I’m a big fan of Melbourne. I’m also a big fan of five-star hotels but when I’m travelling with the kids it is hard to beat the convenience of apartment accommodation. There’s extra space, kitchen facilities (extremely handy on an Eats World break as it saves us needing to take out a loan to feed the unfillable Raffles) and laundry facilities which come in especially handy when travelling with Sugarpuff who is, it has to be said, an incredible grub. The kid has an uncanny ability to turn every item of clothing she wears into a Jackson Pollack rip-off.
But family-friendly holiday apartments are so… how can I put this delicately? Beige! And I don’t really do beige. And clearly neither does
Jackson Pollack Sugarpuff, well not for more than 30 seconds anyway…
Sebel Melbourne Docklands with kids
Enter the anything-but-beige Sebel Melbourne Docklands – a place that proves kids and style don’t have to be mutually exclusive with self-contained apartments and studios that are all about chic modern décor with an arty twist.
Our two-bedroom apartment is wonderful, with a stunning fully-equipped kitchen, a dining area and living space. There’s also a balcony with Docklands views (though the kids haven’t noticed as they prefer to play hide-and-seek in the enormous closets).
But it is the unique facilities that really float our family boat. There are lots of spacious and private spaces with funky installations (the kids love the glass bubbles that float between the floors).
There’s also a library, an indoor swimming pool, and even a private movie cinema, complete with bean bags, which we reserve to watch a DVD on the big screen with the kids… how cool!!
But the best bit is the roof-top garden and barbecue area where we soak up the Melbourne afternoon al fresco style.
The Sebel Melbourne Docklands is easily our favourite apartment stay in Melbourne, a city that has a lot to like.
10 of our fave family attractions in Melbourne
- My little superheroes have a thing for heights so Eureka Skydeck is immediately put at the top of their list. The highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere, fearless folk can also venture out onto The Edge – a three-metre transparent cube suspended over the city skyline. I’d like to point out that I am not fearless and nor do I share my childrens fondness for heights. In fact I need to put on my big girl pants just to get in the elevator.
- For much the same reason the 38-storey high Melbourne Star observation wheel icomes in at number two on their Melbourne to-do list. Me? You can add claustrophobia to my inventory of neuroses. You’ll find me waving to them and their dad from the ground while they laugh and point at the coward.
- Wonderland Fun Park is only half a kilometre from Sebel Melbourne Docklands and is fantatsic for families with younger kids as there’s a nice selection of rides that won’t scare the pants of them. Raffles and his dad tend to get caught up re-enacting drive-bys on the Dodgems while wee Sugarpuff prefers to pony up with mama on the Carousel.
- Something we all love equally is family happy-hour on Saturdays and Sundays at Medibank Icehouse. From 12pm – 1pm there’s a dedicated family rink for beginners and families to get their skates on without being bowled over by the pros! I particularly enjoy watching Mr Eats World fall on his arse! Because, let’s face it, I am not a very nice person.
- Raffles and Sugarpuff love a tram! So we always hitch a ride on the free City Circle Tram. The 30 minute circuit allows them loads of time to chat up the locals and passes many of the city’s major attractions so it’s the perfect way to explore.
- My little Jackson Pollack wannabe loves ArtPlay, Australia’s only arts centre for kids. Tucked in behind Federation Square there’s always a fun program of activities for creative kids, a kid-frinedly sustainable café and a fab playground, the only one in the CBD where Raffles is likely to be spotted clambering about like a monkey.
- Speaking of monkeys, my wee wild things are huge fans of Melbourne Zoo. The lovely zoo has lots of opportunities to get up close and personal with the critters, though Raffles will have to hold out for an encounter with a real monkey until he’s 10.
- Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is home to over 10,000 aquatic creatures, including penguins, seahorses, sharks and stingrays but Raffles has a soft-spot for the spectacularly ugly Pinjarra, a massive 50-year old male Saltwater Crocodile.
- While Pinjarra isn’t someone I’d like to bump into in a dark alley, he tends not to loiter in Melbourne’s fabulous laneways, which is lucky as we love to spend hours spotting the painted creatures hidden in the street-art and café lined lanes.
- Polly Woodside Tall Ship and Museum is another must. Raffles and Sugarpuff like to sign up to join the crew of the 129 year-old merchant ship, scrubbing the decks and firing cannons at unsuspecting passers-by. As you do…
Still looking for more Melbourne fun? Check out this round up of the best things to with kids here.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The Eats Worlds have been guests of the Sebel Melbourne Docklands for Mama Eats World’s day job. We don’t have to write about it here but we loved it and wanted to share.