How fabulous is spring? Today I am super excited to have a spring focused post on the blog thanks to Joyce from TOT: HOT OR NOT. Joyce’s site is always my go to when I am looking for places to take the kids or look for kid friendly cafes – it definitely caters for more than tots! If you live in Melbourne make sure you sign up to her weekly newsletter so you can have a weekly list of fun things to do pop into your inbox.
Melbourne is Australia’s festival city and the number of festivals that the city hosts really starts to ramp up for Spring! In this post I have compiled a list of my top 18 Spring festivals in Melbourne suitable for families so that you can start planning your family fun! Even better many of them are free or low cost but some may require booking in advance so be sure to check.
1. Melbourne Fringe Festival
Melbourne Fringe Festival is one of Australia’s largest independent arts festivals and this year their families program is huge!
Click here for 21 family-friendly picks for Melbourne Fringe 2018, with shows ranging from theatre, comedy, puppetry, dance and visual arts.
Melbourne Fringe Festival, various locations
Dates: Thu 13 Sep to Sun 30 Sep
2. Sustainable September
Sustainable September, Corner Cecil Street and Coventry Street, South Melbourne
Dates: Fri 15 Sep – Sun 30 Sep
3. Tesselaar Tulip Festival
Be amazed by Tesselaar Tulip Festival and the beauty of a million tulips across 25 acres of farmland, all set in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. There is also live entertainment, market stalls and tempting foods on offer every day.
Tesselaar Tulip Festival, 357 Monbulk Road Silvan
Dates: Sat 15 Sep – Sun 14 Oct
4. Sunshine Lantern Festival
Every year Sunshine hosts Victoria’s largest lantern festival – it’s 10 hours of non-stop fun!
At the Sunshine Lantern Festival you’ll find entertainment, rides, street performers, music, food of many nations, magical Lion and Dragon Dancing and of course a Lantern Parade to celebrate the full moon and spectacular fireworks.
Sunshine Lantern Festival, Hampshire Rd, Sunshine
Date: Sat 23 Sep
5. Royal Melbourne Show
The Royal Melbourne Show is an annual tradition that brings the country to the city. Spend a fun day filled with rides, entertainment, food, games and a showbag or three.
Royal Melbourne Show, Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington
Dates: Sat 22 Sep- Wed 4 Oct
6. Moon Lantern Festival
Celebrate the second-biggest Chinese/South-East Asian festival in the calendar (after Lunar New Year) at various Moon Lantern Festival events around Melbourne.
For instance In Box Hill the Melbourne Moon Festival will host 60 market stalls showcasing various cuisines, arts and crafts, cultural activities, mooncakes, lanterns and more!
Mid Autumn Moon Lantern Festival, Chinatown Square cnr Little Bourke and Cohen Place
Date: Sat 22 Sep
Melbourne Moon Festival, Main St and Market St Mall, Box Hill
Date: Sat 22 Sep
Full Moon Festival, Dandenong Market, Corner Clow and Cleeland Streets, Dandenong
Date: Sun 23 Sep
Children’s Lantern Festival, Nicholson St Mall, Footscray
Date: Sat 6 Oct
7. Doveton Show
A low cost alternative to the Royal Melbourne Show is the Doveton Show held at Myuna Farm. It’s only held on one day and attracts up to 27k people, so be sure to check the timetable so you can plan ahead.
Date: Sun 23 Sep
8. Footy Festival
The annual Footy Festival outside the MCG is a fun way to get into the spirit of the AFL Grand Final. Best of all it’s all free!
The large site features live broadcasts, player appearances, kids activities, food and music.
Footy Festival, Yarra Park outside Gate 3 of Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 120 Brunton Avenue Jolimont
Dates: Wed 26 Sep to Sat 29 Sep
9. Blossom Festival
Wander through rows upon rows of stunning cherry trees in full bloom or sit back, relax and listen to live local music. Make a day of it with food trucks, cherry beverages and workshops.
Dates: Wed 26 Sep – Tue 2 Oct
10. Melbourne international Arts Festival
Melbourne’s annual international arts festival is running from 3-21 October with a few family-friendly offerings, such as Lexicon from the UK’s leading large-scale contemporary circus company, an adaptation of Gabrielle Wang’s children’s book A Ghost in my Suitcase and the mysterious 1000 Doors.
Melbourne International Arts Festival, various locations
Dates: Wed 3 Oct – Sun 21 Oct
11. Spring Fling
Errol Street comes alive with pop up markets, street food, beer gardens, entertainment, the always adorable Spring Fling Dog Show and plenty of exciting offerings from local businesses.
Spring Fling, Corner Errol Street and Victoria St, North Melbourne
Date: Sun 21 Oct
12. Whitehorse Spring Festival
The Whitehorse Spring Festival is a free, fun-filled day that celebrates all that’s great about Whitehorse. Enjoy rides, activities, live music, face painting, interactive workshops, roving performers and the opportunity to engage with the many community groups participating on the day!
Whitehorse Spring Festival 379-397 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading
Date: Sun 21 Oct
13. Main Street Festival
The Main Street Festival showcases the Mornington Peninsula with wine, food, music, art, entertainment, shopping, and fun. A number of stages will incorporate local peninsula based bands, as well as a community stage, roving artists, and musicians.
Main Street Festival, Main Street, Mornington
Date: Sun 21 Oct
14. Children’s Week
Children’s Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. This year there are celebrations all across Melbourne from Friday 19 October to Sunday 28 October.
One of the biggest annual events is Wyndham City Council’s Children’s Week Picnic at Werribee Mansion. This FREE community event is open and accessible to all and is a fun family friendly day out full of entertainment, interactive arts experiences, sporting activities, music, dancing and good times!
Children’s Week Picnic, Werribee Park Mansion, K Road, Werribee
Date: Sun 28 Oct
15. Oakleigh Glendi
A huge Greek festival celebrating Greek music, food and culture. The free two day event attracts 20,000 people and celebrates the local community’s rich Hellenic culture.
Oakleigh Glendi, Warrawee Park, Oakleigh
Dates: Sat 3 Nov – Sun 4 Nov
16. Maroondah Festival
Maroondah Festival is the largest free community event operating in Melbourne’s East, attracting crowds of over 25,000. There are hundreds of free and low cost activities on offer for people of all ages.
Maroondah Festival, Croydon Park, Croydon
Date: Sun 11 Nov
17. Polish Festival
The Polish Festival at Federation Square is a celebration of Polish culture in Melbourne. It is Australia’s largest annual Polish not-for-profit community event and you’ll find Polish entertainment, hospitality and cuisine in one place on the one day.
Polish Festival, Federation Square Melbourne
Date: Sun 18 Nov
18. Bacchus Marsh Strawberries and Cherries Weekend
Every year at the start of the strawberry and cherry season Bacchus Marsh hold a town-wide festival in November- the Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Weekend.
Sample succulent fruits, pick your own locally grown produce and enjoy a wide range of festive activities including entertainment, fireworks and more.
Dates: Fri 18 Nov, Sat 19 Nov and Sun 20 Nov
Joyce helps families have more fun together! Her blog TOT: HOT OR NOT reviews things to do and places to go with kids in Melbourne, Regional Victoria and beyond. Sign up to her weekly newsletter here and follow her family’s adventures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.