Christie Burnett is Perth born and bred (but please don't hold it against her!) She blogs at Childhood 101 about all things ‘childhood,’ with the dream to inspire families to create happy, memorable childhoods for their children. As well as being the proud Mum of one very busy and social toddler, she is an annoying wife, a domestic disaster and a passionate Early Childhood Teacher with experience teaching in schools and child care. She has also worked as a presenter, consultant and writer - educating other educators about teaching and learning. Childhood 101 is where Christie brings all of these experiences together to create a place where parents can go to be informed and feel supported in their role as parents. It was awarded Asia Pacific Best Parenting Blog in 2009.
Perth is a great city to visit with kids, especially if you like to spend time outdoors. From the beautiful beaches to plentiful parks and playgrounds, the kids can have a ball whilst Mum and Dad join in or sit back and relax! Best of all, many of Perth’s family friendly attractions are free or cost very little, you’ll just need money for a coffee for Mum!
Perth beaches are the best in Australia. Cottesloe, Floreat, City Beach, Scarborough, Sorrento, Rockingham, Coogee – beaches all along the Perth coastline feature clean, white sand, grassy green reserves and often nearby playground equipment, and are great for picnicking, swimming and beachcombing.
The lovely Mettams Pool (15 minutes from Perth CBD) has wonderful rock pools for children to explore and at less than 2 metres deep inside the pool, is great for introducing children to snorkelling. West Coast Highway, North Beach
A visit to Perth would be incomplete without a trip to Fremantle. Fremantle is about laid back lifestyles and families can’t go past Fishing Boat Harbour for fish and chips, a run to kick a ball on the large grassy reserve and time to check out the boats along the wharf. For Mum, a wander through the Fremantle Markets or the thrift and novelty stores scattered around town, or coffee in one of the many, many Freo cafes while Dad runs around after the kids – sounds perfect to me! Fremantle is 20 minutes drive south of Perth.
Whiteman’s Park offers heaps of family fun – mini electric cars, vintage tram and train rides, a Children’s Forest, Tractor & Motor Museum, bike hire, bushwalking trails, playgrounds, a mini pool playground (summer months), oh and did I mention… the Lolly Shop! Many of the attractions at Whiteman’s Park are free. Entrance off Beechboro Road or Lord Street, Caversham - 25 minutes from Perth CBD
Caversham Wildlife Park
At Caversham Wildlife Park you can get up close and personal with Australia’s native animals. Feed the kangaroos, have a photo with a koala and catch the keeper talks and hands-on shows. There is also a petting farm and farm show, which the children will love. Adult $22, Child (over 3 years) $8. Located inside Whiteman’s Park, see above.
As well as being a beautiful botanical garden with fantastic views to Perth City and the Swan River, Kings Park also has a number of great playgrounds. The Synergy Playground is perfect for primary school aged children and features a 75m-long elevated walkway, a two-tiered island fort, large-scale replicas of local dinosaurs, a timber boardwalk and an interactive water misting forest.
I have written about my love of the Kings Park Ivey Watson playground for prior-to-school aged children previously at Childhood 101. With a pirate ship, fire engine, castle with moat, a maze and multiple areas with climbing equipment, the children will be happy for hours. Both playgrounds have cafes too which is always a bonus! Kings Park is just 1.5 kms from the Perth CBD.
The playground at Heathcote Reserve encourages imagination play. The pirate playground is the main feature of the play equipment, a giant wooden replica boat that kids can clamber all over, climbing up and down. It is however best suited for children over the age of 3 as the pirate ship has lots of high places and steep steps perfect for falling down toddlers! Duncraig Road, Applecross
Deep Water Point
With a fenced in playground featuring simple play equipment, the nice feature of Deep Water Point is its proximity to the river. The views are lovely, you can engage in a little trainspotting, and walk or ride along the bike path around the river. 100 The Esplanade, Mount Pleasant
Open November - April each year, Maylands Waterland is like a water park for our smaller citizens. With 4 pools ranging from splash pool for babies to large leisure pool, mini golf course, free to use BBQs and children’s play equipment, the added bonus of it’s riverfront location makes for a perfect holiday setting. Adult $3.60, Child $2.90 (Under 2 free), Family pass available. 32 Clarkson Rd Maylands
Children love zoos! Perth Zoo features exhibits with large, more natural settings for the animals and well designed viewing windows and platforms for the visitors. It is pleasant and easy to walk around and includes a large grassy picnic area if you prefer to take your own lunch! Information regarding the daily keeper talks and feeding presentations is available on arrival. Adult $20, Child (over 4 years of age) $10. 20 Labouchere Road, South Perth.
Maybe I am a nerd but I loved visiting Perth Museum as a child – the dinosaur bones and eerie stuffed animals and the MASSIVE blue whale skeleton, fascinating I say. Perth Cultural Centre, James Street, Perth
Do you have a favourite place to visit with kids in Perth?
This was originally posted in March 2010. The links have been checked and the blog reposted.