Like anything to do with kids, holidaying with them can be downright challenging. Melbourne is a great city for kids. It gets street cred for its hip, underground art and music scene and scores big points for sports-related activities. Enjoy a frustration-free holiday, get cool credits and drain their seemingly unlimited reserves of NRG with our complete guide to Melbourne with Kids.
Bounce off the walls
1. A childhood favourite. Try the tricked up version of trampolining at Bounce Inc. Over 100 interconnected trampolines, 500 sqm of air bags and padding, and trampoline ‘dodge ball’. Insane amounts of fun for any age.
Climb a wall
2. The Hardrock CBD indoor climbing centre is ideal for beginners. Not only physically demanding, rock climbing is good for your child’s analytical skills (navigating which route to take), helps to eliminate fear (of heights or falling) and nurtures trust (between belayer and climber).
Jump over a wall
3. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound… Parkour won’t turn your child into Superman, but it will help develop their ability to overcome obstacles, both physical and mental (http://parkourpedia.com/). Not that they need to know its purpose. Parkour’s running, jumping, climbing and vaulting in an urban environment appeals to those with a rebellious nature. Win-win.
Face the firing wall
4. If you feel like you’re always in combat with your kid, fight it out on the M9 Laser Skirmish battlefield. Fun without the pain (remember paintball?).
Ride a wall (of water)
5. For some stunning coastal scenery, head to the start of the Great Ocean Road, Torquay (just over an hour from Melbourne). Take your pick from any number of surfing instructors – we like Go Ride A Wave – who’ll have your child carving it up in no time.
6. Don’t have time for a surfing trip? Go Flowriding at the Aquatic Centre in Albert Park. Water rushes uphill creating a stationary, non-breaking wave. A blend of surfing, wakeboarding and snowboarding. Awesome.
Hit a wall
7. Literally: Swap smelly sneakers for ice skates at the Icehouse Docklands. All ages are well catered for here including free lessons, Family Happy Hour, U8s Ice Fun, Parent-Free Zone for U13s, as well as Ice Disco and Ice Hockey for older kids.
8. Figuratively: Sink into a beanbag and enjoy a new release movie. Hoyts Bean Bag cinema has a funky, chilled out vibe, perfect for a relaxing afternoon’s entertainment.
Ok, enough about walls…
Play it loud
10. Book a 1 Day DJ Crash Course for your child with DJ Warehouse Training in Collingwood. They’ll even get to record their own DJ set. The epitome of cool.
11. Here’s music to parents’ ears… Instead of blasting music out of speakers, Silent Disco Parties hand out wireless headphones with three separate music channels. Imagine a dance party where you can actually have a conversation?! Check out Silent Disco’s upcoming Melbourne events here.
12. Luna Park Melbourne is all about crazy fun, especially since its 102 year old rollercoaster (the oldest operating rollercoaster in the world) is STILL going! For true ‘lunies’.
13. If your kids cringe at the suggestion of a family bowling night, take them to the uber cool Kingpin Bowling at Crown Casino. With loud music, disco lighting and pool tables, it’s the ‘grown ups’ version of ten pin bowling (complete with 2 licensed bars for real adults).
14. For some girl time, head to the Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula. Soaking together in the therapeutic waters is good bonding time.
15. Melbourne is shopping heaven so leave some time (days, weeks!) for a spree. Read our blog on where to shop for what in Melbourne here.
16. I Scream Nails is all about putting some fun and colour on your fingertips! A nail art pop up salon, but with a permanent space in Collingwood, your girly girl will love the bright handpainted creations. No boring block colours here.
I’m not hungry… said no teenage boy ever
17. Teenagers are food obsessed, either for it or against it. If you’ve got boys, you need volume. These Melbourne food challenges are the perfect way to cover off both an entertaining night and a feed:
Outback Jacks – Eat a 1kg Rump steak with chips and veggies in 30 mins to get your meal half price (or a free t-shirt)
Hotel Albion Port Melbourne – Finish a Grandeosa Double Parma in 30 mins to spin the wheel for prizes
The B.East Brunswick East – Smash the B.EAST burger in under 3 mins to get your name on the Wall of Fame
Girls might prefer something less… primal. The dainty bites that skim past at Sakura Kaiten Sushi Train offer both novelty factor and a healthy meal. Chocolate also ranks highly in the kid food pyramid. Indulge at Chockolait in Melbourne’s CBD.
18. The underground street art scene is massive in Melbourne. Wander down hidden laneways and arcades with Melbourne Street Art Tours for an insight into the artists whose social and political statements are expressed through spray paint, stencils and paste-ups. More for older kids but on the Richter scale of cool – it’s Gangsta.