Entertain your kids on a budget by taking them to these free attractions in Melbourne. Rather than being events which take place just during the school holidays, these destinations are open year-round and have ample hours so you can go at your leisure.
Entertain your kids on the cheap. Photo credit: Sallie the Cape Lady.
Keep in mind that just because something is free for the kids, doesn't mean your day won't have expenses. A family day out rarely comes without its costs, whether it's the unexpected snack break or an entry fee for adults. But you can reduce costs by making your next family outing to one of these child-friendly destinations.
The Play Pod may live at the State Library, but it is no quiet, stuffy space. There are colouring activities, video games to play and children's books to be read in the vibrantly colourful room especially for kids. The drawcard of the Play Pod is creating and decorating your very own version of Ned Kelly's helmet.
The Play Pod is designed for children under twelve, who are required to be supervised by a parent. There is also plenty at the State Library to engage older kids and adults, including video games, computers and, of course, endless books.
For younger kids between three and eight, there is the Children's Gallery, which features an exhibit on how plants and animals grow. It is very tactile and interactive, engaging their senses as well as their imaginations, and is beside a children's garden.
Children and concession card holders enjoy free entry to the museum whilst adults are charged a meagre $10. Some of the temporary exhibitions have a further entry free, but most exhibitions are included in the entry price. The museum is open every day, including most public holidays, from 10am until 5pm.
The RAAF Museum's extensive Heritage Gallery details Australia's aviation history.
Aeroplane obsessed kids will delight in the RAAF Museum's huge collection of aviation equipment and paraphernalia. Displays enriched with historical items such as uniforms and flags tell the story of Australia's air force history. Whether your imagination is captured by world wars, the role of chaplains in the air force, or how women are included in the RAAF; there is a display to cater to your interests. Most impressive are the disused aircraft on display, and on Tuesdays, Thurdays and Sundays at 1pm you can see aircraft in action.
The RAAF Museum is located at the RAAF Base in Point Cook. It is open from 10am to 3pm from Tuesday to Friday, and 10am to 5pm on weekends and public holidays. Entry is free for all.
Coburg Lake Reserve is home to wildlife, picnic areas, a playground and free outdoor twister.
Twister is fun for all even if you play it in your lounge room, but you can up its novelty value by playing Twister outside at The Outdoor Lounge.
The giant public Twister surface is made from rubber safety surfacing, to cushion you from inevitable falls when playing the limb-tangling game. A spinner is built in, so you don't have to think about bringing your own. Because the Twister mat is several times the size of a regular Twister mat like what you might have at home, it is perfect for sharing with other park-goers.
The Outdoor Lounge is located in the playground at Coburg Lake Reserve. Being a public park, it is completely free and can be visited at any time you desire.