Best Rainy Day Ideas For Kids In Melbourne
Keeping kids occupied happily when the weather is warm always seems easier – the beach, the pool, the hose in the backyard, or simply walking/riding/scootering/skating to the local park or playground are all fun things to do.
But what about when the weather’s not so hot (and dry)? TV and your Netflix subscription can only take you so far, and to keep your kids healthy and active – it’s best they get moving.
For some sure-fire ways things to do with kids on rainy days in Melbourne (and, let’s face it, we do have a lot of them!), we've got you covered.
Best Rainy Day Ideas For Kids In Melbourne
1. Indoor Pools
The good news is that Melbourne has dozens of indoor pools to keep your kids splashing around in heated comfort – away from the rainy day chills.
It's no secret that indoor pools can be busy places, especially during bad weather. To deal with it, getting there early can be a good thing—that way, you’ll be all done and showered and home for lunch and an afternoon with tired kids who are happy to flop around and watch a movie or play a board game. Winner, winner, rainy day dinner!
Our top picks for indoor pools in Melbourne include Monash Aquatic & Recreation Centre, St Kilda Sea Baths, Knox Leisureworks and Waves at Kingston Leisure Centre to name but a few.
Check out our full list here.
2. Trampoline Parks
Even if you’ve got a trampoline in your own backyard, indoor trampoline parks take things to a whole new level of energetic adventure – a perfect way to spend a rainy day.
Bounce Inc was the original (and it’s consistently great, with decent coffee, to boot) but these days there are lots of new players on the bouncy block. Most of them operate under a similar system of session times that require visitors to book online in hour-long blocks of time. If you’re planning a birthday party in the rainy months – make sure you get in early. They are hugely popular in warmer weather but in cooler months, when parents know they have fewer options for outdoorsy party entertainment, those prized slots fill up fast.
Check out some of our favourite Melbourne trampoline parks here!
3. Inflatable Adventures
Inflatable World has centres across Melbourne and regional Victoria – from Ballarat to Bundoora and lots in between.
If you haven’t introduced your kids to the wonders of an inflatable play centre, imagine a big warehouse-style space packed with colourful bouncy castle-type structures of all shapes and sizes, including slides and inflatable obstacle courses. They’ll work off some energy and head back home feeling happy and worn out (and if they don’t, they weren’t playing hard enough!)
For more information, check out the website!
4. Visit an Indoor Play Centre
Eventually – usually around the age of 9 – indoor play centres stop being as attractive, so if your children are younger, make the most of them as a rainy-day entertainment option while it lasts. For working parents, indoor play centres can offer all the essentials you need to grab an hour to check emails or tend to basic admin duties – and the coffee isn’t always completely atrocious, either.
Check out some of our favourite indoor play centres here.
5. Head to a Local Library
If you’ve got time to spare and little ones, you can enjoy the indulgence of curling up on one of the comfy couches and reading stories to your children as the rain pelts down outside. If they’re old enough to do their reading, set them the challenge of choosing ten picture books and tell them to find a quiet place and read them to themselves to decide which are their favourite three to borrow and take home – to read some more.
Melbourne is home to the big players like the State Library of Victoria, as well as smaller-fry options that are likely to be closer to home and more accessible. Whichever you choose, libraries are well worth remembering as rainy-day ideas for kids!
Check out our guide to the best kid-friendly libraries in Melbourne.
6. Admire Some Art at the National Gallery of Victoria
With the main players – NGV, the NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre at NGV Australia all in the city centre – driving into the secure warmth of an impressive art gallery space can be a great way to kill some wet weather time.
As well as admiring the art on the walls with an abundance of kid-centric exhibitions, there are often opportunities for kids to do their own arty things – especially during school holiday times when kids’ programs are always on offer.
For more information about what's happening at the NGV, check out the website.
7. Take a Trip to Scienceworks
Embark on an exciting (and indoor!) adventure at Scienceworks, where a world of curiosity awaits minds of all ages!
With just one visit, you can explore towering machines that once powered the city, experience thrilling theatre performances in the Lightning Theatre, give your little ones the freedom to roam in secure spaces, immerse yourself in captivating exhibitions, and journey into deep space at the Melbourne Planetarium. It really is the perfect way to while away a rainy day in Melbourne with kids!
For more information, visit Scienceworks.
8. Go Bowling
Get the kids doing a bit of physical activity with a game or three of bowling at one of Melbourne's many bowling alleys. There's something so nostalgic about heading to a bowling alley for shelter from the rain and indulging in some good old-fashioned family fun! There's always food on site, other games to play and of course the novelty of the bowling shoes never gets old!
Check out our list of the best bowling alleys in Melbourne.
9. Head to MoPA
Explore a fantastic day out for kids of all ages at the Museum of Play and Art (MoPA) with branches in both Melbourne and Geelong.
This vibrant kids' museum in Melbourne is passionate about delivering educational and entertaining experiences that enchant and immerse children in a world of fun. From a soft play zone to a creative art car and numerous engaging attractions, it's the perfect indoor destination for kids in Melbourne and beyond!
For more information, head visit MoPa.
10. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Perfect for rainy days in Melbourne, families can embark on a captivating adventure at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, where you'll encounter thousands of aquatic animals across four enchanting worlds.
