Magical Melbourne with kids: all-age adventures in Victoria’s vibrant capital

If you’re looking to visit Melbourne with kids, you’re in for a treat.

On my last family vacay to Victoria’s uber-cool capital, I successfully whisked the brood around lively Federation Square and dropped in at the Koorie Heritage Trust to see local indigenous art. We then grabbed scoops of creamy goodness at Niska, Melbourne’s first-ever robotic ice-cream bar – pretty astounding, and not just for the little ones.

There are plenty of green spaces for kids to burn off some energy here, such as the Bamboo Forest and Plant Tunnel at Ian Potter’s Children’s Garden. Dining is as diverse as you like, too – think artisan cakes in quirky laneway cafés and beachfront St Kilda eateries where popcorn chicken reigns supreme.

Between the inner city museums and funky attractions that dot the outer suburbs, there are endless ways to spend your family holiday in Melbourne. I’ve rounded up some of my personal recommendations to help inspire your next trip.

What to see Melbourne: street art-swathed laneways and the southern hemisphere’s highest skydeck

You sure get your pick of family-oriented attractions in Melbourne. I could spend weeks sampling tempting treats at bustling markets or wandering through cool neighbourhoods painted with murals.

Where to stay in Melbourne: in-room glamping and artsy suites

True to the city’s too-cool reputation, Melbourne’s not shy in the unique hotel department. A family trip here could mean staying in a high-end hotel with a doggie doorman, or a riverside retreat that delivers roast dinners right to your room.

Glamping feats and chocolate treats

Who says family holidays can’t be luxurious? Hugging the sparkling Yarra River and just a stone’s throw from the Eureka Tower, this five-star hotel goes all out.

When you opt for the Kids’ Glamping Package, your room will come set up with a teepee, activity-filled backpack and teddy bear cookies for your little ones. My kids went wild for the chocolate bar high tea
– a spread of buttermilk scones, truffle pops and a chocolate fountain.

The Langham Melbourne

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (2703 reviews)

Art Deco digs in the vibrant CBD

This hotel has its very own ‘canine ambassador’ to provide a furry greeting on arrival – a friendly labrador retriever named Mr Walker. Book into interconnecting suites to keep your whole crew close at hand while you admire the Art Deco finishes and luxe marble bathrooms.

The 25-metre indoor pool is a great place to unwind as a family, or you might make use of the hotel’s babysitting service so you can slip away to the day spa. End your day with a romantic meal at Raadi Restaurant, feasting on the likes of tea-smoked duck breast with crispy lotus root.

Park Hyatt Melbourne

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (2289 reviews)

Popcorn and family dinners at this Melbourne family hotel

Pride of place on Melbourne’s South Wharf, this hotel offers an innovative Family Package to take the stress out of your holiday. Your comfy two-bedroom suite comes with a handy kitchenette for whipping up home recipes.

Package perks include a family pass to the Polly Woodside Tall Ship, plus an in-suite roast dinner for four with all the trimmings. With one complimentary movie during your stay – complete with buttery popcorn – there’s every reason to snuggle up on the sofa together for a cosy evening in after a day of exploring.

Pan Pacific Melbourne

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (2588 reviews)

Slick suites with outdoor space


Just a four-minute walk from Queen Victoria Market, this neatly styled hotel is pleasingly unfussy. A spacious family suite will comfortably house your nearest and dearest, while a private enclosed courtyard allows for playtime in the fresh air.

When you’re not traipsing around the city, take advantage of free access to Melbourne City Baths or settle in at Jasper Kitchen for a family feast. Little ones can tuck into mini chicken parma, while adults savour linguini marinara and baked lamb ribs.

Jasper Boutique Hotel

8.2 Very good (2203 reviews)

What to eat and drink in Melbourne: bustling food courts and hidden brekkie hotspots

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a sugary brunch or quell the kids’ hunger with gut-busting burgers. All in all, there’s a wealth of places for devouring great food in Victoria’s capital.

Feature image courtesy of Graham Oliver / Fotolia