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Top 39 Things to do with Kids in Perth City

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by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Blogger. Mother. Food-Lover. Chief Editor at freeperth.com.au/ Find out more about me at shannonmeyerkort.com/ or join me at Relentless frommumtome.blogspot.com.au/ and fundraisingmums.com.au
Published May 30th 2017
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Top 39 Things to do with Kids in Perth City

Whether you're a tourist or local, here are some of the best places to visit with kids within five kilometres of Perth. This list covers water fun, parks and playgrounds, museums and education centres, markets, tourist hot spots, free movies and events as well as ways to get around.

WATER FUN
Water Labyrinth Perth
Water Labyrinth-Image-by-Jarrad-Seng image courtesy visitperthcity.com

1. Water Labyrinth - Forrest Place
Kids love this interactive water sculpture, which creates rooms out of vertical spouts of water. It is possible to make it through without getting wet, but where is the fun in that? No immediately accessible toilets or change-rooms.

Location: Forrest Place
When: runs daily 10am to 6pm unless events are being run
Cost: Free
More information.

BHP Billiton Water Park
BHP Billiton Water Park image courtesy Shannon Meyerkort


2. BHP Billiton Water Park – Elizabeth Quay
This beautiful interactive water park is fun during the day and even better at night, when it is lit by colourful lighting. Surrounded by tiered decking and with all the fun of the Quay, it's possible to make a half a day disappear here. Outdoor showers and a change-room are located nearby at V Burger Bar.

Location: Elizabeth Quay opposite Elizabeth Quay train station
When: open daily except Tuesday from 10am to 6pm (closed Tuesdays for maintenance)
Cost: Free
More information.

Hyde Park
Hyde Park Water Playground image courtesy vincent.wa.gov.au


3. Water playground - Hyde Park
Popular with all ages, the water playground has recently installed shade sails, water cannons, spouts, tipping bells and more and is surrounded by the lush grassy gardens of Hyde Park. There is a universal access toilet nearby plus BBQs and gazebos.

Location: north side of Hyde Park, Vincent Street, North Perth
When: operational daily between 8am and 8pm between November to March (press the button on top of the green pole if it's not running)
Cost: Free
More information.

Northbridge Swamp
Northbridge Swamp image courtesy Shannon Meyerkort


4. Northbridge Swamp
You can't go swimming here, but you can enjoy a small piece of natural swamp habitat right in the heart of the city. Located between the Art Gallery and the WA Museum the Northbridge Swamp is home to frogs and perfect for a quiet moment.

Location: Cultural Centre Northbridge
When: all hours
Cost: Free

Fun Cats
image courtesy Fun Cats website

5. Kayak Hire
In the warmer summer months, you can hire kayaks and catamarans from the foreshore in South Perth. With double kayaks perfect for taking younger kids out (min age 5 years) and all the safety equipment provided, it is a fun way to spend time on the water, while enjoying the spectacular view of the city. No experience is necessary and training is provided.

Location: Coode Street Jetty, Coode St, South Perth
When: open September to April
Cost: single kayak from $20ph, doubles from $30ph, catamaran from $40ph
More information.

Matilda Bay
Matilda Bay, image courtesy Shannon Meyerkort


6. Matilda Bay Reserve
A five minute car or bus trip from the heart of the city, Matilda Bay Reserve stretches along the Swan River and is a hot spot for kayaking, picnicking, dolphin watching and other activities. Always popular on summer days, the shallow water allows kids to play freely, and there is a café, BBQs and toilets making it an easy option for a cheap day out.

Location: off Hackett Drive, Crawley
When: all hours
Cost: Free
More information.

TOURIST HOT SPOTS
Bell Tower
Swan Bell Tower, image courtesy Shannon Meyerkort

7. Bell Tower
The Swan Bell Tower is an interesting place to visit for anyone who loves history or music or simply as a great lookout across the River. Kids will enjoy hearing the bells ring and climbing onto the roof (perhaps not if they are scared of heights). Find out more about the unseen bell ringers here.

Location: Barrack Square, Riverside Dv
When: open daily from 10am
Cost: adults $9, children 5-14 years $7
More information.

London Court
London Court, image courtesy londoncourt.com

8. London Court
Located between the Hay Street pedestrian mall and St Georges Terrace, London Court is a shopping arcade with a difference. Built in an Old-English 'Tudor' style in the 1930s, with wrought iron gates, lead-lighting and cobble-style paths it is quite a unique place to visit. If you are in the Hay Street Mall on the hour, make sure you stop and watch the animated clock, whose face is styled on London's Big Ben.

