Father's Day is on 4th September and if you are stuck for ideas of how to spend the day we've done the hard work for you and come up with 50 great ideas for places to eat, places to go and things to buy.
1. Enjoy the Spring Sunshine in the Perth
Hills and visit Parkerville Tavern, a
gorgeous old family pub and restaurant nestled in a wooded
valley. Choose to sit indoors or outdoors where the playground
with its resident Emus, goats and bandicoots will keep the kids
amused. Father’s Day Photo Booth 12pm – 4pm. Breakfast and Lunch
bookings not necessary – walk-ins only.
Read the Buggybuddys review.
2. Treat Dad to breakfast or lunch
at the chilled out Oakover
Grounds in the Swan Valley. There is
plenty of space for the kids to run about and no Dad will be able
to resist a boat around the lake in one of the free
Read the Buggybuddys review
3. Enjoy a full buffet breakfast at the Ashby Bar and Bistro. Fun 2 Remember will be there to entertain the kids with face painting, balloon twisting, storytelling and much more! They will be event make some special craft cards and presents for Dad. Adults $27.50. Kids 12 and under FREE. Read the Buggybuddys review
4. Dine with Dad at The
Pavilion, Mindarie this Father’s Day. With floor to
ceiling windows boasting spectacular views over the marina, Dad
can kick back enjoy the view and tuck into a hearty deluxe
carvery buffet. Cash bar available throughout the event, serving
a sensational selection of craft beers, wines, ciders, spirits
and cocktails, soft drinks and more.
The kids will be taken care of with a fantastic Game Vault on site where the kids can challenge Dad to some crazy interactive computer games. Craft activities and puzzles will also be available on the day.
Adults just $38 | Children (0-15yrs) $1 per year of age. (*beverages not included)
5. Treat Dad to a huge plate of Spur’s famous ribs at Eagle Rock Spur, Currambine or Eagle Falls Spur, Wanneroo! Look forward to a peaceful meal as it will be hard to get the kids out of their fabulous indoor playroom. Read the Buggybuddys reviews Eagle Rock Spur Eagle Falls
6. Book in for lunch or dinner at the Herdsman
Lake Tavern and kids eat free with the purchase of an adult’s
main meal. Plus Fun 2
Remember will be free entertainment for the kids 12pm –
3pm and 5pm – 8pm.
Read the Buggybuddys Review
7. Head to the Swan Valley this Father's Day.
Mash Brewery in the Swan
Valley has a delicious a la carte menu available, and a special
dinner menu for tables booked from 4pm onwards. Table times
are 11am, 1pm or from 3pm onwards.
Read the Buggybuddys review
8. Take Dad for a special buffet
lunch at Bistro
38 at the Joondalup Resort. Enjoy
the delicious chocolate fountain and two hours of free-flowing
sparkling wine. Available from 12–2pm, the buffet lunch costs $65
for adults, $30 for kids 13–17 years and $15 for kids 5–12
Read the Buggybuddys review
9. Relax at the gorgeous Canning River
Café which is situated on the
Canning River in Wilson. There is a great kidsplayground and
river beach nearby, or you can take a nature trail walk around
the regional park for a great family day out.
Read the Buggybuddys review
10. The 7th Ave Bar and Restaurant in Midland are hosing a Father’s Day Buffett Breakfast 7am – 11am. $24 per person, kids 6 – 12 years half price. Children under 5 free!.
Events & Dad Goes Free
11. Is your Dad car obsessed? Take him along to the Father’s Day Hot Rod Show 2015 at St Patrick’s Primary School in Fremantle. Vintage cars and others will be on display, and there will be food stalls, coffee and ice cream. The Show is from 10am–4pm and cost is Adults $5, families $10, children $2. Purchase tickets at the gate.
12. If you want a good value, fun, family day out then The Maze Family Fun Park is a top choice. This Father’s Day it is FREE ENTRY for Dad with a paying child. Enjoy the great outdoors at The Maze this Father’s Day
13. Check out your local Bunnings for their free family night to celebrate Fathers Day. This is a great opportunity to make a fun gift for the Dad in your life. Kids of all ages are welcome.
