I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published June 10th 2018
Swimming, sports and stuff for the kids at the ARC
Cockburn's multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art Aquatic and Recreation Centre, officially nicknamed the 'ARC', is a bustling hub of sport, fitness and fun. Boasting indoor and outdoor pools, top-notch sporting facilities, a children's play centre and some awesome, twisting and turning waterslides.
Since opening in mid-2017, the centre has attracted families from all over the city of Cockburn for its child-friendly fitness facilities, swimming lessons and kids' sports classes - it even has a really cool playground!
I have been to the ARC several times for various reasons, including taking my children to a casual swim session, to grab a coffee from the on-site cafe, Plunge and Co and for a birthday party at the Bandicoots Play Centre, the ARC's very own play area for children. This is not to be mistaken for the creche - this is a separate thing altogether!
So what are the top things to do at the ARC? Read on and find out.
Experience the thrills and spills of the water slides
The ARC has three slippery, sliding, twisting and turning waterslides that are open all year round. They are open to anyone aged 7 and over, except pregnant women and anyone with a heart condition. You can loop through the Rocket, zip down the Pipeline and share the experience on the Tumbler with a friend!
Have fun with the kids in the water play area or have a swim
The water play area is pretty cool, I must say – you can paddle in the shallow water or take the kids on the little play structure. It has a number of small waterslides and at the top is a massive bucket, which slowly fills with water. When you hear the bell ringing, watch out as that giant bucket of water spills over onto the crowd below! It's certainly a little thrill for the kids. If you enjoy swimming for fitness, the ARC has a number of pool, which you can read more about here.
Do you have a competitive streak? Why not join a team at the Cockburn ARC? You can join a team in the following sports:
Basketball – men's, women's and mixed and junior teams and competitions
Five-a-side indoor Futsal – men's, women's, mixed and junior teams and competitions
Netball – women's and mixed teams and competitions
Badminton – no current competition, but court hire is available throughout the week.
Have breakfast, lunch or coffee at Plunge and Co café
The Cockburn ARC is home to Plunge and Co Café, the perfect place for a post-workout bite to eat, coffee or snack. They serve a range of healthy meals including salads, fruit, protein bars, raw balls and granola, plus gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and dairy and nut free options. Yum!
I once took part in a fitness class in which I could take my daughter in with me. She was the only toddler in a room full of babies and ran an absolute muck the whole time and I spent most of the time running around after her, thus reiterating why gym crèches are such a great idea. Carnaby's Club Creche at the ARC is open from Monday to Friday from 8:45am to 1:15pm and on Saturdays between 8am and 12:30pm and is available for children aged from 8 weeks to 5 years, plus children up to 11 years during school holidays. It is a fantastic, safe place to leave the kids while you work out in peace.
Take the bigger kids to the crèche
You've just got yourself into an awesome routine with dropping the kids at school and working out, and then BAM! School holidays. Bye bye routine! Not at the ARC – they have a 'Big Kids Creche' running during school holidays for kids aged 6 to 11 years and takes place in the ARC stadium. Children will take part in a number of different sports, and they are also welcome to attend Carnaby's Creche if they would prefer (see above.)
Let the kids run wild at the Bandicoots Play Centre
Yes, the ARC has its very own play centre! So it's not the biggest play centre, but there's plenty going on to keep the kids occupied for a few hours. There is a multi-level play structure with steps, ladders, slides and a ball pit, plus a separate area for babies, plus a birthday party room, complete with a full kitchen! The play centre is open on weekends between 10am and 1pm and during school holidays between 10am to 1pm. The centre is suitable for children up to 8 years, and costs $8 for children aged 1 to 8 years (under 12 months are free.)
The ARC playground is a great little nature-based play space with plenty of things for the kids to do. They can race down one of two slides, navigate the log steps, scale the rock-climbing wall or rope and timber play structure or have a go on the bird's nest swing. You can read a full review here.
There are various entry fees for the ARC, which you can view here. If you need a space to get fit while the children are taken care of, want to have a bit of fun on the waterslides or just want to relax with a coffee, the Cockburn ARC is one to check out.