Watch your children as they press the button to light up a window…and come face to face with a huge, live tarantula, just on the other side of the glass! Adults might shudder, but kids run in delight to the next window, looking for an even larger and scarier creepy-crawly. They wriggle excitedly into the child-size tunnel in the ant house so they can bob up right in the middle of the ant colony and see what all the busy little ants are up to. Melbourne Museum is filled with unique exhibits such as Bugs Alive! that are guaranteed to keep your kids entranced.
Carlton Gardens, Nicholson St, Carlton; (03) 8341 7777 or 1300 130 152
BUDGET; EXTRA COST FOR SOME TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS
■ The Forest Gallery, with a real temperate Victorian forest, live birds and reptiles. In winter, it closes at 4.30pm so the birds can roost in peace.
Some of the tarantulas in the Bugs Alive! exhibit were confiscated from people trying to smuggle them into Australia. The museum holds them in quarantine before they are put on display. Quarantine is a maximum security area. There is not the tiniest crack anywhere, and all surfaces are painted white and lit 24 hours a day. Only a few people are allowed to enter, and they have to go through a series of sealed doors. No tarantulas or their parasites can escape.
■ If you want to take some weight off your feet for a while, watch a screening in the IMAX Theatre. Book tickets in advance to make sure you don’t miss out.
- Melbourne Museum, Carlton, In city
- Melbourne Museum, Recreational Indigenous, Recreational Indigenous