May 27th

Whodunit? Exhibit, Scitech 

By TheChefsWife

Review by Amanda Carlin 

fun new exhibit has arrived at Scitech! Whodunit? shows how technology helps the police and scientists to solve crimes.

Here, the crime scene is at a zoo “Menagerie Park”, where the security guard has been shot and their prized white rhino has been stolen. Oh no! Can you help to solve this terrible crime?

The exhibit is recommended for children aged eight years old and over, due to its theme on murder and the use of a few “dead bodies”.

The interactive exhibition, featuring forensic technologies, is designed to get kids (and adults!) crime solving. There is a mix of hands-on experiences where you need to use your mind and senses to help solve the murder mystery.

Kids get a “crime file” which they use to write down the answers to all the clues they solve along the way.

There are lots of activity stations, each showcasing a forensic science such as finger-printing, chromatography, autopsies, footprints and DNA samples used to gather evidence.

Our highlights of the Whodunit? exhibit are:  

Creating an identikit on a touch screen of the suspect, using the witnesses directions “He had blue eyes”, “his hair was longer”, “his eyebrows were thinner” and so on, till you come up with an accurate likeness of the suspect.

Examining clothing using florescent light for clues like fibres from the victim’s clothes.

Comparing tyre prints from the crime scene against the car tyre treads of the suspects.

Looking at an autopsy to determine how the victim died. There’s three full body models of the victim, intact, after the autopsy and its skeleton. By looking at bruising, bullet holes and broken bones you can try to figure out what caused the victim’s death.

Comparing the handwriting on a ransom note to pens owned by some of the suspects.

Looking at a crime scene to determine what happened, listening to suspicious sounds on a telephone call for clues, taking rubbings of show prints left at the crime scene, be a witness by watching the video and then see how observant you were by answering key questions and much, much more!

Whodunit? is a really fascinating exhibition on forensic sciences that are used help solve crimes, particularly murders. It engages older kids and I really enjoyed it too! After gathering all our clues we correctly guessed the guilty person/people. It might even encourage and inspire some kids to pursue a career in forensics. Get down to Whodunit? at Scitech now, it’s on for a limited time in the BHP Billiton Exhibition Gallery.

There are also online Whodunit? activities to try at home… http://whodunit.scitech.org.au/

Find out more at scitech.org.au

Amanda Carlin has her own blog - The Chef, His Wife and Their Perth-fect Life. The Chef's Wife LOVES to eat out in our beautiful city and discover new spots to dine. Amanda and Chef love tapas or something a little fancy for date night and with their son "Little Chef" in tow there's plenty of family friendly options too.

 

May 24th

Bunbury wildlife park, bunbury

By Buggybuddys

Review by Kylie Van Der Watt

Set just minutes from the heart of Bunbury, surrounded by leafy trees is Bunbury Wildlife Park. It's home to a great selection of Australian animals and really lets you get up close to interact with and learn about the animals.

There are wombats and foxes, possums and emus, quolls and snakes and so many different types of birds.

Mr nearly 2 loved the large kangaroo enclosure, where you are welcome to feed and pat the friendly kangaroos. He delighted in hopping around with the kangaroos!

The animal enclosures are as natural as can be, with plenty of plants and hidey holes though we were lucky to see almost all of the animals, though the possums were sleepy! The wombat was especially friendly and it was amazing to see him up so close. There's a path around most of the park, so it's pretty accessible for prams and wheel chairs.

The park is open 7 days and the admission prices are very reasonable. 
Admission for adults is $9.80 and children over 3 are $5. Under 3’s are free. You can purchase bags of food for the animals for $1 too.

We spent a couple of hours here, loving seeing and interacting with the animals. There's a nice looking cafe on site, and places to picnic inside the park.

Next door to the park is the Big Swamp Playground which is the largest playground I've ever seen and you'll happily spend a few more hours there too! We’ll definitely be visiting next time we are in Bunbury.

