A Chic Guide to School Hols on the Coast
To ensure coastal chicettes are having as much fun as chic adults, we’ve compiled the top ten things for families on the Central Coast these school holidays.
From waterfront carnivals to cooking classes, Coastal Chic mum Zoe Thomson put some of the Coast’s star attractions to the test with one aim – to entertain Coastie kids (including her two girls) over the autumn break.
The Entrance waterfront is the place to go for some old-fashioned school holiday entertainment. Found at the northern end of the promenade, there’s a Carousel, a revamped playground including trampolines and climbing frames, and a water park (just make sure you pack a towel!). You can spend a few dollars, your kids can have a few rides, and you can experience some true blue hospitality from local couple John and Hannah who have run the Entrance carousel for as long as anyone can remember. For an extra treat, hop on down to the waterfront over the Easter long weekend for an ‘eggstravaganza’ of market stalls, live music, entertainment and even a visit from the Easter Bunny on Sunday. A light show will also take place from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Fuel up with a coffee at newly opened Coast Cafe (opp. the KFC) – we recommend their Nutella pancakes for the little people, and smoked salmon burgers for the grown ups.
Once upon a time, High Teas were for the upper crust of British society – a chance for the landed gentry to fill their bellies before the theatre, followed by a late supper. In 2017 – it’s a chance for little ladies and gents to get fancy during the school holidays. Crowne Plaza at Terrigal is hosting an under-the-sea themed High Tea for children on April 23, where $29 will buy high tea, face painting, plaster painting and balloon animals. A very chic way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Don’t forget to book at Crowne Plaza.
End the holidays with some trackside fun as The Entertainment Grounds partners with Sea FM for the annual Central Coast Anzac Day Race Day. There will be a full day of racing, two-up in the beer garden, oodles of kids entertainment for little punters and Fashions on the Field for chic mums. Tickets available at the gate for $20 – kids (17 years and under) are free when accompanied by an adult. Gates open at 11am with the first race around 12:30pm. Book a lunch package via The Entertainment Grounds. Giddy up!
Somersby Falls has got to be one of the Coast’s hidden treasures – and shows, beyond the beach, how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of Australia. A short drive from Gosford, Somersby Falls is most spectacular after, or during, rainfall – the water gushes down the precipice from top to bottom. If you do go in the wet, wear sneakers – it’s slippery – and be prepared to get a little muddy. On a sunny day, it’s still a lovely bushwalk, and you can take a picnic to have after you get back to the top.
Built in 1903 after several shipwrecks in the area, Norah Head Lighthouse was manned for more than 90 years before turning to automatic lights. Today you can take a tour of the 96-step high structure and learn about life as a lighthouse keeper, which included the arduous task of polishing the 700-lens prism. It’s a big part of our history, and worth a visit, if for nothing else than to admire the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. If you want to make a weekend of it – book a cottage onsite, and for somewhere chic nearby to grab a coffee or a bite, check out The Ark on the way in or out.
You don’t have to save a Central Coast beach visit just for the summer time because there’s plenty to do even as the cooler weather sets in. Take a bucket and spade to Bateau Bay beach for some seriously good beach-combing amid the rock pools, grab some fish and chips at Terrigal and watch the waves crash in from the shore, or explore one of the region’s less-trodden beaches like Little Beach or Maitland Bay. If you have a dog, google “central coast dog beaches”. From Pearl Beach to Shelly Beach, there are loads of dog friendly beaches up and down the coast.
Calling all mini masterchefs! Julie’s Place – home to one of Australia’s fave home cooks and the inaugural winner of Masterchef Julie Goodwin – is offering a sweet (and savoury) line up of kids cooking classes these holidays. Kids will come home from the Gosford kitchen with new skills including how to make a Mexican fiesta or create Easter cupcakes as part of a fun line up of special kids-only classes. Both younger kids and teens are catered for, just make sure you get in quick to book your mini masterchef’s place at Julie’s Place.
Bombini was a breath of fresh air to coastal dining when it first opened and it continues to diversify and evolve, now offering kids’ cooking classes. While parents can take advantage of a kid-free morning to enjoy a spot of brunch at the Avoca restaurant, children aged 8-12 can learn how to prepare a Sunday roast complete with vegetables and stuffing. We welcome any steps to increase our kids’ appreciation for good, wholesome, home-cooked food. Held on Thursday April 13 and 20, the $70 class includes self-prepared lunch, house-made gelato and juice. Book your little chef’s place at Bombini.
The Peninsula Recreation Precinct is an oldie but a goodie. Between the skate park and the precinct’s epic playground, there’s hours of outdoor entertainment for kids of all ages. It’s easy to make an impromptu picnic on the grass with a takeaway coffee and sausage roll from chic kiosk Jasmine Greens or the surf club takeaway. Umina Beach Markets will add some extra fun and flavour to the precinct on Easter Sunday.
If you’re a car enthusiast – go! If you’re not – go, you may find you have a newfound appreciation for cars after a walk around the hallowed ground of the Gosford Classic Car Museum. Incredibly, this museum is built entirely from a private collection and is the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. If you have some spare change, you could even walk away with one of the vehicles on display! Jimmy G’s diner is onsite catering to coffee fixes and kids’ cravings with a menu of milkshakes and burgers. It’s open over the Easter weekend.