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Kids guide

Illawarra Mercury

Tuesday March 22, 2011

If you've ever struggled for things to do with the kids, here's a list of activities in the Illawarra guaranteed to keep them amused. GO BOWLINGAn easy way to spend a couple of hours that is perfect for kids of any age. Lane booking includes shoe hire and bumper bowling. Cosmic disco bowling organised on set nights, cafe and restaurant facilities available. Birthday packages, beginners' league and lessons available.AMF StrikezoneWhere: 47 Princes Hwy, Albion Park Rail.Ph: 4257 9333.Northern BowlWhere: cnr Princes Hwy and Bellambi Lane, Corrimal.Ph: 4283 6222.GO 'CLUBBING'Kids' karaoke dance party @ ShellharbourLast Friday night of every month from 6-10pm for kids aged 6-12. Parents must be members of the club and on the premises during the disco.Where: Shellharbour Workers' Club, cnr Wattle and Shellharbour rds. Ph: 4296 7155.Cost: Free to members.Kids playground Tumble in the Jungle: open every day 10am-10pm on the balcony.Little Devils PlaygroundKids' club with music, computer games and craft and activities run by accredited staff at Wests Illawarra. Members have to book ahead on the day. Up to two hours free childminding for kids aged 3-12 years.Where: Wests Illawarra, Hargreaves St, Unanderra.Ph: 4271 1155.When: Friday-Saturday 5-9.30pm, Sundays 4-8.30pm.Cost: Free to members only.GO HORSERIDINGOtford Farm Trail RidesLearn to ride classes for kids available on spectacular rides. Also has a residential club in school holidays to satisfy any Saddle Club wannabe.Where: Otford Farm Trail Rides, Lloyde Place, Otford.Ph: 4294 1296.Website: Seven days, 9am-5pm.Cost: Pony rides start from $33, other prices vary. Bookings essential.Darkes Forest Riding RanchCapture that country feeling with scenic trail rides. Day camps during school holidays.Where: 448 Darkes Forest Rd, Darkes Forest.Ph: 4294 3441; Mobile: 0407 172 757.Website: Mon-Sun, 9am-3pm.Cost: $48 per hour. Bookings essential.Kimberley Park StudThe perfect start for little riders with a hand-held mini-bush ride for 30 minutes. Can be any age, but if under five parents must attend to walk with them for balance. Progress from here to other trails, rides and lessons.Where: Kimberley Park Stud, Princes Hwy, Foxground.Ph: 4234 1134.Cost: Prices vary.PLAY INDOORSIndoor climbing and soft play centres perfect for babies, toddlers and primary school kids. All have cafes so mum or dad can have a break while the children run themselves ragged in contained spaces.Bluefit @ HelensburghWhere: 338 Cemetery Rd, Helensburgh.Ph: 4294 2253.Open: Mon-Thur, 8am-8pm and 2-5pm; Fri-Sat, 8am-5pm.Cost: $5 per child.Little StompersWhere: Cambridge Ave, Fairy Meadow.Ph: 4283 3735.Open: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-3pm; Sat, 9.30am-4pm, Sun, 10am-3pm.Cost: 1-4 years, $8; 5-8 years, $9; 9-12 years, $10; babies free.Playdays ShellharbourFor kids under six years old.Where: 48-50 Sunset Ave, Warilla.Ph: 4295 4444.Open: 7 days, 9am-3pm.Cost: 6 months-2yrs, $4; 2-6yrs, $8.PlaymazeWhere: 39 Durgadin Dr, Albion Park Rail.Ph: 4257 7529.Open: Mon-Sat, 9.30am-5pm; Sun, 10am-4pm.Cost: Babies free; 1-4 years, $6; 5-12 years, $8.PlaymazeWhere: Cnr Princes Hwy and First Ave, Unanderra (parking and entrance at rear).Ph: 4271 1555.Open: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm; Sat, 9.30am-4.30pm; Sun, 10am-4pm.Cost: Babies free; ages 1-5yrs, $6.50; aged 5-10years, $8.50, up to 11 years and over, $9.50.Ready, Set, PlayWhere: Units 1-2, 10 Shaban St, Albion Park Rail.Ph: 4257 5200.Open: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm; Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 10am-4pm.Cost: Under 5, $6; 5 and over, $8; under 12 months, free.Zoom Play and Party ZoneWhere: 65-69 Keira St, Wollongong.Ph: 4228 4300.Open: Mon-Thurs, 9.30am-3pm; Friday, 9.30am-4.30pm. Sat-Sun, 10am-4.30pm.Cost: 1-4 years, $8, 5-10 years, $10; under 12 months, free.Hangdog Climbing GymIndoor rock climbing is fun for all and there's 100 different climbs. Gear shop, food available. Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.Where: 130 Auburn St, Wollongong.Ph: 4225 8369. Website: Mon-Fri, 10am-9pm; Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 9am-6pm.Cost: Under 12s, $14; under 18s, $16; adults, $19 (includes $5 harness hire fee).HIT THE WATERSJamberoo Action ParkEnjoy a full day of action with bobsleds, aqua racers, The Rock, water slides, St Augusta landscape golf, toboggan plus much more.Where: Jamberoo Rd, Jamberoo. Ph: 4236 0114. Website: www.jamberoo.netOpen: 10am-5pm every day until and including April 25.Cost: Under 3s, free; 4-12 years, $29; 13 and up, $37; 60 years-plus, $29.Pines Surfing AcademyLearn-to-surf packages to suit most needs including private tuition, groups, mums-only, after school and family lessons all year round.Where: Pines Surfing Academy, North Beach, Wollongong.Ph: 0410 645 981.Website: Prices vary.Land's EdgeThe grand promoters of coastal appreciation provide many activities for kids and families during Christmas, Easter and September holidays (surf lessons available year-round).Where: Seven Mile Beach, Gerroa and surrounds.Ph: 4234 3278.Website: Prices vary. Bookings essential.VISIT A MUSEUMBlack Diamond District Heritage CentreLocal rail and coal displays, maps, photos. Locomotive and mining steam-hammer.Where: Park Rd, Old Bulli Railway Station, Bulli.Ph: 4284 6319.Opening hours: Sun 1-4pm.Price: Adults $2, Child $1. Groups by appointment.Illawarra MuseumPre-Federation post office featuring furnished rooms relating to the period when the postmaster lived and worked on the premises.Where: 11 Market St, Wollongong.Ph: 4228 7770.Website: www.illawarramuseum.comOpen: Thurs, noon-3pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays, 1-4pm.Price: Adults $4, children 50 cents, pensioners/students $2.Futureworld Eco-Technology CentreFeatures an interactive exhibition of technologies for a sustainable future, featuring wind turbines, wave power, solar-powered boat and car and hands-on activities for young and old.Where: Lake Illawarra Foreshore, Northcliffe Dr (opposite Walker St) at Warrawong.Ph: 4274 2939, email Mon-Thurs, 10am-4pm.Cost: Adult $10; concession $8; child, $6; under 5, free; family $25.Tongarra MuseumThe museum has several permanent exhibitions relating to indigenous and European communities, and explores the local history and culture of Shellharbour City.Where: Russell St, Albion Park.Ph: 4256 6698. For group bookings call 4256 2536.Wed: 10am-4pm; Sat, 9am-noon.Australian Motorlife MuseumFeatures not only antique cars and motorcycles back to 1906 but signs, accessories, typewriters and telephones, coffee shop and BBQ facilities.Where: Integral Energy Recreation Park, Darkes Rd, Kembla Grange.Ph: 0408 211 844.Open: Tues-Sun, 9.30am-4pm.Children admitted free when accompanied by an adult during school holidays.Science Centre and PlanitariumThere are 130 hands-on exhibits; planetarium, laser concerts, theatre, science shows, science shop and kiosk.Where: Squires Way, Fairy Meadow.Ph: 4286 5000.Website: Seven days, 10am-4pm.Price: Adults, $11; Concession, $9; Child, $8.Symbio Wildlife ParkDaily shows get you up close with crocodiles, alligators, meerkats, koalas, kangaroos, monkeys, dingoes, snakes, reptiles, farmyard pets etc.Where: Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Helensburgh.Ph: 4294 1244.Open: 9.30am-5pm.Costs: Adults, $22, children 3-13 yrs, $12, students, $20, seniors $20, family $65PCYCsLake Illawarra PCYCGreat range of activities for kids, including art classes, games night, gymnastics and kinder gym held on weekdays and after school. Gone Fishing program to pair up kids with fishing buddies.Where: Lake Illawarra PCYC, Reddall Pde, Lake South.Ph: 4296 4448.Cost: Varies for each activity.Bulli PCYCMany drop-in activities for kids including gymnastics every Friday from 4-7.30pm and Bumble Bee playgroup on Thursday mornings. Basketball comp for all ages up to adults, taekwondo, boxing, gymnastics, cheerleading and mini basketball. Aeroclub: First Thursday of the month 7-9pm. Soccatoos for pre-schoolers.Where: 253 Princes Hwy, Bulli.Ph: 4284 3878.Cost: Varies for each activity.Wollongong PCYCDrop-in activities for kids, structured classes for karate and boxing. Also home to Wollongong City Gymnastics which runs classes for kids from three years.Where: Exteter Ave, Wollongong.Ph: 4229 4418.Cost: Varies for each activity.OUTDOORSIllawarra Live SteamersOn the fourth Sunday of every month from 10.30am, the mini-steam engines trek through bushland. BBQs and picnic spots. Minimal fee per ride.Where: Virginia St, North Wollongong.Ph: 4229 7812.Wollongong Botanic GardenFree guided walks at 2.30pm on the first Sunday of each month. The Discovery Centre runs a number of programs throughout the school holidays, including craft sessions, and live performances. Small fee.Where: Murphys Ave, Keiraville.Ph: 4225 2636. Website: Mon-Fri, 7am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm. Open 10am-6.45pm during daylight savings.

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