Looking for things to do in Melbourne this autumn? It may be getting colder outside but there’s still time to explore and enjoy the great outdoors, especially around the leafy north eastern suburbs. 

If you’re feeling stuck in your routine don’t worry because your next adventure doesn’t have to be on the other side of the world or filled with adrenaline. You can turn the everyday into an exciting escape in just a few easy steps.

Make the most of the clear skies while you still can! 

It’s picnic time! Find a park nearby (we love Ringwood Lake Park) or make a day of it by venturing further into the Yarra Valley region. Lilydale Lake is only a stone’s throw away, and beautiful Healesville is only a half an hour drive from Croydon.

The wineries you pass on the way there might even tempt you to skip the outdoor fun and stop for a five star wining and dining experience instead. That still counts as a picnic adventure, right? We recommend De Bortoli Wines - this cellar door in the Yarra Valley has a playground overlooking the vineyard, making it perfect for a family day out.

For an overnight stay consider a night of glamping at BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park. You will feel close to nature without sacrificing hotel-like comfort. Plus you will be close to some of Victoria’s best wineries and attractions like Healesville Sanctuary!

If you don’t want to stray too far away from Maroondah, you can set up both of these activities in your own backyard. The beauty of a picnic adventure is that you’re taking something you do every day - eating with family - and putting a fun twist on it. You can even camp or “glamp” in your own backyard… but it might be hard to resist sneaking back into the warm cosy house to sleep.

There are a few essentials you will need to set up and make it special.

Firstly (and most importantly), THE FOOD. If you love local produce there’s plenty of local markets near Croydon to put in your calendar, including the iconic Warrandyte Riverside Market, Yarra Glen Racecourse Market and Yarra Valley Farmer’s Market. Get fresh fruit, dips, bread, wine, honey, sweets - basically anything you can think of - to create a delicious antipasto platter or spread for the kids.

Next you need to set the scene. To make it magical no matter where you are, go a little above and beyond with the props. 

This large floral picnic rug fits four adults PLUS food, and features soft velvety fabric you won’t want to get up from. The built-in shoulder strap makes setting up and packing away a breeze, even if you’re trying to tackle a bunch of crazy kids at the same time.

Put the kids to bed and make it a little fancy with a folding table - this one even comes with four wine holders for your Flemington Acrylic Wine Glasses and an umbrella hole for optional protection. Sounds like a cute date night waiting to happen!

This setup could just as easily be transported to a more traditional camping holiday. Grab a stylish cooler bag and this nifty portable barbeque from Gentlemen’s Hardware and you can easily cook up a gourmet meal by the bush, river or sea.

These items are all reusable and will come in handy time and time again.

Make Easter extra special

With Easter around the corner, get the kids on board and end your easter egg hunt with breaky outside under the sun. Bad weather? Classic Melbourne!! Who said picnics had to be outside? Set up inside with your picnic rug, some plush cushions, blankets and indoor activities for a cosy experience.

Our new Little Cactus Kids store in Croydon is filled with so many entertaining and enriching toys, you will have them occupied for hours. The space itself has been designed to excite little people, and we plan on hosting story-time and other kid-friendly activities in the near future. Next time you’re looking for a little adventure nearby, stop past our store in McAdam Square Arcade.
April 05, 2022 — Elizabeth Robinson