Top Melbourne destinations that will keep grandchildren entertained
There are plenty of options in Victoria, both within Melbourne and in the outer areas, to entertain little kids and big kids alike these school holidays. Whether your grandkids are energiser bunnies, junior scientists, animal lovers or thrill seekers, if you’re looking for inspiration, look no further!
Nothing beats a trip to the zoo to amaze the little ones and wear them out!
Werribee Open Range Zoo has a shorter walking track than both Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary and is an easy option for toddlers and younger school-aged children. Bonus points for being close to our Point Cook Village and Wyndham Grange Tarneit communities!
If the lions, meerkats and hippos aren’t enough to hold their attention, Werribee Zoo also runs activities on weekdays pitched specifically for toddlers like the 35-minute Junior Safari bus tour and the Village Dance Party. On any day of the week kids can express their imaginative side in the Ranger Kids indoor space or run amok in one of the outdoor adventure play spaces, climbing ropes like a monkey, searching for fossils, or having a splash in the hippo water play area.
Meanwhile, if you’re in the south, Moonlit Sanctuary is well worth a visit. This 25-acre biopark provides opportunities for visitors to have an up-close encounter with native Australian animals. Kangaroos, wallabies and all sorts of birds wander the paths freely and will eat from your hands. You can also cuddle a koala and see the wombats, Tasmanian devils, dingos, reptiles, eagles and other birds.
Situated on the Mornington Peninsula, Moonlit Sanctuary is close to our Casey Grange Cranbourne, Main St Village Pakenham, Cardinia Waters Village Pakenham, Beleura Village Mornington, and Martha Cove Village Safety Beach communities.
More destinations for littlies:
Sovereign Hill an open-air living museum featuring gold rush era exhibits and demonstrations has a strong educational focus and is a popular destination for school groups. But with its wide array of activities, it’s also perfect to explore on a family day out. Gold panning, nine pin bowling, horse and carriage rides, sweet making, mine tours, blacksmith demonstrations, and musket firing are just a few of the activities to choose from.
If you’re looking for straight up fun and serious Grandparent cred, a day at St Kilda’s Luna Park is just the ticket. Carnival games, binky the train and the carousel will keep younger children entertained, while older kids and thrill seekers can enjoy the plunging Coney Island ride and Ghost Train, and most agree that no visit is complete without a ride on the classic Great Scenic Railway. Finish your day with a tasty treat on Acland Street or a stroll on the beach. You can park nearby or make your way there by train, tram or bus from Melbourne.
More destinations for school-aged children
Tweens and teens
Keeping tweens and teens engaged can be a tough task but getting them out and moving is a sure-fire way to entertain and delight.
On hot summer days there’s nothing like a splash in the pool and both the Adventure Park in Geelong and Funfields in Whittlesea turn a quick dip into an epic day out. While both parks cater for a wide range of ages, for maximum enjoyment of rides and slides and a less taxing day for Grandparents, this author suggests these attractions are best for tweens and teens requiring less supervision. Add to the day by hiring a private space (cabanas or huts) that will keep you cool and shaded when you’re not splashing around.
A visit to the ice skating rink in Docklands is a unique activity for older kids, and good in all types of weather! School holidays are a wonderful time to visit, with activities, performances, free lessons and DJs adding to the fun on the.
For tweens and teens (and Grandparents) that are into something low key, Relish Mama in Cheltenham hold cooking classes that cater specifically for this age group.
More destinations for tweens and teens
Dinosaur bones, bugs of all types and sizes, a rainforest walk, and giant cinema make the Melbourne Museum in Carlton a family favourite.
For wee ones, the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery is a permanent feature that is well worth a visit. Purpose-built for babies and children up to five-years-old, it’s packed with tactile and visual delights and both indoor and outdoor spaces to explore. School-aged children will enjoy exploring the full-size whale skeleton and dinosaur exhibits while pre-teens and teens can take in a feature documentary at the enormous IMAX cinema.
More destinations for all ages
· Bounce Inc., multiple locations (ages 3+)
Main image: Puffing Billy railway | shutterstock.com