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17 family-friendly Gold Coast restaurants

From north to south, we’ve got you (and the kids) covered.

TGI Friday's (image supplied)

At some point during the week (usually Monday for us) you get sick of preparing meals, decide to throw in the tea towel, and round up the rugrats so one of our fine establishments can handle that exhausting little song and dance. Only to be faced with a whole new issue – the prospect of taking the munchkins out for munches #cuepanic

To save you the ‘find-something-everyone-can-eat-without-too-many-tears’ (namely yours) struggle entirely – we’ve collected our very favourite purveyors of good vibes, welcoming atmospheres and of course, bulk ice cream and chippies.

So without further ado, here is a list of family-friendly Gold Coast restaurants to treat you and your cherubs to some chow, so you can have a reprieve from slaving over the stove for a night.

From north to south.

The Wattle Hotel, Upper Coomera (image supplied)
The Wattle Hotel, Upper Coomera (image supplied)

The Wattle Hotel
A hidden gem in Upper Coomera, The Wattle Hotel is the perfect playground for parents and kiddies. The adult menu is filled with all your fave pub-style dishes while the littlies menu has all their favourites for $12 bucks including a drink and dixie cup – a barg and a half, especially when you consider the inbuilt perk of those blissful sounds of serenity (the kind only a Cheeseburger could buy). 10/10 kids also agree the whopper playground is the bees knees (ok, so that stat is more of an educated guess, we hope you can let it ‘slide’…) Gather the kiddies and get down and see for yourself.
Where: 1 Reserve Road, Upper Coomera

Charis Seafoods
Found in Harley Park, Labrador, Charis Seafoods offers a family-friendly atmosphere with a sweet view to boot. Enjoy your fish and chips by the Broadwater while the kids play in the park or swim in the lagoon. There’s a huge variety of seafood on offer and everything is of the freshest and highest quality. This Gold Coast icon is also renowned for its pelican feeding at 1:30pm daily where close to a hundred pelicans gather for their special feed of fish!
Where: 371 Marine Parade, Labrador

Charis Seafoods (image supplied)
Charis Seafoods (image supplied)

Historic Rivermill
Less restaurant, more full-blown adventure day – Historic Rivermill might be an overachiever, but either way a meal at this beaut spot will delight you and your little people. The outlook from the cafe is breathtaking with views to the bushland beyond and plenty of space, including a cute ‘lil playground, for the kids to explore.

This pretty riverside spot boasts its own petting zoo, so the animal encounters are a must-do for the munchkins. Feed the turtles or alpacas, and and don’t sweat it when your little people grow peckish, of course the cafe boasts plenty of yummy goodies for the human-folk too. Including coffee, which we absolutely will require after herding the critters (we’ll let you decide which we’re referring to). Do yourself a favour and take a drive out there with the whole family.
Where: 950 Beaudesert-Nerang Road, Mt Nathan

Southport Sharks
For families, the beloved Frenzy’s buffet will be the first (and second, and third…) port of call as a sacred eats place adored by all – but especially our mini salad dodgers. There’s also a stacked kids zone – including a rock climbing wall, mini basketball court and theatrette – that will be a slam dunk among all, as the small ones frolic supervised, and you kick back and enjoy a frosty beverage. Plus there’s a stunning fish tank (with real sharks) which is always a winner among the little ones. Frenzy’s is open breakfast, lunch and dinner, with à la carte and buffet options seven days a week.. aka any old time you’re struck by the urge to escape the kitchen.
Where: Olsen Ave and Musgrave Ave, Southport

Father's Day at Southport Sharks (image supplied)
Southport Sharks (image supplied)

Café Catalina
Found in Southport, overlooking the Broadwater is Café Catalina, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pop in for a bit to eat, treat yourself to some tapas and a wine or two, let the kids enjoy some tasty Spaghetti Bolognaise off their designated kids menu and then wander down to the giant playground and let them run rampant before bedtime. It’s win win.
Where: Broadwater Parklands, 10/11 Gold Coast Highway, Southport

TGI Friday’s
With all of the epic US-style eats you could hope to demolish in one sitting, TGI Friday’s at Robina Town Centre, and overlooking the ocean in the refreshed Paradise Centre at Surfers – is the perfect place to take the family for a night out. With everything from their famous ribs and burgers plus a kids menu packed with goodies like Macaroni Cheese, Chicken Fingers and a Cheeseburger to name a few, everyone will leave happy and very satisfied.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Robina and Level 1, Paradise Centre Beachfront Dining, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Outback Steakhouse (image supplied)
Outback Steakhouse (image supplied)

