There’s nothing worse* than being stuck inside with hyper-energetic children when it’s raining in the Blue Mountains. Here are some local family entertainment ideas that are perfect for those wet weather days.
The great thing about visiting or living in the Blue Mountains is having an unending outdoor playground right at your doorstep. But when it’s raining, all those walking tracks, lookouts, parks and backyard activities suddenly aren’t so appealing, not to mention a little bit dangerous – especially when kids are involved. So what are your rainy day child’s play options in the Blue Mountains?
These spectacular limestone caves are one of the Blue Mountains’ most famous attractions. Located a one-and-a-half hour drive from Katoomba, the caves are open in all weather. Note that you can’t take a pram or stroller into the caves and use of baby carriers/slings is not recommended, so this is more an option with older children.
4655 Jenolan Caves Rd, Jenolan Caves NSW 2790
Ph: 1300 76 33 11
Image: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
The Blue Mountains’ only indoor play centre is located in Katoomba. Kids Kingdom features a gym-mat area for running and tumbling, a cushioned play area for smaller children, a netted trampoline and a huge climbing play structure with discovery nooks and slippery slides – a great way for kids to burn up energy. Tea and coffee is available, but I’d recommend taking some snacks. And in cold weather, take a warm jacket.
Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, Catalina Ave, Katoomba
Ph: (02) 4780 5156
There are two indoor pools in the Blue Mountains – one in Katoomba (at Katoomba Sorts and Aquatic Centre, details above) and one in Springwood. The Springwood Aquatic and Fitness Centre better caters to children, with a designated children’s swim area complete with a ‘big red car’ to play on, squirting machines, water tumblers and a large waterslide, which opens at 11am (earlier during school holidays). There’s also a cafeteria for post-swim snacks. A big session here in the morning will guarantee some afternoon downtime.
Springwood Aquatic and Fitness Centre
11 Plateau Rd, Springwood, NSW 2777
Ph: (02) 4723 5111
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre
The Cultural Centre in Katoomba is somewhat of a haven for parents and children, especially in wet weather. Not only does it feature a café and large community space with cushioned stools and coffee tables – perfect for little ones to explore and entertain themselves as you enjoy your coffee – it is also adjacent to the library and is home of the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery. Whether your kids are tiny or teenage, taking in some local and international art is never a bad idea. Undercover parking is available in the Coles car park, and if you take the elevator up, you won’t even encounter a raindrop.
30 Parke St, Katoomba NSW 2780
Ph: (02) 4780 5410
Depending on your children’s age and attention span, a trip to the movies is an old faithful and fun way to pass a few hours. There are three cinemas in the Blue Mountains to choose from. The largest is United Cinemas in Katoomba, aka The Edge, where you’re guaranteed to find a kids’ movie showing, but don’t overlook Glenbrook Cinema in Glenbrook or Mount Vic Flicks in Mount Victoria. While these generally feature more arthouse films they do also show movies for children, especially during school holidays.
Read and relax
There are six libraries in the Blue Mountains located in Blackheath, Katoomba, Wentworth Falls, Lawson, Springwood and Blaxland. Each hosts weekly story-time and baby-time sessions in school terms and other activities during NSW school holidays. The libraries best equipped for a comfortable reading session are those in Katoomba and Springwood. Check out what’s on offer for kids at Blue Mountains libraries here.
Embrace the rain
If there’s one piece of advice I have for visitors to the Blue Mountains it’s to bring a rain jacket! That goes for your kids, too. Be prepared for wet weather and you won’t be (too) fazed when it strikes. Visitors can still enjoy some Blue Mountains sights in the wet – Scenic World remains open during wet weather and even provides a wet weather itinerary, which includes rides on the Skyway and Cableway. If you’d prefer to stay closer to home base, dig out the gumboots, pop up the brolly and find some puddles. Have some hot chocolate at the ready after a bout of puddle jumping and you’ll be World’s Greatest Parent, at least for an afternoon.
I could rattle off some indoor boredom-busting ideas but the internet has a much deeper well of suggestions than I could offer, so get Googling! Making play dough, cooking, craft and board games feature regularly on ‘rainy day activities’ lists – take your pick!
What are your suggestions for things to to in the Blue Mountains with kids when it’s raining? Please share in the comments!
*Okay, there are plenty of worse things, but you get the idea!