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melbourne museum

Some twenty-six years ago, on my first day of school, as my mother came to pick me up, I dragged my newest discovery to the gate to meet her: I wasn’t the smallest thing on the entire campus after all, but in fact equal smallest with a four-year-old blonde girl named Rachael, who was thereupon my friend until this very day. We’ve been through a lot in the intervening years–moving interstate, marriage, divorce, kids–and she has always been amazingly positive and funny. I’m glad we bonded over our disappointing lack of height (we are still both unfortunately short, but at least now our children are shorter.)

Rachael and her family now live in Bendigo, but they journeyed down to ye olde Melbourne town a little over a week ago to take the kids to the Museum. She asked if I wanted to come and I was all DINOSAUR BONES I AM THERE. So off the Rocket and I trundled to meet Rachael, her partner, and their two kids.

I haven’t been to the museum for a long time, so it was all a bit new and exciting. And pretty cheap–adults were $10 each and the kids were all free–so it’s a fairly inexpensive day out, especially in comparison to our first idea, the aquarium ($35 each? Bah.) The museum is an excellently resilient place for kids to stumble about, bashing at things and watching mini-movies about dinosaurs or earth or rocks or what have you. We didn’t polish off the entire place, but we visited the dinosaurs (tall), the rocks (sparkly), the bugs (there are spiders in NON-WALLED EXHIBITS AUGH), the human body (fair warning, there is a sex scene), the mind (not really for the under-10s) and the forest bit that takes you between levels. Rachael’s kids had a grand old time playing with everything. I basically paid ten dollars for the Rocket to stare at them as they raced around, but it was worth it nevertheless, and she had a grand old time.

We stopped for lunch at the cafeteria, which wasn’t too frighteningly overpriced. There are options for kids and a pretty decent amount of vegetarian options. I picked up some rice paper rolls, but there seemed to be a couple of salads and some roast vegetables too, so I didn’t have to survive by imbibing ten of the free sugar packets.

There are a fair amount of toilets, and baby change rooms (which are just drop-down surfaces in the disabled bathroom). From what I could see, there doesn’t seem to be places you could feed a baby in private, but there are countless couches and an extremely kid-friendly atmosphere, so if you’re relaxed about it you could do it about anywhere. There’s an abundance of high chairs in the cafeteria, and little kid-friendly lunch boxes for sale there too.

I do have some advice: Take a pram. Don’t do what I did and wear your kid in a Baby Bjorn for hours. It will wreck your back for a week. That might be obvious, but I am frequently dense like a very tasty human-shaped chocolate mud cake.

Melbourne Museum

11 Nicholson St

Carlton Gardens

Opposite the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings

Melbourne

13 11 02

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