Intelligent, Informed, Independent and (occasionally) Irreverent

Opera in the Bowl
Opera Australia
Free
Government House
Open Day
White Hat
Open Day
Once a month
Yarraville Festival
Annual community event
White Hat
Moonee Valley Festival
May
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The White Hat Guide to

Activities for Families and Children in Melbourne

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Child-friendly

Melbourne

Activities for Families and Children in Melbourne

Activities for Families and Children

Melbourne


The Melbourne Regatta and Blessing of the Fleet

Melbourne is one of the few cities that can pin-point the time, date and the people who first founded it. The Melbourne Regatta was first held on 30 August 1838, making it the first in Australia. In 2016 the Melbourne Passenger Boating Association will deliver a magnificent waterside spectacle to celebrate the connection between Melbourne and the sea.

Born out of a river settlement, developed through trade and immigration, stabilised by gold and farming, the city owes much to the ships who made that connection. The rivers and the great bay have been bountiful, providing food, leisure, relaxation and a highway to the rest of the world. Discover too, the land before it became Melbourne. Learn about the people and the natural landscape that existed long before, and why this made Melbourne a perfect place to build a village.

See a spectacle of cruising boats, dressed especially for the occasion. Hop aboard free ferry cruises around Victoria Harbour, be part of a Welcome to Country ceremony, and hear Father Bob bless the fleet.

You can also enjoy live entertainment with Normie Rowe, along with reggae, calypso, and blues bands. Plus there'll be walking tours, story-telling, roving entertainers, a mass choir and the Sunday market with many food stalls and local cafes. Everyone is invited to join in the fun and excitement and celebrate Melbourne's maritime and indigenous history.



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Mazda Opera in The Bowl

Opera in The Bowl

It’s a Saturday evening in summer. You’re sitting in a park with family and friends, and a fabulous picnic dinner. The picture is complete when the glorious live music from Opera Australia begins.

Hear our brightest stars, under the stars, sing opera's most famous arias with the magnificent backing of Orchestra Victoria.

Dress up — or not — it's your night to enjoy the power of the human voice in the kind of communal, cultural celebration Melbourne loves best.



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Government House Open Day

As part of Australia Day, citizens and visitors are invited to visit Government House, inspect many rooms not normally open to the public and enjoy a picnic on the lawns. Music and entertainment throughout the day.
 

Our rating - 5 Hats

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Public Art

There is much public art to be seen on the streets at any time of day as well as inside many public buildings. More information on public art in Melbourne. In addition, public bodies such as the City of Melbourne often sponsor temporary artworks and installations in laneways and other public spaces.



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Fiesta Malaysia

Fiesta Malaysia is a day of celebration attracting over 20,000 people. It aims to  introduce the rich Malaysian history, people, language and culture to those who attend and to enhance the bilateral and multilateral relationship between Malaysia and Australia. In addition it aims to foster, support and promote business and investment opportunities between Malaysia and Australia To introduce Malaysia as a land of diverse races, religions, festivities and cultural heritage. More information at Fiesta Malaysia.



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Moomba Fireworks

The annual Moomba Fireworks running over three nights.



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Darebin Community and Kites Festival

White Hat attended and enjoyed this festival over a number of years and watched it grow into the highly popular community event it has now become. Music, free activities and kite flying and food from around the world with plenty of free activities. Bring your own kite or buy one there or simply watch the amazing array of kites flying. This year, the festival has been incorporated into True North - Reservoir Arts Festival - and moved to Edwardes Lake Park.



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Moonee Valley Festival - Illuminate the River

The Moonee Valley Festival comes to an end in great style with a full day of food, art and entertainment in a grand cultural celebration. There will be live music, roving performances and pop-up activities for all ages!

Headline performances for the Illuminate the River event include the X Factor’s Isaiah Firebrace, Melbourne-based five-piece Dinner Suit Boogie, soul powerhouse Kattimoni, internationally renowned circus company Gravity & Other MythsTrucked Up aerialist performers, and Melbourne-based all girl acoustic trio Harlow & Hart.

There's plenty on offer for kids with ‘Beasties’ interactive show, the True Fairies storytelling, hula workshops and roving entertainers all afternoon. 

The celebration will continue into the evening with the talented Djirri Djirri Dance Group who will use dance as an interpretation of their culture to share stories about creation, family and Country.

Enjoy the sculptural lanterns of Lantasia by illustrator/designer Tyson Savanah, laser lights, projection art and pyrotechnics as the 2019 Moonee Valley Festival in closes in style.



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Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Commencing in 2007 the Gertrude Street Projection Festival has grown to become  one of inner Melbourne’s most visible and accessible free large scale arts festival. The festival celebrates projection art and lets us see familiar spaces and buildings in new, inspired ways. It’s a collaborative, volunteer effort of artists and traders, residents and community groups all brought together by The Gertrude Projection Association.

For 10 evenings in July and in over 38 sites, the length of Gertrude Street in Fitzroy is illuminated by the visions of talented projections artists for the Gertrude Street Projection Festival. Buildings, laneways, footpaths and tree trunks light up with site-specific, curated projections. The Festival’s diverse arts program celebrates and connects our diverse community.

