The school holidays are fast approaching. While some parents love the additional time this gives them to spend with their kids, others scream in horror at the thought of having to come up with new and interesting ideas to entertain the kids day in and day out. Personally, I absolutely hate the whining cry of "I'm bored", which is likely to surface at least once a day. Hence the need for an action packed plan to keep everyone happy. Here are five activities in the Inner West, sure to keep whinging at bay.
Newly discovered to us, ice-skating is a new favourite for the whole family. The Olympic Ice-Rink in Canterbury is offering learn-to-skate classes each day of the holidays. This one-hour session costs $20.00, after which you can skate in the public session and put it all into practice. If you think you know what you are doing, then just head into the public sessions themselves. Remember it is freezing inside the arena, especially if you are just a spectator. Dress up warm and take extra clothes for accidental tumbles on the wet ice. Don't forget your socks!
Circus School is another highlight my daughter in particular is looking forward to. Sydney Trapeze School in St Peters offers workshops for kids through out the school holidays, either as a once off "Super Kids Class" or as a week-long workshop, with daily activities, culminating in a performance that shows off their newly acquired skills. Children learn a variety of circus tricks, from spinning plates to walking the tightrope. The highlight of the session is the flying trapeze itself, where kids, well secured with safety harnesses, fly through the sky squealing with delight (or horror, perhaps, depending on the child). They have sessions for adults too, so don't think you have to miss out just because you're not a child.
Less energetic, but just as fun, mini-golf is another great way to get out of the house and enjoy the spring sunshine. With three different courses, a café and good off-street parking, Putt-Putt @ Ermington is sure to be a hit with the whole family. The courses themselves are made to a high standard and there is a lot to entertain kids on the way – windmills, castles, life-sized jungle animals and waterfalls keep it all interesting. With tables to eat at, you can pack your own lunch and make a morning or afternoon of it. (To be fair, Ermington is not in the inner-west, but its so easily accessed off Victoria Road, it may as well be).
If you need a bit of time to yourself, then ArtSpark Studio in Rozelle offers day-long workshops in Art, Sewing & Knitting for children. Kids make a wonderful array of things to bring home to show you (at last count we had an owl pillow, a lady bug pillow, a "baddie-cat" soft toy, complete with eye-mask, and a bag with my daughter's name on it). Kids delight in the creativity of the day, and I delight in the fact that they can play with glitter, paint and other sticky-gooey things somewhere other than in my house.
Finally with spring in the air, Flower Power in Enfield is putting on FREE kid's gardening classes. This time around children will learn all about seeds. Flower Power Enfield has a nice café where you can have a coffee while your mini-horticulturists plant a vegetable seedling to take home. Kids will also be given some seeds to take away with them and plant in their own garden, which has the added bonus of getting them enthused about being in the garden for the rest of the holiday rather than in front of the TV. Kids participating in the gardening class will also receive one free meal with the purchase of any adult main meal at the café (upon presentation of voucher), which means one less meal to cook.