Location: 647-653 Hay Street, Perth
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

Elizabeth Quay
Elizabeth Quay, image courtesy Shannon Meyerkort

9. Elizabeth Quay
There is always plenty to do at the Quay, with its water park, playground, open space, cafes and restaurants and the high probability of a special event taking place somewhere in its ten hectares. It is accessible by train, bus and ferry and is also home to the Swan Bell Tower and the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus.

Location: The Esplanade, Perth
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

Crawley Boatshed
Crawley Boatshed, image courtesy Wikipedia

10. Crawley Boat House
If you are heading down to Matilda Bay Reserve you will see the iconic blue boat house just off Mounts Bay Road in the river. Popular with brides and tourists, the Boat House was originally built in the 1930s and is probably one of the most photographed places in the whole of Perth. Note: there is no easy, accessible parking and visiting the Boat House will probably involve a bit of a walk or a bus trip from the city.

Location: Mounts Bay Road, Crawley
When: daily
Cost: Free

Perth Zoo
Perth Zoo, image courtesy Shannon Meyerkort

11. Perth Zoo
With plenty of nearby parking, or just a short walk from the South Perth ferry terminal, Perth Zoo is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. Boasting landscaped botanical gardens, impressive conservation programs and some fascinating animals (not to mention a slightly dark past), it is easy to spend a whole day at the Zoo.

Location: 20 Labouchere Rd, South Perth
When: open daily from 9am to 5pm
Cost: Adults $29, children 4 years and older $14
More information.

PLAYGROUNDS and PARKS
John Oldham Park
John Oldham Park, image courtesy visitperthcity.com

12. John Oldham Park
This is one of those 'hidden secret' parks – it's easy to drive past and not even realise it's there, but with a beautiful lake, hidden playground and one of Perth's longest and steepest slides, it's worth a visit. Parking off Mounts Bay Rd, opposite the hospital and near the freeway on-ramp.

Location: 150 Mounts Bay Road, Perth
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

Hyde Park
Hyde Park, image courtesy Wikipedia

13. Hyde Park
A stunning park in North Perth, Hyde Park has a beautiful lake with islands, a huge playground and a water park amongst its many attractions. There is street parking around its massive perimeter and plenty of grassy areas, landscaped gardens and paths. Bring a picnic or snacks as there are no cafes in the park itself.

Location: Vincent/Throssel St, North Perth
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

Queens Gardens
Queens Gardens, image courtesy City of Perth website


14. Queens Gardens
The heritage listed Queens Gardens is a quiet and beautiful park in the city. It lacks the playgrounds of other parks, but makes up for that with its beautiful lake, huge grassed areas and a replica of the Peter Pan statue found in London's Kensington Gardens. For movie buffs, it also boats the park bench from the movie Notting Hill, donated after its owner was unlucky in love.

Location: HaySt/Plain St, Perth
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

Perth Cultural Playspace
Perth Cultural Playspace


15. Cultural Centre Playspace
This fabulous little play area is centrally located and perfect for a break when visiting the city with kids. It is also easily accessible by train, and it has a range of musical and noise-making instruments, beautiful hand carved critters, optical spinners, balance beams and more.

Location: outside the West Australian Museum, Cultural Centre, Northbridge
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

DNA Tower
DNA Tower, image courtesy BGPA website


16-21. Kings Park
Kings Park is one of the largest inner city parks in the whole of the world and boasts more than 3,000 species over 400 hectares. For kids there are a number of amazing playgrounds and activities, and the park is easily accessible via free CAT bus as well as the Perth Explorer.

Playgrounds include the gated Ivey Watson playground which is suitable for young children (under 6) and has the fabulous Stickybeaks Café or for older kids, try the brilliant Synergy Playground with its large lake, wooden forts and carved dinosaurs (and Zamia Café).

Alternatively there is Variety Place which has a great range of climbing equipment and is perfect for kids of all ages. Dotted with whimsical hand carved wooden insects, the entire area is lush and perfect for picnics and BBQs.

Naturescape is currently closed for a huge redevelopment but when it reopens in 2018 will take its place as the premier natureplay area for the state.

For something a bit different, head to the DNA Tower which is built in the style of a double-helix DNA strand and with 101 steps is the highest viewing point in the whole of Kings Park.

Looking out over the Swan and Canning Rivers, the Lotterywest Federation Walkway is made of glass, metal and wood and is elevated more than 50 metres over the botanic gardens. It is a must-see for all Park visitors.

