fbpx
Search
Generic filters
Filter by Suburb
Select all
Broadbeach
Burleigh
Coolangatta
Currumbin
Main Beach
Mermaid Beach
Miami
Nobby's Beach
North Burleigh
Palm Beach
Robina
Southport
Surfers Paradise
Tugun
Water Fun

8 Gold Coast places with playgrounds

Kids entertained = peace and quiet for you!

Buckler Park Playground, outside Funnybone (image courtesy of City of Gold Coast)
Buckler Park Playground, outside Funnybone (image courtesy of City of Gold Coast)

Mums and Dads of the GC, we’ve got you. How often have you wanted to head out for a coffee, meal, or a cheeky afternoon vino with the fam bam, but worry the kids will either a) tear the place apart and have you blacklisted for life, or b) tell you they’re bored 1472 times causing you to abort mission before you even take a sip of your latte. Yep, we’ve all been there…but alas, we are blessed with some fabulous local spots which not only offer epic eats and a great atmosphere, but also have play areas to keep the little folk entertained (hoorah!). ‘Happy wife, happy life’ they say and we concur, however let’s be honest, ‘happy kids, happy parentals’ is where it’s really at.

With that in mind, here’s a list of cracking kid-friendly local haunts for a (hopefully) meltdown and boredom-free outing!

Funnybone Coffee
IYKYK. Tucked away in The Surrounds precinct, the super cool Funnybone serves up seriously tasty eats and treats, epic coffee and the best part? It backs on to Buckler Park and we’re yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love this awesome playground. Also, Friday arvos are a vibe with happy hour from 4.30pm til 5.30pm and live music and burgers from 5pm. We. Are. There.
Where: 6 Emerald Drive, Helensvale

Mini-Golf at The Club, Parkwood Village (image supplied)
Mini-Golf at The Club, Parkwood Village (image supplied)

The Club, Parkwood Village
This beautifully renovated venue is a one-stop shop for all things fun – irrespective of age! There’s golf, mini golf or the TopGolf Swing Suite, and dining options galore! Choose from The Terrace, The Lawn, The Pavilion and more, and eat your meal or sip your coffee in The Backyard while your mini-me’s bounce on the jumping castle or play in the games arcade (nostalgia 101).
Where: 76-122 Napper Rd, Parkwood

Southport Sharks
Okay, this place offers child minding (3-12 years) and we need not say more. From $4.50 per child, let them expel some big energy in Wobbygongs Kids Fun Zone with a mini basketball court, rock-climbing wall, kids’ movies, drawing tables and PlayStations, while you enjoy a drink or meal at one of the ever-popular Sharks’ eats and drinks spots.
Where: Corner Olsen Avenue & Musgrave Avenue, Southport

Wobbygong's at Southport Sharks (image supplied)
Wobbygong's at Southport Sharks (image supplied)

Southport Yacht Club
Everyone’s fave Yacht Club will even delight the small people with a playground to run amok in, while mum and dad kick back and take in the beautiful Broadwater views. And the best part is whilst you’re debating which yacht is your fave, you don’t need to worry about sunburn or your kids pulling a Houdini because the playground is shaded and fenced. Winning!
Where: 1 Macarthur Parade, Main Beach

CSI Club Southport
With an extensive menu, indoor or outdoor dining in the sleek and modern space dubbed ‘The Laneway’, free and live entertainment catering to all ages, does it get any better in the heart of the CBD? You bet it does! CSI even has a kids game room and an epic enclosed outdoor playground guaranteed to keep the big and small kids entertained for hours! You’re speaking our language.
Where: 154A Scarborough Street, Southport

Southport Yacht Club (image supplied)
Southport Yacht Club (image supplied)

Burleigh Town Hotel
If you live south and have offspring, you’ve been to the Burleigh Town Tav. Currently undergoing a facelift including a new sports bar, bistro and beer garden, it serves up good pub grub – and a playground for the ankle biters to boot. There’s always something spesh on for the kids like discos and colouring competitions, with cheap and cheerful kids meals to fill little tummies.
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads

Dublin Docks Tavern
Another tavern delivering the goods for the entire fam, Dublin Docks, is literally right next door to Harbour Town so head over to feed the kids and let them run wild after a day at the shops! The warm and cosy pub serves up great value Irish-inspired food, with indoor seating, outdoor dining on the deck, and an indoor playground with cubby house and slide.
Where: Harbour Town Drive, Biggera Waters

Dublin Docks Tavern kids play area (image supplied)
Dublin Docks Tavern kids play area (image supplied)

