With so many things to do over the school holidays in Perth, you'll wish you were a kid again.
Never mind, just pretend and join in!
When the kids are on holiday, Perth steps up with a huge choice of activities the whole family will find irresistible. Along with the ever popular mainstays like Scitech, Adventure World and cricket on the beach, there are several alternative ideas to get the kids fired up and burned out.
Here's a selection of the most imaginative trails, creative and physical challenges, maritime adventures and real life games for the summer holidays in Perth.
Trails They'll Love
Just to get your mouth watering, a few of the gourmet sweets produced here are French macarons, handmade chocolate, freshly produced honey, nougat, nuts and cakes. Grown-ups can indulge in great coffee, aromatic teas, world class wines or craft beers along the way, and most venues have play areas for children to burn off the sugar.
To use up even more energy, drop into The Maze and Outback Splash in Bullsbrook. You'll all enjoy getting lost in the confusing mazes and leaping around in the huge waterpark.
WA Detective Trails
Parents will relate to the Perth mum who developed this clever concept. Finding that her son was often bored by trailing around a new destination with little to engage his young imagination, Wendy Palmer drew on her interest in cryptic puzzles to create the WA Detective Trails.
This is an excellent way for adults to enjoy a sight-seeing stroll around Perth in the holidays, while the kids run alongside in a parallel universe. The trail turns them into detectives looking for clues to untangle a fictitious crime. As they hunt for answers at each stop, suspects are eliminated one by one until the puzzle is solved.
Even if you're already familiar with the sights and sounds of Perth, the school holidays is a perfect time to follow one of these trails just for fun. Stop for snacks and perhaps even discover places of historical or cultural significance that you haven't noticed before.
Camel Riding Tour
Riding on a camel for the first time is sure to conjure up great excitement among kids these holidays in Perth. They must be at least 6 years old and more than 1.15 metres tall, so measure them first to avoid disappointment!
Camels are fascinating quirky animals, with a long history as carriers in WA, ideally adapted for transporting sandalwood, wheat, railway sleepers and many more items across our hot, dry landscape. They're also, of course, famous for taking holiday makers on sunset rides along Cable Beach in Broome.
Now, Australia's only inner city camel riding tour has been brought by Camel West to Perth - ideal for a summer holiday treat. The half hour trip takes you along the Swan River foreshore to Elizabeth Quay, fills you in with some fun facts about camels and lets you feed them with a carrot.
Animaze Amazing Animals
A contemporary art exhibition for kids to enjoy in the holidays has Perth talking. Animaze animal art safari, open until 23 January, is the first event of its kind to be been staged at Fremantle Arts Centre, and promises to engage the whole family.
Watch your wide-eyed children meander around a world of animals and art created by more than 40 artists. There will be themed play areas, workshops and story readings, plus the chance to see artist Ross Potter working on a huge elephant drawing.
Fill up in the Arts Centre cafe or one of the family friendly Italian restaurants that Fremantle is famous for. You might also want to drop into the Maritime Museum or Shipwrecks Museum - more on these later.
Young creatives will be captivated by the Djurandi Dreaming family workshop with artist Justin Martin at the Art Gallery of WA. For just $20 for a family pass with up to four children, you will hear Aboriginal stories and learn traditional techniques for creating your own acrylic painting on canvas.
The two-hour workshop runs from 16 to 18 January, 1.00 to 3.00pm. Bookings are essential. The Art Gallery always puts on a range of activities over the summer school holidays. Keep an eye on their website for details.
More and More and More
And there's more! The State Library will be celebrating the illustrations of Ian Mutch, created for a new picture book, More and More and More. This delightful tale follows Henry and Kate as they collect more and more things, until they realise the most precious find is their friendship.
Littlies will enjoy the story and pictures, especially the environmentally friendly and heart warming conclusion - that we really don't need much stuff in our lives, just wonderful people!
This free showcase is open until 21 January in The Story Place, which hosts a number of regular events and activities for young kids all through the holidays within Perth's State Library.
Swing, Surf, Fly, Tumble
Let your little monkeys and big thrill seekers swing, leap, climb and fly through the forest this summer school holidays.
Trees Adventure has created challenging obstacle courses in the trees of Lane Poole Reserve near Dwellingup and Yanchep National Park. Ropes and flying foxes will have the whole family leaping for joy, with courses that start at a reassuringly easy pace, right up to black runs for the daring.
Trees Adventure will kit you up and guide you, offering experiences for everyone from the age of four upwards, starting at $25.00. Watch their videos to get pumped!
