Stay and play in Melbourne with kids

Kid in Hosier Lane

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.

Sebel Melbourne Docklands

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).

Sebel Melbourne Dockside

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!!

Sebel Melbourne Docklands private cinema

But the best bit is the roof-top garden and barbecue area where we soak up the Melbourne afternoon al fresco style.

Sebel Melbourne Docklands Roof top garden

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 

Eureka Skydeck - Edge experience

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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…

Polly Woodside kids

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.

13 Comments on Stay and play in Melbourne with kids

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    January 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm (9 years ago)

    That’s a great list of things to do with lots of different options! And hehe yes the colours are anything but beige. I didn’t know the Sebel chain was still around. Do you remember the Sebel Town House? That is where all the celebs stayed!

      January 7, 2015 at 12:25 pm (9 years ago)

      I spent many a drunken evening cavorting at the Sebel Townhouse… oops, showing my age! 🙂

  2. The Travelling Lindfields
    January 8, 2015 at 8:14 pm (9 years ago)

    It is so nice to read a non-sponsored post written with such enthusiasm and warmth. I love Melbourne – great cycling. We usually stay at the Hilton South Wharf which is really nice but next time I might check out the Sebel Docklands.

      January 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm (9 years ago)

      The Hilton South Wharf is our other favourite! I love their family fun packages but for a longer stay an apartment works a little better with a three-year old in tow! 🙂

  3. Fairlie
    January 10, 2015 at 11:54 am (9 years ago)

    That’s a great list of stuff to do in Melbourne with kids. I particularly love the laneways – always changing!

      January 11, 2015 at 9:18 pm (9 years ago)

      Me too. We can lose hours on those laneways. 🙂

  4. Jim Butcher @
    January 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow! The Sebel looks great! We love visiting Melbourne – there’s so much going on and it has such a different feel to Sydney. Thanks for sharing. Looks like everyone had a lot of fun! 🙂

      January 11, 2015 at 9:17 pm (9 years ago)

      We’re were pleasantly surprised by it. And it’s very Melbourne!

  5. Seana Smith
    January 14, 2015 at 8:40 pm (9 years ago)

    Really glad you did because that is a very handy post. The apartments look terrific and the facilities at the Sebel are extra cool and groovy. I remember someone once telling me a hotel had ‘beiged him to death.’

      January 14, 2015 at 10:17 pm (9 years ago)

      Being beiged to death is my worst nightmare. 🙂

  6. Leah
    January 17, 2015 at 4:38 pm (9 years ago)

    We’re heading to Melbourne for a very special birthday celebration in May (it’s my niece’s 1st birthday) and are debating accommodation. The Sebel looks great. You’ve also completed all my research around what to do when we are there. I totally forgot about the Polly Woodside!!! #teamwanderlust

  7. alwinsam
    February 3, 2015 at 6:33 pm (9 years ago)

    Hey, pretty post. Well written and everything in the article is clear spoken and true too! Finally found a blog with innovative ideas!

  8. Kirralee @ Escape With Kids
    March 26, 2015 at 1:18 pm (9 years ago)

    Love this! With all our family in Melbs we always stay with them, so I’m a bit clueless about what kid-friendly accom in available in the city. Will definitely look into the Sebel for our upcoming weekend in Melb when we fancied staying by ourselves.


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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