The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden
The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden is a magical place to discover the world of plants. It’s a place where children can dig, build, imagine, create, hide... come and explore!
The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is located at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Observatory Precinct, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra 3141 (Melways Reference 2F K12).
- What's on at the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden
- Education at The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden
The 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).
- 10am - Sunset, Wednesday to Sunday and all public holidays
- 10am - Sunset, seven days per week during Victorian State School holidays and on Father’s Day
Eight weeks for rest and maintenance following the end of the July school holidays
- Every Mondays and , Tuesdays in during Victorian school term time – booked schools use only
Water play areas:
- Rill (stream): 10am - 4pm everyday
fountains: 10am - 4pm on days when the temperature is forecast to be
25 degrees or more. If the forecast is less than 25 degrees, the
fountains do not run.
- This is a public space, so for safety and hygiene reasons, children must be clothed at all times. Be Sunsmart. 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, smoke-free area. Glass containers, smoking and alcohol are permitted elsewhere in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Where’s a good spot for a picnic or a children’s party?
Picnics take up lots 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 space to run and play close to the Children’s garden
- Princes Lawn, has views down to Central Lake and a gentle hill to roll down
- Eastern Lawn, shady areas with nice views towards the city
- Guilfoyle and Eucalypt Lawns, shady areas, close to the Guilfoyle’s Volcano and D Gate
- Try the aptly named ‘Picnic Point’ for a lakeside experience and look for eels, black swans and see who’s getting their feathers wet!
Are dogs welcome?
Yes, absolutely, bring your four-legged friends for a walk in the Gardens, just remember to keep them on a lead and pick up any doggy deposits! Please note that dogs are not allowed in the Children’s Garden and they cannot be tied to the gates/fence surrounding the Children’s Garden.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden (the Children’s Garden) at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (RBG Melbourne) extends over an area of 5000 square metres (half a hectare) and is located near the main entrance to the Gardens in the Observatory Precinct, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra (Melway Reference 2F K12).
Why create a children’s garden?
With increasing urbanisation and higher density living, there are reduced chances for children to venture outdoors and explore, experience and enjoy the natural world.
In the Children’s Garden, RBG Melbourne has created a natural experience for children that will inspire happy memories and develop a life-long appreciation and interest in plants and gardens.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden is a magical place where children are able to dig, build, create, hide and explore as part of their everyday learning about themselves and their place in the world.
What does The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden provide?
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. The garden has been designed to intrigue, teach and excite children from a very young age about the importance of conservation and the environment.
The Children’s Garden is scaled for children so as to create a sense of ownership, leading to care and increased responsibility for the environment and is accessible to anybody including wheelchair users, visitors with walking frames and parents with prams.
Located just inside O-Gate, close to the Visitor Centre at RBG Melbourne, the garden provides the perfect setting for families to learn together about the magical plant kingdom.
Every aspect of The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden has been designed to promote the fun and enjoyment of gardening, to nurture the link between children and the earth, and the extraordinary plant kingdom.
From the highly ornamental entrance garden through to the ‘parterre’ styled children’s kitchen garden, and on to water, plant tunnels and bamboo forests, there is something for every child to enjoy and marvel at.
Plants in the Children’s Garden
Plants have been selected for their diversity, colour and form. They have been chosen for their weird and wonderful shapes and their capacity to delight, stimulate and invite inquiry into the world of plants.
More information on plants in The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden.
The plant selection is also guided by RBG Melbourne’s Living Plant Collections plan.
Last updated 29 Jan 2013