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Holidaying with kids 3 and under

Holly Connors

Travelling with young children can be a daunting experience, especially when looking for activities that are suitable for the whole family. The Gold Coast is the perfect family friendly holiday destination, with an abundance of activities and experiences for all ages, including mini travellers aged between 1 and 3.

No matter the time of year, there are plenty of things to do on the Gold Coast with toddlers, with many of these activities also appealing to bigger kids and adults alike to create fun filled memories and prevent the boredom kicking in.

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

No matter our age, getting up close with wildlife is a joyous and exciting experience and one that most young children adore. The Gold Coast has several attractions that allow your little ones to see their favourite animals, with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary being a wonderful choice for a day out. The younger visitors will love meeting Blinky Bill and friends, with daily shows and interactive opportunities. There are playgrounds and the tube slide down Blinky Bill's tree house. Best of all though, is the chance to get up close with Australian wildlife, which is a delight for children and adults alike. David Fleay Wildlife Park is another great choice to see native wildlife and learn about all their favourite animals.

GETTING ACTIVE

For ages 2 and up, a visit to Air Factory is the perfect option to use up some energy as they bounce to their hearts content for one of the hour-long trampoline sessions. With a 'Mini Air Factory' zone just for youngsters under 110cm, they will be able to jump from trampoline to trampoline, or take a leap onto the monster air bag, without worrying about the bigger kids getting in the way. And of course there is fun to be had for the rest of the family too.

ADVENTURE

If you have a mini thrill seeker in your midst, you may find a day out at a theme park to be the perfect fun day out. Gold Coast is home to Australia's best theme parks, with Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World and Sea World all close by. Each of the theme parks have attractions aimed at younger audiences, including rides, shows and characters they love. With free park entry for kids under 3, Sea World's Nickelodeon Land, Dreamworld's ABC Kids and Wiggles World and Movie World's Kid's WB Fun Zone will delight kids aged 1 to 3, ensuring theme park fun for the smallest of visitors.

If it is shorter action-packed adventure you are after, a dual kart at Slideways Go Karting may be perfect for your pre-school aged child! So long as your child is between 90 and 130cm, they can ride in the passenger cart and experience the adrenaline rush of zooming around the track. The karts are all fitted with harnesses to ensure safety for all ages, and in the near future they will also have a dedicated electric car track just for kids.

WATER FUN

The Gold Coast is also a popular choice for water park fun, with Wet 'n' Wild water park and Whitewater World both offering the excitement of water play. From wave pools and mini water slides, to kid friendly paddle pools, cooling off and having a splash will be plenty of fun.

There are several options for public pools on the Gold Coast too, such as the Upper Coomera Aquatic Centre with a heated 25-metre pool for year round swimming and a children's water play area including sprays and tipping buckets. There is also a great playground and park area next to the centre, with barbeques and covered seating areas for an outdoor lunch.

SLOWER PACED

Not everything needs to be an adrenaline pumping adventure when you visit the Gold Coast. If you are seeking a fun way to see the sights on land and sea, Quack'r' Duck , or the alternative Aquaduck, are a must do Gold Coast attraction and completely toddler friendly. You will have the chance to see some of the city during the 60 minute tour around the Gold Coast. The sea spray during the water section of the tour is fun and refreshing, but be sure to have a jacket for keeping your little explorers warm.

For another tour option with a difference, consider Fire4Hire and enjoy the sights from aboard a fire truck. On arrival to The Spit, you will each have the chance to try your hand at operating a fully functional fire hose, which will be a memorable experience for all. Enjoy a complimentary drink and a treat for the kids included in your tour price.

NATURE

And while there are endless options for fun with toddlers around the Gold Coast, best of all are the natural attractions on offer. 1 to 3 year olds will adore the simple fun of a visit to the beach, building sand castles, paddling in the waves and running around on the sand. The Gold Coast has many family-friendly beaches, with lifeguards on duty and amenities nearby, such as toilets and cafes. Some of the best options for family beach trips are Palm Beach, Main Beach and Currumbin.

There are also many great parklands, bushwalks and scenic picnic spots throughout the Gold Coast and hinterland area for a quieter family day out.

There will be no end to the options for having a great time with your toddler while visiting the Gold Coast. It is a destination that everyone will love!

Holly Connors

Four Around the World

Holly is the co-founder of Four Around the World, a travel blog focused on experiencing the world near and far with young children. When not exploring the world, Holly resides near Brisbane with her two daughters and husband. You can follow their adventures at Four Around the World or via Instagram.

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