If your kids regularly throw out the old ‘I’m bored’ line over the weekend or during the school holidays, then here is the answer. For kids growing up in or visiting Maitland the choice of what to do is a much harder question, as the city boasts a range of things to keep kids of all ages busy. The good news for mum and dad is that it doesn’t need to cost a fortune as there are plenty of low cost or free activities available if you know where to look.
Maitland Park is a great place to start. The park is centrally located offering huge open grassed areas that sit amongst sporting fields and facilities, including a 1.8km cycleway, barbecues, shelter, equal access playground and swimming pool.
Whether the goal is to let your kids burn some energy or simply enjoy the beautiful park setting with a barbecue, there are plenty of options. So pack the bike, throw in the joggers, remember your swimmers and head to the park.
When the summer heat hits there are no better places to visit than either Maitland or East Maitland Pool. Younger kids will enjoy the splash pad at Maitland Pool and the wiggle bridge and hurdle at East Maitland Pool. Both centres are easily accessible no matter which side of Maitland you’re on and each caters for all swimming abilities whether kids are confident swimmers or just starting out. The pools have plenty of shaded areas and facilities available that can cater for large and small groups.
For some indoor activities that will still take the breath away there is plenty of choice across town. Thornton is home to Flip Out, where kids can jump, bounce, flip and twist to their hearts content. Nearby you’ll also find Xtreme Indoor Go Karts, which offers the thrill and excitement of racing on their 220 metre indoor racing track. For some of the more classic kids activities, ten pin bowling at Superstrike or a movie at Reading Cinemas Maitland are both good options that have kept many generations of locals and visitors occupied.
All these locations are fantastic options for groups or a few friends, and are available for birthdays, functions and special events.
If your kids are still bursting with energy or bouncing with beans then maybe a stopover at Maitland Gaol for Battlezone Playlive laser tag is in order. With full access to the Gaol site, players can experience a range of interactive and immersive scenarios which come to life within the walls of the 150 year old facility.
The gaol is also one of Maitland’s most iconic tourism sites. Each week locals and visitors get to unlock the gates and see a glimpse of what life was really like as a prisoner in the once high security prison. Guided and self guided tours of the gaol run regularly during the week and on weekends, with special activities scheduled during school holidays.
After all the running, riding, flipping, bouncing and rolling it’s great to have an option for kids to express their creative flair and imagination. The perfect place for a bit of quiet time is at one of Maitland’s four library branches located in Maitland, East Maitland, Rutherford and Thornton. At the libraries, kids will discover not only the many stories in the huge range of books, but can also participate in the engaging school holiday programs, which cater for children aged from four to 14 years old.
Another option to spur the imagination of your kids is to visit Maitland Regional Art Gallery. The gallery is one of the best in the Hunter Region and has a special focus on making art accessible for everyone. The kids program is particularly popular, with Baby Art Classes right through to programs for teenagers. The Free Art Sundays are definitely worth a look, with art classes that are staffed by qualified teachers running every Sunday for kids of all ages.
This is truly only scratching the surface, with options including shopping, skate parks, playgrounds, walking trails and sporting facilities in abundance throughout the city.
There is certainly no shortage of things for kids to do and see with a cure for their boredom right on their doorstep.