I count myself lucky to be born in Australia's coffee capital of Melbourne and love to write about what's on in my home town.
Published May 22nd 2012
Whilst many of us need no excuse to indulge in a bit of retail therapy, those who have young children could be forgiven for weighing up their options before venturing into a shopping centre the size of Westfield Doncaster.
Thankfully, the developers responsible for Doncaster's 2008/09 makeover were mindful of this and installed a purpose-built indoor play space, cleverly situated not only in the most parent-friendly part of the centre - that is, squarely in front of Big W and a string of maternity, baby and children's stores - but within arm's reach of a caffeine hit (Jamaica Blue) and the information desk.
Recently upgraded, the colourful play space caters well to children from around 2 to 6 years, although up to 4 years of age is ideal. Free of charge and accessible during standard centre opening hours, it has a padded security barrier around three sides, soft rubber floor and a range of activities including a ride-on car, two slides, tunnel style climbing maze with a variety of wheels, bumps and steps to clamber over, under and through, plus several upright wall puzzles and games suited to younger children.
Parents can easily supervise their kids by standing alongside the fence, or take a rest on the comfy bench seats at the entrance. There are also a number of openings in the climbing maze wall (which is made of rope) through which a parent can reach - just in case the little ones get into trouble!
There is a strict no-shoes policy on all the equipment, and two sets of pigeon holes have been provided for children to store their shoes in, to avoid trip hazards.