There is a market running almost every weekend somewhere on the Coast, but which ones can you take the kids to, without them complaining of being bored in the first ten minutes?
We thing these five markets are the best ones to visit when you have the whole family in tow:
Avoca Beachside Markets
Avoca Beachside Markets are one of the biggest markets on the Central Coast, held every fourth Sunday of the month, from 9am to 2pm in Heazlett Park along the foreshore. There's so much for the family and kids to do to fill the whole day, including Art Tank, an interactive art and craft area and Aqua Fun which has watercraft and rides to entertain kids, while the adults browse the 120 stalls. Afterwards you can head to the oval at Heazlett Park and let the kids burn off some energy by kicking around a ball, or you can sit and have a family picnic with all the goodies you’ve purchased inside the markets.
Parking can be difficult so to combat this issue organisers have arranged a free shuttle service from the Avoca Hotel, to the beginning of the markets, which departs every 15 minutes.
Bateau Beach Markets
The Bateau Beach Markets are quite new and held on the third Saturday of each month from 10am to 3pm, located within the grounds of the Bateau Bay Hotel. There's plenty of parking on site, so you can take your time shopping and listen to the live music, and the kids can play the giant games, or in the outdoor play area or on the jumping castle that is always set up.
The next event is on Easter Saturday, April 15th, and is going to be a huge family fun day where the first 100 children in the doors will receive a goody bag.
Shelly Beach Markets
Located within the grounds of Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College at The Entrance Campus, this market runs on the last Saturday of each month. It's larger than most other markets on the Coast and is also undercover. Again, there's no shortage of things for kids to do, with plaster painting, hair braiding, a jumping castle, face painting and games. There's also lots of great food stalls with fairy floss, ice cream and cupcakes for little ones. For us older kids, you’ll find sweet German pancakes, pork crackling, an Aussie barbecue and handmade chocolates.
Terrigal Beach Markets
Terrigal Beach Markets take place on the first Saturday of every month from 9am to 3pm. It runs along the Esplanade at Terrigal Beach and attracts lots of local artists, designers and musicians.
For the kiddies there is face painting, cute feather hair extensions and treats from Sweet and Sour Australia. Make sure you bring the buckets and spades because with the markets on one side of the Esplanade and the beach on the other side, the kids won’t be able to resist building a sandcastle.
Markets at the Fair
A fairly recent addition to the Central Coast’s market community is Markets at the Fair located in The Hive at Erina Fair. It's open every second Saturday of the month from 10am to 3pm. Aside from great local entertainment, and handcrafted goodies and fashion for the adults, they also have face painting, balloon animals, art and craft stalls, snow cones and fairy floss for kids. In the event of wet weather or extreme heat the markets are usually moved indoors to the Centre Stage area.