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Free/Low Cost Activities for Toddlers
City/Inner-Nth areas

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#1 melbnanny

Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

Does anyone have some suggestions for free or low cost activities for toddlers?

I'm still discovering things to do in Melb with Mr 20mths.

I know about Storytime at the libraries, but he's a bit young for that. We go to Collingwood farm a fair bit.

When I lived in BNE I visited the Gallery/Library a lot, where they had a children's area with books, puzzles, dress-ups, role play props, craft materials etc as well as running a play-school like program each day with singing, dancing, reading. There was also a weekly toddler art program at the gallery. Is there anything like that in Melb suitable for toddlers?
I've never had a problem finding things to do with pre-schoolers, but for a toddler I'm stumped!

#2 tothebeach

Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:41 PM

We're in Sydney but we love the Melbourne Museum so much that we are into our second year of Annual membership.  My 2, now 3 year old, can spend hours there.  It is free for children but the annual membership is only $70 for a family.

#3 mum_mum

Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:52 PM

QUOTE (melbnanny @ 05/03/2012, 04:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When I lived in BNE I visited the Gallery/Library a lot, where they had a children's area with books, puzzles, dress-ups, role play props, craft materials etc as well as running a play-school like program each day with singing, dancing, reading. There was also a weekly toddler art program at the gallery. Is there anything like that in Melb suitable for toddlers?

Forgot to mention about NGV Kids Corner and Heide Art Bubs which might be what you seek.

#4 melbnanny

Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:08 PM

Thanks mum_mum and tothebeach!

We tried the Museum earlier this year, but he totally wasn't into it. Will try again and see how he goes, now that he's a bit older.

I have been looking into NGV, but couldn't work out if it was suitable for toddlers - will also check that out. Heide Art Bubs sounds lovely - sadly I don't work Thurs, but will give the details to his mum, I'm sure she'd love it!

#5 lynneyours

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:22 PM

If you have a Health Care card, or other pension, the Melbourne museum is free.  DD's LOVE it - DD2 just turned 2, but we've been going for more than 6 months now.  They have a whole children's section where you can climb on stuff, play lego, look at bugs, colour in, read books, etc.  There is a "volcano" which mine love, they wear 3D glasses and sit in the middle of the volcano.  They also like going to the garden, looking at all the dead stuffed animals, and going upstairs to see "the horse" (Pharlap) and "the house" which is a reproduction of an olden days one, they can go in it.  There are dinosaur bones etc.

Its' not free, but well worth it to buy a zoo membership for you, DS will be free.  You can go to Mebourne Zoo, plus Werribee and Healesville.  We just go fairly often, and do 1 or 2 'loops' and then go to the playground and leave.

Plus of course, going to the good old park! That is free!

Catch the tram/train into town and go to Port Melbourne beach - there is a playground under shade sails on the beach.  Or down to Fed Square, go for a walk along the river, looking at 'stuff'.  


#6 CallMeY

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:32 PM

I have the same question too. Thank you all biggrin.gif .

#7 Majeix

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:35 PM

QUOTE (lynnemine @ 15/03/2012, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you have a Health Care card, or other pension, the Melbourne museum is free.

Scienceworks is also free with a health care card. My two year old had a ball there recently.

I would think again about story time many libraries may offer a toddler time, geared for that age group (and with less expectations about being able to sit/be quiet) at least they do in various parts of country Victoria.

If I lived in Melbourne I would buy a zoo membership if you would use it a lot it would be well worth it and it my number one favourite place to take a toddler.

What about swimming? It's not free but not too expensive and if you were going reguarly a membership might be worth it.

With the Musuem my daughter really enjoys teh stuffed animal room rolleyes.gif . As well as the kids area (especially the outside bit). In the school holidays they often have craft projects or other special things on (often all day) some of which he would be able to participate in.

#8 lunargirl

Posted 16 March 2012 - 08:56 PM

If it's a nice day, the Ian Potter children's garden at the Botanic Gardens is fantastic. Definitely worth a visit with toddlers.

CERES in East Brunswick is a good one - free entry, chooks, cafe, veggie gardens and play area.

#9 melbnanny

Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:02 PM

A belated thanks to everyone! We go to swimming lessons now, so that's fun!
I have a student card, so museum etc is free. We went to Fed Square and to the children's corner at Ian Potter... was quite good! Will head to the Museum next week.

Going to look into toddler time at libraries, there are a few around but they always clash with our plans (naps are still twice a day most days). Readings in Carlton also do story time.

If anyone else has favourite activities, would love to hear original.gif

#10 Bendigedig

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:34 PM

When we first came to Melbourne, dd was 18 months. The hits for her were story at library in Flinders  lane, the wed morning one. It's called stompers.  We also went to the zoo a lot! Its about 80 dollars or so  annual membership, free for the kids. We went at least once a week, as we could for just an hour if that is all she lasted. Also they do have a great playground. We got to lots of play areas. Try and find a play group, they do vary a lot.

Keep an eye on what is happening at fed square, often a lot happening.

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