Best Places to Visit with a Baby in Melbourne
Babies have different needs to toddlers and it can be tricky to figure out the most suitable places to take them for some time-out and enriching play. We've done the rounds to bring you six perfect destinations to enjoy with baby - places where crying, nappy changes, and copious amounts of dribbling are the norm. Check them out below.
Melbourne Museum Children’s Gallery
The Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery at the Melbourne Museum is a fabulous play space for kids of all ages – including crawling bubs.
With lots of clean, open areas to crawl and explore, and a younger age group of under-fives only, this is the ideal spot to enjoy with the tiny tots. The open-ended activities are many and varied – bubs can touch, reach, grab, listen and ponder.
Where: Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson St, Carlton
Cost: Adults $15, Babies FREE
The Royal Botanic Gardens
When the weather is beautiful, there is nothing better than heading out with the baby for some fresh air and gorgeous surrounds, and Melbourne’s world-class Royal Botanic Gardens are just the place. Grab your picnic rug, a hat for bub and soak up an afternoon in one of Melbourne’s natural havens.
With numerous grassy expanses and so many plants to touch and explore, your little one will get a great workout here. Then you can pop them in the pram and head over to the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden - a magical place to dig, build, imagine, create and hide! Explore the water features, Bamboo Forest and Kitchen Garden.
Where: Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne
Melbourne Library Songbird Sessions
It doesn’t matter if you are a member of the libraries or not, everyone is welcome here. The City of Melbourne Libraries run regular ‘Songbird’ sessions for babies up to 18 months. Not only are these sessions stimulating and exciting, but also give bubs a chance to socialise – and check out each other’s bibs!
Songbird sessions include rhymes, songs and stories and go for approximately 30 minutes at 10:30am during school term - Southbank Library on Mondays, Kathleen Syme Library (Carlton) on Tuesdays, North Melbourne Library on Mondays and Wednesdays, Library at The Dock (Docklands) on Wednesdays and East Melbourne Library on Thursdays.
Where: City of Melbourne Libraries in Southbank, Carlton, North Melbourne, Docklands and East Melbourne
Artplay is a popular centre in central Melbourne that gives children the opportunity to experience art in all its forms. There are numerous workshops and sessions held at ArtPlay throughout the year, and often drop-ins from some of Melbourne’s top resident artists.
For babies, there is always something on offer just for them, like the Moomba Festival: Light Pickers installation - an immersive light-filled space for babies, and Rhythm and Grooves where your little one can bop to Ghanaian tunes. You can also play in the ArtPlay Backyard.
Where: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne
Cost: FREE and paid events
The State Library of Victoria Children's Quarter & Baby Bounce
When you think of Melbourne’s historic State Library full of scholarly learning and silence, you tend not to imagine babies there. Think again! As it turns out, there’s a whole area dedicated to them.
The Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter is a free, purpose-built space for children to read, learn and play, including specific areas and activities targeted towards babies and toddlers. There is ample crawling space and abundant knick-knacks and books for them to enjoy. Best of all, it’s a great place for bubs to catch up with their mates – you know, over a Mem Fox re-telling.
Fun, interactive Baby Bounce sessions take place on Wednesdays at 10.30am, Fridays at 11.30am and Saturdays at 10.30am with stories, songs and rhymes.
Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Incy Wincy Babies at Incinerator Gallery
Incy Wincy Babies is a visual arts program that guides babies and their carers through the Incinerator Gallery, a contemporary, community visual arts destination in Melbourne’s West. Babies are shown art, sung to and played with, in a supportive environment, encouraging caregivers to develop bonds through engagement with art.
The early-learning sessions, designed for babies under 2 with a carer, are held on selected Fridays, once a month throughout the year. There is a 9.30am program recommended for babies aged 0 to 12 months, and an 11am program recommended for babies 12 to 24 months. Each session runs for one hour and light refreshments are included at 10.30am for both groups.
Where: 180 Holmes Rd, Aberfeldie
Cost: $6 per baby with a free accompanying adult carer. Bookings required.
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