Freelance writer living in Melbourne. If you enjoy the following article please click on the 'like' button to give me feedback. I am a mum to two very active boys, who is trying to share her passion for nature, art, social justice and a love of life.
Published January 21st 2014
Let your kids touch the artwork for FREE
Johnston Street is a fabulous, funky street full of amazing galleries, artist's studios, cafes, and unique clothing and furniture shops. The street is worth the walk, just for the shops and cafes, but I would recommend popping the kids in the pram and giving them a camera to capture the amazing works of street art that are prolific in the area. This article discusses the freeway side of Johnston Street between Hoddle Street and Nicholson Street.
Start your day at the Melbourne Museum. You can park there all day for $16.00 if you arrive before 9:30am and leave after 2:30pm. Be careful though, if you do not arrive before and after these times, you will be charged up to $35.00. Walk about 700m away from the city up Nicholson Street until you reach Johnston Street. Cross over the road to the petrol station and then start walking down Johnston Street.
About 50m down Johnston Street you will find Casa Iberica. This is a fabulous shop for all things from Spain, Portugal and South America. If you have a sweet tooth and are happy for your kids to have spoon of the best thing ever, ask for a tub of dulce de leche (pronounced dull-say gee let-che). Or if you would like authentic Brazilian coffee grab a bag of Pilao (pronounced Pee-Laow). Walk out the door and look directly behind you.
From Casa Iberica keep wandering down the street, looking at all the beautiful shops along the way. Have a look across the road every now and then to see the huge pieces on the other side. There is another weekendnotes article that you can read about the city side of Johnston Street.
There are many places to find fantastic street art on Johnston Street, but as always check them out before you direct your child's focus towards them as sometimes the art work is for adult's eyes only. On this little lane way you may find some that you may like to see, but not wanting to direct your children's eyes to.
About 300m from the end of your walk at the Hoddle Street intersection, there is a great cafe called Blue Bird that you can stop in for a snack and coffee. If it is lunch time, keep walking to the intersection of Hoddle Street and Johnston Street cross over Johnston Street and catch the bus (200, 201, 205, 207) back to Nicholson Street or walk back up the other side. A picnic lunch in Carlton Gardens is always fabulous. You can always walk back up if your kids are up for it!
A great cafe. Prams may need to be parked out the front.
One way is approximately 1.6 km ( 700m from the Museum), which in "walking with kids time" may take about an hour. Our boys took drawing paper with them and tried to copy the art and then moved onto photographing the art with the trusty Fisher Price Digital Camera. I would love hear about the locations of any hidden gems you see. All the best with your walk!