Going out with the kids doesn’t have to break the budget. There are lots of things to do around our beautiful city that won’t cost you anything more than petrol or public transport or perhaps a gold coin donation. Take a look through our list of activities, half day trips and full days to keep the kids entertained.
- Rhyme Time at your local library
Rhyme Time at your local library is fun and free. Hosted by library staff, it is full of songs and stories to keep young children amused.
- The Story Place, The State Library of Western Australia
The State Library of Western Australia has a vibrant children’s mezzanine floor, called The Story Place, full of children’s books and educational activities. Children can explore the floor at their own pace, join in with story time or just find a quiet corner to snuggle up with you and a good book. Check the calendar to see what’s on.
Hosted by the City of Melville, Tunes for Tots is suitable for children 2+ years. Dance, move, sing songs and have fun together. Tunes for Tots runs weekly at Point Walter.
- LEGO Club at your local library
Does your child love building with LEGO? Why not head along to your local library’s LEGO Club? These usually run in after school hours so both big and little kids can join in the fun.
Why should big kids have all the LEGO fun? Children aged five years and under are invited to The City of Rockingham for free Duplo play sessions. Duplo Club will be held on Wednesdays during school term at Mary Davies Library and Community Centre.
Visit Bunnings for their free family events. Children’s activities are held at Bunnings stores most weekends, and on special occasions such as Halloween and Christmas there may be more activities held mid-week.
Go plane spotting at Perth Airport. There is a large carpark with free parking available, and the pathway up to the shaded viewing platform is both pram and wheelchair accessible. Download a free plane tracker app to see when planes are due to land or take off.
Another location for plane spotting is Jandakot Airport. There is a public viewing area located in the parkland adjacent to the control tower. Pack a picnic and watch your children’s faces light up in delight at all the planes they’ll see!
Grab a coffee and let the littlies run wild in the Karrinyup Jungle Gym. This is suitable for kids 3 years and over. It is currently located in the food court area, though plans have been announced as of December 2018 for two new jungle gyms to be installed outside Myer and Big W.
Froggy’s Fun on the Green is a free family-friendly mobile outdoor play session for families or carers with children aged 0 to 5 years run in conjunction with the City of Cockburn. The program includes activities for children and is a chance for mums, dads and carers to connect with others, access information on child development and get support in their parenting roles in a family-friendly environment. Froggy’s operates during school terms on Mondays and Tuesdays. During the two hour play sessions, kids can get hands-on with playdough, games and toys.
Buster the Fun Bus is a great community asset in Fremantle. Despite the loss of state government funding, council has endorsed to continue supporting the popular free parenting program.
Buster It’s All about Play is a free, multi-sensory, hands-on active and child centred program that offers creative and fun opportunities for families to learn and play together.
PLAY IN THE PARK is a free “drop in” playgroup in a lovely outdoor setting which runs during school term. Come along and join in a variety of craft, games, stories, rhymes and other fun activities for children aged 0-5 years. Bring along a bottle of water, healthy snack and remember to be sun smart and slip, slop, slap.
Meet other parents, share in activities and find out what is available in the area. Enjoy playing, socialising and creating fun with your children in a great outdoor setting.
The Bird, Fish & Reptile Place is a Garden Centre and pet supply store in Wattle Grove. While it’s a popular place to pick up some crazy crabs for the kids, what makes it a little different from other pet and garden stores are the huge garden statues which kids will love! Be greeted by the huge T-Rex, see a shark, lizards and birds, and finish up with an ice cream at the end.
Half day activities
Spend some time exploring the old fire station at the DFES Education and Heritage Centre. Children can climb a fire engine, dress up as a fire fighter, and explore the educational exhibits both up and downstairs. Entry is free and the friendly volunteers are full of interesting facts.
- Visit Yokine Reserve
Pack a picnic, a change of clothes and your bike or scooter. Yokine Reserve is packed with lots to keep toddlers to tweens entertained. Play with musical equipment, climb, swing or splash in the water play in the fenced Playspace. Walk the paths that surround and run through the reserve. If you have some change free, you can always stop off at the coffee van for refreshments or an icy pole along the way. There’s even treats for the family pooch!
Explore the exhibits at Wanneroo Regional Museum and the Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre. The free “Summer Wonderland” activities, celebrating Christmas by the beach, are currently running from 3 December until 17 December 2018. The exhibits and activities change regularly, so be sure to check back often to see what’s on!
- Explore Baldivis Children’s Forest
Come along anytime to explore the Baldivis Children’s Forest with your friends and family. Park at the gate and walk along the trails to discover the hidden delights of the amazing Tuart Woodlands.
Enjoy music or a movie in the Northbridge Piazza! Just pack some snacks and your picnic rug for some free, outdoor fun. For the December 2018 festive season, a Christmas film will screen each Saturday night from 5.30pm.
Visit the WA Shipwrecks Museum in Fremantle. The galleries house hundreds of relics from ships wrecks along the treacherous WA coastline. Entry is free, though a donation is suggested.
Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary is an urban wetland located in Bayswater. Pack your bikes or scooters and explore the trails and paths. Keep your eyes out for the many birds that make their home here, including ducks, pelicans, swallows, honeyeaters and hawks. This is close by to Bayswater Riverside Gardens, where you could stop off for a play in the playground, a splash in the shallow river waters or a picnic.
Take a walk and explore Herdsman Lake Regional Park. Start your visit at the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, which can be visited for a gold coin donation if you should wish, then head along the Olive Seymour Boardwalk. Spot the amazing birdlife that lives around the lake as you go. Alternatively, grab your bikes or scooters and travel the path around the 7km perimeter of the lake. It is relatively flat making it a good ride for kids.
