A recent addition to the rapidly growing dining scene at Lakeside Joondalup is The Local Shack. With branches in Perth City and Scarborough, The Local Shack offers all day breakfast, burgers, and pizzas.
The décor is that of a rustic beachside surf shack with the obligatory VW Camper van painted on the wall and mismatched wooden panels decorating the walls.
The menu is pretty substantial with a wide range of well-priced breakfast and burger options. They don’t have a dedicated kids menu but you can order any of main burgers as sliders which is what we selected for the kids. It was a great way of trying out a few of the different burger combinations!
We also ordered a large portion of the chips to share which were very yummy!
While you are waiting for your food to arrive you can pass the time playing one of the many board games which are located on the tables. We got competitive playing Jenga, Guess Who and Connect 4.
The Local Shack is located in the upstairs Food Court at Lakeside Shopping Centre. It is open 7 days a week 11am till late.
WA’s first AND best obstacle fun run is back and better than ever!
Western Mudd Rush was the first obstacle course of its kind to hit Perth and after four years running (and 20,000 participants later) it’s back again with awesome additions! It caters to ALL ages and abilities with a load of fun, teamwork and mud thrown in.
Held on Sunday, 16th August 2015 at the State Equestrian Centre, Brigadoon, the Western Mudd Rush includes a NEW 4km course, the original 8km course with plenty of brand-spanking new obstacles, AND new themed waves (tradies, superheros, zombies…just to name a few).
Event manager Kellie Maren said the new course option and new obstacles will be a great attraction for first-timers and also returning participants.
“Mudd Rush is definitely a challenge but it’s mostly about having fun with your mates with a big emphasis on teamwork. We’ve got eight new obstacles this year including Tyre-zan, Slippery When Wet and Get Over It so even if you’ve done Western Mudd Rush before there will be a load of new challenges,” says Kellie.
But what about the kids!?!? – the Mini Mudd Rush is for 7 to 13 year olds giving them a mini taste of an obstacle course and most importantly the opportunity to get muddy! Event entry into the Mini Mudd Rush includes an event t-shirt, sausage sizzle, juice box AND a finishers medal – that’s huge value!
by Stephanie Rae
Albany is amazing to visit any time of year and there are plenty of things for both kids and parents to do that won't cost an arm and a leg.
Albany is approximately a five hour drive from Perth with some beautiful scenery along the way. There are plenty of interesting pit stops including Williams, Kojonup and Mt Barker. Rich in history and character these are great little towns to call in for a cuppa or lunch to break up the journey and revive.
The lengthy trip is always worth it as you drive down York Street and get a first glimpse of the harbour and the majestic Albany terrain.
There are plenty of amazing experiences to be had in Albany, but here are 5 fun things for the whole family to do and see all year round in our most southern port.
1. National Anzac Centre
This unbelievable monument is dedicated to the men and women of World War 1 where visitors experience a very interactive and personal journey that will stay with them long after leaving.
Located within the Albany Heritage Park, Marine
Open 9am - 5pm
Child (5-15) $12 then $8 each additional child (4 and under - Free)
2. The Squid Shack
An Albany favourite and a local staple. No matter the weather The Squid Shack is an institution of how good fish and chips is done, right on the wharf.
Located at Emu Point Marina
Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 7am
3. Albany Wind Farm
A trip to Albany would not be complete without a visit to these ecological marvels. Twelve turbines and the windforce coming off the Southern ocean helps to power much of Albany. The amazing view of the Torndirrup peninsula, the gutsy paragliders and even whale spotting makes this a must see.
Located off Frenchmans Bay Road on Sand Patch
Open every day
4. Due South
A great spot any time of day with amazing views of the harbour and yummy food locally sourced and made fresh onsite. A beautiful open building with both in and outdoor seating. Take a walk along the jetties afterwards or stroll up to York Street for some window shopping (kill some time with the kids at the huge Toyworld shop on Peels Place).
Located at 6 Toll Place Albany
Open every day 6am to 12pm Sundays 7am to 10pm
5. Bird Hide
Another wonderful showcase of the natural landscape and the tranquility of Lake Vancouver. A nice bush walk with a boardwalk leading to the actual bird hide. Continue on this track down to Goode Beach and take in the spectacular view and white sandy shores.
