Escape Hunt, Southport
iFly, Surfers Paradise
Indoor skydiving. Float on a column of air in a giant glass tunnel.No jumping out of aeroplanes. What could be more fun?
ArtVo Illusions, Robina Town Centre
Billed as “Australia’s first immersive, ‘trick-art’ gallery”, this place is an Instagrammer’s playground! 1,400 square metres of optical art masterpieces in six themed zones. The museum staff are on hand to help you find the best positions for your selfies as you become part of the art.
Crazy Cat Café, Surfers Paradise
This is an odd one: A café, attached to a mock living room set-up, where 14 friendly felines roam freely to be stroked, cuddled and petted. Heaven knows how it got past Health & Safety but my pet-deprived children went wild for this place. You can pay for a 50 minute or 25 minute session with the cats and purchases from the café itself are optional (we didn’t bother, although their coffee came third in a recent Gold Coast Bulletin poll).
Crazy Cat Café, Surfer’s Paradise
Infinity, Surfers Paradise
This has been around for ages but
haveyou ever actually been in? I love this place: Imaginative, beautiful, challenging, artistic – this is a ‘world’ of different rooms, mazes and spaces to explore (and find your way out of!). A bit too scary for the littlies and physically demanding for anyone wobbly on their legs (I once took a great aunt who struggled with the different levels and uneven footing, given her two artificial hips. I had to leave her stranded in a pitch dark room on a wobbly rubber floor, supporting herself by grasping the fake arms that extended from the walls, while I desperately sought the exit on my hands and knees. Never again!). Lots of funthough. My kids never get bored of it.
Holoverse, Surfers Paradise
The world’s first ‘Holographic Entertainment Centre’. Interact with moving holograms and be amazed by 3D special effects in a range of holographic experiences – from a planetarium to a virtual Superman-style fly over the Gold Coast or an immersive action game. Participants play alone in one of 40 hologram rooms. Has to be experienced to be appreciated.
5. Get arty-crafty
- Gold Coast’s HOTA (Home of the Arts) in Bundall runs creative arts workshops, children’s theatre performances and fun family activities throughout the year.
- Bunnings offers a range of interesting DIY workshops and art classes for kids on Saturdays and in the school holidays. Contact your local store for details.
- The Sweet Fine Artist Studio (Mermaid Beach) runs two-hour art classes for children on Saturdays and during the school holidays.
6. Use the rain
Make the wet weather the central attraction and set the kids a rain-based project:
Make a rain gauge and find out how much rain you’re getting:
Plot a chart to compare day-on-day rainfall (if experiencing a
longspell of rainy weather), compare to water fallin a shower or go online to see how the rainfall compares with the previous year.
Get the kids to paint/draw the soggy scene they see outside the windows … or the raindrops on the window. Even better, bundle them into the car, find a shelter in an area of natural beauty and paint the view in situ. I have children with no interest in art whatsoever but they love the drama of huddling in a covered picnic area with an artist’s sketch pad and a tin of pastels while the rain drenches everything around them.
Kids love making dens, forts and cubby houses. Challenge them to make a waterproof shelter outside in the rain using a selection of materials (tarps, inflatable pool toys, umbrellas, plastics etc). Don’t send them out in a hurricane, obviously, but see if they can construct a small refuge that would protect them from the elements … and then serve them afternoon tea in it.
Make a wet day an ‘Op Shop Day’:
Get the whole family involved sifting and sorting through old clothes, toys and clutter then take the unwanted pre-loveds to the local charity shop. Visit a selection of op shops and let the kids use their pocket money on games, toys and dress-ups that they can enjoy for the rest of the wet day. (Of course, this may incur an additional defrag day to declutter the house from the new purchases but at least some cheap entertainment may be derived from the exercise.)
8. Check out Gold Coast libraries and shopping centres
Gold Coast City Libraries run a wide range of free or low-cost activities for kids and teens throughout the year, including coding and robotics, art and craft, stop-motion animation, lego and electronic music.
The larger Gold Coast shopping centres often run school holiday and weekend activities. Visit their websites for further information: