Travel & Touring | WA Things To Do

By: Tatum Stafford

Fruit picking, high ropes courses and underwater tunnels are just the beginning when it comes to keeping Perth kids busy.

No matter the time of year, there are countless activities in and around Perth that are sure to keep kids of all ages entertained.

Whether it’s free or cheap, adventurous or tame, indoors or outdoors – there's an activity on this list that your kids will love.

RELATED: 20 free or cheap things to do in Perth »

1. Tackle a high ropes course

If your kids are thrill-seekers, consider an excursion to a high ropes course. One of the newest treetop ropes courses in WA is Trees Tops Adventure in Yanchep National Park. The course weaves through the park’s tuart trees and features seven levels of difficulty that include wooden bridges, tight ropes, cargo nets and ziplines.

Each session is 2.5 hours long (including training and a safety briefing), and kids’ pricing, for 3 to 7-year-olds, starts at $32. There’s also a special school holiday ‘Kidzip’ group session for 8 to 12-year-olds where the instructor climbs so you don't have to. Bookings are essential.

If the weather isn’t looking good, head for the indoor high ropes at Bounce Inc in Joondalup, Osborne Park or Cannington. Dubbed an ‘indoor aerial super park’, Bounce is home to more than 3,000 square meters of interconnected trampolines and other adventure features. Toddlers and pre-schoolers get two hours of bounce time for just $11 on weekdays and for kids over 110cm in height, prices start at $15.50 when booked online. Book your session in advance.

2. Ride an Edwardian-era ferry on the Swan River

Looking for a truly unique school holiday experience? Catch The Little Ferry Co's solar-powered, Edwardian-styled ferry from Elizabeth Quay to Optus Stadium. 25 minutes of whisper-quiet cruising along the Swan River will get you to the Stadium. Once you're there, visit the many playgrounds, have a picnic lunch on the riverbank, or eat at the family-friendly microbrewery, The Camfield. Re-embark for your return in the same spot, or walk over Matagarup bridge to Claisebrook Cove and catch the return ferry from there. Book online to reserve your seats as the ferry carries no more than eleven passengers on any journey.

3. Go fruit picking

No matter the time of year, there are plenty of orchards within the Perth Hills and Perth’s northern suburbs that open their gates for visitors to pick fresh apples, grapes, strawberries, mangoes, cherries, pears, pomegranates, and more. A popular spot in the Perth Hills is the S&R Orchard in Walliston, which hosts a ‘pick your own summer fruit’ festival between December and March each year.

Grumpy Grapes vineyard offers pick-your-own grapes sessions over summer. There are plenty of strawberry picking locations, typically open in the later half of the year. Check the websites or social media for opening times of the place you're wanting to visit, as demand can be high for the seasons.

RELATED: Where to go fruit picking in and around Perth »

4. Pull on some ice skates

If you’re looking for a completely different kind of Perth adventure, rug up and hit the ice rink at Cockburn Ice Arena. They have special school holiday sessions, which include a demonstration of ice-skating basics. Ice marshals patrol the rink throughout the session to help you and your kids get the hang of things, with a DJ providing music and running games.

5. Tackle an escape room

Varying in difficulty and themes, escape rooms are a fantastic family-friendly activity perfect for any time of year and there are quite a few to choose from in Perth.

Some of the best escape rooms around Perth for kids include Escape Hunt in Fremantle, offering a series of Disney-themed rooms suitable for all ages, Time’s Up in Wanneroo and Bunbury, hosting a mix of indoor and outdoor experiences, and Escape This in Northbridge and the Hay St Mall, with family-friendly rooms themed around pirates and wizards.

Some escape rooms in Perth have minimum age limits, and some may require adult supervision for children. Check the website’s T&Cs before booking a session.

6. Explore Naturescape at Kings Park

The Rio Tinto Naturescape in King’s Park is a space that gives city kids the opportunity to have a ‘bush experience’ in the heart of Perth. It features aerial walkways, a creek and waterhole for paddling, and a web of climbing ropes called The Tangle. During wildflower season, continue down the nature path and take the kids wildflower spotting.