Outback Steakhouse
Outback Steakhouse has a casual atmosphere and plenty of good vibes for everyone to enjoy. Meaty morsels like Perfectly seared steaks, Burgers and Ribs make up much of the adult’s menu, but for your mini-me’s there’s also plenty of kid-endorsed options like Chicken fingers, Mac & Cheese and Mini ribs, 2,4,6,8.. bog in, don’t wait! All the kid’s meals start from just $9 and include a drink, pretty sweet ‘eh?
Where: Pacific Fair, Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach

Mermaid Beach Surf Club
Surf clubs are family friendly on principle but the Mermaid Beach Surf Club in particular has got the goods in the form of a playroom that will keep the kids entertained for hours. Some of us here have been in there and can attest it’s a good time. Of course, they have lots of child-friendly menu options AND on Monday nights kids eat free with any main meal purchased. How good.
Where: 172 Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach Tavern, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
Mermaid Beach Tavern, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

Mermaid Beach Tavern
These days we’re treated to some next level Tavs, Pavs and Clubs, having broken free of the former beer dungeon status we once associated with our friendly local – and we only need to look as far as Exhibit A: Mermaid Beach Tavern to prove our point. This stunner of a spot is 10’s all round – easy on the eyes, plenty of space and classic pub-style eats that appeal to the whole family.

Putt wait, there’s more… the Putt Putt Meal deal takes this outing from good to great. Enjoy a round of Putt Putt and grab an adult main meal for just $15 and a kids meal for $10.
Where: 2500 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Miami Marketta
Less a restaurant, more a market-style dining situation is Miami Marketta – and relaxed eats is kind of the whole objective when we’re talking feeding the oft-rambunctious rugrats. Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights with food stalls and (often) live music, kids absolutely adore running around, dancing and eating all the things. Same. There’s a ridiculous array of next-level desserts and a bar so that’s pretty much all your bases covered we think. Always a fun time.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami

Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Robina Pavilion
Anyone else sensing a theme here? Key to chillaxed eats with kids in tow = proximity for perambulating outside a must. And Robina Pav has this in spades – you and your rowdy rascals can revel on the lakeside lawn or on the sun drenched deck – rain, hail or shine – thanks to the retractable roof. Good news if you also ‘like piña coladas’ (we do) but not so much ‘getting caught in the rain’ (hard pass).

So regardless of whatever whack weather our trusty BoM app is advising – gather your boisterous brood, chow down on some classic pub nosh and throw back a couple’a bomb Pavilion Coladas while the dishes do themselves… ah, life’s goooood.
Where: 229 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina

Robina Pavilion (image supplied)
Robina Pavilion (image supplied)

Woodchoppers Inn
Family owned since 1995, Woodchoppers Inn launched a reimagined menu in 2017 to bring North American BBQ to the Gold Coast. Complete with a dedicated kids play area and kids menu, including the likes of Spaghetti and Meatballs and Margherita Pizza – we’d be envious, but we’re too busy tucking in to a 6hr BBQ pork short rib stack, tbh. All kids meals can be upgraded with a drink and ice cream for $2, which we think you’ll agree is pretty good bang for your buck. The entire family will love the perfectly smoked and seared dishes, and the plethora of beers and hand-crafted spirits will go down a treat with the grown ups.
Where: 64 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba

Burleigh Town Hotel (image supplied)
Burleigh Town Hotel (image supplied)

Burleigh Town Hotel
We here on the GC sure do love getting around an all-rounder, and not that we’re superficial or anything – but a tidy $4.5 mil revamp has skyrocketed this spot in the popularity stakes (though the steaks are top notch, also) among locals – and *especially* parents.