14. Perth Zoo is offering FREE entry for all Dads this Father’s Day! Why not make Dad’s visit extra special by booking a Close Encounter. You can get upclose and personal with a giraffe, orangutan, Rhinoceros and many more. Find out more here.
15. Dads go free at Scitech this Fathers Day. Enjoy all the usual Scitech fun including Science Shows, feature exhibitions, puppet shows and more.
16. Grab dad a last minute gift at The Father’s Day Market at Craigie Leisure Centre. You’ll find over 50 stalls with AMAZING gift ideas for Fathers Day plus some other general stalls for you to browse at the same time. There will be LIVE music to entertain, Face Painting ($4) and of course FREE Balloon Twisting.
17. Do something different this Fathers Day and head to Rottnest Island. Dads travel free with Rottnest Fast Ferries. Simply book Dad or Grandad in with two full paying passengers (adult, senior, student or child fare) and Dad travels free!
18. Treat your dad to a buffet breakfast on the Swan River with Captain Cook Cruises. Enjoy the picturesque waterways if the Swan and take in the sights of Elizabeth Quay and the Swan Brewery as you cruise towards Fremantle and back. Adults $75, Children 4 – 14 years $40, children under 4 free. Bookings essential.
19. Challenge Dad at the Father's Day LEGO Comp at Harvey Library. Categories include: longest bridge, most interesting vehicle, star wars feature, farm, city jungle or school. Lego comp takes place on Saturday 3rd September 9.30am - 11.30am.
20. Surprise Dad with trip down memory lane this Father's Day! The Nostalgia Box is Australia’s 1st interactive Video Game Console Museum, located in Northbridge and is offering Dads Enter Free on Father's Day.
21. Enjoy a visit to Rio Tinto Naturescape at Kings Park and have some old-fashioned dirty fun wading through creeks and building dams and cubby houses.
22. Take a tour of the HMAS Submarine Ovens in Fremantle. Children need to be over 5 to participate in the tour. Cost: $15 Adults $7.50 Children.
23. If your Dad is an aviation fan then pack a family picnic and spend the morning plane and helicopter spotting at Jandakot Airport. Or take the family to view planes landing and taking off at Perth Airport Viewing Platform. Check online for the airport’s busy peak time.
24. If your Dad has green fingers then maybe he would appreciate a visit to Araluen Botanical Park where the Annual Tulip Festival is in full bloom until 18th September.
25. Challenge Dad to a game of Mini Golf! It’s great fun for the whole family. Check out the Top Ten Mini Golf Courses to play in Perth & surrounds.
26. Take Dad along to visit the fascinating Perth Mint and feast your eyes on the world's biggest gold coin. Join a guided tour and see the Gold Exhibition – watch molten gold being poured and much more! Cost: Adults $25, Kids $8 and Under 4's Free. Open 9am-5pm.
27. Take a short ferry ride from Elizabeth Quay to South Perth and stroll along the Foreshore. Then have a bite to eat at The Boatshed, which has a fenced kids playground.
28. Visit the Aviation Heritage Museum of WA, home of over 30 civilian and military aircraft located in Bullcreek. If you want to give Dad a special treat you could book him onto the tour of a Lancaster Bomber. Adults $10. Kids 4 to 16 $5. Family pass (2 adults & 4 children) $25. Lancaster Bomber Tour $100 per person. Must be booked in advance.
29. Visit Yanchep National Park for some Koala and Kangaroo spotting. You can pack a special Father’s Day picnic or enjoy lunch and indulge in some chocolate at The Chocolate Drops Tea Rooms. Cost: $12 per car.
30. Visit the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle to explore WA’s fascinating history with the sea. Cost: Adults $15, Kids $7.50.
31. Let Dad enjoy being a big kid again by challenging him to a duel at Inflatable World. Locations in Joondalup, Ballajura, Leeming and Shenton Park. Entry $16. Children under 5 $8.
32. A visit to the Aquarium (AQWA) is always fun for the family. Walk through the underwater tunnel and watch sharks and rays swim above you. Touch starfish and other creatures in the touchpools, and much more. Afterwards you can have lunch at one of the many eateries in Hillarys Boat Harbour. AQWA is open 10am–5pm.
