Mothers have their day, fathers have one too and even families are celebrated with their own special day. Today is the International Day of Families, as decreed by the UN in 1993, so to celebrate we’ve put together 4 family bonding activities both kids and parents will love. Set aside some time this weekend to get out and about with your family and remind yourself why your life would be dull without them.
Vivid Sydney at Chatswood
As part of Sydney’s annual Vivid festival the Willoughby City Council are bringing family fun with Vivid Sydney at Chatswood. Kicking off on Friday, 25th May and running for 3 weeks until 16th June, every evening is awash with food, light shows, the cosmos and the planet. There’s magic carpet rides, trips to outer space and a musical octopus to enthrall the whole family. The best part? It’s a free event so you can return as many nights as you like to work your way through all 11 installations. Our top picks would be Future Scape - a journey through space using NASA imagery - and Octopoda where playing any of the 8 tentacle drums brings lights, colours and music to life.
Take a look on the website for all the details, including dining options. Or find out more on Facebook and Instagram.
See the sights with Parks Victoria
With more than 50 parks to choose from in the state of Victoria it’s easy to find a way to turn the great outdoors into your family’s playground. Need a hint where to start? The Buchan Caves and William Ricketts Sanctuary have something for everyone.
Photo by: Felipe Castilhos
Located in Mount Dandenong, just an hour outside Melbourne, the William Ricketts Sanctuary is an amazing combination of nature and art. Hidden beneath the ferns are 92 clay sculptures representing the life philosophy of William Ricketts; Life is Love. He wholeheartedly believed in the human connection to nature and that we were entrusted to care for the planet just as much as we care for ourselves. If you want an interactive visit then simply download the audio tour here or pick up an MP3 player for $5 at the sanctuary. The park is open from 10am-4.30pm each day.
Photo by: Parks Victoria
For a different kind of awe-inspiring view it’s hard to beat the Buchan Caves. Located in East Gippsland, Buchan is a great spot for a family weekend getaway. Highlights include tours of Royal Cave and Fairy Cave to view the calcite-rimmed pools or stalactites and find out how they formed over time. There are also 6 hiking tracks nearby to explore; from the quick and easy Moon Hill Walk to the steep, yet rewarding Granite Pools Walk. It’s a great destination for families with young kids and teens who can both find something fun to fill their weekend.
Stay up to date with Parks Victoria on Facebook and Instagram.
MyDeal Pro Tip:
Family outings can be draining. From driving for hours constantly answering ‘are we there yet?’ to chasing around cheeky young kids once you arrive. Your brain can sometimes go on autopilot which is why it’s important you’ve prepared for your day out. A booster or car seat from MyDeal baby equipment means you can clip in the little ones and get on the road without worrying about their safety in the car. And every family outing is made easier with a versatile pram by your side. It’s the perfect way to keep young children from trailing off from the group during a tour or a nap-ready vehicle for when they run out of steam.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
Not too far from Sydney’s CBD is the chance to meet and learn about an astounding array of Australian native wildlife. The Featherdale Wildlife Park has been open to the public since 1972 and pays homage to all things Australian; from plants to animals. They’re committed to educating visitors and the wider community about animal conservation and the environment. If your kids dream of getting up close and personal with koalas and kangaroos then a visit to this park is your answer. Around 2 hours is recommended for your visit but spending all day exploring the park is easy to do. Check the Featherdale timetable on their website for a full rundown of the presentations throughout the day.
Plus say in the loop on Facebook and Twitter.
An afternoon of reading
Some weekends the weather finds a way of changing your plans from big day out to afternoon indoors. But leaving the house is far from the only activity that can build cherished family memories. Learning to read is one of the bigger milestones in your kids lives but not every child will take to the challenge immediately. Take the learning out of the classroom with kid-friendly books by The Reading Mountain. Sarah B. a mum of three from Melbourne shared her experience with the books:
“My 5 and 7 year children LOVE the books. Really love them. Our old son particularly loved ‘Tim and his Sisters’ and even after a short time with the books, he was really confident reading them, a lot more so, than many of the readers he is currently reading at school. I was really taken with the difference I noticed!”
Spend some time with your child reading to you rather than the other way around and marvel at how quickly their reading confidence grows. To celebrate International Day of Families, Reading Mountain founder Susan Spelic has offered an exclusive giveaway. Until 17th May email her directly on firstname.lastname@example.org for a free eBook download of Duck in a Cup (one eBook per household)!
Kids grow up in the blink of an eye and soon enough they’ll prefer their friends over family outings. Make the most International Family Day this year (and a few more to come) while they’re still willing to be seen in public with you!