23 Nov 2018
Whether you’re showing the kids everything Melbourne has to offer or bringing out the romantic big guns, we’ve uncovered some of the best options for the Easter long weekend (14–17 April).
You want to be close to the action, but not crammed into a single hotel room. Apartments of Melbourne has three CBD options – Collins Street, Northbank Place and Southern Cross – each of which has family-style two-bedroom options, with kitchens, laundries, Wi-Fi, Netflix and optional parking and early arrivals. Once you’ve checked in, it’s time to have some fun.
Of course, there are plenty of options for entertainment: commune with underwater creatures at SEA LIFE Melbourne [King Street, Melbourne], or see wildlife from around the world at Melbourne Zoo [Elliot Avenue, Parkville] (kids under 16 are admitted free entry on school holidays). If you’ve got tots or younger kids in tow, the Collingwood Children’s Farm [18 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford] lets them get up close to pigs, chickens and cows, as well as cuddle some of the smaller animals, like the guinea pigs.
Let them get in touch with their creative side at Birrarung Marr’s ArtPlay [Birrarung Marr, Russell Street Extension, Melbourne], where professional artists host workshops for kids, from babies to 12-year-olds. And if they loved the first Lego movie, there’s a treat in store at IMAX Melbourne [Rathdowne Street, Carlton] where 3D movies play on the biggest screen in the country. Just as much fun for big kids as little is the huge new Playtime Crown [8 Whiteman Street, Southbank], where there are 150 arcade-style games, laser tag and a cafe.
If you want to spend some serious time shoring up your love credentials, you’ll need to surround yourself in style. If your other half loves things luxe but cool, check-in to Crown Metropol [8 Whiteman Street, Southbank]. Its hip surrounds and great views are only topped by the rooftop pool deck, where, from 28 floors above the city, you can soak up the sun and the vista. For those who prefer a smaller, more boutique experience, The Lyall Hotel and Spa [16 Murphy Street, South Yarra] in South Yarra has just 40 contemporary suites, exemplary service and a five-star spa.
If the weather is still warm and clear, head to the water. At the Fairfield Park Boathouse [Fairfield Parl Drive, Fairfield] you can hire a rowboat by the half hour and paddle beneath the trees along the Yarra. Take a picnic and find a spot on the bank for lunch afterwards. If a picnic appeals but the rowing does not, pack something delicious and a cold bottle of bubbles and head for the gardens of Rippon Lea Estate [192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick] Strolling through the grounds looking for a shady tree, you’ll feel as though you’re on the set of a Regency romance.
Of course, you should book a table somewhere special. At Epocha [49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton], a stylish modern European offering, the best spot is on the terrace overlooking Carlton Gardens.
If you’ve got a group that fancies hitting the town, you’ll need a good space. Melbourne Short Stay Apartments [618 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne] has a new property on Lonsdale Street, where you can get a place with up to three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and an indoor pool. You’ll probably want to spend quite a lot of your time catching up, so grab a table outside at Trunk Diner [275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne] and enjoy burgers and beers in one of the CBD’s biggest beer gardens. Later in the day, grab a spot at Bomba Rooftop [103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne],the perfect place for tapas, wine and sunset watching.
Need some down time? Go and check out of the exhibitions on at the NGV International [180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne]. Roam the gallery and explore the numerous displays. General entry is free.