As you can tell by the summery weather in some of these photos this is a post I’ve been working on for some time. This weeks Top 5 is: The best places to visit in Melbourne to look at gardens (particularly kitchen gardens) with the kids in tow. There are a few other places that may have made the list had they not been outside of Melbourne (ie Churchill Island on Phillip Island) or if they had a kitchen garden as well as stunning native gardens (ie the Australia Garden at Royal Botanic Gardens – Cranbourne). But in Melbourne this is what I have come up with.
1. ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS – I love the children’s garden at the botanical gardens. Not only is it right next to the kitchen garden. Not only does it have nice bits of lawn to laze on. But it also has sprinklers in summer for the kids to play in. They can get very excited running in and out of the ever moving jets while you check out the cool pumpkin growing structures.
2. CERES – I do have occasional shopaholic tendencies, particularly in nurseries or garden centres. At CERES they have a fun sandpit complete with old tractor to ride on inside the nursery, they also have chooks. Enough entertainment then for the kids whilst you shop for seedlings or perhaps one of their excellent range of fruit trees. One thing to note though – the sandpit is not enclosed, the kids can escape and there is a dam quite close – enough said.
3. COLLINGWOOD CHILDRENS FARM FARMERS MARKET – The farmers market at the Collingwood Children’s farm is on the 2nd Saturday of the month. The $2 entry fee lets you shop, ogle the allotment style plots from the comfort of their elevated walkway and get up close to the livestock. The market usually has a stall selling seedlings and more attractive to the kids is one selling frozen orange juice on a stick. After shopping and devouring frozen products its off to see the pigs and goats.
4. HEIDE – I wish I had some photos of Heidi but unfortunately circumstances have conspired against me so you’ll have to content yourself with this link. Heide is a museum of modern art, which in itself isn’t hugely suitable for small children – the staff can look very worried if you approach with a toddler. What is fabulous is that the museum is set in the most lovely gardens. There’s a huge kitchen garden and more interesting for the younger members of the party there’s a very cool sculpture garden. I really like visiting at this time of year when the sculptures are often offset by a bit of mist and fog. Having said that the kitchen garden, which is also used by Cafe Vue which operates on the premises, is probably more interesting in summer.
5. THE ZOO – The attraction for the kids at the zoo is fairly clear – lots of exciting animals. But it also has a lot to offer the gardener. There are some really nice native gardens, particularly near the Australian animal enclosures and they usually have some raised beds dedicated to veggies to have a look at. And then of course there are the animals – my personal favourite being the orang-u-tans. Very cool indeed.
Had enough tourism, then head over to The New Goodlife for her weekly top 5, but before you go I’d love to know about your favourite places to take the kids.