Even in a city as big and bustling as Melbourne, it can be difficult to fill each day with fun activities for your kids. There’s pressure to entertain and educate, preferably without spending a huge pile of cash.
For new parents, the cold weather doesn’t really change how you spend your days. If you’re brave enough to venture from the comfort and safety of home, you probably prefer someplace with breastfeeding and change facilities. (Tip: Download the free Facilitot app. It locates these for you!) Access to food and coffee is a bonus.
Your best bet is to head to a shopping centre or a baby session at a (Hoyts, Village, or Palace) movie theatre.
Do you need an updated family portrait in time for Christmas?
For older kids, Vjunior at Southland is the perfect place to spend a wintry afternoon. Designed by kids, the theatre is decked out with child-friendly seats and a massive slide.
If you only have one bub, the pool is another great option. Some swim centres (including Just Swimming) offer free lessons to bubs between four and six months old and many others offer free introductory lessons.
Free lesson at Just Swimming Syndal
Melbourne Museum, with its new Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery, is the place to go for a more educational experience. Older kids will love the Bug Lab Exhibition, open until 15 October.
Be sure to book your parking online in advance to save money and bring a change of clothes for bub, as the water features in the gallery’s outdoor area are quite tempting for little ones.
Scienceworks, the Sea Life Aquarium, and the Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway are additional educational options or, if you’re looking at a more long-term solution for the winter blues, art or cooking classes are fantastic ideas. Itsy Bitsy Chef in Port Melbourne is a popular spot.
Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery
Given the unpredictable weather patterns in Melbourne, it’s quite possible to get the occasional gorgeous day. Should this happen, be sure to take advantage! The Melbourne Zoo, Collingwood Children’s Farm, and Puffing Billy are exciting outdoor destinations.
If on a budget, head to one of Melbourne’s many neighbourhood parks. The newly renovated Booran Reserve in Glenhuntly is worth a visit and is only a short walk from Glenhuntly station.
Collingwood Children's Farm
As you explore Melbourne this winter, be sure to share your experiences and advice for other parents with the Melbourne Mums Group website and Facebook page!