There is only one week to go before term starts back in Melbourne, and there is plenty to see and do with the kids before you remember on Sunday evening that you need to go to Officeworks. This list could easily run on into the hundreds, but someone once said that too much of anything is just as bad as too less of anything. Ten seems like the perfect number.
It’s still looking nice and warm for the week ahead, so why not make the most of everything the recently opened Gumbaya World has to offer? Four individual theme parks make up this attraction that sits just an hour’s drive southeast of the Melbourne.
The park offers attractions such as WildLife Trail or Oasis Springs, giving the kids one last chance to live it up in the sun before we head into winter.
For those who want to avoid the sun but give the kids plenty of activity (rendering them exhausted once the day is through), Inflatable World offers a number of locations around the middle/outer rings of Melbourne.
The best thing about Inflatable World is… it’s inflatable. If you don’t want to worry about getting a broken arm plastered or heading to emergency for a quick round of stitches, taking your kids to a world of soft, cushiony landings is your best bet.
Haven’t heard of bouldering? Stop living under a rock and start climbing it. The folk at Northside Boulders run a slick operation, with a light-filled warehouse space in Northcote offering you a place to chill out with the kids for the whole morning or afternoon.
With no ropes or real heights involved, it is a safe place for kids to start to explore rock climbing as an activity, and provides them with a quick reward system by giving them the physical challenge of conquering specific routes around each wall. With couches and a coffee machine giving you a nice spot to have a break, you have the option of joining in and getting some chalk on your hands or sitting back and relaxing.
If the kids want more adventure, head to North Walls, where they can take their climbing skills to new and absolutely terrifying heights.
It is impossible not to include the Melbourne Museum in any list of fun things to do with the kids. As long as you aren’t afraid of a bit of a crowd (head early to avoid the biggest surge of kids and trailing parents), the Melbourne Museum is a place for kids to form strong memories and keep their brains ticking over the holiday period.
While you’re at the Melbourne Museum, why not finish the day off with a session at The Lego Movie 2 at IMAX. No childhood holiday is complete without some trips to the movies, and if they’re good, perhaps a walk up to Lygon Street for some gelato!
While many countries are slowly cottoning on to how important coding is in a curriculum, the sheer scale of opportunities for those with tech-related skills in the future is all the more reason to expose your kids to world of coding and the incredible possibilities it opens them up to.
Code Camp still has a number of spots open for kids later in the week, where kids are exposed to the principles of coding and encouraged to use their imagination to see where a knowledge of programming can lead them not just as they grow up but as kids.
If you want to feel ahead of the curb and avoid the crush of the crowd at Healesville Sanctuary, Moonlit Sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula is making a name for itself as a great alternative and one that is closer to home for many.
Get the camping gear out or just make it a day trip. Cathedral Ranges State Park is one of the closest state parks to Melbourne, but gives the kids a great opportunity to expend some energy and take in incredible views. You can either camp down at the base of 1,241 metre range or hike up to the top via various routes and camp up top at Sugarloaf Saddle.
In Brunswick East, CERES is an institution and a must-see for those on holiday. Aside from offering an incredible nursery (try not to spend too much, we dare you), there are all sorts of things to keep the kids engaged, such as a Community Garden and the famous Bike Shed, where your kids can learn from community members how to fix just about anything on their bike. Taking your kids here is a great way to spark a lifelong love and affiliation with one of Melbourne’s most loved community destinations.
Held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Kids Day Out will be held on Friday (the 19th) from 10am-5pm. A great idea for those with younger ducklings following them around, Kids Day Out offers crafts, a Fresh Food Fair, rides, kids yoga (yep!) and even an ice rink.
What’s more: it’s free!