As you explore, get up close to playful penguins, massive sharks, majestic stingrays, beautiful seahorses, and an array of tropical fish, creating an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Dive into interactive animal encounters, marvel at state-of-the-art displays, witness animal feeds, and enjoy engaging diver presentations. Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is a fantastic blend of entertainment, education, and excitement!
For more information, visit SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.
11. Try Indoor Rock Climbing
Gone are the days when indoor rock climbing seemed like a serious training ground for seasoned climbers. The landscape of rock climbing in Melbourne has transformed, offering a more inclusive and family-friendly experience. While there are still places for those seeking a more intense climbing experience with proper gear, a new wave of kid-friendly centres has emerged.
These places provide younger children with a chance to enjoy the thrill of rock climbing in a lighthearted and purely fun atmosphere—making it the perfect activity for some rainy day fun!
Check out our full list of the best places for rock climbing in Melbourne.
12. Visit ACMI
A great, indoor pick for rainy-day adventures in and around Melbourne is the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)—an awesome museum with loads going on.
Their ongoing exhibition, The Story of the Moving Image, is not only fascinating but also family-friendly. It delves into the captivating history of film, TV, video games, and art. Additionally, ACMI regularly features other exhibitions, workshops, and activities that are designed with families in mind, especially during the school holidays. Race you there!
For more information, visit ACMI.
13. Head to O'Brien Icehouse
Whether you're a seasoned skater or just getting the hang of it, O’Brien Icehouse stands out as one of Melbourne's favourite indoor activities—perfect for those rainy days. Take part in a friendly round of ice tag or showcase your skating dance moves during their public ice skating sessions!
For more information, visit O'Brien Icehouse.
14. Visit Old Melbourne Gaol
One perhaps for the older kids, but definitely a museum worth checking out nonetheless. You can partake in a candlelit tour run at night, or a brighter daylight tour at Old Melbourne Gaol, and immerse them in history
Housed in one of the oldest still-standing buildings in Melbourne, the museum is excellent if you’re looking for something a bit out of the ordinary for ages 10 and up!
For more info, check out Old Melbourne Gaol.
15. Visit Melbourne Museum
There's an abundance of excitement awaiting both kids and adults of every age and stage at Melbourne Museum! The Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery alone is a spectacular adventure, offering enough activities to fill an entire day. From sizable climbable play structures for the older ones to a 'camouflage' dance floor, cubby houses, hidey holes, and educational wonders cleverly tucked into every kid-friendly corner. The baby and toddler section is just as delightful, creating a mesmerizing wonderland. Don't miss out on the IMAX experience, which is truly worth exploring.
The main section of the museum is equally engaging, featuring interactive displays with a focus on history, science, and culture. When it comes to rainy-day ideas for kids in Melbourne—they don't come much better than this!
For more information visit Melbourne Museum.
16. Try Go-Karting
While many of the tracks in Melbourne are outdoors, there are a couple of indoor gems that make go-karting a memorable pick for a rainy day in Melbourne.
Rev up your adrenaline at Auscarts Racing in Port Melbourne with their cutting-edge indoor go-karting track. Experience the thrill of zooming around at top speed, manoeuvring through challenging features like grading, sunken corners, super-long straights, and exhilarating hairpin turns. You can also race into excitement at Karting Madness, proudly claiming the title of Australia's largest indoor go-kart centre. With three kart types suitable for all ages, trained marshals are always on hand to ensure your adrenaline-pumping experience is both exhilarating and safe.
Check out our full list of go-karting venues in Melbourne here.
17. Play a game of Mini Golf at GlowGolf
Experience the zany world of GlowGolf, where mini golf meets a psychedelic disco in a crazy, fun-filled adventure. Loved by kids and a popular choice among mini golfing centres in Melbourne, GlowGolf boasts 18 glow-in-the-dark holes, including 10 illuminated under UV lighting. Conveniently situated in Harbour Town, where families can explore a variety of shops and activities, GlowGolf promises excellent indoor fun for all ages—perfect for a rainy day activity in Melbourne!
Check out our full list of mini golf in Melbourne spots here.
18. See a Movie at Village Cinemas
If you've got little ones who are constantly on the move and the thought of them sitting through an entire movie is just laughable, book your seats at VJunior, stat! VJunior cinemas are designed for ages three to 10 and combine movies and play with an interactive cinema experience that includes a play space!
There are multiple locations across Melbourne, visit the website to find a VJunior cinema near you.
19. Play a Game of Laser Tag
Engage in heart-pounding fun with laser tag; an exhilarating activity suitable for the entire family. Test your skills and strategy on state-of-the-art courses, where you can gear up, wield your blaster, and dive into epic battles.
Whether you're a dedicated gamer or simply seeking a few thrills, Melbourne offers a range of exciting indoor venues where you can experience the fun of laser tag – so let the games begin!
Check out our guide to the best laser tag venues in Melbourne here.
20. Take a Trip to DreamCity
Infusing technology with enjoyment, DreamCity inspires children to discover diverse career paths through play. Unlike adults who may not associate work with fun, DreamCity sparks kids' imaginations about potential jobs through interactive games. Here, they can navigate flight simulators, battle virtual fires, conduct surgeries, and create podcasts. It's a hands-on opportunity for kids to explore budding interests in various fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
To find out more, visit the DreamCity website.
Even More Melbourne Fun
Have you signed up to our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!