Each weekend and school holidays, the search is on for things to do with the kids that they will find "cool". If you have more than one child to entertain, it can be tricky to keep everyone in your family happy and keep boredom at bay. Here in Canberra we are lucky to have an endless supply of fun places to take the kids that Mum and Dad will enjoy too.
Here is a list of popular places in Canberra that will hopefully ease that struggle and stop the annual catchcry of "Mum, I'm bored!".
QUESTACON is the number one destination in Canberra for kids. This interactive science museum is dedicated to primary school aged children and has over 200 educational and interactive exhibits. Once you pay your entry fee there are programs to join, hands on activities to play with, experiments to try and interactive fun to be had. There are eight interactive gallery areas to explore, trying something new in each one. Older kids will enjoy Free Fall, where they hang off a bar to experience weightlessness before dropping down onto a slide..if they dare!
Although it can become crowded in school holidays, don't let this deter you as it is an entertaining day out for the whole family to learn about science in a fun way the kids will enjoy.
If you have younger kids in the family, there is also Mini Q for under 6's with water play, climbing frame, small slide, baby areas and play areas for imaginative play. Families could easily spend all day at Questacon, an ideal place to escape the Summer heat or Winter chill. See here for their website.
Mini Q water play, part of an interactive play area dedicated to under 6's.
Gold Creek Village is also a quaint place to stay for lunch with family-friendly eateries including George Harcourt Inn English pub and Café Injoy with their little playground to entertain the younger children after you eat. See here for more details.
YARRALUMLA PLAY STATION is located at Weston Park in Yarralumla. There is a miniature train ride which chugs around the property as well as the newly constructed 36 hole Canberra themed Mini Golf course. Putt your way between Canberra's iconic landmarks and see who can beat Dad! With new owners, this fun area for kids has improved greatly and is only getting better. It is an ideal place to spend some quality time together having some friendly competition, with no technology in sight. After your visit, cross the road to Weston Park playground or pack a picnic and find a spot to enjoy your lunch with the wild kangaroos that hop around the park. See here for more details.
Putt around Telstra Tower and other Canberra landmarks at Yarralumla Play Station
CORIN FOREST ALPINE RETREAT is open all year around on weekends and every day in the school holidays for family fun. Although it is a 50 minute drive from the CBD (approximately half an hour from Tuggeranong), it is worth the drive to experience the Southern Hemisphere's longest bobsled track. If your kids have a need for speed, kids under 8 need to speed down the track with an adult, however over 8's can travel alone. This is our families favourite outdoor activity, with our daughter (aged four) loving it the most.
During the warmer months Corin Forest is open weekends, public holidays and school holidays for bobsledding. During winter they open longer hours and also have a "snow play" area to make snowmen and ride toboggans.
TIDBINBILLA Nature Reserve is also a longer drive, 45 minutes from the CBD and 25 minutes from the southern suburbs of Tuggeranong. If your kids love animals, bushwalking, aboriginal history and learning about the outdoors, then this is an ideal day trip from Canberra. Walk around the boardwalk at The Sanctuary where you can search for platypus, have a BBQ, play in the Nature Discovery Playground and explore the 21 walks on offer, most of them short. The platypus viewing area is fascinating, with the ranger calling it the largest wild platypus habitat in the world for public viewing.
During the school holidays there are kids programs to enjoy and ranger tours to help you find koalas and animals in the wild. The Visitors Centre is a great source of information and entertainment as you enter, with touch tables and interactive exhibits. Winter is an ideal time to explore the park when the animals are more active and the snakes are less active. For information on tours and entry prices (per car) see the Tidbinbilla website here.
Source: Tidbinbilla website
The Sanctuary boardwalk. Stroller friendly for younger ones and unexpected wildlife at every turn - don't forget to look up for koalas!
Finally, a good option for all seasons is Flip Out Trampoline centres in Hume and Mitchell. Let the kids go wild in this safe and fun environment and sit back with a coffee and enjoy the rest. Two hours at this venue is sure to keep them happy and ensure an early night for all!