I am a freelance writer, business woman and busy mum of two who is on a mission to embrace all Mackay has to offer after moving here for my husband's work two years ago. Join me on my journey...
Published November 6th 2013
Great fun with a good heart
The Kidz Life Play Centre located at 75 Evans Avenue, North Mackay (open every day except Sunday and Monday) is a cheerful, airconditioned haven for all the family and comes with a cause that adds a sense of genuine caring that you don't really find at more commercially orientated play centres.
Indoor play centre were all the rage when we moved from Brisbane to Mackay and I confess to a twinge of regret at losing the convenience of these modern, all weather play spaces which provided my children with safe places to play and socialize while I sat in a stupor with a coffee. I appeased myself by contemplating how much money I would be saving because at times in Brisbane a trip to an indoor playground (after the entry fee and food) could leave a considerable dent in my wallet.
Then I discovered Kidz Life Play Centre. This bright, clean play centre with a large carpark adjacent may not resemble the monster proportions of some of the indoor centres we encountered in Brisbane; but its two play areas are more than adequate to create hours of fun that is ideal for the very young (0 – 2 years) or older (3 – 6 years… although children up to 12 are still welcomed).
Comfortable chairs and tables are clustered around the equipment with easy line of sight to your little cherubs. If you come early you are guaranteed to secure a table. Peak times seems to be between 10am – 12am but the centre is open until 2pm. Weekends and school holidays are a little more hectic but people are usually friendly enough to share a chair from their table if space is limited.
If you asked my youngest son (who benefits the most from the centre; but that is a little secret we don't share with his school-aged big brother very often) the best part of the centre is getting to order his own FREE drink when we arrive.
Admission is $7.00 for 1 – 5 years; $9.00 for 6 – 12 years; and $3.50 for Adults. The first Adult is Free, as are children 1 or under. There is a small surcharge for school holidays. Every adult is rewarded for their willingness to sit in the middle of a 'kids world' with a free drink voucher when they arrive. The Centre asks that you don't bring your own food and instead use the café provided. While at first this may seem like an inconvenience you can understand why; and the free drink, low food prices and simple options served with a friendly smile take the edge off.
Best of all for me, Kidz Life Play Centre offers free wi-fi that works. I often sit for several hours catching up on emails and work while my son enjoys the company of other children and the exercise provided by climbing equipment, tunnels and slides. After being a work from home parent for the last 7 years it's conceivable that I will never be able to work in a quiet office again; but give me an indoor play centre with 50 screaming, laughing kids and I can work like a powerhouse!
Convenience, cleanliness and good customer service aside, Kidz Life Play Centre also offers one other thing that I have never encountered before in an indoor playground – and that's a conscience. Kidz Life Play Centre is operated by the New Life Church Mackay which is located in the same building. The role of the church is not overt, but the values clearly are. Their slogan "Creating a world of fun, changing the world for others" is evidently more than a marketing tagline, with profits raised from the centre being directed to support the New Life Foundation which offers help for those in need both locally and internationally. Their noticeboard at the entrance showcases some of the activities they have funded and the children they've assisted and it's good to be able to highlight this to my son as we pass. He has an opportunity to take this a step further when he heads over to the café to claim the free drink voucher by ordering a bottle of 'Thank you Water'.
Kidz Life Play Centre is the only dedicated indoor playground in Mackay that I know of but I have no need to investigate any others. Its cheerful, clean and convenient environment enables mums and dads to check their emails without guilt. And what little money you spend, you know goes to a good cause. Kidz Life Play Centre is a definite to add to your Mackay 'To Do' list if you have children. Don't expect serenity but it is a lovely centre with a genuine sense of values that you don't often find in similar, big city versions of the same activity.