Of the sprawling space – a perk particularly favoured among families is the spacious open-air area, with plenty of space for the kids to roam (run wild). With a bistro, beer garden x2, patios and pergola’s aplenty, you can basically take your pick – then promptly perch up and partake in one of the favourite past times of parents everywhere: sit-ervising (or sip-ervising, as the case may be). This is livin’.
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads

The Collective, Palm Beach (image supplied)
The Collective, Palm Beach (image supplied)

The Collective
A well known family-friendly spot on the highway in Palm Beach, The Collective has a HUGE menu for the kids with five types of cuisine on offer including Mexican, Greek, Asian, American and Italian eats. Everything is reasonably priced and the bar is pumping out some of the tastiest cocktails around for Mum and Dad’s enjoyment. Highly recommend for a night out with the team.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Dune Cafe
Enjoy everything the Gold Coast stands for at Dune Cafe. There’s beautiful views, a laidback atmosphere, top quality local produce and delicious coffee plus it’s found right at Palm Beach Parklands where there’s plenty of space for the kids to run around, Currumbin Creek for a quick dip and the huge Pirate Park playground will provide hours of entertainment while Mum and Dad kick back.
Where: 945 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Pirate Park, opposite Dune Cafe, Palm Beach (image supplied)
Pirate Park, opposite Dune Cafe, Palm Beach (image supplied)

Currumbin RSL
Sitting pretty (and we do mean pretty – she’s not like a regular RSL, she’s a cool RSL) right on the banks of Currumbin’s beloved Creek, families flock to this spot in droves. It’s hard to determine if the bigger draw card is the stunner of a creekside outlook or the mix of contemporary and crowd-pleasing bites (the ice cold beers surely don’t hurt either).

Treat the raucous ones to a bambino meal upgrade, and even the fussy eaters will be rapt with a Cheeseburger or Chicken nugs, soft drink and gelati cup or cone (+ obligatory fries and tom sauce, of course – anything less would be unhinged). To appeal to the adults (and it really, really does) – Sticky Chilli Koji Chicken Wings, Hawker Style Bao Buns, and, if you wanna keep it classic, Chicken Parmigiana. With a fully-fenced park adjacent, you’re on to a winner here.
Where: 165 Duringan St, Currumbin

Currumbin RSL, Currumbin (image supplied)
Currumbin RSL, Currumbin (image supplied)

Pasture & Co
Parents, carers, and all other wranglers of tiny humans, add Pasture & Co to the rolling list of – and, we defy any millennial that can resist channelling their inner Dixie Chicks as they read this – *wide open spaaaces*-adjacent havens that have it all. And by that we mean, delicious food and satisfying sips that we can savour (a) at a leisurely pace (b) at their intended temperature and (c) in relative peace while the cherubs burn off some of that circus-vibing energy (aka the holy grail).

While this one is technically more of a café–restaurant hybrid, every Friday & Saturday arvo the fully licensed weekend menu and extended 7pm trade kick in, which certainly lends itself to the latter as far as kid-friendly dinners are concerned (bc while we love them inexplicably – we also want them fed, and in bed no later than 7.31pm, thankyouverymuch). Perch up with Pizzas and Milkshakes for them, House buffalo wings and Chilli marg for you – happy days.
Where: 639 Currumbin Creek Rd, Currumbin Valley

Words by Kellie Leader.

Pasture & Co, Currumbin Valley (image: ©2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Pasture & Co, Currumbin Valley (image: ©2022 Inside Gold Coast)

10 must dine Surfers Paradise restaurants

Citrique, JW Marriott Gold Coast (image supplied)
Citrique, JW Marriott Gold Coast (image supplied)

Paradise calling… And by that, we mean Surfers Paradise of course. You might have thought it’s all just bikini and booze but there is so much more just waiting for you to rediscover. Whether you’ve been looking for something laid-back to take the whole fam to or something a little bit fancy for that date night you’ve been putting off, and of course, somewhere to have a cheeky beverage – Surfers has it all. Did we mention it’s beachside?

So we’ve done the leg work and found the 10 must-try spots for you to get the best feed in the heart of the Coast.

It’s one of the Gold Coast’s most loved buffets, Citrique takes its reputation seriously. For real, its award-winning seafood buffet is the GOAT for a reason – think fresh prawns, oysters and lobster tails (did someone say boujee) alongside flavours of the world. If breakfast is more your vibe then you’re in luck because they’re dishing up all-you-can eat breakfast and weekend long lunches alongside their signature seafood feast. Calling the beautiful JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa home, you would expect nothing less from this five-star favourite!
Our pick: Anything seafood!
Where: JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Akoya, The Langham Gold Coast (image supplied)
Akoya, The Langham Gold Coast (image supplied)

The Langham
If feeling a bit fancy is on the menu then The Langham Gold Coast is the destination. Just as luxe as you’d expect the international hotel to be, The Langham can’t stop, won’t stop on delivering the finest food from the East and the West. Meticulously plated, T’ang Court is where precision meets passion with each dish a show of art for the ultimate Cantonese fine-dining affair. Dine beachfront while you treat yourself at Akoya or pop down to Palm Court for a spot of Afternoon Tea.
Our pick: The Langham’s iconic chef’s menu at T’ang Court
Where: 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise

Palette, HOTA (image supplied)
Palette, HOTA (image supplied)

Palette stormed onto the dining scene just a few short years ago and it’s been a fan favourite ever since. Located within the HOTA Gallery, this dining spot brings art to life with Executive Chef Dayan Hartill-Law using the Gallery’s exhibitions to inspire the decadent degustation menu. The award-winning restaurant has also modestly received Two Chef Hats from AGFG, which is reason enough for us to book a table already. Art you can eat? Yes please.
Our pick: Go all in on the Tasting Menu you absolutely won’t regret it
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Shiraz Persian Restaurant, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Shiraz Persian Restaurant, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar
Shiraz have been calling their Surfers Paradise corner home for a couple of years now, so I suppose you could say they’ve settled in well. The perfect spot whether you’re looking for a cute date night or somewhere to take the entire family, Shiraz’s incredibly chic interior is big enough (like, 200 seats big) for you to get your authentic Persian fix. Best enjoyed with their namesake’s Shiraz. Ps. If you don’t feel like cooking on a Monday (honestly, who does) then pop in for their BYO day – it would be rude not to.
Our pick: We can’t pick favourites, so go hard on the banquet, we say
Where: Mantra Wings, 2893 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

The Island Rooftop (image supplied)
The Island Rooftop (image supplied)

The Island Gold Coast
This Island has long been a landmark of the Gold Coast and we think the reason locals and visitors on the Goldie love this place is in part thanks to an aptly named spot called, Goldies. With a huge lineup of foodie favourites from steak and seafood through to pizzas and parmy’s there’s something to satisfy everyone’s cravings. If you’re after a tipple then the Rooftop is the place to perch up with a Pina Colada in hand while you soak in the iconic Gold Coast skyline, we just love a dining destination that’s as vibrant as the city itself.
Our pick: Mare e Monti Pizza
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Yamagen Japanese Izakaya (image supplied)
Yamagen Japanese Izakaya (image supplied)

Yamagen Japanese Izakaya
Tucked away in the QT, this is new generation Japanese for the discerning diner. It’s modern fine dining in a way that ignites all of your senses while celebrating the best of authentic Japanese cuisine. Market fresh sashimi dishes are the hero of the menu, bringing the freshest fare and flavours together to be expertly paired with vast whisky list.
Our pick: Sashimi Moriawase for a taste of it all

Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

The Avenue (image supplied)
The Avenue (image supplied)

The Avenue
Everyone has a story from The Avenue, right? And for good reason. Where else can you go and literally spend all night long there. Pop in for a bite at the restaurant and stay for the vibes at the nightclub or one of the iconic drag shows. Live music venues are becoming harder and harder to find, but luckily for us The Avenue aka the home of live music is doing the heavy lifting so you can sip back and listen to sweet tunes every week.
Our pick: Crispy Pork Belly
Where: 3-15 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Coast Beach Bar, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Coast Beach Bar, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Coast Beach Bar & Kitchen
There’s something about sipping back on a cocktail while you look at the ocean that just makes it taste that much sweeter. Fortunately for you, that view and those cocktails are accompanied by one of the best new additions to the restaurant scene. Coast Beach Bar & Kitchen brings the perfect balance of fancy food with a relaxed vibe, so you can soak up your surrounds while indulging on your choice of steak or seafood, or head out to the Terrace Bar for more relaxed bites.
Our pick: Kingfish Ceviche
Where: Ocean by Meriton – Level 1, 86 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Central Lounge
Something you might not know about us is that we love a lounge bar, so you bet we were fans of Central Lounge the moment those glorious doors opened. Massive cocktail list? Check. Epic easts? Check. R&B Sunday sessions? Check. We’ll go ahead and call that a trifecta. If you’ve been hunting for a stylish spot to sip cocktails and people watch, then this the place for you.
Our pick: Crab Linguine
Where: 8/27 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Driftwood Social, Vibe Hotel Gold Coast (image supplied)
Food at Driftwood Social, Vibe Hotel Gold Coast (image supplied)

Driftwood Social
Driftwood Social, tucked just off Ferny Ave brings blissed-out, Miami pool club vibes to the banks of the Nerang River – and if it’s been a while between drinks, this secluded social spot is every bit as lush as you remember. A stacked menu is another real drawcard, and don’t be tempted to assume we’re talking basic bar bites here.
Our pick: Linguine Alla Vodka And Prawns
Where: 42 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.