White Hat can thoroughly recommend the festival as a showcase of the edgy, arty inner suburbs. more info >>

Our rating - 4 Hats

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Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar

Discover Scandinavia in Melbourne at the annual Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar in the beautiful gardens of the Swedish Church, Toorak. Festive atmosphere with stalls full of gorgeous items from Sweden, Denmark and Norway, especially imported for the Bazaar. Handicrafts, Scandinavian food, entertainment and lots of fun activities for the kids. Full information at Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar.



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Yarraville Festival

The Yarraville Festival has been operating since 1981 and has steadily grown into one of Melbourne's liveliest community festival and White Hat feels that the location helps add to the genuine village atmosphere. There is music across 7 stages from local professional and community performers, everyone will find something that they enjoy.. Kids of every age, from toddlers to teenagers, will hear music suitable for their age group, and a range of activities and rides are available for them. From jumping castles to carnival rides to bungee jumping, with many of the rides free.

The Yarraville Festival also features its annual market with plenty of stalls. Selling everything from vintage clothing, food and handmade gifts the market is a great opportunity for visitors to pick up a bargain.

Further details at Yarraville Festival

Our rating - 4 Hats

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Hurstbridge Wattle Festival

The festival celebrates Australian heritage, environment and community. To find out more about the significance of Wattle Day in Australia's history go to Another Date for Australia Day. Lots of family activities including steam train rides.



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Moomba Festival

Melbourne's long running community festival featuring rides, activities and entertainment in Birrarung Marr and the Alexandra Gardens. The Moomba fireworks will occur from 9.30 to 9.45pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights and the best viewing points can be had on the banks of the Yarra in Birrarung Marr or the Alexandra Gardens.



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Moomba Parade

The parade runs northbound on St Kilda Road (on the park side of the road) between Dorcas St and Linlithgow Avenue.



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Toorak Village Festival of Sculpture

For the entire month of may, Toorak Village businesses will display contemporary sculptures in their windows and bolted to the pavements along Toorak Road. Take your time surveying the sculptures as well as the shops. Please enjoy 'a decade of sculpture' and take advantage of the warm hospitality of the traders in the village. Catalogues are available from any of the shops in the village and all sculptures are for sale. Toorak Village is between Wallace Ave and Grange Rd, just east of Williams Rd. Simply catch the no 8 tram from Federation Square, along Toorak Road to stop no 35.

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Carols by Candlelight

An event that has become a popular part of the Melbourne calendar

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VIDA - Melbourne Latin Summer Festival

Melbourne Latin Summer Festival is a multicultural festival, free event in the heart of Melbourne that focus purely on varying aspects and different contributions of Latin Culture within Melbourne and Victoria. The event has been created to include all categories and genres of entertainment from Latin America including but not limited to;

  • Cuisine, Art
  • Kids Area
  • Night Life {Bar/Fonda Atmosphere(s)}
  • Family Entertainment/Activities

as well as differing hand crafts, jewellery, educational and other stalls will be exhibited at the festival.



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The Wind in the Willows

This critically acclaimed outdoor theatre production with music, songs, and laughs has been a Melbourne institution for over 35 years. Young and old in the audience participate in the interactive theatre with Ratty, Mole, Badger, Otter, Portly,  and, of course, Mr Toad as they bring Kenneth Grahame’s immortal story of life on the riverbank to the wonderful surroungs of the  Royal Botanic Gardens.

Full details and bookings at the Australian Shakespeare Company's website.



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Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies

Join the magical fairies as they go on a musical adventure. In an enchanting world of song and dance, Tinkerbell meets up with the fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The audience is invited to dress up and join in the fun. Come as a fairy, an elf, a Jedi, pirate or a superhero.

Full details and bookings at the Australian Shakespeare Company's website.



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Alice in Wonderland

The Australian Shakespeare Company presents Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in Glenn Elston’s highly acclaimed production of this familiar tale is lifted right from the pages. Complete with the White Rabbit, the Duchess, the Cheshire Cat, Humpty Dumptyand Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Then of course there's the Mad Hatter with the March Hare and Dormouse at Alice's tea party. Great fun for the whole family.

Full details and bookings at the Australian Shakespeare Company's website.



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Summer Nights Drone Show: Docklands

Image of whale made by drones

Watch 350 drones light up Docklands to tell stories in the stars. Two eight-minute shows run over Victoria Harbour nightly in a visual spectacular combined with poetry soundscapes by Ren Alessandra, winner of the National Poetry Slam 2020.

The Wurundjeri creation story of How The Platypus (Dulai Wurrung) Was Made come to life, told and illustrated by Wurundjeri, Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illum wurrung artist Mandy Nicholson.

The unique aerial display was developed by drone art company Celestial.

In the event that poor weather prevents the Summer Nights Drone Show from going ahead, a cancellation notice will be posted on the events page at The City of Melbourne.



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Australia Day Picnic & Historic Vehicles Display

The popular historic vehicle display, with more than 500 veteran and vintage vehicles, entertainment, free activities and food stalls.

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Family Day at Collingwood Children's Farm
On Family Days there are free pony rides, hay rides, a BBQ and activities matching the monthly theme. ..
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