The Do Stuff Club

Dave had a moan to me the other day that we don’t get out enough with the kids.

I was a little insulted because I like to think I do plenty with them. With Dave working six days a week, it’s often just me and the girls. We get out and about and do stuff, sure, but I don’t know that cruising around the local supermarket is what he was talking about.

With Smiley, our two-year-old, still having a two-hour day sleep, I like to keep things fairly local because when this little peach misses her sleep, she transforms into someone who’s really not that smiley at all.

We’re usually content to potter about the house. The girls put on a dancing performance and the other day the circus came to our lounge room. We have running races in the backyard, pick strawberries from our patch, and make art with autumn leaves. We’re easy to please.

But, when Miss Four came home from preschool complaining that all of her friends have been to a zoo and she hasn’t, I decided that perhaps we really do need to up our game.

Enter the Do Stuff Club.

family friendly activities

We’re lucky to live in inner city Brisbane, where we’re spoilt for choice with an abundance of family friendly activities. Today, I’m sharing three things the Do Stuff Club has done recently. You might like to do them too, if you’re in the Brisbane area.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

We kicked off our Do Stuff Club debut with a bear hunt.

Lone Pine

Nestled in a bend of the Brisbane River in the leafy suburb of Fig Tree Pocket, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to around 130 Koalas and almost as many different Aussie animals.

It’s hard to believe this treasure is just 15 minutes from the city, with its expansive parklands and river views making you feel like you’ve entered another world.

It didn’t take long to find ourselves a bear at Lone Pine. There are koalas everywhere doing what they do best – munching on gum leaves, snoozing, and generally looking pretty darn cute. The girls were in awe of these cuddly critters and Smiley of course did her best to attempt to climb into an enclosure before a wildlife officer suggested she keep her distance until the koalas ate breakfast.

Thanks to the talk times available on the Lone Pine website, I’d pre-planned our morning. The wild lorikeet feeding was at the top of my list, so we headed to a leafy area where a wildlife officer poured nectar into bowls. Out of nowhere appeared a noisy flock of rainbow colours. The girls were scared at first, but ventured closer when I picked up a bowl heavy with birds.

Up next was the sheep dog show, which brought my own childhood memories of visiting a woolshed flooding back. The girls became caught up in the excitement as they watched the dog handler instruct his dogs to herd the sheep. It was nothing short of impressive. When one of the dogs ran along the backs of the sheep, Miss Four’s eyes nearly popped out of her head.

Koalas aren’t the only animals in abundance at Lone Pine, there are kangaroos galore. Unfortunately, we left our visit to the kangaroos a little late. The sun was high and they were lazing in the shade. Thankfully, a couple of roos hopped over for a pet allowing us to get up close and personal with them.

We also saw sheep shearing, dingoes, a platypus, wombats and reptiles all before heading home for Smiley’s 1pm sleep. Can I have a high five?

The only thing I regret about our trip to Lone Pine is not buying an annual pass. We’ll definitely go again.

Lone Pine

Where: 708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket.

How to get there: Car, bus or boat.

Cost: Book online to save 10 %.

Visiting hours: 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.

Amenities: Toilets, two cafes, and space for a picnic if you take a packed lunch.

Top tip: Access the free wi-fi on-site, plan ahead with the talk times and park map available online, purchase kangaroo food at the cafe.

Frew Park, Milton

I can only describe Frew Park to you as epic. I liken it to a mini theme park for kids boasting equipment you just don’t see at your average park.

The centrepiece of the park, The Arena, features a climbing wall, net and cage, tunnels, tube slide and the most awesome slide I’ve ever seen – a 3 metre wide x 3 metre high beauty that attracts kids like bees to honey and leaves parents weak at the knees.

Within seconds of arriving, Miss Four made a run for The Arena. She clambered confidently up its angled surface and disappeared into a tunnel. I caught a glimpse of her as she leapt out of the tunnel before hurling herself down the five metre high tube slide. This one is not for the faint-hearted, my friends.

With the tube slide done, she made a beeline for the 3 metre x 3 metre slide. Smiley and I happily watched her until the inevitable happened. Smiley declared it was her turn on the whopping big slide, which meant it was also my turn on the whopping big slide. Gulp.

