10 Free/Cheap Activities For The Kids These School Holidays
So, the kids have just enjoyed a wonderful second term and the school holidays are already upon us. Out of ideas on how to keep the kids entertained for the next few weeks and want to stick to some budget friendly activities? Well, here you’ll find 10 options to try and fill the time including some obvious and some not-so-obvious ideas. We’ve also tried to keep costs down as much as possible:
First cab off the rank is an obvious one, but we’ll throw a little twist on it to make it interesting. Late last year we went on a little hunt to find the best kids playgrounds around Perth, and managed to dig up 20 that are not only great (one even has a volcano), but will keep the tiny ones occupied for hours (check ‘em HERE). We’ve also located a heap of great nature playgrounds to explore, which you can check out HERE. The only thing remaining is to see how many you can tick off, and how many you can these hols!
Whiteman Park has been around as a public space for decades, but have you been there lately? If not, we recommend a little trip to this Perth institution, located just 30km out of town and guaranteed to take at least a full day to tackle. Set within 4000 hectares of natural bushland, entry is free to explore picnic grounds, playgrounds, bushwalking trails, craft villages and two different dog parks! It’s also home to a few different museums that are well worth a visit – it’s truly an epic day out that won’t cost a fortune. Get all the info you need here.
WA Museum Boola Bardip & WA Shipwrecks Museum
We’ve already extolled the awesomeness that is WA Museum Boola Bardip, but did you know we’ve also got a Shipwrecks Museum that’s free (note: donations encouraged)? Located on Cliff Street in Freo, it’s recognised as the foremost maritime archaeology museum in the southern hemisphere. The restored 1850s-era Commissariat building is stunning and fun to explore for kids of all ages.
Nostalgia Box is the perfect spot to show your kids what gaming used to be about! Located in the middle of Northbridge, it’s home to over 100 video game consoles dating all the way back to the 1970s, providing incredibly detailed histories for all of them. Most importantly, there’s an interactive area where you can play a bunch of old games like Mario Kart, Space Invaders, Pong and more. It’s important to BOOK AHEAD, where you’ll find kids passes are only $12 (adults $17).
Rio Tinto Naturescape, Kings Park
Get in touch with nature at Rio Tinto’s Naturescape in Kings Park. The dedicated naturespace offers an incredibly engaging way for kids to experience and understand the Western Australian bush. Covering six hectares, it features the likes of large aerial walkways, a creek and waterhole for wading in, a cubby-building area, tunnels, rocks, climbing rocks and more. Once you’ve conquered it pop over the Synergy Parklands for an awesome nature playground and huge dinosaurs to climb on.
Chillisaurus Mini Golf
And speaking of dinosaurs… while kids love mini golf (here’s a bunch of great options to choose from), we’ve decided to pull out one particular course that will have kids chomping at the bit. Chillisaurus Mini Golf in Merriwa ups the ante by not only making it indoors and glow in the dark, but a golf course surrounded by huge dinosaurs! Okay maybe it’s just us big kids that are excited by the idea, but normal kids passes are only $12 which sounds like a great excuse for you to have as much fun (if not more) than they will.
There’s a bunch of school holiday regulars we imagine most families roll through at least a couple of times a year. Places like The Zoo, AQWA, Adventure World and so on, but in terms of value for money it’s hard to go past Scitech. Passes for kids under the age of 17 are only $12, and while adults are $19 (cheaper concession), you can get great family deals that push it way down. From there you get access to all the good stuff, like the Science Centre exhibition spaces, the Planetarium, Science Theatre and more.
DFES Education & Heritage Centre
Given that the Perth Hills just went through one of the most devastating bushfire disasters in recent memory, these coming school holidays seem like a great time to help your kids learn about what the Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) do. The DFES Education & Heritage Centre is located within the original Perth Central Fire Station on Murray Street, and documents Perth’s extensive emergency service history. A must-visit for any budding firefighter, and who wasn’t as a kid?
Scarborough Beach Foreshore
Since being redeveloped a couple of years ago the Scarborough Beach foreshore precinct has become an absolute hot spot for locals and visitors alike. And it’s jam packed with fun and free activities to keep the tiny ones going all day. Of course there’s the beach (and with a bit of swell some great surfing), but you’ve also got the huge skate bowl, quarter basketball court, mini rock climbing wall, a huge kids Whale Playground and the grassy knoll perfect for watching all the action go down.
Cohunu Koala Park
For a big day out a little further out of Perth, Cohunu Koala Park down in Byford is a great chance to get your kids acquainted with some native Australian wildlife. There are parrots, emus, kangaroos, owls, deer and of course, koalas. There’s even some replica dinosaurs (we’re sensing a bit of a Jurassic theme on this list) and a kids train to choo choo around on. Best of all, kids under 13 are only $5 – more info here.