13 places on the Gold Coast for kids birthday parties

Infinity Attraction birthday parties (image supplied)
Infinity Attraction birthday parties (image supplied)

Organising your mini-me’s birthday party triggers a rollercoaster of emotions; excitement, anticipation and pure joy…laced with a dose of fear, dread, and general trepidation. The sugar. The screaming. The inevitable tantrum. And don’t even get us started on the politics of who to invite….#sendwine.

Well, we’re here to help you keep your cool and focus on the fun stuff with our list of fail-proof, kid-pleasing, parent-sanity-preserving places to host the ultimate bday celebration.


Hijinx Hotel (image supplied)
Hijinx Hotel (image supplied)

Hijinx Hotel
Looking for a party with extra oomph this year? Look no more coz Hijinx Hotel, the ultimate immersive experience, has you covered. Play a set of super fun Hinjinx Hotel Challenger Rooms (five rooms in total), eat a yummy main and side (with an option to add-in extra noms), plus sip on soft drink or water and experience a totally ‘ungeneric’ celebration. The best part? You can relax while a party host takes cares of all the action #hearhear! For $38 per whipper snapper, it’s worth every cent.
Where: Corner of 3197 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Level 1 Elkhorn Ave, Surfers Paradise

Slideways Go Karting (image supplied)
Slideways Go Karting (image supplied)

Slideways Go Karting
Watching the kids race around a track channelling their inner Lewis Hamilton having an absolute hoot of a time is a vibe. Slideways boasts a three-storey indoor drift kart track and is the perf party destination for kids aged 7 to 13 (minimum height 120cm). For $88 per person with no less than five kidlets, you’ll get 20 mins of go karting, 10 arcade tokens, a balaclava, an ice block, a bottle of H20, and two-hours in the function room. Side-note, feel free to use our special discount here.
Where: 10 Spencer Road, Nerang

Imagine spending your birthday picking hologram grass to feed a giant hologram Brontosaurus, or swimming with life sized holographic whales? Well, you can do precisely that and so much more at Holoverse! There are four party packages starting at $26 per person, with a minimum of eight people and maximum of 16. The average hologram party goes for two-hours and all parties include seven giant scratchy credits and party bags. And PS, if you wanted to organise a group ticket, did we mention we have a discount voucher here?! (You’re welcome).
Where: Paradise Centre, 8 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Kids playing at Paradise Resort (image supplied)
Kids playing at Paradise Resort (image supplied)

Paradise Resort
Celebrate your child’s next party in paradise. Literally – this place is actual paradise for kids. Paradise Resort is a sprawling fun-packed venue, with so many options for birthday parties we’d be here till Christmas listing them all. As a guide, a basic three-hour Ice Skating Party for five kids will set you back $150, whereas a two-hour Pamper Parlour Party for a minimum of eight kiddos is $520. Or you can mix and match the above, and add in waterpark, laser tag, and climbing wall to name a few.
Where: 122 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise

We dare you to find a kid who doesn’t go all kinds of gaga for gaming and nope, they don’t exist. That’s why iPlay is a winner winner kid’s party dinner.

Coomera iPlay: For $25 per child (minimum of 8 guests), your small people will score two hours of partying, including one-hour unlimited arcade (yellow) and redemption (red) games, 2 x (purple) prize games, 300 x tickets per guest, and a whopping 500 tickets for the bday kid! Food platters are also available.

Harbourtown iPlay: For $25 per child (minimum of 8 guests), the kids will lap up one-hour of arcade time, unlimited red and yellow swipers, three purple swipers, 200 tickets per child and a $5 return voucher for the party kiddo. Line those hungry tums for $12 each with food supplied from Crafty’s! Save some for mum and dad!
Where: Westfield Coomera, 83-121 Foxwell Road, Coomera & Harbour Town Premium Outlets, 147 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters

Putt Putt Mermaid Beach
Putt Putt Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

Miniature Golf
Who doesn’t love a game of golf, mini or otherwise? It’s a sure-fire winner for all ages, including the youngins who love nothing more than a golf birthday party! We’re pretty lucky here on the Gold Coast as we are spoilt for choice whether it’s the mini variety with Holey Moley in Surfers or Putt Putt Mermaid Beach’s three themed 18-hole courses. Or enjoy less screen time, less green time at Top Golf with a hosted kids party. Shot!
Where: Various

