Looking for something to do to entertain the kids this weekend? There’s a plethora of places to visit with the family around Perth.
Words by Claire Trolio
WA Museum Boola Bardip
With excellent permanent collections and special exhibitions, WA Museum Boola Bardip is a rad and inexpensive place to visit any day of the week. The grandeur of the blue whale skeleton (named Otto!) is an experience in itself.
The team consistently offer different ways for families to engage with the museum, whether it’s mid-week classes for preschoolers, school holiday events, story time or weekly Noongar culture displays.
Exit through the gift shop for some inspired kids’ toys and keepsakes.
Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
Up in Perth’s north-east, this bushland oasis is free to enter, then you can pick which (paid or free) attractions you’d like to partake in, choose-your-own-adventure style.
Caversham Wildlife Park is worth the price of admission to have your photo taken with the resident wombat alone. Mini rev heads will enjoy the Motor Museum, while smaller kids get a kick out of the Children’s Forest where they’re invited to search the trail for fairy doors. Playgrounds and open spaces abound, with Pia’s Place all abilities playground a hit with children of all ages and needs.
In the school holidays, Bright Press host letterpress workshops using lego bricks for 7-12 year olds at the old print shop in the village.
233A Drumpellier Drive, Whiteman
What child (or adult, let’s face it) doesn’t harbour a space obsession? Fuel that intergalactic interest with a night tour at the Perth Observatory. Just a 45 minute drive from the city in Bickley, the observatory operates year round.
337 Walnut Road, Bickley
Art Gallery of WA
AGWA invites kids to all their exhibitions, but their dedicated Gallery 09 fuses art and play.
This room is dedicated to interactive, all ages, artist-led exhibitions. Whilst the activity changes every so often, children and adults are always free to interact, build or create as inspiration strikes.
Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
With multiple play areas catering for different ages and abilities, Kings Park is always a winner.
Ivey Watson Playground is a favourite for little ones, and their grown ups will appreciate the adjacent café for a caffeine hit and snacks, meanwhile Variety Place has been designed for kids with special needs and disabilities in mind. Older kids will appreciate exploring rocks and creeks at the expansive play space Rio Tinto Naturescape.
Zippy’s Bush Kindy runs through school terms for preschoolers to learn about the natural world through play in a more structured environment.
Kings Park is also home to Moonlight Cinema, an outdoor cinema running through the summer months with a thoughtful selection of G and PG titles.
Fraser Avenue, Kings Park
Live out your cottagecore dreams with a family fruit picking outing. Fill up a box of strawberries at H&N Strawberries in Gnangara, or nab some sweet mangoes at The Mango Farm. Make a full day of it at S&R Orchard – Insta-worthy photo ops, a bouncy castle, fairground rides and more are set up during their seasonal festivals.
Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm
Don your gumboots before taking the trip to Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm. With loads of farm animals to feed and pat, this place is a hit with younger children.
As well as the likes of goats, sheep, alpacas, ponies, piglets, chickens, emus, kangaroos and more, each child scores a turn on the merry-go-round, plus there are unlimited tractor and train rides through the venue. If all else fails, a bouncy castle and playground will burn off some energy, ready for car naps on the drive back to the city.
128 John Street, Henley Brook
Swan Valley Station
Another of our favourites in the Swan Valley is Swan Valley Station. This no-frills venue is very conveniently set up around a playground. Even more convenient is the fact that tables from their café spill onto the adjacent grass so you can supervise fully caffeinated and seated.
There are also farm animals to pat, a plant nursery to explore, and during school holidays they often run activities like face painting and slime making for a small fee.
60 Forest Road, Henley Brook
Slinging cocktails and craft beers, the three Palace Arcade venues can get a little rowdy in the evenings, so head in early to share the space with other families. There you’ll find original arcade games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, so you can school your kids on the games you grew up on and inspire a new generation of pinball wizards. Check out more of our favourite kid-friendly pubs and restaurants here!
84 Beaufort Street, Perth
774 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
96 High Street, Fremantle
An ‘80s baby, Adventure World has been bringing thrills to the children of Perth for four decades. In that time the rides have multiplied but the fun vibes have remained a constant. Rides and waterslides are on offer for people of all ages, from toddlers to grown ups.
351 Progress Drive, Bibra Lake
Keeping kids of the inner north cool is Maylands Waterland, an epic water park that turns on daily from the start of the September school holidays to the end of the April school holidays. Coffee and ice cream vans will help you recharge throughout the day.
The grounds open all year round, even when the water features are turned off, with places to picnic and play equipment to explore throughout the cooler months too.
32 Clarkson Road, Maylands
Giving you a very good reason to head north, The Aquarium of WA features a walk-through underwater tunnel giving you the best view of rays, sharks and other fish as well as a touch pool and other exhibits. AQWA often run activities for toddlers during term time and special events during the school holidays, so check their website before scheduling a trip.
Finish the day with an ice cream at Hillarys Boat Harbour or a dip at the family friendly Hillarys South Beach.
91 Southside Drive, Hillarys
A classic for a reason, it’s easy to spend the whole day at Perth Zoo. You can wander around at your own pace with plenty of animals to check out, plus open space to enjoy picnic lunches.
The zoo also runs different educational programs for children. Kids as young as 1 can join a term-based class focusing on different animals or activities delivered in an engaging, age appropriate way. Once they’re of school age it’s classes in the holidays, offered from pre-primary age up to Year 12.
20 Labouchere Road, South Perth
While we may, admittedly, not be quite so blessed in the coordination department – there are still plenty of spots around Perth if you and the kids are ready to glide your way around the rink! Opening back in 1980 the Morley Rollerdrome has been bringing the groovy vibes to Perth for over 40 years, while the Kalamunda Rollerrama just reopened, resurrecting the retro fun 20 years after closing their doors.
Feeling the chill? Cockburn Ice Arena is home to WA’s only Olympic-sized ice rink – chilled to a balmy 10°C! Glide your way onto the ice during one of their many public sessions, then make sure to warm up by the fire at Cabin 401 Bar & Grill while watching an ice hockey game and digging into a delicious bowl of Perth’s most legit poutine.
Castledare Miniature Railway
Set up by steam train enthusiasts back in the 1960s, Castledare Miniature Railway is still taking young families for trips around the tracks today. We recommend investing in a very nicely priced ticket for unlimited rides that can be used throughout the 4 four operating window, which you’ll need to book online ahead of time. When you’re not riding on the little locomotives you can grab a drink from the coffee van or head down to the banks of the Canning River for a picnic or a stroll.
Trains run from Niana Station (Lot 501 Castledare Place, Wilson) on the first Sunday of each month, and from Wilson Park Station (Lot 27 Queens Park Road, Wilson) on the third Sunday of each month and sometimes on Wednesdays during the school holidays.
Header Image Credit: Swan Valley Station