My two girls have been obsessed with Mermaids ever since they discovered Mermaid Amelia splashing her fin around at Yanchep Lagoon 3 years ago.
Since then we have had Mermaid parties, Mermaid dress-up, Mermaid jewellery so when I discovered that Mermaid Kat had set up her Mermaid Academy right here in Perth I booked Miss 7 in straight away!
Mermaid Kat is widely recognised as being one of the world’s leading professional mermaids. In 2012 Mermaid Kat decided to help others to fulfill their dreams of turning into real-life mermaids and mermen when she opened her first international mermaid school in Thailand.
Image Credit: Mermaid Kat Website
After many years of working as a scuba diving and free diving instructor Kat has good knowledge, skills and training to teach other people how to become mermaids or mermen in a safe and fun way. Since then Kat has taught international mermaid workshops in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives, Austria and Egypt.
Image Credit: Mermaid Kat Website
Miss 7 took part in Mermaid Kat’s inaugural Mini Mermaid Course at Wanneroo Aquamotion. The workshop is about 90 minutes long and is designed for people who are new to mermaiding – no matter how old they are. At Miss 7’s workshop she was the youngest with the oldest participant being 62!
The course is recommended for children aged 8+ and to take part you need to be a strong swimmer and able to swim 200 metres in less than 15 minutes and dive at least 2 metres. If you are wondering whether your child is ready for the course, my 7-year-old daughter is a confident grade 5 swimming level and had no issues in handling the tail.
Course cost is $65 plus $10 for mermaid tail rental if you don’t have your own. Pool entry fees are not included although you qualify for a discounted group entry rate if you mention when paying that you are taking part in the Mermaid Kat Academy.
The workshop commences with introductions so that you can get to know your fellow mermaid pod. Then follows a general briefing about mermaids, mermaid swimming and safety. Before you don your mermaid tail you take part in a series of stretching exercises to get your core ready for all that tail work!
Then it’s time to say goodbye
to your land legs and embrace your Mermaid fin!
Once in the water Mermaid Kat demonstrates the trick art of swimming whilst wearing a mermaid fin. To my amazement Miss 7 picked it up in no time at all and was soon gracefully gliding up and down the pool like a real life mermaid.
After the basic mermaid strokes have been mastered it’s then time to learn the mermaid tricks. There were barrel roles…
Forward and backward rolls
And swimming through weighted hoops.
By the end of the workshop Miss 7 was super confident swimming about in her mermaid tail and it was a joy to watch. She was very proud to receive her Mermaid Certificate at the end of the workshop.
We’ll definitely be booking in for the next one! At present the classes are held at Wanneroo Aquamotion but it is hoped that more venues will be added in the near future.
Mermaid Kat also is available for Mermaid parties and will be launching her Australian online store soon selling her Mermaid tails.
For more information visit www.mermaidacademy.com.au
The next Mini Mermaid Course will take place on Sunday 13th March 10.30am - 12pm. Click here to book.
Underwater photography credit: Tania Douthwaite Kraken Ocean Art
Review by Stephanie Rae
Gosnells Hotel is a beautiful old building with historical charm and commanding presence on Albany highway. It’s been there since 1907 and no doubt has probably had its fair share of shenanigans and changes over a hundred years.
Fortunately this amazing establishment is now a spacious bistro that is very family friendly.
Patrons are spoilt for seating choice with lovely shaded outdoor areas, booth seating and a huge open plan restaurant that’s perfect for large groups and especially children.
A large indoor playground is situated in the middle of the restaurant, making it easy to keep an eye on your kids while they enjoy the fun!
The only down side is it’s not enclosed so if the sometimes piercing sounds of excitable children is a bit unappealing, book ahead and request a table away from the playground or even outside (which is undercover and quite lovely and green).
Another delightful feature of the hotel is the old train charmingly named the “Gosworts Express”. They will serve dinner in there if you book ahead and also have some party options for a unique childrens birthday experience.