33. Enjoy a picnic at Kings Park with stunning views of the city and walk along the tree top walk. Or let the kids have a big play at the Lotterywest Family playground and grab a bite to eat at Stickybeaks Café.
34. Head to Synergy Playground in Kings Park to climb the giant Croc or Dino. Have a yummy breakie at Zamia Café or make your own bbq breakie or lunch there.
35. Take your Dad for a fun session of ten pin bowling at AMF in Joondalup. Read more about it in the Buggybuddys review.
36. Enjoy a picnic at Bells Rapids in Brigadoon. The kids will love discovering the tree swings on the other side of the bridge!
37. Pay a visit to Mundaring Weir– walk the dam, visit the look out and then head to the Mundaring Weir Hotel afterwards for lunch. They have a playground for the kids and serve up a Lamb Spit at 3pm every Sunday.
38. Caversham Wildlife Park is a fabulous place to get up close to Kangaroos and other Ozzie animals and birds. They have animal encounters and farm shows, so you can time your visit to include these. Caversham is within Whiteman Park so you can also tag on a visit to the village playgrounds or the Museums there, and have a ride on the Bennett Brook Railway. You can really make a full day out of it for Dad!
39. Give Dad a challenge – take him to City Summit in Malaga for some indoor climbing. Suitable for all levels of experience, beginners will be welcomed and shown the ropes. Read the Buggybuddys review for more details.
40. Landsdale Farm School makes a fun and educational outing. See various farm animals in their environment, such as ponies, geese, goats, pigs and donkeys. The popular Haystack Café is on the farm and they serve a great breakie with fresh farm eggs, as well as also serving lunch.
41. Visit a playground you have never been to before – from pirate ships to volcanos, race tracks and nature play, Perth has it all. Check out the huge Buggybuddys list for ideas north and south of the river.
42. Create a handmade gift that any Dad or Grandad would love. Check out the gorgeous ‘Proud Dad’ t-shirts and caps from Blank Canvas Gifts which kids can decorate themselves.
43. Does the Dad in your life love silly humour and fun things to put up in his man-cave or behind his bar? Try the Manbase website for some fun gifts.
45. The Australia Geographic Shop is a fabulous shop full of science gadgets, weather stations, telescopes, binoculars, puzzles, games and more. Shop online for some great Father’s Day gift ideas.
46. Buy Dad some barbeque accessories to inspire and prepare him for the summer ahead! Try Barbecues Galore for some ideas.
47. Give the Dad in your life an excuse to visit Bunnings (does he really need one?) – you can order personalised Gift Cards online without setting foot there yourself!
50. Why not purchase a Gift Card for BCF (Boating • Camping • Fishing) if your Dad loves outdoor activities. You can buy it online.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
A new nature play area has opened at Warradale Park in Landsdale, built in memory of toddler Sam Trott. This lovely playground honours those who came together and embraced a community strength and spirit that will never be forgotten. It is located on the Southmead Drive side of Warradale Park.
The playground is great for toddlers as it is fully fenced with one double-gated entry point, and has play equipment suitable for a range of ages. There is a combination of some traditional play equipment, and a lot of nature based elements. The traditional elements include two slides, rockers and a sand digger as well as a set of conventional swings, which are always a favourite.
The play area has 3 picnic tables with benches, but they do not have roof covers. One bench and plenty of low walls and logs allow for plenty of sitting opportunities for those parents who can. Several trees provide shade but a large part of the playground is in the open with no shade sails. Under the trees, the ground is covered in woodchips, and the main playground is sand based. There is a patch of grass lawn that can be used to throw down a picnic rug. For now, it is in full sun, but trees have been planted to provide shade in the future. The whole area has been landscaped with attractive native plants.
In the centre of the playground is a medium height hill that allows for various climbing ways to reach the top – steps carved out of a log, limestone block steps, wooden balancing steps, and a slope of grass. Once at the top you can meander around and then choose between two slides to go down again. One is a double slide good for young children. The other is a faster longer slide with a bump halfway down which causes much laughter.
