10 Children’s Activities In Melbourne For May

Out of the ten children’s activities listed last month, we only managed to fit in one, which was rock climbing at Hard Rock. We actually took our two eldest sons and four friends for our second son’s 8th birthday. They had a fantastic time and it really was great value for money as you could stay as long as the kids could keep climbing! We all came back home for dinner and the kids had a terrific appetite after all their exercise.

Here are ten children’s activities in Melbourne for the month of May, that I think would be fun!

1. Reconciliation Week Activities

Reconciliation Week is from May 27 until June 3. Check out Reconciliation Victoria for a full list of events, but the highlight for the kids is Children’s Cheering Carpet – Saltbush (29th – 30th).

The brilliant Children’s Cheering Carpet – Saltbush combines live music, mesmerising projection and dancing to create a magical landscape. Alongside international and Indigenous Australian performers, children will explore the interactive ‘cheering carpet’ as a wonderful landscape unfolds around them.

Time: Friday, 6.30pm to 7.30pm; Saturday, 12.30pm to 1.30pm and 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Location: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr
Contact: Art Play
Cost: $10 per person; bookings essential; families welcome

2. Be Good To Your Mama – Mother’s Day Concert

The Mudcakes stir up an organic stew of original songs, and create a new taste in kids music that is food ears young and old.

When: Sunday, May 10 – 11.00am
Where: Union Hotel, 109 Union St, Brunswick.
What: Come and celebrate Mums and family music with the Mudcakes. Doors open 10.30am. A 45 minute show in this clean and family friendly hotel with a playground and park just behind and a lovely courtyard out back. Champagne breakfast and bar available… sorry it’s not included in door price.
Cost: Mums and babes under 12m FREE! Kids $10 Adults $5. Book tickets through The Mudcakes website.

3. Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne Mothers’ Day ~ FREE entry for Mums!

Another Mother’s Day Activity for the family. See the RBG website for further details, but here are the essential details:
When: Sunday 10 May 9.00am – 5.00pm. Drop in/out: 11.00 – 12.30pm
Where: Australian Garden
Cost: Mums with at least one of their children will enter the Australian Garden FREE on Mothers’ Day only. Drop in/out: $3.20 per child per activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Bookings & enquiries: (03) 5990 2245 Bookings not required.


ring your Mum to the Australian Garden on Mothers’ Day and you’ll get Mum in for FREE! The Boonerwurrung Café will be creating delicious treats to thank Mums for all their hard work.

Kids – drop in to our activity station to create a beautiful present for Mum. Create a candle that smells of the Australian bush using bees wax, eucalypt leaves and gum nuts.

4. Art Gallery Experience

Both the National Gallery Of Victoria (NGV) International and Australia have free children’s activities on the week ends

NGV National runs Art Cart on Sundays. During May it is connected to the John Brack’s exhibition. “A great way to be introduced to John Brack’s art and his world. Create a mixed media art work inspired by his ideas and style. Venue Foyer, Level 3.

NGV International has Art Sparks running on Saturdays also from 12 – 3pm. During may the theme Dressed to Rule:
Imperial Robes of China.   Kids can make art that relates to the Dressed to Rule exhibition.

5. A Series Of Firsts – ACMI

This is definitely one for older children. I would really like to see these free documentaries running at ACMI.

Don’t miss this moving series of eight biographical documentaries, capturing the stories of some of Victoria’ most prominent women, produced by ACMI in partnership with the Office of Women’s Policy, Department of Planning and Community Development.

A Series of Firsts celebrates the groundbreaking careers of The Hon. Joan Kirner, The Hon. Gracia Baylor, Dur-e Dara, Dr Isabel Joy Bear, Voula Messimeri-Kianidis, Leckie Ord, Judy Madigan MP and Jeanette Powell MP.

Date: Sun 10 May 2009
Location: ACMI, Studio 1
Audience: General
Cost: Free
Drop in to Studio 1 anytime between 10am & 5pm. The films will be screening on a continuous loop.

