Doodlebugs Play Centre Review

Doodlebugs Play Centre Review

 

Doodlebugs is a family owned and operated play centre located in Miami on the Gold Coast. It is one of the largest centres on the Gold Coast with a large cafe area and large play areas for older children. It is fully air-conditioned with complimentary Wi-Fi for your use, making it a great respite spot for working parents that need to get some laptop work done!.

PLAY

Doodlebugs has a separate toddler area and a dedicated ‘walker’ area for little ones. It includes a slide, trampoline, kitchenette and some blocks to play with. There are no ride-ons.

The larger play area includes three slides, large climbing equipment, ball pit, spinning columns and a Cannonball Battle Zone. Kids can shoot foam balls and deliver them back to the cannons to shoot out again. This is loads of fun but does make the centre very noisy.

There is an indoor train that runs two-hourly at 10am, 12pm and 2pm (except it does not run on Mondays). If there are lots of children, they will do a few trips around so that everyone gets a go. The first ride is free with entry; extra rides are $1. It is definitely a highlight of visiting Doodlebugs!

 

EAT

The cafe is good and has a varied menu (melts, acai bowls, smoothies), although serving times are long and the option to buy smaller serves of ‘red’ food would be a positive. The tables and chairs are a bit close together and make navigating the centre, or finding a spot to put your pram a bit tricky – if possible, grab a ‘picnic’ bench for the kids- there is plenty of room for strollers in this section and you get a great position to supervise your children.

Some prices are a bit expensive ($1 for a Chupa Chup or 5 rice crackers for example) and $7 for a bowl of chips (no smaller option available). However, overall the variety is good, and the convenience of having smaller snack sizes is handy.

There is an outdoor seating area, which is enclosed, however not covered, so is wet when it rains.

 

AMENITIES

The toilets are clean and baby change facilities are provided.

Parking is right out the front of the centre on the road.

Positives

  • The train!
  • Airconditioned and free wi-fi
  • One of the largest centres

Negatives

  • Long waiting times for food and coffee
  • Can be noisy due to the air-compressed cannons

 

ENTRY FEES

Under 11 months- Free

12 months – 5 years $9.50

6 – 12 years $11.50

Adults free

Ask them about their 10 visit and six month passes – we have a six month pass and it’s great value.

 

OPENING HOURS 9am – 3pm daily 7 days a week (Saturday 4pm close)

Closed public holidays and Mothers and Fathers Days.

 

LOCATION: 6/54 Paradise Avenue, Miami

Doodlebugs Miami
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

Boomerangs Helensvale Review

Boomerangs Helensvale Review

Boomerangs Play Centre is a super-fun indoor space for kids to play while parents enjoy a coffee and bite to eat. They also have two for one entry on Wednesdays – an offer too good to refuse! We had to pop along and check out this haven for kids at Helensvale Homeworld.
 
We invited another mummy and little friend for a play at Boomerangs. When we arrived, we noticed that the centre was lovely and quiet – there was no loud radio or noisy games in the centre. Sure there were kids yelling and babies crying, but the centre was calm, which we loved. We could have a decent mummy-chat!
Our kidlets ran into the play area straight away. After running after them to remove their shoes, we sat down at one of the many tables and chairs provided. We had a look at the menu placed on the table and ordered coffee and snacks at the cafe. The prices are good, and smaller portions are available. We were also excited to discover our coffees came in real cups! Everything was fresh, perfectly prepared and in generous serves.

Play areas

The play areas are easy to see from all areas of the centre and everything is nice and clean!
The babies area is an enclosed pen surrounded by low-wall seating. It has interactive bits and pieces for babies to play with, and is close to cafe tables and chairs.
The under 4s area has a smaller play gym including a ball pit and low-wall seating for adults to supervise. Various cars and bikes are available to drive on the mini track, and there are soft blocks to play around.
The main play area is smaller than other play centres, but it is also lighter and easier to see into. None of our children found themselves stuck or overwhelmed. It has three slides, a ball pit, flying fox and plenty of sections to climb. The long slides are very fast, but have a long bottom section that slows kids down fast.
Our children were busy on the equipment for a good two hours and were wrapped with the slides and climbing equipment.

