180 St Kilda Road,
The National Gallery of Victoria has long been a favourite place of ours to visit; easy to get to, so much to see, and generally the kids areas are free to visit and explore. The new play space by Fiona Hall has just opened, and we were lucky enough to get to explore it on opening day.
Here’s a information sign that hangs outside the gallery to give you an idea of what it is all about.
The space has two areas; one for kids and one for teens…but both are really quite similar. When you walk in you see this amazing tree structure, with a beautiful mural covering the floor and all the walls. The below pictures are of the kids area.
Kids can then collect their supplies to begin crafting. Nestled under large trees kids will cut and paste a creature and its habitat, then hang their creation on the trees. In time, the trees will hold many varying types of real (and imagined) animals.
There were quite a few choices for paper, and plenty of scissors and glue lying around for the kids. This particular activity would obviously best suit kids who can use scissors (without stabbing themselves) and glue (without eating it). Missy Moo is a borderline glue eater, so required constant supervision and help.
So that’s the main activity, but you can make as many animals as you like.
Also within the kid’s space are these interactive cubby holes containing videos and facts about wildlife. Missy Moo was quick to discover you could climb into them.
The bigger kids really liked these too, although weren’t quite as inclined to climb in…
The teen area was similar, but darker in all senses of the world. The above mural design with birds and wildlife has been replaced with a giant black and pink mural of skulls.
The tree structure was identical, but again darker. The teenagers present did appear pretty engaged in their activities.
So that’s the new stuff…
Some of the Anyday Adventure followers have mentioned that they have never been to the National Gallery of Victoria before so here’s a few other things you might like to know before you visit.
There’s a great indoor space to have an sheltered picnic. Should it be cold or raining, or even if you just don’t feel like going outside you are welcome to BYO lunch and coffee and enjoy it within this magnificent room. There’s a café on site that does take away too.
If it is great weather there is an awesome outdoor space too. Currently there is the giant interactive car wash outside for kids to play in, but that finishes up in a few weeks. Otherwise there are still plenty of places to sit, birds to chase, and sculptures to look at.
The National Gallery of Victoria really is super kid friendly. How do I know? Well, in addition to serving babychinos, hosting kid friendly exhibitions, and having a great parents room with multiple changing areas it also has one of these… Oh how I love to find tiny toilets and sinks in public! #mumlife
Lastly, no trip to the National Gallery of Victoria is complete without playing out the front with the water wall. This amazing wall has water flowing down it all day long, and is great for a bit of a splash before heading home.
There are no areas for improvement in this blog review, I simply love everything that the National Gallery has to offer.
Free! Some exhibitions are paid, but there is a lot to see without spending a cent.
I tend to park on Linlithgow Ave. Parking is quite inexpensive, about $1.40 per hour I think and you can pay by cash or card. Otherwise the gallery is very easily accessible on public transport.
The gallery hosts great events too. We recently went to Jams for Juniors with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. You can read all about that here.
All in all we had a great time in the new Fiona Hall installation, and rate it 9/10. Probably best suited for children 3 and up.
Want to know more? Make sure you are following the National Gallery of Victoria on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date on all their amazing play spaces for kids (and great stuff for adults too)