7. Go for a paddle in a natural pool

If you need a break from the beach (and the sand), pack your bathers and head for a natural swimming hole instead.

Lake Leschenaultia in Chidlow is a hit with families, with plenty of shade thanks to surrounding tall trees. The lake has a white sand beach and the water here is calm, so it’s perfect for paddling or for little ones to splash around in the shallows. There’s also a pontoon kids can jump from into the water, and barbeque facilities if you’re eager to stay awhile.

People paddling on a lake

If you have the time to head out a bit further from Perth, try Scarp Pool near Dwellingup (popular for its picturesque picnic spots), Logue Brook Dam near Harvey, or Honeymoon Pool in the Wellington National Park.

Check the Parks and Wildlife Service webpage for any active water alerts before swimming at any of these spots.

RELATED: Swimming holes within two hours of Perth »

8. See little penguins

If you’re eager to pay some of Perth’s cutest residents a visit, hop on a 10-minute cruise from Rockingham to reach Penguin Island. During the open season you can purchase a day pass to the island for $25 per child (aged 3-12 years) and $35 per adult. Family passes are also available at $100 for two adults and two children. The island is closed over the winter months from early June to September each year and also on days over 35 degrees.

Little penguins

9. Get experimental at Scitech

No matter when you visit, there’s always something to keep the kids busy at Scitech. The centre in West Perth features exhibitions, puppet shows, live science experiments and even stargazing sessions in the Planetarium.

Within the permanent Science Centre, head for the Rio Tinto Innovation Central gallery to tinker with toys, the Scitech Lab to learn about forensics, robotics and animation, or the Kaartadijin Koorliny gallery for an immersive colour experience with a perception tunnel and musical lighting that responds to body movements.

Scitech’s Planetarium is the star attraction. It features a rotating event schedule of immersive shows led by astro-experts. Scitech is open daily from 9:30am to 4pm (early opening time of 9am during the school holidays). Tickets start at $15 for kids aged 4-17. RAC members save 9% on tickets when booked in advance through the RAC online shop.

10. Try some pottery painting

Pottery painting not only engages your child in something artistic, but they’ll also gain a keepsake from the experience. The process is simple - they choose a piece of pottery, get creative with painting and you can pick it up once it’s been fired. Pearson Pottery in Mount Hawthorn run 2-hour block sessions in their studio from Thursday to Monday.

11. Cool off at a water playground

There are plenty of free outdoor water playgrounds across Perth for kids to splash around in.

The Hyde Park Water Playground in North Perth has a massive spongey splash pad, tipping buckets, spray guns and plenty of water jets. Its water runs on a 10-minute timer, and the playground only uses water from November to March between 8am and 8pm.

Another great play area is the Rainbow Waters Playground that sits opposite the library in Ellenbrook. Open from 10am to 7pm in summer, the playground has different obstacles, tunnels and large open splash zones so you’re guaranteed to get wet.

If you’re looking for a spot near the city, there are two water playgrounds to try: the BHP Water Park in Elizabeth Quay, and the Water Labyrinth sculpture in Forrest Place - please note the Water Labyrinth is currently closed for maintenance and will not be operational this summer. The BHP Water Park sits at the entry point to Elizabeth Quay, and features water jets and lighting that showcases a beautiful mural at its base. Be mindful that both water areas are on top of brick and tiles, so kids should wear suitable footwear and avoid running at high speeds.

Kids playing at a water playground

12. Tour the night sky at the Perth Observatory

The Perth Observatory offers fascinating night sky tours each month. Tour participants will have the chance to gaze through the observatory’s wide collection of telescopes to see dying stars, nebulas, giant star clusters, and the moon and other planets when they are visible. Sometimes, satellites and meteors can flash across the sky unexpectedly, too.

