So it’s the weekend and my wife is at work. I have my two boys with me, Mr 5 and Mr almost-3. While there are some people who may prefer to lounge around at home (not that there is anything wrong with that), if you look outside your door, Adelaide has a lot on offer for you and the little ones on weekends.
It’s a beautiful winter’s Saturday morning and the sun has decided to poke its head up for the first time in over a week. Like a nosey neighbour we get a good few hours of its gaze until it disappears inside again. Our first activity of the day is swimming classes at Fit Life – Health and Fitness Centre at Enfield.
Fit Life – Swim School
I’m of the belief that every kid should at least know the basics of swimming. Mr 5 and Mr almost-3 have been coming to Fit Life for the past few years and have really grown in confidence and swimming ability from this fantastic school. Lessons are for all ages (babies to seniors) and work out to roughly $18.50 a class. One of the main reasons for choosing Fit Life for the kids swimming lessons was that they have a well maintained indoor heated pool, so it’s perfect for those freezing cold winter days. The classes go for half an hour each and children are put into different categories according to their swimming ability.
MR 5 SAYS: I really love swimming now especially diving into the water. I can hold my breath under water for a really long time now, which I wasn’t able to do before. I really like Jane [instructor] because she looks after me and helps me learn new things.
MR ALMOST-3 SAYS: I love doing monkey-monkey [sliding along the edge of the pool] but I don’t like diving under water because it makes me sad!
Fit Life Health & Fitness Centre
42 Warwick Street, Enfield
Ph: 8262 1925
After an hour of tough swimming the boys are hungry, so I take them to one of our favourite American burger places in Adelaide. Chuck Wagon has been around for a few years now and always manages to put on a great feed as well as keeping the kids entertained. The amount of movie paraphernalia and comic book related material seems to grow with each visit. The staff are great and always friendly to my kids as they walk around and touch every statue, poster, figure and toy in the place.
Today I go for the Polo Loco burger – a double crusted chicken breast dipped in Buffalo Wing sauce and topped with coleslaw, cheese, tomato on a toasted sweet bun. It tasted as awesome as it reads and is definitely a ‘triple napkin’ type, saucy burger. Mr 5 and Mr almost-3 go halves in a Royale with Cheese – a classic American cheeseburger, as well as a bowl of fries. I did not opt for the premium milkshake on this visit but it’s definitely worth a try. With flavours such as Wagon Wheel, Peanut Brittle and Peanut Butter and Jelly, the shakes will have you on a sugar hit for days.
MR 5 SAYS: The chips were great but they came out ten minutes before the burger so I was full before the burger arrived. I don’t like pickles!
MR ALMOST-3 SAYS: Mr almost-3 kept getting distracted from his meal by the one and a half metre tall Darth Vader statue situated next to us. Every time I asked him what he thought of his meal he would run over to the statue, press the buttons on his chest and say “Look dad, I’m calling mum!”
175 O’Connell Street,
North Adelaide, SA 5006
Ph: 8267 – 4070
ADELAIDE FESTIVAL CENTRE – THE DOOGANS
Our day continues at the Adelaide Festival Centre where we are watching the comedy/magical/acrobatic stylings of The Doogans, which is part of Something on Saturday. This extremely entertaining double act, consisting of Pandora Pink and Mr. Spin, had Mr 5 in absolute stitches at their childish-like ‘snot, poo and wee’ humour and then had him aghast at their amazing magic tricks. Mr almost-3, on the other hand was spellbound by the juggling, but after 20 minutes of the show decided that moving chairs around at the back of the room was more entertaining for a kid his age. The Doogans is highly recommended for children 5 and over.
MR 5 SAYS: The magic was great. I’m going to get my magic box out at home and practice. I think balancing boxes on your chin would be easy. I think I could balance six or eight on my chin easy. My favourite part was when Pandora Pink said they were just here to be stupid!
MR ALMOST-3 SAYS: I love all the juggling.
Something on Saturday – Adelaide Festival Centre
King William Street, Adelaide
THE GLOVER PLAYGROUND – NORTH ADELAIDE
The kids are still alert and going strong as we have a small break of sunshine in the weather, so it’s time to pay a visit to one of Adelaide’s many playgrounds. Situated off O’Connell Street – Glover Playground – or as my kids call it ‘Helicopter Park’ , has been one of my kids’ favourite places to play. It is gated and has ample spaces for running around, barbecuing, picnicking and has a large playground. Swings, slides, climbing ropes, a sandpit and, of course, a helicopter are just some of the equipment at this playground. I just discovered that, near the relatively clean toilet facilities, they also have a ‘leave a book, take a book’ box for kids. If used correctly, this is a fantastic idea.
MR 5 SAYS: My favourite part is climbing up the ropes like Batman and then sliding down the bat-pole.
MR ALMOST-3 SAYS: I like going down the slide and driving in the Superman car.
LeFevre Terrace, North Adelaide
BLACK EYE COFFEE
With daylight running out and the kids and I running low on energy, it’s time for a caffeine hit…for myself, not the kids! A great little place just down the road from the park turns out to be Black Eye Coffee. Opened only about nine months ago, this funky little cafe makes fantastic, fresh smoothies, tasty bites and a great coffee. I grab myself a macchiato ($3.80) while the kids have a babycino (60c). There is nothing better than a strong coffee made at a perfect temperature, and the staff at Black Eye Coffee do this to perfection.
MR 5 SAYS: My babycino was nice but he didn’t give us any marshmallows!
MR ALMOST-3 SAYS: Where are my marshmallows?
Black Eye Coffee
36 O’Connell Street
Adelaide SA 5006
It’s time to head home. The kids are well and truly knackered and I’ve had enough ‘kids time’ for one day. While the boys chatter about the great day they had, I make the mistake of asking them to rate the different activities in the day. This is how it pans out:
SHANE: Mr 5, what do you give Chuck Wagon out of five, and what do you give The Doogans out of five?
Mr 5: I give the hamburger and chips a 4 out of 6 and I give the show we saw an 11 out of 8.
SHANE: But the score is out of 5!
MR 5: OK, I give the show a 5 out of 3.
MR ALMOST-3: I like the number 2 the best, Dad.
This conversation lasted about ten minutes, so we all agreed that it was a great day and we can’t wait to go out together again when we are all free.
Reviewer: Shane Berketa
With the assistance of
Mr 5 and Mr almost-3 Berketa