If you’re travelling to Ballina or Byron with small children and need a day off from the beach—or the weather fails to deliver—fear not, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities in and around the Ballina and Byron Bay areas.
1. Circus Arts Byron Bay
Circus Arts Byron Bay is a fully equipped 1200sqm indoor space that will definitely wear out your kids. They offer many activities for little ones, teens, and brave adults: flying trapeze, indoor climbing, circus skills, aerial skills, gymnastics and more. If your child isn’t up for a class they have a great supervised play space. Drop them off and have a cuppa at the onsite cafe (with free wifi).
Circus Arts Byron Bay is located at 17 Centennial Cct, Byron Bay Arts and Industry Estate. It’s open seven days a week, class rates are reasonable. Visit their website or phone: 02 6685 6566
2. Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum
Located on Regatta Avenue in Ballina, the Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum sits on the bank of the Richmond River. It’s a small museum but well staffed, with admission by donation.
The museum has a large collection of naval and maritime objects, like a replica naval mess deck complete with hammocks, 21 inch torpedo, and mannequins dressed in uniforms. Check out the model ships, hundreds of photographs and paintings, and the main attraction: the La Balsas raft, one of three that made the famous journey from Ecuador to Australia in 1973.
Children must be accompanied by an adult, photos are permitted here, and there’s good wheel chair access. The museum is open daily from 9am to 4pm, Eastern Standard Time, with the exception of a few holidays. You can picnic between the river and the museum building. Visit their website to get updated information of phone (02) 6681 1002
3. Summerland House Farm
Visiting Summerland House Farm is a bucket list to-do—it’s really that fun for children. It’s a working Macadamia and avocado farm in the hills of the Alstonville Plateau, about 20 minutes from Ballina and 40 minutes from Byron Bay. Besides seeing the farm on the Tractor Farm Tour, your family can play mini golf, splash around the water park, or hang out at the shade covered, fenced in playground.
There’s also a northern rivers regional food showcase (‘The Grocer’), café, nursery, gift shop, and small museum.
Summerland House Farm is located at 253 Wardell Road, Alstonville. The farm activity rates are very reasonable ($5 for mini golf) and support the farm’s main organisation, which is dedicated to creating opportunities for people with disabilities. On the School Holidays Summerland House Farm runs a number of fun activities—Pony Rides, Laser Skirmish, Jumping Castles. Visit their website for more information.
4. Ballina Gymnastics
Another possibility for running your kids ragged on vacation is Ballina Gymnastics, located at 5 Piper Drive in Ballina. This little gym has classes for different levels and ages: kindy gym, recreational, competitive, acrobatics. They welcome everybody, anytime in the school term, with no bookings required. Check out their website or call (02) 6686 0744.
5. The Farm Byron Bay
The Farm Byron Bay hosts a bunch of hands-on themed workshops for children: Pigs and Cows, Medicinal Herbs, Planting, Chooks, Soil and Beneficial Bugs, and more. These are 3 hour long educational workshops—FarmKids! is the name—taught by real farmers. 7-15 year olds will benefit the most from the workshops, which are held on school holidays and Sundays. Visit their website or call 0429 770 147.
6. Discovery Parks Water Park
If you’re vacationing during fair weather there are lots of water options in the area (including, of course, the gorgeous beaches). Discovery Parks Water Park in Byron Bay is a unique barrel waterpark with a giant tipping bucket, waterslides, water shooting features, and fun fountains. You’ll have access to a pool, relaxation area, jumping pillow, gazebo, tennis court, sports area, and BBQ facilities. But you will need to book ahead—this park fills up fast. Discovery Parks offers both day passes and family value passes.
This waterpark is located at 399 Ewingsdale Rd in Byron Bay. Call 1 800 039 512 or 02 6685 7378 or visit their website.
7. Arts & Crafts options
If your child is creative, or you’d like them to be, there are some rotating craft workshops at Byron Bay area venues. The Clay Barn offers Kids School Holiday Workshops for ages 7 and older. Located in the outskirts of Bangalow on The Hinterland Way, the classes include 3 hours of clay tuition, materials and firings. Places are limited, plan head.
Byron Bay and Ballina Bunnings also offer interesting nature or craft workshops at their respective stores: Make Your Own Rocket Ship, Colourful Button Trees, Decorate a Pencil Case, Leafy Sun-catchers, Yarn Creations and Paper Poppies are a few of their classes.
8. Parks and playgrounds
Last but definitely not least, Byron Bay has some really fun, safe playgrounds. Apex Park on the main beach is the most popular park in Byron Bay. It has a beachfront playground and parkland with stunning ocean views. You can enjoy a relaxing beachfront picnic—lots of picnic tables and benches here—or stop at a nearby restaurant. There are public toilets near the playground and stroller/pram accessible pathways. You can find some free parking right behind the park, but it goes quick.
Fawcett Park in Ballina features a castle themed playground in an enclosed river front park. The castle, with its unique design elements, will keep your kids occupied while you enjoy a coffee on a shady bench. This park is near shops and cafes—or make use of its barbecues, grassy expanses, and covered picnic tables.
Pop Denison Park in East Ballina is a reasonable walk from Grand View Apartments. It sits on the banks of the laid back Shaw’s Bay, and it’s a fine place for a family to spend the morning. It offers open grassy parkland for running around in, lots of free parking if you need it, barbecues, a big undercover seating area, water bubbler, and an amenities block.
Want to experience a luxury beach holiday?
Ocean Blue holiday rental is only a 5-minute walk from the beach and has gorgeous river and coastal views. Located just a short drive from Ballina Airport and 30 minutes from Byron Bay, this is the perfect location for your next beach holiday. Visit our contact page to make an inquiry or booking.