March welcomes Autumn and marks a changing of the guard for the Southern States in Australia where the best weather is handed over to the NT, parts of WA and Queensland. Like well loved slippers, the Southern States slides into their all too familiar cooler months whilst the Northern States also begins to chill for the better with less humidity, clearer skies and the end of the wet season.
March in Australia is a great time to travel particularly just before the school holiday break. A shoulder season means cheaper airfares and hotel rack rates.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the icy grip of winter is starting to loosen with the dawn of Spring, an excellent time to travel almost everywhere in UK, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Northern America.
America is once again a good destination to travel to in March with Washington DC celebrating Spring with it’s own Cherry Blossom season. The big cities such as New York, Chicago, San Fran and LA are also coming into their prime. For snow bunnies a last run down the mountain can still be had before the Ski season comes to a close.
Best places to go in March with kids, Australia
1. Metung, East Gippsland, Victoria
The picture perfect fishing town of Metung located in Victoria’s East Gippsland is perfect in Autumn and caps off the best places to go in with kids in March. Metung is a 3.5 hours drive East of Melbourne, located on a narrow sandy peninsula with a population of 1,100. These lucky residents get to enjoy both sunrise and sunset over calm protected waters. With temperatures in their mid 20’s, clear skies and little wind, March is an ideal time to go. It’s one of my favourite little spots in Victoria and oozes character and charm.
Metung – Highlights with kids
The boardwalk is a easy 20-30 stroller friendly walk which starts the village centre on Metung Road and winds it ways North to to Chinamans Creek past the Legend Rock and Metung Marina. Along the way there are plenty of photo opportunities or spots to throw a line in, fishing is a big deal around here.
Whether you hire a boat to the deeper holes around Tambo River or Barrier Landing or fish from the board walks and public jetties around Metung. There are plenty of riverways, estauaries and even beach fishing hot spots and a great activity to enjoy with the kiddies. Visit Victoria has more details on fishing hotspots around Metung.
Prawn season is from January through to April and is a great time to trawl for prawns with the kids at dusk.
Seven rivers terminate at the Lakes forming a series of calm coastal lagoons of the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, a short drive or boat ride from Metung. The Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park is a boating and fishing hotspot the lagoons are sheltered from the pounding waves of the Tasman Sea by Ninety Mile Beach and perfect for the family to take the boat out in.
Kids can try their luck at fishing from a hired boat or along the jetty at Drews Jetty. There are also sheltered sandy lake shores that great for a swim. Within the park are various camping spots popular with families, for more information on campsites at Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park click here.
2. McClaren Vale, South Australia
Autumn is a great time to hit the wine regions of Australia. Whilst the Barossa Valley tends to steal the spotlight for exceptional wineries with some great kid friendly cellar doors, check out our Barossa with Kids post. It’s also the perfect time to hit McClaren Vale one of South Australia’s best kept secrets. A vista of grapevines nestled between rolling hills and lush green valleys awaits. The McClaren Vale wineries have a more intimate feel, are more family friendly and a vibe of understatement. The best part is McClaren Vale is 35km (45 minute drive) from Adelaide and an easy drive with kids from Adelaide.
There’s more than wineries in McClaren Vale, situated in the Fleurieu region also has plenty of sleepy beachside towns, scenic hinterland drives through lofty hills and green valleys as well as National Parks to visit.
Mcclaren Vale Highlights with kids
Vist McClaren Vale’s Family friendly wineries
McClaren Vale offers some excellent family friendly wineries with beautiful lawns perfect to roll the picnic blanket out and spend the day outdoors. Chill the esky, pack a lunch and bring the footy. As kids kick the ball around, parents can sample some of the best wines Adelaide has to offer, which give Barossa Valley a run for their money.
Family friendly wineries in McClaren Vale include:
Explore charming Old Noarlunga
Established in 1840 and one of South Australia’s oldest town, Old Noarlunga is a charming little town located on a bend of the Onkaparinga River. Kids can explore the historic walking trails, kayak down the river or have a pub meal at the Old Noarlunga Hotel.
