Melbourne City activities for families

Little Miss and I love exploring the Melbourne CBD. If you're thinking of heading into the city soon, checkout our list of activities below that you can do with the little ones - most of them are free which is a bonus! And if you need a place to feed, change or play while you're out exploring, checkout our list of parents rooms including one at the NGV.

1. ACMI

The ACMI is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Fed Square which runs exhibitions, movie screenings, film festivals and the free permanent exhibition Screen Worlds. Kids can checkout this exhibition which explores the past, present and future of the moving image. It even features Little Miss' favourite Play School friends! There is also a kids area where kids can play a Sesame street game on projection and play some games on iPads as well as console, computer games and Minecraft.
ACMI Screen Worlds Entrance

ACMI Screen Worlds Entrance

2. ArtPlay

ArtPlay is a creative centre in Birrarung Marr that provides a range of free and paying workshops, events and performances for babies and children up to 12 years old. It also has a fantastic playground as well as the popular free drop in indoor/outdoor activity Inside Out starting again in October and ArtPlay backyard which is a summer activity for little ones to play and create outside.
ArtPlay at Birrarung Marr - photo credit City of Melbourne

ArtPlay at Birrarung Marr - photo credit City of Melbourne

3. National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) at St Kilda Road

The NGV has always been a favourite place for little Miss and I, it is a great place to explore new and permanent exhibitions and the popular kids' installations that take place several times a year to coincide with the main exhibitions. We have loved the past kids Installations Pastello - Draw Act for Kids, Express Yourself: Romance was Born for Kids, Open House: Tromarama for Kids, Studio Cats for Kids and Fake Food Park: Martí Guixé for Kids.
Express Yourself: Romance was Born for Kids at the NGV in 2015

Express Yourself: Romance was Born for Kids at the NGV in 2015

Fake Food Park: Marti Guixé for Kids at the NGV in 2016

Fake Food Park: Marti Guixé for Kids at the NGV in 2016

The new kids' installation is Viktor&Rolf for Kids which opened this October, read our review here.
Atelier: Viktor&Rolf for Kids at the NGV in October 2016

Atelier: Viktor&Rolf for Kids at the NGV in October 2016

While you're there, relax in the Great Hall famous for its stunning stained glass ceiling by Leonard French. You and the kids can lie on the floor, look up and admire the stained glass ceiling, chat with friends or enjoy a snack. 

NGV Great Hall 

NGV Great Hall 

Enjoy a picnic outside on the lawns of the NGV gardens and let the kids have a play on the climbing structure and explore the lawns and sculptures while you have a coffee. The upcoming NGV Architecture Commission which will stand in the NGV gardens will be M@ Studio Architects' Car Wash inspired design which will pop up in October 2016. 

NGV Sculpture Garden

NGV Sculpture Garden

4. NGV Australia: Ian Potter Centre

The Ian Potter Centre located at Fed Square is another great NGV site to explore, throughout the year it hosts several free kid friendly exhibitions. We have enjoyed in the past like Emily Floyd: The Dawn exhibition as well as Bunyips and Dragons - Australian Children's Book Illustrations and many others as well as permanent exhibitions like the Australian Art collection.

Bunyips and Dragons exhibition at NGV Australia Fed Square in 2015

Bunyips and Dragons exhibition at NGV Australia Fed Square in 2015

5. State Library of Victoria - Baby Bounce & Storytime, Play Pod and exhibitions

The State Library of Victoria (SLV) is always a great place to visit with the kids to expand their love of reading and enjoy some activities. The SLV has weekly Baby Bounce (0-2 yrs) and Storytime (3-5 yrs) sessions which are great for little ones to listen to stories, songs, rhymes and get involved in creative activities. On top of these sessions, kids can play in the Play Pod.
The Play Pod is a library program for children under 8, packed with activities to read, create and play designed with a new theme every season. Checkout our Play Pod reviews here on the latest themes.
State Library of Victoria Play Pod The Treehouse theme

State Library of Victoria Play Pod The Treehouse theme

For more activities to do with the kids in Melbourne, head to our Daily Spots page.