’s Farm hosts activity sessions too like cow milking, sheep shearing and bread making. With spacious grounds, this inner-city farm is a top pick for families looking to entertain babies and toddlers with a fun day interacting with animals.
7. Pet More Farm Animals at Bundoora Park
For more hands-on farm fun, head to Bundoora Park in Melbourne’s north. This expansive parkland is home to Bundoora Farm where kids can feed, pat and learn about sheep, cows, alpacas, rabbits, ponies and more.
Babies will enjoy their first experiences with friendly farm animals, while toddlers can burn off energy in the adjoining adventure playground. Bundoora Park also offers barbecues, picnic areas, bike paths, a scenic lake and small zoo. Convenient amenities like baby change rooms, high chairs and accessible toilets make it an accommodating day out.
8. Go Green at CERES Community Park
Discover urban nature and sustainable living at CERES Community Environment Park. Follow winding dirt trails around the 9 hectare park to spot wildlife, artistic sculptures, productive gardens and more. Toddlers can ride bikes on specially designed paths, play in the natural adventure playground, or meet chickens and sheep in the farm area.
CERES regularly hosts family-friendly workshops on topics like bread baking, beekeeping and weaving too. With ample picnic spots, this eco-park provides a relaxed outdoor experience for families in suburban Brunswick East.
9. Explore the Queen Victoria Market
No family visit to Melbourne is complete without experiencing the sights, sounds, smells and bustle of the iconic Queen Victoria Market. With a kids market tour and activity booklet available, QVM is an engaging place to bring babies and toddlers.
Marvel at piles of colorful fruits and vegetables, taste fresh donuts, listen to buskers perform, and check out the variety of food shops. The wide paths make it easy to navigate strollers through the sheds. QVM is open 5 days a week with Tuesday being the quietest day to visit if you have a baby who needs calm.
10. Admire Art at the National Gallery of Victoria
While some art galleries can be tedious for babies, the NGV International section of the National Gallery of Victoria offers a few baby and toddler-friendly spaces worth visiting. The large water wall sculpture out front is fun for play, as is lying on your back and looking up at Leonard French’s colorful stained glass ceiling.
The Federation Court’s patterned marble floor and central fountain may intrigue crawling babies. And of course, the NGV’s Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery highlighted earlier is specially designed for families with infants and preschoolers. Stick to these areas when visiting with babies.
Family Fun Awaits in Melbourne!
Melbourne offers so many stimulating, educational and engaging activities for babies and toddlers. From playgrounds and child-focused museums to outdoor parks, gardens and farms, you’ll find options to pique your little one’s curiosity around every corner.
Focus your Melbourne itinerary around these top 10 kid and baby-friendly attractions reviewed above for the perfect introduction to one of Australia’s most exciting cities for families. The abundance of amenities like stroller access, nursing rooms, baby facilities and play spaces will make exploring with your tiny sidekick easy and enjoyable.
So pack up the pram and hit the road to Melbourne where interactive discoveries, adventures with animals, cultural attractions and more await your baby’s wonder and delight. Your infant will have their first stamp in the passport to a lifetime of travel memories made!