Australia Day is the perfect opportunity for families and friends to come together and celebrate what they love most about the country – and luckily for Melbourne families, there’s no shortage of activities to choose from. Ranging from pristine beaches and natural playgrounds to regular celebrations in the heart of the city, there’s an experience on offer to suit every member of the family.

On the hunt for some entertaining Australia Day activities to do with the kids? Here’s a list of attractions and events in Melbourne worth checking out.

Dandendong National Park

Located only 1 hour from the city, Dandendong National Park is a worthy option for families eager to celebrate Australia Day with a natural escape. Families can gather and enjoy a picnic in one of the many parklands available, including the Borthwick Park Playground, Birdsland Reserve, Botanic Garden, Emerald Lake Park, or Elizabeth Bridge Playground. Otherwise, families can embark on the Eastern Sherbrooke Forest Walk, starting in the Grants Picnic Ground. For more information or to plan your visit, head over to the Dandenong Ranges website.

Address: Sassafras VIC 3787

Website: Click here

Dendy Street Beach

Eager for an oceanside Australia Day celebration? Dendy Street Beach is worth considering. The beach is most well-known for its colourful bathing boxes, lining the coast and providing endless photo opportunities. Families can pack a picnic, lounge on the sand, play some beach cricket, and admire the spectacular views.

Address: The Bay Trail, Brighton VIC 3186

Melbourne Zoo

Australia Day Melbourne

Melbourne Zoo is home to an impressive collection of creatures for families to admire on Australia Day. This assortment includes lions, elephants, gorillas, koalas, Tasmanian devils, emus, kangaroos, wombats, kookaburras, and heaps more. Plus, with up-close encounters with animals such as lemurs, giraffes, kangaroos, tortoises, meerkats, and more, the experience becomes all the memorable. Adult and children tickets start from $38 and $19, respectively, while kids under 16 can enter for free on weekends and holidays. For more information or to plan your visit, head to the Melbourne Zoo website.

Address: Elliott Ave, Parkville VIC 3052

Website: Click here

Carlton Gardens

The Carlton Gardens is a vibrant, heritage-listed site surrounding the Melbourne Museum, home to a beautiful fountain, small lakes, and towering trees for visitors to admire. It’s due to this beauty that the Carlton Gardens is a great picnic and BBQ spot for families. Gather some family members, roll out the picnic rug, and effortlessly enjoy the peacefulness of this area.

Address: 1-111 Carlton St, Carlton VIC 3053

Australia Day Docklands Harbour

What’s Australia Day without a dazzling fireworks display? Set to return for another year is the Docklands Harbour fireworks show, kicking off at 9 pm. Parents and kids are also sure to enjoy various forms of entertainment, markets, and artists. There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Address: Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria

Elwood Beach

Another beautiful seaside spot to celebrate Australia Day is Elwood beach – offering pristine sand and clear, calm waters to enjoy. Assemble the family, roll out the picnic rug, and enjoy a few games of beach cricket to pass the day. Otherwise, simply lounge on the sand and admire the views of Melbourne’s towering cityscape.

Address: Elwood Beach, Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

The Melbourne Central Shopping Centre is overflowing with big brands and delicious eateries for families to enjoy on Australia Day. The centre has it all, including fashion, technology, homewares, cafes, gaming, beauty, cinema, and heaps more. Plus, there are exhibitions and other events held year-round to keep the kids entertained. For more information or to plan your visit, head over to the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre website.

Address: Cnr La Trobe St &, Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Website: Click here

Alpine National Park

Australia Day Melbourne

For those looking to swap the city for a natural escape, the Alpine National Park is a great option, located about 5 hours from the city. Many visitors are often drawn to the area for its quality skiing conditions, though the parkland also has plenty of activities to enjoy in the summer-time. This including fishing, walking, horse riding, camping, and more. For more information or to plan your visit to Alpine National Park, head to the Parks Victoria website.

Address: Cobungra VIC 3898

Website: Click here

Government House

Every year, the Government House offers an Open Day on Australia Day for guests to explore free of charge. Not only can parents and children wander through the structure and extensive gardens, but there are typically plenty of attractions on offer, including kid’s activities, entertainers, and more. Families are welcome to bring a picnic. For possible announcements or updates regarding a 2020 Open Day at the Government House, head over to the Governor Of Victoria website.

Address: Government House Dr, Melbourne VIC 3004

Website: Click here

Enjoy A Cruise

Australia Day Melbourne

Melbourne Showboat offers an Australia Day cruise for families to relax while celebrating. While floating along the Yarra River to Port Phillip, parents can enjoy food, drinks, and live music, with prices starting from only $40 per person. For more information or to make a booking, head to the Melbourne Showboat Cruises website.

Address: 131 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands VIC 3008

Website: Click here

St Kilda Beach

Families eager to celebrate Australia Day at the beach can take the short trip out to St Kilda Beach. Assemble the whole family, bring along a picnic, take a refreshing dip, and enjoy a few games of beach cricket. Otherwise, make your way over to the surrounding cafes and restaurants for a delicious meal. If you’re eager to see some wildlife, stroll to the St Kilda Pier just after sunset to view the local penguin colony.

Address: St Kilda Beach, Melbourne, Victoria

Westfield Doncaster Shopping Centre

Another popular shopping option for Melbourne families is the Westfield Doncaster Shopping Centre, located along Doncaster Road. The centre has it all, including fashion, homewares, technology, sports, delicious food, and heaps more. For more information or to plan your visit to the Westfield Doncaster Shopping Centre, head over to the website.