I have a fear of heights. A big fear. Huge. I was sweating as Smiley took my hand and we climbed after Miss Four. Know that this slide took at least 10 years off my life.

Frew Park, Milton

While The Arena is designed for older kids, the outer areas are perfect for the littlies with smaller slides, swings, and interactive play equipment. The girls’ imaginations ran wild as they pretended to be circus ringmasters shouting through a giant megaphone.

Frew Park is definitely not short on space. There’s a huge grassy area for kids to run loose on and plenty of paved areas for scooter-mad munchkins. It’s one of the coolest parks I’ve seen and I love that it pays tribute to its Milton Tennis Centre origins with tennis-themed sculptures throughout and giant tennis balls submerged in the ground for kids to jump on.

All in all it was a fun morning out leaving us all ready for a nap afterwards.

Frew Park, Milton

Where: Frew Street, Milton. Car park entry is off Haig Street. Street parking available via Lucy Street.

How to get there: Car, bus or a short walk from Milton train station.

Cost: Free.

Amenities: Toilets, a coffee shop, picnic tables and barbecue facilities.

Top tip: Go on a weekday to avoid the weekend busyness.

City Cat ride to South Bank

Whenever we ask the kids what they want to do on the weekend, the answer is always South Bank. Situated along the Brisbane River, South Bank boasts river views, extensive parklands, playgrounds, a beach, water park, restaurants and free live entertainment. What’s not to like, right?

We live about eight minutes by car from South Bank, so we decided last weekend to mix it up a little and take the long way there via City Cat from West End. Our ferry ride added a whole new dimension to our day out. As the City Cat picked up speed, the girls’ hair whipped around their faces and they dissolved into giggles. They pretended to drive the boat and race the other boats on the river.

Brisbane City Cat

By the time we arrived at South Bank, it was morning tea time. We found a patch of green under the Wheel of Brisbane and chowed down on food I brought from home. With full tummies and a spring in our step, we went exploring.

We discovered the playground is currently closed for renovations, but this didn’t worry the kids as there’s plenty of other things to see and do. As we wandered along the banks of the river, the girls stopped every now and then to practice their handstands and cartwheels, or to pick flowers. We meandered through the markets and ended up at the beach.

The crystal clear water of the beach glistened under the winter sun begging the girls to dive in. They were almost frothing at the mouth as they scrambled to take their shoes off and wriggle their toes in the sand. We stayed at the beach for close to an hour as the girls paddled in the water and built sandcastles. There was next to nobody else on the beach and for a moment, as I snuggled up to Dave and watched the girls play, I felt like we were the only four people in the world.

The girls were famished after their beach antics and Dave and I felt like a cheeky beer, so we headed to The Plough Inn for lunch.

Our City Cat ride and trip to South Bank was another great half day out that allowed us to see and do plenty and still get home in time for Smiley’s day sleep.

South Bank, Brisbane

Where: South Bank Parklands.

How to get there: Car, bus, train, City Cat.

Cost: Free. City Cat prices and timetable available here.

Top tip: Check out What’s hot at South Bank. Why not take the City Cat to New Farm Park to explore the park and playground there?

What are your favourite family friendly things to do in your corner of the world? Would you like to hear more of the Do Stuff Club’s adventures?

I was selected as a finalist in the Kidspot Voices of 2015 Put Yourself On the Map Challenge for this post. You can read the full story I wrote for them here: Brisbane for families.

69 comments on The Do Stuff Club

  1. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    June 30, 2015 at 6:45 am (2 years ago)

    Love this! I think you should do more “do stuff” adventures. I’d be keen to check them out when in Brisbane. Oh, and get Brisbane tourism to sponsor you in the process. This is good stuff …
    L

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:47 am (2 years ago)

      Sounds like a great idea, Leanne πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Zanni Louise
    June 30, 2015 at 6:54 am (2 years ago)

    That sounds awesome Renee. I know Southbank, but not the others. So thanks so much for sharing, so we know what we can do next time we are in Brissie. Good luck in the comp! xx

    Reply
  3. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    June 30, 2015 at 6:55 am (2 years ago)

