Littlefinders have been busy, not just normal kinder/ school /daycare/ birthdays/ sickkids/ schoolholidays/ fussyeaters/ wherearemyshoes/ Christmasiscoming busy but like INSANE busy! We have been personally visiting businesses, playgrounds and attractions all over Melbourne, its been quite a whirlwind! We have been visiting all these places so we can become a useful resource to you – a daily inspiration of things to do with kids here in Melbourne. We have roamed far and wide, meeting other families in small businesses and experiencing everything the worlds most liveable city (for seven years running!) has to offer!
We are here to share and connect with you so we decided that it might be easier to break all this info down, into more bite sized pieces. So lets go buy general area – Bayside is where Littlefinders was born so why not start here.
Here is what we, at Littlefinders, believe are Bayside’s Best paid and free, activities and attractions.
We have included links in the blog below so feel free to click through and check these places our for yourselves, and then tell us what you think!
Creative play : its super popular at the moment and for good reason – Messy and Creative play is great for motor skill development, and for growing imaginative minds. Two of Bayside’s best are Mess Matters in Mordialloc for their range of messy stations and warm welcoming environment – sessions run daily and they need to be booked in advance. The other creative sessions we enjoy are with the Fox Box in Parkdale, sessions run monthly and are calm, creative themed sessions .
Sports : Kids need to get active! Regular and routine activity is incredibly important for learning and development, it teaches the Littlefinders how to take direction and behaves in a class environment. Our top three in Bayside would be Gecko sports, Ready Steady Go Kids and Sportsbuzz. All three of these would happily welcome you with a free trial session too so why not give them a try?
Music : Kids are loud and like to make noise- FACT. So why not let them make that kind of noise somewhere else (not in your house!) Rhythm Factory and Mini Maestros are two great classes with multiple locations around Bayside that kids can join age appropriate classes. A local gem is Rachel from Little Feet Music – she runs classes or can be hired out for parties, you can event tune in on Virgin Australia flights to listen to her kids albums!
Playgrounds : Bayside suburbs have an abundance of amazing playgrounds. Councils in the area have been spending big on some creative, challenging and spectacular playgrounds – we regularly use www.playgroundfinder.com to get inspiration on where to go.
Visit a fire station – we did it last month and it was one of our Littlefinders favourite experiences. Spray the hoses, sounds the sirens and wear the helmet and jacket – click here for more details
Go to the beach – Bayside is obviously beside the bay – why not take advantage of it, all year round! If it isn’t a particularly sunny day for swimming then find out when the tide is low and pack your gumboots – explore the rock pools down at Ricketts Point – they are quite beautiful and full of life.
Cafes : coffee is life. Obtain coffee regularly. Pick coffee from a place where kids can be entertained – you are winning! To win every day we suggest you visit il Giardino Cafe Sandringham (pic below), Genoa Place in Moorabbin, Toot Toot Toys Bentleigh, Oscars Hangout Mordialloc and Brighton School house – all these cover the caffeine component perfectly and they also cater for the kids with great menus and dedicated space for Littlefinders to play.
Swim : swimming doesn’t have to be limited to summer – get in the water all year round at Waves in HIghett, Gesac Glen Eira or my personal fave – Oakleigh Recreation Centre (pic below) for awesome splash play no matter what the weather. All three have great family friendly facilities and toddler friendly splashy zones and water slides. Swimming lessons are also important part of safely and development for bayside babes Swimright in Sandringham is our go to for our lessons.
Open spaces : Bayside offers lots of open space amongst its beautiful suburbs. Let the kids roam free and do some bird watching out in the wetlands in Edithvale, explore the Long Hollow heathland in Beaumaris or Braeside park on Lower Dandenong Road which has acres to explore on foot or bike and a huge timber playground.
Libraries : – our Bayside libraries and Kingston libraries are a wealth of resources and facilities that are free and welcoming to kids of all ages. Their toddler reading sessions are always incredibly popular and for good reason.
But we are lucky to have not just book libraries but also TOY libraries! They offer memberships and a lovely family community atmosphere where it’s basically Christmas every day for kids – check them out at Kingston in Mordialloc, Bayside in Brighton, Moorabbin & Oakleigh,
Playcentres : Bayside residents have a huge choice of play centres – we suggest you pick one that suits your childs abilities first and foremost – think Playdays Sandringham for the young ones, then moving to Kid Factory, Kids Space Cheltenham and Crocs Moorabbin as the kids advance (or multiply haha) – All these play centres are family owned, safe and clean, we would NOT recommend them if they weren’t.
Trains : A simple day out that our Littlefinders absolutely love is when we jump on a train – to the city, or to a playground near the train line, you will find that every driver that sees you will wave and toot – Cheltenham station has 3 hour car parks that are usually free right up near the station, so hop on and choose your own adventure.
Mini Golf – Did you know know that Bayside is also called the Sandbelt and the area has a number of world famous golf courses? Also think about this – professional golfers – work outdoors, travel the world and earn great prize money. So why not give your Littlefinders golf skills a test and hit a round of mini golf with them? My Littlefinders LOVE Dingley Village Adventure golf, most times they don’t finish a proper hole and we have never kept score, but if you go early in the mornings the course is pretty quiet and the kids can enjoy and explore, it is really great. Sandy Mini golf is a bit more like proper golf, the course is in pristine condition and it has a great cafe too!
Bike and scooter time – Enjoy the views along the spectacular Port Phillip Bay while you scooter or bike from Mentone to Mordialloc along flat concrete pathways. Or for the more adventurous why not try out the skate parks at Bentleigh, Beaumaris, Highett, Chelsea or Mordialloc.
Community centres – There is no reason for a mum to feel isolated or lonely – every day there are mums meeting up at wonderful community centres all around Bayside. I could not have survived my second pregnancy without the support of the mums at Beaumaris Children’s playhouse. For a reasonable annual membership you can play and socialise, check out their websites for more details : Beaumaris Children’s Playhouse or Hampton Children’s Playhouse,
Don’t forget there are also options around Bayside for occasional care, gain just a few hours back, imagine what you could do?!?
Check out :
Now this is a huge list, and it is certainly not finite. We could go on and on, we generally do if given the chance as we are so passionate about Bayside. But we sincerely hope this list give you some inspiration to get out and try somewhere new.
And heres a snippet of awesome news – we are just about to launch our Littlefinders Digital Membership. This is an annual membership where you will get 100’s of savings for families on everything great for kids across Melbourne (not just Bayside). All of the paid activities and attractions listed above (except toy libraries and community centres / occasional care) are part of our Littlefinders family and will be offering a great deal to our members.
Stay tuned to hear more about everything fun for kids – we will have a Best of City and Mornington Peninsula soon too…
Love and Laughs,