Only nine kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, Moonee Ponds is a thriving hub of cafes, restaurants, entertainment and shopping. Hop onto a number 59 tram or catch the Craigieburn line train to get there. Once you’ve arrived, everything is within walking distance.
Start your day the Moonee Ponds way, with a Puckle Street shopping spree. Pop into Sir Duke [99 Puckle Street] for a warm welcome and hot breakfast. The Benny Boy Breakfast with slow-cooked pork shoulder, hollandaise and house-made potato hash will keep you going for hours. After breakfast, it’s time to shop up a storm. Look out for Stickybeaks Quality Toys [60 Puckle Street], a toy store that brings together educational, environmentally friendly toys and kids’ travel accessories.
After you’ve worked up an appetite for lunch, head over to Dear Abbey [23A Gladstone Street]. This charming cafe is built inside a renovated church, giving it a unique sense of grandeur. The Japanese seared tuna comes with a vermicelli noodle salad and is topped with an enormous lemongrass and ginger marinated Tasmanian prawn. There are plenty of choices for kids and those with special dietary requirements, too.
Your adventure isn’t over yet, because the Clocktower Centre [750 Mount Alexander Road] isn’t far away, and plays host to a range of plays, performances and film screenings year round. See a cinematic classic, catch a kids’ play or brood over a moody drama.
End your day with a delicious meal and a glass of vino in the shady courtyard of The Valley Cellar Door [18–20 Hall Street], one of the most popular evening spots in the area. Ask your server to help you choose from the extensive wine collection, where you can either order by the glass or select from one of the 230-something bottles of wine on offer. There's also a great selection of cheese, antipasto and charcuterie boards to indulge in as you reflect on the memories you made in Moonee Ponds.
Venture a little further west, to the Werribee Park Tourism Precinct, for tonnes of family fun. Go on an African adventure at Werribee Open Range Zoo — come face to face with giraffes, hippos and zebras while on safari — before spending time exploring the grounds of Werribee Park Mansion admiring the historic building and the creations in the sculpture park.