A lovely imagination area allows kids to pretend they are on a bus, with vertical sides provided loosely, steering wheels to drive, and rows of log chairs for passengers.
For budding musicians, there are two percussion instruments – a hand drum, and a small wooden marimba that makes beautiful sounds.
Another fabulous area is a sand and water play section. There is one water pump that can be activated by pushing in a button to release a gentle stream of water. A large sandpit directly next to it allows for creative mixture making and sand castle building. Excess water cleverly runs down a slope to irrigate the native plants below.
Other play equipment in the park includes a basket swing (slow moving), and two rockers (one is a popular white horse).
There are plenty of logs and small limestone rocks to climb on and stepping logs and wooden platforms scattered below the trees make fun balancing pathways to go back and forth on. A wooden teepee provides a great climbing opportunity for bigger kids.
The cement pathway that winds around the enclosed play area provides an opportunity for scooters and smaller bikes to be used, but when the park is busy this may be tricky with lots of people about.
One drinking fountain is located near the entrance. There are no toilets due to this being a residential park.
I always said I would never ever have a party at home. The thought of having a multitude of children high on sugar running around my house really didn’t appeal to me. Well this year for Miss 8’s birthday party I broke my rule and I must say it was the most relaxing and stress free party I have ever held!
Miss 8 is Minecraft obsessed and after experiencing the Game Vault truck at Kids Wonderland that’s what she set her heart on for her birthday party.
Game Vault promises to be a stress free party for the parents so that had me sold!
Game Vault hosts gaming parties for boys and girls from 7 years to 70 years! Their climate-controlled theatres feature a luxury limousine style interior, 3D/LED screens, surround sound and state of the art LED lighting. The interior is very impressive!
Party packages range from 1.5 hours to 2 hours. There are two Game Vault vehicles available to hire. The truck can accommodate 12 guests and the trailer 16 guests. To accommodate the Game Vault Truck or Trailer at your home you will need to have a fairly flat ground for parking plus some room to pull in or out of. The Trailer measures 15 metres long and the truck 10 metres. Both vehicles can be self powered (for an additional fee) but the preferred option is to connect to the mains power at your home. Game Vault were able to park on the road right outside my house and plug into the power socket that is usually used for the garage door. Too easy!
Game Vault aims to arrive at the party 20 – 30 minutes before the booking time. I booked a 1pm – 2.30pm party and asked my guest to arrive at 12.45pm so that the Game Vault experience could start on time. On booking you are asked what your child’s favourite games are so that the party host can tailor the experience for them.
The party kicked off in high energy with a couple of rounds of Just Dance. The games is played on a screen on the exterior of the truck. Once everyone was fired up and ready to go it was time to enter the Game Vault Trailer. Rob, our very friendly host who was full of jokes, had picked out three games suitable for the age range of the party – Minecraft, Ghostbusters and a motorbike racing one. All the games were multiplayer so they could have fun playing against their friends.
Once the truck doors shut it was complete silence outside. You couldn’t hear any of the noise and high spirits taking place inside the truck. It definitely is a party that isn’t going to get you in trouble with the neighbours for being too noisy. As it was a gorgeous sunny winter’s day I went and enjoyed a coffee in the garden while the kids were entertained for 90 minutes.
The last ten minutes of the party are spent playing Game Vault Blasters, a high energy interactive balloon popping game which is designed to get the body moving again. The kids loved it!
No food or drink is allowed in the Game Vault truck so I built in an additional 30 minutes at the end of the entertainment to allow for sandwiches and cake. I set up my garage as the party area so that the house remained intact! For the past 3 years I’ve been getting our birthday cakes made by Jellycious Treats who always do an amazing job! Their cakes are well priced, taste amazing and if you have a child that is allergic to dairy they do a great range of Jelly cakes. The miniature jellies are always a huge hit with the kids and always disappear within seconds of being served!
Would I recommend Game Vault? Most definitely! It’s not the cheapest party option out there as the price ranges from $24 - $36 per head depending on day of the week and truck size but it definitely is one of the most unique party entertainment options in Perth. The kids had an absolute blast!
