Freelance writer and photographer with an interest in science communication. Always looking for new experiences and discoveries!
Published December 28th 2015
Because fun shouldn't cost the earth
Summer holidays in WA are long. And hot. After Christmas the bank balance might be a little shabby too, so you're probably on the look out for fun that won't cost a fortune.
The obvious choice would be a day at the park, but with the heat and peak UV this isn't always practical. Here are a few more ideas that include somewhere indoors, perfect if it's a hot one.
Prices are based on 1 adult and 2 children, many places also admit under 5s for free.
The WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle: $16 entry*. As well as the usual exhibits, da Vinci's machines is currently running. School holiday activities are also within your budget. 'Marvellous Machines' is free and 'Six Simple Machines' is $3. *Based on 1A & 2C; entry for 2A & 2C is $22.
Naragebup, the Rockingham Environment Centre: $17 entry*. Re-opening from Christmas break early January, this community run centre is open 10am- 3pm Tuesday to Sundays. There are a range of things to look at here, plus hands-on exhibits that will entertain you for a couple of hours. * Based on 1A & 2C; entry for 2A & 2C $20
The Art Gallery of WA in Perth: Gold coin entry. The Art Gallery is centrally located. There is a school holiday activity 'Lego Ships' which is also by gold coin donation, leaving you some money to spare at the cafe. Don't forget to stop past the Urban Orchard as part of your trip. You might also like to visit the Water Labyrinth in Forrest Place if you've come prepared!
Whiteman Park in Whiteman: Free entry to the park, where you can enjoy expansive lawns and playgrounds. But bring the gold coins, there's plenty to do. A visit to Revolutions Transport museum is a must, and they have a dedicated area for children to play and relax. Entry by gold coin donation. Entry to the tractor museum is also by gold coin donation. You should have enough left to ride the vintage tram, operated by PETS. This will cost you $10 for 1 adult & 2 children or $15 for 2A & 2C. After all that you might just have some change left for something at the Lolly Shop!
Note that the train and tram rides will not operate on high fire danger days or when Fire or Movement bans are in place. You might like to call first on 9209 6000 on the day of your visit.
Bassendean Railway Museum in Bassendean: $17 entry*. Perfect for the train and railway enthusiast, open Sundays and Wednesdays. * Based on 1A & 2C; entry for 2A & 2C is $26
Speaking of trains.... Transperth. For $12.10 you could make a day of riding on the Transperth network, stopping off at a nearby park for some lunch. The FamilyRider lets you ride the Transperth network unlimited within zones 1-4 for up to 7 people (maximum 2 adults) for the day. Cash fare. Zones 1-4 roughly extends to Wellard/ Mt Helena/ Clarkson. At just $12.10 this leaves enough for a nice coffee each for the two adults perhaps!
Scitech in Northam: Free. If you love science then you could visit ten brand new exhibits manned by the Scitech staff and not pay a cent. Afterwards maybe head over the road for coffee and cake at award-winning Café Yasou, take a short stroll to check out the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Australia, and visit the water playground in Bernard Park.
Shopping centre fun: Many larger shopping centres will have activities and entertainment. There's Snoopy at Karrinyup, Lego at Cockburn Gateway, dinosaur zone at Armadale and Elmo at Lakeside Joondalup.
Camping is an economical way to getaway and the kids will learn so much! Campsites at Lake Leschenaultia in Chidlow are $20 (BYO equipment) and there is a fee per camper. Yes that makes it more than $20, but it does cover two (or more) days!
website to make sure you are aware of all services. Your local pool or local library also make affordable outings, and many offer activities such as the City of Melville's $5 Lego Build. You are probably paying for these services so you might as well use them!
Hello Rhiannon, I have enjoyed reading your article "outings under $20.00.
You seem to have covered all the bases. My dilemma is being pensioner Nanna and Pop of 3 Grandies why don't these places that run activities for children over the holidays have family passes? We considered the Zoo, Claremont, Stirling and a few other things but found at the end of the day 2 adults & 3 children would cost anything up to $120.00 just to get in the gate. Perhaps you could look into Family passes for the next lot of holidays. Thanks in advance.........Nanny Plum.
Hi. Many of the suggestions also don't have entry fees (maybe see the more recent winter article).
I have 3 myself and find places often have various combinations for different child numbers, otherwise the only other option is I generally take them on my own to reduce costs (only one adult).