12 Things To Do With The Kids In The Highlands For Under $50
Handy information for parents and carers about raising kids in the Southern Highlands, kindly brought to you by Explorers Learning Academy, specialising in play and early childhood education.
Spent a bit too much on choccie eggs?? Totally understandable!
But there's still a couple more weeks of school holidays left, so we’ve put together a list of fun things to do with kids locally for under $50.
1 // MOVIE MAGIC
Who doesn’t love heading to the movies in the holidays? Empire Cinemas in Bowral are well-priced compared to the bigass multiplex cinemas in the burbs. If you take your own snacks, you can keep a visit to the cinema to under $50 (depending on how many of you are going of course!). Adults are $15, kids are $13, and Empire Cinemas offer up a family rate for two adults and two kids of $48. Also, keep an eye out for special deals. When a movie is near the end of it’s run, the guys at Empire discount tickets to $10! And sometimes for certain kid's movies, they'll drop the prices of Adult tickets to the price of a Concession ticket. Check their website for up to date dealio’s.
2 // LOCAL LIBRARY FUN
While the regular school holiday activities are still on the backburner due to COVID, you can head to Mittagong Library on Tuesdays and Fridays for some LEGO sessions! And Preschool Storytime is back at both Mittagong and Bowral Libraries if you have a little one to keep entertained - more details here. Don’t forget Moss Vale Library is closed for reno’s so Bowral and Mittagong are the libraries to go to at the mo.
3 // DIVE IN
A local pool is the perfect way to burn off school holiday energy and Moss Vale Aquatic Centre is open all year round. Take your own lunch or snacks to keep the price down but maybe treat the kids to an ice cream or hot chips (what IS it about pool hot chips that have been the best since the dawn of time??).
4 // ON YER BIKE!
Here's a list of family-friendly bike tracks you can hit with the kids this summer. We're big fans of the Bong Bong Bike Track between Moss Vale and Burradoo. It’s so great for kids (and safe!). Head to the supermarket and ask the kids to pick out some treats, put together a packed lunch and cold drinks and head off for a ride!
5 // STRINGS ATTACHED
Did you know Sutton Forest has its very own weekly puppet show? The talented ImaginArta team has been performing every Sunday at 11:00am since 2015! Visiting puppeteers from overseas and all across Australia regularly visit and perform, with shows changing regularly. It’s a fun morning out for kids (and the parents have a good laugh too!). Buy tickets online – kids are $11.00 and adults are $15.00.
6 // TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWIN’
Catch the train or the bus to another town – it’s always such a different perspective from the window of a train! – and have a coffee and cake date at a fave café. Then home for an afternoon of movies. Fun!
7 // GREEN THUMBS
Time to get dirty and create a kitchen garden for inside or an herb / veggie garden outside. Get researching about what grows well where (and in the crazy climes of the Highlands), then head to the nursery with $50 to buy plants, soil, pots or whatever you need to create a fab mini garden - we are lovin' the Kids Seed Kits at Native Grace Nursery's gift shop! Here's a list of local nurseries and garden centres to visit.
8 // HAVE A WHEELIE GOOD TIME
If the kids love to jump on a skateboard or getting tricky with their scooters, head to a local skate park. Bowral Skate Park is on Ascot Road, Moss Vale Skate Park on Donkin Avenue, Yerrinbool Oval has one or head to the recently opened Bundanoon Skate Park where the kids can tick-tack or kick-flip for hours. Follow it up with an ice cream – here’s a list of places to get some yummo ice cream or gelato locally.
9 // PLAY TIME
Kids love a fab indoor play centre! Neenys Playhouse in Mittagong is open six days a week (closed Mondays) and is the perfect way to burn up some school holiday energy for kids 11 and under. And you can have a sneaky coffee while the kids slide, jump, run and bounce!
10 // STEP BACK IN TIME
Got a mini history buff in the family? Harper’s Mansion at Berrima is an interesting look into what life in the Highlands was like back in the 1830’s. And there is an awesome garden maze – THAT will keep the kids busy! Finish off your visit to Berrima by popping into the Lolly Swagman for some traditional sweets. Harper’s Mansion is open every first and third weekend of the month. They have an awesome family deal – just $26.99 for two adults plus children or 1 adult and three kids - tickets are done via timed entry and can be bought online. And if you’re just going to wander around the garden and maze, kids under 16 are free. Very cool!
11 // PARK IT
So many fab parks and playgrounds for kids to get outdoors and for you to kick back in some green space while they swing, climb and jump. We love the playground at what is called the Berrima Market Place, right in the centre of town. And the kids love it too – we reckon it’s the flying fox that makes it so popular! Lake Alexandra is also awesome to scoot around! Here’s a list of local parks to head to for a picnic and a play.
12 // ZEN OASIS (currently closed due to COVID restrictions and building upgrades)
This place is so much fun for kids. Gorgeous parklands and fun, interactive sculptures that the kids are welcome to climb and touch. There is plenty of open space for a game of footy, cricket or for running around. Pack the scooters and scoot around the lake on the flat path. Bring a picnic or make a booking in the vegetarian restaurant for lunch. Depending on the age of your family, you could have lunch for less than $50. Kids under 4 are free, Kids aged 4 – 11 are $18 and adults are $35 for an all you can eat buffet. Zen Oasis is at 230 Medway Road, Berrima and open on Saturdays and Sundays and you can book online here.
So, there you go! Plenty to do and lots of ways to keep the kids busy without breaking the bank! Oh, and here’s some more low-cost Staycation ideas we put together – perfect for keeping the kids busy and you sane!