For more information visit www.gamevaultperth.com.au
Review by Stephanie Rae
Where to go when Spring has finally arrived? Araluen Botanical Park of course in Roleystone! The Yates Springtime Tulip Festival is in full swing from August 20th to September 18th and what a spectacular sight to see!
With 120000 Tulips planted throughout the park you'll be pressed not to be impressed! Everywhere you look there is colour and beauty amongst the absolute exquisite grounds that are clearly well tended and loved. There were interesting sculptures scattered about too that offered great photo opportunities!
The day we went was glorious which of course complimented the Spring showcase, however we have been to Araluen on the dreariest of days in the middle of Winter and it is still absolutely majestic.
We were a party of six, four "senior" (though very spritely) relatives and two super spritely children. The park is special-needs friendly with lots of nice steady pathways for wheelchairs, prams and people with rickety knees and aching backs. We were representing the latter though my kids enjoyed a few sneaky stair case short cuts to most destinations.
What we couldn't get to by foot we enjoyed seeing on the lovely Araluen Train which was enjoyed by young and old alike! Train tickets can be purchased from the information marquee in the Concourse and cost $5 adults and $2 children.
There are so many discoveries to be made around every corner and it was really rewarding watching the children's fascination of each flower and plant. Their particular favourite was a tree they affectionately named "the Lorax tree" as it really did look like a Dr. Seuss creation!
There were plenty of food options with a few marquees set up specifically for the festival and a lot of groups choosing a picnic option or utilising the electric barbeques. We even saw a family set up on a rug near a waterfall with the loveliest spread of sushi! (I had to swiftly re-route the kids as they made a drooling beeline towards them).
There is also the Chalet Healy tearooms and kiosk which is open all year round from 10am to 4am. But be warned, this is a very popular eatery of choice, my family and I are yet to dine there as it is always packed. My poor Dad tried to reserve us a table but was politely asked to give it up after about 10 minutes as they were extremely busy and he was copping an eyeballing from hungry patrons! Suffice to say my lovely Queensland cousins were given a stern eyebrow raise for taking too long in the gift shop! Which you can hardly blame them. It is amazing!
The "Roundhouse" building itself is charming and there are tables and chairs scattered around the side under an alfresco where many were sipping on coffee they had purchased from the van parked nearby. There was a large range of beautiful products and gifts for friends (or yourself) for all age ranges and interests. I desperately wanted to go in but I must admit with an energetic and exhaustingly curious three year old, I chose to avoid a catastrophe. Though the brief seconds we were inside, the staff were lovely. Actually the staff we encountered from the front gate to the parking staff and on the grounds were really warm, friendly and very welcoming.
If you can't make it to the wonderful blooms of Spring, Araluen is open all year round and it really is such a beautiful place to take the kids and relax in such beautiful surroundings. There's a reason it's constantly packed with tourists and ironically many Sandgropers have never been. So take advantage of this hills gem right on our doorstep.
Effective 13 August 2016
Child (6-15 years) $5.00
Bus Group (8+) $6.00
Family (2A +6C) $25.00
Cut-Price Tues (Adult)* $5.00
Cut-Price Tues (Child)* $5.00
Open every day of the year (except Christmas)
The Park’s opening hours are seasonal, please see below.
9am to 6pm August – November 30
9am – 8pm December – February 29
9am – 6pm March 1 – May 31
For more information visit www.araluenbotanicpark.com.au
The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focusing on preschool and primary education. It was created after WWII by a teacher in Reggio Emilia, Italy, which is where the approach gets its name. After the war, educators and families believed that children needed new ways of learning, to cultivate young minds as an investment in the future. The Reggio Emilia approach was developed to help children learn in this new framework.
The basics of the Reggio Emilia approach
Using a self-guided curriculum, children are allowed to express themselves in different ways as they develop their personality. Activities such as painting, drawing, sculpting, and drama are encouraged, as these are all seen as “languages” children use. By allowing children to engage in meaningful learning experiences, the Reggio Emilia approach helps to instill a love of learning, enhances early education and prepares children for the transition into school.
