Sometimes it might seem a little daunting to go out searching for things to do with kids, particularly when visiting a new area. But we’ve generally found that regardless of whether there are big name entertainment options around, with a bit or research there’s lots of fun to be found! And that’s exactly what we see whenever we visit the city of Ipswich, just west of Brisbane. It’s a small city filled to the brim not only with history, but also with heaps of fun things for the kids! Here are some of our faves for the little guys:
Haigslea Ewe Nique hobby farm
This “Ewe Nique” little hobby farm is the perfect way to introduce your little guys to rural life. Ewe Nique Hobby Farm is a small little farm that is home to sheep, goats, alpacas and chickens – all lovingly looked after and all very friendly to their visitors! In order to not stress the animals, Ewe Nique only cater for a small number of visitors per day, which is great not just for the animals, but also for the visitors because you can be assured of having plenty of one-on-one time with the animals, to pat and feed, or simply just relax in this lovely quiet setting. While you are there you can grab a drink and light snack (the coffees and scones are superb!).
Haigslea Ewe Nique Hobby Farm is open by appointment only – check them out on Facebook!
Lobley Park is a wonderful little park with an aviation theme – paying a bit of a tribute to Ipswich’s connection with the Air Force! Kids will love the aeroplane to play in, there’s also an air traffic control tower and parachute swings! There’s also heaps of space for running about and all the usual playground fare – swings, slides and story time area, as well as barbeques and tables for your picnic or party! Fantastic fun and the aeroplane is something that the kids will always remember!
Open all year round and free to visit!
Bob Gamble Park
Bob Gamble Park at the Riverheart Parklands is a must visit in the summer months with its zero-depth water playground which kids big and little will just love! There is also a substantial dry playgrounds for cooler days (or if you forgot your swimmers) and plenty of shady spots for parents to sit, relax and supervise! There are two different water-play areas, one is completely shaded and has a number of concrete channels with little locks so that the kids can direct the flow of water on their own – the other wet area is covered in soft fall foam and is covered in intermittent spray systems so you never know where the water will be coming from! The rest of the playground is really impressive too – plenty of climbing areas, swings, sand pit, slides, a flying fox, lawn areas, picnic tables (shaded), barbeques, a river-side boardwalk and more. You would be hard-pressed not to enjoy yourself here!
Just Jump Redbank
How could a toddler not enjoy themselves at Just Jump in Redbank, with its fantastic indoor jumping castles and obstacle courses. Little cubbies and ride-on trikes and cars provide fantastic entertainment when the kids don’t feel like jumping, or you could also try a bit of basketball or a bit of Nerf-gun skirmish. There’s a café here too, so you can grab a coffee while you watch the little guys burn off their energy, and grab them a feed for when they are finished. The kids will definitely have a blast here at Just Jump!
Open from 8am and fees apply – check their website!
Ipswich Art Gallery
Ipswich Art Gallery really is a class act and deserves to be mentioned as a highlight not just in Ipswich but in the South East region! Along with the general exhibitions and events, they are some really great kids programs (they were the first gallery in Australia to have a dedicated kids gallery), all with an artistic theme although some might feel more like playtime – like building the fastest Lego cars! We’ve also seen tunnels made from sticky tape, giant marble runs, foam block constructions, huge spirograph drawings and a giant model city made from recycled items from the kitchen! There’s something for everyone at the Ipswich Art Gallery and it’s certainly worth your while visiting!
Open daily from 10am, bookings essential.
Ipswich Nature Centre
Sometimes introducing the kids to wildlife might seem like an expensive proposition with a visit to a zoo, but a visit to Ipswich Nature Centre is completely free! And here while you wander along the meandering path through the centre they can meet some lovely locals – kangaroos, emus, wallabies, wombats, bilbys, a fantastic variety of birds in the aviary or perhaps a snake! There is also a barnyard area for the little guys to see some farm animals. It’s a lovely little nature centre that’s the perfect size for toddlers and is part of the magnificent Queens Park precinct.
The Ipswich Nature Centre (free, however gold coin donations are welcomed) is open 9:30am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday and is closed Christmas and Good Friday.
The Workshops Rail Museum
The Workshops Rail Museum is probably one of Ipswich’s most well known attractions, and for good reason – it’s awesome! It’s great for mums and dads, but for kids, it’s especially fun when they have their special programs on, like Day out with Thomas! The museum is situated on and in the actual workshops and rail yards that constructed and maintained much of Queensland’s early rail network! There are a number of actual trains that you can get up close to, heaps of historical artifacts and lots of memorabilia. The kids will love the dedicated play areas, and the whole museum is really spread out so you can relax as you wander around at your own pace! A really fun day out for the whole family, and one that toddlers will love!
The Workshops are open daily from 9:30am and a family pass is $44.50 – bookings essential, check their website for more details!