You never know what you are going to get in terms of weather in the Macedon Ranges so we are always on the look out for fun, dry options to keep the kids occupied without a huge price tag. We have put together ten ideas for wet weather excursions and in the Macedon Ranges and surrounds.
1. Threshold Interactive experiences: Two Kyneton locals are the brains behind Threshold which offer interactive audio experiences for families that you can use at home anytime you like. These stories take you on an adventure in your own home, using objects you already have, and can be enjoyed over and over again. My children loved the Mountain Goat Mountain experience. We had to work together as a family and there were a lot of laughs along the way. The latest audio experience, The Flying Canoe, is FREE through ArtPlay, City of Melbourne and can be found here.
2. Play Centres: Play centres are not for everyone but they might suit your family, depending on the age of your child, and how confident they are. (I had to retrieve a stuck child from the top of some play centre equipment when I was heavily pregnant, so just be aware of what it may involve). On the other hand, it can be a great way to occupy the kids while you supervise and catch up with another friend with kids. We discovered the following close to the Macedon Ranges: McDougall Playcentre in Sunbury; Bugalugs Indoor play centre in Kyneton; and Jungle Kids indoor play centre in Wallan. A little further is: Bounce at Essendon Fields (which has play days for $10 when booked online from 9 am to 12 noon on weekdays), Crocs Play Centre in Keilor Park, and Jump ‘n’ Jiggle Play Centre in Tullamarine.
3. Kid friendly Cafes: It is not feasible to cafe every day but we love that 3 Little Pigs in Gisborne has a special indoor corner or play area to keep the kids occupied while you enjoy a well deserved coffee. Social Foundry in Kyneton is another favourite. If you have any others you could suggest, let us know.
4. Dromkeen Homestead: This beautiful estate in Riddells Creek has a tearoom, bookshop, gallery and gardens. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, it is a lovely place for a bite and a wander with your wee one. Follow their Facebook page for updates on their monthly Saturday storytime.
5. Storytimes and libraries: Check out storytimes at our local libraries, Dromkeen and Mother Goose by Sunbury Cobaw Community Health. These storytimes are not just book reading but often involve singing, rhymes, movement and craft activities. Your local library is also just a great place to go on a rainy day, borrow some books and hang out. I would suggest checking out each of the Gisborne, Kyneton, Romsey and Woodend Libraries as each is unique and has slightly different offerings
6. Aquatic Centres: Gisborne and Kyneton have amazing indoor swim centres if your little ones enjoy the water. It could be tricky with multiple kids if you are by yourself but a nice way to spend time with one. Alternatively, you may like to enrol your children in swimming lessons.
7. Bookstores: I am a bit biased myself, but a beautiful bookstore is a lovely place to visit with your child. Whether you are buying a present or treating them to a story, it is an excellent way to spark a love of reading. The Macedon Ranges and surrounds is blessed with many amazing bookshops. There is Aesop’s Attic and Squishy Minnie in Kyneton, Red Door Books in Lancefield and Paradise Bookshop in Daylesford.
8. Lessons: Enrol in some lessons to fill up your week. This is also obviously dependent on your budget. Mini Maestros is ideal for kids who are into music, whilst Jets Gymnastics, Lovaball, Gisborne Dance Academy and Active Kidz will help the kids burn some energy and work on their gross motor skills. There are also businesses like Body Fit by Holly May and Ranges Personal Training which offer mums and bubs classes.
9. Your local op shop or Foodbank: Do something good for your local community and have your child join in. Why not purchase a few extra grocery items to drop to your local foodbank or gather old books, toys and clothes to drop to the op shop? You might even find a bargain to buy while you are there too.
10. Playgroups: Click the link to read about the playgroup offerings in the Macedon Ranges. You can organise your own playgroup session with your parents group, join an existing group or head to an open drop in session for those which offer that.
Have we missed any of your favourite wet weather activity ideas? Get in contact and we will add it in.