Explorations are one of the best parts of childhood, and here in Perth (Australia's capital of cool!) there's plenty for the younger crew to enjoy this season.
From dolphin-spotting to urban adventuring, first forays into science to botanical mini golf, here's 10 of our top tips for kid-friendly spots to adventure together.
It's Toddlerfest time right now! Scitech, Perth's science museum, has transformed into a curious play wonderland for their annual festival that introduces under-5s to the fascinating world of science, with exciting activities designed to stimulate the imagination of little ones - meeting dinosaurs, discovering space, and much more. Running daily until 1 March, kids under 4 are free, so it’s an educational, entertaining and affordable adventure!
Can't make it to Toddlerfest? Don't worry, because Scitech offers fun and educational science for experiences for kids of all ages. Boasting six interactive galleries, lively science performances and educational puppet shows, a hands-on science lab and Australasia's largest planetarium – you can keep coming back all year-round.
While you're in West Perth, experience family-friendly shopping at Watertown Brand Outlet Centre. You'll find fave brands like Converse, Peter Alexander, Adidas and much more - and at great prices too! (And local iconic WA confectionary brand Morish Nuts will go down a treat with the whole family - yum!)
With its gorgeous panoramic views of the Swan River, iconic carousel, easy walks and family-friendly things to do, Elizabeth Quay is a great spot for fun in the sun (making sure to slip slop slap).
Take the Transperth ferry over the Swan River to South Perth (where you'll find some great parks and playgrounds), go for a run through the fountains at the Water Park, have a run-around in the Island Playground, head up The Bell Tower, take a ride on the carousel, and so much more! Finish off with a tasty gelato as you stroll over the bridge for a day to remember.
Mandurah is the perfect holiday getaway for families with young kids! A favourite day-trip and vacation spot for Perth locals and visitors alike, Mandurah is located in the Peel Region, just under an hour from Perth City.
Head to the Mandurah Foreshore for a play in the awesome playground, enjoy waterfront fish and chips or a beachside BBQ and a swim in the sheltered waters of Dolphin Quay Beach. The kids can also burn off some energy at Inflatable World, or take a cruise on a pirate ship, and enjoy mini golf and carnival fun at King Carnival. And of course, seeing the famous and friendly dolphins frolicking in the waters of the estuary and canals are a highlight of any trip to Mandurah - check out Mandurah Cruises for more info!
Finally, stay the night in one of the beautiful accommodation options in Mandurah such as The Sebel Mandurah, Seashells Mandurah or Mandurah Ocean Marina Chalets, and enjoy a morning canal stroll along with a tasty breakfast at one of the delicious cafes dotting the Foreshore and Dolphin Quay. You can even experience Mandurah in a very different way by staying aboard a houseboat with Mandurah Houseboats. All in all, Mandurah is a perfect family holiday destination!
Only five minutes from Perth City, Perth Zoo is a true WA icon! Located in South Perth, and filled with lush gardens and naturalistic exhibits, Perth Zoo is home to over 1,300 animals from all over the globe. Whether you’re getting to know your local wildlife in the Australian Walkabout and Australian Wetlands, exploring the Asian Rainforest, or going on an African Savannah safari, there is so much fun here for visitors of all ages.
While you're in the South Perth area, there's so much to do - from having a play in the playground at the Mends Street Jetty, exploring the South Perth Esplanade, eating some of WA's favourite waffles at Gelare or strolling the South Perth foreshore, you’re bound to have a whale of a time. Staying the night? Check out Quest South Perth Forehshore or Pagoda Resort & Spa for a stunning accommodation experience only a short walk from the zoo.
Yanchep National Park
Located in the northern suburbs of Perth, Yanchep National Park is a must-do for young children! Nestled on the shores of a lake amid coastal woodland and limestone caves, Yanchep is a truly exciting spot. There are many scenic and easy walks, and perfect spots for picnics and BBQs. There's also a koala sanctuary, and many wild kangaroos - what fun! Try out chocolates made on-site at the tearooms, and cool down with a tasty thickshake.
But the excitement isn't finished yet: has your little one ever been into a cave? That's right, Yanchep Crystal Cave is family-friendly and a popular spot with the younger crew! Perth's only tourist cave is a picturesque, otherworldly wonderland full of natural cave decorations such as stalagmites, helictites, columns and shawls. The cave's constant temperature makes this tour a comfortable all-year-round experience.