Location: main entries off Kings Park Road and Thomas Street, West Perth
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

Variety Playground
Variety Playground, image courtesy Shannon Meyerkort


22. Harold Boas Gardens
These gardens are so beautiful it's not much of a surprise they are highly popular with weddings and photographers. With a lake and children's playground, it is a great place for a picnic, and quiet despite being so near the city. This is the type of park you visit with kids who like to explore, and it is an easy walking distance from Watertown Outlet Shopping.

Location: Wellington and Havelock St, West Perth
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

GETTING AROUND
Perth Explorer
The hop-on-hop-off bus, image courtesy Perth Explorer website


23. Perth Explorer Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours
Everyone loves this bright red, double decker, London-style bus which travels around Perth city stopping at key Perth attractions Kings Park, Northbridge, Burswood Casino, Watertown, Elizabeth Quay and the Perth Mint. Tickets last for 24 or 48 hours and you can hop on and off as often as you like during that time. You can even combine your ticket with other Perth attractions such as the Bell Tower or Perth Mint to save money.

Location: stops throughout Perth, starting at Elizabeth Quay near the Bell Tower
When: daily
Cost: adults from $35 and children from $12
Full review.
More information.

CAT Bus
CAT bus, image courtesy wikimedia commons


24. Free transit zone trains and CAT buses
You can travel on any bus within the city limits for free (check for FTZ 'Free Transit Zone' signposts on the route limits) as well as the permanently free CAT (Central Area Transit) buses, which run around the main CBD and take in most of the places listed here. Buses operate every day of the week and run between every five to fifteen minutes.

Location: stops throughout Perth city
When: daily
Cost: free
More information.
CAT Buses
Free Transit Zone

Little Ferry Company
image courtesy Little Ferry Company


25. Little Ferry Co
With beautiful little Art Deco styles boats, the Little Ferries run every day between Claisebrook Clove in East Perth and Elizabeth Quay. The 40 minute journey is perfect for relaxing and admiring the beautiful city, and since the boats are solar electric, there is no noise or fumes, meaning that the local dolphins regular accompany the little ferry on its journey.

Location: departure points at Claisebook Cove and Elizabeth Quay
When: daily between 9.30am and 5.30pm
Cost: Adults $12, children $10
More information.

Perth ferry
Perth ferry, image courtesy MRWA website


26. Perth Ferry
Running between Elizabeth Quay and South Perth, the Transperth ferry runs directly across the Swan River in around ten minutes, making a trip to the South Perth foreshore or Perth Zoo easy work.

Location: departure points at Mends Jetty (South Perth) and Elizabeth Quay
When: daily between 6.30am and 11pm (7.30am on weekends and public holidays)
Cost: from $2.10 one way
More information.

Quad Cycle
Quad Cycles, image courtesy About Bike Hire website


27. Quad-Cycle Hire
Quad-cycles or pedal cars are available to hire and ride along the paths of the beautiful Swan River, up to Elizabeth Quay and the Bell Tower and beyond. They are capable of carrying two adults and up to two small children. You can also hire bikes, tandem bikes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards as well.

Location: Point Fraser Reserve, 305 Riverside Dr, East Perth
When: open 7 days between 8am and 5pm (check for seasonal changes to opening times)
Cost: $27 for one hour up to $61 for four hours
More information.

Perth segway
Segway Experience, image courtesy Segway Tours WA


28. Segway Tours
Kids who are 9 years old and over (and weigh 45kg or more) can join in on the Segway tours that run along the foreshore. With two tours on offer (60 and 90 minutes) they are fun and crazy way to see the beautiful river and city.

Location: Shop 3, Barrack Street Jetty, Barrack Street
When: tours run daily between 9am and 5pm
Cost: adults from $89, kids from $79
More information.

MOVIES and FREE EVENTS
Northbridge Piazza
Sunday Piazza Live, photo by Klaus Backheuer_0 image courtesy City of Perth website

29. Northbridge Piazza
Northbridge Piazza always has something going on, whether it is the free Flicks for Kids movies on a Saturday night over the warmer months or a range of festivals and activities throughout the year. Even when there isn't something big happening, the enormous LED screen is often on, and it is a great place to stop for a play on the grassed area surrounded by some great Northbridge restaurants and cafes.