Pack a picnic or barbecue supplies, your bike or scooter and your swimmers! Kids will love playing around in the water on the splash pad, doing laps of the lake on their bikes and spotting the wildlife as they go, or playing in the castle themed playground.
- Elizabeth Quay
The ten million dollar BHP Billiton Water Park at Elizabeth Quay is a huge, interactive water feature. The water park features fountains, mist and puddles to splash around in and a mosaic floor that is inspired by the Noongar people. Combine this with a play at the maritime-themed Island Playground, which has been designed in collaboration with Nature Play. Little pirate lovers can ring the bell, walk the plank or keep a look out in the crowns nest in the three-storey climbing tower, which also features nets, a slide and rope bridges. There’s a shady sandpit too. The water play area, where kids can pump the water to create a stream, is very popular. For a great view of the city from the river and extra excitement, park across the river at Mends Street and take the TransPerth Ferry across. The kids will love it!
- Go Geocaching
Geocaching is a loosely organised individual sport relying on satellite technology to show you where latitude and longitude coordinates are within a few metres. Geocachers set off to find coordinates that they have gotten from websites or apps, and when they get there they are rewarded with a find. What do they find? More often than not, a small box containing a log book, maybe some swappable goodies, and a pencil. It’s about the thrill of the hunt! Geocachers write a log in the book about their hunt, they may swap something they have for something in the box, always making sure their swap is fair, and replace the container exactly as they found it. If this sounds like an activity you’d like to try with the family, you can download the Geocaching Australia app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
The Esplanade Youth Plaza in Fremantle is a family-friendly, inner-city hangout located at the south-eastern corner of Fremantle’s Esplanade Reserve. The Esplanade Youth Plaza features a world-class skate park catering for skaters of all abilities with its long continuous street run and other elements such as stair sets, hubbas, rails and gaps. It also provides great fun for BMX and scooter riders. The Esplannade Youth Plaza also includes WA’s first outdoor parkour park. The Plaza is located close by to the existing traditional Esplanade playground which caters well to younger children.
Day Trips – free things to do in Perth with kids
- Explore Whiteman Park, Swan Valley
Explore the many wonders at Whiteman Park. Pack a picnic and your swimmers and go for a dip in the free kids pool. Take a wander in the Children’s Forest or take a bushwalk, and have a play in the Village West Playground. If you visit on the second Sunday of the month, you can watch the Tractor Parade with commences at 1pm.
- Explore Kings Park
Pack a picnic lunch and explore the many playgrounds or bushwalking tracks around Kings Park. Bring a change of clothes and get splashing and grubby in the Rio Tinto Naturescape. Get climbing in the Saw Avenue Picnic Area and Variety Place. Explore the more toddler friendly playgrounds of the Lotterywest Ivey Watson Playground. Visit the dinosaurs in the Synergy Parkland. Pay your respects at the War Memorial, and see the wildflowers and water features in the Botanic Gardens.
- Explore Mundaring
Explore the playgrounds in Mundaring. Get climbing and digging at the Mundaring Community Sculpture Park. Explore the toddler friendly CY O’Connor Hub Playground, fire up the barbie, and take a walk around Mundaring Weir.
Osprey Waters Foreshore Reserve is located 4km from the Mandurah City Centre and is the perfect spot for a great family day out! Not only does the nature based playground ‘tick all the right boxes’, the possibilities for fun and adventure seem endless, from water based fun such as fishing, kayaking or swimming to a leisurely walk, bike ride or simply relaxing with a book under a shady tree on the grass. Pack a picnic or barbecue lunch and make a day of it.
- Play at Rainbow Waters Playground
Get splashy at the Rainbow Waters Playground! The Rainbow Waters Playground is located opposite the library in Ellenbrook. It is an award-winning free to use water park and was one of the first water parks in Perth to use the splash pad surface. The water park has 15 interactive water features which include fountains, bubble jets and spray guns. The park is situated next to a large field perfect for playing a few ball games. There is also a BMX dirt track and a lake situated within walking distance. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
- Discover the Swan Valley with The Great Valley Rally
The Great Valley Rally is a family car rally and a great way to discover the Swan Valley region. The first stop is to the Swan Valley Visitor Centre which is located in the gorgeous old Guildford Courthouse, to collect the clue sheet and a map of the area so you know where to stop off for lunch or some sampling of the delicious Swan Valley produce.
The aim of the Great Valley Rally is to follow Stirling Swan’s cryptic clues around the Swan Valley to solve a riddle. Once the riddle is solved you return the completed clue sheets to the Visitors Centre for a little gift and a family certificate. It takes about three hours to complete, longer of course if you stop for lunch and a look around at the locations, and it’s completely free! The recommended age group is 5yrs to 12yr but really, it’s enjoyable for a wider range than that.
- Discover the Swan Valley with The Amazing Valley Chase.
Similar to The Great Valley Rally, on the exciting Amazing Valley Chase, Taylor Tortoise will guide you around the many attractions of the Swan Valley using a clever clue sheet. you will need to follow the clues laid out by canny Taylor in the hope of answering his riddle and reaching the finish line, where again you can claim a prize and certificate – not to mention the satisfaction of outsmarting old Taylor! Designed for families with children aged five to 12 years old, the trail begins at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre and takes around three hours to complete, maybe a little more if you stop off for lunch along the way.
What are your favourite free things to do in Perth with kids? Email us: [email protected]
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