February 16, 2023
13 mins Read
Head to this community farmers’ market for an egg and bacon wrap (flipped by fundraising school parents) and let kids loose on the bouncy castle ($3) and free kids’ activity table (from 9.30am). There are also smoothies, doughnuts and gingerbread men, and you can grab fresh fruit and veg. Sometimes there is a petting farm, face-painting artist and puppet show, too. There are no less than four playgrounds surrounding the grassed area.
Address: Kyilla Park, Clieveden St &, Union St, North Perth WA 6006
Perfect for early risers, Clancy’s Beach Bar opens at 6.30am, serving brekkie wraps, mini waffles and coffee from the open-air site. It’s about five steps to a playground and only 10 metres from the sand. The café is off to the side of Clancy’s, a popular fish and chip pub with a casual atmosphere and incredible ocean views. Inside, little nippers will like the colourful beach chairs and decorative maritime-themed ceilings. For a more polished breakfast, head across the car park to the deck at Odyssea (the smashed avo is fabulous).
Address: 195 Challenger Parade, City Beach WA 6015
Breweries excel at keeping kids occupied, so parents can enjoy their liquid amber, and it’s no different at Fremantle’s famous brew pub, Little Creatures. Head past the steel vats and bustling open kitchen to the rear, which overlooks the fishing harbour. Find a busy play pit with slide, building blocks, truck toys and noughts and crosses. The rustic fries are always a winner, while parents should order the roo skewers.
Address: 40 Mews Rd, Fremantle WA 6160
Mandoon Estate is a lush, spacious Eden on Perth’s outer edges, where industrial blocks give way to vineyards, and where there’s literally something for everyone. Families with young kids will gravitate to the Llawn, which is dotted with picnic tables and faces a contained playground (picnic rugs are also supplied) and art gallery. You can order pizzas, hot chips and picnic goods from the Spit Hut (yes dads, there’s a spit roast on weekends). Alternatively, book a table inside at the bustling Homestead Brewery and feast on burgers, pizzas and pub grub.
Address: 10 Harris Rd, Caversham WA 6055
This enormous pub directly beside Perth’s new Optus Stadium is touted as being the biggest in Australia. Note to self: texta your mobile number on little Johnny’s arm before entering. We tip the Riverside Terrace for parents wanting to dine in peace while watching their kids on the Burswood Park playground opposite (bring sunscreen). There’s also a grassy, family-friendly beer garden with Giant Jenga. The kids’ burger and fish and chips are the obvious favourites.
Address: 1 Roger MacKay Dr, Burswood WA 6100
Here you get a twofer. There’s the refined, pale pink on white and timber restaurant of Island Market, which gazes over the Indian Ocean and serves slick Middle Eastern food, or there’s the casual sister-venue Canteen, emitting aromas of fish tacos and hot chips, eaten al fresco or take-away. Island Market has a sunken area for kids to play in (toys removed since COVID-19) and a contained outdoor zone with dining tables; the toasted flatbread and cheesy chicken kids’ box rivals the fish and chips. Find Canteen under the same roof, adjacent to a playground and coastal walking path. Both spots get you ringside seats to Perth’s beautiful sunsets.
Address: 364 W Coast Dr, Trigg WA 6029
Hidden inside a former warehouse is a collection of purveyors serving up sizzling burgers, wood-fired pizza, Asian street food and gelato, alongside a microbrewery and distillery (adults need some fun too, right?). Beeline for the silver Airstream caravan: Bumplings Perth is run by former MasterChef contestant and dumplings-pro, Brendan Pang. Adults will love the Sichuan chicken dumplings, while kiddos will seagull the crispy pork wontons. Check opening hours for the independently run venues and count on a roomy floor for kids to move around in.
Address: 2/1 James Street Corner Beach and, James St, Fremantle WA 6160
Australia’s first Ritz-Carlton hotel is refreshingly child-friendly. As well as offering teepees and a scavenger hunt to little guests, the hotel’s kids’ menu allows adults to justify a special night out. Both Hearth (the fine diner – book a booth) and Songbird (the lounge bar with elevated views of Elizabeth Quay – sit outside on the terrace) share a menu of easy-to-handle lamb chops, easy-please chicken nuggets with fries and spaghetti Bolognese. Should we mention the sauce-smothered banana split dessert? For little ones unlikely to sit still for long, the hotel offers a takeaway afternoon tea hamper with coconut lamingtons, honey mousse and passionfruit madeleines.
Address: 1 Barrack St, Perth WA 6000
Put a halt to any fights over flavours and save yourself some pennies with the tasting flight at family-owned Chicho – we reckon it’s Perth’s best gelato joint. Individual cones of a single flavour set you back $5, but a tasting flight of five flavours comes to $17 and covers the whole family. Trust us, you must try the made-from-scratch pistachio, the caramel crack and the white chocolate macadamia. Heck, try anything; it’s all sensational.
Address: 180 William St, Northbridge WA 6003
Tucked down a narrow arcade in hip and gritty Northbridge, Superstar Waffles feels very street. But even the coolest kids go weak at the knees once a plate of hot, made-to-order waffles is set down before them. Go all out with cream, banoffee or chocolate fudge or opt for something more healthful, crowded with fresh fruit (oh OK, and ice-cream). The Tim Tam Slam may send kids into a coma, but gosh, those brûlée bananas and pools of melted chocolate are totally worth it.
