Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Published August 19th 2016
Have Fun With The Kids Because You All Deserve It
"I'm bored!" It's the school holiday anthem that all parents dread. If you're keen to keep the kids occupied during the holidays or just want a great family day out any time of the year there are plenty of options in and around Melbourne.
All is not what it seems at A Maze'N Things (Photo from A Maze'N Things Facebook Page)
3. Carribean Gardens in Scoresby has a market, boat rides on the lake, mini golf, train rides, chair lifts, and playgrounds. It is open Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
4.Fairy Park in Anakie is a children's adventure park with a fairytales, myths and legends theme featuring Fairytale Land, model trains, Camelot Playground and summit views. The park closes for winter so check dates on the website.
5.Funfields in Whittlesea is an adventure playground and water park offering exciting rides such as The Kraken Racer, Blackbeard's Fury, Bumper Boats, Go Karts, Mini Golf, Aqua Shack and Carousels. They are closed over winter; check the website for dates.
Samba Balloon at Funfields, a gondola ride simulating a hot air balloon trip (Photo from Funfields Facebook Page)
6.Gumbaya Park in Tynong is a kid's leisure park with paddle boats, mini cars, paddle rides, mini golf, tobogganing, go karts, water slides, pony rides, tractor rides, native animals, and picnic and BBQ areas.
7.Luna Park in St. Kilda is an amusement park with a giant rollercoaster, a ghost train, dodgems, carousels, The Pharaoh's Curse, The Coney Island Top Drop and much more. Admission is free; buy tickets for the rides.
Chocolate and Icecream
8.Panny's Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is not just a chocolate shop. It has interactive machines, games, chocolate exhibitions and hands-on chocolate making. There is a chocolate village and a chocolate waterfall.
Hands on chocolate experience at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie (Photo from Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Facebook Page)
9.Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery in Yarra Glen has a café, a chocolate showroom, free chocolate and ice-cream tastings and allows visitors to watch European Chocolatiers at work. They frequently run special events.
10.Dingley Village Adventure Golf offers all-weather mini golf. The Chasm, is an indoor 18 hole course with a water wheel that twists and turns over two levels. The outdoor course, The Creek is played around a lake and waterfall.
11.D.J.'s Mini Golf in Sunbury is an 18 hole outdoor mini golf course. Play around wickets on the mini cricket pitch hole. Dodge rocks as you make your way around the course. Artificial grass simulates 'the rough'.
12.LaTrobe Golf Park in Bundoora has two mini golf courses. The simpler Lakes Course is a generously spaced course incorporating castles, logs, lakes, and running water. The more challenging Desert Course dips and winds.
One of the mini golf courses (Image from Maroondah Adventure Golf Park Facebook Page)
13.Maroondah Golf Park has both open air and undercover mini golf courses, the Lodge Course and the Lakes Course with some interesting special effects.
14.Wetland's Golf 'n Games in Wheelers Hill is a weather-proof venue, with both outdoor and undercover courses as well as a games arcade. Each course has 18 holes.
Themed Adventure Parks
15.Antarctic Journey at Phillip Island at the Nobbies Centre is a virtual tour of Antarctica. Walk among giant screens simulating the Antarctic landscape, feel the freeze in the Chill Zone, stand on an ice flow, pat a penguin or a seal, and watch a whale breach.
Enjoy a virtual visit at Antarctic Journey (Photo from Phillip Island Nature parks Facebook Page)
16.Kryal Castle in Ballarat is a medieval English castle featuring a medieval village, the Dragon's Labyrinth, jousting tournaments, wizardry, sword battles, archery, jesters and a torture dungeon.
17.Sovereign Hill in Ballarat is a working heritage town offering gold panning, horse-drawn coach rides, a theatre, a gold museum, an evening sound and light show 'Blood on the Southern Cross' and an underground mine tour.
Sporty and Active
18.Bounce Inc. Trampoline Parks in Blackburn North, Glen Iris and Essendon Fields have the Free Jumping Arena, the Big Bag, Slam Dunk, Dodgeball, and other jumping experiences.
21.Enchanted Adventure Garden at Arthur's Seat offers tree surfing adventures, tree top climbing and obstacle courses including a Nippers Course. There are a number of hedge mazes and a café and lolly shop.
22.Glen Harrow Park in Belgrave has tree-top obstacle courses including flying foxes, tight ropes and tunnels.
Tree adventure in Belgrave (Photo from Trees Adventure, Glen Harrow Park, VIC Facebook Page)
27.Diamond Valley Railway in Eltham runs a miniature railway through Eltham Lower Park on Sundays. The park also has two playgrounds, BBQ and picnic facilities, walking paths and an observation platform.