These tours are recommended for kids aged 8 and up, but bear in mind that children must be supervised by an adult at all times. As the star viewing part of the tour is held outdoors, make sure you bring extra layers as you’ll be out in bushland at night. Book in advance.

If you’d rather visit the observatory during the day, join a Sunday guided day tour. It’s $10 for kids aged 12-17 and kids under 12 are free. You’ll be able to tour the observatory’s incredible telescopes and explore the grounds.

RELATED: Best stargazing spots around Perth »

13. Feed and play with animals

The Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm is a popular local farm experience with plenty of activities offered in your entry price. A typical visit to the farm includes a tractor train ride, an animal feeding session, a jump on the bouncy castle and a turn on the merry-go-round. There are also picnic and barbeque facilities onsite if you want to make a day of it. Visitors can bucket-feed guinea pigs, rabbits and birds, bottle-feed lambs and piglets, and pat ponies, kangaroos, emus and even a miniature mule. Children's entry starts at $16.50.

If you’re eager to learn about animals from Australia and beyond, plan a trip to the nearby Caversham Wildlife Park. Alongside its own interactive farm yard, the park hosts daily koala meet-and-greets, kangaroo feeding sessions, and impressive farm shows complete with sheep shearing, whip cracking, cow milking, and sheep dog mustering. There’s also a reptile house onsite, with more than 150 creatures, including carpet pythons and olive pythons. The park is open daily from 9:00am to 4:30pm, and kids’ tickets start at $15. RAC members save up to 18% on general admission passes when booked in advance through the RAC online shop.

RELATED: Best family-friendly farm stays in WA »

Kids feeding a kangaroo

14. Play a round of Supa Golf

Though there are plenty of mini golf courses in and around Perth to explore, if you’re eager to try something different, tee off at Supa Golf in the Swan Valley. This modified form of golf is easy to play, as both the golf club and the ball you’ll use are oversized, made of a soft material, and fluorescent in colour. The golf hole size is also bigger, so it’s a great way to introduce kids to the game of golf without too much difficulty. It’s recommended you book in advance to avoid missing out.

15. Explore AQWA's underwater wonderland

There’s no shortage of things to do in a day at AQWA. Pick up a map on entry and see the colourful marine life in the official aquarium section, hop on the escalator belt in the underwater tunnel, head outdoors to the interactive touch pool, and spend time in the playground.

Alongside the permanent exhibits, you can also take a ride across the top of the aquarium on a glass-bottom boat and go on a tour behind the scenes.

Tickets can be purchased on arrival, with kids’ tickets starting at $19. Family passes are also available. RAC members save 10% off general admission. Simply show your member card on arrival or book online through the AQWA website and use the promo code RAC10. You will also need a valid member number to complete the booking. Check the AQWA website for a calendar of free school holiday activities, which rotate throughout the year. The famous AQWA mermaids make an appearance a few times a year, so keep an eye out for them on the website also – they're a massive hit with kids.

People walking in underwater tunnel

16. Go snorkelling

Perth is home to plenty of spectacular beaches and bays that are prime spots for snorkelling. Due to swells and currents, some locations require a bit of snorkelling experience, but there are several areas suitable for beginners and kids.

Mettams Pool in Trigg is a good spot for beginners and families. With a natural rock pool that’s less than two metres deep, the area is protected by a surrounding reef and is home to buffalo bream, red-lip morwongs and even sea anenomes. There are similar shallow rock pools at Point Peron in Rockingham, which is home to more diverse marine life including sea sponges, spider crabs and tropical fish.

If you’re eager to snorkel further offshore, book a family snorkelling tour out to Carnac Island from Fremantle. The island is famous for its colony of Australian sea lions but is also an important habitat for bottlenose dolphins and tropical fish, making its surrounding reef a haven for snorkellers. If your kids are still beginners, let your guide know and extra attention and training will be provided during the trip. There are a few different tour operators to choose from, with average prices from $99 per person.

RELATED: 10 of Perth's best snorkelling spots »

Last updated: December 2023

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