Every Sunday at Gosnells is Family fun day with face painting, balloon artists, arts and crafts and occasionally they even have a bouncy castle. Entertainment is provided by the talented folks from Fun 2 Remember between 11:30-2:30pm.
If your children are Kids Club Members they eat for free too on Sunday. Or wait until Monday when all children can eat for free with the purchase of an adult meal.
Our kids had a ball here and we’ve been back a few times since. The food has been tasty each time and has arrived without a long wait.
If you do go during peak times it is recommended to book and probably come early. It’s a pay at the counter system and we once got caught waiting to order in a really long queue. The food was worth it though and the portions were huge!
They have specials pretty much every day of the week like Sunday Roasts, Parmi night, Ribs night, Steak night and even Fish and Chips night!
There is often live entertainment and on the day we last went, Chris Murphy of Australian Idol fame was playing (he even played Hot Potato for the kids!).
Gosnells Hotel is a year round option for families offering old world charm with the conveniences of modern day dining.
2149 Albany Highway Gosnells
Monday - Thursday 11.30am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 9.00pm
Friday – Sunday 11.30am - 9pm
Lancelin North End Caravan Park is about an hour and a half drive from Perth CBD making it a great destination for a weekend camping trip. Lancelin itself is a small town with a sprinkling of cafe's, restaurants, convenience stores, parks and playgrounds. It's famous for its Sandboarding, Surfing and 4x4 tracks.
The campground is very basic but do have powered sites, washing machines, dryers, showers and toilets.
One of the main attractions for us was the simplicity of the campground, plenty of natural shade by mature trees and walking distance to an AMAZING and beautiful beach.
The beach is towards the back of the campsite so ask for a site towards the back if you want to be right next to the beach. The walk is across a sandy pathway and uphill so not ideal for prams as the sand is quite deep in places.
Amazing place to watch the boats and sunset.
Eden Beach Playground in Jindalee is one of many of the new playgrounds opening up in the Norther Suburbs by local land developer Satterley.
Located next to the primary school playing field this sand based playground feels nice and open and airy. There's plenty of seating around the playground including formal benches, huge picnic tables (great for kids parties and family sunset dinners) and a low lying wall all around the equipment. The BBQ's overlook the picnic area and park so you can keep an eye on the little ones whilst throwing some snags on.
The shade in the playground is these awesome sails covering the picnic benches and the play equipment. They make a beautiful pattern on the gound and benches, again great for parties! Despite all this shading because it's not tree shading it did feel hot by mid-morning in Summer and it's not complete cover, as there' huge holes in the shades ;-)
The play equipment is very funky and almost industrial and scaffolding like. LOTS of climbing, swinging, balancing and jumping around on the rope structures. The little tunnels and fortresses are great for fantasy play!
There are two slides in the park and one is on a smaller toddler appropriate playframe.
We're seeing the nest swing a lot in many of the newer playgrounds and this one also comes with one although not with shade over the top.
There's a huge grassed area right next to the playground so great for picnics and ball games.
Parking is on Marlinspike Boulevard and Reflection Boulevard Jindalee but there isn't much for such a huge park which I'm sure will be very popular during cooler months.
Review by Stephanie Rae
The Herdsman Lakes Tavern has always been a great place to stop for some typical pub grub and a pint and with its recent refurbishments the tavern is even more family friendly.
Hidden away in Wembley near the Herdsman wetlands, this is a great spot to stop with plenty on offer.
Image Credit: Herdsman Lake Tavern
The kids menu is typical of what many taverns seem to be offering these days, the “Club 4 Kids Food and Fun Pepe’s Menu”. Kids have the choice of a meal, side and drink for $9.90 with extra costs for desserts, which at $3 is quite reasonable. Herdsman actually had its own ice cream station at the bar which was of course was very popular.
