The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is the perfect place for kids who love getting their hands dirty in the garden.
There’s lots of fun places to explore including the Ruin Garden, the Meeting Place (which has a water feature that sprays up out of the ground in summer!), a Wetland Area, Bamboo Forest, The Gorge, Plant Tunnel, Kitchen Garden (full of yummy vegetables!) and The Rill (a gentle waterway that runs through the Garden).
- Open 10am–sunset Wednesday–Sunday and public holidays; 10am–sunset seven days a week during Victorian State School holidays.
- Closed to the public Monday–Tuesday during Victorian State School terms for booked school groups only
- Each year the Children’s Garden takes a break in winter for regular maintenance and restoration for eight weeks for rest and maintenance following the end of July school holidays.
The Children’s Garden is an interactive educational environment in which children of all ages, backgrounds, physical abilities and cultures can play, explore and discover the natural world. It features plants, water, structures and pathways that reflect Melbourne's changing seasons. Plenty to explore in and around the Children’s Garden with our '50 things to do at the Royal Botanic Gardens... and some more beyond' checklist (PDF - 4.47MB) or pick up a free copy at the Visitor Centre.
The garden has been designed to intrigue, teach and excite children from a very young age about the importance of conservation and the environment. It is scaled specifically for children to create a sense of ownership, care and responsibility for the environment. The Children’s Garden is accessible to anybody including wheelchair users, visitors with walking frames and parents with prams.
- What's on at the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden
- Education at the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden
- Rill (stream): 10am–4pm daily
- Spiral fountains: 10am–4pm on days when the temperature is forecast to exceed 25 degrees. The fountains do not operate when the forecast is less than 25 degrees.
This is a public space, so for safety and hygiene reasons, children must be clothed at all times. It can take as little as ten minutes for your child to suffer sunburn, so:
- Slip on sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible
- Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen
- Slap on a hat
- Seek shade
- Slide on sunglasses
Adults are responsible for actively supervising children and keeping them safe while in the Children’s Garden. This is a glass-free, alcohol-free and smoke-free area.
Book a special space in the Children's Garden for your next celebration! The new enclosed Gathering Lawn area has shady trees, a water feature and plenty of green space to run, jump and play. This unique garden space is suitable for all kinds of outdoor functions.
Available Saturday and Sundays: 10am - 12noon, 12.30 - 2.30pm and 3 - 5pm.
Venue hire for 2 hours is $495.
Coming soon: children's birthday party packages!
The newly opened area of the Children’s Garden is just perfect for your little one’s Garden Birthday Party. Choose from one of the following themes:
- Teddy Bears Picnic (0-3 years)
- Garden Fairy Party (4-8 years)
- Dinosaur Stomp Party (4-8 years)
Children’s Parties are hosted by one of our professional programs officers and include:
- 2 hours exclusive use of the Gathering Lawn in the Children’s garden with fountain, seating and shady trees.
- 1hour of fun nature based activities with songs, dance and games.
- Birthday gift for the Birthday child
- Use of Teepees/Tunnels and other fun materials
- Delicious food box for each child by Blakes Feast Catering
- Birthday Cake
- Food Platters for adults
For more information or to register your interest please call 03 9252 2429.
Picnics can take up a lot of space in the Children’s Garden, which is needed for jumping, running and playing! So step out into the Gardens and try these spots to throw down your picnic rug and enjoy the beautiful views:
- Oak Lawn, beneath the mighty oaks there’s lots of space to play. A favourite for kids in autumn as the colourful leaves fall to the ground.
- Western Lawn, with plenty of space to play close to the Children's Garden.
- Princes Lawn, with views down to Central Lake and a gentle hill to roll down.
- Eastern Lawn, with shady areas with nice views towards the city.
- Guilfoyle and Eucalypt Lawns, with shady areas close to the Guilfoyle’s Volcano and D Gate.
- Picnic Point by the lake, where you can look for eels and black swans.
Dogs are not permitted in the Children’s Garden, but are permitted elsewhere in the Gardens provided they are leashed and supervised at all times.