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Fave Places for Family Fun

23 Nov 2018

Don’t simply take it from us. We took to the streets to discover the peoples’ choices for fun family activities in Melbourne.

“My family is animal obsessed, so we always pay a visit to Melbourne Zoo [Elliot Avenue, Parkville] whenever we can. Last time we went, I booked a close-up encounter with meerkats. My boys just loved it, and we snapped plenty of photos with the meerkats on their laps, which they love looking back on. We always head to the butterfly enclosure — it’s always a competition to see who has a butterfly land on them first!”
Kathleen, 41, Castlemaine

Melbourne Museum [11 Nicholson Street, Carlton] is one our family favourites, and sometimes we make a day of it and go to both the museum and IMAX. The Children’s Gallery is perfect for our four-year-old, while the older two always want to check out the reptiles at the Wild exhibition. I’m very much interested in Indigenous history, so the First Peoples exhibition is one of my favourites. We all love the huge screen at IMAX, and it’s great they show educational films as well as blockbusters.”
Peter, 39, Yea

“My teenagers are obsessed with Youtube, video games and movies, so when it comes to a family day out in the city, ACMI [Federation Square, Flinders Street, Melbourne] is a go-to for us. We recently went to the Wonderland exhibition, and it was really interesting to see what went into the films based on the Alice stories. My teens loved the special effects side of things, while I enjoyed revisiting a favourite childhood story. We never miss the chance to visit the Screenworlds exhibition, especially since there’s no charge to get in. The video games are a real hit.”
Deborah, 52, Woodend

“The Old Melbourne Gaol [377 Russell Street, Melbourne] is so cool. You get to see where the prisoners lived in the olden days. Ned Kelly was there for a bit, and I got to try on his armour!”
“It was a replica of his armour, buddy, but still very cool. The Old Melbourne Gaol is great for the kids because it’s educational and tells them about Victoria’s history, while fascinating them with its spookier side. The Watch House Experience is a lot of fun. You play the role of a prisoner and get a little taste of what it was like.”
Christopher, 7, and Anne, 42, Doncaster

“We’re sports mad in our family, so we love the National Sports Museum at the MCG [Brunton Avenue, Richmond]. While our favourite sport is footy — go the Dees — there is heaps about other codes and sports, too. The Olympics display always seems to excite the kids, especially seeing the medals. We also love the AFL and cricket halls of fame. Top things off with a behind-the-scenes tour of the ’G, and it’s a day well spent.”
Craig, 54, Warrnambool

“When it’s raining, a favourite of our family’s is SEA LIFE Melbourne [King Street, Melbourne]. My kids could literally spend hours watching and learning about all the fascinating creatures. There always seems to be something new to look at, but our old favourites are the penguins and Pinjarra, the resident croc. My daughter also loves seeing the seahorses. We all enjoy going through the aquarium tunnel to see what sharks and rays pass overhead.”
Isabelle, 33, Seville

“When we come to town, we head to St Kilda for a day. We’ve taken our kids to Luna Park [18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda] and St Kilda Adventure Playground [Neptune Street, St Kilda], and they’ve loved both. Luna Park is a hit, for obvious reasons. They love to get on the roller coaster and look out over the bay and city views from the top. The adventure playground is fantastic, especially when you need to be kind to the hip pocket. It has a bunch of different areas, including a climbing tree, go-kart path and a flying fox. Both are fantastic for tiring out energetic kids.”
Hannah, 40, Bendigo

“Lego was one of my favourite toys growing up, and it’s great I can share part of my childhood with my five-year-old son. When we found out Legoland Discovery Centre [Level 2/1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone] was opening in Melbourne, we were pretty chuffed, especially because we’ve never had the chance to visit any of the overseas Legolands. My son loved seeing the different Lego builds and couldn’t get enough of the Merlin’s Apprentice ride. Plus, we spent a lot of time building our own creations. All in all, it was a fantastic place to spend time together.”
Geoff, 43, Ballarat

Queen Victoria Market [Queen Street, Melbourne] is such a vibrant place to visit, and our kids like tagging along because they know there’ll be a tasty treat at some point. While our favourite spot is the deli hall, where we stock up on cheese and meats for picnics, the kids love browsing through the bric-a-brac and devouring a pastry or two. We attended the Winter Night Market last year, which was a lot of fun. There were heaps of food vendors to choose from, as well as performers and musicians keeping everyone entertained. We had such a great time that I think I’ll bring the family back this year.”
Rachel, 38, Mornington

“My two girls love Artvo [26 Star Crescent, Docklands] at Docklands. It’s a ‘trick gallery’ where you can pose for photos with a background of optical illusions. During our visit, they posed with lions and crocodiles, became mermaids and fought off a fire-breathing dragon. I even got a pic of myself trapped inside a wine glass. It’s such a clever idea, and the best part is I’ll have those pictures as a fun memento of our trip.”
Sally, 35, Geelong