Farms & Zoos Kids Activities Melbourne
In a City jam-packed with fab family excursions, the 3 Zoos Victoria Zoos - Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and the Werribee Open Range Zoo still holds one of the top spots on our must-do list.
All 3 have well planned walking trails (note: pram friendly!), lush surroundings and they'll provide plenty to do, see and explore in a half day or full day visit. School Holidays are always buzzing at the 3 Zoos - there's plenty on to keep the kids occupied and engaged.
Here's some fast facts:
- A Child 0 - 3 is Free every day of the year
- A Child 4–15 years is Free (weekends, Victorian public holidays and Victorian government school holidays)
- Purchase a membership and become a friend of the Zoo and never have to worry about entrance and tickets ever again.
- Rock up to any Zoo in any weather; there's indoor nooks to venture into. The Melbourne Zoo has Keeper Kids that we're quite fond of.
- You can hire a stroller for $15 or a wheelchair (free) at the Melbourne Zoo, Healesville or Werribee Tel: (03) 9285 9300 to book ahead.
- Services/facilities are spot on: Family-friendly eateries. Modern Parent/Baby rooms. Zoo Shops and Lockers.
Being Zoo Members we're here alot. Membership means we can zip around in an hour, visit keeper kids if the weather turns sour or hang out in the sunshine for a good couple of hours. We're not limited to time and we can explore at our leisure.
The flat open pathways make it pram friendly and it's great to let the kids take lead and let them be the explorers. From the latest exhibit Lemur Island to Growing Wild or a carousal ride and up close look at the Reptile House you can be sure of a fun-filled day out at the Zoo.
Some Highlights for our family:
We have explored Keeper Kids (indoors) and Growing Wild many times and both are great for exploring with little ones.
In a nutshell, Keeper Kids is a space where kids can play, learn and discover and that's exactly what they did.
Opened in March 2012 in what used to be a tearoom, Keeper Kids is spacious, light, colourful and very appealling. It's divided into sections. Just as you may find at your local kinder/childcare there's different 'stations' to move about and discover. Whether you want to bandage an animals paw, play shop, add foliage, dress-up and role play or simply chill out in the reading zone, it's all covered and carefully thought out. From the parent/carer zone in the middle of the room to the smooth edges, you'll only find happy chatter here.
Growing Wild is specifically designed for 3-8 year olds (though our 2.5 year old thought it was tops!) and includes really fun, interactive play experiences, taking children from the familiar to the unfamiliar, encouraging dexterity, communication, imagination, excitement, problem solving and the best bit....free-play!
The space is large, very large, allowing room for prams and families to get around and kids to run, walk and just be. There's only one entrance in and one entrance out making it so much easier to keep track of your kids.
Step through a woven tunnel into a mist filled walk-through forest and interact with these ring-tailed Lemurs.
Wander the paths and boardwalk and watch these fascinating creatures scurrying, climbing and sleeping.
Come inside the Tree House to watch and marvel at the Lemurs and keep cool from the sunshine. The walk is pram-friendly.
Pack up the car, kids and picnic and head out of town to this gem. Wander among the wildlife in a natural environment. It's a haven for Australian wildlife and you'll get an intimate experience getting up close and personal amongst the animals.
Informative, thrilling and highly "on the edge of your seat" entertainment sums this up! It's also a great way to rest your feet for 30 minutes.
The zookeepers are engaging and full of interesting facts, and the birds are truly captivating and are given the freedom to make the show slightly different each time. During one show we were treated to watching a bird eat a lizard from the ground, at another a Wedge-Tailed Eagle’s wings skimmed over our heads… you never know what these wild-at-heart creatures have in store.
Located between the kangaroos and Harvest Cafe, Nature Play is an interactive space with climbing frame, zones, a path, nest with mounds and a giant snake from the Dreamtime.
Quoted "Inspiration for nature play's theme was sought from local Wurundjeri culture. The space features an eye-catching array of natural materials to create different zones and the twisting path symbolises Mindi, the Giant Snake from the Dreamtime.
Ververt monkeys, lions, cheetahs, hippos and Africa wild dogs are some of the animals you can see here. Werribee Zoo is based around an African savannah theme with most of the bus tour consisting of African savannah animals including white rhinos, giraffes, zebras and antelope. As well as a focus on Africa, the zoo also makes a point of specialising in Australiana and displays kangaroos, wallabies, emus and cape barren geese. The zoo is perfect for kids as apart from the animals there's lots of things to do that's scattered about. Climb and scramble on various un-used jeeps/buses/safari vehicles. There's a fossil dig, water play in Summer (bring your swimmers and a change of clothes) and a Zebra maze to run about.
Wild Nights is currently lighting up the evening at the Zoo.
These winter school holidays, explore the Zoo as it comes to life after dark with thrilling fire shows, animal encounters, marshmallow toasting, the shadow puppet theatre and a secret garden to explore.
Your wild evening of adventure kicks off from 5:30pm when you can walk around the Pula Reserve and spot Lions, Wild Dogs and Cheetah on the prowl and Hippos wallowing in the deep ponds or enjoying a late night feed on the beach by torch light."
Play, ride, seek, fix, turn, discover and see as you become a ranger for the day (or how ever many hours you've got up your sleeve for Ranger Kids).
After you've put fuel inside and bandaged up a giraffe or lion, take a ride and have a zoom inside a wooden rescue helicopter to the African Savannah, then tend to the crops at Melako Village against a sunny backdrop. Mini medics can observe their plush friends and care for the sick and injured animals at the Field Hospital.
In the heat of Summer, pack a picnic, a towel and your swimmers. This fun zone is shaded and there's seating for adults. Please give them a phone call first as it's not guaranteed the water play will be switched on everyday.