The Central Coast is renowned amongst locals and holiday makers for being so family friendly. There are so many different activities and places to choose from, you are spoilt for choice if you are lucky enough to live or visit here.
There's plenty to do for the whole family, however as a mum of two little rascals, I'm always on the look out for new ideas of things to see and do, especially ones that are cheap or free! So here's my picks of five free places to go on our beautiful Central Coast with your children:
1. Avoca Beach Rock Pool
If the suns out, slip slap slop and head down to stunning Avoca Beach. At the southern end you will find the rock pool which is the perfect place for younger children to paddle and play in as its protected from the surf.
I always find it a great beach choice to go to as there are plenty of car parking spots right nearby (so you avoid a long walk dragging beach gear and tired kiddies) plus the choice of several different eateries to grab ice creams, coffees or a full meal from.
There's also a great fully fenced playground nearby too. Just remember it does tend to get busy during school holidays and also to note the rock pool is affected by tidal times.
There are so many parks and playgrounds on the central coast, it's hard for me to pick my favourite. I love my local, Wamberal Park, located on Wairakei Road. There's picnic benches, a big playground, the famous flying fox plus exercise equipment if you fancy a workout whilst the kids are playing! It's a great spot to meet up with friends and let the kids have a run around.
Further south on the Coast you'll find the amazing playground on The Esplanade at Umina Beach, with a fenced in pirate themed playground for the younger children. There's also a bike/scooter track, plus a huge climbing frame and other play equipment for older kids. The playground is situated next to toilets and a lovely cafe, has BBQ equipment close by, plenty of parking, plus the beach is just over the road. A great location and lots of fun to be had!
3. The Long Jetty Bike path
Next to the waterfront from Chittaway Bay to The Entrance you will find a fantastic bike path that winds its way through beautiful scenery. Grab your bike, pack a picnic and make a family day out of it. Alternatively, if cycling isn't your thing, it's also a great spot to walk along and push a pram and let kids ride their scooters or bikes. You'll find playgrounds, BBQ areas and toilets along the way.
I often park at the car park at the Rotary Park in Long Jetty, start my walk there and head towards The Entrance, with a promise to my 3 year old of a play in the awesome playground (located at Rotary Park) when we get back!
4. Your Local Library
There's plenty of brilliant libraries dotted around the coast, all offering fantastic services and resources. It's a great spot to head to with the kids, particularly when it's raining. You can sign up for a free library card which allows you to borrow a large amount of books, audio books, DVDs etc. My children absolutely love going and choosing some new books to borrow and both enjoy chilling out in the comfy kids area, reading different stories.
Erina library (along with others on the coast) also provide free story and song time sessions for little ones, a great (and free!) activity to spend time with your little ones singing songs and encouraging a love of reading.
5. Edogawa Commemorative Garden (Japanese Garden East Gosford)
If you fancy something a little different, head to the beautiful and tranquil Japanese gardens in East Gosford. Entry is free and the garden is open daily from 9.30am - 4.30pm. Children (and parents!) will love watching the graceful Koi fish in the Koi pond and you are able to purchase bags of fish food from inside the gallery shop. There's a cafe onsite and the gardens also neighbour a fantastic playground (located in Elizabeth Ross Park) which is well equipped for little ones and has plenty of space to run around to burn off some energy!
So there you have it, five free ideas of places to go with kids on the Central Coast! However, there are plenty more amazing places to explore, and lots include free options, all of which will guarantee to make a wonderful day out for the whole family.