I'm a freelance writer and primary school teacher living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on www.facebook.com/WNMelbourne
Don't let winter hold you hostage
Melbourne has some of the best free events for kids in the entire country, and June does not disappoint; have a go:
Let's start with a little bonus for you, left over from May!
31 May: Library at the Dock:
The official opening of Melbourne's newest library will include plenty of free entertainment and activities for all ages.
Contact: 03 9658 9998 Address: 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands Time: 10am-2pm Saturday, 31 May More Info
1 June: Free Shavuot Event:
Free Kids' Shavuot Activity: Join Glick's at Westfield Southland as they get ready for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Eat cheesecake and play with the lambs, goats and calves in the petting zoo.
Contact: 03 9582 5600 Address: 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham; Level 1, near Glick's Time: 11:00am-2pm, Sunday, 1 June
The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is 30 May to 8 June. Opening weekend starts with a bang showcasing the next generation of Australian jazz musicians.
A free, day-long celebration, draws inspiration from the free jazz movement pioneered by the likes of Charles Mingus and John Coltrane.
Your kids will love the dance and jazz featuring: Monash University Big Band (director Jordan Murray), Monash University Brazilian Ensemble (director Al Kerr), WAAPA Jazz Ensemble (director Tom O'Halloran) and Victorian College of the Arts' Ensemble Max (director Rob Vincs).
Contact: 03 9655 1900 // email@example.com Address: Federation Square, Corner Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne Time: 11am-4pm, Sunday, 1 June More Info
Light in Winter Festival
1-22 June: The Light in Winter Festival:
The Light in Winter Festival at Fed Square is entirely free, and runs from 5pm-late every night. The festival includes music, entertainment, and light-themed projects, many of which are child-friendly. See program for details.
Contact: 03 9655 1900 // firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Federation Square, Corner Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne Time: 5pm-Late, Sunday, 1 June - Sunday, 22 June, 2014 More Info
A Taste of Portugal Festival at Queen Victoria Market: Portugal, Brazil and East Timor unite to celebrate their historical ties. This event caters for all ages with Portuguese street food, Brazilian delicacies and beverages available for purchase, Portuguese merchandise for sale, samba and Zumba dance classes, and cultural displays.
Children's activities include puppet theatre, face painting, drawing competitions, art and craft, and book readings. Music and dance from Portugal, Brazil and East Timor round out your day in addition to handcrafts demonstrations. It's a day of fun, food and entertainment Portuguese-style!
Contact: email@example.com Address: Queen Victoria Market; 65-159 Victoria Street, Melbourne Time: 10am-4pm 8 June More Info
13 June: Big Science, Big Fun:
Big Science, Big Fun at The Library at The Dock: Bubbling liquid nitrogen, flying toilet paper, coloured shadows? Sounds like a great place to have your mind blown! Free event, but bookings are essential and space is limited.
Contact: 03 9658 9998 Address: 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands Time: 4:30pm, Friday 13 June
Two honourable mentions; I can't quite get away with promoting them as free, but they're too good to overlook:
7 & 8 June: Baw Baw Village Festival:
Baw Baw Village Festival season opening weekend; snow or no snow, they are offering HEAPS of FREE amazing activities! Snow yoga, live music, mulled wine tastings, snow man building, free skiing, husky sled rides, fireworks, and much more! Yes it is truly all free except your meals, accommodations if you're staying... and the kicker: the resort entry fee (~$50). Dinner Bookings essential at the Village Restaurant over the weekend; phone 03 5165 1123.
Contact: 03 5165 1136 Address: Mount Baw Baw Tourist Road, Mount Baw Baw Time: All day 7 & 8 June
19 May - 15 June: Yarn Bombing:
Image credit: Eastland Facebook Page
Yarn Bombing at Eastland Shopping Centre is free to view, and the workshops start at just $2; have a go!
Contact: 03 9879 7171 Address: Eastland Shopping Centre, 171 - 175 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood Time: 19 May - 15 June; workshop times vary, see link for details. More Info
The City Circle tram (route 35) is a free, and in itself fun, way to travel around the city. Trams run in both directions approximately every twelve minutes from 10am to 6pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 10am to 9pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
School holidays also start at the end of June, so watch for free family events into July at your favourite local haunts such as Bunnings, your local library, and your local shopping centres. Don't forget that kids are free on weekends and holidays at Victoria Zoos.
Coloured test tubes: Salvatore Vuono / freedigitalphotos.net
Australian Money: Flickr by Martin Howard with commercial license