Where to Take the Under-5s During a Cold Winter in Melbourne

  • Mums & Bubs

Cold winter in Melbourne - bit of an oxymoron, isn't it? When is a winter in Melbourne not cold?!

Fortunately, Melbourne does winter very well, and that's true for the youngest of us also! The city is packed full of fun things to do and ways to stay out of the bracing breeze when the temperature drops and the sunlight (if there is any sunlight!) hours are short.

The Pauline Gandel Childrens’ Gallery

Tthe Pauline Gandel Childrens’ Gallery at the Melbourne Museum post-makeover is absolutely one of the top spots to take the babies and toddlers, regardless of the weather!

Designed for the under-5s, the specially crafted features that facilitate active and tactile playing offers a space for kids to be physical without trashing your lounge room. 

Kids can dance, crawl, run, explore – and best of all, they can socialise with other kids of a similar age. For colour, creativity and education this is a one-stop-shop, and a great option during the winter months. 

What You Need to Know

  • Where: The Melbourne Museum: 11 Nicholson St, Carlton
  • When:  Open daily from 10am – 5pm.
  • Tickets: Included with museum entry
  • More Info: see the website
Image Credit: Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium Facebook

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

With plenty to see and do - all indoors - the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is a great place to beat the winter chill with under-5s.

Get up close and personal with penguins, gaze at sea snakes, marvel at sharks, seahorses, shellfish, starfish, and all other marine life before taking in a fun and educational presentation(and checking out the shipwrecks)  

A super-fun day out for kids and grownups alike.

What You Need to Know

  • Where: King St & Flinders St, Melbourne
  • When:  Open daily from 9.30am - 6pm 
  • Tickets: Online saver deal: Adults $33.60, children under 3 FREE, over 4 $22.40
  • More Info: see the website

Kid-Friendly Cafes with Indoor Play Space

It's our job to stay informed on all the coolest places to eat with kids, and six of our favourite spots happen to have indoor play spaces so you can enjoy your coffee in peace, quiet - and warmth!

Check out our list here: We love Miss Marmalade in Brunswick (pictured above), Little Henry's in Murrumbeena, The Butcher's Den (formerly Birdie Num Nums) in Carlton North (not an indoor playspace with a roof, but its fully enclosed and heated in winter), the Duchess of Spotswood in Spotswood, Toot Toot Toys and Cafe in Bentleigh East, and Station 93 in Glenroy.

Image Credit: Tumbles Playhouse Facebook

Tumbles Playhouse

Tumbles Playhouse is a gorgeous indoor play centre for kids of all ages, but also has two separate play areas for kids under 3, and for children up to 18 months.

The "construction zone" play area for kids aged 3 and below features huge building blocks, rockers, ball pit, and jumping inflatable, and the gated infant play area is specially designed for crawlers and smaller toddlers to 18 months.

For older kids, they'll have a blast on the giant three story play structure made up of tunnels, slides, burmese bridge, ball pit, flying fox, super-fast double astro slide, and two big inflatables.

The onsite cafe has a health-food twist, and provides hearty meals as well as snacks like popcorn, fairy bread, fruit sticks and kids' hot chocolates.

What You Need to Know

  • Where: 197 Champion Road, Williamstown
  • When:  Mon to Fri: 9:30am to 4:30pm  |  ​​Sat & Sun: 9:30am to 5:00m, closed on public holidays​
  • Price: Infants 9 - 12 months old $3.50, juniors 13 months - 5 years are $8. Adults free.
  • More Info: see the website
Image Credit:Tiny Empire Collective, Museums Victoria

Ground Up

Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together is a brand new permanent exhibition for babies to five-year-olds at Scienceworks, replacing the popular Nitty Gritty Super City.

Ccuriosity is rewarded around each bend with surprising and intriguing sights, sounds and touch sensations.

Future aeronautical engineers can design and construct flying contraptions; little sparks can make patterns and pictures with lights on a giant wall of colourful light-up switches; pint-sized problem solvers get to experiment and construct colourful three-dimensional puzzles; and for all the littlies who love to touch and experiment, there is a giant, colourful car wash to be engineered into action.

In the quieter baby zone, the earliest learners and their carers can lounge within soft forms, gaze at the mirrored reflections and gently turn the wall-spinners to create a cascade of materials within.

Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together immerses young children in an imaginative world of sensory discovery and construction-play that will ignite their lifelong engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths

What You Need to Know

  • Where: Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood
  • When:  Daily 10am - 4.30pm
  • Price: Included with museum entry
  • More Info: see the website

Main image credit: NGV