Chermside is the home of many great family fun activities
Because it has Brisbane's largest Westfield, Chermside is normally seen as a place you go to shop, but there are a lot of places for family fun in Chermside, from the free through to more pricey option. Overall, if you make Chermside your destination, you can have a great day of fun and adventure for the whole family. Here is the list of what you can do.
Chermside Aquatic Centre
Chermside's most famous attraction is the Aquatic Centre. The pool, including the kids wading pool, is open all year round and is now heated. During weekends and school holidays the water park, Brisbane's biggest, opens and is a popular location for families. Your tickets for the pool and the water park are separate, so if you just looking to do laps, kids from the water park are not allowed into the pool. So the main pool doesn't get overly crowded, even when the water park is open. Which is great if you want to send your kids off to play on the slides while you exercise.
Image of the Chermside Aquatic Centre courtesy of Brisbane City Council
Beyond the pool, there is a kiosk, covered picnic tables and a grassy area behind the tables. So you can bring a picnic or enjoy a snack, but most people would head there for half a day, maybe heading to the shops to park for either lunch or dinner afterwards.
iFLY Indoor Skydiving
The newest way to give your kids, or your whole family for that matter, a great school holiday or weekend experience is to let them fly on a stream of air at iFLY Indoor Skydiving. This is a huge vertical wind tunnel where you can float on a current of wind.
With prices starting at $79 off peak, it is not the cheapest experience, but well worth doing, and is suitable for anyone over the age of 3. If you have shoulder, neck, back or heart problems, you might give it a miss, but with the highly motivated and experienced trainers and assistants, it is an easy and safe experience. Also, don't just let your kids do it, join in a fly as well, it really isn't that difficult.
Don't forget to book your high flight for an extra adrenaline rush
Remember that you can add in extras such as high flights and VR flights to create a complete flying experience. While your flying time is fairly brief, the total experience, which includes check-in, watching others fly, pre-flight briefing and training, suiting up, flying and then selecting your photos and video, is about an hour and a half. Tick this experience off your bucket list or maybe it can be the start of a whole new hobby as you learn to spin, loop, cartwheel and fly on a gust of wind.
Kingpin Bowling, Arcade, Laser Tag, Escape Rooms and Karaoke
Kingpin, like a lost of modern bowling alleys, has evolved in a complete entertainment experience suitable for all ages. Bowling starts at $10 a game per person and is a great family activity. The more people bowling, the longer takes, so with friends and family together it can be a really cheap activity. You can have up to 6 people in a lane, and if you have more people, book ahead to make sure you have lanes together.
Other activities at Kingpin Chermside include Arcade Games, Laser Tag, Cryptology Escape Rooms, Table Tennis and Karaoke. Laser Tag has become one of those 80s experience that has made a comeback. At Chermside, you can also do an altered reality laser tag where you have a screen on your laser weapon which shows the altered reality.
When all else fails and you want to keep your kids entertained for a while in a place where you can sit in a comfortable chair in air-conditioned comfort while snacking and enjoying a drink, try heading to Event Cinemas at Chermside Westfield. Most families will enjoy the family pass which can represent a nice saving for families. If you want a meal and a cocktail with waiter service while you watch a movie you need to splash out for the Gold Class.
The 7th Brigade Park has a long history, being used as a staging area for troops going abroad since the Boer war. Today it is the park directly across the road from Chermside's Westfield (Google Maps puts the location further down from the main area of the park). It features an open grassy area, giant kids play fort, a half basketball court, a handball court and kids cycling paths. There are also plenty of barbecues and picnic tables, making it a popular spot for family and kids parties.
There are also a number of cricket pitches in the area. You can go across Murphy Road to Marchant Park or follow the Downfall Creek Cycle Way to find these. Marchant Park also has a soccer field. These are perfect spots for a more formal game of sport when they are not in use by schedule matches.
Cycling is a great family activity and the Downfall Creek Cycleway runs from behind the Westfield and goes for 5 kms to the Virginia Train Station. If you cross Gympie Road you can also follow the cycleway in the opposite direction for another 5 kms in the direction of Raven Street Reserve. Overall you can over 20 kms on the cycle paths, including the return trip.
Downfall Creek Cycleway near Virginia Train Station
Retail is in a bit of decline at the moment due to online shopping, lack of consumer confidence and the simple fact that they keep opening new shopping districts. To counter this shopping centres, like Westfield, have greatly expanded their dining precincts. Along with the 2 major food courts and one small food court, Westfield Chermside now has an outdoor restaurant dining area on the upper floor. You can find everything from cheap eats in the food courts to some pricey but great meals in the outdoor restaurant area.
The outdoor restaurant area at Chermside Westfield
Beyond the Westfield the main area to look for restaurants and cafes is along Gympie Road. Of course you can also grab food from the supermarkets and head over for a picnic at the 7th Brigade Park.
I have fond memories from when I was a kid of being taken to the local library so that I could select a book or two to read. I am happy to see that any parents still take their kids to the library for the exact same purpose. Chermside library provides a great place to relax with a book, with comfortable seating inside, a kids reading area and a coffee shop.
Chermside Library has plenty of activities for kids of all ages
However libraries are also great places to take the kids of all sorts of events. You have the obvious things such as kids story time and toddler time, but libraries are moving with the times, so there are classes on social media, how to get creative with crafts, master iPads, become a coding genius, and much more. Check out the Chermside Library Page for more information.
Let's not forget the Northern Suburb's latest market that opens every Sunday morning in the car park of the Kedron-Wavell Services Club. Do some shopping, grab, break, brunch or an early lunch. There are also some kids activities here as well.
Westfield Chermside holds a lot of different events throughout the year. Many of them are for school holidays, but they can be on at any time of the year. The main ones are live music in the outdoor dining area and performance during the school holidays. But I have gone to firework events and one year at Christmas they even have an event called "Colour Carols" where they sung carols and we got to through powdered colour at each other.
The Westfield in Chermside holds a wide range of events throughout the year
You will be surprised what turns up on the events list, including kids cooking classes, fashion styling talks, hip hop dance classes and much more. Keep at eye on the events page if you are looking for mostly free, otherwise cheap, events in the comfort of a shopping mall.
One year Westfield hosted colour events in the car park
Chermside can easily be your go to place for a day of family adventure any time of the year, with more things on during the school holidays. Yes, most of them are at the shopping centre, but there are others things as well around the area.