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Family on a pier at sunset in St Kilda

St Kilda is great for ocean views Picture: Tourism Victoria

The Nelsons are experts when it comes to all things Melbourne. A troupe of eager explorers, they have tried and tested top attractions in their home town. Who better to ask about tips and tricks for families visiting Victoria’s funky capital?

We followed the Nelson family’s adventures in Melbourne on our Families of Australia web series, which you can watch here. Read more about Families of Australia here, or check out the Nelsons’ awesome blog for insider intel on what’s on and where to go in Melbourne.

So what’s the verdict?

1. St Kilda

To get outside and enjoy adventure as a family, walk the St. Kilda beach boardwalk or brave the heights and speeds of attractions at Luna Park Melbourne.

Family on a pier at sunset in St Kilda

St Kilda is great for ocean views Picture: Tourism Victoria

2. National Gallery of Victoria

St Kilda Road is home to this arty hub of family-friendly exhibitions. According to the Nelsons, there is often a dedicated Children’s Gallery and exhibition book on show in addition to three storeys worth of masterpieces. “In between exploring the artworks, you can pick up a Kids Lunchbox and head outside into the garden for some cartwheeling and climbing time.”

3. Melbourne’s world-class museums

The Nelsons name Scienceworks and the Melbourne Museum in Carlton as their all-time favourites. They also recommend you drop in to the IMAX cinema. Other fantastic visits Melbourne has on offer for history buffs, nature nerds and aspiring artists include Old Melbourne Gaol, Victoria Police Museum and ACMI, the national museum of film, television, video games and digital art.

Kids dres up as Ned Kelly at Old Melbourne Gaol

Ned Kelly was one of the gaol's most famous inmates Picture: National Trust Victoria

4. Sport

The months from April to September mean one thing for Melburnians, and that is AFL. Catch a game at the MCG, or tag along to the AFL Sunday Funday with pre-game kids activities and kids tickets. “There is no such thing as a bad seat,” say the Nelsons. “The atmosphere is fantastic.” In January, tennis champs should check out the Australian Open.

The famous MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) Picture: Bound Round

5. The Botanical Gardens

The Nelsons love getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air at the Botanical Gardens. “We love the dedicated Children’s Garden during the warmer months,” the family says. “It has water play areas loved by toddlers through to primary school kids.”

Only in Melbourne for the weekend? Check out our perfect 48 Hours in Melbourne.

Perhaps you’d like to head a little further afield? You can read more here about weekend getaways from Melbourne. The Nelsons love the Mornington Peninsula – it is their weekender destination of choice as it is only an hour’s drive from the city. “It’s a combination of beaches, adventure and gourmet escapes,” say the Nelsons. For a rural escape or taste of history at Sovereign Hill, try Ballarat,or follow the Great Ocean Road using Torquay or Apollo Bay as your launching point.

Don't forget to check out the Nelsons' blog for more Melbourne inspiration.

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