The best places to go with kids in March

Cherry Blossoms by Ryosuke Yagi Flickr CC
Cherry Blossoms by Ryosuke Yagi Flickr CC

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.

Cherry Blossoms by Ryosuke Yagi Flickr CC

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 Victoria by Anne and Raymond Yu Flickr CC.  Best places to go in March with kids.
Metung Victoria by Anne and Raymond Yu Flickr CC

Metung – Highlights with kids

Stroll along the Metung boardwalk

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.

View a map of Metung here.

Watch the pelicans feed at the Metung Hotel
The Metung hotel is a great spot to moor your boat and grab a pub meal right on the waterfront, with several picnic tables to enjoy the view from. Every day at noon kids are able to seey hungry Pelicans come to snap up tasty fishy morsels.
Fish with the kids

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.

Take the boat out at Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

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.

Fish and chips and more by the waterfront
Along the Metung waterfront there are a several family friendly dining options that offer perfect views of the boats bobbing up and down. From takeaway fish and chips at Metung Galley, a local pub meal by the water at the Metung Hotel or grab a few pies and sausage rolls from the local Metung Bakery.
Checkout the Farmers Market
Every second Saturday of the month from 8.20am – 12.30pm the Village Green transforms into the Metung Farmers Market where market stalls offer fresh local produce, artisan goods, handmade arts and crafts.

Family friendly swimming at Metung
Near the public jetty on the Lake King side is a sheltered backbeach with a picnic area. The waters are calm in March and perfect for little kids to have a splash.  You can also hire a boat for Barrier Landing with a family friendly swimming beach on the lake side.

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.

Autumn last year in McClaren Vale.  Best places to go in March with kids.
Autumn last year in McClaren Vale.

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:

Woodstock Wines
A sprawling estate in a beautiful bush setting, the winery offers a lovely outdoor dining spot with casual meals such as wood fired pizzas. Kids are most welcomed with a toy box and books to read in the cellar door an outdoor playground and a wildlife sanctuary with rescued Kangaroos. Daily feedings are 11.30am.
Wirra Wirra Wines
Wirra Wirra Wines has an awesome toy box, great outdoor space complete with BBQ and an open spacious cellar door. It’s a win win for wine loving parents and kids.ext
Angove Family Winemakers
Offers a beautiful setting, with a large open bistro and deck overlooking a manicured lawn and wines in the distance. The large cellar tasting foyer comes complete with cozy couches and a fireplace as well as books and toys for the little ones. The casual menu has a nice selection that kids can nibble on in between games of tag out on the grass.
Samuels Gorge
Is a beautiful little winery, the cellar door is housed in a tastefully restored 1850’s barn where kids can view old relics such as vintage wine press or flick through books feature wine dogs. The beauty of this littel gem is the lawns surrounding the cottage, resembling nanna’s backyard kids can run around in the fence in lot and be entertained with a round of skittles provided on sight. The view is magnificent, the cottage is perched atop with 180 degree views of the rolling green hills.

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

The Gold Coast is an adventure playground for kids, what’s not very fun when visiting theme parks is the sticky heat and lengthy queues. Summer is always busy with school holiday crowds, however March (just before the Easter holidays) means lesser crowds and a reprieve from the hot humid days or sudden downpours.
With DreamWorld, Warner Brothers Movie World, Wet n Wild and Sea World all within easy access of one another. A family holiday can be complete without having to leave the theme park area. Roller coasters and thrill rides aside, the Gold Coast is home to a beautiful coastline of white sandy beaches and backwater inlets. The hinterland is home walking trails through age old rainforest and magnificent lookouts from an ancient volcano’s edge onto tumbling waterfalls.
Natural Bridge SpringBrook National Park by Michael Lynch Flickr CC.  Best places to go in March with kids.
Natural Bridge SpringBrook National Park by Michael Lynch Flickr CC

Gold Coast – Highlights with kids

Take your pick of the theme parks

Sea World
Our pick for the younger kids not ready for the big scary rides. Sea world has some great ride suitable for the little ones and plenty of sea animals to keep the kids entertained. There are seal and dolphin shows as well as a Jet Stun Show and Dora Explora makes an appearance with a live show. The highlights include the Polar Bears, the impressive underwater reef aquarium complete with sharks, Dolphin Beach and Penguin Encounter. When kids little legs tire you can catch the Sky Highway back to the entrance. There’s also a smaller water park for families to cool off in.
Warner Bros Movie World

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.

Wet n Wild
Cool off with a day at a water park. Wet n Wild is one of the two water parks on the Gold Coast. Thrill seekers have rides titled the Kamikaze and Tornado to wet their appetite. However, families play a big part at the water park and younger kids don’t miss out with a lazy river, a large water playground, smaller water slides for 10 years and younger, a large artificial wave pool and outdoor spas at the Hot Tubs.
Whitewater World
The DreamWorld franchise offers their water park on the Gold Coast. Whitewater World has a “Scream Zone” for the adventurous older kids with super loop body slides, vortex’s and tornado rides. Younger kids have smaller slide rides, a huge water playground a wet area called Wiggle Corner and a wave pool to enjoy.
In March the Wiggles will be making twice daily live appearances. Other live shows include entertainment featuring your favourite DreamWorld characters. There are 9 thrill rides for older kids and a kids ride section all themed in Dreamworld and Wiggles characters. Take a ride in the Big Red Car or a Shrek themed carousel. DreamWorld also has Tiger Island, where you can get to see the resident lions. For an extra fee Tiger Experiences where you can choose from taking a stroll with a tiger, feeding a tiger or having a group photo with a tiger.