In addition to normal play, Boomerangs also have characters and craft/dance/music activities in the centre during the week (check their website, below, for details), included in the entry fee.

To get the special entry deal we had to arrive at the same time, so we met out the front of the centre. Two for one deals are excellent for a cheap play date with a friend, or for parents who have more than one child. After you factor in coffee and treats, a trip to a play centre can cost $30+ for one child, so these deals can save you money! Note, if you take kids of different ages, you are charged at the rate of the older child.

Positives

  • Soft baby play area
  • Large toddler play area including ride ons
  • Coffee in real cups
  • ‘Red’ food available in smaller serves 
  • 2 for 1 entry on Wednesdays and other special events throughout the week
  • Airconditioned

Negatives

  • One of the smaller play areas for older kids

 

Boomerangs Play Centre and Cafe

LOCATION Helensvale Homeworld – Oxenford/Hope Island exit off the M1

AGES 1-10

COST From $8.50

DEALS 2 for 1 entry Wednesday, before 3pm, term time only. Find more specials and information on their website.

http://www.boomerangsplaycentre.com.au/

HIGHLIGHTS Coffee in real cups, small affordable options on menu, easy to see children in equipment, quiet compared to other similar centres.

Etiquette Essentials At The Young Ladies Charm School and Styling Workshop

Etiquette Essentials At The Young Ladies Charm School and Styling Workshop

ON THESE WINTER HOLS – CHECK OUR EVENTS PAGE!

Sitting in on Mistress Chrissy’s Young Ladies Charm School and Styling Workshop on the Gold Coast was an enriching experience, unlikely to be forgotten by any of its young 8-14 year old attendees.

Nervous schoolgirls filled the room, giggling, jittery and overflowing with wonder. Eagerly inspecting their new parlors, each little one delighted in an assortment of special adornments displayed to play with. Twirling flowers and squishing sponges, little feet playfully swinging under tables. Mistress Chrissy and Assistant Ronnie introduced themselves to the group, overwhelming the room with a buzz of excitement. The girls all squealed, eager to tiptoe into the unknown.

New friends began gently unraveling braids and the styling class began. “Did you know there are four ways to brush your hair?” Mistress Chrissy soothed. The girls looked at each other and giggled, shaking their heads with glee.

Untangled and exhilarated, the little miss’s stood to make their Charm School Oath. “We promise to pursue our passions and believe in our dreams… to give compliments away freely … and to use our charming powers for good…” This was a prominent underlying theme to the day, celebrating self-love, self-worth and a carefree attitude.

Faces were refreshed while Chrissy began inciting ideas about acceptance and frivolity. “Our inner beauty comes from saying yes to things- engaging in life, and having a kind heart. What does having a kind heart mean to you?” “Being caring,” “friendly,” “looking after yourself and every one else” were quickly chimed from the crowd.

Lightly dabbing moisturizing tints to their faces, young girls were taught about the benefits of sun protection from a young age and how blusher accentuates a healthy rosy cheek, best achieved by exercising. “Today we’re just having some fun and being a bit silly, practicing and trying new things. Makeup is only really for special occasions when you get bigger and only when Mum says it’s okay.”

A power-posing workshop was guided by Ronnie, demonstrating ways to prepare for an upcoming test or speech by feeling and appearing more confident within yourself. This was received with overwhelming joy by each of the girls.

Tips on beauty sleep, posture and best grooming practices were given while Miss Chrissy began styling each little ladies locks, to suit their individual hair type and personality. A flower for the free-spirited wild child in the room, a doo rag for the edgy girl exuding confidence and a pin curl for little miss with a classically sweet demeanor. Each hairstyle was intricately pieced together with impressive perfection and prowess.

The take home message for the day was one of grace and poise, to practice being the gentle breeze who floats into a room instead of a blustering cyclone. To be kind to others and take care of yourself. Oh, and to compliment another young lady on your way out.