Located at access points on La Perouse Rd and
Goode Beach car park
Open all year round for all ages
Check out these links for more info and be sure to click above links for reviews.
Review by Stephanie Rae
When in Albany rain, hail or shine one of our favourite things to do is call into the Squid Shack at Emu Point, a great spot to enjoy some fish and chippies with the kids down at the marina.
The day we went was fairly quiet, with a few locals and a couple of tourists hovering near the fire. This is one of the first times we've been to this popular dining spot and it wasn't packed.
There is both an indoor and outdoor section that can fill up very quickly. There is no booking system so it's first come first seated, on a wet day I'd recommend getting in early if you want a warm seat inside. There are plenty of seats at the long bench style tables and everything is self serve once you get your food. There are also high chairs available and a lovely fire, which on a freezing cold Albany day, is a great defroster!
On fine days it is nice to walk over to Emu Point open space and the gorgeous park where there are plenty of spots for a seafood picnic. Directly across from the Squid Shack near the boat pen is a gazebo and a small stretch of grass. Our kids enjoyed looking at the boats as well as a visit from the local pelicans! Sometimes you can watch the local fishermen returning from the ocean with their catch too.
The Squid Shack itself serves up some tasty food, on this day it happened to be salt and pepper squid and a generous serving of chips. The food was fresh, super yum and reasonably priced for the quality of the day.
Definitely worth a visit.
The Squid Shack
Emu Point Marina
Albany WA 6330
(08) 9844 9771
Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 7am
Review by Stephanie Rae
There are plenty of fine eateries in Albany but one that has brought us back a few times is Due South right on the Albany Port. It’s an amazing building with perfect views overlooking the estuary.
Both times we've been happy with the food, my particular favourite was the beef short ribs which was delicious, beautifully cooked and perfectly married with red cabbage and pine nuts.
We were also impressed with the "Taste of the Great Southern" plate that came with a choice of cured meats made by the in house butcher and available for choice viewing in a glass display near the open kitchen! Mouth watering for aged meat fans, which we are.
The kids (us too) devoured the Pork Scratchings (they thought were pigtails) and were more than satisfied with the amazing house cut chips with rosemary, lime salt and aioli!
The menu is vast and tasty and there was no set time of when food can be ordered which worked well for us as both times we came around mid afternoon. I have heard it can get busy and a bit noisy come evening time (they often have live entertainment too), so maybe an early dinner with younger kids may be the smartest option. We definitely want to come back for breakfast which they serve from 6am to 11:30am with a childrens breakfast option available too.
Due South makes everything in house and supports local farmers by incorporating produce into as many of their meals as they can.
The service was fantastic and we didn't wait long for our food which was fresh, flavoursome and plentiful. From what I could see there was no kids station set up nor anything offered or suggested to keep the kids entertained, however the staff were happy to tend to them and at no point did we feel out of place. It was actually refreshing to go somewhere that didn't have kids running amok in an inbuilt playground for once (though we worship all establishments that provide such a wonderful service to our little culinary nutters!!).
There were widescreens playing footy which thrilled my son (and husband), trumped only by a lovely walk on the jetty while we waited for our food. The kids were thoroughly entertained by the “crab tank” near the entrance though we didn't have the heart to tell them of his inevitable fate.
There were plenty of highchairs available, though I'm not sure if they had nappy changing facilities, I'd be surprised if they didn't as the building seemed impressively equipped for everyone's needs!
It is a huge establishment with an awesome bar, formal dining and both indoor and an outdoor sections. The architecture and open space layout makes for a pleasurable dining experience and of course the views of the Princess Royal Harbour are amazing. There is also a great bottle shop attached (if you're so inclined) that specialise in local wines and craft brewers.
Location: 6 Toll Place,
Hours: 6am-12pm Mon-Sat 7am-10pm Sun
Review by Jacqui Snelgar
Cockburn Central now has a Croc's Playcentre, the first in WA, and it comes with a Muffin Break Café full of their delicious muffins, food and fantastic coffee.
There is a small baby/toddler play area set up in the front café area.
Next to it is a large Under 4 space that is gated. It has a jumping castle, climbing frames, slides and very cool bubble lights that change colours. They kept quite a few toddlers entertained.
The over 5 area is open. There is a large jumping castle with a mushroom in the middle, lots of fun!!
Head into the Shark’s mouth for 3 levels of climbing fun, slides & air ball shooting machines.
