Outdoor fun at the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden in Melbourne's Royal Botanical Gardens
If you, like most parents, are constantly on the look-out for fun, informative and free places to take your little ones, a terrific spot to check out is the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden in Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens.
This magical natural oasis has been especially created to inspire children all ages to learn about the wonders of the plant world – and nature in general. With home gardens in Melbourne getting forever smaller, the Children’s Garden provides city youngsters with an invaluable opportunity for outdoor adventure and play - enabling them to get their hands dirty, ignite their creativity with imaginative play, splash around in The Rill (a lovely little artificial waterway that flows through the area) and learn so much, without even realising it.
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There are various areas for children to explore including the Meeting Place (complete with a water park), a wetland area, a kitchen garden, bamboo forest, tree tower and the Ruined Garden, where they can explore lush rainforest vegetation. New attractions and educational programs are regularly introduced to the Garden, so even regular visitors will always find something new and exciting.
As all parents know, water is a magnet for children and the artificial stream is always popular – especially in the warmer months when children will inevitably get wet as they splash around and explore.
For this reason, it’s strongly recommended that parents bring along some spare clothes. It’s also imperative that children are always supervised. Young children can drown in even a small amount of water, or in a very short time, if the attention of their carers is diverted.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is open five days a week, between 10am and sunset - from Wednesday until Sunday. It’s also open on all public holidays as well as seven days a week during State School holidays. Although there is so much to see and do at the Gardens throughout the year, during the colder winter months they’re closed for repairs and maintenance. If you’re planning to visit then it would definitely be good to give the Visitor Centre a call first, to confirm whether they’re still open.