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We're an American family living in Australia, where everything seems a little bit turned-upside-down.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Top Ten Tween Activities at Adventure World

Visiting Adventure World with "tween-aged" kids is a whole different story than the toddler scene.  It's thrilling, fast, a bit queasy, but still tons of fun!

My Tween's Top Ten Things to do at Adventure World:

1. The Abyss-
My twelve year old daughter and her fourteen year old friend were keen... but my ten year old son (in the right hand corner of the photo) said, "NO WAY!"  I can hardly blame him... this world class roller coaster drops you face down from over 30 metres before twisting, dipping, and turning you up-side-down several times.  I gave it a whirl myself, and I'm glad my son wasn't there by my side!

2. Grand Prix Race Track-
It's like real life driving and Mario Kart all mixed in one attraction!  The kids loved getting behind the wheel of their own car.  I about had a heart attack letting my 10 year old drive me around the track, but what a blast!

You must wear fully enclosed footwear to ride this attraction.  Drivers must be at least 147 cm tall, and passengers must be at least 102cm.

3. Freefall-
It's definitely a thrill ride, but a fun one!  It's unpredictability will have you and your tween screaming and laughing all at the same time.  The view from the top is fabulous too!  We rode this one four times to see the view from four different angles!

4. The Rampage-
This one is not for those with a weak tummy.  It spins you around, up-side-down, and then some!  I get sick just watching it go!

5. Water Slides-
I clumped all of the water slides together, because they are all GREAT!  My tweens love every single one of them.  Usually their favorite is the one with the shortest line, but when asked both of my tweens agree, "Tunnel of  Terror is the best!" and shouldn't be missed.

6.  Kahuna Falls-
A great way to cool off without having to wait in line.  My son loves to run around shooting others with the water jet guns, while my daughter prefers dodging the big tipping bucket of water on her way up to ride one of the three bigger water slides (there are eight water slides in all).

7. Bounty's Revenge-
This swinging ship is lots of fun and not too scary... a perfect step up from the "kiddie" rides for the tweens that aren't quite ready for the big thrillers!

8.  The Lagoon-
A peaceful place to chill out and cool off with friends.

9.  Power Surge-
A hair whipping experience that is sure to dry you off after the water slides.  My daughter described it as "a good intermediate thrill ride that will make you laugh."

10.  Skull Rock-
My tweens love walking through the center of the enormous skull. The mouth of the skull is a great place to take a photo.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Activities for Under Age 5 at Adventure World

Adventure World is a fantastic way to spend a day with the family this summer. There are plenty of attractions for all ages, even the little ones.  My four year old talks on and on about his favorite things to do at Adventure World.

Top 10 Activities for Under 5s at Adventure World

1. Dragon Flyer-
Kids love that they control the up and down flight of  the colorful dragons by pushing and pulling a lever, and they can play a tune with the press of a button!

2. Dragon Express-
Hold on tight as the Dragon Express whips around the track.  This fast, bumpy roller coaster is by far the most extreme ride for the under 5 age group.  You must be 105cm to ride unaccompanied.

3. Yarli's Safari-
This ride can only be described as slow.  Very slow... but the kids absolutely love it.  My son will ride over and over again.  The brightly colored blue, yellow, and pink safari jeeps are just his thing.

4. Yarli's Barrel Spin-
If you love to spin and get dizzy, this is the ride for you.  Whirl round and round even faster by turning the center wheel!


5.  Kingdom Falls-
A miniature version of the much bigger Kahuna Fall, Kingdom Falls is perfect sized for the under 5s.  The main play structure has a big bucket that fills and tips to the delight of all the kids underneath.  My son loves the lagoon pools that have small waterslides leading down to the next pool below.

6.  Sky Lift-
Need a rest from the crowds, the thrills and the fast moving attractions?  The Sky Lift is the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy all the sights of the park from above.  Children must be 90cm to ride.

7. The Barnacle-
A smaller, tamer version of Bounty's Revenge.  Your little one will giggle with delight as the Barnacle sails, spins, and swings through the air.

8.  Rail Rider-
It's the first thing at the park entrance, and many times the first attraction they want to ride!  Pedal your way around the track as you view the park from 4 meters above.  You must be 90cm to ride.

9.  Little Leaper-
This one will surely "get your tummy" and make you giggle.  A mini version of the extreme Freefall!

10. Bumper Boats-
Set sail on a motorized vessel as you aim your cannon and shoot water at the other boats.  Loads of fun for those over 90 cm.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Best Visit with Santa Ever!

I actually dread bringing my kids to visit Santa.  It never ends up the way I picture it.  There is usually so much build up to the moment, that my kids freak out and throw a tantrum when it's our turn.  Something we have waited all year for turns into a torturous ritual that I have seemingly forced them into.  But, every year, I offer the activity, and every year they accept with enthusiasm.  Most of our Santa photos involve one or two of my children screaming with mouths wide open.  Our most recent photos all have me in them, looking frazzled, but determined.  Although I did have to get in the photo with them again this year, there were no tantrums, and no anxious onlookers waiting for their turn.  This year, me and my boys went to Santaland in Meyer in Perth City, and had our own little private meeting with the man himself, SANTA!