Address: 619 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster VIC 3108

Website: Click here

Sea Life Melbourne

A visit to Sea Life Melbourne can be an entertaining venture for the entire family, with an impressive collection of animals to admire. This includes sharks, penguins, rays, crocodiles, tropical fish, and more. The up-close experiences on offer make the trip all the more memorable, as parents and children can look forward to encounters with sharks, penguins, and more. Entry prices start from $33.60 for adults and $22.40 for kids. Head over to the Sea Life Melbourne website for more information or to plan your visit.

Address: King St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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Australia Day Parade

Every year, thousands of people gather to watch the Australia Day Parade along Swanston Street, kicking off from 11 am and finishing at 12 pm. Keep an eye out for possible announcements or updates regarding the 2020 Australia Day parade on Swanston Street.

Address: Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria

Royal Botanic Gardens

Stretching across 36 hectares, the Royal Botanic Gardens is a great spot for families to gather and enjoy a picnic among a colourful backdrop. Parents and children can stroll among the gardens and admire the impressive collection of plant life, or attend one of the park’s many events. For more information, head to the Royal Botanic Gardens website.

Address: Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141

Website: Click here

Queen Victoria Gardens

The Queen Victoria Gardens are located within the Domain Parklands, offering families the chance to enjoy their picnic among the vibrant setting. The parkland includes ponds, monuments, sculptures flower beds, and more. It’s a peaceful escape in the heart of the city.

Address: St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria

Host A BBQ

What’s better than a classic Aussie Day BBQ at home? Gather some friends and family members, fire up the grill, lounge by the pool, play some backyard cricket, and relax. It’s a simple activity that the whole family can easily appreciate.

French Island National Park

French Island National Park is the perfect camping option for families eager to get away on Australia Day. Parents and children can enjoy a stroll or bike ride through the lush bushland and pristine beaches, typically starting from the Takerton Foreshore Reserve. Camping sites are available within the Fairhaven Campsite. For more information or to plan your visit, head over to the Parks Victoria website.

Address: French Island, Victoria

Website: Click here

Kinglake National Park

For those eager to escape the city and enjoy a family picnic in a natural setting, the Kinglake National Park has plenty of outdoor areas to choose from. This includes the Masons Falls Picnic Area, Jehosaphat Gully, and the Island Creek Picnic Area. Otherwise, those looking for more adventure can head up Mt Sugarloaf to admire the stunning views of Melbourne. Camping sites are available at the Gums Camping Area for those eager to extend their stay. For more information or to plan your visit to Kinglake National Park, head over to the Parks Victoria website.

Address: Kinglake West VIC 3757

Website: Click here

Werribee Open Range Zoo

The Werribee Open Range Zoo has plenty of creatures for families to admire on Australia Day. This includes Aussie animals such as emus, koalas, and kangaroos. There’s also plenty of worldly creatures to admire, including gorillas, lions, hippos, cheetahs, monkeys, meerkats, and more. Adult and child tickets start from $38 and $19 respectively. On weekends and holidays, children can enter for free. For more information or to plan your visit, head over to the Werribee Open Range Zoo website.

Address: K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030

Website: Click here

Bunyip State Park

The Bunyip State Park is a great camping option for families over Australia Day, with plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. There are 4 campgrounds to choose between, including the Nash Creek Campground, Bunyip Wier Camping Area, Forest Road Camping Area, and Mortimer Camping Area. As for activities, families can enjoy walking trails, 4-wheel driving, horse riding, picnic grounds, and more. Head over to the Parks Victoria website for more information or to plan your visit to Bunyip State Park.

Address: Gembrook VIC 3783

Website: Click here

Yarra Ranges National Park

Australia Day Melbourne

The Yarra Ranges National Park is located nearly 3 hours from Melbourne, holding within it an extensive list of things for families to enjoy on Australia Day. Parents and children can look forward to plenty of walking trails or they can bring along a picnic and settle in at one of the many picnic areas. For more information or to plan your visit to the Yarra Ranges National Park, head to the Parks Victoria website.

Address: Lockwood Rd, Reefton VIC 3799

Website: Click here

Healesville Sanctuary

Located about 1 hour from Melbourne is the Healesville Sanctuary, home to plenty of animals for families to admire on Australia Day. There are heaps of Aussie animals to see, including kangaroos, koalas, emus, cassowaries, dingoes, and more. There are also many events held over school holidays to keep the kids entertained. Ticket prices start from $38 for adults and $19 for kids. On weekends and holidays, children can enter the Healesville Sanctuary free of charge. For more information or to plan your visit, head to the website.

Address: Glen Eadie Ave, Healesville VIC 3777

Website: Click here

In Summary

Melbourne families are gifted with plenty of entertaining events and attractions to help celebrate Australia Day. Those eager to head for the beach have heaps of pristine seaside locations to choose from, including St Kilda Beach, Elwood Beach, and Dendy Street Beach. Otherwise, there’s a variety of natural playgrounds located on the brink of the city for adventure seekers to enjoy, such as the Alpine National Park and Dandendong National Park. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or thrill, Melbourne has you covered. If you’re looking for some entertaining activities to do on Australia Day with kids, consider a few of these points.