    I love it Renee, that photo of you going down the slide is just the best! I think the ‘Do Stuff Club’ sounds like an awesome idea and I also get where you are coming from re: two year olds who need/must have a sleep during the day. I can’t believe we’ve never been to Lone Pine, we must plan a trip there one day soon.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:48 am (2 years ago)

      Lauren, the boys would love it, especially the lorikeets. That was my favourite part x

      Reply
  4. Cate
    June 30, 2015 at 7:44 am (2 years ago)

    “Do stuff” is a clever name, and a great reminder that walking around the supermarket isn’t enough!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:49 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Cate. Yep, it definitely was time to up our game πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    June 30, 2015 at 8:00 am (2 years ago)

    Love this idea! We might head north in Summer so some great tips πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:49 am (2 years ago)

      Amy, if you’re ever in the area, let me know and we can catch up πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Danielle @ Several Kinds of Crazy
    June 30, 2015 at 8:16 am (2 years ago)

    I haven’t been to Lone Pine in ages, might have to give it another go. A City Cat ride is on our holiday agenda these holidays too. It is nice to get out and about in the local areas, looks like you all had a great time making memories. xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:50 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Danielle. I hope you have plenty of school holiday fun. A city cat ride is a great way to kick it off!

      Reply
  7. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life
    June 30, 2015 at 8:29 am (2 years ago)

    I love the sound of a Do Stuff Club!

    My kids are a bit older and during school term we don’t do that much apart from their regular out of school athletics/sports training and music but in the holidays they each create a list of what they want to do and each day we try to pick something from one of their lists. Items include outings and also stay at home activities. Last night was Scrabble night, today is movie day, tomorrow is a walk and breakfast at the beach.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:51 am (2 years ago)

      Sounds perfect, Ingrid. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to play Scrabble. I love that game!

      Reply
  8. Debbie
    June 30, 2015 at 8:37 am (2 years ago)

    Well written Renee! I am keen to take the family to Frew Park. We haven’t been there before. Sounds fun!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:51 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Debbie. Yes, the kids would love it πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  9. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    June 30, 2015 at 10:08 am (2 years ago)

    Yes we’ve just started doing more, but it wasn’t until our youngest was about 2… otherwise it’s just all too hard. A great few days out here, I LOVE that look on your face as you’re going down the slide. Here’s to getting out more xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:52 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Em. Yep, I agree. It is that little bit (or a lot) harder when they’re under two. Plenty of mums manage it, but I prefer to keep things closer to home until then x

      Reply
  10. Haidee@Maybe Baby Brothers
    June 30, 2015 at 10:33 am (2 years ago)

    We haven’t been doing much since winter kicked in cos it’s damn cold over here in NZ! I imagine Brisbane to be much more tropical! Looks like you guys have been having a blast!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:53 am (2 years ago)

      It is a lot more tropical than NZ πŸ™‚ Whereabouts in NZ are you?

      Reply
  11. Natalie @ our parallel connection
    June 30, 2015 at 2:11 pm (2 years ago)

    I think the zoo is great for all ages too… Nothing nicer than feeling you are more at one with our beautiful animals

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:54 am (2 years ago)

      What was great about this zoo is that the animals were largely roaming around rather than being confined πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
    June 30, 2015 at 2:12 pm (2 years ago)

    We are “doing stuff” too these school holidays as there is nothing like an impending interstate move that makes you want to do stuff in your own town! We’ve got a list of things that everyone has contributed to that we want to do these holidays, 2 ticked off already!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:54 am (2 years ago)

      Lol. Good on you! I’ve just read about your adventures and it sounds like you’re having heaps of fun. Keep it up!

      Reply
  13. EssentiallyJess
    June 30, 2015 at 2:19 pm (2 years ago)

    I like the idea of a do stuff club. I probably need to start one of those here these holidays.
    South Bank is one place in Brisbane I have been. Would love to take the kids there one day.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:55 am (2 years ago)

      There’s plenty to see and do, Jess. They have a sunday sessions thing going there at the moment. Chilled music on the green by the water. Perfect.

