Don’t let wet days dampen your spirits – we know just how to leave the most active adventurers feeling enchanted and exhilarated. Read on to find out about Joanne Marriott’s favourite rainy weather kids activities.
Whether you’re soggy and soiled from jumping in puddles or contemplating yet more play dough while the elements pummel down on your roof, the fun-fuelled list of indoor activities we’re about to reveal is sure to inspire your next rainy-day adventure. It’s loaded with sensory experiences, physical challenges and problem-solving that will keep your kids active while building their resilience, confidence and creativity. Just add some curiosity and imagination to the mix and you’ll be in for a wild and wondrous winter.
Harness up and take to the ziplines for a Tarzan flight through the jungle, legs dangling into the treacherous crocodile pit. Perched high atop The Reef Hotel Casino, Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome is the first place in the world to offer a challenge ropes course in a wildlife immersion exhibit – so both the animal lovers and the adrenaline junkies in your family will be covered. The ZOOM course integrates climbing walls, ziplines, cargo nets, tunnels and swings for an invigorating rainforest adventure combining close encounters with the parrots and an aerial confrontation with Goliath the Croc. Snap! For ages 6+
Outdoor option: If you’d prefer to bask in remnants of the warm winter sun, head to Cape Tribulation for a ziplining canopy tour through the majestic Daintree Rainforest. For ages 3+
Strike it rich
Inspire junior geologists with a visit to The Perth Mint for an interactive tour of this working precious-metals exchange. Mini metallurgists can experience a live gold pour in the old melting house, jump on to the scales to find out what their weight is worth in gold, and create their own medallion with a real stamping machine. Have them take part in The Perth Mint Challenge, a 10-part quiz designed to help little gold diggers explore the grand heritage building and discover the magic of the Mint’s golden past. Top it all off with a traditional Devonshire tea at the café. For ages 5+
Long way down
When the clouds part in Melbourne, soak up the panoramic city views from the heady heights of Eureka Skydeck. You’ll be catapulted up to 285 metres in no time in the fastest elevator in the southern hemisphere, and from the 360-degree observation deck you can get your bearings and test your geographic knowledge by searching for your favourite landmarks. Step out onto The Edge for a dizzying look down, or add an element of fun by listening to The Heist, a 15-minute audio game that immerses you in an action-packed crime adventure. For all ages
Outdoor option: The Sydney Tower Eye offers a 360-degree view at 258 metres high and a 45-minute guided SKYWALK tour around the outside of the tower. For ages 8+
You might not be totally comfortable with your three-year-old jumping out of a plane to skydive 4200 metres, but at iFly in Sydney, Perth and the Gold Coast, they can do just that, in the safety of an indoor skydive centre, with the help of a 13-metre-high wind tunnel and a qualified instructor. Dressed as a superhero, they’ll lean into the breeze and float inside the tunnel to feel the thrill of flying. If they love the sensation, book them in to the Junior iFlyer Club, a membership that will allow them to visit weekly to learn new flying tricks. For ages 3+
Trick or treat
Sit in the palm of King Kong, transform into a mermaid, get mauled by a kitten or jump into the gaping jaws of a crocodile – at ArtVo, Australia’s first trick art gallery featuring 100-plus unique 3D artworks, you can let little imaginations run wild. Most art museums operate a tight ‘do not touch’ policy, but at ArtVo your curious creatives can sit, stand on or, yes, even touch the life-size murals to create their own art. For all ages
For even more hands-on interaction with art installations, head to Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, where you’ll find tactile and immersive toddler experiences and sensory tours for babies. For all ages
Behind the scenes
It’s easy enough to be swept up in the glamour of Sydney when you’re chugging past the Opera House on the ferry, but the most magical experience can be found behind the sails. Take the Junior Adventure Tour, for example – a fast-paced, action-packed journey through the theatres, studios and backstage areas of the iconic structure. It demystifies the inner secrets of the cultural epicentre, revealing how a performance comes together using set design, stage markings and props. Theatre buffs and drama queens will love the opportunity to dress up in costume and become anyone or anything they can imagine. For ages 5