WHEN FRIENDS COME TO STAY // A Spring Weekend In The Highlands
You know the drill. Your out-of-town bestie gives you a buzz and says “Oh heyyyy, we’d love to bring the family down / up / across to The Highlands for the weekend. Can we stay with you?”. And of course you’re all like “For sure! Bring wine!” but then you remember you both have kids and mentally replace the wine with buckets of coffee.
And THEN you think, “Ermagerd…. how are we going to keep two families busy, occupied and fight free on the weekend?”
That’s where we come in. We’ve done the hard yards of testing and trialling awesome family friendly places for locals and visitors. 48 hours of yummy food, fun activities and unique experiences guaranteed to keep kids busy, fed and watered, and parents relaxed and ahem...hydrated as required.
Here’s our family friendly itinerary from go to whoa!
Friday night is for easy dining and catching up
Ease into the weekend at the spacious Mittagong RSL. Ironstone Bar & Dining’s Little Nipper’s Menu and the Habitat for Kids play area (Quick note - the play area is closed because of COVID : we'll let you know when that changes) will keep the kids happy and a scrumptious selection of wood-fired pizzas will keep big people’s tummies from grumbling too.
Get active on Saturday morning
Fitzroy Falls offers up spectacular views of Morton National Park, a jaw dropping 80 metre waterfall and family friendly bushwalk tracks. Just watch out for moving sticks in the summer!
If it rains on your Highlands weekend parade, head to Highlands Entertainment Centre in MIttagong for some fun games of tenpin bowling. The perfect indoor activity to keep kids (and grown-ups) from climbing the walls. Embrace the fact that you are going to have to wear those sexy bowling shoes and get your Staaaarrrike on!
Lazy Saturday lunches in the country
Tucked away on the main street of the picturesque village of Burrawang, this pub’s beer garden has one of the best outlooks in The Highlands. Sip on a sneaky beer, order a Burrawang burger and kick back while the kids run amok on the outdoor grassed area.
Bribe the kids into the car with the promise of fresh gelato from the Whey Cafe and Dairy Store at the Robertson Cheese Factory. Stock up on some grown-up gourmet delights – olives, ‘off the farm’ cheeses and homemade relishes – for late night snacking once kids are in bed.
Saturday arvo action
CHERRY TREE WALK
Five kilometres in length and an easy, level pathway starting at the Bowral Swimming Pool, meandering along the Cherry Tree Walk is the perfect way to burn off the gelato sugar fix. The Fixed Wheel hire out and deliver a range of bikes, perfect for bike-less (is so a word!) visitors to the area.
After dark exploring or Saturday night at the movies
We don’t do fancy multiplex cinemas here! We do traditional but with all the latest technology. Affordable movie tickets, comfy seats and your choice of choc tops, the Empire Cinema has all the latest releases. Pop into BD’s Woodfired Pizza & Pasta before or after the movie, just a two minute stroll from the cinema.
Such a fun thing to do in the warmer months for intrepid, little explorers who love the idea of night time walks and a bit of torch action! The Glow Worm Glen Walk at Bundanoon is a one hour round trip from the top at William Street. (hey guys - a quick heads up - this walk was damaged by the bushfires but they're rebuilding it - we'll let you know when it's open again! In the meantime, you can check out the Erith Coal Mine Track which is a great family friendly walk - but a daytime activity). Work up an appetite and pop into bottega b (for yummo pizza and pasta), Bundanoon Chinese or the Bundanoon Hotel – all super easy and super yummy spots for a family dinner.
Easy like Sunday morning
Education disguised as whole lot of fun! Farm Club at Werai is perfect for this with their paddock to plate philosophy, awesome farm tours and rustic café. Introduce yourself to the donkeys, goats, alpacas, chickens and honey bees on the self-guided tour. Or book the 4WD farm tour up to Lantern Hill. (Soz guys - Farm Club aren't running these at the moment because of COVID but are working on reintroducing some new options to experience farm life - we'll let you know once we know!).
Another rainy day option for you, Sunday’s 11:00am show at the Australian Puppet Centre in Sutton Forest is a unique entertainment experience for the whole family. Poor old Granny (a life size puppet) freaks out as everything around her comes to life! Wonder if Granny drinks puppet brandy!
Sunday farewell lunch
A legendary experience for anyone who loves darn delicious US deli style food with an original twist. A sanga piled high with house made beer smoked pastrami and corned beef? Droolworthy. Kids love the hot dog menu and milkshakes served in traditional stainless steel milkshake cups (and they’re super cold too). Slide into a booth, fill your belly, wish your friends a merry goodbye…….
And then go home and sleep for a week.