Gymea is a great place for a day out with kids. You can pick and choose from the places we visited below or hit them all in one action-packed day that the kids are bound to remember.
Hazelhurst art gallery and cafe offers kids an experience they can’t get anywhere else in the Shire. We visited recently during the Art Express exhibition, which showcases the works of HSC art students every year. It’s an inspiring annual exhibition that can help you show your kids how much their art could progress by the time they finish school if this is something they are interested in.
The upcoming exhibition (from 26th Jun 2021) is Colonies by Christopher Langton. This larger than life, immersive sci-fi installation continues Langton’s ongoing series which explores ideas of space colonisation and organisms such as bacteria while considering issues around our shared ecology. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the works using an augmented reality app on their phones. It is inventive, colourful and sure to capture the attention of your kids.
Kids can pick up an activity bag, which includes a scavenger hunt list to check off as they walk through the gallery and the gardens as well as some colouring-in and activities you can use to keep them amused during breakfast or lunch if you’re dining in the cafe. Kids who aren’t old enough to complete these activities can enjoy running around and looking at the art in the gardens instead, playing by the small lake (might be an idea to pack some extra clothes just in case!) or in the sandpit.
During school holidays they also hold free art classes for kids. Simply secure your place by booking via 8536 5700.
Nina’s Chocolates have been around since the early 90s and I have been eating them back since they were sold in a cafe where I worked as a barista in the early noughties!
So though taking a kid into a chocolate shop is always a slightly dangerous idea, I knew it would be very worthwhile in this case! To save any in-store meltdowns, decide and advise your child how many small chocolates they’ll be allowed to choose before you enter.
I took my five-year-old and we’d agreed beforehand that we would pick two chocolates for him, his sister and myself. I have to warn you though that you may struggle with this as the range is unbelievable, including such gems as dark salted caramel, creme brulee bomb, peppermint hearts and toasted marshmallow. And this is just a tiny selection of the single chocolate range, they also make satchels of chocolate covered honeycomb, ginger and turkish delight (to name a few) and chocolate blocks, rocky road and specialty chocolates.
Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong here! You can find them at 27 Gymea Bay Rd, Gymea.
Gymea Village Children’s Play Area
If you have toddlers and it’s easier not to have to hop in and out of the car again, then there’s a small playground just a short walk away from both Hazelhurst and Nina’s Chocolates. You’ll find it between Gymea Bay Hotel and Gymea Community Centre. Probably best for under 5s, the play equipment includes a slide, balance poles, climbing net and sliding pole. There are also handy public toilets if you need them.
Gymea Village Toy Shop
A little further south on Gymea Bay Road, at 100 Gymea Bay Road to be exact, you’ll find Gymea Village Toy Shop. It’s only a 4-minute walk from the abovementioned playground and will make kids’ eyes widen with delight when they see the veritable wonderland of toys inside. They stock everything from puzzles and board games to dress-up clothes and dolls, to science experiments and craft kits and so much more. If your child has been saving up their pocket money, recently been given birthday money, or done something extraordinary to earn a special prize, this is the perfect small business to take them for a reward!
Old School Park
Kids who don’t mind jumping back in the car in the name of heading to a bigger, better playground, will likely prefer Old School Park over the Children’s play area at Gymea Village.
The playground here features swings, big and small slides, dramatic play areas, climbing walls and nets, spring-loaded rockers, sliding poles and a huge path for riding scooters and bikes.
There’s also plenty of seating, toilets and bins for your convenience. The park is gated/fenced at the front and on both sides, while at the back there is bush you can explore.
It’s one of our favourite playgrounds in the Shire and you can read about the other best playgrounds in the Shire here.
What else is there to do with kids in Gymea?
A few other fun things to do in Gymea with kids include having a couple of plates at the long-running sushi train: Sushi Dragon, visit Karda Place Reserve, go swimming or fishing near Gymea Bay Baths – and if you need a break you can even book them into the Kids Club at Tradies Gymea while you have a coffee or something to eat.
Looking for more ways to entertain the kids during the school holidays? Check out the rest of our “A Day Out in…” guides, our Winter School holidays Activities Guide and listings or visit our “What’s On” page to read about local events.