The big racing slides were a huge hit with my kids. A bumpy blue slide for a bit of fun.
And quite a steep green slide for the thrill seeker.
Around the outside of the climbing frame area there is a path to ride scooters and trikes.
The party rooms look fabulous. Mr Croc’s Nightclub was a huge hit! With a karoke machine, laser lights and a dress up cupboard, it would be the most talked about birthday party in the playground for all the wanna-be pop stars.
You can even watch all the fun from outside the room.
The other party rooms are also themed with Pirates, Under the Sea, Jungle and Princess. Various party options are availble.
Croc's Play Centre is located at Unit 4,
49–67 Armadale Rd, Jandakot. (08) 9414 8824.
Croc's is open 7 days a week 9.30am - 5pm. Open late on Fridays until 8pm. See website for entry fees and more information.
Review by Jacqui Snelgar
Glamour Nail Bar is a high end, chic nail bar in Cockburn Central - providing a glamorous, unforgettable pampering experience!
I took along my 8 year old daughter with her friend and 5 year old sister as a birthday treat.
From the moment the girls walked through the doors, they were made to feel very welcome. They were lead over to the cabinet packed with polish bottles they were left to choose the colours they wanted on their finger and toe nails while the owner appeared with boxes filled with glitters and embellishments. Tough decision!
Colours and bling selected it’s time for the pedicure complete with massage chairs, foot spa, cupcake and pink lemonade.
A special Birthday Girl sash for the Birthday girl.
It was a tough afternoon of leg massages and foot rubs.
With pretty shiny toenails complete, it’s time for the manicure. Hands are massaged, nails are filed, buffed and polished to perfection with the carefully selected bling also added.
We booked the Sweethearts Package ($45) which includes a mani/pedi, cupcake and pink lemonade. Other packages available include Mother Daughter Love and Princess Parrty. The girls were made to feel so special and it was the perfect little birthday treat.
Glamour Nail Bar is located at 1 / 2 Points Way, Cockburn Central (08) 6397 2562 firstname.lastname@example.org www.glamournailbar.com.au
Jarrah Jack’s Brewery & Woodsmoke Café can be found 2km from the quaint town of Pemberton, in the heart of the South West of WA. It scores an A+ for location with its stunning views – it is set on a hillside in a valley with picturesque vineyards cascading down to a small dam.
Whether you fancy a lazy lunch or merely a few drinks, this location makes it a must visit spot. You can sample the boutique wines and beers with names such as Lumberjack Ale and Swinging Axe Ale. The beers are skillfully brewed at the small batch brewery onsite.
The brewery building is
modern and appealing with areas for indoor and outdoor dining.
There are plenty of tables outside on the verandah and the patio
to take in the views. The verandah is weather proofed with
plastic awnings that don’t block the view. The patio is also
under a roof providing shade but there are tables on the grass in
the sun too.
Scattered groups of comfy chairs also create welcoming areas for groups of people popping in for drinks only.
The inside bar area has stool seating or there are lower tables to eat at. There is a cosy atmosphere with the wood fireplace warming you up on a winter’s day.
There is a large outdoor sandpit filled with sand toys that will entertain the kids for hours. We spent an entire afternoon eating, drinking and socialising as the kids played happily. The older kids raced down between the vines to play on the shores of the small dam, so be water aware if you have little ones. The slope makes it a challenge to get down, which can be a helpful deterrent to the smaller kids unless they are adventurous.
There is also a small indoor play area that is contained with a wooden fence and gate. A train track table and various cars and kitchen toys provide good entertainment for little ones. In addition there are colouring-in pens and paper available to take to your table.
We found the food to be
pleasant on our visit. We tried the assorted cooked meat platter
that came on a wooden board with tasty morsels of different
meats, plus antipasti extras such as olives, dipping bread and
feta cheese. We also had the seafood platter, which showcased the
local Marron as well as salmon, scallops and prawns.
Other meals on the small menu included Prawn & Corn Risotto, Lamb Shanks, Beef Pie, Cauliflower & Bacon Soup, and a limited Pizza menu.
For the kids there was a buffet for a flat cost of $8.50 per child. It was all set out in warming trays so that you can help yourself and customize it to your child’s tastes. The selection included a tomato penne pasta, battered fish nuggets and chips, veggie sticks, and a dessert choice of chocolate mousse or jelly cups.
