Yard Apes Coomera Review

Yard Apes Coomera Review

Yard Apes Coomera is the perfect place on the Northern Gold Coast for your little monkeys to let off some steam. It is also one of the only centres on the GC to encourage parents to play too, so families can have a bundle of fun together!

Yard Apes is in a bright and airy warehouse just off the M1 at Coomera, making it a handy destination for parents all over the Gold Coast. The centre is split into two main areas separated by cafe style seating, with plenty of room in between tables to fit prams (it’s always amazing when play centres get this wrong!) and no banging into the person sitting behind you. The centre is circus themed, with a big top and clown faces everywhere. It definitely had a fun-park feel and our little guy was excited as soon as he entered the centre.

There is a toddler (under 4s) area that includes a ball pit, double slide, rocker and big blocks. Cafe tables surround the edge of the play area and there were a few mums doing laptop work while watching their little ones.

Then there is an area for older kids with a huge slide split into four sections for racing your little ones to the bottom, a ball-shooter and a maze of climbing equipment set over lots of different levels. Our little guy also had a great time on the big kids equipment and found his way around without a problem (no rescues necessary!) One of the employees told me that she disinfects and cleans the mats throughout the centre daily, and was in the process of finishing as we had arrived. This is a huge plus for parents concerned about germs, and although I’m sure this happens elsewhere it was reassuring to see it in action!

There are a few things about Yard Apes that stand out. Firstly, there is a toy selection and ‘tv’ area for little tots to play with a truck or walker while mum is close by. The appeal of unfamiliar toys should never be underestimated (oh hi Kmart toy department!). Our little guy played relentlessly with play vacuums and trucks for almost the first hour of our visit. There are also cars, ride-ons, diggers and books for kids to make their own for an hour or two.

Secondly, their baby change room was clean, bright and welcoming. With a breastfeeding chair, room for a pram, change table, handwashing basin and nappy bin, it was a very comfortable place to change bubs nappy before we headed home.

Then there is the cafe!

What a great cafe with a selection to suit the fussiest of eaters, and different budgets. We enjoyed a kids $8 meal which included a cheese sandwich, hot chips (sauce included), a kids drink and a packet of chips. We also had a cappuccino in a real cup (which was lovely and hot), and a fruit salad that was fresh and tasty. There is also free water and hand sanitizer available.

Finally the staff interacted with the children frequently, chatting and playing with them when they had time – this was a lovely touch and is definitely unique to Yard Apes.

Overall we had a great morning out with a fun play area, yummy food and clean facilities. We also got a park out the front easily, with additional parking available on the street.

We were invited along for a visit to see Yard Apes before – wait for it – big changes! Yup they’re under new management and have some exciting changes on the horizon. We were super impressed on our first visit, but imagine that locals would be excited to see their favourite play centre get a refresh – so stay tuned. Changes will occur throughout August and we’ll be back with an update!

Positives

  • Cafe with child-friendly food and cheaper options. The children’s meal options are great.
  • Free water and hand sanitiser
  • Big baby change room for parents
  • Plenty of space to manouvre prams inbetween tables and chairs

Negatives

  • Play areas at separate ends of centre, making supervision of multiple children a little bit harder
  • No airconditioning 
  • No undercover outdoor areas in the rain
  • Adults are charged to enter ($3.50), but this includes a free drink

LOCATION 24 Kohl St, Coomera

AGES All ages

OPENING HOURS: –

Monday      9am to 5pm

Tuesday      9am to 3pm

Wednesday  9am to 5pm

Thursday     9am to 3pm

Friday        9am to 5pm

Saturday     9am to 5pm

Sunday       9am to 4pm

PLAYGROUND PRICES –

Kids Entry: $8.50 (all ages)

Under 12months: Free

Adults Entry: $3.50

Adults are encouraged to play with their children in the play structures. Adult entry also includes a complimentary Tea, Coffee or small softdrink

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Rotary Park Mudgeeraba

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Rotary Park Mudgeeraba

Rotary Park Mudgeeraba is a great local playground that is the perfect spot for a playdate or morning out. The Mudgeeraba Bakery close by combined with a train-themed park make it a fun and easy place for kids to play and parents to relax.

There is a swing set, Liberty Swing for kids in wheelchairs, a ride – on spring train, and a huge connected playground that includes climbing walls, bridges and monkey bars.

The Bakery is great value – you can easily buy a coffee, kids drink and treats for you both for under $10 (cupcakes are $1.65).

