I’m not sure if there is a parenting task I try to avoid more than taking my children to the playground.
I don’t know why it makes me want to poke my eyes out, but I start to feel a little less bad when I look around and see the same pained expression on all the other parents pushing their children on the swings.
When it’s my turn to take the kids to give Craig time to do work, I go to great lengths to avoid the park and save myself from death by boredom.
Selfish maybe, but it means we get to have the coolest Mummy Daughter dates ever.
Here’s what we get up to:
1. Fruit picking
Find me a berry farm and the girls and I are picking the ingredients for our smoothie and sugar-free chocolate desserts.
I love how they are moving from paddock to mouth. Obesity levels are rising because we are have far too many degrees of separation from our food sources.
And of course to counteract that value of that last health-conscious sentence we often stop at the cafe for a berry treat.
Fruit Picking experiences
2. Going all proper at a High Tea
We actually allowed Daddy to come on this date at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne. I don’t think he was going to let us gorge ourselves on towers of sweets without him.
This was the happiest day of the girls life, and we certainly paid for it later when the sugar rush hit. We only went because it was themed based on the movie FROZEN, which we saw on a date a few days previously.
3. Learning about farming at Churchill Island Farm
Churchill Island is a heritage farm on Phillip Island in Victoria.
I enjoyed Kalyra’s enthusiasm as she wandered through the old homestead asking so many questions. Savannah cracked me up when she asked if the small room was her house (she gets confused with our constant moving!)
Both of them loved watching the farm shows: cow milking, sheep shearing, whip cracking and sheep dog mustering. This was a fun Mummy Daughter date.
4. Soaking at the hot springs
Now tell me you don’t want to escape the playground now. Best idea ever Mums! And guess who had to drag who out of there 4 hours later? The girls did not want to leave.
The Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula replaced the High Tea as being the best date ever. Kalyra even braved doing the cold water plunge with me after the hot spas to get our lymphatic system popping.
I recommend getting there before 10am so you can check out the spa on top of the hill. The Gully area, where this is, becomes adults only after 10.
5. Chillaxing at the Movies
Are you a secret fan of kids movies like I am? I’m lining up with each new release. We just love hanging out with a bag of popcorn and a Disney princess.
6. Kid-friendly Yoga
I was overjoyed to meet Tara Lynch on the Bellarine Peninsula. She runs weekly yoga lessons and welcomes children to attend. During the summer months she does them on the river front at Barwon Heads. We just missed it, but thoroughly enjoyed doing it in the community hall.
Kalyra lasted the entire hour and kept whispering, “This is so much fun Mummy.” When it came time for relaxation, she held my hand and I swooned. How wonderful to have a daughter. We’ll be doing girly things like this together for the rest of our lives. I got a little teary with that one.
Tara gave Kalyra a sheet with yoga moves on it and she does them every morning now. I’m overjoyed that she’s learning ways to honour her body and spirit at such a young age.
7. Koala gazing in the wild
Well sort of. It’s a conservation area, but it’s still their wild home. Savannah became chief koala spotter and was stoked to have a staring competition with this big boy. I swear he moved first.
We also experienced koala spotting during our road trip along the Great Ocean Road.
8. Trips to the Markets
Local markets are such an amazing place to explore with your kids. They often have a lot of kid-friendly stuff going on. Like the small community markets at Ocean Grove where Kalyra had a short 10-minute drumming lesson. Her and Savannah now find bins and seats to drum on whenever they can.
Kalyra loves to help me pick out the best fruit and veg and even samples lemongrass and ginger tea with me. Or we hang out with farm animals and get our faces painted like we did at the Prahan Markets in Melbourne.
Or go sampling and juicing at the Salamanca Market in Hobart. We also loved the Bellingen markets and Burleigh Farmers Market.
9. Cafe lunches
My mum laughs at how cafe savvy my girls are. When we lived in Raleigh, North Carolina Craig worked on Saturdays so Kalyra and I had an all-day date. We’d start with breakfast at the Bagel cafe together before doing the groceries at Trader Joes.
I started a trend that Kalyra loves to continue, except there are no bagel cafes in Australia. So we go to places that have awesome views like The Dunes at Ocean Grove instead.
10. Playing in the ocean and beach walks
When the weather and location is right, we head to the beach to build sandcastles and jump over waves.
It’s amazing to see how much Savannah’s confidence has grown on this trip. She’s gone from terrified of the ocean to now rolling around in the white wash.
Read More: 38 best beaches in Australia
11. Attending pantomimes
Kalyra thought the show, The Ship that Never Was, in Strahan Tasmania was one of the funniest things she’d ever seen.
She giggled her head off throughout the performance, she learned a lot about convict history and had a ball participating as a jelly fish and squirting everyone with a water bottle.
Savannah sat riveted throughout the show and happily joined in too. This was a fun one!
12. Learning about healthy food
We went to visit Nicole Azzapardi, from Mamma Care, for the morning in Queenscliff, Victoria. After having challenging health issues with her daughter, Nicole set out on a mission to discover medicine through food. Not only did she get her healthy, happy baby back, she discovered a delicious, comforting way of eating and a new found passion – sharing the way to a healthy, happy family through food. She now holds cooking classes and retreats in her beautiful heritage home.
I loved hearing about her journey, getting a sneak peek at her upcoming book and tasting some delicious home cooked food. I love exposing my girls to healthy eating. They enjoyed playing with Nicole’s children while we chatted.
There’s definitely not as many pained faces in our family anymore.
It’s amazing the memories you make and the world you discover when you creep away from the monkey bars and swing sets.