For more information visit www.bunburywildlifepark.com.au

May 24th

Royal Life Saving Australia Review

By Buggybuddys

Review by Kate Vallance

I attended a Royal Life Saving Australia 1 day course today. I first did a first aid course when my 8 year old daughter was a baby so I was long overdue. 

This was a 1 day course and I went to the Mount Claremont venue (just behind HBF/Challenge Stadium), although Royal Life Saving Australia run them at their different premises around Perth.

Prior to going along to the course in person, you have about 13 units to complete on line first. These can be done over a number of days or weeks and the instructor said they can take 6-8 hours in total if you listen to them all in their entirety and are new to first aid.

As I had attended previous first aid courses, I was able to skip through a lot of the slides and it took me just over an hour and a half. I then printed out my certificate to take along and to show I had passed all the modules. Don’t be alarmed, you just go through the power point slides for each section and answer some multiple choice questions after each one so it was very straightforward and can be easily slotted in around family life or done in one sitting. 


The course was scheduled from 8:30am to 5pm but ours finished at around 3pm in the end as we had 8 people in our group, when there can be up to about 20. Our trainer Kelly was great, she was a registered nurse and a really nice and engaging person so it didn’t ever get boring. 


We went through basic life support, CPR, what to do with someone who has breathing difficulties or allergies, heart conditions, burns, trauma injuries, fractures, poisons, bites and stings, shock, wounds and bleeding, etc.


The training allowed us to practice real life examples on each other and really gave you the opportunity to actually do something rather than just reading. It was a great course and I would recommend it to any parent as my great fear is being faced with a medical emergency that I did not know how to deal with, and particularly when looking after my own or other peoples’ children.

 

The others on my course were mostly doing it for work reasons but I think it would be fantastic for as many parents as possible to do it. My children have friends who have allergies, asthma or need to carry EpiPens with them so I now have a lot more confidence on what to do if any of them had a reaction and also what to do in a situation where someone was choking, for example. 


My overall verdict was highly recommended and so worth going along to.

Tips:
• Aim to get there a bit early in case you are not familiar with the venue. I know the HBF stadium venue quite well but if you hadn’t been before, it might have been hard to find the Royal Life Saving building
• Start doing the online exercises maybe a week before if you are not familiar with first aid
• Wear comfy clothes – sports tights or leggings are ideal – as you do spend a bit of time lying on the floor pretending to be a victim or putting people in the recovery position, etc (wearing a skirt would probably not be the best, for example!)
• Bring your lunch along as they provide tea, coffee and biscuits but you need to buy your own food and there may not be somewhere on site

Note: They also run a 1 day course for children from 8-14 so they get to have an idea of how first aid works. I am looking at putting my 8 year old daughter into this in the next school holidays as I think it would be really useful and I think she would really enjoy it.

For more information and to find a course near you visit  www.royallifesaving.com.au/training/first-aid

May 24th

Trees Adventure, Dwellingup

By TheChefsWife

Review by Amanda Carlin

Trees Adventure is an extremely fun tree top adventure obstacle course. It's found at Lane Pool Reserve, which is about 100km drive south of Perth, near Dwellingup. Offering a variety of zip lines and challenges, the fun courses are suitable for children as young as 4 years old!

When we arrived on a chilly Sunday morning, I got to warm my hands on a hot chocolate. There’s hot and cold drinks available from the kiosk as well as snacks. Chef signed the forms and I was "photographer", I'm not really much of an action woman!

We arrived about thirty minutes prior to our allocated two hour session, to allow time for the boys got kitted out in their harnesses, gloves and helmets.

Next up was an introduction on how to using the equipment, like how to safely lock on and off the ropes with the clips.

You’re always attached to the rope, which put my mind at rest it was nice and safe for my boys!

