So you've woken up on holidays in Nelson Bay and the rain has set in. What now? The kids will be banging down the door soon asking "what are we going to do today?" and your mind is blank. The movies? Bowling? Going to Salamander Bay Square shopping centre for a look around? There must be other options to do...
It isn't as bad as you think. Yes, the beautiful Nelson Bay and Port Stephens region is best enjoyed on a sunny day when you can go for a swim or snorkel, but there are other things to do as well. Here are our family's top 10 rainy day ideas when waking up to a wet day in paradise. Sure, bowling and the movies feature on the list, but there are also some other interesting options to check out on your quest to entertain the kids. So embrace the rain, put on your gumboots and look forward to a fun day ahead in the bay!
Number 1 on the list - Spirited Café indoor play centre at Taylors Beach. Image: Spirited Cafe Facebook
1/ Spirited - A Creative Play Café can be found at Taylors Beach, which is an industrial area located 15 minutes from Nelson Bay. This indoor play centre is popular all year around with the littlies, but particularly on wet or hot days. There is a baby area, toddler area and an all-ages zone, so everyone is happy. The best part? It has coffee, food and comfy couches for mums, dads and carers to relax in! See here for details.
2/ David Grahams Golf Complex is located on Nelson Bay Road, near the turn-off to Anna Bay. It has a driving range for adults and older kids, as well as a mini-golf course for all ages. Although the side of the mini golf course is open, the whole venue is undercover, so you can take your time putting the holes and having some family fun, whilst staying dry. It may not be a modern venue, however, it is still a challenging and entertaining course with some tricky shots to master. It is cash only. See here for a full article.
3/ Super Strike Ten Pin Bowling is located near Salamander Bay Square shopping centre, next to Harvey Norman. This 10-lane bowling alley has the music pumping, modern facilities, fried food and arcade games - everything kids love! They also have special deals if you play at certain times, which makes it cheaper for families. See here for a full article.
Who will be the reigning mini golf champion in your family? Stay dry at David Grahams Golf Complex
Fun for all ages at Super Strike!
4/ Nelson Bay Cinema is a busy place on a rainy day, with 3 cinemas showing the latest release movies. You can find this small cinema tucked away at the end of the Cinema Mall arcade on Stockton street, near the centre of town. See here for details.
5/ Go for Lunch at Soldiers Point Bowling Club, as it is a family-friendly venue with an undercover playground outside for the kids. Both adults and children alike will enjoy this club, with a variety of delicious meals on offer and a relaxed ambience. During the school holidays, they also have kid's discos in the large auditorium, which are particularly popular on hot and rainy days. See here for a full article.
Play undercover all year around at Soldiers Point Bowling Club
6/ Toboggan Hill Park is a family entertainment venue which has an old "rustic" feel to it and a whole host of activities for the kids. On sunny days you can go tobogganing, ride a tractor and play mini golf and on rainy days there is an indoor area to enjoy as well. Buy a pass and skate on the hot ice-skating rink, climb up the rock-climbing wall or play games. See here for details.
7/ Fighter World is located at Williamtown, 25 minutes from Nelson Bay, and is an interesting place to walk around for older kids who love aircraft and fighter jets. Above the skies of Nelson Bay, you often hear the roar of the RAAF jet fighter planes as they practice manoeuvres in the sky. Get closer to the action at Fighter World and watch the planes take off with a roar from the observation deck. See here for details.
8/ Go For a Dolphin Cruise because the dolphins don't mind that it's raining! There are over 150 bottlenose dolphins who live in the bay and make an appearance on the dolphin cruises each day. If you book a Dolphin Tour with Moonshadow TQC Cruises, there are indoor and outdoor decks to view them. See here for details.
The best part of rainy days are the rainbows! Image: Moonshadow TQC Facebook
9/ Go Op-Shopping for Books and Board Games around Nelson Bay, with two excellent op shops in Nelson Bay itself and more in the surrounding region - see here for locations. Why not pick up some books, a board game or some DVD's and settle in for the afternoon back at home or at your hotel. Alternatively, if you want to do something that is completely free, then visit the Tomaree Library opposite Salamander Bay Square shopping centre and snuggle up with some books.
Looking for some more ideas? If it's summer and you're happy to get wet, then jump on the inflatables at Splash Waterpark, hire a kayak at Port Stephens Paddlesports at Shoal Bay, go sand boarding at Birubi Beach, go snorkelling at Fly Point, go for a swim at Tomaree Aquatic Centre and get wet at Splash Bay at Oakvale Wildlife Park. Whether you prefer to stay dry, or get wet, there is always something to do in the Nelson Bay region while you wait for the sun to arrive. It is the perfect time to snuggle up with a book and spend some quality time indoors...
Enjoy some quiet time with the kids and practice their reading at the same time!