Have you considered taking a day trip out of Melbourne? Your children will be excited, plus you'll enjoy the fresh air and scenery, too.
In our fifth installment of Useful Lists, we asked members of our closed Melbourne Mums Facebook Group to suggest your recommendations for Melbourne day trips most suitable for families.
Without further ado, we give you Melbourne's Best Family Day Trips:
Head down the coast to the Mornington Peninsula, there's so much to do. For a start, there's the quaint seaside town of Mornington. Here you'll find plenty of eateries, child-friendly cafes, ice creameries, great beaches with picturesque beach boxes for instagram worthy photographs, and there's a great public kid's park and playground with a wooden pirate ship for imaginative play.
Mornington Peninsula Beaches
The Briars is a 230 hectare rural property in Mount Martha with bush walks short enough for your kids to enjoy. You might even spot native wildlife if you look closely. The visitors centre is filled with information on the history and wildlife of the area, there's the Eco Living Display centre, and the 1840s homestead housing a world renowned collection of Napoleonic memorabilia.
Boneo Maze and Mini Golf is an entertainment and eco-tourism complex in Fingal, filled with outdoor games for kids to enjoy, a vintage carousel and wetlands to explore.
The Enchanted Maze at Arthurs Seat offers Tree Surfing, a zip line and tube slides.
Sea Winds Gardens is a 34 hectare area at the Summit of Arthurs Seat, 305 metres above sea level. The gardens offer spectacular views of Port Phillip Bay and Peninsula's.
"Sea Winds Gardens has nice walks, beautiful views and kangaroos come out in the afternoon." MMG Member
The McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Park in Langwarrin is a beautiful spot to immerse yourselves in serenity while the kids can run amok. BYO picnic and enjoy picturesque views of the lake while the kids enjoy feeding the ducks some bird seed, or enjoy lunch in the cafe.
Immerse yourselves in nature at the Moonlit Sanctuary in Pearcedale; a 25-acre biopark and wildlife sanctuary, 50 minutes from Melbourne's CBD (by car). Feed the resident wallabies and kangaroos, and enjoy encounters with Koalas, Dingoes and more.
Sorrento is another lovely seaside town. The beaches are beautiful, there's plenty of nice eateries, and you can catch the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry for something fun to do.
"A walk on one of the trails or in one of the gardens (pram friendly). A stop at the gorgeous shops in Kallista. Fruit picking depending on the season. A meal at the Piggery Cafe; setting and play space can't be beat." MMG Member
Puffing Billy Railway is a century-old steam train which still runs on its original mountain track; a must for little train lovers. In recent years, Puffing Billy introduced a Day Out with Thomas, where your little kids will get to meet the Fat Controller and get to ride on a 20 minute train journey with Thomas the Tank Engine and Diesel. Also look out for the Santa special with Puffing Billy, a festive day out for families.
A Day out with Thomas
Grants Picnic Ground to feed the beautiful Rosellas and Cockatoos, enjoy one of the many bush walks, or enjoy a drink and lunch in the restaurant overlooking the Sherbrooke Forest.
Eight kilometres east of Ballarat is Kryal Castle, a replica medieval castle.
"Price (for Kryal Castle) was reasonable as I purchased a voucher on Groupon, and best advice is to pack your own lunch as there are places to sit and have picnic near the playground". MMG Member
Enjoy 7 hectares of garden heaven at the Gardens of Tieve Tara. Great for kids to run around on Treasure Island, and there's a fairy tree to visit. Open 1st March to 31st of May then 1st September to 30th November each year.
A day at the Melbourne Zoo is always an adventure and for a week in February, there will be added excitement with kids able to "virtually visit" the habitats of animals that call Melbourne's waterways home.