Kids between four and eight years old are restricted to the low height yellow course, which is only a couple of meters off the ground. I was amazed at some of the little ones giving this a go on the yellow course. They'll probably be able to do a few rounds of this during their time slot.

Older kids and adults can challenge themselves at thrilling heights up in the trees of up to twenty metres! Kids aged eight to twelve require supervision by a paying adult who is also on the course.

The boys started on a green course up in the pine and jarrah trees. They begin at home tree, where they climb the tall ladders up to the first wooden platform.

Poor Little Chef, who had never done anything like this before, looked terrified! Once he’d plucked up the courage to swing along the flying fox, he was grinning from ear to ear!

As well as a few flying foxes on each rope course, there are various obstacles like suspended bridges, see saws and cargo nets that test your balance and co-ordination. I had lots of fun watching the boys swinging, leaping, climbing and flying through the trees.

The courses are self-guided and self-paced, however there’s plenty of friendly and patient staff around to help and give direction if required. Little Chef ran into difficulty a couple of times when he got stuck halfway along the flying fox, but that was easily fixed with a push.

For older kids there’s a red course (10 years and over) and the black and extreme black for the really brave! Chef gave the black course a go and I could tell it was a lot trickier for him!

There are toilets on site. As Trees Adventure is in the middle of the bush, there’s no running water. If you want to avoid the long drop loo, visit the public toilets in Dwellingup first.

It was really rewarding to see Little Chef overcome his initial fear. Once he had that bit of belief in himself (and a taste of the fun!) he really grew in confidence as he challenged himself to even more difficult obstacles on the rope course.

Chef and Little Chef both loved their Trees Adventure experience and would highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic physical activity in a safe environment. I'm even seriously considering ditching the camera and joining in next time. It's a whole heap of fun and I'm not missing out again!

Prices

Kids (4-7yrs) $25

Supervision required from the ground (free). No adult access on to Yellow Courses

Kids/Teens (8-17yrs) $35 - 1 participating adult ($45) per up to 4 kids (8-12yrs)

Concessions $40 (ID Required)

Adult $45

Spectators are FREE.

 

More on Trees Adventure here.

Find Trees Adventure at Lane Poole Park, Nanga Road, Dwellingup, WA 6213

Thanks to Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO) Amanda and her family were guests of Trees Adventure. All words and opinions are her own.

May 17th

The Big Orange, Harvey

By Buggybuddys

Review by Kellie Elliot

Harvey is half-way between Perth and Margaret River, it is a wonderful little town with lots of things to see and do – The Big Orange is one the kids will absolutely love.

Located within a large plantation of orange trees you'll find Harvey's Big Orange, sitting on a 10 metre tower, and an extra 4 metres to the viewing platform inside the orange.

Once at the top you can enjoy the views of the Harvey Fresh orchards, inside there is lots of information and pictures detailing the history of Harvey.

The Big Orange was repainted in March 2017. The kids loved the climb to the top, miss 6 couldn't believe she was 'actually inside an orange'.

Orange season (June – October) would be a great time to visit, we visited in March so the majority of the oranges were green.

Enter through Harvey River Estate winery where drinks are available for purchase (wine tasting for the adults) and you have access to toilets.

Entry is a gold coin donation for Telethon, you can stay for as long or little as you like. Open 7 days a week, 10am – 4pm (excluding major public holidays). 163 Third St, Harvey WA.

Find more places to visit in WA

Kellie Elliott is a stay at home mum of 4, she enjoys adventuring around Perth with her children and sharing her journeys and experiences on instagram as PerthMumAdventures

May 15th

Jungle Gym at Karrinyup Shopping Centre

By Buggybuddys

Review by Claire Tondut

Located in the middle area of the food court in Karrinyup Shopping centre is a Jungle Gym. It has been located right in the centre and is slightly raised allowing plenty of seating with view to keep an eye on the children while they are playing. 