Lonestar Tavern
Yet another tav, the Lonestar is a GC icon and a family pleaser from way back. The kid’s menu will get the thumbs up from even the fussiest little eaters, before they burn it all off in either the indoor playground, outdoor playground or playroom. There’s always some sort of entertainment and there’s a reason it’s been around for the long haul.
Where: Corner of Markeri Street & Sunshine Boulevard, Mermaid Waters

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Lonestar Tavern outdoor kids area (image supplied)
Lonestar Tavern outdoor kids area (image supplied)

10 kids activities in Surfers Paradise

Timezone (image supplied)
Timezone (image supplied)

It’s right under our nose, but sometimes we forget how many activities there are for the small, medium, and big kids (aka us) in good ‘ole Surfers Paradise. And we’re not just talking about the beach, but a myriad of other cool stuff to keep them entertained and whinge-free these school holidays.

Here are ten ideas to help fill the blanks in your school holiday schedule, with some old faves and a few newbies thrown in for good measure. The best part is not only will you score ‘cool mum’ kudos from the kids, but you’ll get a kick out of them too!

Timezone (image supplied)
Timezone (image supplied)

Timezone
I mean, does this place really need an introduction? We’ve all racked up many-an-hour at Timezone in days gone by, and your mini-me’s will love it as much as you did. Probably more, because it’s levelled up its epic-ness in recent times. With arcade games, bowling, mini bowling, mini golf, laser tag, and bumper cars, it’s actual kid heaven…with a touch of nostalgia for us.
Where: Paradise Centre, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Holoverse
This new hi-tech entertainment centre using holograms which look oh-so-real will make you feel like you’re in a Star Wars flick! Pick hologram grass to feed a dinosaur, swim with life-sized holographic whales, compete against your kiddos in holographic sports, play holographic arcade games, and more! Special shoutout for their birthday party packages #theshizzle.
Where: Paradise Centre, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Infinity, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Infinity, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Infinity
To infinity and beyond! Challenge their sense and ignite their imaginations with a unique and mind-blowing 30-minute journey into spectacular, interactive, futuristic maze-like worlds of wonder! This walk-through experience is choccas with unique special effects, emotive atmospheric sound fields, sensuous aromas, awesome tunes and amazing illusions. Suitable for kiddos aged 8 and above. Get an exclusive 15% off here.
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, G31/3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise 

Ripley’s Believe it or Not
This iconic home-grown ‘odditorium’ – now with over 300 exhibits and artefacts – is out of this world! A highlight is the new state-of-the-art Ripley’s 7D Moving Theatre where you feel every twist and turn as you compete against your seatmates. Enjoy a Ripley’s LaseRace, find out just what happens to your body in space, make friends with a life-sized R2-D2™ and more. Click here for a special offer.
Where: Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium ( image supplied)
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium ( image supplied)

The Wax Museum
Fancy some famous people watching? There’s no better place than The Wax Museum, home to the largest collection of wax figures in the Southern Hemisphere. Super realistic replicas of celebs, nursery rhyme characters, scientists, explorers, villains, world leaders, and even the crown jewels await (#RIPQueenElizabethII)! For the big kids (if you’re game) check out The Chamber of Horrors (shriek!!). Fancy a discount voucher? You’re welcome.
Where: 56 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise 

Quack’r Duck
Is there any such thing as a kid who doesn’t go loco when they spot the big duck cruising down Ferny Ave? Imagine if you actually took them on said duck #eeep. Check out the pristine beaches and landmarks by road, then experience the thrills as the duck splashes into the Broadwater! Admit it – you’ve always wanted to do it too…. Grab a special offer here.
Where: 7 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Quack'R Duck (image supplied)
Quack'R Duck (image supplied)

Escape Rooms

Fox in a Box
Ever wanted to break out of prison (without actually going to prison)? Or break into a diamond-filled vault in a bank? Or perhaps work out how to open a mysterious chest and unlock its contents and the secret within? You can do all of this and more at Fox in a Box! The rooms are recommended for ages 10 and above, but everyone is welcome to play. Good times!
Where: Level 1/3173 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Padlock’d Escape Rooms
Boasting ten immersive rooms themed to perfection, a visit to Padlock’d Escape Rooms is a great way to ditch reality for a bit (an hour to be exact…) and put your mind to the test. You’ll have a blast and the kids will be tuckered out from all that clue finding, code cracking, and puzzle solving #missionaccomplished. Recommended for ages 10 and above but all ages welcome.
Where: 3177 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Eclipse Escape Rooms
With five diverse, highly immersive, and technologically advanced rooms with insane special effects, bespoke props, and unique storylines leading up to an unforgettable grand finale, what’s not to love? Puzzle solving is designed to be fun and rewarding, with different levels of difficulty available. Kids as young as five can join in the fun, plus babies in prams are welcome in some rooms #StartEmYoung!
Where: Level 1, Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, Surfers Paradise

