Taneesha Davis is a writer and editor living on the Mornington Peninsula. Visit girlbossmag.com.au for more.
Published May 19th 2019
A city amongst a city - just for kids
Melbourne's new mini-city for kids
In the streets of Malvern lies a hidden city just for children, and it is changing the game when it comes to children's play. This one of a kind experience has arrived in Melbourne and parents do not want to miss out on the valuable learning and fun that is to be had here. Laid out in 90-minute sessions, children and adults are welcome to a whole city built just for them.
Let's not beat around the bush, the absolute number one reason to bring your kids here is the play space and play opportunities. It is seemingly endless, as children trape into each new room, each new adventure, and each new play equipment. This isn't just a play centre or some average grade play-ground – this is the real deal. The 'city' is divided into 9 rooms, each offering a different play opportunity. When children first arrive, however, they are given a quick rundown about the city they are about to enter, and given two very special items they take into the city and get to leave with too; a passport and a credit card. These are your essentials as you become a new citizen of the city and start your journey through the rooms.
Children can pretend they are mailing items in the post office – complete with a post office box, package scales and letter kits to top the experience. Or they can be postmen, grabbing a mailing bag and making sure all the other residents of the city receive their mail.
The apartment is a real Aussie space. This studio apartment (located in Sydney by the looks of things!) comes complete with a bed, a pull-out kitchen, an iron, cleaning supplies, a telephone and all the amenities needed to feel at home in their very own space. Children can be real-life grown-ups where they can relax here before setting off to work at the construction site or maybe go to the supermarket.
Have a creative spirit on your hands? Children will absolutely love picking their own flowers to create a bouquet with an assortment of different ribbons and materials. Write a little note for the recipient of the flowers, make an order their or be a florist themselves, creative possibilities are endless.
An educational room tied into a highly creative one, children can choose to be a dentist/doctor or be a patient in this room. Complete with a patient's bed, a stethoscope, doctors notes, and all the working amenities you need in a doctor's office. (My child did force me to step on the very fully operational doctor's scales, which is highly not recommended). Children can also see how tall they are/see how much they weigh, and also take a little 'My Health Record' book to make sure they are all healthy.
With rows of fruits and vegetables, pantry items and even a refrigerated section, there is plenty for children to choose from to fill up their shopping baskets and take to the registers. Using their credit cards, they can pay for their (sometimes extensive) shopping bill, at the checkout registers. The registers have a working scale to make sure you can weigh your food accurately. Kids can even write a shopping list with the provided pencils and clipboards, making sure nothing is left behind. Children can also choose to work the checkout too, and enjoy scanning items and putting them away in reusable bags.
Easily my three-year old's favourite room, the restaurant offers children to either experience being a waiter, a chef or just sit down and dine on their favourite meal (yes, chicken nuggets are on the menu!) I was treated to the full dine-in experience, with my child taking my order (aprons, clipboards, and menus are all included), then making a coffee for me at the barista quality coffee machine, and finishing off with a plate of chips and nuggets. There is an extensive amount of kitchen accessories and equipment in this room so whatever tasty dish they want to (pretend) make, they can.
What city would be complete without its very own airport? You won't find long check-in lines and extravagant wait times here, though! Children can board the plane as passengers, arriving at the gate, having their suitcase weighed and handed their boarding pass, before heading through security check, which includes its own x-ray bag scanner and body scanner. Then hop on the plane, where, if you're lucky, a stewardess may provide you with refreshments. Children can also choose to the flight attendants, the security control, or even the pilot if they feel game enough!
The deluxe car that sits under the garage roof is one that children and adults alike will be in awe of. It's a big, giant machine that children will love to get their hands on. They can pretend to drive where their heart takes them, be a passenger and enjoy the ride, fill the car up for petrol or give it a good scrub down with all the car washing equipment.
If your child likes construction and destruction, they're going to love this special construction site room! With blocks, bricks, pipes, cement mixers, wheelbarrows and more, children can put their safety vests on as they build and destroy in this room. If your child is more the analytical type, never fear. They can still put their safety vests on and pick up a clipboard, and be a construction and site manager to make sure everybody else is getting the job done! Or perhaps they want to be an architect and map out the exact building plans. The tools children are equipped with truly helps their imagination go anywhere.
Each room is adorned with signs, prompts for children of different ages to challenge their thinking of each room and each situation they are prompted with. It really helps particularly older children, who can find a whole new experience in each room compared to what a preschool age child might. The best part about this sort of play-based education is that children don't even know that they are have a wholesome learning experience amongst it all. They just think this is the most fun ever.
Interaxcity is very focused on parent interaction within this city, with each sign prompt helping parents engage with their children in the play-based learning. It helps parents and children really interact with each other in play that isn't boring for adults but also is equally thrilling for children.
When we say there is nothing quite like it in Melbourne – we mean it. This is a truly one of a kind space here dedicated as a whole interactive learning experience for children, and there is just simply nothing of the sort here. Until now!
Train stations Armadale and Glen Iris are minutes away, and a tram stop situated right out the front of the street is an added bonus for those wanting a real Melbourne city experience on public transport. Car parks are scattered around the side streets of the building, some timed and some untimed. Whichever way you choose to arrive, the walking is minimal for either public transport or from local car parks.
If you put one thing on your to-do list with children in Melbourne, make it the new Interaxcity Children's Museum. Children and parents alike are sure to have so much fun in this interactive experience, where possibilities and imagination are limitless.
Check out Interaxcity here and book a session now.