The playground is not fenced and does have close access to the road on two sides, so supervise closely.

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Rotary Park Mudgeeraba

LOCATION 1 School St, Mudgeeraba

AGES 2-12

ENCLOSED: no

GROUND COVER: rubber and woodchip

SHADE SAILS: yes

TOILETS: yes- inside swim school

AMENITIES Picnic table, benches, drinking fountain, toilets in swim school, parking

HIGHLIGHTS  Cheap and cheerful Mudgeeraba Bakery for coffee and treats, shady playground

Gold Coast Playgrounds Close to Coffee

Gold Coast Playgrounds Close to Coffee

The dishwasher is on, nappies are thrown quickly into the nappy bag and the kids are in the car faster than you can say “Where’s the coffee?”

Whether it’s because it stops the moaning or your house being torn apart,  most mornings parents everywhere just want to get the kids out of the house.

For parents with tiny tots, minimising the number of times you have to get the kids out of the car is also a priority. There’s only so many combos of car-seat to Baby Bjorn to pram and trolley and ‘HOLD MY HAND!’ a mum can take!

That’s why playgrounds with coffee RIGHT THERE are a mum’s best friend. We’ve put together a list of playgrounds where coffee is convenient (no more than a minute walk away).

Gold Coast Playgrounds Close To Coffee

Rotary Park Mudgeeraba (Mudgeeraba bakery)

Broadwater Rock Pools (Cafe Rockpool)

Tallowwood Park Coomera (Coffee Two Coomera)

Ed Hardy Park (North Burleigh Surf Club/Nook – Southern end of surf club)

John Laws Park Burleigh Hill (Nook)

Justin Park at Burleigh (Surf Club kiosk)

Tallebudgera Creek Playground  (Neptune Kiosk (Paddock/Bam Bam)

Ronnie Long Park at Talle Surf Club  (Cafe/kiosk )

Pirate Park Palm Beach (Dune Cafe)

Mermaid Park  Mermaid Beach (Bam Bam Bakehouse)

Harley Park Labrador (Charis Seafood)

Queen Elizabeth Park Coolangatta (number of cafes on the esplanade).

Paradise Point Parklands (take your pick from the cafes across the road)

Gold Coast Botanic Gardens  (Coffee at the Gardens)

Evandale Parklands (The Arts Cafe- The Arts Centre, Bundall Farmers Markets Sunday mornings)

 

Promenade Playground – Robina Town Centre

 

Food Court Playground – Westfield Helensvale

 

Pratten Park (the old park) Broadbeach – It’s not a permanent fixture, but there is a coffee van there every Thurs and Fri from 9.30am.

 

Broadbeach All Abilities Playground at Kurruwa Beach – Tower 28 Cafe under the Kurruwa Surf Club.

We’d love to hear from you if you know a playground close to coffee that isn’t on our list! Get in touch!
Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Robina Lions Club Park

Gold Coast Playgrounds and Parks – Robina Lions Club Park

14a Peach Drive, Robina

Robina Lions Club Park is a small local park that sits on the bank of Mudgeeraba Creek. As well as a playground, there are other areas to explore, including the creek bank and clusters of trees.

There is lots of birdlife and nature play opportunities. The trees drop all sorts of gumnuts and different shaped leaves, perfect for creating collages or sensory tables. We took a plastic shopping bag to collect some leaf litter and bits and pieces to take home and soon found we were surrounded by hungry ducks! There are signs in Robina asking locals not to feed the ducks, as not only are the ducks at risk of eating something that is bad for them, but foodscraps contribute to the algae bloom in Lake Lido and surrounding waterways. There are often people fishing in the water – I’m not sure about fish but I have seem plenty of turtles and eels!

The playground is fully-fenced, which is a must for any sleep- deprived/busy/lazy mum, and it has a soft wood-chip ground cover (which is this mum’s favourite).

The swings are great – there is a standard set and a cobweb swing (for mums to lie in while their kids play LOL).

There is also a spinning cup for the kids to sit in, and a spring ride.

The main play equipment has stairs and a climbing wall that can be used to reach the platforms. A bridge is in between the platforms and little ones have a lot of fun running from one end to the other. We have found the bridge quite slippery with the wrong shoes on little feet, so be careful. There are some drop-offs for younger kids to avoid.

In addition to the bridge, there are wheels to turn, a fireman’s pole and a slide. There is a bench in the shade outside of the fenced area, and an undercover picnic table

Overall Robina Lions Park playground is a great little facility for locals.