Padlock'd Escape Rooms (image supplied)
Padlock'd Escape Rooms (image supplied)

Surfers Paradise River Cruises
Kids get as pumped about boat rides as we do, so why not jump on a morning, midday, afternoon, or sunset cruise with Surfers Paradise River Cruises! Friendly guides will point out landmarks and homes of the rich and famous around our glitter strip’s waterways, whilst you kick back with the kiddos enjoying complimentary snacks. And mum/dad – there’s a bar…. Cheers! Get 10% off your cruise here.
Where: 63 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

 

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Surfers Paradise River Cruises (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast
Surfers Paradise River Cruises (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast

15 things to do on the Gold Coast with kids

Level Up Arcade Broadbeach (image supplied)
Level Up Arcade Broadbeach (image supplied)

Feels like it’s been five minutes since the kids were on holidays and low and behold, the schools are letting them loose again. Sigh.

Keeping them occupied— and you sane — will need some carefully considered tact. But let’s face facts here: you are on the Gold Coast. That means beachesshopping and theme parks on your doorstep that other people would vacation here for. Nevertheless, what happens when the kids are keen for something a bit more diverse to pass the time?

Never fear, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some of our favourite things to do on the Gold Coast when school is out.

Level Up Arcade
The Arcade is the 80s and 90s incarnate. Found on the first floor of the Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach, Level Up features 62 of the best games from this era. With Lane Master Bowling, pool table, 3D pong, limited edition pinballs, a classic arcade with 40 of your old school games, LA Lakers hoops, big buck hunter, Jurassic Park, down the clown, ring toss and plenty more. Worn out kids by the end of the day are guaranteed.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach

Padlock’d
With 60 minutes on the clock, you and the family are left in a mysterious room to solve puzzles, crack riddles, open locks and escape the madness. It’s a fast-paced hour where you will either come out with big old smiles on your faces — or in need of a big old glass of wine. It’s such a fun time either way though.
Where: 3177 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Ripleys Surfers Paradise (image supplied by Lisa Tucker)
Ripleys Surfers Paradise (image supplied by Lisa Tucker)

Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium is Surfers Paradise’s most unusual and far-fetched attraction. Found in Soul Boardwalk, Ripley’s offers sixteen individually themed galleries of unbelievable artifacts and interactive exhibits where you will come face to face with remarkable relics and rare treasures from around the world. Experience the weird and unbelievable, see shrunken heads, survive a walk through the spinning vortex tunnel, unusual artwork, and things that make you go eww. Get a discount here!
Where: Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Mall, Surfers Paradise

Currumbin Boatshed
Found at the edge of Currumbin Creek, Currumbin Boatshed Bait and Tackle offers plenty of choices to ensure you and the kids get to have the best possible time on the water. They’ve got fishing gear, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and much more. All are available for purchase or they also have hire options for kayaks, SUPs and fishing gear. Ever seen somebody on a SUP and thought you’d like to give it a go? Well, here’s your chance folks, as they offer regular SUP lessons for beginners!
Where: 1/2-4 Thrower Drive, Currumbin

Lollie Land
It’s the perfect place for big and small kids alike. Spend some time choosing from over 1,000 different sweet treats, American brands like Hershey’s, Reese’s, Trolli, Twizzler and Cheeto’s, to your local favourites like Allen’s and Nestle. There’s also a wide variety of liquorice, rock candy and pick and mix sweets to choose from. From gobsmackers to chocolate fudge, you’re sure to find something to satiate your taste buds.
Where: Shop 1/3179 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Mini Golf
What child doesn’t love a bit of mini-golf? None, as far as we know. Luckily, the Gold Coast is home to a collection of enjoyable putt-putt spots, and they are dotted throughout the city — so you could even make a day of it and visit several of them — should that be your kind of thing! Our favourites are King Tutts and Mini Golf in Surfers Paradise and Putt Putt Mermaid Beach.
Where: Various locations

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (image supplied)
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (image supplied)

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature-based institution that’s been delighting families for the last 70 years. Check all your favourite Aussie animals, watch the bird show Wild Skies or wander through Lost Valley and gaze at some of the magical creatures that existed when Australia was part of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. If you haven’t been before or it’s been a while, it’s about time you went and spent a fun day in Currumbin with some furry and feathered friends.
Where: 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin

Infinity
It’s an incredible journey through a world of illusion at Infinity. Think futuristic, maze-like world of wonder with unique rooms and sensory overloads that will have you laughing, jumping, and feeling as though you’re in a dream. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Get an exclusive discount here!
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, G31/3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Theme Parks
It goes without saying the Coast’s theme parks are some of our biggest attractions for visitors. From Movie World with its themed rides, wandering movie stars and cartoon characters; to Dreamworld with its big thrill rides; Seaworld; with impressive sea creatures and mind-blowing live shows; Wet n Wild with all of the epic waterslides and a giant wave pool; Outback Spectacular with incredible special effects, a story of outback Australia and some absolutely beautiful animals. All SUCH a good time and the kids will be thrilled to be at any one of them.

Walkin on Water
Walkin On Water Surf School can be found at Greenmount Beach in Coolangatta and uses the town’s beautiful beaches to their full potential — which are the perfect places for all levels of surfer. These guys pride themselves on offering group and private lessons for all ages and surfing abilities, from the age of 4 right through to those in their 80’s. Greenmount is an amazing location for beginners and early intermediates, having a good amount of protection from southerly swells it is renowned, amongst others, as the ideal learn-to-surf location on the Gold Coast. Get $25 OFF here.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Infinity, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Infinity, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

FREE ACTIVITIES

Go for a picnic
Relaxation, good views and all of the food. It’s an almost free activity (you have to buy the food we’re afraid) and when choosing the right spot (maybe nearby a playground), can fill up a whole day. Check out our list of the best places to throw down a rug here.

Broadwater Parklands
For a real fun time hit up Broadwater Parklands in Southport. There’s a huge range of free activities including the rockpool water playground, giant bouncy pillow, BBQ areas, eats and a little train that fits big kids (you) and little ones.
Where: Marine Parade, Southport

Miami Marketta
Known as the Gold Coast’s favourite family-friendly nightspot for tasty street food, fun cocktails, boutique shopping and live bands, Miami Marketta is so so good. Save some coins and share a couple of tapas-style plates amongst the whole family. Oh, and make sure you check out the dessert area too.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami

Currumbin Rock Pools
If you’re looking for something more adventurous and exciting to do, Currumbin Rock Pools is just the ticket. The beautiful scenic drive through Currumbin Valley is enough of an attraction in itself, taking you straight to the natural swimming pool next to Currumbin Valley Primary School. In utter tranquillity, you may just want to cool down and splash in the water or enjoy some family time over a BBQ at the designated picnic area.
Where: Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Valley

Family Picnic on Currumbin Beach
Family Picnic on Currumbin Beach

Local Markets
Take the family and stroll along one of our many local markets on the coast. There’s everything from fresh locally grown produce to fashion, homewares, souvenirs, arts and crafts. Our top three favourite markets are Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets (4pm-9pm Wednesday, Friday & Sunday nights), The Village Markets Burleigh Heads (8am-1pm, 1st & 3rd Sundays) and Carrara Markets (7am-4pm every Saturday & Sunday). Check out the rest here.

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Warner Bros. Movie World (image from Destination Gold Coast)
Warner Bros. Movie World (image from Destination Gold Coast)

11 family-friendly restaurants in Surfers Paradise

Little Girl eating pizza (stock image)

Hoisting the kidlets into the back of the car to grab a feed can be a varied experience. And by varied, we mean #traumatic. But not at these Surfers Paradise restaurants which are tried and tested by many-a-small person, with a double thumbs-up both from kids and therefore, parentals.

Here’s our rundown on the glitter strip places to take the rug rats for a tanty/whinge-free meal.

Misono
If there’s one thing that’ll delight the kids (and the big kids), it’s teppanyaki! Situated in JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, Misono’s teppan experience brings an inescapable energy and thrill from the highly skilled teppan chef’s intricate knife work and interactive theatrics. Make sure you have your smart phones at the ready to capture every catch….or not (spillage is part of the fun). There’s also a live sushi bar to discover and psst mum and dad – there’s even a sneaky whisky bar for ‘ron!
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

 

Misono, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa (image supplied)
Misono, JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa (image supplied)

Wahlburgers
Designed with good times in mind, the kids will go wild for Wahlburgers! The burger chain and sports bar baby of Hollywood superstars ‘Marky’ Mark, Donny, and the wider Wahlburg clan, expect high-quality, simple, down to earth eats! In addition to burgers there’s breakfast, salads, loaded sides, wings, calamari, dessert, shakes and spiders and so much more. It’ll give the whole family Good Vibrations!
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

