Parents, we all know you’re really looking for a way to get those kids so worn out you can bring them home with smiles and dive for the couch to watch your favourite Netflix show. Just kidding, you want to go out and spend your entire weekend with them laughing and dancing into the sunset, don’t you? (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Well, whether it’s the crisp air of rainforest walks, sumptuous fare at the local farmers’ market or the smell of freshly ground coffee that will get you out and about with your family, these spots are sure to not disappoint! We've rounded up our guide of the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast with kids. You're welcome!
TERROR TODDLERS (AGES 2-4)
- Peace out on the serene short walk of the Bushland Sculpture Garden Botanic Gardens at Tanawha. Meander through lush, rich rainforest, which will not only fill the lungs with fresh air but maintain some sanity throughout the whole family. And may even tame a tantrum or two.
- Kawana Farmers Markets on Saturdays offers tired parents a relaxing and food-fuelled morning. Push or walk the kidlets around collecting a feast of local and fresh fare then sit by the newly upgraded playground to let the young ones run wild while you zone out into your coffee.
- The Big Pineapple still stands as proud ever as an historical piece of Sunshine Coast history. And it’s not just host to a pumping annual music festival, it’s also home to Wildlife HQ. This affordable cosy zoo houses native and exotic animals from around the world. Better still? Under threes are FREE!
- There’s a boat, a train, a bee show, ice cream, and gingerbread men to decorate. PLUS there’s an enclosed playground right next to the cafe! The Ginger Factory at Yandina really knows how to cater to yawning mums and dads.
- Apart from super gorge farm animals and dairy tastings galore, the factory tour of Maleny Dairies is a must! Tiny tots will learn how their milk gets from paddock to bottle, with a chance to taste the milk straight from the cow’s udder. But really this is where dad gets to spray the kids as payback for screaming the entire way there in the car. But all your troubles will melt away as soon as you bottle feed the baby calves and goats. Yep, it’s cuteness central here.
FAST AND FURIOUS (AGES 5-10)
- Want the best view of the Glass House Mountains? The Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is a short rainforest walk with everything and more for youngsters wanting to let off some energy, while discovering all the creepies and crawlies in this living museum. Learning AND fun? Win! Oh, and best of all you can all chill out afterwards with milkshakes and cake at the Mountain View Cafe.
- Camping with kids has never been so easy at Cobb and Co Nine Mile Camping Grounds with a huge wooden pirate park, bike tracks, horses, tractor rides and canoeing. Let’s just say if you want the kids entertained on your camp trip, here’s your spot!
- Graham Stewart Park may not sound all glitter and rainbows but the kids will love scooting and tooting their bikes around this super rad bike park at Currimundi. And better still, it’s fenced! Those little tackers will never be able to leave your sight mwahahaha!
- Tapas and fine beverages mums and dads? Then head check out The Local at Bli Bli. There’s a licensed restaurant right in front of a spectacular playground, Flying fox included, woot!
- Opal’s Down Under might pose as an elegant tourist pit stop to buy exquisite jewellery, but out back it’s gem fossicking central. Fossicking introduces children to the wonders of geology and for just $8 each child can take home their very own jar of magical crystals. Aw.
TWEEN TO TEENS (AGES 11-17)
- It’s no wonder they’ve aptly named themselves the “Funshine Coast” with Holey Moley mini golf and Strike Bowling now open in the heart of the Coast’s central night strip at Maroochydore. The “Caddyshack” cocktail bar serves sparkly drinks and the full kitchen dishes up American-inspired burgers, hot dogs and loaded fries. It’s open seven days a week, from 11am until late. But under 18s must be out by 9pm. However, we’re pretty sure mum and dad will have you tucked in by then. Themselves at least!
- Mt Ngungun is not the highest, nor the easiest of the Glass House Mountains, but it is scenic, accessible and fun. The track begins in an open forest with a fern understory and the summit provides spectacular close-up views of nearby Mount Tibrogargan, Mount Coonowrin and Mount Beerwah. Now, on ya bike! I mean, hike.
- Pull out your beatnik flair and pile into the car with your picnic blankets, gourmet foodie spread, and a cheeky bottle of fizz for the oldies, because Peregian Originals is a pretty happening place to chill on a Sunday arvo. Best yet this outdoor live music event is uber family friendly. It’s held on the second Sunday of each month at Peregian Beach Park.
- Old-school pinny lovers will enjoy taking the family to Arcade Box in Noosa which features some of the best classic and retro games, and a collection of 18 pinball machines. With just $1 per play every day, this is sure to be a trip down memory lane for many.
- CAKE. Did someone mention cake? Yep! The Cake Yard Cafe at Glenview not only whips up some of the best speciality cakes you have ever witnessed. Like ever. But it also offers up the cutest courtyard where you can sit back and indulge in milkshakes and a delightful range of homemade food. But pretty sure everyone will be wanting cake. Did we mention cake?
So you've got kids. We've rounded up the best kid-friendly cafes on the Sunshine Coast here. We've also rounded up the best hikes on the Sunshine Coast here that you could try! What about checking our best beaches on the Sunshine Coast here.
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