9 ways to keep the kids busy this summer in Wagga Wagga + Surrounds
Author: Visit Wagga Wagga team
First published: 11 Dec 2017.
Friends and family visiting over summer and no idea what to do with the little ones in tow? Now you do!
There’s no excuses for staying in the air-con all summer long in Wagga Wagga. Entertainment for all ages and budgets is on the cards, whether you just need to get the kids out of your hair or want some family friendly fun which isn’t going to break the bank.
Kick off the school holidays with Woody and Buzz
It’ll be easy to keep the kids entertained at the Light the Night Christmas Village. Be enchanted by a Christmas village for the whole family over two nights - Friday 15 and Saturday 16 December.
Kids can meet their favourite characters including Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story and even Santa Claus himself!
It’ll be held in the Civic Centre Precinct around the picturesque Wollundry Lagoon.
Questacon brings the fun to Wagga
Escape the heat all summer long at the Museum of the Riverina. Best of all? Entry is free!
Questacon’s Fascinating Science is at the Historic Council Chambers site with 32 challenging hands-on exhibits to bamboozle young and old. We promise the adults will enjoy this one just as much as the kids will!
The Musuem’s Botanic Gardens site has fun and games too. Keep the kids occupied at Kidzone, discover regional history or look over the city with the binoculars on the balcony.
The Willans Hill Miniature Railway has always been a crowd pleaser. The trains run on the tracks covering a couple of kilometres through part of the city’s Botanic Gardens – through tunnels, past the museum and even through a mini woodland area.
It’s just $2 per ride and don’t forget to wear your enclosed shoes.
Running on the first and third Sunday of each month, be sure to time your visit to Wagga for one of these weekends – you won’t be sorry!
Say hi to Dozer the wombat or witness the peacocks prancing around
The Botanic Gardens Zoo and Aviary will keep everyone enthralled and occupied for an afternoon. It’s free entry and open daily except for Christmas Day.
See which guinea pig is king of the castle and which is a dirty rascal, give Forrest and Jenny a pat on your way past and get a good look at the emu (while also keeping your distance, of course!).
P.S. Grab lunch or an ice cream at Little el while you’re there (or some food for your new animal friends!), or perhaps pack a picnic and pull up a rug under a shady spot in the gardens.
Splash around at the Oasis
From the turbo pool to the beach area with mushrooms and a mini waterfall, the Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre has everything sorted to keep you cool this summer. Inflatable fun will also be on the cards throughout summer, check days and times with the Oasis to avoid disappointment.
There’s indoor and outdoor pools for all ages, fully supervised by lifeguards - the kids will be busy for hours! Why not pack a picnic and make a whole day of it?
Action-packed indoor fun
If it’s a rainy day or you just have to get out of the summer sun, there’s options in Wagga Wagga – running, jumping and bowling will mean they’ll be tuckered out and in bed early!
You’re spoilt for choice if you feel like bouncing – and who doesn’t? Flip Out offers a range of tramps – even a special little kids zone – that’ll have you flipping, laughing and literally bouncing off the walls.
AirZone is an inflatable world you can enjoy whatever the weather – slides, giant jumping castles, racers and more!
The Wagga Bowling and Entertainment Centre will have the whole family involved in some friendly competition, in between enjoying hot dogs, fries, and a good ol’ fashioned soft drink spider served at their retro diner. The kids will love the amazing arcade games with tickets and prizes and thrilling Virtual Reality stations too!
Slap on some sunscreen and head outdoors
Head out exploring and see what you can find around the city – we promise you won’t need to go far at all if you don’t want to.
An ideal guide for exploring the landscape around Wagga Wagga is the Wiradjuri Walking Track. A 42 kilometre loop of the city, you can attack it whole, in bits, or tackle the 12 kilometre Wollundry Loop through the city. (P.S. Check in on the works around the Main City Levee on Council’s website – some parts of the track will have some closures over the next few months.)
A great family friendly spot is Lake Albert in the city’s southern suburbs (pictured). Surrounded by a walking track and serviced by two playgrounds and BBQ shelters, with a golf club and boat club as neighbours, it’s a great spot to spend some time this summer – and it’ll even play host to Wagga’s New Year’s Eve celebrations!
Have you been to Marrambidya Wetland yet? A stunning reserve alongside the Murrumbidgee River, it’s just minutes from the city centre near Wiradjuri Reserve. Established in 2016, it provides a habitat for migratory and non-migratory birds, water insects, frogs, fish, reptiles and mammals such as the locally threatened squirrel glider. See how many you can spot from the walking tracks, bird hides and elevated viewing platform!
Make the most of the ‘Bidgee this summer
Close to the city centre and part of the Riverside precinct, the iconic Wagga Beach is where you can take a refreshing dip, have a BBQ, build a sandcastle or simply lie on the grass by the bend in the river and stare at the sky.
Just a short drive from Wagga, Oura Beach Reserve is another top spot to enjoy the Murrumbidgee. Pull up a seat on the Ageless Oura artwork, installed in 2016, which frames views of the river. Rust coloured steel rings, blending beautifully into the landscape, frame the hardwood timber seats.
Royal Life Saving’s Respect the River program has some great river safety tips to make sure your visit is a safe one and you'll be back to enjoy again another day!
Go on an adventure
Make it your mission to explore more of the region this summer, it’s a great time of year for day tripping and Wagga’s location gives us easy access to so many!
Head east towards Tumut and have a leisurely swim, picnic or take a walk around the historic gold mill ruins at Adelong Falls. The remarkable stone ruins give a glimpse of how reef ore was processed, and there is no better place to sit on a hot summer day than on a rock in the babbling water of Adelong Creek.
If flying is your thing, the Temora Aviation Museum has arguably the world’s finest collection of flying historic aircraft. On the way home, stop in at the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory and make a giant chocolate freckle, dine on quality local produce, or just sample (and stock up on!) organic licorice with a factory tour.
Follow the Murrumbidgee River downstream towards Narrandera. Lake Talbot Swimming Complex is a regional drawcard where you can enjoy outdoor pools, a winding water slide and the adventurous Rampage slide. Make time for a wander through the town’s Koala Reserve as well. You’re bound to spot a koala or two enjoying some river red gum leaves (there’s over 200 around after all!).
There’s so much more to explore
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Our top picks for kids this summer - there's plenty to keep them busy all summer long in Wagga!