Museums Victoria presents Playbound: A city-wide celebration of play-based learning

Bound into the city these school holidays and make time to play!

Playbound festival will take over the City of Melbourne these school holidays. Photographer: Eugene Hyland | Source: Museums Victoria.

Introducing Playbound: the vibrant new children's festival dedicated to play, nature, science and imagination, presented by Museums Victoria in partnership with the City of Melbourne, ArtPlay, Melbourne Recital Centre, Road to Zero and Gowrie Victoria.

Taking over the City of Melbourne in the winter school holidays from 29 June to 14 July, this 16-day extravaganza promises an array of fun-filled performances, workshops, exhibitions and activities designed to inspire children aged 0–12 through dynamic, play-based learning.

With an emphasis on free and affordable programming, Playbound is a city-wide celebration where families will discover a whole new world of creativity and adventure, making these school holidays an unforgettable experience.

The festival invites children to learn about the world and themselves through joyful, enlightening and interactive experiences grounded in Playbound's pillars of play, nature, science and imagination. Play-based learning is integral to supporting children’s development across physical, social, emotional and intellectual areas, and the Playbound program is bursting at the seams with captivating opportunities for kids and families to nurture memorable moments of wonder, curiosity and connection.

Playbound harnesses the collective expertise of some of Melbourne’s premier cultural organisations including Melbourne Museum, ArtPlay, Melbourne Recital Centre, Immigration Museum and City of Melbourne Libraries. With over 40 programs spread across 14 city venues, each location offers a range of activities tailored to different age groups and interests.

Playbound highlights include:

  • NAIDOC Week Family Day at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre: Celebrate the commencement of NAIDOC Week at Melbourne Museum with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, events, performances and family activities. Discover the incredible Dancing Dragonflies that once shared the Earth and create your own Kooyang Eel (Gunditjmara) mobile to take home at the renowned Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
  • Peter and the Wolf with Inventi Ensemble at Melbourne Recital Centre: Inventi Ensemble will introduce children of all ages to the magic of music with Prokofiev’s century-old tale Peter and the Wolf. Through the story of young Peter, his grandfather, and their animal kingdom friends the bird, duck, and cat, audiences will explore this classic tale and develop a new appreciation for the music and sounds made by instruments often found in a symphony orchestra.
  • The World is Lava, Please Calm Down at ArtPlay: An epic double-header event designed for children aged 5 to 11, this experience is part game, part challenge and part adventure land. Navigate an obstacle course themed around natural disasters and everyday anxieties like lost homework and eating the worst vegetable. Then, become special researchers to test out stations designed to achieve maximum calm and offer your expert opinion on what works best.
  • Little Big Science Show at Community Hub at The Docks: Specifically designed for early learners, this engaging show makes science easy to understand for children aged 3 to 5 years. From rainbows and colour mixing through to vibrations in elephant tubes and giant bubbles, preschoolers will have a blast!
  • Nature Play at Royal Park: Explore Royal Park through hands-on, child-led learning and sensory play through a range of nature-based activities, games, crafts, storytelling and songs. Join us for a bush walk focusing on movement, climbing and learning about the local flora and fauna from experienced educators.
  • Little Senses Play Sessions at Kensington Maternal and Child Health Centre: These guided sessions encourage children to explore and build confidence at their own pace and invite parents to be actively involved in their child’s play including sensory activities, messy play, arts and crafts, and more.
  • The Great Imaginormous Sketch Off at Kathleen Syme Library: A creative morning of drawing, colouring, and crafting inspired by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. Design your own paper garden and whimsical creatures, then borrow a Dahl book to enjoy at home as you nurture your imagination alongside your new creations.
  • Picturing Family at the Immigration Museum: Discover the art of visual storytelling and celebrate your unique family history in this special workshop led by photographer Pia Johnson, the creative mind behind the Re-Orient exhibition at the Immigration Museum.

Playbound festival takes place from 29 June to 14 July 2024 across various locations throughout the City of Melbourne.

For further information and for the full program and city-wide map, visit Museums Victoria’s website:

Quotes attributable to CEO and Director of Museums Victoria, Lynley Crosswell

‘Playbound brings together this city’s long-standing leaders in facilitating children’s creativity and self-expression to create a dynamic and imaginative space where children can thrive.’

‘The festival is a celebration of the joy of play and underscores its importance in fostering curiosity and lifelong learning.’

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

‘We’re inviting families to come and immerse themselves in a day of fun, play-based learning with plenty of free and affordable events and interactive experiences on offer.’

‘There’s something for the whole family to enjoy – so why not stick around and make the most of your day out in Melbourne by exploring the endless retail and hospitality options, while supporting local businesses.’

Playbound Festival

Open: 29 June to 14 July
Tickets: on sale at Melbourne Museum and online:

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Media and Communications Team
Museums Victoria
[email protected]
0466 622 621

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