We don’t need to travel too far or burn a hole in our wallets to have an adventure with kids. If you live in Melbourne, Australia and you have young kids there are lots of adventures to be had just in our back yards. I have discovered some free/low cost activities that we can do with our young kids to keep their adventurous spirits high, their minds active and have fun filled family days for some good old quality time spending.
Here are my top 5 suggestions for a family adventure on a budget in and around Melbourne….
- Caribbean Gardens- Free train rides during their “Babes to Kids” Market held on the first and third Friday of every month, is a great hit with toddlers and younger kids. Free train rides take place between 9.am-11am during the Babes to kids Market days. The Caribbean Gardens is set in very large area, consisting with a wonderful lake, BBQ Facilities (with free wood), massive play grounds and a market on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. My three year old loved the train ride. The 10-15 minute train ride travels past the beautiful lake, the picnic grounds, Chinese Gardens, Mini golf course, a Waterfall and even some real fishermen fishing in the lake.
They also have a number of other activities and rides you can do on site, on Sunday market days. A chair lift, boat ride, and mini gold are available for the adventure seekers. On Sundays there is a minimal entrance fee per car (around $2.50 per car), and each ride cost about $6 (in 2015). You can get more information form their website Caribbean Gardens
While you are there you might pick up bargains at the Market too!
2. NGV – National gallery of Victoria always has some activities for kids. Plus it is almost always Free. For more information check out : http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/category/kids/
- Melbourne Botanical gardens- The Children’s Gardens (Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden) can be a magial day spend with lots of adventures to be had. During the hotter months, when the temperatures are over 25 degrees C, the gardens come alive with water features for the little ones to have a ball (just remember to take a towel and a change of cloths or nappies). The parents can have a relaxing day enjoying a picnic or a book while keeping a close eye on the kids having loads of fun exploring this wonderful space. For more information click on Children’s Garden
- Melbourne City- Voted the worlds most livable city, it really does not disappoint. You can have a family adventure discovering our beautiful city for free. You just have to go in and walk to discover the graffiti art covered lane ways, Federation Square that almost always has something on, South Bank walk along Yarra river. If you love trams, there is a free city circle tram that will take you around the city with a commentary so you know where you are and learn a bit about the city. There is also a very good play ground right next to Federation Square for parents to have a rest and kids to burn their energy.
- Children’s Farms- Much closer to city the Collingwood Children’s Farm is ideal for the families living in or around Melbourne CBD. The kids get to see a cow being milked, and see baby chicks, and lots of other adorable farm animals, it really is an adventurous day at a Farm setting. For more info click on Collingwood Children’s Farm. A very reasonable entrance fee of Just $18 for Families, $9 for Adults and $5 for Children.
A bit further away from the City, in Wheelers Hill (right next to Eastlink making it easy to access by car) is the Chesterfield Children’s Farm. This Farm is a lot bigger compared to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and the entrance fees cover the cow milking, sheep sheering, and sheep dog shows. At this farm you will get see and feed a lot of sheep, deer, Lamas, Emus, Camels, cows, pigs and other farm animals. One of the highlights here is the baby animal petting area where you get to cuddle cute baby goats, lamb and rabbits. The Farm even has Camels that you can feed what with your hands. The tractor ride was quite informative and fun for the kids. Entrance fees as of Jan 2015 are: family of 4 – $40, Adult – $15, Child over 3 years – $9. Additional charges for a tractor ride ($3 per person), Animal feed bag ($1.50).
Hope these ideas brings you a day filled with adventure right here in Melbourne, without burning a hole in your wallet.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these places i have mentioned or any other places you know of that is great fun for families.