Timezone, Paradise Centre (image supplied)
Timezone, Paradise Centre (image supplied)

Ahhh the flashbacks of living it large as a kid at Timezone. And let us tell you, absolutely nothing has changed, with our mini’s going weak at the knees at the mere mention of the ‘T’ word. At Surfers Paradise Timezone, there are three party packages priced from $35 to $48 per head. Between 2.5 and 3 hours in duration, they include everything from game time to a dedicated party host, with the two more expensive options also serving up kid’s meals. At Timezone Coolangatta and Robina, there are similar packages so parentals, it’s a no-brainer!
Where: Paradise Centre, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise, Robina Town Centre, 1 Robina Town Centre Dr, Robina and The Strand, Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Infinity Attraction, Surfers Paradise (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Infinity Attraction, Surfers Paradise (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

Infinity Attraction
Get the party started at Infinity, an incredible journey through a world of illusion. Think of a futuristic, maze-like world of wonder with unique rooms and sensory overloads that will have you and the kids feeling as though you’re in a dream. Prices start from $17 per child and when paired with tasty eats from Betty’s Burgers, parent of the year status incoming! Should we mention that you can get 10% of adult and child entry here?!  Go on and make your little one’s year!
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, G31/3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Other World HQ, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Other World HQ, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Escape Rooms
Locking the kids up for an hour – are you sure it’s not our birthday? Just joking kiddos…sort of. Small folk love a good escape room, plus they’ll use their brains trying to figure out how to get un-locked #bonus. Sounds like the perfect party plan to us – especially when we have a 10% discount at Padlock’d, Eclipse Escape, Fox in a Box, and a 15% discount at Other World HQ.
Where: Padlock’d – 3177 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise, Eclipse Escape – Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise, Fox in a Box Gold Coast Escape Rooms – Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise, Other World HQ – 3107 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise.

Bella's Wonderland, Carrara (image supplied)
Bella's Wonderland, Carrara (image supplied)

Bella’s Wonderland
Love a good play centre? Chances are your small people do too and this one is humungous, plus its beautiful modern design will make for some srsly instagrammable pics. Think on-trend curves, pastels-a-plenty, and a darn good menu to boot. Offering an array of party packages including the Mini Birthday Bash ($299 for five kids), Bella’s Fun Fiesta ($580 for ten kids), and the hum-dinga Dream Discovery Bash ($880 for 12 kids), this one’s a keeper.
Where: 48 3/15 Jackman St, Southport

Rollerama, Carrara Markets (image supplied)
Rollerama, Carrara Markets (image supplied)

This one’s for the nostalgic parents who long for their minis to enjoy the roller rink parties of yesteryear #OhTheMems, and wept uncontrollably when the local roller rink shut up shop #StillScarred. Well, we have news for you! Rollerama is a huge new roller-skating arena, now a permanent attraction at Carrara Markets! The perfect spot for a fun-fuelled birthday party, it’s wheely good fun for all ages.
Where: Events Arena precinct, Carrara Markets, Corner of Gooding Drive & Manchester Road, Carrara

The Craft Parlour, Miami (image supplied)
The Craft Parlour, Miami (image supplied)

The Craft Parlour
Pretty as a picture, The Craft Parlour takes the mess factor away, whilst allowing your birthday girl or boy and posse to craft away till their hearts’ content! The summery enclosed backyard and beautiful studio has plenty of room for kids to dance, relax, and craft away, and it’s BYO food, drinks, and cake. Mama’s, feel free to pack a yummy cheese platter and bubbles for any parents who may stay for the sesh #AnyExcuse.
Where: 27 Lemana Lane, Miami

Helensvale Aquatic Centre
If you’re looking for an inexpensive crowd-pleasing way to celebrate your kiddo’s birthday, nothing says “party” quite like a pool party! There most popular option for good reason is the three-hour Inflatable Pool Party from $20 per child, which side note; will also wear them out #tick! Or, for the littler littlies, how about a two-hour Splash Park Party from $15 per head. Both are for a minimum of ten kids, have the option to add catering, or BYO food and drinks. Yes mum and dad, we said BYO!
Where: Rugby Lane, Helensvale

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Paradise Resort, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)
Paradise Resort, Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

8 Gold Coast places with playgrounds

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)
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