The kids menu had plenty to choose from with gluten free and an impressive range of healthier options available. The fish and chips my daughter ordered was very generous and tasty.
One of the staff walked around and handed out flashing wrist bands that was welcomed with squeals of delight. I had the privilege of wearing a very bright strawberry one whilst madam went off to play. Super cool. Kids also receive an activity place mat and colouring in pencils to keep them occupied while they wait for their meal.
Herdsman offers plenty of great deals and incentives to bring your children along especially on Sundays where kids not only eat free all day but there is also free entertainment between 5-8pm. Kids also eat free all day Monday too.
Of course besides the menu the draw card for families is the enclosed playground area which is located in a central spot. No matter where you sit in the tavern you should be able to see your young ones while you enjoy your own meal and a quiet beverage.
Image Credit: Herdsman Lake Tavern
Like the “Pepe’s menu” the Herdsman seem to have adopted the “Bistro Menu” that is becoming quite common for taverns and hotels around Perth. We’ve had a few hit and miss experiences with the food ordered from these, however the meals we ordered came out swiftly and were delicious.
The Herdy also offers some great deals like Tuesday night – Steak night, Wednesday night – Summer Fiesta night (Mexican fare including discounted cocktails – chilli margaritas!), and of course Thursday night – Parmy and Pint night!
There is something for everyone at “The Herdy” and is a great place to take the kids out for a meal without costing a fortune.
33 Herdsman Pde Wembley
Open: Sun – Thu 10am-Late
Fri – Sat 10am-12am
6 Top Picnic Spots In Fremantle For A Family Valentine’s Day Picnic
This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, which means it’s the perfect day to celebrate with the whole family! And what better place for a family friendly Valentine’s Day activity than a picture perfect picnic in cosmopolitan Freo?
If you’re after a picnic spot that has breathtaking views, sensational sunsets, fascinating heritage or peaceful solace, Fremantle has a multitude of perfect places. Here are our favourite picnic spots around Fremantle to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your whole family:
1. Monument Hill
It’s an open secret that Monument Hill has some of the most spectacular views in Perth and the grassy hill is the ideal spot for soaking up the scenery. The Fremantle War Memorial on the top of this 11-acre public reserve was built in 1928 to commemorate the losses of the First World War and it provides a scenic backdrop for the sensational views across the harbour and beyond.
2. Esplanade Reserve
This peaceful park is popular with locals and visitors and is centrally located for exploring some of Freo’s top attractions. Large mature trees provide ample shade for picnickers whilst the grassy open areas are perfect for the kids to run around and burn off some energy.
3. The Round House
If your family love local history, then a visit to Western Australia’s oldest public building, the Round House, would be the perfect start to a picnic on the grassy areas above this old jail.
4. South Beach
This family-friendly beach with its spacious outdoor area and easy parking is perfect for picnics. With superb views of Rottnest and Garden Island, good swimming and white sandy shores - there’s no better spot to unpack a hamper and enjoy the best that WA has to offer.
5. North Fremantle River Beach
This is a beautiful, unspoilt stretch of river beach and an ideal spot for relaxing next to the calm water and watching the world go by. It’s perfect for a bit of a paddle and what kids don’t love a paddle in the river?
6. Leighton Beach
It’s impossible to pick a winner amongst Fremantle’s sandy stretches, but Leighton Beach is a top spot for safe swimming, snorkelling, strolling along the water’s edge and savouring an evening picnic whilst the sun sets over the distant horizon.
There are so many beautiful spots in and around Fremantle for outdoor eating and entertaining. Whether it’s a family, social or business event, the informal ambience of a picnic is ideal for relaxed chatting and mingling, as well as ideal for kids to run around and entertain themselves while the adults relax - so why not grab a picnic hamper or some ready made platters from one of the bright lights in catering in Fremantle, The Black Truffle and head for paradise.
And if you would prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day just the two of you, why not drop the kids with their grandparents and pick up a gourmet picnic hamper from The Black Truffle and enjoy a few hours together savouring the delights from their providore and delicatessen?
