Saturday, July 30, 2011

Some good ideas on dining out with kids....

I occasionally check this website (link attached) and although I think Jenny has some good ideas, she also has some different ideas that I don't totally agree with.

However, I like this post that I have attached, giving ideas on dining out with kids. I say "dining" because I like how she encourages us to take our children to good dining restaurants and not just take children to restaurants with drive through windows, or pubs with playgrounds! Nothing wrong with having a steak while the kids wear themselves out on a play fort. But it's good to broaden their experiences with restaurants where they have to understand and learn table etiquette.

I must point out that I definitely do not agree with her encouraging us to offer our children a sip of wine. In my humble opinion it is completely irresponsible for anyone to say it is okay. It is up to each parent, but I feel that it serves no purpose to offer wine or beer to children, and potentially could compromise their growing brains.

So ignore that section of the article, and take on board some of her other ideas. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Karma Currency - child friendly and mess friendly presents!!

This is not a restaurant review, but I wanted to share with you this fabulous website which I think could be great for presents when you have no idea what to buy. Very child friendly!

You know the story....your neighbour's baby is turning one and you have been invited to the 1st birthday party. You feel compelled to buy more plastic toys that create more mess, less space and eventually more landfill!! Realistically the child will only ever play with it every now and then. Or perhaps you are stuck for buying Christmas presents for your second cousins in their early teens. You have no idea what's cool or what they are into.

Well now you can purchase a charitable donation from

For babies you can check out the section called philanthrabubs, and choose a charity focussed on children. Or you can choose anything on the list available including Cancer research, animal refuges, building wells in third world areas, or even contributing to purchasing GPS tracking systems for gorillas in the Congo.

There is even a gift register, so perhaps for your 40th birthday party or an upcoming Christening, you could suggest that guests donate to a specific cause as opposed to buying gifts. All money donated goes directly to the charity plus a $4.95 fee, and all donations over $2 are tax deductible. You can't claim plastic future land fill on your tax!!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Mermaid Surf Club - Child Friendly Thumbs Up!

Mermaid Beach Surf Club
173 Hedges Avenue

Mermaid Beach
Gold Coast  QLD
T:  (07)5575 3211

Child Friendly Snapshot:

Pram access? Yes, but could be tricky with the stairs at the entrance - would need two adults.
Kids' menu? Yes
Play area? Fantastic indoor play area
Activities at the table? Yes
Room for kids to move around? Yes
Child friendly atmosphere? Yes
Prices? Very reasonable - cheaper than standard club prices

I am hesitant to share this one, because it seems to be a locals' secret on the GC.  But it was so good for family dining, I feel compelled to let everyone know.  Great food, excellent kids facilities and very reasonable prices, plus mid week deals apply where kids eat free (phone ahead to confirm).  This place was so child friendly that we went there twice over our recent holiday.
The first night I ordered garlic prawns with rice and Mike had rump steak.  Our meals were huge and very impressive for club food.  The kids had chicken nuggets, but the kids' meals were massive, and included a drink and ice cream.  So the second time we went, we only ordered two kids meals and divided them up between the four children, then ordered the extra drinks and desserts.  This was more than enough.  I ordered the sand crab lasagne on the second visit.  It was nice, but no where near the standard of the garlic prawns.
The kids could not wait to get into the indoor play area.  We organised to have a table right outside the play room, which has glass walls so you can see what's going on.  The play area includes climbing equipment and tunnels, as well as computer games etc.  We were there relatively early so it was not busy, but it did get marginally busy around about the 7pm mark.  We were able to sit at our table, keep an eye on the kids and watch the Qld Reds game on the big screen.  Happy days!!
We also purchased a Little Nippers pack which includes colouring in and activities, that the kids can do at the table or take home.  Our four littlies loved this, and it kept them a little bit busy when we had rainy weather the next day!!
I have to say that Mermaid is a fantastic child friendly, family holiday - affordable self contained accommodation of excellent standard (great deals at the moment!!), the beach was not crowded, Putt Putt Golf is around the corner, great parks, the local cafe Gov's, does nice coffee and has a fantastic play area (see past blog ) and Mermaid Surf Club offers a great kid friendly dinner option.
I would highly recommend Mermaid Surf Club, especially at the moment with the cooler weather.   We were able to dine and relax whilst the kids played in an indoor, warm and safe environment.  Great family dining, that the whole family enjoyed!!