Whether it’s exploring the outdoors, getting your foodie fix, or adventuring in the urban jungle, there’s no shortage of free things to do or places to go in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
Things to do on a date
8 Ballarat St, Yarraville VIC 3013
Ticket prices: Adults, 18 and over - $19 Children and teens age 3 to 17, seniors card and 65+ - $12
Opened in 1938, the beautifully restored Sun Theatre is a veritable treasure trove of art deco stylings and always has a great selection of mainstream, independent, and classic films screening. Snuggle up to your honey with wine and popcorn, and your night is set.
2 Craig St, Keilor East VIC 3033
Arrange a wine tour by phoning 03 9337 5471
A gorgeous vineyard in the middle of suburbia? Say no more. Rose Creek Winery has been described as “Tuscany in Keilor East”, with the house and vineyard surrounded by 300 olive trees, fresh fruit, and vegetables. Keep an eye out for one of the Siciliano family’s special open days, or book a cellar-door appointment for a private tasting.
20 Carrington Dr, Albion VIC 3020
Prices start from $39/pp
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like making your sweetheart eat your dust on the racetrack. Ace Karts claims to be “as close as you get to pro racing without a fireproof suit”, which we think is a good thing? In any case, strap yourself in for a day of extreme fun at high speeds.
8/18 Leakes Rd, Laverton North VIC 3026
Melbourne’s largest new and second-hand market is bound to have something that strikes your fancy; it’s 1,400 stalls of clothing, arts and crafts, electronics, tools, plants, and fresh product, after all. This one isn’t just for treasure-hunting couples, either; it’s also a great day out with friends or family, or even going solo.
Things to eat and drink
72 Whitehall St, Footscray VIC 3011
Ever tried Croatian food? Think of all the tastiest components of Eastern European and Mediterranean cuisine melded into some of the most mind-blowing flavours you’ve ever eaten. Katarina Zrinski is located in the Croatian Club, so it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about Croatian food. Try the sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls) for something deliciously different.
2A Everage St, Moonee Ponds VIC 3039
Despite the name, Dumpling House in Moonee Ponds isn’t actually a house made of dumplings – it is a restaurant filled with delectable dumplings as far as the eye can see. Not sure what to order? Get the pan-fried juicy bao. You won’t regret it.
914 Mt Alexander Rd, Essendon VIC 3040
Feeling parched? Quench your thirst with a specialty cocktail, craft beer, or a glass of vino from the carefully curated wine list at Ginger Annie, or grab a light bite to eat from the Asian-inspired share menu. Word on the street is that Tasia and Gracia of My Kitchen Rules celebrated their win here, so you know it’s the real deal.
Things to do with the kids
K Rd, Werribee South VIC 3030
Ticket prices: Adults, 15 and over - $36 Children and teens age 4 to 15 - free on weekends and holidays, $18 on weekdays Concession - $27.50
Just 30 minutes from the city, Open Range Zoo brings an African safari adventure to Melbourne’s West. Spend the day checking out a wide variety of animals grazing together on 225 hectares of picturesque savannah. Don’t miss the Pula Reserve Walking Trail, where you’ll have the chance to come face-to-face with gorillas, lions, monkeys, and cheetahs at play.
2 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015
Ticket prices: Adults - $15 Children up to 16 - free
Scienceworks has a fantastic permanent exhibition – Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together – made just for kids up to five years old. The exhibition is divided into three age activity zones, so there’s fun to be had by everyone from babies to big kids.
City West Plaza, 15/484-486 Ballarat Rd, Sunshine North VIC 3020
Ticket prices: Adults - free Children under 12 months - free Children 12-35 months - $8.90 weekdays, $9.90 weekends Children 3 and over - $11.90 weekdays, $12.90 weekends
When they say “Playland”, they mean it. Lollipop’s Playland & Café caters to kids of all ages, with a play maze for big kids featuring a jumping castle, speed slides, inflatable slide and ball pit, and a dedicated toddler area with a mock water slide for younger kids. For kids aged five and over there are three rock climbing walls to choose from.
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