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10 Free Things To Do In Melbourne With Kids

Home > Melbourne > Family | Free | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do | Lists
by Taneesha Davis (subscribe)
Taneesha Davis is a writer and editor living on the Mornington Peninsula. Visit for more.
Published July 26th 2021
Don't break the budget keeping the kids entertained
Finding something to do with the kids this weekend or school holidays, but not ready to spend the cash to keep them occupied? Luckily, you're in Melbourne, with plenty to do with children, and plenty to do on a budget, too. Here are my 10 top things to do in Melbourne with kids that are completely free.

1. National Gallery of Victoria

Starting off with a fun, indoor, free activity for kids (we know how the weather isn't always agreeable in Melbourne.) The National Gallery of Victoria, or NGV as it's more commonly known, not only hosts many free programs during the week for pre-school and primary school-aged children, but their free gallery exhibitions are always a fun and interesting time for children of all ages. The 'magical' waterfall exhibit will keep children entranced from the minute they walk through the door.
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Situated in Federation Square, the Australian Centre of Moving Image, always has a free and interesting exhibition for children, usually with many interactive programs on. Hands-on play is widely encouraged here, and they will be learning something along the way.
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3. State Library of Victoria

Another fantastic indoor activity for children in Melbourne is the State Library. There is so much to find, read and explore, and so much more than books, too! If it's a nice day, enjoy the many other's sitting on the steps and people watch (or have a picnic!)
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4. Queen Victoria Markets

Whilst this might be considered shopping, you don't have to buy anything at the markets to really enjoy everything it has on offer. This iconic spot in the city is always full of bustling shoppers, produce owners calling out, and so many yummy smells, roving entertainers, and more.
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5. Graffiti Tour

By TigTab from Melbourne, Australia - Shepard Fairey in Hosier, CC BY-SA 2.0,

How many amazing lanes of graffiti does Melbourne have? Start at Hosier Lane and take photos, let the kids spot their favourite artwork, or even make a 'treasure hunt' of sorts that they need to find. Other fantastic graffiti locations around Melbourne include AC/DC Lane and Literature Lane.
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6. Shrine Of Remembrance

The Shrine of Remembrance not only offers a fantastic learning opportunity for kids, but also a great warmer day activity. Learn about real-life stories of our troops, pay your respects, and enjoy the impressive gardens surrounding the shrine.
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7. The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Gardens

In the heart of Melbourne is truly one of the best and most magical outdoor spaces for children. The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Gardens, situated in Melbourne Gardens, allows children to learn about plants, play in a great water fountain area, get their hands dirty in the 'kitchen' and run through the bamboo gardens.
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8. Immigration Museum

There is still even more to learn in Melbourne, with this museum combining culture, history and more. Children can learn and discover in interactive ways about the history of our country, and exposes children to different thoughts and feelings and a great understanding of our world.
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9. St Kilda Penguins

A certain other penguin viewing may be out of budget for a lot of families, but this free penguin viewing is held every single night (and arguably better!), right in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. At St Kilda Pier every night, the fairy penguins make their home in the rocks and surrounding areas. Follow the paths and stick to the rules, and best come at sunset for the best viewing of these cute guys.
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10. Yarra Bend Park

The largest natural bush park in Melbourne, this is just down the road from the CBD. Look out for wildlife, pack a picnic, or just explore the immersive grounds. Enjoy Dights Falls, a purpose-built rapid and weird flowing onto the Yarra River.
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There is so much to explore in Melbourne, and especially with kids. You don't need to break the budget though, with this list you can find what you love in Melbourne without the price tag.
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Why? For fun things for kids - on a budget!
Where: Melbourne, Victoria
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Informative article Taneesha. It proves you don't need a big bag of money to keep yourself and the kids entertained.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|3114) 61 days ago
A good list Taneesha and I'm sure a welcome one to parents.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9025) 60 days ago
What about Collingwood Children's Farm?
by lyn (score: 0|4) 61 days ago
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