Rainy Day Play

Rainy Day Play

Winter in Tassie can be tough with small children.

Yes there’s snow on the mountain and plenty of puddles to jump in. But some days are just better suited to inside play.

Here are some of our favourite rainy-day hangouts around Hobart.

GLENORCHY YMCA

There aren’t many places you can take kids for just $2.50. But that’s all a trip to YMCA costs. My boys love the jumping castle (which is big enough for adults, too!) But there’s also a toddler-friendly soft-play area with a ball pit, slide and seesaws as well as a play kitchen, a cubby house, bikes, dress up clothes and a mini library with quiet spots to sit and read.

Previously set up on the basketball court, the play area has now been moved to a different part of the building, to the left as you enter the YMCA’s main door.

There’s also a cafe if you need a coffee, a toasted sandwich or an icy pole.

ST GILES TOY LIBRARY

We have plenty of toys in our house. But my little dinosaurs still get bored with what they have. So we mix things up by visiting the toy library. Sign up for $10 and you can start borrowing straight away from St Giles toy libraries in Lenah Valley and Launceston. From blocks and musical baby toys to board games, car sets, bikes and climbing equipment, it’s also a great place to borrow big stuff like baby walkers and trikes that toddlers outgrow quickly.

Our most recent haul included a big plastic tub of sea creatures and dinosaurs (of course!), a set of dominoes, a Hungry Caterpillar card game and a garbage truck full of rubbery little Trash Pack figurines.

The library, a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, also accepts donations if you have good quality toys you no longer need.

ROCKET TOTS

We’ve been going to the Hobart PCYC since Hudson was very small and even though he’s nearing five he still loves going to Rocket Tots with his little brother. There are casual classes every weekday (except Tuesdays) and also a class on Saturday mornings. Kids under five can run, jump, dance and tumble in the dojo and gymnastics hall – a great way to burn off energy when it’s wet or cold outside. Entry is $5 (your first class is free) and if you like it you can sign up for an annual PCYC membership for $40.

There are similar kinder gym classes at Kingston (Hudson loves the trampolines there) and also on Hobart’s Eastern Shore.

MEAL MACHINES

I like Meal Machines because it feels more like a cafe with a play centre attached, rather than a play centre with a mediocre cafe (because, let’s be honest, most play centres have pretty crappy food).

But here the food is healthy and tasty, the atmosphere is relaxed, the play area is clean and tables are well placed so you can easily supervise your kids while enjoying a coffee. Plus the boys love it. What’s not to like?

TEN LIVES CAT CENTRE

We had three fur children (two cats and a dog) when Hudson was born but sadly they all got old and sick and by the time he was six months old we were pet-free.

So visiting places like Ten Lives Cat Centre every now and again is a great way to get up close to some cute kitties while learning more about pets and how to care for them.

Hudson has been to the centre a few times and often talks about the cats he met and played with.

And we never arrive empty-handed – the centre gratefully accepts donations of food and other pet supplies as well as old towels and bedding.

HOBART AQUATIC CENTRE

This place is great for a welcome blast of warmth during winter.

The boys love splashing in the shallows together at Hobart Aquatic Centre and Hudson also enjoys braving the waterslide and practicing what he’s been learning during his swimming lessons.

Our other aquatic go-to is Clarence Aquatic Centre for $5 Aqua Play sessions (pictured above) in the fenced toddler pool, where the boys will happily play for hours. Instructors run sessions a couple of mornings a week or you can enjoy free play with the toys at other times.

SUPATRAMP

Take advantage of the $10 weekday special (not valid during school holidays) and you can bounce and climb at SupaTramp for hours. Both boys enjoy the trampolines and jumping pillows. Hudson is getting more confident at scaling the climbing walls while Archer is happy to watch his big brother or explore the under-fives play area.

Of course there are lots of other fun indoor places to explore – Libraries Tasmania, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, MONA, Putters Adventure Golf, Ten Pin Bowling, Village Cinemas, Intencity, The Haven, ParkLife, The Great Escape… the list goes on! We’d love to hear your favourites so please share them in the comments section below.