Under the Reggio Emilia approach, children are viewed as active, capable and valuable members of the community. They are encouraged to explore, question, and interpret the world during the first five years of life, as creating a solid foundation of experiences during these early years helps each child reach their full potential. Educators using the Reggio Emilia approach believe that children should have some control over their learning. Children have many languages in art, music, and drama, and they should be encouraged to learn through experiences like listening, moving, touching and observing.
The teacher is seen as someone who collaborates with students, rather than just instructing them. There is no set curriculum or testing program, and children may stay with one teacher for up to three years to create a consistent learning relationship. Teachers will often plan lessons based on each child’s interest and continuously ask the child questions to further engage them, rather than just assigning an activity and observing.
Parents and the community
The Reggio Emilia approach believes that parents and the wider community have collective responsibility of children. It is an inclusive, village-style approach that engages children, parents and the community as all being essential components to the learning process. Parents are seen as partners; as the first teacher for the child before they enter the education system. Reggio Emilia schools facilitate constant communication between teachers and families, and parents are encouraged to volunteer to help in the classroom and incorporate Reggio Emilia principles at home.
The importance of the environment
The environment is an essential part of the Reggio Emilia approach. The belief is that if children are placed in a beautiful environment, with stimulating materials to work with, they will be motivated to explore and respect the environment. Indoor spaces at Reggio Emilia schools will normally be nature-inspired, designed with plenty of indoor plants, vines and natural light to engage the viewer. Classrooms may feature several mirrors, doors, windows or courtyards to create a sense of space and assurance. An open piazza or central common area is often attached to an open plan kitchen, while student artwork is showcased in galleries throughout the school.
Nido Early School was launched in 2014 to provide families in Western Australia with a new standard of early education for their children. Nido Early School follows the Reggio Emilia approach and have adapted it to suit the climate, culture and educational context of Australia. With experienced educators, comfortable learning environments, and a flexible approach to learning, Nido Early School is often seen as a home away from home. To find out more, call 08 6210 3210 or visit www.nidoearlyschool.com.au to find your nearest centre.
We stayed at the Big4 Beachlands Holiday Park for a glorious weekend in March with a big group of friends who were taking part in the Busselton Half Marathon and Busselton Jetty Swim. The campsite is prestine with tarmac roads around the treelined park and beautifully manicured grass based pitches. They also offer cabins, villas and bungalows some with spa's and jacuzzi's ;-)
Most of the pitches offer some form of natural shade from the mature trees peppered around the park.
Our pitch was adjacent to the main attractions in the park, the HUGE jumping pillow, splash & play zone, 360 play zone and playground.
The jumping pillow is nestled among many mature trees providing some shade at the edge of the area. There are also a few benches around this area so you can watch the kids whilst relaxing in the shade ;-)
The play zone and playground are both covered with shade sails. The kids loved the 360 play zone where you have to push the buttons around the structure in order and against a timer!
There's also a fully fenced splash & play zone, swimming pool and pool side shade over sun lounges and chairs. The swimming pool has a raised shallow area with shade making it a fantastic option for families with younger kids. The whole area is fully fenced from the jumping pillow and playground.
The main camp kitchen and abolution block sit alongside the main play areas so you can sit the camp kitchen and see the kids playing close by during the daytime and evenings. There is also a small grassed area great for ball games.
The camp office also offer Go Kart hire for use around the park. This is a dog friendly park outside of school and bank holidays.
5 Unusual Things To Do In Perth With Kids
Just because Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world doesn’t mean it’s far from being fun. Just the opposite.
Perth is full of awesome attractions and activities - including some seriously extraordinary things for kids to do. From ghost hunting in a pitch-dark tunnel to launching a rocket, here are five really unusual things to do in Perth with kids.
Swan View Tunnel
Some say that the oldest railway tunnel in West Australian's history, the now-defunct Swan View Tunnel in the John Forrest National Park which opened in 1895, is haunted by ghosts. Find out for yourself as you explore this 340m-long engineering marvel - but don’t forget a torch because it’s pitch-dark in places! Learn more about the train crashes, deaths and hard labour that make this fascinating heritage destination a favourite amongst young and old - plus your kids will love the variety of other attractions and facilities in the Park.
