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When you love the park more than your kids…

For a parent trying to find the perfect place for a kids party in Sydney, (especially with kids that hate being outdoors) the outset was looking like a logistical nightmare. Let me explain. Even though I am an outdoors person and my partner is very much an outdoors person, our kids, 7 and 9,  have light sensitive eyes, and actually hate bright light. While the kids’ schools have been accommodating and we’ve made adjustments that allow the kids to be a part of everything, it’s still something that we have to factor into everything we do.

We’re already regular goers-to of jungle gym, indoor tennis, cricket, swimming, everything possible that was active and allowed them to test their bodies and build their confidence.While these things are great, we wanted them to have a fantastic birthday party that they could really let loose in without us having to badger them all the time. We felt quite stuck when we went looking for birthday party venues. Sydney, however, seemed to have the pick of the bunch.

We were devastated when we realised our kids were generally just happier people inside. I mean, I know it could be worse, but to be perfectly honest, we always imagined we’d be raising outdoor kids. It’s not that they aren’t active though, which presents a whole new world of problems in itself. It was never going to be ideal to have our kids ricocheting off the furniture and destroying our rental, so we had to find a way to get them the exercise they need, and make sure they’re inside. So this party place was ideal. They did great real party food catering, and issued each kid with a security bracelet so there was absolutely no need for any parent to panic.

We all sat back in the cafe and watched the kids burn off the cake, while chatting over coffee and party fare.

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Best Playground for Bub?

It’s been a couple of weeks now since we move down here, and we’re finally starting to settle in. Even Beatrice! She seems really keen to interact with other babies – every time we pass one, her eyes are out on stalks. I want to find a good indoor playground in Melbourne; we used to take Billy to one when he was her age in Darwin, and it was a cheap way to get both me and him out of the house when it was too hot to do anything else.

Bea is not quite walking yet, but can stumble forward in an increasingly coordinated fashion. Every day she manages to stay up a bit longer before tripping over. I think it would be fun for her to interact with some unusual objects – she’s never been down a slippery dip before, and I think it’s about time (on my lap, of course). Climbing furniture is something that she’s showing a keen interest in (ha), so I’m interested to see what she makes of a space filled with colourful objects designed to be climbed on. Some of these play centres have special areas for toddlers to explore without getting knocked around by the bigger kids – that’s what I’m on the lookout for.

So, Victoria: indoor play centre recommendations for a soon-to-be toddler and a mum who’s new in town? I’m looking forward to pottering around the play area with her and showing her how it’s done. Billy, on the other hand, will probably want to tear it up on the tallest, fastest or most challenging piece of play equipment in sight – he has a particular passion for towers. (Maybe I’ve read him one too many fantasy books, but he’s obsessed with anything vaguely medieval, and apparently towers count.) Anyway, a secure indoor play area would go quite away towards keeping my peace of mind intact if I’m there with both of the little monsters.

Help this mama out!