Taking off to Toowoomba

I’m pleased to announce Toowoomba is no longer a teenager. No indeed. She is in fact in the throes of blossoming into a celebrity as radiant and capable as Jennifer Lawrence herself. It’s a big call, I know, but given its picturesque parks and tree-lined avenues, its spectacular views from the edge of the Great Dividing Range, its new airport, its progressive central business district facelift, its funky Margaret St eateries and a growing list of things to do, it finally feels like Toowoomba is a destination well worth visiting.   So with school holidays taking off as I write, here’s a few things you might like to do with the kids in Toowoomba this winter.

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Bounce it out! Inflatable World http://www.inflatableworldoz.com.au/stadiums/toowoomba/ and Cloud Nine https://www.kloud9ine.com.au/ are relative newcomers to Toowoomba’s active scene. Inflatable World is a land of giant jumping castles and other air filled, cushion styled paraphernalia suitable for parents and kids of all ages to throw themselves into. Cloud Nine also offers plenty of bounce for its buck with trampolines giving jumpers the height of their lives. Check out their respective websites for more information.   DSC_2524-2

Climb the Walls Adrenaline Indoor Climbing Gym http://www.adrenalinclimbinggym.com.au/ – If you’re looking to take the kids somewhere pretty then this is not for you. It’s centrally located on Church St behind picturesque Margaret St, up a noisy steel flight of stairs and into a room that possibly resembles some kind of grandiose torture chamber with its dim rusty aura and dangling ropes, BUT PLEASE DON’T BE PUT OFF. This was about the best fun the kids and adults in our family had together all weekend. Our 3 year old had a go, our 4 year old is still boasting she made it to the top ‘bar’, and the rest of us are all pretty pleased with our climbs too. Troy, the owner, was extremely helpful and happy to divulge lots of interesting tit bits about the ins and outs of amateur and professional indoor rock climbing. Honestly what some people are capable of scaling blows my mind.

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Climb Tabletop Mountain – If you’d prefer a climb with a view and you have older kids (6 and up) then this aptly named flat topped mountain just off to the East of Toowoomba might make for a perfect Saturday afternoon adventure..

Roy Chambers writes in (http://www.weekendnotes.com/hiking-tabletop-mountain-toowoomba/) :

“Anyone looking for a beautiful and moderately challenging hike it is hard to go past Toowoomba’s Tabletop Mountain. … Getting to the top of the mountain is a combination of hiking, rock hopping, scrambling and a little bit of climbing. Overall it is not hard if you take it easy and don’t rush, but you will want a reasonable level of fitness. Going up and back the hike takes about two and half hours.”

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Park yourself up at a Park – When it comes to park play Toowoomba is the queen at combining eye-smacking beautiful surroundings, equipment the kids will revel on and good accessible coffee (a must in my opinion). There are a number of attractive parks to try but my favourites are Laurel Bank Park on Herries St, Picnic Point Park with Lion’s Park and Heller St Park close by, and the centrally located Queens Park.

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Drive by East Toowoomba – There really are some beautiful and magnificent old and new houses in this city, and particularly in this area. It’s easy just to lose yourself amongst the tree-lined avenues on the edge of the range but more specifically try Campbell St and Arthur St for the old houses, Prince Henry Drive for the views, and Kara View Crt (on the southern side of Picnic Point) for some really big newer style homes.

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Vintage love at the Queen St markets.

Markets – Always a bit of fun on a Sunday morning. There are markets on various Sundays at Queens Park, the PCYC , Margaret St, and Carablah (out near Highfields).

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Eating out: It’s always just a tinsy little bit harder with kids isn’t it? A good friend reminded me recently if you’re eating out with young and old and want to partake in some healthy adult conversation never leave home without the colouring-in books and pencils. She’s right – 16 of us (10 kids) had a great catch up at the Thai Royal Restaurant http://www.thairoyalrestaurant.com.au/home/ on South Street last weekend. Voted best Thai Restaurant in Australia in 2012 they delivered friendly service and scrummy food. They were also very busy so don’t forget to book.

For more information or things to do in Toowoomba head over to http://www.weekendnotes.com/toowoomba/. Or if you’re a local or frequent visitor with some good ideas for places to eat and things to do in this splendid garden city please let us know in the comments below.

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