A city of over 5 000 inhabitants, none of whom work, drive a car, eat or speak? Seeing is believing - which is why Gnomesville, situated just south of Perth in the Ferguson Valley, has become such a popular destination for kids (and anyone with a bit of kid in them). Yes, we’re talking thousands of magical garden gnomes (from around the world including the US, South Africa and Europe) who have found their way to this unusual, fascinating and ever-changing community. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own gnomes to join in the fun - be it fishing, playing cricket, jamming with a rock band or just enjoying the West Australian sunshine - as well as read the many amusing signs and gnome-puns that adorn these little creatures.
Scoop poop at Perth zoo
Who would voluntarily scoop poop? Who wouldn’t - especially when we’re talking wild animal poop and you get to feed these amazing creatures at the same time! The Perth Zoo’s fabulous range of educational programmes introduce kids to all sorts of unusual sights and activities and it’s little wonder that the Zoo is one of the top Perth attractions for young and old. From discovering how to prepare food for over 170 different species, learning about how the animals of the African savannah have adapted for survival and of course scooping poop (much of which is treated, composted, packaged and sold to the public as ‘Creature Compost’), kids will love the huge variety of fun and unusual activities at the Perth Zoo.
Launch a space rocket
The Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory in Gingin, just north of Perth is a kids’ paradise. But it’s not just about seeing stars - there are plenty of unusual activities on offer that will get everyone’s heart racing including making rockets from empty cold drink bottles and launching them from the centre’s aquapods and dropping a water balloon from the top of the 45m high Leaning Tower of Gingin. Leaning at an angle of 15 degrees and held in place by 180 tons of concrete, the Gingin tower is the world’s ‘leaniest’ purpose-built tower - but you’ll need to climb 222 thrilling steps to see the amazing views from the top and drop your missile!
The Bell Tower
Every kid will remember the nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and Lemons’ which includes the words ‘you owe me five farthings, say the bells of St Martins’. Well, those bells are actually IN Perth and you can see (and hear) them at one of the largest musical instruments in the world, the Bell Tower on the Swan River foreshore!
The Bell Tower houses a set of cast iron bells from the famous St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London, which are recorded in history as being in existence before the 14th century. They’re one of the few sets of royal bells and are the only ones which are known to have left England - so it’s no surprise that so many people flock to this popular Perth attraction.
If you’re looking for unusual, interesting and fun places to visit in Perth with kids, you should consider a visit to the Bell Tower where you can chime one of the famous bells and receive a free certificate stating you’ve made some noise! And if you’re after something really unusual, why not sign up for a bell ringing course? The resident ringing group, the St Martin’s Society of Change Ringers offers a free introduction to ringing, followed by an 8-week course (depending on trainer availability) and you can find more information about this as well as about opening times, special events etc by phoning 08 6210 0444 or by visiting www.thebelltower.com.au.
Mariala Vista Park is a brand new park located in Jindowie, Yanchep.
So many of the new parks that have been built recently have a problem with serious lack of shade, where the developer has planted trees but they won’t provide any shade until they mature in years to come. Mariala Vista Park is distinctly different. The park has been developed in an area packed full of mature beautiful tall trees that provide a large amount of shade over the whole play area.
The playground caters for both older and younger children. There is a large enclosed twisting slide that looks like great fun! But if your child isn’t brave enough to try it there is a small slide embedded into the hill right next to it.
Other fun play equipment at the playground include a birds nest swing
An archway climbing frame
A very cute bee rocker and a small nature play area consisting of balancing logs and rocks.
A centrepiece of the park, and one for the older kids, is an unusual wooden climbing structure designed as a tree house containing 5 birds nests.
If you are planning a visit don’t forget your wheels! Older kids will have great fun practicing their tricks on the BMX track. Younger children will love scooting around the various smooth pathways around the park.
There are two gorgeous BBQ’s that have been painted with a mural by Velveteen Rabbit Art.
There is a picnic shelter containing two tables with a few more tables and benches dotted around the park.
If you wish to sit back and relax there are a couple of sun loungers positioned in a nice shaded spot under the tree.
There is also a shaded grassy area perfect for throwing down a picnic rug.
There are no toilets and no car park. There are a couple of parking bays running along the south end of the park on Burleigh Blvd but nothing on Mariala Vista itself.