The Jungle Gym is open from 12pm to 5pm and has an attendant who keeps a limit on the number of people entering at anytime and checking ages. The age limit is 3 to 12yrs. During busy periods it will rotate every 15 mins so everyone has a chance at a turn. It wasn't busy when we were there but the attendant still kept an eye on behaviour and didn't let the children out until there was someone to collect them.

It has two levels and enough activities to keep Miss 3 occupied while I had a quiet coffee. There was a ball pit, two slides, couple of rockers, tunnels and swinging, jumping, rolling obstacles. The net sides make it easy to see the children playing.


As it's located in the food court it's the perfect chance to have a coffee or bite to eat while the kids are occupied. I sat at a table close to the entrance and could see Miss 3 as she was running round. This was our first visit and I was pleased to see there was an attendant in place, it just gave that extra piece of mind that there was some controls in place. I'm sure we will be visiting again when we go shopping at Karrinyup. 

Karrinyup Shopping Centre is located at 200 Karrinyup Road, Karrinyup.

May 12th

Lawler Park, Floreat

By Buggybuddys

Review by Holly Clark

Lawler Park is a green, leafy park in Floreat with a playground suitable for toddlers and upwards. There is lots of play opportunities here to keep the kids busy.

The larger playground structure includes two slides of different sizes, ring-shaped monkey bars, swinging platforms to climb across, some climbing ropes, and a tricky balancing beam with vertical bars to up the difficulty level. It has a miniature clibing wall on one side, and a clock for practicing setting the time.

Miss almost 3 particularly enjoyed the balancing beam.

Standing separately, there is a train shaped spring rocker, a spinning pole, and a spring based seesaw. There are also two swings, a toddler swing and a regular swing.

For bigger kids, there is a cube of climbing ropes and a climbing wall. Ropes go right across the top for climbing or swinging across. Just because I think it's for bigger kids, that didn't stop my little Miss from testing it out!

The play equipment is covered with shade sails and also naturally shaded by tree. The ground around it is a mix of sand and rubber softfall which winds through the sand like a path. Softfall is also the base under the swings.

Lawler Park has Lots of grassy, open space, and at one end of the park is a set of goal posts and a basketball hoop behind the nearby hall. Great for practicing ball skills or running with the family dog.

Not far from the playground there are a couple of park benches, and a barbecue is also available. Handy for family get togethers or casual birthday parties.

Lawler Park is located on Draper Street, between Underwood Avenue and Kirwan Street in Floreat. A small amount of street parking is available, or there is free parking in the car park near the scout hall.

In need of coffee or an energy boost before or after your playground visit? Why not pop into nearby Fortysevenkirwanstreet Cafe for a cuppa or or something more substantial?

Find more playgrounds in Perth

Holly Clark  is currently a stay at home mum of one, a self-confessed coffee addict and baker of sweet treats, and occasionally writes on her recipe blog, Lucky Star's Kitchen. http://perthluckystar.blogspot.com.au/

May 12th

Killa Sweet Treats, Morley

By Buggybuddys

Review By Holly Clark

Killa Sweet Treats is a sweet little cake shop and cafe situated among a small group of shops next to Hampton Park Primary School in Morley. If you haven't visited yet, you don't know what you're missing!

On entering the cafe, we were greeted warmly by the owner, Vanessa. We felt very welcome. Vanessa is a mum of seven children and a grandmother, and loves when kids visit her shop. She was happy for my little Miss to look through her look-book of cake photos, and gave her pencils and paper to draw with while we ate.

Vanessa makes fresh cupcakes onsite daily, plus coffee, milkshakes and toasted sandwiches. The cupcakes look wonderful, and taste divine!

For our order today, my little Miss chose a red velvet cupcake with a little fondant heart on top and a vanilla milkshake - half sized milkshakes are available for children.

I had a lemon burst cupcake and a latte. All up this cost us $14.

The cupcakes were amazing! Delicately light and melting in your mouth, and bursting with flavour. Little Miss doesn't usually finish a full milkshake, but she polished this one off today.