      Reply
  14. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    June 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm (2 years ago)

    I really want to go to Frew park but always thought it was for older kids cos I only ever see pics of the massive slide. Now I know there’s a section for younger kids we might have to do a day trip.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:56 am (2 years ago)

      Yes, there were plenty of mum groups there with kids Hayley’s age and younger πŸ™‚

      Reply
  15. Josefa @always Josefa
    June 30, 2015 at 5:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Frew Park looks all kinds of awesome. When our boys were very little we were home bodies. Honestly, it was too hard with a newborn and a toddler. But these days we do get out and about more. Tomorrow I’m tackling a theatre show and some city adventures – just me and the boys – it is going to be a big one! Hope we survive πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:57 am (2 years ago)

      That sounds awesome, Josefa. I bet you all had a blast x

      Reply
  16. Mumma McD
    June 30, 2015 at 5:13 pm (2 years ago)

    The 2 hr day sleep is a real activity killer isn’t it! We need to be doing more stuff too, thanks for the inspo πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:57 am (2 years ago)

      Yeah it is, especially when it’s right in the middle of the day!!

      Reply
  17. Hugzilla
    June 30, 2015 at 6:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Aaaah, yes. Sign me up to the “Do Stuff Club”. I find it even harder to get motivated in winter, as well. I kind of go into semi-hibernation…

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:58 am (2 years ago)

      Mmm hibernation. It’s hardly cold here in Brisvegas, so there’s not much time for us to hibernate πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Vanessa
    June 30, 2015 at 7:56 pm (2 years ago)

    You know, I’ve lived in Brisbane most of my life and never been to Lone Pine! The annual passes look like a bargain πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 6:59 am (2 years ago)

      It’s a fun day out for grown ups too, Vanessa. You can cuddle a Koala for around $18. You’d have fun πŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    June 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm (2 years ago)

    What a great idea, I wish we’d done more stuff like this when our kids were little because you blink and they’re grown. Funnily enough the hubster and I were just saying the other day we haven’t been to Lone Pine since we were kids ourselves, must be time to go again πŸ˜‰

    Visiting today from #teamRIBBET πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 7:00 am (2 years ago)

      If you take the boat there, it could be a really nice morning out for you both πŸ™‚ Ribbett.

      Reply
  20. Laney@thelaneyfiles
    June 30, 2015 at 8:39 pm (2 years ago)

    All these things look great! I love South bank, don’t know the other two, but will look into them next time I’m up that way! I can def relate to the nagging feeling of ‘not doing enough with the kids’. I’ve got a few things lined up these hols to ease the guilt and show them some fun. Glad you had fun and good luck in the comp! x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Karina! I hope you and your crew have fun on the hols x

      Reply
  21. Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    June 30, 2015 at 9:16 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the idea of the “Do Stuff Club”. Family activities don’t have to be full day trips, just getting out together for a couple of hours (not the supermarket πŸ˜‰ ) can be all that you need.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s exactly right, Sally. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Reply
  22. Dannielle
    June 30, 2015 at 9:41 pm (2 years ago)

    Love your the-do-stuff club!
    So much fun to be had, that park looks amazing.
    We still have a 4-year-old that operates better off a day sleep and when she was 2 it was an absolute necessity so I completely understand your getting home before turning into pumpkins πŸ˜‰
    You’ve got me wanting to plan a family weekend in Brisbane now Renee, thanks for the great tips! xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 1:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Well make sure you look us up if you do, Dannielle. It would be great to hang out x

      Reply
  23. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side
    June 30, 2015 at 9:51 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the idea of a ‘Do Stuff’ club:-) We have a piece of paper stuck to our fridge where we list day trips we want to do. We have a terrible habit of getting to a free day and saying ‘We should do something… but what?’ and being totally stuck for ideas. This way we just consult the list!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 1:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Ahh great idea, Bec. We’re going to have to start doing this πŸ™‚

      Reply
  24. Kathy
    June 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm (2 years ago)

    Lone Pine brings back memories of my own Brisbane childhood and we must try Frew Park at some stage, we’ve had lots of fun times at Southbank. The GC is spoilt for choices in parks too – we really are very lucky where we live and the climate we live in. Having said that I’m a bit of a home potterer – I love looking out at ‘our’ lake and enjoying all the birdlife and knowing that the beach is only 5km away, if we want to go.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm (2 years ago)

      Sounds like absolutely heaven, Kathy. I can totally understand you wanting to keep it local πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  25. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    June 30, 2015 at 10:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Lone Pine and riding the city cat to the South Bank are two of my favourite things to do in and around Brisbane. They’re just perfect for all kids, big and small (and adults who haven’t grown up yet!)

