The temperature has plummeted, the storm clouds are closing in and so are the walls! Get the kids out of the house and burning some positive energy instead of each other's fuses at any of these great indoor options across Melbourne, where everyone can ward off the wet and cold weather blues.
1. Indoor skate parks and rinks
Let the team at The Bunker treat your adrenaline junky kids to a mad day out. Photograph courtesy of The Bunker Skatepark.
Roll into The Bunker
in Braeside, where every school holidays they offer a special 'two for one' night on Tuesdays, as well as scooter and skate lessons and the incredibly popular Bunker Camp, where kids get to stay at the skatepark, ride with pros, learn new tricks, make new friends and have an enormous amount of fun.
Rampit Skate Park
in Bayswater is also open every day until 9pm and the perfect place for skateboarders, rollerskaters, bladers and BMX riders of all skill levels to get some serious air. They have recently completed a brand new floor space with a huge airbag and also started a loyalty card program, offering even greater value for regulars. Up until the end of winter, Rampit is offering three entries for the price of two, which is a saving of $20 – just mention WeekendNotes to redeem the offer.
There's also The Shed
in Cranbourne, which runs separate three-hour sessions for skaters and BMX riders – check session details here
. And over the bridge in Braybrook you'll find RampFest
If you prefer an old-school rollerama style experience, try Skate World Mordialloc
in Eltham, or who could go past golden oldie, Caribbean Rollerama
2. Indoor pools
Indoor pools may not be the most obvious choice for wet and cold weather days, but make for a fun day out under cover. Photograph courtesy of Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre.
Defy the weather and dive into your nearest indoor pool
. Try Ashburton Pool
, with its brilliant aquatic play area ideal for littlies, and where they just happen to be hosting an open day on Saturday 18 April from 9am to 2pm, with special activities, free express group training sessions and tours of the new health centre on offer.
in East Bentleigh is also a great option, with its two tummy twisting water slides and great water play space.
At MSAC, kids can test our their wave riding skills on the FlowRider - just one of three in Australia and the only one in Victoria. Photograph courtesy of MSAC.
Closer to the city, there's always Melbourne's phenomenal MSAC
, where kids can join in the SplashOUT program
every weekend, Victorian public and school holidays from 11am to 4pm, with inflatables, the wave pool and water slide in full force. They can also test out their mad body boarding and surf skills on the wake-making FlowRider
, 7.30am to 8pm up until the end of April, and 9am to 7.30pm from May through to 21 October 2015.
Every school holidays, MSAC also runs the Planet Sport
program for five to 12 year olds, which includes use of all of their sports, aquatic and recreational facilities, as well as excursions to the State Netball and Hockey Centre, and is fully supervised by MSAC's Children's Programs team.
3. Indoor trampolining
Gravity Zone in Seaford offers trampolining for all ages and skill levels across it's massive multi-level floor space. Photograph courtesy of Gravity Zone.
Bounce into Gravity Zone
in Seaford – finally, a trampoline centre that caters just as well for under 4s as older kids, with more than 150 trampolines over 3,000 square metres of floor space suitable for jumpers of all ages and skill levels. From winter 2015, Gravity Zone will also be home to Melbourne's largest laser tag arena.
There's also Xtreme Air
in Keysborough or BounceInc
in Glen Iris
, Blackburn North
or Essendon Fields
. And with 15 locations across Victoria, Inflatable World
is also a great place for kids to let off some steam.
4. Indoor wall climbing
Clip 'n Climb
Kids can truly test their vertical limits at Clip n' Climb in Richmond. Photograph courtesy of Clip n' Climb.
in Richmond offers 37 different climbing experiences under the one roof, and from Term Two 2015, is launching a new after school drop-off program for primary school kids Tuesday to Thursday from 3.45pm to 5.45pm. Included is an hour or more of climbing, afternoon tea and a range of other activities like scavenger hunts and tabloid sports. Be quick to register
as places are limited.
in Nunawading and the city caters for climbers of all levels from four years and up. See kids @ Hardrock
for more details. While kids from as young as three can also have a go at Bayside Rock Climbing
, based in Carrum Downs. There's also Cliffhanger Climbing Gym
in Altona North, which boasts 'the tallest' indoor climbing wall 'in the southern hemisphere,' but does require beginners to book in for an induction before climbing.
5. Indoor play centres
Indoor play centres cater for kids of all ages and often offer adults a free coffee on entry - bonus! Photograph by Bianca N V.
Kids can try their hand at some Spiderman action while parents relax at Lollipop's in East Bentleigh. Photograph courtesy of Lollipop's Playland East Bentleigh.
Ride the post-Easter sugar rush into any of five Lollipop's Playlands
Melbourne-wide. Lollipop's East Bentleigh now has a new, fully supervised indoor rock climbing wall where kids from as young as four can try out some real life Spiderman action. On Friday 10 April, the playland is also being transformed into a palace for a royal disco from 5pm to 7pm, where kids can dress up in their finest gowns, armour and crowns. Discos are held every second Friday of the month throughout the year, always from 5pm to 7pm. Other Lollipop's Playlands also hold discos regularly – see their individual websites
You can also rocket into KidSpace
, drop into a Croc's Playcentre
in eight locations across Melbourne, with the newest playcentre in Pakenham's grand opening scheduled for 2 May. Croc's Moorabbin
is also currently offering a 10 entry pass valued at $125 for only $70.
And there's also little but lovely DayDreamers
in Windsor that is definitely worth a visit. For any children's party booking made up until the end of April 2015, DayDreamers is offering to throw in 12 free coffees for the adults to enjoy. Very nice!
6. Tenpin bowling
Drop into an indoor bowling centre to while away a few hours on an otherwise dull day. Photograph by Bianca N V.
Roll into any of the 10 AMF Bowling
centres across Melbourne, where they're currently offering two games and five arcade tokens per person for bookings Monday to Friday before 6pm. Book online to save time and money, and just show up in time to enjoy your reserved lane. You'll also receive a $5 game voucher to use next time, valid up until 19 June 2015.
7. Ice-skating rinks
Photograph by Benson Kua from Toronto, Canada (Ice Skates Uploaded by tm), via Wikimedia Commons.
Embrace the cold and skate into Medibank Icehouse
Docklands, where they're screening free 'frosty films' daily from 10.30am to 4.30pm, including Disney's Frozen
, and holding Plaster Fun House activities from 11am to 3pm over the Easter school holidays. Kids can also learn to skate for free with 15 minute beginner's lessons.
Twenty minutes drive southeast of the CBD, there's also Oakleigh's Olympic Ice Skating Centre
, which is running extended sessions Monday to Sunday during the school holidays. When's the last time you went ice-skating? Go on, get your skates on!
Where are your favourite rainy day retreats for kids? Be a good sport, share the details in the comments and spread the joy to other parents across Melbourne!