We sat outside on the verandah area to enjoy our treats. It's set up with some neat little tables and stools, just the right size for kids. There's also lunch bar seating inside by the window. Killa Sweet Treats cupcakes can be purchased individually for $3.50, 4 for $14, 6 for $18, or a 12 pack for $38.

They can also be made flourless, or without egg or lactose if required.

Vanessa also takes custom orders for cupcakes, birthday cakes, cake smash cakes and wedding cakes. She was in the middle of whipping up a couple of wedding cakes when we popped in today. Contact her directly to confirm pricing.

Killa Sweet Treats is located at Shop 1/13-15 Paine Road, Morley.

The cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm, and Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Eftpos and Apple Pay payment options are available.

Holly Clark  is currently a stay at home mum of one, a self-confessed coffee addict and baker of sweet treats, and occasionally writes on her recipe blog, Lucky Star's Kitchen. http://perthluckystar.blogspot.com.au/

May 12th

Crowne Plaza Hotel, East Perth

By TheChefsWife

Review by Amanda Carlin

From the moment we pulled up at four and a half star Crowne Plaza Hotel and handed our keys to Concierge to valet park the car, we felt relaxed. With limited time, a family staycation with just 25 minutes travel required, suited us perfectly. So, one minuite you can be at home and then within an hour be sitting with your feet up by a pool - with no housework in sight!

The hotel is right on the edge of Perth’s CBD, with many attractions just a short stroll or free bus ride away. Crowne Plaza Hotel is found on Langley Park, opposite the Swan River.

Check in was very quick and in no time we were relaxing in our Premium River View Room. We picked that so we could enjoy a river facing balcony, a trundle bed for Little Chef would be set up after dinner. Large family rooms are also available, which have two queen beds and larger ensuites, with separate baths and showers.

The air conditioned room is very well appointed, with a Queen bed, a good sized 42” Flat-screen TV with some Foxtel channels and pay per view movies, an arm chair and desk.

I was immediately drawn to the balcony which overlooks Langley Park and the Swan River. The private balcony, with uninterrupted river views, has a table and two chairs which we’d be making use of later on. There are too many inclusions to name, some of the things in the room that we found useful were:

o   IPod docking station

o   Coffee pod machine and tea making facilities

o   Fridge and mini bar

o   Complimentary bottled water

o   Iron and Ironing board

o   Snuggly bathrobes

o   Safe

o   High-speed Internet access

o   24hr room service

The modern ensuite bathroom has a shower over the bath and has just about everything you might need, loads of quality toiletries, an ionic hair dryer and fluffy towels.

After we checked out our room we grabbed a couple of complimentary bikes. Crowne Plaza has adult sized bikes for guests to borrow and we brought Little Chef’s own bike from home.  We headed out on this gloriously sunny day for a ride around the river - through East Perth around Claisebrook Cove, over the Windan Bridge and past the impressive new Perth Stadium.

We had an easy and mostly flat ride along the river, stopping at Lake Vasto and Mardalup Playgrounds along the way, then back over the Causeway to Crowne Plaza.

After our ride, we’d worked up quite an appetite! So we rang room service and enjoyed a delicious share platter that was promptly delivered to our room. We tucked into the platter (with tasty morsels – sausage rolls, garlic bread, chicken strips, samosas, tempura prawns, calamari etc) and some chilled glasses of bubbles on the balcony, which overlooks the Swan River from the Causeway to Kings Park.

Little Chef was feeling still feeling hot from his ride, so we headed down to the rooftop infinity pool so he could go for a dip. While Little Chef has a splash about, I put my feet up on one of the recliners and took in the fab view over the river and towards the city.

After, we borrowed a soccer ball from concierge and took it over the road to Langley Park. Chef and Little Chef had a kick about, trying to impress the other boys on the park having a kick – Sydney FC, who were also staying in the hotel.

