By: Marie Ashworth, ellaslist
You won’t believe how much Penrith has on offer for families. Whether you’re a local or Sydneysider looking to discover some fantastic new experiences in a different part of the region, it offers an endless choice of events, activities and venues to enjoy, all just an hour from Sydney’s CBD.
From open-air festivals and cultural events to thrilling activities, we’ve hand-picked our favourite top 10 things to do in Penrith with kids.
1. Messing About By The River at the REAL Festival
Don’t miss out on the REAL Festival, a two-day celebration of music, art, food and mindful living on the banks of The Nepean River. On Friday evening enjoy great food from pop-up restaurants, illuminated and interactive art, plus musical and Aboriginal performances. There’s plenty of inviting spaces along the river to kick back and enjoy an evening under the stars. Saturday is crammed full of activities, tours and events with plenty to keep the kids entertained. From river activities and wildlife tours to a pedal-powered disco, creative art corner and special guest appearances from ABC2 presenters.
Friday 4 November; 5-10pm; Saturday 5 November; 10am-4pm at Tench Reserve, Tench Avenue, Penrith – FREE entry. Find out more.
2. Take a Walk & Picnic by the Nepean River
Take in the fresh air and gorgeous scenery on a walk along the Nepean River. There’s a fantastic pram-friendly path that’s also great for bikes and scooters and you’ll find a playground at the end of Jamison Road near Tench Avenue. Start the walk on the eastern side via Jamison Road. Take a picnic, enjoy a barbeque at Tench Reserve or grab a takeaway from the Coffee Club. You can find a map of the walk here.
3. The Museum of Fire for Any Firefighter Fan
Have you got a siren-obssessed, mini-firefighter in the house? You have to take them to The Museum of Fire; it Australia’s largest Fire Museum. The huge space is packed full of fire engines, firefighting equipment and, the highlight for our kids, a Junior Firefighters area with a fire engine simulator, activities, games and puzzles. It really has something for every age and best of all, any profits are donated to educating families on the dangers of fire and preserving heritage. Read Lenore, our ellaslist explorer’s review of her visit here.
Open daily, 9.30am – 4.30pm, 1 Museum Drive, Penrith. Cost – Adult: $12.00, Child (2yrs to 13yrs): $6.00, Family (2 adults + 2 children): $28.00. Find out more.
4. Take Flight at iFLY Downunder Indoor Skydiving
It’s as close to jumping out of a plane as you’ll ever get, one of the most thrilling activities around! Huge wind generators propel you up into a large glass flight chamber at iFly Indoor Skydiving Centre. Don’t worry, you’ll be given a pre-flight training session by expert skydivers, a jumpsuit and safety gear plus two flights with an experienced instructor. Children as young as 3 years can take a flight – the wind generators are turned down or up depending on the age and ability of each skydiver. Find out all about Tamarin and her family taking flight recently.
Open Mon-Thu 9am-10pm, Fri 9am-10:30pm, Sat 7am-10:30pm, Sun 7am–10pm, Panthers World of Entertainment, 123 Mulgoa Rd, Penrith from $89. Find out more.
5. See A Show at The Joan
The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre hosts world-class music, dance and theatre performances and many engaging shows geared towards families.
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre is at 597 High Street, Penrith (next to the Penrith Plaza shopping centre and Penrith Library). See their website for the latest shows and events.
6. Tuck Into A Family Friendly Eat
Treat the family to a scrumptious meal out at one of these dining spots that welcome families with open arms.
Nutrition Station delivers not only a delicious healthy menu that appeals to even fussy kids – think protein-rich pancakes, tasty superfood smoothies and nutritionally rich brekkies and burgers. 7/16-19 Lambridge Place, Penrith.
For chocolate-lovers big and small, Zokoko Café offers made-on-the-premises chocolately treats from chocolate crackles and fudge brownies to their signature ‘Ultimate’ chocolate cake. What’s more, the kids can watch these creations being made by the chocolate artisans through a large viewing window. Unit 3, 84–90 Old Bathurst Road, Emu Heights.
The Penrith Regional Gallery is a delightful destination on the western side of the Nepean River in Emu Plains. Once home of a sculptor and painter couple, this venue hosts interesting exhibitions, regular children’s workshops and events. It also houses a fantastic café set in the beautiful heritage gardens. As well as great coffee and homemade cakes, it offers a breakfast and lunch menu inspired by fresh, seasonal and wherever possible, local produce, including kids’ dishes from $6. 86 River Road, Emu Plains.
For more Penrith family foodie inspiration, see Lenore’s post on her favourite eating spots.
7. Cables Wake Park
Take two cable lakes, add some expert instruction and your family will be zipping around on waterskis or a wakeboard in no time. Cables Wake Park, in the grounds of Panthers League Club, is a unique family activity. Riders must be 10 years of age or older during normal operating hours, however Kids Club also operates before opening in the school holiday periods and caters to ages from 6 and up. There’s also an Aqua Park packed full of inflatable slides, trampolines and obstacles on the water. Not forgetting the free facilities including a playground, jumping pillow, basketball and beach volleyball court and BBQ facilities.
Panthers World of Entertainment, Mulgoa Rd, Penrith Wake Park: From $49 adult and $44 child . Aqua Park: $15/50mins. Free Spectator Entry. See their website for more info.
8. Luddenham Raceway
For older children looking for adrenaline kicks, go karting at Luddenham Raceway ticks the box. Children from 8 years can get behind the wheel of specially engineered junior karts and test out their skills on The Rookie Track. Unless you are pre-booking a group of 10 or more, you’ll need to do ‘Arrive and Drive’ – no minimum driver numbers and no bookings required. However they do recommend you call beforehand to check on wait times.
821 – 849 Luddenham Road, Luddenham. One x 7 minute session $25; two x 7 minute sessions – $40 + $10 Race License, valid for 12 Months. See their website for more info.
9. Penrith Whitewater Stadium
Penrith Whitewater Stadium, the canoe/kayak slalom events venue during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, is now a destination for thrill-seeking teens (and their up-for-it parents!). For children aged 12 years and above, they offer the ultimate guided rafting session, as well as junior kayaking instruction through the only man-made whitewater course of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Open daily September to June – check water times before visiting as these vary. Price from $94 per person for 90 minutes including equipment, training and guide. See their website for more info.
10. Aqua Golf
Where else can the whole family have fun hitting golf balls into a lake on purpose? Aqua Golf is a unique, fun and affordable activity. Each family member gets their own hitting bay with protective netting on both sides and a gate ensuring only one person is in the bay at one time – safety is key here. For anyone who hits a target, there’s a 2 for 1 bucket of balls card up for grabs. If you score a hole in one, you win $10, $20 or $100!
Open daily. Panthers World of Entertainment, Mulgoa Rd, Penrith. Price from $7 a bucket. See their website for more info.
Have you got anymore suggestions of where to go with the kids in and around Penrith? We’d love to hear them.
For more information on what to do, what’s on and where to go with the family in and around Penrith, check out the Visit Penrith website.
This article was brought to you by Visit Penrith.
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