Many parents who struggle for ideas to fill the weekends and school holidays. As a family lawyer, I see that struggle intensify. Time can be limited when you are sharing the kids and money doesn’t stretch as far in two households. So many activities that seem inexpensive to start with, can end up offering the kids enticing opportunities to beg you to spend money.
Even where money is not as much an issue, if one parent spends a lot of money on the kids, that can cause tensions with accusations of being a ‘Disneyland parent’ and spoiling the kids.
So how do you amuse the kids, without breaking the bank or spoiling them rotten?
The Moreton Bay Region has some fantastic free (or almost free) options for single parent or budget conscious families. I’ve selected the top 5 activities:
#1 Picnic at Lawnton
Leis Park at Lawnton is stunning at the moment with the Jacaranda in bloom. Take a picnic and get back to nature. The kids can chase butterflies and bird watch. The nearby walkways are a great option for bikes and scooters.
#2 Check out some special playgrounds
For the swashbuckler in your life, the Pirate Playground at Scarborough Beach Park will have them yo-ho-hoing all the way home.
If your kids are more inclined to Spiderman than Captain Hook, be sure to check out the fabulous Creekside Corner Park which has a plethora of climbing equipment. It is great for older kids, but also some good options for the young ones.
Minecraft fans will enjoy Bellini Road Park which is a modern park with some classic touches like the all important swings.
#3 Cool off with a splash
Don’t have a pool at home? Entry to the local pool out of your budget (or too many people and not enough shade!) Moreton Bay has it covered!
Bunya Crossing Reserve swimming hole offers a natural alternative to the local pool and a less sandy option than the beach. Great for kids of all ages.
At Woodford, Stony Creek is another great swimming hole which is easily accessible from the car park (no rock hopping to get there!) and offers a lovely slice of nature. Our tip: Grab a cheap pool noodle from a discount shop and really make your kids’ days (or use it yourself!)
On a hot day, Redcliffe offers some great options to cool off.
Check out Settlement Cove Lagoon, Scarborough Beach and Suttons Beach which are all safe for the little kids.
#4 Head to an Island
Often misunderstood as a retirement island (or where the neighbours characters moved to when they left!) Bribie has a lot to offer young folks! There is a calm water beach facing Pumicestone Passage which is great for littlies, as well as a surf beach for the more adventurous.
The Melsa Train Park is bound to be a hit. Follow it up with a visit to the Bribie Island RSL with its Leopard AS1 Tank outside! Train rides are about $2 each.
#5 Take a trip back to the 70s
Take a step back in time and check out ‘Bee Gees Way’ in the heart of Redcliffe. Kids love rocking out to the seventies tunes, while Mum or Dad can get nostalgic. If you hang around until the evening, there is a great light show starting from 7pm each evening.
There are so many more activities to entertain your family in Moreton Bay. Hopefully these ones keep some room in your budget for the occasional splurge on the other things the region has to offer.
Just remember to pack the essentials: healthy snacks, water, sun-appropriate clothing, plenty of sunscreen (don’t forget to reapply it) and hats or you could end up accidentally turning it into a costly day.
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