Collingwood Children’s Farm
The Collingwood Children’s Farm is a bucolic spot right by the Yarra River, with grazing goats, cows, lambs and ponies, all of which tolerate tiny petting hands. The farm also runs a Farmers’ Market, where you can stock up on local organic produce.
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Scienceworks & Melbourne Planetarium
Scienceworks & Melbourne Planetarium incorporates three historic buildings and keeps inquisitive grey matter occupied with interactive displays. Figure out the mysteries of the universe (or your own anatomy) by poking buttons, pulling levers, lifting flaps and learning all sorts of weird facts. The planetarium splashes the universe onto a 16m-domed ceiling.
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Bats About Melbourne
See and hear the city's significant colony of grey-headed
flying foxes wake up and take flight for the night. Clamber aboard the Batty Bus
(they're not strictly bats, but Grey-headed-flying-fox Bus doesn't have quite the
same ring to it) for a trip to Yarra Bend Park where around 20,000 animals do what
they've been doing on this continent for over two million years.
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Eureka Skydeck 88
A wild elevator ride takes you to the top of this residential
tower built in 2006: 88 floors in less than 40 seconds. If the vertiginous views
leave you wanting more, there's 'The Edge' (costs an extra around A$12/around
A$8/29), not a member of U2, but a slightly sadistic glass cube that propels you out
of the building; you've got no choice but to look down.
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Hidden Secrets Tours
Walking tours of around three hours that cover laneways, art and design or wine
with small groups and knowledgeable guides.
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Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden
This whimsical and child-scaled place invites kids and their parents to
explore, discover and imagine. The various mini-environments are often directed by
the seasons and many plants have been chosen to delight kids with their intrinsic
weirdness or strong colours. Programs run in the school holidays; see website for
details and book ahead. Note that it is closed for two months each winter.
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Although perhaps not fully awake (the tour leaves before dawn), you’ll
certainly feel dreamy floating above the building tops and peering into backyards
from a hot-air balloon. This tour includes an hour’s air time, plus a champagne
breakfast at the Langham Hotel Melbourne, from where tours depart. Balloons go up
every morning (weather permitting) except Christmas and New Year’s Day, though
you’ll need to book a few weeks ahead. Children must be over six years old. They
also go up in the Yarra Valley.
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