Santaland is located on the second floor on Meyers in Forrest Place.  We passed the Water Labyrinth interactive fountains outside Forrest Place, and I promised my sons a play in them after we visited Santa.

Upon arriving at the second floor, we weaved our way through the toy section and found Santaland.  There were two lines, one for visiting Santa, and another to ride the Santaland Express.

If you plan ahead, you can pre-book your visit with Santa and bypass waiting in line. 

We decided to ride the train first.  Santas Elves welcomed us across the railroad crossing and gave us a golden train ticket.

In this area, there was a movie to watch, a small playground with a slide, and more friendly elves.  There was no line for the train, so my sons had their tickets punched and they boarded the train.  The train chugged around the track two times and the kids loved it!  They were able to ride as many times as they wished, and there was a photographer snapping photos that were available for purchase.  

Outside the train area, there was a table and supplies to write a letter to Santa.  There was a box to post your letter to Santa, and every letter will receive a response from Santa in the mail!

Next, it was time to visit Santa.  We waited in line only about 20 minutes.  During that time the elves came by and entertained us with some corny jokes and talk of the North Pole.  

When it was our turn, we were lead through a velvet curtain to a door.  We entered the door, and there sat Santa on his cozy throne by a fire, with Rudolf cuddled up sleeping.  It was a really relaxing atmosphere and it only took a minute or two for my fearful four year old to relax.  Before I knew it, he was spouting out his Christmas present wish to Santa, and smiling for the photographer.  Santa spent quite a while chatting to each of my boys, and made the experience very special for them.  The boys were able to give Rudolf some pats before we left, and Santa told them how many sleeps until Christmas.  We were given a Santa beard and door hanger to bring home as gifts.  The elves all waved and smiled at us as we left.

After our visit with Santa, we found a table in the Christmas Chill Out Zone.  The boys ran wild in the Water Labyrinth and we grabbed some lunch from Subway. 
A lovely Elf in a red velvet dress brought the boys free helium balloons. There was free face painting for kids (that they opted out of), and a station with plenty of free sunscreen for all.  

Here's our photo this year.  You may notice I'm smiling the biggest... :)

Gotta Love Perth!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top Ten Things to do at Whiteman Park

When we first moved to Perth, we were constantly on the hunt for Kangaroos and other natural habitants of Australia.  The Perth locals all directed us to the same place, Whiteman Park.  We decided to drive over and check it out one Sunday afternoon, and discovered a HUGE nature reserve with tons of activities and attractions.  It was apparrent we would have to make several trips back to Whiteman Park to take in all it has to offer.  Here is a Top Ten List of Things to do at Whiteman Park:

1.  Play at one of the Playgrounds:

Main Playground- located just 100 metres from the village.  This park is fenced in, shaded, and designed for all ages.

Mini Water Playground- Kids can cool off in the 30 cm deep paddling pool and water spouts!  Open 10-5 from October until the end of April.
Water park whiteman

There's a small Playground outside Village Cafe too.

water park whiteman

2.Visit Caversham- This is a must see for all Perth residents and their visitors!  Get up close and personal with the native plants and animals of Australia.  It is an experience you will never forget.


3. Discover Nature:

Birds of Prey Flying Display
Woodland Reserve
Mussel Pool
Fish Ladder 
Bennet Brook
Fish Ladder

4. Take a Train or Tram Ride
Bennett Brook Railway- Hop aboard a steam or diesel engine and travel through the natural bushland of Whiteman Park.
bennett brook railway

Friends of Ashley Day- a special event in May and September when you can hop aboard Ashley and some of her famous friends.
friends of ashley

Tram Rides- Whiteman Park is the only place in Western Australia where you can ride a genuine, vintage, electric tram!

5.  Visit One of the Museums:
Motor Museum- view over 130 vehicles from horse drawn carriage to modern day. Click here for more details.

Revolutions Transport Museum

Tractor Museum

6.  Walk a Bush Trail  or Take a Bike Ride

7.  Hop Aboard the Whiteman Explorer
Whiteman ExplorerThis free tour aboard a restored vintage bus, will show you all the must see sights at Whiteman Park. Bus departs at 11 am and 1pm from the bus stop in car park 7.

8. Enjoy Lunch at the Village Cafe 
or Pack a Picnic to enjoy at Mussel Pool
water park whiteman park

If you prefer to BBQ your own lunch, there are several BBQs available around the park.  You can even pick up a BBQ pack from the Village Cafe, ready for you to BBQ yourself!

9.  Explore the Children's Forest-
Meander down the winding path and discover the different stages of the forest planted by children and their families. There is a community planting day once a year during the cool winter months.

10.  Visit the Village Shops: 
The Lolly Shop
Print Shop
Village Art Gallery
Handcraft Centre
Pottery Centre-
School Holidays Pottery Class at the Pottery Centre

Click here to check out all the December/January School Holiday Activities at Whiteman Park!

Park Map: