390 McClelland Dr,
Langwarrin VIC 3910
If you haven’t visited McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery before, definitely add it on to your “to visit” list. Free*, mostly flat and fantastic for children and adults of all ages, this is a great location for a day out with the family.
Ok… so free*, is entry by donation. I’ll be honest, I have been many times and never knew this, but in preparing for this review I found it on their website. Next time, I’ll cough up the big coins! Missy Moo and I visited with Mumma Natalie and 2 year old daughter Tee.
The good stuff…
The ducks and the lake.
When you first arrive onto the grounds you won’t be able to miss a lake surrounded by sculptures, and probably a few families having picnics. Luckily for us there were also loads of ducklings on our recent visit, so bonus points for cuteness.
The child friendly sculptures.
So we were visiting with two, not overly adventurous climbers, but despite this they still had a great time within the McClelland grounds. In fact, most of the exhibits are low to the ground, with minimal climbing required.
See these stones, they are great for hide and seek, peekaboo, running through, spinning around. Children often see fun in a way that we don’t even think of, I love the way their little brains work.
This is my favourite place within the park grounds, and I think my daughter’s too. Perhaps my Bowie and Jim Henson love showing a little but anything called “The Labyrinth” probably wins me over on naming alone. It is a low rock maze, that is very easy for toddlers and children to naturally wander through. You can either sit on the edge and watch them enjoy, or follow them through. Kids can definitely climb over the rocks and “cheat”, and the rocks are cemented into the wall so it’s well and truly able to withstand some rough play from kids.
If you find yourself after some food or a coffee, inside the gallery building there’s a café (with highchairs), baby change, toilets, and a cute little gift shop. There’s a small play area inside too, should your kids need to sit quietly while you wait for your take away coffee.
It’s really lovely to do something with your kids that’s beyond the standard swing and slide. So many elements of the sculpture park really invite play anyway, and I love that about McClelland.
As mentioned earlier the place is free/entry by donation. Either way that’s not breaking the bank. BYO picnics are welcome making it a very low cost day out. The café was happy to fill up both my bottle of water, and had no issues with keepcups. Yay.
Most of the parking is in the shade, and it’s free.
I have 2 dogs, so this is a big tick (on lead only).
I can’t wait to go back to this place when Missy Moo is a little older and a little more verbal. I’d love to hear her take on some of the sculptures in the park.
McClelland hosts many community and children’s events throughout the year. In addition to this, there is kids artwork around the gallery and throughout the park which I really loved.
Areas for improvement.
McClelland’s marketing team appear a little slack. Although they often host great things, they don’t publicise them as well as they could. This week we attended a function there hosted in conjunction with the National Gallery of Victoria. There was no signage on arrival, and no information on their website or Facebook page about where that program would be. Not awful, but a bit annoying.
On the day we went café service was slow. Maybe other times it’s faster, but we waited 15 minutes for a take away sandwich… Mumma Natalie said it was delicious though.
Some of the frequently climbed on displays are looking a little weathered and aged. It doesn’t effect their artistic charm, but they just look a little unloved.
Overall McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery is a wonderful day out for those of all ages. We will return again soon and rate it 9/10.