Address: 8/189 William Street Arcade, Northbridge WA 6003
While the deluxe and premier twin rooms are the way to go for families at Crown Towers Perth – they come complete with free wi-fi, on-demand movies and a TV in the bathtub to make bath time a breeze – the resort-style inclusions here are the real drawcard including the lagoon pool, waterslides, family films at the outdoor cinema and bike hire.
Rooms at this family-friendly property on the eastern edge of the CBD are light and bright with pops of yellow, pink and aqua throughout, including in its signature family rooms with a double bed and bunk beds. The sunny Eastside Social Restaurant & Bar has a kids’ brekkie menu and pizza and burgers throughout the day.
This funky Northbridge bolthole is extremely welcoming to families, with the option of a private wing with two connecting rooms. The real winners are the bunk rooms that come with four bunk beds, private balcony, reading lights and a flat-screen TV with free movies. The surrounding hood has lots of nearby eat-out options such as kid-favourite toasties at Lil’ Toastface.
Just minutes on foot to the CBD, this Peppers property has light-filled connecting family rooms to provide lots of space, free wi-fi , Foxtel and digital channels, and a gym. There is also childminding on request. Stage Bar & Kitchen downstairs serves kiddie favourites such as French toast for breakfast.
There’s a lot to love about Crown Metropol, the behemoth’s boutique hotel offering. Families can ultilise all the facilities of Crown’s Perth complex, such as the resort-style pool, water play area and waterslides. There’s also an indoor pool and kids’ room with games and toys. The Luxe Twin accommodates a family of four.
Where to start with this inner-city four-star hotel? How about with the kids’ activity pack on arrival, the family rooms with connecting twin rooms, or the wristbands kids are given that entitle them to discounts and free entry to local attractions? Oh and kids under-12 stay and eat for free.
Families staying at this hotel, sitting on the Swan River, can enjoy connecting rooms with HDTV, free wi-fi and the DoubleTree by Hilton brand’s iconic Sweet Dreams bedding. And there’s pretty great views of the river from the rooftop pool and the in-house restaurant, Reel Kitchen.
Happy Birthday Play School, Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre
Until 14 August
When it first showed at the National Museum of Australia, Happy Birthday Play School: Celebrating 50 Years marked a milestone birthday for this iconic ABC children’s television program, which first aired in 1966. And now this fab touring exhibition hits WA, giving you the chance to see artefacts from the show spanning 50 years, including characters like Little Ted and historical props including the Rocket Clock.
Ancient Greeks: Athletes, Warriors and Heroes, WA Museum Boola Bardip
20 June – 7 November
Kids with a fascination for ancient civilisations will have an opportunity to see one brought to life at this blockbuster exhibition from the British Museum. The show features about 180 extraordinary objects including examples of Greek armour, sculpture and coins.
Under The Dome: Cinema Experience Presents Whale Super Highway, WA Maritime Museum
Until 3 September
This immersive cinema experience, created in partnership with Fremantle documentary company Prospero Productions, screens specially created documentary films in a unique 22-seat curved dome to give insight into Western Australia through tales that blend the natural world, history, science, technology and adventure. It is now screening Whale Super Highway, which follows humpback and blue whales on their 6500-kilometre migration down the coast of Western Australia to Antarctica, and back again.
The Winter Village, Ice Cream Factory
Until 5 September
A perennial family favourite for the cooler months, The Winter Village pops up each year at locations across Australia. Also running in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Parramatta, it is debuting in Perth in 2021 at the Ice Cream Factory in Northbridge. Expect an outdoor alpine-inspired affair with ice skating, snow showers, a pop-up bar and kitchen and a magical igloo village.
Dates for the diary:
Imbued with the Margaret River’s laid-back vibe, stunning beaches and love of all things food and drink, the town of Dunsborough is the best of the area in one cool package. The ideal day trip here would involve a swim or snorkel in the blue waters followed by lunch and a browse of the boho boutiques in town, and then a walk along a coastal track in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park to the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse. And if you have time, many of the wineries in these parts pride themselves on being family friendly.
Located on the state’s Coral Coast, start out early on a day trip here so that you have time to take in the area’s two natural wonders: the Pinnacles, ancient limestone rock pillars found in Nambung National Park, and pristine Jurien Bay Marine Park with its abundant marine wildlife including its famed cheeky sea lions.
An hour from Perth, head to the verdant Chittering area to discover charming country townships like Bindoon, Muchea and Wannamal, collect produce at its farm gates and orchards, visit its wineries and generally take in the unspoilt scenery of its bushlands and wetlands. If you are visiting in spring you can expect a stunning wildflower show here.
Sitting at the edge of the city, stop at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre to pick up instructions and a clue sheet for one of the fun family driving trails, or plot your own adventure. Tour the quirky taxidermy museum, see live bees at The House of Honey, load up at The Margaret River Chocolate Co, and budget a few hours for Whiteman Park, where kids can enjoy tram rides and see the tractor museum.
Located south-west of the city centre, an easy 45-minute drive away, Rockingham has enough attractions to divert for a few days. Many of its drawcards revolve around the water that the city sits at the edge of, with Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, located just 500 metres offshore, boasting abundant marine and birdlife. Take a dolphin interaction tour to see the wild dolphin population that makes its home amongst the limestone islands here, or drop in on Penguin Island to see little penguins going about their business. There are also cafes and restaurants aplenty for the family to fill up in, and Peel Estate Wines is worth a visit to pick up a bottle of chardonnay.
Head to the town of Northam for a spot of hot-air ballooning or to show the kids the starting point of the Public Silo Trail, with its larger-than-life artworks revitalising old grain silos and Wheatbelt towns with colour and interest.
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