We started the day by having a big toy clear-out and heading to…
I’d made a deal with the kids that if they sifted through their toys and filled a box with donations, then they were allowed to buy a little toy each from Vinnies.
It’s easy to forget that little kids often have no understanding (and certainly have no regular reminder) that there are people who live in circumstances very different to their own and giving to charity helps remind us all.
So we went with our pre-loved clothes and toys to Sutherland Vinnies (which is one of the largest Vinnies shops in NSW. Their toy section is to the very back right of the shop and always pretty well-stocked and clean.
On this occasion we really hit gold. In addition to the two soft toys the kids picked, we scored four excellent, good-quality (and mostly educational) games.
I’m aware that some families don’t like buying second-hand. If that’s your choice, though, you can still kick start your day by donating pre-loved goods.
By the time we’d paid for our purchases, the kids were ready for lunch. Conveniently, we were only a couple of doors down from some great options.
Lunchtime in Sutherland
Bacchus Cafe and Kuroneko Ramen are both almost right next door to Vinnies so you can avoid getting kids in and out of the car for this outing.
If everyone is up for a short walk (or you’re still able to use a pram) then there are also plenty of other takeaway food options just across from the Sutherland Entertainment Centre.
My kids love Yummi Sushi, which is just behind another option- the Salt and Pepper Cafe lounge. Or you may like to try the colourful poke bowls and burgers at Bop & Roll or the all-day breakfast (or lunch fare) from Elliette, where there is a kids menu featuring bacon and eggs, toasties, cheese fingers.
On this occasion, my daughter was happy to have a ham and cheese croissant from Bacchus but my son wanted sushi, so we got both and then took our lunch to…
Peace Park and Chuo City Garden
From Bacchus Cafe and Kuroneko Ramen, if you’re trying to keep things close and simple, you can walk straight across Merton St to Forby Sutherland Memorial Garden, which is a super pretty little spot to sit and eat, run on the lawn, or talk about all the different flowers.
Just beware that in both parks there are small shallow pools/water features that toddlers may want to hop in, which are not intended for swimming.
Our preferred play spot in Sutherland is Chuo City garden, which is behind Peace Park and the Entertainment Centre. From Kuroneko, you can walk straight up Merton St to Peace Park and Chuo City Garden. If you go on a Saturday between 8am and 1pm you’ll also be right beside the wonderful Shire Farmer’s Market where you can buy everything from fresh fruit, veges, meat and seafood to flowers, candles, beauty products and wine.
We’ve been to the markets many times and love them, but on this particular day it was a Tuesday so we were just there for the kids to burn some energy. We made some shapes out of the stones in the garden, played Tips, Hide and Seek and collected fallen leaves and flowers to create some sustainable crafts later. (Bring baskets for this!)
It’s also a great spot for a nature scavenger hunt.
Almost worn out, we embarked on the short walk over to…
Sutherland Library is the central library of those in the Shire and our go-to place for borrowing books. They have a fabulously large kids section, which has been moved to the back of the ground floor since COVID.
It includes board books, books with audio CDs, DVDs and helpfully lots of books are sorted into reading levels.
Their junior non-fiction section covers all topics and we often go in with a topic in mind and find books about that theme. Whether it be animals, mindfulness, sports, the environmental, you name it, there are books on it.
You can borrow usually borrow up to 21 books for three weeks, but due to COVID and their increased sanitising processes, you can now borrow up to 60 items. My kids pick books at the speed of light so rather than have them both hurling books at me I’ve learned that a good strategy is to give them a bag each and tell them they can pick 10 books each.
We sat down to read a couple of books while we were there and then carrying the kids’ two heavy bags I made the (thankfully) short walk down Belmont St back to the car so we could take them home to read.
It’s a great day out and all the activities are within close proximity of one another.
Looking for more?
There are still plenty of other great places you can explore in Sutherland.
If you’re looking for Sutherland playgrounds try Clio St Reserve, Leonay St Reserve, Acacia Rd Reserve or the smaller Albert Hutchinson Reserve or Gray St Reserve. And you can’t go past Sutherland Leisure Centre if you’re looking to cool the kids down afterwards!