10 Children’s Activities In Melbourne For April (and School Holidays)

EDIT: If you are looking for activities for school holidays in 2012, please see my current post here. The post below was written for 2009.

April is a busy month this year for Victorians encompassing both school holidays and Easter. As such there is a fantastic range of activities for children and families to do in Melbourne. Here are 10 of what I consider to be the best:

1. ACMI – Setting the stage: creating a world for your character.

The children and I love these animation sessions at ACMI. We have made our own animations before and this session differs to ones that we have previously, as the kids can take on the role of production designer. Two more reasons to do take the kids to the animation sessions:

  • They are free!
  • No bookings required. They are drop in sessions from 12 – 4pm.

Sessions run from Mon 6 April – Thur 9 April 2009 and Tue 14 April – Fri 17 April 2009.

2. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The Comedy Festival runs from 1 – 26 April and is not only for adults. They have a number of family shows, stand out picks for me are:

3. Rock Climbing.

Hardrock has two rock climbing locations in Melbourne, Nunawading and the CBD. This is family activity is active, loads of fun and although not cheap it is great for a special treat. Family passes which include two adults and two children are $85.

4. Check Out! – Live Theatre Performance

Polyglot Puppets are touring regional and metropolitan Victoria with Check Out this April. Check the website for dates and towns.

Check Out! is a wickedly funny work of theatre about the consumer culture bonanza. Set in a supermarket, Check Out! follows the remarkable adventures of tantrum-throwing Baby who is determined to get what she wants. Filled with puppetry at its most inventive and cheeky, Baby soon meets shelf products which come to life, and Speedy who helps her discover that you need more than just stuff to see you through.

5. National Gallery of Victoria – Family Trails and Activities

NGV Australia has Art Cart every Sunday from 12- 3pm, but if you can’t make that time, their NGV website had PDF documents for family trails that you can download before your go and use at any time. The documents provide a selection of free self-guided trails (they are also freely available from the Information Desk) and are designed to guide families around aspects of the NGV Collection and select exhibition.

You can find trails for the International and National Gallery. The trails have quizzes for he children, funny facts, spaces to write and draw.

6. Melbourne Aquarium – Playdays

Melbourne Aquarium is hosting Playgroup Playdays from 21 April 2009.

Each Playday will be three hours of non-stop marine fun from 10am until 1pm! Activities include:

-Dress Ups
-Ink Stamps/Crayon Drawing
-Water and sand tubs
-Story corner with marine/ocean books
-Fish on a stick games
-Magnetic board games

Children aged 0-5 years receive free entry into the Playday event. Accompanying adults receive a 10% discount on entry into the aquarium ($28.35). Please note that there is no discount on concession or family tickets and bookings are essential!

To book phone 03 9923 9980 or email playgroupday@melbourneaquarium.com.au

7. Collingwood Harvest Festival

For the past eight years, located on the Collingwood Housing Estate at Hoddle Street, the Collingwood Harvest Festival has been celebrated. The event celebrates the harvest of vegetables grown in the Community Gardens on the estate. Activities include a pet parade, sporting activities, a fire bus, face painting, pony rides, a fashion parade and instrument making. The festival provides an opportunity for the different cultures that live together on and around the estate to share their cultural traditions through performances arts and food.

8. Queen Victoria Market – Free School Holiday Activities

On Tuesday 7 and 14 April, the Queen Victoria Market has free activities for the kids, ranging from Easter Egg Hunts, Jumping Castle, Juggling and other activities.

9. Collingwood Children’s Farm – Chook Day

A great space for city kids to explore. On Family Days there are free pony rides, hay rides, a BBQ and activities matching the monthly theme. The Family Day for April is on Sunday April 5 and the theme is Chooks!

10. The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show – Sesame Street Children’s Garden

The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is on from 1 April to 5 April, at the Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding south Carlton Gardens in Carlton. Children 5 and under are free and adults are $20. The Sesame Street Children’s Garden has lots of activities for children including:

  • Appearances from Sesame Street’s Elmo, between 11am – 2pm every day.
  • Face painting
  • Schools’ Garden Awards Pot-a-Plant sessions
  • Animal farm where kids can pat the animals
  • Interactive kid’s entertainment
  • Drawing
  • World of bubbles
  • Educational and fun gardening tips for the kids