The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden - Melbourne - Review

Updated Nov 2018. We visited the gardens in October for the Spring into Nature event at the Gardens.

Spring is now in full swing which can only mean one thing, warmer weather for little ones to go outdoors and explore! And the reopening of the Ian Potter Foundation's Children's Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne!!

The Children's Garden will reopen on Father's Day Sunday 2nd of September 2018 which will delight little ones and their carers. There are lots of places for little ones to explore and relax throughout the garden so don't forget a picnic and some spots of water play so don’t forget change of clothes.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

At the entrance you can find a beautiful tree, a Magic Pudding sculpture (pictured in background) and a lavender maze (pictured right).

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is also a walkway to the main garden's grass area where lots of little ones like to sit down for a snack and relax.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To the left of the grass area is a large sandpit area which is our favourite spot. We spend a fair amount of time there when we visit. Your little ones no doubt will love it too so don't forget to bring a bucket and spade. 

The kids like running from the sandpit across the little bridge towards the elephant statue. We either explore the wetland area (which is a shallow pond with little fish in) or make our way to the Bamboo forest (behind the elephant statue), walk up the stairs to the little platform to get a view from above the garden.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then walk along the rill which is a gentle waterway that runs through the garden. In Summer, a water feature is turned on which sprays water out for little ones to play with. Which then leads to a little hide and seek area where little ones can take some shade. There is also an area which can be rented for parties and you can also access the garden's veggie garden around there too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We love walking around the vegetable garden in spring and summer, there are some areas for little ones to dig and play in the dirt too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The garden is not open every day so do check the opening times on the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden website before you head out! Here’s a great map of the garden below.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Tips:

  • Come prepared with sunscreen, snacks, water, change of clothes, bucket & spade, few bandaids and a picnic rug.

  • There is Jardin Tan café nearby where you can also pickup drinks and food from too as well as toilets near the Information Centre.

  • Closest entry is via Gate F along Birdwood Avenue after the Observatory on the left (view map here).

  • There is paying parking along the avenue.

For a great list of playgrounds, checkout our list here.

For more ideas of what to do with the kids in Melbourne, checkout our Website, our Daily Spots ListCBD Spots or Blog.

 

Wunderkammer - “The cabinet of wonders”

Wunderkammer is a very quirky exhibition by artist Rod McRae showcasing taxidermied animals in a unique way. Some people might find it confronting and very unusual however little Miss and I enjoyed it. 

The ethically sourced animals were in beautiful condition and they made us think of topical themes like climate change, conservation and relationships between animals and humans. Little Miss was pointing at animals and asking what they were but in no way was she afraid of anything. Her favourite animal was a large male lion on the top floor.

The exhibition is installed over three levels of Melbourne's landmark Victorian heritage Tasman's terrace. You need to walk up stairs to get to the terrace (shown below) and three levels once inside so I wouldn't recommend taking a pram. However, I have checked and you can park your pram in the hallway before you enter the shop. Mothers' groups should call in advance to arrange ample pram parking.

According to Rod McRae, Wunderkammer has broken attendance records at every venue which suggests that people are hungry for art that stirs them and makes them think about their world.

Wunderkammer is on until the 30th April 2015 during weekdays from 10am to 4pm at the National Trust of Victoria's Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne. (Click on images to view in full size)

Dinosaur Adventures at the Melbourne Museum

These school holidays, Melbourne Museum has lots of dinosaur fun for little ones. This is by far little Miss' favourite school holiday program at the Melbourne Museum! 

We started our adventures by 'hunting' for dinosaurs around the Museum and soon lost count as they were so many! We then checked out the permanent 'dinosaur walk' exhibition, played in the outdoor and indoor kids' area and finished off our visit making a little dinosaur to add to a giant dino diorama (or so we thought), as little Miss wanted to take hers home.

We have since visited the museum and little Miss was excited to make a different dinosaur, chilling out in the dino lounge and meeting roaming dinosaurs.

The Dinosaur Adventures school holiday program is on at the Melbourne Museum until Tuesday 27th January 2015, activities are free with museum entry. (Click on images below to view in full size)

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence at the NGV Fed Square

'Mambo: 30 years of shelf indulgence' is a colourful exhibition currently at the Ian Potter: NGV Australia at Fed Square. This retrospective exhibition showcases the Australian iconic clothing label and features the largest collection of Mambo works ever assembled.

This exhibition is more for adults than little ones but little Miss didn't mind the cute teddy and some of the funny pictures.

Mambo: 30 years of shelf-indulgence is on at the Ian Potter: NGV Australia at Fed Square (closed mondays), NGV Studio, free and on until Sunday 22nd February 2015.  (Click on images below to view in full size)


Emily Floyd: The Dawn at the NGV Fed Square

'The Dawn' by Emily Floyd is a great exhibition currently at the NGV Fed Square which represents a survey of selected works from Floyd's fifteen year career. 

Children are invited with two kids friendly installations: 'Small Press' and 'Word Farm'. 'Small Press invites children to create their manifesto using stamps, typewriters, photocopiers and papers. 'Word Farm' is a tactile installation of individual sculptural letters for children to arrange and play with. 

Little Miss enjoyed this colourful exhibition but loved typing away at the typewriter and stamping her little manifesto the most!

Emily Floyd: The Dawn is currently on at the Ian Potter: NGV Australia at Fed Square (closed mondays), level 3, free and on until Sunday 1st March 2015.  (Click on images below to view in full size)

'Itsukushima Reflection model' by Takahiro Iwasaki at the NGV International

Admire the 'Itsukushima Reflection model' by Takahiro Iwasaki at the NGV International and see this beautiful free standing structure which was setup onsite. Takahiro Iwasaki is a young emerging contemporary artist from Japan. He exhibited similar work in 2012 at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

Little Miss hasn't seen this beautiful model and I might keep her away from it just in case she decides to grab it haha!

'Itsukushima Reflection model' is currently at the NGV International, level 1, Asian Collection, free and on until Monday 6th April 2015 (Click on images below to view in full size)

'The Island Bird' by Ernesto Neto at the NGV International

Checkout 'The Island Bird' by Ernesto Neto at the NGV International next time you are in town. Little ones will love climbing and playing in this interesting structure. Ernesto Neto is a contemporary visual artist from Brazil who is renowned for his large scale installations & sculptures that visitors can touch, poke and walk on or through.

Little Miss was a bit scared to climb onto the structure at first but with the help of her father and holding onto the net she became more confident and walked through by herself and loved it. The structure feels weird to step on but it is a very interesting concept that one can appreciate, children especially.

'The Island Bird' is currently on
 at the NGV International, 3rd floor, contemporary section, free and on until Sun 19th April 2015. (Click on images below to view in full size)