While a museum may not initially sound like the best option for young children, Melbourne Museum is just amazing for kids.
We flew to Melbourne from Singapore when Thea was slightly over 2 years old. We joined my husband, who was already there on a business trip. As he spent 99% of the time working, it was just Thea and me who explored the city.
We did many things and visited many places. The most disappointing place was Melbourne Zoo (I’ve written a blog post about it, and you can read it HERE). And one of the most exciting- Melbourne Museum.
We stayed in Melbourne for 10 days and visited this museum 6 times. That might sound a bit extreme. However, the Melbourne Museum is totally worth it! It is designed well for kids, with numerous activities, buttons, and hands-on activities.
There are nice exhibitions like the ‘Dinosaur Walk,’ ‘Bugs Alive,’ ‘Forest Secrets,’ and curious displays of Indigenous artifacts in the ‘Many Nations.’ While all of these exhibits were great, the highlight for my daughter was The Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery on the ground floor.
Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery
Children’s Gallery is one of the best indoor playgrounds we have ever been to (and we’ve been to many). It is a large and wondrous place for kids to explore, swing, slide, climb, run, play, and learn.
It is not just a playground but a very well-designed edutainment center grounded in child-led, play-based learning for babies up to 5 year olds. Thea was around 2 years old at the time, so she fit in perfectly and tried all the activities.
There is a beautiful life-size steam locomotive train model at the playground entrance. It is next to a cozy cafe serving healthy snacks for kids instead of the sugar-loaded junk I usually see in other playgrounds.
There are so many things to do and explore! My daughter started with the train, then spent ages in the play area with various sensory activities and shape-sorting challenges.
There are comfortable nooks for parents and caregivers to relax while kids spend ours exploring and running around. I liked how the area is well designed, and you can always see the child from where ever you are seated.
The highlight for Thea was this huge multi-level net and crocheted climbing structure. It looks and feels like a kind of treehouse and is just awesome for children. They can climb, swing, cross over, jump, and slide, so getting them to come out is very difficult.
I only managed to convince her to leave because she knew we would see a new exhibit with animals she loved each time. The dinosaur walk was a huge hit.
Unlike me, she loved ‘Bugs Alive’ and the exhibit with many stuffed animals. I no longer remember the name of it, and although creepy, children find it really interesting.
Overall do go to this Museum if you are in Melbourne with kids. I promise you will not be disappointed. I know we will go again the next time we are down under.
SCREEN FREE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS