1. Newcastle Museum: 6 Workshop Way Honeysuckle Newcastle – Free entry

“Mininova” for toddlers with plenty of equipment with soft mats for safe play

“Supernova” for older kids with lots of interactive science exhibits for ‘hands-on’ play

Phone for times and information: 02 4974 1400  Website: www.newcastlemuseum.com.au


  1. Newcastle Art Gallery: 1 Laman St, Cooks Hill – Free entry

Free “Art Cart” activities for children each weekday morning. Bookings are required.

 “Children’s Art Trails” These free, do-it-yourself Gallery activity booklets are available with selected exhibitions and are there for the whole family to enjoy. The art trails are a great way to entertain children in the gallery, offering questions, puzzles, clues and quirky pieces of information.

Phone for further information: 02 4974 5100  Website: www.nag.org.au


  1. Blackbutt Reserve: Carnley Ave, Kotara

Free entry, however parking is $4 per hour or $ 12 per day.

Exhibits are open 10am – 5pm daily, however picnic facilities are open 7am – 7pm

There are many things to do at Blackbutt, including nature walks, daily animal feeding and a fun adventure playground. There are picnic facilities which are fully accessible.

Phone: 4904 3344  Website: www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/blackbutt-reserve


  1. Richley Reserve: Freyberg St, New Lambton

Free entry, however parking is $4 per hour or $ 12 per day.

The entrance to Richley Reserve is off Freyberg Street New Lambton. There is a beautiful, peaceful picnic area with large grassy flats, barbeques, and picnic tables, one of which is accessible. The adventure playground features rope courses, bridges, swings and slides, an adventure tower, and plenty of space for everyone from toddlers to tweens, and all abilities.
Natural tactile elements like timber, stone, sand, and water connect kids with nature, encourage self-directed play, and provide a safe but challenging environment for kids to build their confidence and resilience. In this playground kids can get dirty, take risks, play hard and enjoy the outdoors, in a safe and welcoming environment. Those with mobility challenges can also get amongst it, with wheelchair access to the playground enabled via a new pathway, and a specially designed carousel.

Richley Reserve is open 24 hours per day

Phone: 4904 3344 Website: https://newcastle.nsw.gov.au/blackbutt-reserve/plan-your-visit/facilities/richley-reserve


  1. Hunter Wetlands Centre: 1 Wetlands Pl, Shortland NSW 2307

There is an entry fee: $7.50 per adult, $5 per child 4-15 years, $5 concession, $20 per family, children 0-3 are free.          

The Wetlands have accessible parking and paths, as well as a lift to access ground level from the visitors centre. There are guided tours, walking trails and a children’s playground. School holiday programs are also offered. Other activities are available at additional cost, such as canoeing and dip netting.

Closed in shoes, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent are strongly recommended. Closed in shoes are required for some activities.

Hunter Wetlands Centre is open 9am – 4pm 7 days per week.

Phone 4951 6466   Website: www.wetlands.org.au


  1. Fairy Garden: Australia Road Broadmeadow

Free and always open

This enchanted garden has winding paths, lots of lush plants, and many figurines. It is a lovely spot to take young children, with little tables for a picnic or tea party. Spot fairies, frogs, and lots of other treasures as you explore this garden. Help your child write a letter to the Fairy Queen and post it in the fairy letter box. Do not forget to include a return address, your child might just receive a letter back from the Fairy Queen.


  1. Your Local Library

Our local libraries provide much more than amazing books for us to borrow for free. They also offer regular activities for a wide variety of age groups.

0 – 1 years: Babies into Books

1 – 3 years: Read and Rhyme.

3 – 5 years: Storytime for Pre-schoolers

Some libraries also offer after-school and school holiday activities for school aged children.

Contact your local library for information.






  1. Grannies’ Pool: Follow the signs to Grannies’ Pool from blacksmiths Surf Lifesaving Club, 118 Ungala Rd, Blacksmiths

Free car parking.

Disability access via a concrete ramp down to the pool which is easy for prams and wheelchairs.

Grannies’ Pool is near Blacksmiths beach and is a shallow, tidal pool which is perfect for young children to splash around in.


  1. Caves Beach: 127/139 Caves Beach Rd, Caves Beach

Explore the Caves at Caves Beach, a lovely beach near Swansea in Lake Macquarie.

It would be advisable to visit this beach in calm conditions only so that the caves can be easily accessed.

Go for a walk along the beach, explore the caves and many rock pools.

Free parking.

Sheltered picnic area and barbeques.


  1. Visit a Fully Fenced Playground - Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Areas


 Adamstown: Laneway Park Playground

 4 Moira Street Adamstown


Belmont: Spinnaker Ridge Reserve Playground

10 Genoa Close Belmont


Cameron Park: Country Grove Reserve Playground

Country Grove Drive Cameron Park


Charlestown: Tallwood Circuit Park Playground

Tallwood Circuit Charlestown


Garden Suburb: Forest Hills Reserve Playground

Gymea Drive Garden Suburb


Hillsborough: Percy Street Playground

Percy Street Hillsborough


Lambton: Pilkington Street Reserve Playground

Cnr Pilkington and Michael Streets Lambton North


Morisset: Bernie Goodwin Oval Playground

Newcastle Street Morisset


Pelican: Pelican Foreshore Park Playground

1A Lakeview Parade Pelican


Redhead: Redhead Winderhouse Playground

Geraldton Drive Redhead


Speers Point: Lake Macquarie Variety Playground

Park Road Speers Point


Toronto: Toronto Bay Foreshore Playground

Victory Row Toronto


Warners Bay: Warner Park Playground

John Street Warners Bay


Whitebridge: Harold Wesley Knight Park Playground

Lonus Avenue Whitebridge


Wyee:  Wyee Community Hall Reserve Playground

114 Wyee Road Wyee