6. Buddha’s Day – Artplay

On Sunday 17 May, Artplay is celebrating Buddha’s Day. There are three separate events:

  • Tai Chi for the whole family
    Balance your mind, body and spirit, circulate your Chi, and learn basic movements in this special family Tai Chi session with senior instructor, Mark Mayes.
    Time: 11am to 11.30am
    Age: 5 years and above (all children must be accompanied by an adult)
    Cost: $5 per person
    Bookings essential and families welcome
  • Share Tea with Me – Ch’an Tea Ceremony for Children
    A two part workshop introducing the rituals and symbolism of the Ch’an Tea Ceremony demonstrated by children from the Buddha’s Light Youth Group. Paint your own take-home tea cups and invite parents to share tea as you perform your own tea ceremony and learn about Buddhist storytelling and symbolism.
    Time: noon to 4pm, with a break from 1.30pm to 3pm
    Age: 5 years and above (all children must be accompanied by an adult)
    Cost: $20 per child (adults FREE!)
    Bookings essential and families welcome.
  • Ikebana for kids
    Ikebana or “the way of flowers’ is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, originating from the tradition of offering flowers to Buddha. Learn the basics from the Ikebana International Chapter 29 Inc in this fun, original workshop.
    Time: 2pm to 2.45pm
    Age: 5 years and above
    Cost: $15 per child (adults FREE)
    Bookings essential and families welcome.

7. Sparky Stories: Digital Workshop

Held at the State Library of Victoria, this is a free session for kids aged 6 to 12

Inspired by illustrated books from the Library’s collection, each child will create a digital picture-book, complete with illustrations and their own narration.
Time: Sun 10 & 24 May, 10am–12noon
Venue: Experimedia
Bookings: Phone 03 8664 7099, email bookings@slv.vic.gov.au or book online for 10 May or 24 May.

8. Scienceworks

Scienceworks has a number of interesting exhibitions at the moment – Visual Illusions, Imagination Factory and Mathamazing which starts on May 2. They also have a free activity (with entry) for kids on weekends, until 14 Jun from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM.

Ball-istic Balloons – Make your own colourful balloon ball to take home and practice fun tricks, while improving your coordination and focus.

Activity takes around 10 minutes, join in any time.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Suitable for ages 5 and up.

9. Kids’ Authors Unite!

The Readings Bookstores have some fantastic in store events for children and adults. This session is at their Port Melbourne store on Sunday 24 May 2009 at 11:00am.

Children’s authors will read and entertain:

  • Juliet Williams & Elizabeth Botté will talk about their picture book The Giggle Gum Tree, about sisters, Lily and Amanda, and their favourite tree, the Giggle Gum.
  • Goldie Alexander & Michelle Gaudion will discuss Lame Duck Protest, a picture book that deals with issues of conservation and wildlife preservation in a touching way.
  • David Reiter will talk about his novel Global Cooling, the second in a series of environmentally conscious but enjoyable novels for kids who want to learn about how to save the Earth.
  • Di Bates & Marjory Gardner will discuss their non-fiction book, Aussie Kid Heroes, which tells the remarkable true stories of some of Australia’s youngest heroes, in Guinness World Records style.

Free, but please book on 9681 9255 or by email.

10. Mill And Mia Craft Sessions

Mill and Mia is a gorgeous children’s clothing store in Auburn Road, Hawthorn. However they are not just into clothing but aim “to deliver a beautiful, creative haven for children (young and old) ….to shop, create and play.”

To this end they have two different style of session at their store:

To encourage and inspire children in the areas of textile design, sewing, jewellery, puppet making and graphic design, craft sessions run by various prominent Melbourne designers, including those behind the brand, are also held on the first Saturday of every month, for children aged 5 – 10 years. For $25, from 4 – 5pm, children will be shown how to create their own artistic masterpiece, in a colourful contemporary and vibrant environment. (Bookings essential).

For pre-school children, storytime will be held each Friday morning from 9.30 – 10.15am, offering children the chance to relax and imagine with books, play in the store’s unique play tunnels, engage in a simple craft activity, and with their parents and carers, sample the delicious delights of local organic food store / café – Sprout.