Their local delicatessen is crammed with cured meats, cheeses from around the world, olives and antipasti and along with their tasty home-made savoury snacks, salads and heat-and-eat meals, it’s a food lover’s paradise. Call them on 08 9336 1796 or visit their website, www.theblacktruffle.com.au to see their mouthwatering menus ideal for picnics, home catering and even corporate catering.
Toddlerfest is back at Scitech from 6th - 21st February turning the centre into an exclusive haven for children from 0 to 5 years of age. The essence of Scitech's Discoverland will be stretched into every corner of the centre, with lots of activities for young children.
Children can enjoy shows on the big stage, touch a baby animal in
the petting zoo and watch a host of other fun activities
especially for them.
Parents can help connect their child with science by playing with Scitech's interactive floor displays, including Discoverland action stations and the new feature exhibition, ‘Astronaut'.
Work together as astronauts on the Space Station in Discoverland and experience the larger Astronaut exhibition where you can look down upon the Earth and pretend you are flying a rocket. Come and see the Department of Fisheries’ display and how we can all work towards ‘fish for the future’ - it’s all to do with counting!
This year the Lotterywest Science Theatre will be transformed
into a 'Glow Room' where the little ones can explore objects
under UV light. Also as a special treat they will be allowed
to enter the Scitech planetarium where they will see an exclusive
show for toddlers that takes them into outer space - a privilege
usually reserved for older siblings.
They have also created a parenting room, which includes feeding chairs, change tables and toys to entertain the older children whilst you are busy. There is also a pram park area.
Buggybuddys has been along to previous Toddlerfests and we
recommend the event to any family with a toddler in the house! We
would suggest that you arrive as it opens at 9.30am to avoid
the crowds or come around lunch time when it starts to empty out
as everyone leaves for naptime.
The Puppet show is a big hit with all the toddlers as they love joining in with the singing and dancing. Needless to say that the Petting Farm is always a big draw and does attract lines but it is definitley worth queuing for as the little ones love it!
If you have a baby with you they won’t feel left out. There is a special 0 – 3 Baby Zone set up for them which includes lots of soft matting and toys to entertain your child.
The staff at Scitech are friendly, helpful and engaging. I found
them eager to share their knowledge with others and encouraging
little people to get the most out of their Toddlerfest
Buggybuddys top tips for getting the most out of Toddlerfest are:
- Come early to avoid the crowds or around lunchtime when it
starts to empty out for naptime.
- If you have an Entertainment Book use the coupon to get buy 1 get 1 free entry.
- Take your own drinks and snacks as the choice on offer within Sci-tech is limited and tends to run low when it’s busy.
- Head to the activities that you really want to see first so you don’t miss them if it gets too busy or if melt-down time occurs!
- Try not to take a pram with you if you can avoid it. It does get very busy and it makes it harder to move through the crowds with a pram. If you do have to take one with you park it in the pram parking area when you are not using it.
Costs and opening times
Weekdays: 9.30am until 4pm
Weekends: 10.00am until 5pm
Children under 4 years........................FREE
Children 4 -15....................................... $12
Save time queuing, buy
your tickets in advance online.
Find more great places to visit with Kids in Perth
Rise & Co is a new (2015) and welcome addition to Busselton's expanding cafe strip. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Rise & Co is becoming popular with the locals and tourists seeking out a Barista coffee & cake, woodfired pizza or some freshly baked Artisan bread.
Alfresco dining outside on the patio and on the veranda with comfortable leather sofa's where you can watch life go by on the Busselton Highway :-)
Inside there's plenty more seating and a playroom complete with a huge chalkboard mounted on the wall, some small plastic kids chairs & a table, colouring in pencils and books, plastic toys and books.
The main ordering counter and pastry goodies are located at the back of the restaurant where you can place your orders for main meals or takeaway.