For dinner, we dined at the hotel’s restaurant, Gusti, which is open seven days for both hotel guests and locals, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can sit on the outside deck, overlooking the grassy Langley Park or inside the contemporary dining room.

Before dinner, I enjoyed a cocktail on the deck, as the sun set. Chef and I then shared an entrée taster plate as Little Chef tucked into his slider dish from the kids menu.

For main I ordered the signature dish Crispy skin salmon, $38. The nicely cooked fish was served on a bed of tasty freekeh, chickpeas, roasted cauliflower and goats cheese with a tahini dressing. Chef enjoyed the 300g Black Angus beef sirloin steak,$41. We were FAR too full for dessert!

We headed upstairs and took in the city lights from out balcony and settled in for a comfortable night’s sleep, helped by the relaxing mist that was left on our bed to spray in the room, a nice touch. The bed was very comfortable and I loved having the extra dark block out curtains! We made the most of a late 11am check out with a lazy morning reading the morning paper in bed with my fluffy hotel robe while Little Chef watched some kids TV.

We headed downstairs for breakfast at Gusti, which is your typical hotel buffet with some excellent additions. There are plenty of options if you want the “full English” cooked breakfast with all the trimmings.

Or even something healthy like fresh fruit, bircher muesli and yogurt. There’s a juice maker, where you can create your own healthy breakfast juice too.

There’s even honey dripping straight from the honeycomb for you to spread on your crumpet or pastries. Little Chef adored the pancake machine, with a touch of a button it makes you own pancakes! He was mesmerised. He made a little stack of pancakes, covering them with lashings of cream and jam! We all had a very filling and tasty breakfast.

It was a wonderful 24 hours at Crowne Plaza. It’s an immaculately maintained hotel, in a quiet spot in the city, but still close enough to the action. Now is an excellent time for a city staycation as room rates at Perth hotels have dropped dramatically. Crowne is great for a stay with kids or a weekend couple’s getaway too.

Check out current deals and book a staycation on Crowne Plaza's website www.crowneplazaperth.com.au

Amanda and her family stayed as guests of Holiday Inn. All opinions are her own.

Amanda Carlin has her own blog - The Chef, His Wife and Their Perth-fect Life. The Chef's Wife LOVES to eat out in our beautiful city and discover new spots to dine. Amanda and Chef love tapas or something a little fancy for date night and with their son "Little Chef" in tow there's plenty of family friendly options too.

 Find more places to holiday in WA

 

May 12th

Cockburn ARC Playground, Cockburn

By Buggybuddys

Review by Jacqui Snelgar

Playground along side Cockburn ARC
Cnr Beeliar Drive and Midgegooroo Ave
Cockburn Central 
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-32.1269919,115.8549494,17z?hl=en

 

A fantastic new playground has been developed along side the new Cockburn ARC rec centre over looking a lovely wetland area.

One side of the playground features a large rope spiderweb.  To get to the other side of the playground you need to journey through the tunnel, climb up the rocks or on the wooden stepping logs to go down the double tunnel slide.


The main feature of the playground is a large climbing obstacle course presenting different challenges on all sides. This is great for the older kids! 


In the centre you climb up to the top to take in the lovely views of the wetlands towards the new Cockburn ARC.

There is a birds nest swing.

And quite a large climbing wall that was a huge hit with my girls.

There are many nature play features such as wobble logs, balancing beams, a wobbly bridge and a very large green snake winds it way through the native gardens.


The playgrounds features wide ramps for all abilities access, free BBQs, shaded seating and drinking fountain. 

Paths follow around the wetlands, so pack the bikes & scooters as well as some balls to enjoy the grass areas.

The nearest public toilets would be at the Cockburn Central Train station, where you also find a number of eateries & cafes to enjoy after a play if you didn’t plan on a picnic of BBQ.

 Find more playgrounds in Perth 

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