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm (2 years ago)

      Exactly. I think I had just as much fun as the kids. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate for little kids. We took the bus to the local shops today and they thought it was THE BOMB! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  26. Tash @ Gift Grapevine
    July 1, 2015 at 1:44 am (2 years ago)

    These all look like fantastic activities – I’m in the “need to get home for a day sleep” camp too as I’m clinging onto Mr TT’s day sleeps! Love all the pictures and yay for you going down the slide. Surely that’s just practice for when the kids discover the rides at the big theme parks?! Would love to hear more about “do stuff” things in your neck of the woods. Over here in Perth for us it’s all about parks, Scitech and the Zoo (annual passes to the last two have been brilliant!).

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 2:01 pm (2 years ago)

      Sounds like heaps of fun, Tash. I’d love to get over to Perth one day πŸ™‚

      Reply
  27. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    July 1, 2015 at 8:12 am (2 years ago)

    Looks like you guys had a ball! It’s not hard to get into a rut, when a supermarket trip seems quite logically okay for an outing. lol
    We’ve been getting out and a bit the last few days (thanks to school holidays!), I’ll be blogging about it later in the week. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 2:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Awesome, Jodi. I’m looking forward to reading what you’ve been up to πŸ™‚

      Reply
  28. Bec @ The Plumbette
    July 1, 2015 at 10:33 pm (2 years ago)

    Fabulous post Renee. I haven’t taken the girls to Lone Pine and I definitely want to take them to Frew Park. It sounds all Kind of awesome! We haven’t done as much together since having Phoebe. The intent is there but so is the exhaustion. Xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Yep, I totally get it, Bec. Start off with Lone Pine with the girls, I think. It’s such a relaxed atmosphere and I know they would love it.

      Reply
  29. Lisa
    July 2, 2015 at 12:23 am (2 years ago)

    Might have to join the in “Do Stuff” club over in WA. Actually we do lots of stuff-i just have to balance the camera and #getinthepicture aka Maxabella! Great post-goodluck. I better get my entry in before the 8th xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, you better hurry, Lisa πŸ™‚ And have fun getting in the picture πŸ™‚

      Reply
  30. Nicole@ The Builders Wife
    July 2, 2015 at 11:12 am (2 years ago)

    I love the do stuff club, we are going to start our own branch here. Thanks for the inspiration xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 2:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Nicole. Make sure you look me up next time you’re in Brisbane x

      Reply
  31. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    July 2, 2015 at 11:41 am (2 years ago)

    I love the idea of the ‘do stuff’ club!!! Hehehe and you were very brave on the slide! I’ll have to send this post through to my sister-in-law because they live in Brissy too! Thanks lovely xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      July 2, 2015 at 2:08 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Lucy. Next time you visit your SIL let me know. Would be great to meet you IRL x

      Reply
  32. Andrea
    July 13, 2015 at 10:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Makes me want to do stuff in Brisbane!! πŸ˜‰
    How great, to investigate fun things to do, whilst doing fun things with your family! Nice work Naysie! xx

    Reply
  33. Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad
    June 24, 2016 at 10:50 pm (11 months ago)

    Brisbane looks like a good place to explore. I think it’s important to create time together out having new experiences. There is totally value in staying home too but it’s special doing new things together as a family. A mix of both sound about perfect to me BUT so hard to find that balance when there is so limited time all together as a complete family xx PS – How does your 2 year old still have a sleep? Does she not stay up till 10pm then!? Mine does! (grrr)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      June 25, 2016 at 6:37 am (11 months ago)

      I was very, very lucky with both my girls and the day time sleep. I put up a fight right until the end. Thanks for reading, lovely x

      Reply

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