The kids menu is simple with a few options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Get your skates on as The Urban Roller Club, Perth’s first outdoor riverside roller rink has rolled into town as part of this year’s Fringe World festival.
Located on the foreshore of the brand new Elizabeth Quay, next to the Fringe World Fairground, The Urban Roller Club is open 3.30pm – Late weekdays and 8am – late weekends until 6th March.
Entry prices are as follows
and includes free skate hire:
*Children 4 and under $10 online, $14 box office
*Everyone aged 5 and over $18 online, $22 box office.
*Family Ticket (4 x tickets) $65 online, $75 box office.
*Sessions are timed and are a one-hour duration and an online booking fee applies.
The Urban Roller Club skating rink is undercover which means the rain can’t spoil the fun plus you are shaded from the sun.
There are two types of Roller Skate available for hire – retro boots with outer wheels or inline skates. Junior skates start at size 8 for the retro boots. A cloakroom is available for an additional $3 and if require socks you can purchase a pair for $5.
There is a seating area next to the rink where you can change into your skates which is partially covered by shade sails. You are welcome to leave your belongings here however it is at your own risk.
Entrance to the skating rink is via a ramp that does have rather an incline! Miss 7 was a bit unsure on her feet at the start so decided the best way to get down it was on her bottom! There is a railing along the middle for you to cling onto.
Miss 7 soon found her skating legs and was whizzing around the rink in no time! A barrier surrounds most of the rink so if you are unsure on your feet you can hold on as you make your way around.
I love the retro vibe they have created! During our session they were playing some great disco tunes. If you wanted to contribute to the music mix you can download the ‘playmysong’ app and select The Urban Roller Club jukebox and pick out your favourite tunes.
For more information and to book tickets online visit www.urbanrollerclub.com.au
#TeamTurc #urbanrollerclub #TURCit
The much-anticipated $10 million BHP Billiton Water Park has opened up at Elizabeth Quay and we are confident that it is going to be a huge hit with Perth families!
BHP Billiton Water Park is an interactive water feature, which at 1000 square metres is over three times the sixe of the Water Labyrinth in Forrest Place.
The Water Park is located right opposite the Elizabeth Quay train station (formally the Esplanade Train Station) so it is easily accessible via public transport.
The Water Park features a central ‘island’, bordered by 3 smaller circular ‘islands’. In the coming months a mosaic floor will be added that is inspired by many elements of the Noongar people. Collaboration between artists Sandra Hill and Jenny Dawson, the artwork will represent the Dreaming story of the creation of the Milky Way. The mosaic depicts water winding its way through the playground with smaller blue circles representing Hyde Park Lake and Lake Monger, the only two remaining lakes that are left in the greater Perth area.
The Water Park appears to operate every 15 minutes with the water flowing for 15 minutes.
Don’t worry about being caught in the middle of the Water Park when it commences its cycle – the water feature starts subtlety with the 3 outer islands slowly filling with a puddle of water.
The islands then start to mist.
And fill with more water
Before fountain jets appear,
Which get higher…
The main middle island then erupts with many fountain jets.
All around the Water Park area is timber decking providing informal seating. There isn’t much shade over the decking area but you will find a few umbrella areas with stone benches.
Right next to the water park is the future site for V Burger restaurant. This area also has some rather nice under cover picnic tables that overlooks the Water Park.
Be warned – if you take your kids along to the Water Park THEY WILL GET WET! It’s absolutely irresistible to kids! Mine were absolutely drenched within minutes and super mum here managed to bring along a spare change of clothes but forgot a towel! We did the walk of shame to the toilets which again are right next to the Water Park.
I was pleasantly surprised by the toilet facilities. Each toilet offers a large changing space complete with a shower so fantastic for getting the kids dressed after their fun.
BHP Billiton Water Park is such a fabulous addition to Perth City and is going to be a massive hit with Perth families and visitors for years to come.