The fond memory of Melbourne's iconic Moomba festival in March paves the way for Easter and Anzac celebrations in April. Kids can have loads of fun at the Queen Victoria Market and Royal Park; see Alma Doepel through photographs and paintings; the Shrine of Remembrance takes centre stage with Anzac events; celebrate Melbourne's cultural diversity with the Dutch community and Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition; Melbourne Central will heighten your lunchtime experience; and Batmania will take over Federation Square. Whatever event or activity suits your fancy, you'll find something for FREE in the world's most liveable city this month.
Kids Activities at Queen Victoria Market - 5, 7 & 9 Apr
Head over to Queen Victoria Market with the family for plenty of FREE educational fun in early April. Phone 03 9320 5822 or visit the website for more details.
Easter Sunday Scavenger Hunt, 5 Apr - Special guides will take kids around Queen Victoria Market where they can enjoy tastings at different locations and fill their bags with Easter eggs and other goodies. The event departs from the top of A shed at 10.30am, 12pm and 2pm. Make sure you arrive early on the day to secure your space.
Kids Own Publishing Book Making, 7 & 9 Apr - Kids can just this community publishing session and create their own stories of Queen Victoria Market. The finished stories will be printed off and available from some of the traders. The book making sessions will run from 10.30am and 12.30pm on 7 and 9 April.
Kids Own Book Cubby - Enjoy reading books written and published by fellow children from Melbourne communities and schools from 10am to 2pm on 7 and 9 Apr.
Where: Top of A Shed, 65-159 Victoria Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
DC Comics's Batman will not make any appearances at Federation Square. Instead 200 life-size fruit bat sculptures will hang from the ceiling of the Atrium. The exhibition is inspired by artist Kathy Holowko's fascination with the fruit bat that roams the skies of Melbourne and aims to heighten the public's curiosity of the urban animal. You and your family can also experience the exhibition with a 15 minute soundscape made by recording colonies of bats at 7am to 9am and 7pm to 9pm every day till 28 April. Visit the website for more information.
Where: Corner of Swanston & Flinders Streets, Melbourne VIC 3000
Junior Rangers – 7 to 10 Apr
Photo courtesy of City of Melbourne
The month's focus on Melbourne's wildlife continues with the City of Melbourne Park Rangers' FREE activity for kids in Royal Park. Children can join a Park Ranger from 10am to 12pm to search and learn about the creatures hidden in the tree tops and grasslands of Royal Park. The meeting place is the Australian Native Gardens off Gatehouse Street. Phone 03 9658 9658 for more information or visit the website to book your space.
Where: Royal Park, Flemington Road, Parkville VIC 3052
Melbourne Central Festival of Lunchtimes - 7 to 30 Apr
If you're looking to make lunchtime more interesting, then head over to Melbourne Central this month for a rich program of one-day only classes, workshops and food offers from 12pm to 2pm. You can get some styling tips, improve your conversation skills and learn how to overcome your fears during your lunch break. Phone 03 8419 9320 for more information or visit the website to book your space for the various activities.
The Anzac Centenary (2014–2018) is being commemorated in many parts of the world including Australia. The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne will also be hosting several FREE Anzac events leading up to ANZAC Day. Phone 03 9661 8100 or visit the website for the full event list and to book your space. Gold coin donations will go towards supporting the Shrine and its activities.
Victoria's Anzac Centenary, 12 Apr - Hear about the Victoria Anzac Centenary Committee's efforts to preserve the Anzac legacy for current and future generations from the Honourable Ted Baillie from 10am to 11.15am.
Gallipoli, 16 Apr - Hear about the Gallipoli campaign from Peter FitzSimons as he recreates the disaster based on research of those who endured it or perished in the effort from 5.30pm to 7pm.
Anzacs on The Wall, 19 Apr - Join Jim Brown and Vince Brophy from 2.30pm to 3.45pm as they perform poems, stories and the song 'The Anzac on the Wall' which tells of young Australian Danny Clancy who left to serve in the First World War.
Where: Shrine of Remembrance, St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3000
Anzac Centenary at State Library of Victoria - 13 & 28 Apr
Head over the State Library of Victoria to learn more about the centenary of World War One and the Gallipoli landing from 7pm to 8.15pm on 13 and 28 April. Hosted by the Victorian Government, Veterans Branch, Department of Premier & Cabinet, the history of the Anzacs are brought to life through FREE live storytelling, theatre performances, film screenings and readings of wartime diaries from the State Library's collection. Phone 03 8664 7099 for more information or visit the website to book your space.
Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Alma Doepel Art Exhibition - 17, 18, 19, 25 & 26 Apr
The Alma Doepel is one of the oldest surviving three-masted topsail schooner and currently located in the Docklands where it is being restored by volunteers. The ship has inspired a FREE exhibition of photographs and paintings by Caroline Bouquet, Don Braben, Robert Carter, Tiffany Dryburgh, Richard Linton, Peter Sharp, Mary Sowa and Maggie Cowling. The exhibition will open on 17 April from 6pm to 9pm and viewing is available from 10am to 5pm on weekends. visit the website for more details.
Where: Docklands Ocean Education Centre, Shed 2 North Wharf Road, Docklands VIC 3008
Mosaic Festival - 26 Apr
Photo courtesy of Victorian Immigrant & Refugee Women's Coalition
An initiative of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition (VIRWC), Mosaic Festival will transform City Square into a cultural space with live music, dance, culinary treats from around the world, cultural displays and women dressed in colourful traditional costumes. Bring the family and celebrate women in multicultural Victoria at this FREE event from 11am to 5pm. Visit the website for more information.
Where: City Square, 44-86 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
You don't have to travel to the Netherlands to enjoy a lively celebration of the Dutch culture. The KLM Dutch Orange Day festival brings Dutch activities and food to you right here in Melbourne's Southbank from 10.30am to 4pm. You and your family can enjoy Dutch croquettes, poffertjes and pea soup, purchase Dutch groceries and join in a charity auction for a KLM return ticket to Amsterdam. Visit the website for more information.