On the downside, we found customer service to be sadly lacking, and got the impression that the young staff had been left to their own devices with no Manager keeping an eye on things. Our food was nearly cold when it arrived at our table, and we had several issues getting our order brought out at the same time, resulting in some people eating after others had finished. This was disappointing given the fabulous location and kid appeal of the place, so hopefully it will improve before our next visit down south.
LOT 11936 Kemp Rd, Eastbrook WA 6260, Australia
+61 8 9776 1333
Tucked away off James Spiers Drive in the upmarket residential area of Regent Waters, is a small suburban playground. The location borders on Lake Joondalup and is very peaceful and pretty with birdlife and clusters of shady trees.
The Forpark playground is sandbased and surrounded by plenty of grass with three large sheltered picnic tables scattered at intervals. There is a gas barbeque under the trees for public use, making this a good spot for a family picnic or event. There is no shade over the playground itself but plenty amongst the trees.
The main play structure is a bit aged and stained from irrigation but is in good condition. It is well suited to toddlers with a small ladder and steps to reach the top of the red twisty slide. For more adventurous climbers there is a climbing net to reach the slide, as well as a climbing wall for older kids.
A spinning flower design provides some entertainment on the top platform. Down below features include a car steering wheel for role play and a house/shop window for imaginative games.
Other play equipment
Two swings – one being a baby seat.
A small flying fox.
A spinning pole with grips. (When we visited, this item was leaning at an angle in the sand, so we weren’t sure if that was on purpose, but it didn’t seem to be a safety issue and it didn’t stop the fun – in fact making the spinning motion speed up suddenly).
A small seesaw:
A witch’s hat climbing frame:
A set of whisper poles:
There are two ponds adjacent to the picnic area, but the trees hide the water’s edge so the water is not easily accessible unless you let your child venture into the bushes that hide it. Instead you can take a pleasant stroll on the pathway to a wooden walkway that leads to a bridge over the two picturesque ponds. There are signs not to feed the local birdlife, but instead you can watch them gliding peacefully over the water. There are also a few benches to sit and watch.
The wooden walkway also leads to a double storey lookout that offers lovely views across the wetlands all the way up Lake Joondalup.
It is advisable to be aware of snakes in the summer months. Stick to the paths and the open grass areas.
Parking is on the road verges only – there are no specific off road parking spots, as the area mostly caters for residents. There are also no toilets for this reason.
Pumped Sport Toddler Town is an inflatable playground designed for children aged Under 5 to have fun, socialise and develop fundamental movement skills through active play. Children interact with a range of inflatables and sporting equipment. It is a great meeting place for mums with toddlers, and is a fantastic opportunity for parents to interact with their children in a fun and safe environment.
We went along to the Ellenbrook session, which is held in the Ellenbrook Salvation Army Recreation Centre, every Friday 9:30-11am, during the school term. Cost is $10 for 1.5 hours of active free-play. No need to book.
Toddlers can indulge in jumping, sliding, dodging and climbing … to their heart’s content! Friendly Toddler Town Supervisors are positioned at the busiest inflatables to help prevent collisions and congestion. But mums need to keep an eye on where their toddlers are, and monitor any pushing or shoving. We found that in general the kids were well behaved with so many happy and excited faces!
Toddler Town features an inflatable slide:
Swinging inflatable balls:
an inflatable obstacle course:
a large bouncy 'clown' castle with ball
and an inflatable throwing ball game:
In addition to the inflatables there is a sports
equipment section that has mini basketball hoops, nets, ride-on
toys, tunnels, a beanbag game and plenty of balls.
Take note that curious toddlers might be tempted to go behind the inflatables and find the appealing on/off switch to deflate… which happened once during our visit but was quickly corrected!
There are no food or drinks available to purchase. Bringing your own snacks is allowed. There are no tables or chairs, but you can sit on the floor to one side to refuel if needed. And don’t forget your WATER!
The children’s excited calls of “again!” and “one more time” were testimony to how successful the session was. It was pretty much guaranteed that a bunch of toddlers were destined for fabulous afternoon naps, worn out from a fun and active morning!
This will be no doubt be a popular regular play session for mums with busy toddlers.
Mondays – Warwick
Wednesdays – Quinns Rocks (starts 19 Aug)
Thursdays – Canning Vale