At the time of writing the park and surrounding streets are not listed on Google maps so to find it turn off Yanchep Beach Road on to Mapleton Drive and take the first right onto Welford Way. The park is located at the end of the road.
The Barnyard 1978, Yallingup - Wendy Turland
If you are heading down South for the weekend and love fresh pasta and wine you should check out Barnyard 1978 just off Cave's Road. There is plenty of delicious food and wine to tempt you in from the cold and rain!
You'll enjoy beautiful food set in a great location that welcome and cater for families. They use the best fresh produce in town including eggs from local chooks and have their signature Barnyard honey and wine.
The decor is simple and chic inside with an open plan kitchen and viewing window giving it that home cooked and open feel. The staff are friendly, the menu is fresh with barnyard signature pasta and wine dishes!
There is a a great display of all the produce that you can buy and after eating here you'll be sure to buy something to take away it is so delicious!
The restaurant itself is relaxed and very family oriented with a great atmosphere serving fresh, simply and delicious food.
The choice of goods at the Barn shop look so delicious there is Barn fresh made pasta in four varieties spinach, beetroot, capsicum and squid ink. There is also preserved lemons, homemade tomato pasta sauce, fennel olives, eggplant kasundi and cucumber pickle. It was hard not to buy it all to take home....
There is a cellar door and wine testing of Barnyard signature wines and beers with fabulous views over looking the vineyard and the play area so there is something for everyone. We even managed coffee and a desert after our meal while our little one played outside!
There is a choice of seven main dishes plus specials all reasonably priced between $22 -$26. We tried the barn mac n cheese, the porcini truffle pappardelle reggiano and the kids spaghetti all absolutely delicious.
We couldn't resist having desert with our coffee and opted to try the lemon cheesecake, the peanut chocolate bar with salted caramel and they do a delicious vanilla kids ice cream.
This place is so family friendly it even ran pasta making workshops for kids during the school holidays focusing on making fresh food, with amazing local produce.
The play area and climbing frame is directly out back and there are tables and chairs on the veranda so you can eat out and watch the children. For those chilli afternoons they have warm blankets for customers to use and outside heaters, or simply sit inside and enjoy the view.
Rope swing, slide a climbing wall, a rope climbing wall and a pirates wheel all in this compact climbing frame. A great choice of play equipment to keep the children happy and because the restaurant has large glass windows you can see outside while you finish your meal or have that coffee and cake!
Outside the back of the restaurant you can see the honeybee farm and vineyard plus there is plenty of space to let the kids have a run around after breakfast or lunch before you have to get back in the car!
There is plenty of parking outside the restaurant and there is baby change facilities and highchairs.
Barnyard 1978 - 12, Canal Rocks Road, Yallingup, WA 6282
Presented by the Bennett Brook Railway, children can get up close and personal with Ashley and his steam engine friends - Planet, Rosalie, Betty Thompson, Fremantle and Wyndham in a day packed full of fun! There'll be hissing steam engines, dirty diesels and laden carriages – all under the watchful eye of their very own station master.
Ticket prices are $20 for everyone over the age of two with all
proceeds going towards the upkeep of Bennett Brook Railway which
has delighted children (and adults) for over 25 years and is
operated by a team of dedicated volunteers. A cause well worth
supporting! Tickets can be purchased in advance for just $15 by
calling the booking office on 9534 3215 or booking online
The ticket price includes unlimited rides on the trains and buses, entry into the Old MacDonald's Farmyard display, free entry into Revolutions Transport Museum, Fire Engine Display by FESA, Bus Museum and Vintage Car display and the Scout display – what more can you want!
The event takes place over two areas of Whiteman Park – the Village Junction Station and Mussel Pool Station. For an additional fee you'll also find bouncy castles, amusement rides and fairground games and a variety of food and drink stalls at both locations.
Prams and pushchairs are not allowed onto the trains so there is
a free secure storage area included in the ticket price. Just
don't forget to collect your pushchair at the end of the day! If
you have a younger child that is reliant on a pushchair it might
be best to take along a baby carrier as you will only have use of
the pushchair at one location.