Travel can take it out of you – and your wallet, too – especially when you’re travelling with the kids. So we’ve put together some great ideas for your family visit to Melbourne, and they’re all for free. Spend money on the things you love instead, and enjoy the best that Melbourne has to offer without the credit card fatigue.
Looking for something fun to do in Melbourne with your family? Check out these great free activities! From exploring the city's gardens and parks to visiting its iconic landmarks, there's something for everyone. Here are our top picks for free things to do in Melbourne with the family. So get out and explore Melbourne – it's waiting for you!
Explore Melbourne’s Best Family-Friendly Attractions
There’s always something going on in Melbourne for families! Whether you’re looking for free events or something more planned out, we have you covered. Here are some of our favourite free family activities in Melbourne for the entire family. And don’t worry, we’re not just talking about one-off events that can keep your wallet looking healthy – Melbourne has a bevy of free activities to try all year round.
Nature Escapes: Free Parks and Gardens for Family Fun
Melbourne is truly a haven for families, offering an array of parks and gardens where you can dive into nature and create unforgettable moments together. Here, I've rounded up some fantastic free parks and gardens that are guaranteed to paint a smile on every family member's face:
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
When it comes to free things to do in Melbourne with family, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is at the top of our list. Right near the heart of the city, these exquisite and expansive gardens are masterpieces of plant diversity, serene lakes, and charming landscapes.
Watch the kids run across sweeping lawns and venture into fairyland-like grottos. Discover unknown plant types and marvel at the astonishing views together. Whether you're up for a day of on-foot adventure or a laid-back picnic, this garden sets the scene for the perfect family day.
Tucked away in East Melbourne, the Fitzroy Gardens is like a hidden treasure trove of family fun. Imagine hopping aboard a historic miniature steam train, exploring Cook's Cottage, or watching the kids have a blast in the Tudor Village playground. It's a hub of excitement waiting to be discovered.
Right by the Queen Victoria Market, Flagstaff Gardens beckons as the ultimate family hangout. There's something magical about its expansive green lawns, play areas, and BBQ spots that make it tailor-made for picnics and outdoor games. Gather your loved ones and make memories here.
If you venture to North Fitzroy, you'll stumble upon the sprawling Edinburgh Gardens. Sports facilities, open spaces as far as the eye can see, and inviting playgrounds set the stage for a delightful day of free family activities in Melbourne. Whether you're into a friendly game of cricket, a serene grassy picnic, or simply soaking in the tranquility, this is the place to be.
Picnic Perfection: Top Spots for Free Family Gatherings
When it's all about soaking up the good times with your loved ones over a delightful picnic, Melbourne's got you covered with some seriously amazing spots. Check out these prime picks for a family get-together that's just right:
Just a hop, skip, and jump south of the city, Albert Park is a real gem. Think stunning lake, BBQ setups ready to roll, and more shaded picnic spots than you can shake a stick at. Open fields? You bet, perfect for a game of frisbee or whatever floats your outdoor fun boat. Plus, those city skyline views? Totally camera-worthy.
Yarra Bend Park
This one's all about embracing the river vibes. Yarra Bend Park lines the Yarra River and offers up massive picnic zones, cool biking trails, and paths for strolling. Imagine settling down for a picnic beneath the giant eucalyptus trees - that's what we call Mother Nature's A-game.
St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Time to escape the city buzz for a slice of seaside tranquility at St Kilda Botanical Gardens. It's like a haven for picnicking families, one of the ultimate free family events in Melbourne. Gorgeous gardens to wander through? Check. Peaceful ponds to admire? Check. And hey, the little ones get a playground to conquer while you soak in the serenity and indulge in that delicious picnic-packed glass of wine.
Ready for a little adventure beyond the city limits? Werribee Park is where it's at. This place is like a postcard come to life, with sprawling green spaces, polished gardens, and even a grand old mansion. Set up your picnic scene and let the beauty of it all wash over you.
Free Family Activities in Melbourne: Unmissable Experiences
Melbourne is a treasure trove of unmissable experiences and iconic attractions that are perfect for the whole family. Plus, they’re completely free! Be sure to add these must-see city sights to your itinerary during your Melbourne family trip:
- See the Melbourne Town Hall from the inside with their free tours from Monday to Friday every week.
- Head out on a free walking tour of Melbourne every day from 11am-1.30pm and take in all the sights.
- Look for the free city loop tram, which circles the CBD in a vintage carriage complete with commentary.
- On Sundays, head down to the water at Docklands for the weekly Sunday market.
- Head to NGV International, as well as NGV Australia (behind Fed Square) to check out their extensive free collections.
- See Ned Kelly’s original armour at the State Library of Victoria – and don’t forget to take a peek at the historic reading room.
- If your feet need a rest, take a guided bus tour through the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Explorer is an open-air minibus tour that the whole family can enjoy. While adults and concessions require paid tickets at $15 and $12 respectively, children ride for free during the school holidays!
Tips for a Memorable Day of Free Things To Do in Melbourne
To ensure a memorable day filled with free family activities in Melbourne, here are some helpful tips:
- Plan ahead: Research the free activities and events happening in Melbourne during your visit. Check websites, social media, and local event calendars to find out about upcoming family-friendly events and attractions.
- Pack essentials: Bring along snacks, water, sunscreen, hats, and comfortable shoes for everyone in the family. Be prepared for changing weather conditions by carrying jackets or umbrellas.
- Make an itinerary: Create a rough itinerary based on the activities and locations you plan to visit. This will help you make the most of your day and ensure you don't miss out on any must-see attractions.
- Use public transport: Take advantage of Melbourne's efficient public transport system. It will save you the hassle of parking and navigating through busy city streets. Trams are a great way to explore the city and its surrounding areas. Hot tip: Look for the free Melbourne City Circle Tram, which circles the CBD in a vintage carriage complete with fascinating commentary.
- Embrace spontaneity: While it's good to have a plan, allow for some spontaneous moments. Melbourne is known for its street performers, pop-up events, and vibrant atmosphere. Stay open to unexpected experiences that may add extra fun and excitement to your day.
Remember, a memorable day of free family events in Melbourne is not about how much you spend but about the quality time spent together and the wonderful memories you create. Enjoy exploring all that this vibrant city has to offer and embrace the joy of family bonding in the midst of Melbourne's attractions and natural beauty.
Escape with Crowne Plaza!
Crowne Plaza Melbourne is the perfect place for a family getaway. Our spacious rooms and suites are designed with your comfort in mind, and our on-site amenities are sure to please everyone in your group. Plus, when you book direct with us, you’ll enjoy exclusive savings that can add up to hundreds of dollars off your stay. So why not escape with your loved ones this holiday season? Book now and experience all that Crowne Plaza Melbourne has to offer!