A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published November 17th 2012
Boost your kid’s IQ the fun way
With school holidays coming up, your kids are ready to be entertained. However, the holidays do not have to be full of laziness and a total break from learning. An afternoon excursion can be both fun and educational for both you and your kids as you boost your minds with learning opportunities.
1) Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium With the recent solar eclipse that decided to grace its presence after 20 years, your children may be curious at what else is out there in the vast space that we call the universe. Adults may be able to learn a thing or two as well about the planets, constellation, Milky Way and other astronomy secrets from the many programs and displays at the planetarium. Located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coo-tha, stop by at the Cosmic Skydome where you can gaze in wonder and amazement at the recreation of the universe, while pondering at how tiny we are in comparison to the gigantic size of the universe. Sit back and enjoy the interesting show using Australia's first high-resolution, digital full-dome planetarium system installed early in 2010.
The planetarium also has a display zone with educational artefacts and displays to expand your mind with the wonders of the universe. Look at fragments of asteroids and interesting spacecraft models. If you feel like a movie, the mini theatre is open for short feature shows on space missions and specialised astronomical topics. Who knows, a visit to the planetarium may open up a whole new career path for your child as they discover a love of space and the universe.
If constellations and stars are what you prefer, the observatory has telescopes for budding astronomers to analyse and contemplate the patterns in the sky. Planetarium astronomers use the telescopes for demonstrations on various Saturday evenings subject to suitable sky conditions. The Planetarium is also open for events and venue hire.
The entry prices for the Planetarium are $14.50 for adults, $8.70 for children under 15 years and $12.30 for seniors and students with concession.
2) Brisbane City Hall Visitor Experience Centre Explore the Brisbane City Hall and show your little ones where the important decisions are made. Free tours are run by parliamentary attendants from the visitor information area which is located on the ground floor of the Parliamentary Annexe Building (entrance on Alice Street, opposite William Street). Tours take approximately 30 minutes and the maximum group size is 30 people.
The tour is short enough to quickly explain what the Parliament House is about without risking your little ones becoming agitated. The parliamentary attendants will take the group to view the Legislative Assembly (Green Chamber), the Legislative Council (Red Chamber), the Members' Reading Room, the honour boards, the Queen Victoria leadlight window, the grand staircase, the Mace, Wind Yarn (the Parliament's didgeridoo), and Speaker and Sergeant-at-Arms costumed mannequins.
Tours operate on non-sitting days Monday to Friday starting at 1.00pm, 2.00pm, 3.00pm or 4.00pm. On sitting days, tours operate only at 2.00pm. On sitting days, the public are also welcome to view Parliament in session from the Legislative Assembly public gallery.
A cultural experience is not complete without an immersion into the arts. The QAGOMA Children's Art Centre has multple interactive projects and activities to help children engage with contemporary cultures.
There are major exhibitions featuring commissioned artist projects for children including 'Contemporary Australia: Optimism' (2008) and '21st Century: Art in the First Decade' (2010). The Children's Art Centre currently has an exhibition on called Kid's APT7 which presents 13 engaging artist projects, artworks and contemporary art from across the Asia Pacific region. Entrance to both buildings is possible from Stanley Place, and the river front entrance to the Queensland Art Gallery is on Melbourne Street
If your children has grown up in the city, a visit to a working farm can be an educational experience as they learn where their fresh milk comes from and how it is processed. Maleny Dairies hold tours which start with a brief history of the farm and the vision behind Maleny Dairies.
To get to Maleny, it is a 1 hour scenic drive through the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands from Brisbane. The drive itself is an experience with views of the picturesque glasshouse mountain. Once you arrive at the family-run establishment (since 1948), the experienced tour guide then takes the group to the baby animal pen to pat the baby calves.
This is a major highlight for children as who can resist a cute baby animal? They will then be shown how hand-milking is done using their cows 'Sweetpea' or 'FairyBell'.
Watch your child's face light up as it dawns on them that milk does not magically appear on a supermarket's shelf and that they have to thank the cows for their daily dose of calcium. Children will also be invited to put their thumbs in the suctions cups to feel the suction of the milking machines.
The process continues with a visit to the factory to see where the milk is processed and bottled as well as the coldroom and drystore. At the conclusion of the tour, you will get to try some of the award winning flavoured milks. Indulge in the creamy fresh goodness.
Tours are held daily from Monday to Saturday at 10.30am and 2.30pm. The tour costs $9 for anyone 2 years old or over and takes approximately an hour and a half. If you would like to celebrate a special occasion, why not celebrate it at the farm?
07 5494 2392
Another good holiday activity is the Qld Sciencentre.
There are the regular interaction exhibits as well as special one-off events.
You can get an annual pass (called a Mindbender) which lets you go back time and time again.
Great for kids primary school age and above.