The Top Ten Experience Gifts in Melbourne

Top Ten Experience Gifts in Melbourne

Experience gifts are the best! They are better for the environment and everyone has too much stuff anyway. Plus, you can grab these super last minute without having to face a shopping centre. Win. This list is all chosen from first hand experience, we’ve tried out all these things and can say for sure that they are great experiences. The two memberships I’ve included are memberships we have and renew each year. 

Sun Theatre

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Sure, you can buy movie tickets to any theatre in town but this is where you should get it. The Sun is full of Art Deco character and has wine in the candy bar. Enough said. If you want some more reasons though, the Sun vouchers never expire and, as well as all the blockbusters, they also play some interesting stuff that you won’t find at other cinemas.  

Zoo Membership

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A Melbourne Zoo membership is a great gift for parents of youngsters. The annual pass gives you unlimited entry to the three zoos in Melbourne plus entry to zoos around Australia. Children are free on an adult membership so buying a pass for the parents covers the whole family. You can also choose to pay the membership in monthly instalments so you’ll only be up for $9 a month which can help the budget. 

 

Rap Jumping

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Rap Jumping is a pretty awesome experience that is unique to Melbourne. You may have spotted the fearless jumpers walking the walls of the hostel in Southbank from the highway (we always wave), but did you know that you only have to be seven to give it a go?  

Rap Jumping is forward facing abseiling. Here in Melbourne it is done on the side of a seven storey building.

Keep an eye on Groupon, these guys do regular vouchers that bring the three jump pass down to $39! (How Mini will be spending all her pocket money from now on). 

Museums Membership

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A Melbourne Museum membership is another brilliant gift for families with young children. The annual pass gives unlimited entry to Scienceworks, Melbourne Museum and the Immigration Museum. Scienceworks and Melbourne Museum both have indoor play spaces which are perfect for wet weather entertainment. All the museums also host regular special events and craft activities for the kids.  

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 An art class is great gift for older kids and adults. Many local art schools and community centres have classes to choose from but our top pick is Little Creatures Collective in Seddon. Beck has all sorts of school holiday programs covering painting, sculpture, ceramics and more. I’ve even heard a whisper that skateboard design may be coming up.

Kayak the Yarra 

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Melbourne Kayaing is one of those hidden gems in Melbourne. We jumped in a kayak down at Docklands to give it a go and had a great night! There are several different tours to choose from, all fully escorted by experienced guides, but we went with the sunset tour which starts at Docklands and winds through the city to Birrarung Marr. 

We went without kids but kids are welcome on the tours. Be aware that the accompanying adult will probably need to do all the paddling and steering. You would also only want to do this with a child that is very willing to STAY in the boat. I think kids would really enjoy this experience and am planning on coming back with Mini (7yrs).

Tours on Trike

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This is a great way to see the city for tourists and locals alike. A three wheel trike tour by a passionate Melbourite is a prefect and unique gift. Plenty of tour options available from short trips to full day rides. Minimum age is 8.

Luna Park  

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Everyones nostalgic favourite. When it comes to giving a Luna Park experience as a gift you can choose between a daily unlimited ticket or an annual pass. For most recipients I think a one day pass would do the trick but if you’re gifting it to a South Side teen an annual pass is sure to be a winner. 

SciencePlay Kids Class

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These science classes are so much fun and really unique in Melbourne. Dr. Loz runs all sorts of interesting and messy experiments with the group and makes science come alive. There are regular classes too but the school holiday programs make the best gift options. 

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I know, hot air ballooning is not within the typical secret santa budget but if you have a special gift to buy and the whole family are putting in this is certainly something to consider. Global Ballooning run most days, weather permitting, from sites all over Melbourne. It’s a spectacular experience that most people would be delighted to receive. Just make sure they aren’t afraid of heights! 

Road trip to the Brim Silos

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We LOVE our street art so when Guido Van Helten painted these disused silos in northern Victoria we knew we had to make the trip to see them in person!

They are amazing and well worth the trip to see something so unique. The scale is breathtaking and the setting of remote Brim adds to the drama.

There is parking on site and there is a reduced speed limit in place to make it safer for silo fans. It's always open and there is no charge but there is merchandise available at nearby shops that goes straight into the Brim Community Action Group.

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It's a really nice drive through rural Victoria to get to Brim with plenty of things to see and explore along the way.

 

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If you can, eat in Brim or grab some drinks from the general store to support the local community. We visited on a Sunday so the store was closed. Nearby Warracknabeal has plenty of options for a meal, a supermarket, a great second hand shop for more books for the drive home and even a little free library in their community garden.

Driving from Melbourne the most direct route is via Ballarat, Donald and Warracknabeal. It would take approximately 4 hours if you did it direct.

We drove through beautiful Bendigo and Swan Hill on the way there (certainly not the quickest way but we enjoyed it!). Bendigo has the stunning Sacred Heart Cathedral, tram rides, the Chinese Museum and a great playground on the lake. Swan Hill has the Giant Murray Cod, lovely river walks and a big playground along the river. 

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Between Swan Hill and Brim is Lake Tyrrell which has become a bit of a tourist attraction in recent years, particularly for photographers, for its huge white expanses. 

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Along the way you can count on the little country towns to have great bakeries, playgrounds to stretch the legs and plenty of quirky little sights. 

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Tips for a good trip:

1. Take plenty to read, there are long stretches between sights. 

2. Be aware that most shops close or have limited hours on Sunday. 

3. Have a hardcopy of your map, not everywhere has mobile coverage for Google maps.

4. Keep the petrol tank topped up as you go.

5. Plan regular stops. 

Have a great trip!