Both Yanchep and the Peel Region around Dwellingup have a range of family friendly things to do, so make a day of it!
Latitude is causing quite a buzz, adding another great option for energetic kids on holidays in Perth.
This jaw-dropping indoor activity centre near Joondalup is truly unique in having not just a few trampolines, but more than a hundred! Plus - rock climbing to over 180 metres, a skywalk 8 metres above the ground, a ninja course called The Grid covering 200 square metres, dodgeball and basketball courts, and a huge inflatable tumble mat.
Little ones aged 18 months to 5 years are catered for in the Kids Zone with their own tramps, climbing walls and jungle gym. What more could you need this summer school holidays?
Book online before you go and make sure everyone has closed shoes for this wild adventure!
In the Big Top on Adelaide Street in Perth, this school holidays could be a great opportunity to learn some impressive new skills! Here, Circus WA's energetic classes and workshops teach all ages how to walk a tightrope, juggle or swing from a trapeze.
Check the Circus WA website for more information on sessions, parties and the full programme for the summer school holidays.
School holidays in Perth are the perfect time to hang ten! Kids and teens can start from scratch or fine-tune existing skills in safety with Perth Go Surf experts. Young surfers will learn ocean awareness, build confidence on a board and, for those who are more advanced, refine their technique.
Go Surf operates out of the iconic surf spot, Scarborough Beach, as well as gorgeous Leighton Beach - both fabulous spots for a beautiful summer day in the school holidays. Book ahead and get ready to ride the waves!
Under the Sea
This summer school holidays, Under the Sea leads kids aged from 4 years through a gallery trail and gets them busy making manta ray and turtle kites. A touch table and animated screen introduce them to more creatures of the deep, while maritime storytelling sessions fire up their imaginations. Under the Sea runs from 5 to 20 January.
Between 28 December and 31 January, the Ningaloo Dome Experience takes place several times a day in the 180 degree dome theatre. Children aged 5 and up will be virtually immersed underwater to visit the Ningaloo Reef on board the submarine Odyssea in a fantastic maritime production. Bookings are essential.
Meanwhile at the WA Shipwrecks Museum, also in Fremantle, 4s and over can have a 'whale' of a day chasing rats and watching whale artworks come to life.
If you go to see Ross Potter's elephant at Fremantle Arts Centre this school holidays, Perth's Shipwrecks Museum is where you'll find his big, beautiful whale drawing in the new Storehouse Gallery. Kids are invited to be creative too, by crafting a whale sun catcher and helping to build a community artwork - a whale sculpture made from recycled plastic.
Other activities to 'whale' away the day are storytelling, puzzles, games and the delightful Riddled with Rats trail. Kids will love finding out that the Museum has been overrun with rats (not really) and their help is needed in finding the little horrors. Wonderful Whales runs from 5 to 20 January.
Virtual Reality Treasure Hunt
Any kid knows that pirates and treasure go hand in hand with shipwrecks, so they won't be surprised to find them all this summer school holidays at the Shipwrecks Museum.
Virtual reality is the next big thing in entertainment, creating new realities in safe spaces and blowing your mind at the same time. From 7 January to 1 February, 8-year-olds and above can experience a virtual reality treasure hunt around Rainbow Island right inside the Museum.
Bookings are essential and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Meet some real-life mermaids this school holidays at Perth's amazing AQWA! The Aquarium of Western Australia takes its remit seriously, introducing you to every possible creature from along WA's vast coastline, including fairytale mermaids and their swashbuckling mate, Pirate Pete.
The Mer-jestic Mermaids will be in Adventure Bay from 2 to 9 January and 2-3 February between 11.00am and 2.00pm. Mermaid facepainting is all part of the mesmerising experience. Once you have paid admission to AQWA, there's no extra charge for this attraction.
Complete your day with a delicious slice from the Honeycake Shop, or a gelato from Bellisimo Gelato or The Milk Barrel, all on Sorrento Quay, Hillarys.
Kids aged 7 and over, especially teens, will enjoy the challenge of a realistic adventure in a fantasy world.
You might find yourselves puzzling your way out of an Egyptian tomb, a space ship that's lost power, an abandoned mine blocked by a rockfall, or a sinking pirate ship hiding treasure. Win the game by escaping within 45 or 60 minutes, depending on which venue you choose.
At Realmz, under 16s must be accompanied by an adult, while Escape Hunt requires under 12s to be accompanied by at least one child aged 12+.
These clever enterprises know that more and more of us want thrilling real life experiences, none more so than youngsters. Give them something to remember and treasure this summer school holidays!