Wanneroo Botanic Gardens
Located in the City of Wanneroo, half an hour north of Perth, Wanneroo Botanic Gardens is a gem of the northern suburbs. Come and discover one of the largest and most historic privately owned gardens in WA for a kaleidoscope of colours, sights and sounds; cool down in the dappled shade of tall trees, and explore the floral displays, rockeries and waterfalls. Absolutely stunning!
You'll also find delicious fare at acclaimed, vibrant cafe restaurant Leapfrogs, a favourite with locals and visitors alike. With an extensive menu including a popular kids menu, it’s a great spot to fill up before you start on your next adventure without leaving the grounds: botanical mini golf! This 36-hole mini golf range is located within the gardens themselves, and it's great fun to enjoy the beautiful backdrop as your little ones experience the fun of mini golf in a beautiful, family-friendly environment. From Thursday to Sunday, last tee-off is 8.30pm, so come in the late afternoon or early evening to escape the heat and enjoy nature’s beauty and golfing fun in pure comfort.
While you're in the northern suburbs, a trip with the kids to AQWA at Hillarys Boat Harbour is a must-do! With the bright, colourful marine life so easily visible at all times, it's truly a feast for the eyes for all ages. Kids will love coming face-to-face with extraordinary animals in Australia's largest underwater tunnel, and the sensory magic of the touch pool.
A mere 45 minutes drive south from Perth City, you will find Penguin Island - a landscape blessed with white sandy beaches and surrounded by crystal clear waters in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Only a 5 minute ferry ride away, the island wildlife is the star of the show: join a cruise to see wild dolphins and rare Australian sea lions, before getting up close with the world's tiniest penguins! The Shoalwater Islands Marine Park is located in Rockingham, widely known as Perth's marine playground.
There’s plenty for the under-5 set in the Swan Valley, just half an hour out of Perth: your little one will be spoiled for choice!
Whiteman Park is a unique conservation and recreation reserve, covering 4,000 hectares of natural bushland and leisure facilities just 25 minutes from the Perth CBD, as well as boasting playgrounds galore and a water park. Explore the park by vintage train or tram, taking a leisurely trip through remnant farmland and natural bushland, and check out the Children's Forest to search together for intriguing artworks while learning about our native bushland.
Within Whiteman Park lies an extraordinary, beloved Perth treasure: Caversham Wildlife Park. Boasting one of WA’s largest collections of native animals, Caversham Wildlife Park offers the chance to get up close with our furry, cute Australian animals. Get some insta-worthy photos of the kids with cuddly koalas and wombats, hand-feed roos and more! There’s also farm animals and a farm show that’s plenty of fun for the whole family.
Next stop is the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm, aptly named for its adorable animals! The Farm provides children (and kids at heart!) with the chance to get close to, and even feed, a variety of farmyard favourites like bunny rabbits, sheep, lambs and piglets. There's also learning experiences galore, as well as a bouncy castle, tractor-train rides and merry-go-rounds.
Finally, Perth's Outback Splash has everything you need for a perfect, fun filled, family day out! Since 1981, they've been providing outdoor entertainment attractions for Perth families and visitors to Western Australia. The park offers waterslides and other seasonal, water-based attractions (open September to April), as well as year-round family fun including mini golf, mazes, sensory play activities, children's playground, Australian animal experiences and onsite food and beverage outlets. There's also a dedicated area for toddlers, Octopus Bay, which is great fun for the youngest members of the family, including a splash pool, 3 giant octopus slides and a miniature tipping bucket. Youngsters will also love the chance to meet adorable koalas and kangaroos!
Located in the Old Perth Fire Station in Perth City, this museum is plenty of fun for the kids. The old station is dedicated to emergency services past and present, through displays about the history of Western Australian fire services and a natural hazards and disasters education gallery. There’s dress-up fun for children and a real modern fire engine to explore at the Centre. The Centre is open from 10am to 3:00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and admission is free.
While you're in the area, check out The Perth Mint for more family fun! Their world-class Gold Exhbition brings the history of Western Australian gold to life. Kids will love watching molten gold being poured to form a solid bar in the original 1899 melting house!