5 free or cheap things to do with a Bored Kid on a Sunday in Melbourne
a guest post from a dad in our FiveHive community, billyjoebob.
[ed: you will find the maps for each location all at the bottom of this article.]
5. Museum! $8 for adults, kids are free
The Melbourne Museum is open just about every day of the year, and kids get in for free. There’s acres of open, airconditioned space for running around, and there is usually at least three or four kids activities, either in the Childrens’ Gallery (at the western end of the ground floor) or in other sections of the museum. There’s a playground at the eastern end (past the cafe) that seems to be a little hidden.
4. Train Park! $3 per train ride, under 2 is free
The Diamond Valley Railway has been operating in Eltham Lower Park for over 30 years. At $3 a ticket, it’s an inexpensive and fun time for all! Check their website for more information, the queues can get long, but they put on more trains as volume dictates, so you’re generally not in line for more than 15 minutes or so. The track is over 2km long, and train rides go for about 20 minutes. Going through the tunnels seems to be the big hit for the kids! There are usually pony rides here as well, and often a gelati van. There are playgrounds and barbecues scattered around the park as well as a footy oval.
3. Wombat Bend! Free
With a major caveat being the lack of available shade, Wombat Bend is one of the best adventure playgrounds around. Well fenced and with a variety of play equipment that encourages cooperation between kids, it’s one of the best places I’ve found for letting kids roam free. The Main Yarra Trail goes right past the playground, so you can bring bikes and scooters or go for a walk as well.
2. Hay’s Paddock! Free
Hay’s Paddock has been widely lauded as one of Melbourne’s best parks, and I’m not one to disagree. It’s got a huge range of play equipment, specifically designed for kids of all abilities. The shade is better here, and again there’s easy access to biking and walking paths.
1. Scienceworks! $8 for adults, kids are free
The museum is great, but Scienceworks is better. There’s an entire floor set aside for kids up to about 8, and the range of exhibits that can be pulled, prodded, touched and influenced is awesome. In a strange twist, you’re actually better off going here on weekends, as during the week there’s usually at least 3 or 4 school groups running riot. The tour of the old sewerage pumping station may be a little slow for younger kids, but those with a mechanical bent will love the gigantic old pumps!
How does this list of 5 compare with a list you’d create?
Map for Melbourne Museum ::
View Larger Map
Map for Diamond Valley Railway ::
View Larger Map
Map for Wombat Bend::
Map for Hays Paddock ::
Map for Scienceworks::