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.

View from Tokyo World trade center by Mariko Kato Flickr CC.  Best places to go in March with kids.
View from Tokyo World trade center by Mariko Kato Flickr CC

Tokyo – Highlights with kids

Walk amongst cherry blossoms

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.

Check out Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo

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.

Play at Panasonic Center

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.

Dine casually Japanese style

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.

Check out the fish at Tsukiji Market

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.

Head up Tokyo Sky Tree

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.

Hoi An bu Dennis Jarvis Flickr CC.  Best places to go in March with kids.
Hoi An bu Dennis Jarvis Flickr CC

Highlights with kids

Catch a rickshaw through Old Town
 Rickshaws, the ones pulled on foot by a person are truly something from the past. The only places left that use them in the world is for tourists to reminisce of the olden days. What better place to catch a rickshaw than through the narrow lane-ways of Hoi An with the family. The kids will get a kick out of this perplexing form of transportation, whilst its slightly tacky it’s also kitschy cool
Pop into ancient temples, museums and houses
You can easily be whisked back to the 16th century as you imagine the historical village storefronts selling Hindu spices, Arabic perfumes or Chinese incense such was the cultural mixing pot that Hoi An was in the 16th century. Less romantic is the coupon ticketing system, each ticket to the Old Town permits entry of five of the many museums, houses and historical buildings which have been preserved in it’s original fashion. Some are occupied today by multi-generational Chinese-Vietnamese families living their life as you pop into their home for a look-see. All part of the experience. 
Stroll through the Hoi An night market
Particularly romantic is the Hoi An night market where stall vendors set up displays of lanterns that reflect off the calm canal waters at twilight. Here you will find tourists strolling around looking for a alfresco area for a drink or dinner as well as many locals taking their young kids for a stroll. A picture perfect spot for a photo is along the main street of Tran Phu Street where it intersects the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Enjoy a sunset cruise
For a very reasonable fare of $5 USD per person, take a cruise from the Bach Dang docks for a sunset cruise down the Thu Bon river.
Affordable, fresh and tasty Vietnamese cuisine with a Chinese twist is available in Hoi An. Pull up a plastic stool and order a a fresh bowl of wonton dumplings or enjoy the signature rice noodle dish of Cao Lau with a side of crisp Vietnamese spring rolls. There are lots of snacks and delicacies to choose.

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.

Happy Presidents Day by Justin Brown. Best places to go in March with kids.
Happy Presidents Day by Justin Brown Flickr CC

Highlights with kids

Say hi to 'Honest Abe
The impressive monument dedicated to Abraham Lincoln is part of a series of monuments along the National Mall. Honest Abe located at the end of the reflection pool is extremely popular but worth a visit to set your eyes on the famous statue. It’s a historical spot where Martin Luther King once stood in his “I Have Dream” speech.  
Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
How do you teach young kids about war? An important but delicate subject and one that can be broached appropriately according to age.  The open Vietnam Veterans Memorial can be a conduit to discussing their fears, respect and tolerance. 
Discover the Museum of Natural History
Though monuments and memorials are worthwhile, you can break up the historical walk with museums and DC have the best in the world. The world class Smithsonian musems which are a group of 19 galleries and museums as well as the Zoo are scattered around Washington DC and the Museum of Natural History tops the list.

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.

View lots of planes at the National Air and Space Museum
Home to the largest collection of air and spacecraft in the world, the National Air and Space Museum is huge with historiacl aircraft and space ship dangling from the ceiling. Kids can take a ride on a flight simulator or enter ta Boeing 747. There are Apollo 11 space modules and planes of every model and size for kids to view. Also avaialbe for an additional cost is the Einstein Planetarium and the IMAX theatre. The program has many organised interactive activites from presentations to meeting astronauts and pilots.

Discover the Museum of Natural History
Though monuments and memorials are worthwhile, you can break up the historical walk with museums and DC have the best in the world. The world class Smithsonian musems which are a group of 19 galleries and museums as well as the Zoo are scattered around Washington DC and the Museum of Natural History tops the list. 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. The best part it’s free except for the small $6 fee for the live Butterfly Pavilion.

National Zoo
The National Zoo in Washington DC is one of the oldest Zoo’s in America with an extensive species list. Best of all the Zoo is free and the standards are hight. Feature exhibits include, two resident giant pandas Mei Xand an Tian Tian, Great Apes, Great Cats and Asian Elephants. The zoo also offers caoursel rides and interactive kids farm.

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:

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