Melbourne for Families: By Melburnians!

Melbourne is a fantastic city to bring the family to on holiday. The wide open spaces that can be found in the city, with lush parks and exciting playgrounds, are just perfect for keeping the kids entertained. Add to that the fact that Melbourne boasts an internationally acclaimed zoo, a range of different museums with interactive displays and a wide variety of family restaurants, and everything is there for a fantastic family holiday. Two of the staff at HomeAway give you some fantastic tips here, for bringing the family to Melbourne.

  1. Djad from Human Resources

    Djad recommends the Melbourne Aquarium for the kids

    Why do you love living in Melbourne?

    Great question! I like Melbourne because it’s very lifestyle friendly in the sense that there are a good mix of places to go out – lots of cool bars, pubs and cafés - but also lots to do in terms of health and fitness. For example, I live near Princes Park and like to go running. There are lots of such places in Melbourne to keep fit, including the Botanical Gardens which has a great track for running. I also think Melbourne is very friendly and laid back for a big city of circa 5 million people. Melbourne also has good public transport and I would also say plenty of history due to the city's origins.


    How would you describe Melbourne to someone who has never visited?

    I would say that Melbourne is very welcoming and more laid back than Sydney. I think it’s very cosmopolitan and this is evident in the culture. For example, there are restaurants serving food from all over the world. Where I live there are restaurants serving Lebanese, Italian, Egyptian, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Chinese, Greek etc. I also think that the description of Melbourne having four seasons in one day is very true, though it also does have the seasons throughout the year which I like. I would also say it is a very safe city.


    What is your ideal day out in Melbourne?

    I like to go for a run, so I would say running around one of the parks, usually Princes Park then maybe heading to the Museum or Aquarium with my daughter, then heading out for lunch somewhere nice such as Spice Temple. You can tell I'm not a huge fan of watching sports but I’m guessing that will feature heavily in your responses!


    Where is a great place to take kids in Melbourne?

    There are so many! Werribee Open Range ZooSovereign Hill (outside Melbourne but not far), the Aquarium, various parks, Scienceworks – they’re all fantastic options. Also the Melbourne Zoo - I think the Zoo is a great place to expand a child's knowledge of all the types of animals around the world. You can also purchase a membership to the Zoo allowing you multiple entries throughout the year and also twilight events such as concerts etc. We go to the Zoo a lot! I also think the Museum is great because it is interactive and also has a cafe and good facilities to ensure a happy day out.


    Can you recommend a great family restaurant in Melbourne?

    I can recommend a couple! I would say Westlake Yum Cha on Little Bourke Street in Chinatown, for their dumplings and child friendly service. I would also recommend Tiba's Restaurant, next to the Mediterranean supermarket on Sydney Road for its mixed grilles - great Middle Eastern food that is excellent value for money in a child friendly environment.

  2. Sally from Marketing

    Sally recommends taking the kids to the Melbourne beaches

    Why do you love living in Melbourne?

    I love the range of events that are on offer in Melbourne and I love how everybody gets involved. Places like the MCG, where you get 80,000 people going to an AFL match – it’s just great. Everyone gets really excited and I think everyone in Melbourne takes great pride in what the city has to offer. The public really gets involved in big events and it’s very exciting.


    How would you describe Melbourne to someone who has never visited?

    It’s a really vibrant mix – a really great mix of cultures is in Melbourne, which you can see from the different food and the different areas that you can visit. It’s quite an arty scene; it’s not a really polished city I don’t think, but it’s got soul – it’s cool. It’s easy to get around and there are lots of great parks and open spaces that are easy to access. Melbourne has beautiful beaches too – it’s just a really fun, vibrant, happening city.


    What is your ideal day out in Melbourne?

    If I’m heading out with my children, there is such a great selection of parks to visit. I would say that the perfect day would be to head down to one of the local coffee shops and grab some breakfast – we’re really spoilt for choice in Melbourne with the amount of great cafés. Then we would probably hop on a tram and go one of our favourite parks – the Rocket Park in Hawthorn. After spending the morning there, head home for some lunch and then catch up with some friends for a nice early evening dinner.


    If I’m having a day to myself without children, I would start the day with a nice long run in the Yarra Bend Park – it has the best running trails ever! I would then go for a coffee with the papers and then catch a tram into the city. Do some shopping along Bourke Street, maybe pop into Myer or David Jones – I’d have to visit the new H&M too. I’d probably spoil myself with a nice massage, and then in the evening head out for some cocktails and dancing in Fitzroy.


    What is a great thing to do with the kids in Melbourne?

    On a sunny day, the Collingwood Children’s Farm is always a winner. It’s really nice to just walk around; you can feed the animals and pat them as well. They’ve got decent food there too. On a rainy day, you can’t beat the Melbourne Museum – they’ve got a huge natural history section, which we love to go and explore to check out the dinosaur. They’ve also got a really good little kiddy area with activities for younger children and a really good play area outside. Then you could head to Lygon Street for a nice bowl of pasta!


    Why is Melbourne a great place for families to visit?

    There’s just so much to do! So many different things to do and places to see – you can have a really fun day at the beach or you can have a great day exploring the city. If you’re in the city there are loads of really good museums and activities for kids. It’s very easy to get around on the trams, the kids love them. People are also really friendly around Melbourne and always open to making friends.

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