Riding T145 (Photo from Diamond Valley Railway Inc. Facebook Page)
28.Mornington Railway preserves and operates vintage steam and diesel trains. The trains run on Sundays and often have special events such as Teddy's Day Out, the Easter Bunny Train and the Father's Day Special.
29.Puffing Billy in Belgrave is a heritage tourist steam railway. Disembark at lakeside Station to enjoy Emerald Lake Park's café, picnic grounds, wading pool and paddle boats and visit the miniature railway display.
Wildlife Parks and Zoos
30.Churchill Island Heritage Farm preserves a time past and as well as seeing the animals visitors can walk through the heritage home and farm buildings and watch some of the daily activities.
31.Healesville Sanctuary is a bushland haven for Australian wildlife. See koalas, platypus, kangaroos, wedge-tailed eagles and more. Wander the exhibits, watch the Spirits of the Sky show or choose one of the other animal encounters on offer.
Matilda the echidna at Healesville Sanctuary (Photo from Zoos Victoria Facebook Page)
34. Melbourne Zoo houses animals from the world over. See the Meerkats, the Trail of the Elephants, the Orang-utan Sanctuary, the Wild Sea Exhibit, Baboon Lookout, Lemur Island, Lion Gorge, The Australian Bush exhibit and more. Choose from a number of animal encounters.
35.Moonlit Sanctuary and Wildlife Park in Pearcedale specialises in Australian native animals and birds. It has a great self-guided tour, a chance to hand feed free-roaming wallabies and kangaroos and a number of animal encounter experiences.
Big guys at Werribee Open Range Zoo (Photo from Zoos Victoria Facebook page)
36.Penguin Parade at Phillip Island allows visitors to watch from viewing stands and boardwalks as the fairy penguins waddle up the beach to their burrows at dusk.
37.Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium has sharks, turtles, stingrays, sawfish, tropical fish, penguins and crocodiles. Visit Bay of Rays, Mangroves and Rock Pools, Coral Caves, Shipwreck Explorer, Mermaid Garden, Ocean Discovery, Croc Lair, the Coral Atoll, Rainforest Adventure, Seahorse Pier and Penguin Playground.
38. Werribee Zoo offers a Safari Tour Bus ride through the Zoo's open ranges. The Bus ride and Meet the Keeper Talks are included in admission. There are a variety of animal encounters to choose from.
39.Animal Land Children's Farm in Diggers Rest allows visitors to hold, pat and feed the animals. Farm animals include cows, sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, chickens, ponies, alpacas, donkeys, deer, turkeys, peacocks, cockatoos, rabbits, and guinea pigs.
40.Bundoora Park Children's Farm has kangaroos and emus as well as farm animals. Activities include wildlife rides, animal feeding, rabbit and guinea pig handling, milking demonstrations and chicken roundup.
Meeting the animals at Myuna Farm (Photo from Myuna Farm Facebook Page)
41.Caldermeade Farm and Café has a viewing platform where visitors can watch the twice daily cow milking. There is also a small animal nursery.
42.Chesterfield Farm in Scoresby has farm animals and a variety of activities including Meeting the Pigs, Hand Milking the Cow, Tractor Rides, and Sheepdog Work.
43. Collingwood Children's Animal Farm has Heather the Ayrshore cow, Mickie the donkey, Joe the pony, Charley Benson, a Clydesdale horse, pigs, goats, sheep, geese, chickens and more. Cuddle guinea pigs, feed the animals, or look for chook eggs.
Chooks (Photo from Collingwood Children's Farm Facebook Page)
44.Edendale in Eltham is a community environment farm with guinea pigs and farm animals. Food is provided for feeding the poultry. Learn how we get food from animals.
45.Myuna Farm in Doveton has traditional farm animals such as cows, goats, pigs, sheep and chooks, and paddock animals such as donkeys, deers, alpacas and buffalos. There are pony rides, a playground, a maze and more.
47. Australian Rainbow Trout Farm in Macclesfield provide trout and salmon fishing experiences from ponds to the lake challenge. There is an onsite kiosk, BBQ and picnic facilities, a children's playground and a mini golf course.
49.Melbourne Museum has both permanent and temporary exhibitions such as Dinosaur World, Bugs Alive and Forest Secrets to catch the imagination of children and adults.
50. Scienceworks in Spotswood is a science museum with interactive displays. Children help build a mini city, create and test flying objects and more. Check the website for special events and exhibitions.