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Lamenting the lack of decent places to take kids in Canberra, and wanting to maybe change that…

By Madam Cholet 22 November 2011 145

It has long occurred to me that Canberra has a distinct lack of places where you can take your young’uns at the weekend – and by that I mean a place where kids can have:

  • a bit of freedom to run around safely,
  • decent, challenging, safe and non-vandalised play equipment 
  • decent healthy affordable food
  • insode activities for rainy/wintery days

and where parents can have:

  • peace of mind that their kids are safe to move about without having to be behind them all the time
  • a decent meal/coffee that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg or is not sub-standard
  • a place to relax/read the paper/surf the net/chat….

You get the picture?

Mr Cholet and I have sniffed out a few places that we like to take Master Cholet, for example, Lanyon Homestead, although once he’s exhausted the gardens, there ain’t much more to interest him and in the winter, you have to be inside the cafe anyway.

There’s another homestead sort of place with horses in the Hall area – but that’s a way for us to go and again, not that much there for him, once he’s looked at the horses and had a milkshake. A few clubs around have playrooms, but I’m not that keen on the plastic environment and being shut inside a club. And don’t get me started on those set and forget play areas populated by Mums who just want to text their friends while Billy Jo runs riot…apologies to those people.

I’ve got to the point where I’m keen to start looking at ideas for a new kid & adult friendly place with a view to maybe actually putting the idea into practice if I can get the right mix. Thought I would run the gauntlet of RA….I know some will say that I am talking about a park and a picnic, (and even do some of the entertaining myself…!), but I’m also keen to provide somewhere that could cater for winter with inside activities – possibly with play leaders to provide constructive activities whilst Mum and Dad relax – just a bit, but not enough to remember what it was like before they had kids!

So, do you think there is a space in the market for somewhere that is an improvemnet on what is available right now? What would you like to see available in t erms of play, food, environment from such a location, and where abouts do you think it should be? I have more ideas on how it could look/run, but I think those questions are fine for now. Any ideas gratefully accepted…if not I know it’s prolly a fizzer!

What’s Your opinion?


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145 Responses to
Lamenting the lack of decent places to take kids in Canberra, and wanting to maybe change that…
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BigBangBallers 10:27 am 05 Jun 13

Hi all,

The Big Bang Ballers run day camps during most school holidays at indoor venues in Red Hill and Belconnen.

We teach kids 4 and up how to play basketball, give them an opportunity to run around and expend some energy, provide them with lessons on teamwork and focus, and generally just have a great day together which then leaves them exhausted and ready for an early night. (You’re welcome, Parents!)

Depending on the time of year, we either charge a couple bucks or nothing at all, and of course Parents are encouraged to join in… however if you just fancy a cuppa and a good read, there is plenty of room to get comfortable and still be right next to your kids.

Best way to stay up to date on when our camps are is through our mailing list, which you can sign up to at http://www.bigbangballers.org

If you’re in Queanbeyan, don’t fret, we do camps around your way too.

Why do we do these camps for essentially nothing? Easy. The healthier, happier and mentally able kids around us are, the better for the entire community. If we could do 7 camps a week, every week for a year, we would, if that meant no more kids in Bimberri…

We’re also available to do private camps in exchange for a donation to any of our 28 programs in 11 countries.

Thanks for your time,

Pierre Johannessen
CEO
Big Bang Ballers
“Making a difference through basketball”

miz 11:04 pm 04 Jun 13

Weston Park.

tranvo 7:25 pm 04 Jun 13

Here is an option for parents with kids and is cheap.

A new table tennis venue opened up in suburb of Mitchell called Smash Table Tennis.
They offer table tennis at $5 casual visit fee, free chess and foosball as well as a pool table charging $2 per game.

http://www.smashtabletennis.com.au

ausbuzzpost 5:12 pm 05 Jan 12

Pooks said :

Um, are you serious? Go to Questacon and take a thermos and a sandwich. The whole family will have fun there for hours.

That sounds like a horrendously blinkered way of looking at it dear fellow!! I think this is a stellar idea.

I’m assuming you have kids – if so, how many times are you prepared to go to Questacon per year to satisfy the whole-family satisfaction it offers? Do you go there every week then, just so you can hang with your kids? What about if you or, heaven forbid, they get bored?

You, sir, are a dope.

sepi 9:44 pm 01 Jan 12

Or you could buy this place and do it up:
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-business/the-fun-factory-fyshwick-canberra/1316796278211

You’d need to add fine dining. and enclose the walls. And a garden, but there is some potential.

As for the posts above – we are talking about tiny kids, not teenagers. Your kids may love BBQs at the lake and visiting the skate park – good for you. but noone takes 3 toddlers to the lake for a BBQ to catch up with a friend. what do you do with them while you cart all the stuff to the BBQ – leave them locked in the car? Who minds them while you cook? How do you chat to anyone while watching 3 kids who can run off, but not yet swim at the lake???? it doesn’t sound very relaxing for the parents.

and your 3 year old may love the War Memorial, but I challenge anyone to take 3 tiny loud kids to the war memorial and not spend the entire time watching their every move – there is no chatting to friends there either – lucky if you don’t end up screaming.

the Xmas holidays is a total dead zone for the under 5 age group in Canberra. If someone started something up – toddler dancing, or storytime or the like they would be over run with bookings.

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