Melbourne's Best-Value Family Days Out
Having kids can be extraordinarily expensive, as we know, and it can seem like trying to keep everyone entertained an occupied comes with a haemorrhaging wallet.
Thankfully, Melbourne has got us covered when it comes to providing spaces for the whole family that are cheap or even free, which means having fun across the city can be kind on our budgets too.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
They are the obvious choice when it comes to cheap or free (kids under 16 are free, as are concession card holders and members) things to do with kids, but with good reason. You can never see the whole museum in just one trip, which means there's plenty to keep everyone occupied across all ages.
2. The Art Gallery/Playground Combo
Birrarung Marr runs behind Federation Square along the banks of the Yarra, and is home to a fun, bright, and funky playground for kids within walking distance of the National Gallery of Victoria, The Ian Potter Centre, ArtPlay, and the Birrarung Wilam installation, which showcases Victoria's indigenous culture through a public artwork walkway.
3. State Library of Victoria
Yes books, but also so much more! Have a picnic on the grassy area at the Library's front steps, Check out the exhibitions and displays inside, find your family history, see their amazing artworks and Victorian-themed objects (even Ned Kelly's armour!) see the Domed Reading Room for yourself, have a drink and a snack at the onsite cafe, and spend time in the interactive and kid-friendly Play Pod, replete with games, dress-ups, story time and more.
4. Visit the Markets
Wander the best of Melbourne at markets all across the city. You can spend minimal cash and still come away with a proper lunch, entertainment, excellent coffee and in some cases, children's events and workshops.
We love Queen Victoria Market, the South Melbourne Markets, Preston Market, Fitzroy Markets, Coburg Farmer's Markets, the produce markets at Collingwood Children's Farm on the second Saturday of every month, and the trash-and-treasure style Camberwell Markets.
5 The Collingwood Children's Farm/Lentil as Anything Combo
Spend the morning getting your fill of fluffy farm animals, spotting ducks and chickens, patting guinea pigs, milking cows, riding horses, and generally having a rural good time at the Collingwood Children's Farm (two adults and up to four children $20, $10 concession) before heading over to the Abbotsford Convent to sample the delicious buffet on offer at social justice enterprise Lentil As Anything, where you pay what you feel for your meal.
For more cheap and free fun, sign up to our ellaslist newsletter, where we'll email you the best things to do in your area with your family. Be the first to find out when rates are discounted, or attractions around Melbourne have an open day! You won't know what you did without it.
Main Image credit: Melbourne Museum Facebook