There’s no time like summer to spend a weekend staycation and day trips with your family. Excitingly, Thornhill Park is close to so many beautiful destinations around Melbourne.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourites to help you start planning your ultimate staycation close to home!  

Visit the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium  

Experiencing life under the sea is made possible with a visit to the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. Your little ones can encounter some of the world’s most incredible animals, from penguins that can swim up to 36km per hour to huge sharks, majestic stingrays, beautiful seahorses and thousands of tropical fish. This gem of a destination is only a 40-minute drive from Thornhill Park, or you could also take the tram from Flinders Street Station which will drop you off to the aquarium’s front door. Children under three years old can get in for free.   

Explore the Wonders of Yarra Valley  

The stunning wine region of Victoria has so much to offer, even beyond the sip of wine. This summer, try something incredible by experiencing the Yarra Valley scenery aboard a hot air balloon. Glide through the clouds and soak in the panoramic view of rolling hills and green landscapes. Global Ballooning Australia offers sunrise hot air balloon experiences and a delicious breakfast afterward.  

Give your kids a sweet treat by taking them to Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. Amid the picturesque sight of the valley, you can indulge in free chocolate tastings. You can also fill your eyes with displays of thousands of premium chocolates and witness European chocolatiers at work, handcrafting creations through large viewing windows. Watch out for chocolatey activities and events these school holidays!  

Discover the Dandenong Ranges Attractions  

The tastes, sights and sounds of Australia can all be found in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges. At Grants on Sherbrooke, you can feed the Rosellas, which the kids will surely love. There is also the opportunity to enjoy one of the many bush walks.  

A good drink and delicious meal can wrap up the day for you and your family. Just take your pick from their authentic “bush foods” menu, with Devonshire tea with wattle seed scones among the offerings. You can sit indoor or choose the alfresco dining on the outdoor deck.  

Experience Melbourne in the Air 

Often dubbed as an engineering wonder, The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is an iconic landmark. Cap your family day out with an evening “flight” in one of the comfy cooled capsules. For 30 minutes, you can enjoy uninterrupted 360-degree views of the city. There is a regular storytelling session on The Lost Forests that the little ones can take part in as well. And since it’s the school holidays, free additional activities are likely. Children ages 4 and below have free admission.  

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