OK, there’s no doubt that surviving a hot day is SO much easier than when we were kids. Flashback to a time when air-conditioning in a car involved winding down your windows. You were likely to get burned by the seat belt with the giant big metal buckle and your thighs would stick to the plastic seats. If you were lucky, you had one of those big beast wall unit air conditioners in one room at home … and the really lucky kids had a pool!
We were also a lot better at putting up with the heat. Water play was alive and well and hours were spent running through sprinklers in the back yard… everyone just dealt with it. These days, it seems the weather’s getting hotter or we’re getting more precious, but it certainly seems more uncomfortable. We’re also aware of how dangerous the heat can be, particularly for infants.
If you don’t have air-conditioning at home or you do but you just don’t want to hang out at home with your offspring for the day, here are nine ideas for you to do in the Hills to escape the heat.
Head to a shopping centre that has indoor play equipment
Westfield North Rocks has a little toddler play area just outside Pronto Rocks Café and then in the fresh food section there’s the Fun Lab, an area set up with foam blocks and a little cubby house. Pirates are popular with both Castle Mall and Home Hub Castle Hill having a Pirate Ship Playland for kiddies. Stanhope Village also has a great indoor one for toddlers near Leaf Café. Here is a list of shopping centre play areas (note some are outdoors). You could even head to Bunnings in Castle Hill as they have a little indoor play area and a cafe.
Head to a pool
- Blacktown Leisure Centre has an indoor wave pool and the toddler splash pool.
- Waves Fitness and Aquatic Centre at Baulkham Hills have an outdoor sun protected splash pool for the little ones and an outdoor pool for older kids.
- Riverstone Swimming Centre has an Olympic pool, a second smaller pool and a cool kids pool that has a shallow spa, a shower fountain and a bubbler fountain. The kids area also has a second mini spa area that’s like a bench seat (aka parent massage spot!) and a ‘current’ area where they float and the current pulls them along. There’s plenty of shade, a small play area and bbqs.
Let your child’s creative juices flow at the Little Plaster House
Located in Norwest Business Park, they’re open most days for casual visits (just check their website and give them a call to make sure they’re not closed for a party).
Visit a library
You can even time your visit with one of the reading sessions held for children. Click here for details on bubs and books sessions. The Castle Hill library even has a cafe attached and a cool reading area that looks like a castle.
Catch a movie
If you have a young one, head to a ‘Bring Your Baby’ session at Event Cinemas Castle Hill or a ‘Spit The Dummy’ screening at Reading Cinemas Rouse Hill. Or check out what kid-friendly movies are on for those slightly older.
Head to Kellyville Pets
Have a coffee and say hello to the animals!
Check out a restaurant or café with indoor play equipment
We have some listed in our article cafes next to play areas (note, not all listed are indoors). You could also visit Wenty Leagues, The Australian Brewery or The Pennant Hills Hotel – here is a list of pubs and restaurants with play areas.
Visit one of the water play parks close to the Hills
Find out more here.
Visit an air-conditioned indoor play centre
For those of you in the upper Hills, Candyland Playhouse is a brand new play centre in Vineyard and it is fully air-conditioned. See here for more details. The Chipmunks Playland in the Macquarie Centre is also a great indoor play centre and again fully air-conditioned.
All fun aside, heat waves can be really quite dangerous. Infants in particular are more vulnerable to heat-related conditions, so it is important to stay safe when these hot days hit.
Where do you go in the Hills to escape the heat?