Give the kids the kind of holiday they really want. One packed with new adventures, fun-filled days, awesome activities and some cute critters for good measure. The Gold Coast has got them all. From spooky cabaret to interactive art galleries, a wonderful wildlife sanctuary and accommodation with its own water park, we’ve got the kids covered. If parents are lucky, they might even be allowed to tag along!
What’s the magic ingredient that makes Paradise Resort the ideal holiday accommodation for families? It’s pretty simple really. Kids can have the time of their lives with an action-packed schedule of activities and entertainment at the in-house kids club… and parents can relax and take a well-earned break. It’s not just kids who are catered for – there are adults only areas where you can escape for some chill time. When there’s a water park, pools, an ice-skating rink, magic shows and outdoor cinema (and that’s just for starters) on your doorstep, boredom is not an option. A recent $12 million refurbishment saw guest rooms, restaurants and public areas upgraded and refreshed, so when we say Paradise Resort is better than ever, we’re not exaggerating!
CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Take a walk on the wild side and spend a day exploring the lush, sprawling grounds of Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This incredible conservation park is home to over 800 animals and there are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with furry, feathered and scaled friends. You’ll have kangaroos literally eating out of your hand and wild rainbow lorikeets landing on your head at their daily feeding time. There are plenty of other animal encounters to be had here too, where you can go into enclosures with the keepers for an in-real-life encounter. You can cuddle a koala, walk a dingo, distribute snacks to a red panda or pat a possum. These experiences cost between $29-$59 but when you consider the joy and lifelong memories they’ll create for your kids, that’s an absolute bargain. Plus, all profits from the Sanctuary go back to wildlife conservation.
ARTVO GOLD COAST
Become part of the art at this ingenious “trick-gallery” at ArtVo Gold Coast in Robina Town Shopping Centre. Talented artists have transformed larger than life, magical murals into interactive displays that transport you to spectacular scenarios, which appear incredibly life-like on camera. Kids will love this place – not only are they allowed to touch the artworks, but they become part of the picture as you snap photos too. The optical illusions make it appear as if you’re kissing a chimp, fighting a dragon, trapped in an hourglass or centerpiece in a snow globe. The results are mind-bending and expert trick photographers (i.e. the friendly staff) are on hand to help take photos and perfect your pose. $15 for a child’s ticket will get you all day entry and kids under five get free entry. Visit ArtVo Gold Coast for some holiday photos that are far from ordinary.
DRAX 4 KIDS
Dracula’s Cabaret is a Gold Coast institution. The sinister looking Gothic castle across the road from Pacific Fair Shopping Centre in Broadbeach is a landmark that’s hard to miss. While most of the goings on at this hilarious horror-themed comedy and cabaret venue are for 15+, on Saturdays at midday little vampires are invited to come and sink their fangs into some serious fun at Drax 4 Kids. The new zombie themed entertainment experience for kids aged 12 and under will be back in early 2022. The super-charged show includes chart topping songs, state-of-the-art special FX and spectacular costumes, giggle-inducing games, a 3D ghost train ride, and a disco. It’s fully catered with hot and cold party treats and unlimited soft drink. You need to book for a group to go, but two adults are included free with bookings of 10 or more kids.
Get to know the Gold Coast in an entirely unique way and take a tour with Quackr’duck. Yes, this is a bus tour… sort of. But there’s a big difference – this bus is amphibious! Climb aboard for an awesome adventure that the kids will be talking about for weeks. The Quackr’duck is elevated and open air so passengers can enjoy the amazing weather and views we get to experience daily around these parts. The first leg of your tour will take you past the iconic beach of Surfers Paradise, through the upmarket suburb of Main Beach and past Sea World before the excitement of the big splash. This is the moment when the amphibious vehicle leaves the land and starts to swim! (And the moment of much squealing from delighted children.) The journey continues in the water as the Quackr’Duck cruises down the Broadwater past luxury hotels and millionaires’ mansions… the kids might be more interested in the dolphins that often make an appearance. The amphibious vehicle returns to land and drops you off back in Surfers Paradise an hour later, buzzing from the exciting experience.
RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT
It’s weird, it’s whacky and it’s a family outing that will not be forgotten for a loooong time. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is the kind of place that leaves an impression – especially on kids whose minds are blown by a visit to this interactive museum of mystery. With a major renovation recently completed you’ll find lots of new attractions and exhibits. Discover the curiosities that Ripley’s has collected over the past 100 years including a taxidermy two-headed calf, a piece of the Zagami Mars meteorite and a genuine shrunken head. Venturing through themed galleries, adults and children alike will become immersed in artifacts, incredible art, animal oddities, pop-culture memorabilia, interactive games, and stories of people and places that are incredibly hard to believe but undeniably true! You’ll easily fill a couple of hours here and if you want to add to the action get tickets to the 7D Moving Theatre too. To find this fascinating attraction, just look for the giant blue-ringed octopus in Surfers Paradise in the centre of Cavill Ave mall.
HOTA ART GALLERY
Traditionally art galleries are not a great place to take young kids, but the new HOTA Gallery at Home of the Arts in Bundall invites the next generation to celebrate, appreciate and immerse themselves in creative expression. Discover secrets and surprises in the dedicated Children’s Gallery, where the natural world is not what it seems. The immersive space is filled with interactive art and hands-on craft activities. Little ones can make their own wildlife shelter to take home or add to the colourful display. The HOTA Gallery gift shop has some beautiful books, toys, stationary and other special souvenirs to remember your visit (we love the HOTA snow-globes!). The gallery is surrounded by sprawling, shady parklands on the shore of a lake where you can splash and swim on hot days – the perfect spot for a picnic lunch.
HOLOVERSE DINOSAUR WORLD
How many people get to hand feed a Brontosaurus these days? Only the ones who step inside the wonderful world of Holoverse – a high-tech attraction that uses holograms to create some seriously life-like experiences. Holograms look real, solid and 3D but they’re created from laser lights and you can stick your hand straight through them. Don your 3D glasses and you’re transported to a different dimension where you can fly with Pterodactyls, swim around an underwater scene and walk around with a life-sized dinosaur. Sessions go for about 35 minutes and kids under four are free. An excellent rainy-day option and a must-see for your dino-obsessed offspring.
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