TGI Fridays
Tasty American Burgers, good friends and good times. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it’s always a recipe for smiley faces. Serving up your all your fave dishes from the US of A right off the grill, we’re talking starters to share, wings, fresh mex, burgers, wraps, salads, ribs, steaks, desserts and a cracking kid’s menu. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to a place where it’s always Friday?
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

TGI Fridays, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
TGI Fridays, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Steampunk
Kids will love the Victorian-era décor, friendly service and most importantly, wide variety of all the chow our small people dream of. The usual suspects like woodfired pizzas, loaded chips, burgers, steaks and ribs etc all make an appearance on the menu, plus there’s a kiddywinkle menu suitable for those up to 16. They’ll go loco for the supershakes and if you’re in a rush (isn’t EVERY parent), you can skip the queue and order via the app! Genius.
Where: 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar
If the kids are hungry, do not pass go, do not collect $200 – go to Longboards. One thing’s for sure, both you and your ankle-biters will leave choccas (no other meals required). The burgers here are legendary and dad, if you wanna impress the fam, give the 30 minute Phat Bastard Challenge a crack for your chance to win a $150 tab prize. There’s a kids menu to boot, plus $3 play packs to keep them entertained. Sold!
Where: Q1 Resort & Spa, Corner of Hamilton Avenue & Northcliffe Terrace, Surfers Paradise

El Camino Cantina, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
El Camino Cantina, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

El Camino Cantina
Mexican is the new Maccas in terms of universal appeal for kids, and El Camino is forever Mexcellent. Slinging tacos, nachos, loaded nachos, fajitas, wings and sombrero-filled party vibes, there’ll be no whinging whatsoever from the small folk. Head on down for $2 Taco Tuesdays, 10-cent Wing Wednesdays and half-price Fajita Thursdays. How spec-taco-ular!
Where: 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

BMD Northcliffe SLSC (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)
BMD Northcliffe SLSC (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)

BMD Northcliffe Surf Club
Ok, so we all know kids love surf clubs – especially award-winners like BMD Northcliffe. For a start, it’s absolute beachfront making a pre or post-meal dip super duper easy. There’s plenty of room in the spacious restaurant, filled with sunlight by day and boasting a magical outlook by night, a stunning deck, and one of the best surf club menus you’ll ever find. All Little Nipper meals come with a small soft drink and a gelato. Winning!
Where: 51 Garfield Terrace, Surfers Paradise

Vapiano Restaurant (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)
Vapiano Restaurant (image provided by Destination Gold Coast)

Vapiano
Vapiano is Italian for kid-foody-heaven and whilst that’s a fib, it still rings true. We dare you to find a kiddo (and parent for that matter…#Don’tTellThePT) who doesn’t love a meaty, hearty pasta or a palette-pleasing pizza and yeah, nah, it’s not possible. Choose from the kids’ menu or the standard menu for small people with a BIG appetite! This is no impasta friends.
Where: Soul Boardwalk, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Hogs Breath Café
The very pinnacle of family-orientated eating venues has to be the original and much-loved Hogs Breath Café. You’ll find consistently yummy and unassuming food served up in a friendly atmosphere, setting the benchmark high for other family restaurants to follow. Your little ones will be loving life with their own (sizeable) Hogster’s Kids Menu, which offers uncompromised value for money as each dish comes with its own drink and even dessert. Sorted!
Where: Soul, Building T2/9 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Hogs Breath Restaurant (image supplied)
Hogs Breath Restaurant (image supplied)

Crazy Cat Café
This cute setup is the purrfect place to drop by for an afternoon pit stop and, of course, to mingle with some feline friends. Apart from a mob of the friendliest cats you ever did meet, the hefty café style menu offers a host of appetising treats to boot. Worth noting is the venue’s setup which also has a separate section for those who want to witness the cats at paw’s length – a great option for the kiddies who need a slow introduction to the furry ones.
Where: 3131 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Pancakes on the Rocks
There is no mistaking; pancakes are a good time, every time, particularly when they’re being pumped out of specialty restaurant, Pancakes on the Rocks. Based in the heart of Surfers Paradise, they are a dead-set family vibe. All about family dining, you can’t go wrong with the obvs (pancakes), plus there are pizzas, salads, crepes, and the now famous beef and pork ribs. Littlies will adore this joint. Cross our hearts.
Where: 31 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Kids Pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks (image supplied)
Kids Pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks (image supplied)
© 2024 All Rights Reserved.