Swim at Port Willunga
White sandy beach and calm clear waters overlooked by sheer white cliffs is what you will find at Port Willunga. This sleepy South Australian seaside town on the Fleurieu Peninsulais offers a sheltered beach perfect for a swim with the kids. Further out from shore is the Star of Greece which was shipwrecked in 1888, now an artificial and home to a diverse range of marine life a great spot for kids to take a snorkel.
At the top of the Cliff the Star of Greece Cafe lays claims to some of the best fish and chips or at least one of the best views.
3. Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast – Highlights with kids
Take your pick of the theme parks
Packed full of thrill seeking, butterfly inducing rides from the Batwing Spaceshot, the steepest inverted drop on the new Green Lantern ride and the Justice League ride where you go on an adventure shooting aliens.
For the little ones there is the WB Kids FunZone a smaller ride section perfect for little ones 0- 6 years old with gentler rides including a carousel decorated with all your favourite Warner Bros characters, themed train rides, kid friendly dodgem cars and a smaller roller coaster. Along the sheltered Main Street are daily live entertainment.
Beach day at Burleigh
There are some beautiful beaches on the Gold Coast. The gliterring strip of Surfers Paradise with all the modern conveniences of fast food and clothing retailers connects you to some prime beach front where you can spend the day building sand castles or splashing in the water. Main Beach is family friendly with a playground located on the foreshore.
For smaller crowds, Burleigh Beach is our top family friendly beach to spend the day. A great little beach backing onto Burleigh Head National Park. Although still popular with tourists and locals alike, you will find a more laid back atmosphere on this beach.
Play at the Rockpools
In Southport along the Broadwater Parklands is an excellent little playground called the Rockpools. It’s a Mecca for holidaying families with ride on bikes, a huge jumping pillow, a small beach area with fenced in swimming nets and a wet playground complete with fountains, jets and wading pools.
Explore waterfalls at Springbrook National Park
Springbrook National Park is an easy 30 minute drive from the bustling beaches of Surfers Paradise. Here’s where the family can find calm with gentle walking trails through ancient moss covered trees and impressive lookouts where waterfalls cascade down a sheer rocky cliff face that was once a volcano. There are caves and waterfalls to explore and homemade fudge and scones to indulge in.
Hand feed Rainbow Lorikeets at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Nestled in the Gold Coast Hinterland is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary home to large selection of Australian wildlife from the common possum, kangaroo and koala to the more elusive Tasmanian devil, echidna and wombat. Outshining them all are the rainbow lorikeets that descend on hoards of happy tourists landing on any appendage of the body to get to the sweet nutty mixture.
Best places to go in March with kids, rest of the world
1. Tokyo, Japan
It’s still a bit chilly in Japan, despite the cold Tokyo is the top pick for the best places to go with kids in March because of the unmissable Hanami Season, where the cherry trees blossom welcoming in Spring. Hamani is forecasted in Tokyo on March 26th with trees in full bloom a week later. It’s extremely romantic, easily doable with kids and a bucket list worthy experience.
Whilst Cherry Blossoms can be viewed throughout Japan and Kyoto would make for a beautiful backdrop. A more family friendly option where it’s not just about zen gardens and temples is Tokyo, the bustling city of 13.35 million provides plenty of cultural gems to keep young kids entertained.
Tokyo – Highlights with kids
There are plenty of places for Hanami in Tokyo, the most famous is is Ueno Park, where over 1000 trees line the street leading to the National Museum. Though you can’t get away from the crowds in Tokyo, for a little more space head to the wide open lawns at Shinjuku Gyoen with a variety of cherry blossoms that bloom throughout the main Hanami season. Only numbering in the hundreds are the cherry blossom trees at Inokashira Park which surrounds a central pond. Kids can hire a swan shaped boats to view the cherry blossoms from the water.