Messy Monkeys – Lunchbox Swaps

Messy Monkeys – Lunchbox Swaps

Deliberating over what to put in the kid’s lunchboxes is the eternal dilemma for parents. You want to give them something that is nourishing, boosts their brain power and energy levels for school work and play, but often the healthy choices seem to be the things they won’t eat. Salad filled sandwiches can be soggy by lunchtime, your lovingly made wholegrain muffins may be dry and un-appetising when not warm, fresh from the oven and you may feel utterly confused about the snack options on the supermarket shelf.

The first piece of advice is to not get overly complicated. You do not need to give endless combinations and flavour sensations. In fact, most kids are happy with familiar foods and are quite happy to have a rotation of a few different options.

Secondly, don’t put too much in the lunchbox. If there are too many items to choose from, it is inevitable the easy-to-eat items will go first and they won’t have the time or inclination to eat the filled roll or specially prepared wrap. Think about what your child would eat at home during school hours and match the lunchbox accordingly.

To help you with what to put in the lunchbox here are a few easy swaps:

  • Ditch the white bread for a lovely wholegrain variety. The best options are breads with lots of grainy bits and seeds, but if they won’t eat these start with a smooth wholegrain option. Rolls and wholegrain wraps are terrific alternatives to mix things up across the week.
  • Swap the processed meat fillings such as ‘soccerball’ ham for freshly cooked meats or canned fish. Leftovers from the night before are ideal or poach a couple of chicken breasts at the start of the week, slice them and keep them in a container in the fridge to use through the week.
  • Swap the chips and packaged snacks for Messy Monkeys whole grain Bites. These are made with a mixture of wholegrain flours including the ancient grain quinoa and the lesser known grain sorghum. This has been shown in a recent study to improve satiety and the feeling of fullness between meals. This may help kids to feel satisfied and avoid overeating, particularly on the wrong foods. A packet of these Whole Grain Bites delivers 2g of fibre, putting them well on their way to meeting their daily fibre needs.
  • Swap the processed fruit snacks for real, whole fruit. Even if they are made from 100% fruit, this often means extra concentrated fruit juice is added for sweetness, many of the nutrients and antioxidants are lost in the processing and the end result is not much better than a sticky lolly, particularly when it comes to dental health. Whole fruit offers a complete nutrition package of fibre, naturally present sugars for energy and a whole bunch of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Cutting the fruit up is often the best means of ensuring they eat it – or add the whole fruit to a reusable tub of unsweetened Greek yoghurt.
  • Swap the fruit juice for water. Water is all kids need for hydration and they should not have sugary drinks, including fruit juice.

 

If you are still struggling to get your child to eat their lunch, Dr Joanna has some more advice for when your child’s lunch comes home uneaten.

REVIEW

We were lucky enough to be given a few packets of Messy Monkeys to review.

What we thought
Messy Monkeys are a handy snack food that are super yummy and a great alternative to rice crackers and unhealthy chips.

  • Yummy natural-tasting flavours (cheese, pizza flavours) and generous serving sizes.
  • A great ‘lunchbox swap’ with the burger flavour – they taste just like Burger Rings for a real treat!
  • The packets were hard to open. As a teacher, I know the pain of opening packets for fifty prep students at a time. Prepare to pull ugly faces.
  • I loved them, my 13 yo daughter loved them and my toddler loved them.
  • My toddler loved the Monkey picture and would ask for ‘Monkey chippees’.
  • I love that the kids felt like they were having a treat, and I could give them one without feeling really, really, ridiculously guilty.

Overall I thought they were a great option for a lunchbox or to have in your nappy bag or handbag for a quick, guilt-free snack.

All of the details
Messy Monkeys is a new brand delivering healthy and delicious products to address the much-needed gap in the market for kids’ nutritional snacks.

Containing only natural ingredients, these tasty Whole Grain Bites have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. You won’t find any palm oil, MSG or other nasties in these either. Yay! Messy Monkeys is the perfect addition for any lunchbox, with a Health Star Rating of 4, so you can be assured your little one is getting all the good stuff.

Messy Monkeys, which is made with the hidden goodness of sorghum and quinoa, offers 48 percent more fibre, 74 percent more protein, 85 percent less sugar and 45 percent less sodium than the leading competitor product.

These Whole Grain Bites are a simple and healthy choice for a nutritionally balanced lunchbox, but importantly are also packed full of flavour so your kids will love them too.