The Melbourne Museum is one of our kids’ favourite place to go around Melbourne. We live not too far away and so we tend to go there a few times a year.
The place is great for kids – of all ages.
Firstly, it great because kids are free till 16 (exhibits excluded) without a limit of how many kids an adult can take. An adult is (currently) $16 so with three kids it’s good value.
Second, the Melbourne Museum is made for exploring. Almost everything that can be touched is made to be touched. It is interactive and light on of plain old exhibits.
Speaking of the exhibits, they are well laid out an engaging. My 6 year old son loves the dinosaur section while my older daughter really likes the human body section on the upper floor. There are some sections that are a bit more traditional, aimed at older visitors but even they aren’t too bad for kids.
There’s a great outdoor section, too. I’m not sure what it’s about – local plants and environment I think – but it’s a great change to even the cool exhibits inside. It’s something else my eldest son loves.
And last is the kids area – it is almost worth a visit alone. Intended for kids five and under it has an awesome indoor play space that kids (under 10 anyway) just go nuts in. There’s a vague educational bent but its just a lot of fun. I’ve often let my older two kids go play by themselves and then barely see them for hours at a time.
Although it is meant for kids 5 and under, it has its fair share of older kids on non-school days or weekends. There’s a seperate area for really little ones where they can crawl around without risk of being trampled on. Additionally, there’s an outdoor courtyard with other activites kids can do while their parents have a sit and maybe something to eat.
The whole place is fun to explore for all our kids – from our toddler to our 8yo. Crowds aside, it’s made for wandering and exploring at any speed. We usually stay for three or four hours without anyone getting bored.
The Melbourne Museum is located in Carlton, between Rathdowne and Nicholson streets. It is open every day between 10am and 5pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday). For more details see https://museumsvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/whats-on/museum-entry/tickets/.
Kid Friendly: Yes. There are lots of things to touch and interact with and the kids area is the very definition of kid friendly.
Pram/Stroller access: Excellent. The displays are on two levels which are typically easy to navigate around. There are some stairs but lifts are nearby (if a little concealed). There’s no prams in the kids area but a lot of pram parking.
Change Tables: Yes, near the kids area there’s a Parents Room with a great change bench (as well as feeding areas). A couple of the toilets had wall mounted tables as well.
Getting to the Melbourne Museum
The #96 tram (East Brunswick direction from the city, heading along Bourke Street) stops right outside. The #86 tram (also going along Bourke St., heading to RMIT Bundoora from the city) also goes very close – get off the last stop before the turn into Gertrude St. Trams #11 (to West Preston), #12 (to Victoria Gardens) and #109 (to Box Hill) all of which go down Collins Street stop a 10 to 15 minute walk away at St. Vincent’s Plaza. Sadly the closest stops are just outside the free tram zone.
Three buses stop next to the museum on Rathdowne Street – the #402 (Melbourne Uni/East Melbourne), #250 (Queen St/Northland) and #251 (Queen St/La Trobe).
The nearest train station is Parliament in the City Loop. The museum is a 10 minute walk north from the Lonsdale Street entrance. Head north along Nicholson and past the Exhibition Building (the old looking building in the gardens). The #86 and #96 trams stop right by the station entrance if you want to skip the walk.
There’s a car park under the museum but it’s limited. There’s a small amount of street parking which is metered at $2 an hour (with limits of 2 or 4 hours) around. It’s free after 12:30pm Saturday and on Sunday but can be really tough to find a spot.