There is so much going on in the city right now, including heaps of colourful finds for you and your kids to say hello to, literally everyday. Come along and explore with her and Mr O, and keep your sunnies and camera at the ready!
STATE LIBRARY OF WA
This is a go-to fave because it ticks all the boxes in being a super cool spot but also super kid friendly. Most libraries have a dedicated kid’s zone but this one spans an entire floor and is geared up for newborns right through to toddlers and beyond (including big kids, like me!). It’s called the Story Place and there are hundreds of books to keep little minds busy, plus cubby houses and arts and crafts for a play, like the installation 'Colour Me' by Moira Court which highlights diversity and acceptance. When you’re there, be sure to look for the colourful animals that will greet you as you enter!
Even more reason for it to make my kid friendly list is that food is allowed in the Story Place. If you don’t want to BYO you can pop down to the First Edition café on the ground floor as they have a heap of healthy options. It overlooks an outdoor area so if your kids need to work off more energy (while you catch yours) it’s a good little spot to enjoy a coffee and a feed.
It’s open everyday the library is open (yes including Sundays – one of the rare library’s to do so) and has regular options for storytime, rhymetime, playtime or activity time.
Say hello at: the mezzanine level, State Library of WA, Perth Cultural Centre or find out more.
ART GALLERY OF WA
Kids and art? Huh? I know what you’re thinking!
I was one of those parents too. “Don’t touch, quiet voice” on repeat. I get it. It can be stressful. But somehow the art gallery lets you get your culture on and save your sanity too.
It’s a huge space that the kids will enjoy exploring. The exhibitions change all the time and most of them are free. Kids are catered for on the ground floor with a dedicated drawing station with paper and heaps of pencils and crayons inside one of the exhibition halls. Let them do their thing, and then show it off for everyone to see.
Say hello at: the Perth Cultural Centre or find out more.
PERTH CULTURAL CENTRE AND THE URBAN ORCHARD
As the name suggests this place is brimming with colour, culture and life.
It’s an open space with lots of pockets to explore and perfect for kids as they can follow the coloured lines that run all over the walkways.
Take in a movie on the massive LED screen while sitting on the steps, check out the wetlands on the other side for some nature play, or head into the urban orchard and learn about growing vegetables.
We always stop at the Livingstone cafe for a refuel (its open so lots of space for kids to move, or watch them play outside from the mini courtyard while you enjoy a hot drink).
If you want something stronger, the PICA bar is a great option and again the kids can explore nearby while you watch on.
Say hello at: the Perth Cultural Centre or find out more.
This is hands down one of my fave spots in town because it is bursting with colour, art and food options, many of which are geared for little hands and tummies.
Some of my faves are Jamie’s Italian (excellent kids menu and activities for the kids), Ribs and Burgers (check the little butcher menu for kid-friendly options) and the Globe Bar which has a little ones menu (Mr O loved his fish and chips) and overlooks a laneway which is a good spot for the kids to play and easy for you to keep an eye on. Bam Bam Boo and Roll’d also do tasty meals, probably more suited to older kids who have a bit more of an established and adventurous appetite!
If you’re just after a morning or afternoon tea, some of the best coffee can be had at East Village, and Max & Sons or spoil the kids with some sweet treats at Koko Black and MOP Donuts. Here, I loved the look of the Corner Deli donut (seriously, how good!) but it was happy days for Mr O who opted for his fave, the Mars Bar.
While you’re wandering this area, ask the kids to look for the suspended rainbow installation, or better yet, sit amongst it while chow down on your food.
Say hello at: 140 Perth, corner William and Murray Streets or find out more.
Did you know that you can get your golf on in the middle of the city?
It’s one of the newer attractions at Elizabeth Quay and a (w)hole lot of fun. It’s mini-golf with 18 holes right at the front of the Quay so when you’re not planning or putting your shot, you can take in the pretty epic views.
The putters come in kids sizes and the balls come in a heap of bright colours which makes things fun right from the get go.
Mr O loved his red putter and red ball, and I opted for hot pink. There are even novelty balls (designed like mini tennis balls, basketballs and soccer balls) that you can buy and play with, and then keep.
We putted and potted around the course for an hour or so and Mr O – who has never played golf before until today – kept telling us he “got a hole in two!”.
The ticket booth doubles as a shop with muffins, pastries, lollies and fairy floss (plus coffee for us parents) so when you return your clubs and balls it’s easy to order, then grab a seat under cover and watch other families play.
We had lots of people laughing along at our screams of “oooohhhh” as we navigated the course (often with the ball teetering around the edge of the hole) and it would be remiss of me if I didn’t tell you that the hubster went one better than a hole-in-two with an actual hole-in-one!
Say hello at: Elizabeth Quay (look for the coloured mural near the ferry terminal) or find out more.
ELIZABETH QUAY CAROUSEL
This is another one of those 'kid activities' that is actually a lot of fun for the kid inside us adults.
It’s a stunning attraction that operates if the weather is fine (from 10am – 6pm).
It’s a true carousel with horses, carriages and seats, lights and stunning hand-painted decorations like the ones you see in the movies. It was built in Northern Italy and is a really cool addition to our waterside playground.
If you need wheelchair access then that’s no problem and if there are lines when you get there, don’t fret because they go pretty quick because each ride takes around 40 people in one go.
It’s in a great spot at the heart of the Quay with lots of grass and paved areas around it.
Heaps of families were happy to let the kids watch the ride go round (and round and round!) and just listen to the carnival inspired music. Best value tickets are in bunches (3 for $12) or you can grab a single ride for $5.
A bonus for us was that they didn’t charge an adult fare to accompany Mr O which was a welcome change from some of the carousels we’ve been on.
Say hello at: The Landing, Elizabeth Quay or find out more.
What’s a trip to the city without the promise of an ice cream? We found ours at the very cute Gusto Gelato which was ticking all the right boxes.
There's heaps of flavours to choose from and it's a cool little spot to sit down and literally chill. We all ended up getting a kids-sized serve each (the scoops are huge!) and the boys opted for waffle cones while I went for the (no drip) cup.
Mr O of course wanted chocolate, mine was salted caramel and the hubs went for sweet white chocolate but there’s loads of different flavours like lime and ginger beer, yoghurt and blueberry, mascarpone and cocoa and coconut and mango.
The place has a bit of a retro vibe to it with its colourful high tables and chairs and a pastel mural that was just as sweet as our treats.
Say hello at Elizabeth Quay (on the belltower side) or find out more.
V BURGER BAR
This is a bit of a go-to for us for lunch or dinner and is super kid-friendly. After all, the Quay is a pretty big area to explore and working up an appetite is pretty easy.
I love that the seating is outside which I find works best for kids (hello, entertainment and hello, mess!) and that everything is prepared fresh on site.
The menu is huge and you’ll find beef, chicken, lamb, fish or vego style burgers plus a heap of sides. Kids are well catered for with mini burgers plus curly fries, sweet potato wedges, calamari, onion rings, milkshakes and fresh smoothies.
It’s a fun lunch stop Thursday to Sunday and makes for a good end to the week dinner option on Friday and Saturday nights, plus it’s right near the ferry stop so is an easy find.
Say hello at Elizabeth Quay Station Park (next to the BHP Billiton Water Park) or find out more.
See? Colour and a kid-friendly vibe is EVERYWHERE when you’re in the city, and in the know. And now that you’re in on my bright little secret, I look forward to seeing you in the city soon! Be sure to say hello!