Over four levels of Lego, beautiful displays of Japanese themed Lego exhibits, a lego factory showing kids how lego is made, a ride that shoots aliens, a lego building station and huge lego playground is enough reason to visit Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo. A kid centric attraction that offers a reprieve from the weather outside.
Unique to Tokyo, the Panasonic Center unlike the Sony model is not just a place where the latest products are on display and can be handled, there is a floor dedicated to this inside the center. However, on the 2nd level resides RiSuPia an interactive maths and science learning area powered by Panasonic devices. Here kids get hands-on with interactive digital and visual exhibits such as 3D journey to learn maths and shapes. On the same floor is the Nintendo Game Front where you can play the latest Nintendo games on the latest Panasonic TV’s.
On another level as the major sponsor of the Olympic Games, Panasonic have a section dedicated to the Olympics where you can get a photo on an Olympic podium, view the 1964 Cauldron and an exhibit on Olympic torches.
Food is an important part of Japanese culture and there are many family friendly food options available for travelling families. At the bottom of all major departments stores are large food halls selling all sorts of weird and wonderful Japanese cuisines, packaged beautifully for on-the-go dining or there are seating areas around each food stand. Take your pick from the humble ramen, a beautiful bento box, katsu, sushi as well as green tea pound cake, italian pizzas done Japanes style and cuisines of every type.
Travelling with kids means getting up early, make the most of it by heading to Tsukiji Market, the most famous fish markets of Tokyo and one of three that collectively process an astouding 700,000 metric tons of seafood with a total value of $5.9 billion USD. There are two markets, the outer market is open from 5am where stalls open to the general public sell anything from sardines, seaweed to knives and bowls.
The inner market is not open until 9am after the wholesale fish trading is almost complete, visitors may get a chance to see a few of the prized frozen tuna lying on the ground waiting to be picked up and shipped to the finest restaurants around Japan and the world.
After strolling through the markets head to the neighboring restaurants who’ve opened their doors for a sushi breakfast set with the freshest of fresh fish from next door.
Take the kids up the worlds tallest ‘free-standing tower’ towering 634m. On a clear day, the tower offers unobstructed panoramic views of Mt Fuji. Even if Mt Fuji is a blur, the view looking over sprawling Tokyo is one worth travelling up to see.
2. Hoi An, Vietnam
With the end of the wet season, Vietnam is coming back in favour. March is a great time to visit to avoid the tourist crowds. Making the list of best places to go in March with kids is a firm favourite, Hoi An.A charming village that has retained its predominately Chinese influence.
Throughout the old port town little historic gems can be found from Chinese temples, old tea houses, shop fronts and buildings that have seemingly been untouched. The Old Town’s character is amplified by the mainly pedestrian access to the Old Town, though motorbikes are prevalent at busier times.
Hoi An is touristy, the historical houses and streets surrounding Old Town are all selling something to the rich tourists that visit this quaint little village. Despite loud mechanical boats shaped like glowing evil swans that take tourists for a ride around the water and hawkers pushing tailored made suits and designer leather jackets, Hoi An still retains its charm.
Highlights with kids
3. Washington DC, USA
America’s capital has it’s own Cherry Blossom Festival in the Spring. Washington DC is well worth a visit with the kids, filled with history and packed full of kid friendly, accessible attractions and activities. Some say that Autumn with the turning of the leaves is the best time to go, I much prefer the weather in Spring with clear blue skies, relatively long warm days and pops of colour from lush green lawns and budding flowers.
Highlights with kids
With a huge selection of artifacts from giant dinosuaur fossils, texidermy animals of every variety, a gem hall featuring a 45.54 carat Hope Diamond, an Imax Theatre, Egyptian Mummies and a must visit Disccovey Room where kids can learn through hands on interactive exhibits. Entry is free with a $6 fee for the live Butterfly Pavilion.
Where are you headed or planning to visit in February? Have you got a hot tip of best places to go in March with kids? Your comment most welcomed below: