Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Published June 11th 2012
So often when the rain comes beckoning in Perth, the desire to hibernate inside and stay cosy in our Ugg Boots takes over. However, we shouldn't forget that Perth plays host to an array of fantastic attractions based indoors, lending itself out as a perfect place to spend a rainy day this Winter time. If you're struggling for inspiration for rainy day activities with kids in tow; struggle no more. Read on.
Indoor Swimming Pools Perth residents have access to some fantastic aquatic and leisure facilities. Recent years have seen some great movement in turning the humble indoor pool centre into something of an indoor water playground. A notable addition on the aquatic scene in the Northern Suburbs is Wanneroo Aquamotion presenting a little more than the average pool for big and little kids alike. Closer to Perth, Belmont's Oasis Aquatic centre offers a lovely space for water action with a large beach entry pool filled with water attractions. The bigger kids might also enjoy the waterslide at Joondalup's Venues West Arena.
The Aquarium of Western Australia located at Hilarys Boat Harbour opens daily from 10am to 5pm and takes visitors on a journey around the coast line of WA through its various displays and exhibitions. Particularly suited for children and loved by my little guy, is the interactive touch and feel pool, where you can stroke a stingray, touch a star fish and get your hands wet. The other absolute star attraction for us was the underwater walk way, where you take a journey through an aquarium filled with sharks, stingrays, turtles and hundeds of colourful fish.
A really enjoyable day can be spent at AQWA and I do recommend a visit. However, be aware that it gets very busy here and the entry price is a little steep at $28 for an adult and $16 for children aged over 4 years of age.
Cinema The Movie Masters Group of Grand and Ace Cinemas offer some great family viewing options, including a Bubs Club session to parents on a Wednesday, offering discounted tickets to parents with under school age children; under 5's are free. These sessions take place in dimmed lighting to allow for easier visibility of your little ones, and to help parents with feeding or nappy change demands.
For the bigger kids, there are some great early morning film screenings on weekends, should your outdoor plans be spoilt by rain. Sign your kids up to their Kids Movie Club and for $12 a year you can get kids' movie tickets for $9, any movie, any day.
Indoor playgrounds Are indoor playcentres breeding? There seems to have been a huge increase in the number of indoor centres in the last few years, each providing their own different flavour of activities and playground apparatus for kids of mixed ages.
My top choice for a mixed age indoor centre is The Beach House in Osborne Park which is a non-profit business supporting Christian City Church Beachway who run a variety of worthy programs. The Centre provides some great jungle gym type equipment for the big kids, yet doesn't forget the tiny toddler demographic and provides for them in a nicely enclosed play area complete with ball pit and a host of mini vehicles and tiny climbing structures.
Some of the indoor centres are now also deepening their offering by offering some organised activities in addition to their play ground, notably Chipmunks in Hillarys who now offer a free storytime session on a Monday and craft time on a Tuesday. Should your kid's birthday fall in the Winter months, these play centres are a great venue choice; with many offering party packages.
Music The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) are again offering a great musical treat for families this year throughout May, with their cushion concert programme. Ideally suited to the 2-7 age range, the cushion concert series showcases the musical talents of a 15 piece ensemble where kids are encouraged to go and try out the instruments after the music stops. Prices are $12 per participant and under 1's are free. Tickets are still available for Perth and Joondalup but book soon as places seem to be getting snapped up quickly.
Museums Sticking with the cultural theme, a rainy day is a great time to top up on your family's education programe. Perth's musems offer a diverse range of activities providing scope for many days out and entertainment for your family. A highlight for me is Scitech, Perth's science museum located close to the City West train station, which provides numerous hands-on, interactive displays for all ages. I have been to Scitech with a mixed age group of children, and even those as young as 14 months were able to find some entertainment.
Lots of visual stimulation for big and little kids
A great way to combine a mixed weather day and a bit of culture is to visit the beautiful Whiteman Park where you can spend the sunny hours enjoying the delights of nature and when it rains you can duck into one of their museums. Whiteman Park houses the Motor Museum of WA, Revolutions Transport Museum as well as the Tractor Museum of WA. So if you've got any little guys (or gals) interested in cars, transport or tractors you'll definitely want to check these out. Entry to Whiteman Park is free, but a gold coin donation is encouraged for the Tractor and Transport Museum and a small fee ($10 for adults) is payable for the Motor Museum.
One for the big kids, and certainly a great way to expend some energy when the weather outside isn't too inviting. Cockburn Ice Arena has a really good selection of public session times, some with a DJ to accompany your skating prowess. Prices start from $10 for kids under 4 and spectators are free.
I've been really happy to see a few of the pottery cafes popping up in Perth. These craft havens provide a space to take your kids (week days and weekends) and get them tapping into their creative spirit by painting up a storm onto a piece of pottery which you can then have glazed for that professional look. Whilst the kids are busy getting covered in non toxic paint, you can sit back and grab a coffee.
I've particularly enjoyed taking my son to Cafe Ceramica in Perth's far north and together we've made lots of handprinted gifts for grandparents as well as Father's Day gifts and Christmas presents. I've found Cafe Ceramica to be particularly well appointed in terms of selection of potteries as well as their collection of paints and stencils. Couple this with knowledgable and helpful staff, and this makes this pottery cafe a real winner. Did I also mention that there is a play pen area for tiny tots too? Prices for ceramics start at around $10.
In addition to this, don't forget that with showers never lasting too long in Perth, it's also a great excuse, especially with little ones, to don your gum boots and your plastic mac and get out and splash in the puddles and go hunting for rainbows. Sometimes the best things in life are free.
These are fantastic suggestions! I'm working for a company at the moment that is creating an out and about app with suggestions of places to go and things to do and I was wondering if you'd allow me to use your recommendations.
We'll, of course, source you as the content creator and link back to this post to help drive traffic your way.