There are plenty of great things to do with kids in Melbourne and great ways to keep the kids entertained without them asking you constantly "are we there yet?"
1. Melbourne Zoo
Catch the train to Royal Park from Flinders Street station or catch tram route 55 from William Street to take you directly to Melbourne Zoo. There are a number of different summer concerts where kids can get free entry to help keep the costs down. Otherwise a family pass (2 adults and 2 kids) during the week will only cost around $58. One of Australia's oldest zoos provides great animal displays and tiger feeding sessions. A great day out for all. Souvenir coins where children can choose their own animal designs are available for only $2.
2. Medibank Icehouse
Ice skating at the Medibank Icehouse at Docklands is a fairly cost effective way to keep the children entertained. Ice skating is also fantastic for both adults and children alike.
Head to Docklands by catching the free City Circle Tram (route 35) from anywhere in the city, and take them for a walk along New Quay, and you might be lucky to find the markets usually held on a Sunday afternoon. Many kids love to play on the white statues as you are heading towards Harbour Town Shopping Centre. One scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone at the igloo like building/ice creamery will keep them full and happy for quite a while, and will keep them quiet too. Essential in warm Melbourne weather. Likewise along the Crown Promenade at the Yarra.
4. Lunch at the Yarra
For a simple and fairly cost effective lunch, the Crown food court, as well as the food court at Southgate are quite children friendly with a variety of different food choices on offer, especially if you wish to keep them away from junk food for a while.
5. Visit Melbourne's Parks
From Flagstaff Gardens to Yarra Park and Alexandra Gardens, taking the children out for a simple walk along the parks immerses them in nature and away from computer games for a change. Melbourne's parks are just fantastic.
6. NGV Kids Space
The kids play area at the NGV International along St Kilda Road is a great colour kaleidoscope of art and colouring in for children. A great art space. Currently the kids space is currently closed for renovations, and promises to be bigger and better once the renovations are complete. It might be advisable to check with the gallery before going there, to ensure this kids space is open.
7. Federation Square
Artplay at Birrarung Marr (behind Federation Square) runs a variety of different creative courses for children to enjoy, together with a playground along the Yarra. Furthermore, it is great to take kids to the colourful chairs at Federation Square and take a breather in hot weather under cool umbrellas nearby.
8. Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
A great place to cool down with a variety of children's events from entertainment and teaching them how to swim. Many children love swimming and the water.