Location: Northbridge Piazza, corner of James and Lake Streets, Northbridge
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

James Street Amphitheatre
James Street Amphitheatre, image courtesy MRWA website


30. James St Amphitheatre
In the heart of the Cultural Centre, the amphitheatre has a huge LED Screen and amphitheatre style stepped seating area and often hosts free movies and events such as music, cultural and dance festivals. Within a stones throw of the Northbridge Swamp and Cultural Centre Playspace, it's always worth dropping by to see if something is happening.

Location: Northbridge Piazza, corner of James and Lake Streets, Northbridge
When: daily
Cost: Free
More information.

MUSEUMS and EDUCATION
Scitech
Scitech

31. Scitech
Located within the city's free transit zone as well as being accessible with the free CAT buses, Scitech is a popular place with kids from pre-school age all the way to high school. With popular permanent exhibits and a constantly changing lineup of new exhibits, Scitech is so much fun, kids don't even realise they are learning.

Location: City West
When: weekdays 9.30am to 4pm, weekends 10am to 4pm
Cost: adults $19, kids $12
More information.

State Library
State Library, image courtesy MRWA website


32. State Library
There is always something on at the State Library, with a dedicated space to children and families called The Story Place on the mezzanine level. The Story Place hosts regular free daytime activities for babies and toddlers including story reading, rhymes and free play. Check out the details here.

Location: 25 Francis St, Perth
When: open daily from 9am, 10am on weekends
Cost: Free
More information.

City of Perth library
City of Perth library, image courtesy City of Perth website


33. City of Perth Library
A stunning new addition to the city landscape, the City of Perth library is a fabulous place to explore as well as offering regular free activities for babies and children during the week. It also has a special area just for older kids ('The Attic') and is within easy walking distance of the Hay Street Pedestrian Mall.

Location: 575 Hay St, Perth
When: open daily from 8am (weekdays), 10am (Saturday) and midday (Sunday)
Cost: Free
More information.

West Australian Art Gallery
West Australian Art Gallery, image courtesy FAGA website


34. Art Gallery
While the Art Gallery has its permanent exhibitions, there are always temporary displays that kids might enjoy (such as the Sneaker exhibition running from April to September, 2017). During the school holidays there are often free workshops and craft activities for children as well as a permanent drawing space in the State Art Collection room for children. Ask about the trails around the Gallery where kids can complete activities and answer questions as they travel on a self-guided (or parent-guided) tour.

Location: Perth Cultural Centre, adjacent to Perth central train station
When: Open daily except Tuesdays
Cost: Free
More information.

Nostalgia Box
image courtesy Nostalgia Box website


35. Nostalgia Box Museum
The Nostalgia Box is Australia's first museum dedicated to video game consoles and has a museum area as well as a gaming area where kids (and adults) can play a variety of classic and vintage games.

Location: Shop 3, 16 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
When: Open daily from 10.30am to 5pm
Cost: Adults $16.50, kids $11
More information.

DFES Heritage Centre
DFES Heritage Centre image courtesy DFES website


36. DFES Education and Heritage Centre
Housed in the original City of Perth Fire Station, the Education and Heritage Centre offers a fascinating history trail throughout the centre, showcasing vintage fire equipment and a history of the fire brigade as well as stories about natural hazards and disasters. Kids can dress up and try out the equipment.

Location: 25 Murray St, Perth
When: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 3pm
Cost: Free
More information.

37. WA Museum
Although currently closed until 2020 when its enormous redevelopment and renovation will be complete, the WA Museum houses some of the State's best collections. Until the reopening, certain collections and displays can be found in other city locations such as the Perth Concert Hall and State Library of WA.

Location: James Street, Northbridge
When: closed until 2020
Cost: Free, donation encouraged
More information.

MARKETS
Homegrown Markets
Homegrown Markets, image by Jessica Wyld

38. Homegrown Markets
Held every Sunday in the Murray Street Mall, the Home Grown markets are Perth's sustainable markets and offer a range of goodies including fresh fruit and veg, delicious baked goods and treats, handmade gifts and homewares.

Location: Murray Street Mall, Perth
When: every Sunday from 11am to 4pm
Cost: Free
More information.

City Farm
City Farm, image courtesy Beaumonde Catering


39. Perth City Farm
A farm in the middle of the city! Built on the site of a scrap metal yard, Perth City Farm is many things - a volunteer-based organisation, an urban community garden and educational centre as well as having a café and hosting regular markets (Saturday morning) and events.

Location: 1 City Farm Place, Perth
When: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday 8am to 12noon
Cost: Free
More information.
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