Laverton? That turn-off where the McDonald’s is, on your way out of town? YOU BET. For a suburb that’s breaking all the stereotypes of a suburb in west Melbourne, look no further. Start your day with brekkie and an excellent coffee, and keep going until after the sun goes down!
First thing’s first. A visit to Laverton can start nice and early, given the number of quality cafes in the suburb. Favor + Grace is a family-run joint serving up delicious, Industry Beans-fuelled coffee that will kickstart any sleepyhead’s day. Positioned directly across the road from Laverton Train Station, its location means that if you’re coming in on a train you’ll be catered for literally within a few metres from your arrival point. Alternatively, plan to spend some time there before heading home in the afternoon, stop in for a beer or glass of wine. Their all-day menu is the stuff of western suburb legend.
Of course, Laverton is no one-horse town when it comes to cafes. If the kids are in tow, make a beeline to Cheeky Chewies Café, just near one of Melbourne’s quaintest train stations, Aircraft Station (once slated to be closed, but vigorously defended by local commuters and now a source of local pride). Cheeky Chewies draws family crowds from all over Melbourne’s west to enjoy their (very) kid-friendly menu and atmosphere. St Ali coffee makes a world of difference for the friendly mums and dads that frequent the café, and the on-site play area is awesome for littlies (under 5’s especially). What’s more, From Thursday to Sunday, Cheeky Chewies is open for dinner until 9pm if you’d prefer a little adults-only time!
For creative types, Woods Street Arts Space is the perfect spot to learn something new – or extend your existing knowledge of an art form. The recent history of the space itself is quite remarkable, as it saw the local council (Hobsons Bay) transform a disused, vandalised ex-Post Office into an important public space for the community. These days the Woods Street calendar is filled with everything from Polynesian dance classes to open mic nights – not to mention an extensive range of kids’ workshops.
Image credit: facebook.com/woodsstreetarts
Enjoy some time in the great outdoors at McCormack Park – or, as the local kids know it, the snake park. Now, that’s not because there’s a reptile problem; they’re referring to the giant snake that winds its way through the playground, providing an awesome climbing structure for kids, and a great vantage point for watchful parents. There’s plenty of other equipment to play on, and McCormack Park is located on Laverton Creek Trail, designed especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
And if you have a hankering to see some baseball or softball, or are hosting guests who love the sports, visit Melbourne’s premier baseball stadium, Melbourne Ballpark. While it might be technically in Altona, for all intents and purpose it’s a Laverton highlight and great for a fun night out. Home to the Melbourne Aces, there’s nowhere better to experience a night at a ball game, with all the trimmings you’d expect – drama, excitement, nearly 4,000 passionate fans and some of the best hot dogs you’ll find this side of Yankee Stadium.