Friday, 29 January 2016

Inflatable Zone, O'Halloran Hill

time to run away and hide? :D

If you have children of pretty much any size you'll know how much they love to burn up energy. Fortunately here in Adelaide there are tons of venues where you can take them. And most of those venues come equipped with coffee shops so it's win-win all round.

Inflatable Zone appears to be the latest to pop up. It's at The Hill Rec Centre on Candy Road at O'Halloran Hill. While I had no idea there was a rec centre on Candy Road (and I live in the area!) but I was certainly ready to give it a go!

I'd wanted to take Master 5 and his best mate to Inflatable World down at Morphett Vale but I'd wanted to go before they turned 5 (it's cheaper!). We'd missed that slot and another attempt to head to Inflatable World was shot down by an older sibling (who, it turns out, has subsequently changed his mind!).

Anyway, we managed to pin down a date for Inflatable Zone. Sessions are 1.5 hours and held throughout the day, starting at 9am. We'd decided to opt for the 10:30am session, $12 per 5 year old* and $2 each for a pair of grip socks (you get to keep these so you can save on subsequent visits).

While you can just rock up and take your chances, Inflatable Zone's online booking is easy to use, guarantees you your slot AND gives you an idea of which sessions are busiest. It also means when you do arrive there's no stuffing around - they tick your name off, give you your socks if you booked them and then you're ready to go (pro tip: the booking will be under the name of the adult who booked it!).

When the session starts the overexcited children are let into a huge room stuffed to the brim with ... inflated stuff. Think bouncy castles combined with an inflatable set from Gladiators and you get the idea. After 15 minutes of charging around the two 5 year olds announced they needed a rest (!) and they actually seriously ran out of puff about 15 minutes before the end of the session. Although not before having a go of the velcro wall!

As the play area has only one entrance/exit you don't have to worry about your children escaping and there is, obviously, coffee available (as well as a small range of food like pies, crisps and ice cream).

During term time, Inflatable Zone is open Sat - Tues (which makes it a perfect play date venue for anyone with not quite school age children) and during holidays it has been open every day bar Friday. It is well sign posted and there is ample parking.

Inflatable Zone
The Hill Recreation Centre
Candy Road
O'Halloran Hill SA 5158

* 6 years and over $16

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Straight to Sardine

Master 5 has been taking swiming lessons at a local YMCA run swimming centre for pretty much bang on 2 years now. As much as he loves the water, it has (often) been a slow process.

We started in the Tadpole group when he was three and we ended up lingering in that group for a whole 18 months. I'm a crap swimmer (and lack confidence, to boot) and I'm quite committed to him being the opposite - so dropping lessons, despite apparently being stuck in a rut, was not an option.

He had a lovely Tadpole teacher - in fact, possibly too lovely. He loved her and was prone to melt down if she wasn't there (small children don't really get the idea of holidays or sick days). For ages he wouldn't wear his goggles. For ages he wouldn't put his head under water. And so it went.

His Tadpole classmates graduated to Goldfish and he just calmly walked backwards and forwards across the pool. For a while I toyed with enrolling him in special lessons in the big pool as clearly his height was counting against him in the learn to swim stakes.

And then, in the middle of last year, a few things happened (not necessarily in this order). His Tadpole teacher decided to graduate him. You could tell it wasn't because of his awesome skills - more because "children move up around 4 and he's now 4 and a half and maybe a change of teacher would do him good". Secondly, Andy took a Monday off work and came to the pool with us. Apparently, swimming in the pool with daddy a lot more motivating than with mummy. And finally, a Sunday morning trip to the pool with a friend whose son was repeatedly putting his head underwater triggered something and the head underwater problem was solved. In an instant. Literally.

Since the middle of the year, his swimming has come on leaps and bounds and during the break I also enrolled him in a local vacswim program (at the beach, rather than in a pool).

We returned to swimming lessons on Monday and, at Monday's class, he was assessed, passed and promoted to Flying Fish. When we went to the front desk to change lessons his original Goldfish teacher was there and, rather than shift him to Octopus (the school age equivalent of Flying Fish) made the decision to push him straight up to Sardine.

Of course, he is not bothered about this AT ALL (indeed, he got a bit cheesed off with everyone congratulating him and going on about it) but I'm not only super proud of the work he's put in over the two years but I'm also sure that this is definitely the right move. So far, at least with respect to swimming lessons, his learning style seems to be one which responds best to greater challenges and expectations.

We will find out next week when we join the Sardine class!


Monday, 18 January 2016

New Sunnies!


I am not the most fashionable person on the planet by a long shot. I am simultaneously extremely lazy, fussy and tight-fisted.

This means that 'woo, shopping!' generally ends up in 'OMG it's totally time for a drink' kind of territory (especially before Master 5 came along, responsible parenting means the drink is a coffee and anything more exciting is saved for after bed time).

Anyway, one thing that is ALWAYS on my face, and has been since about first year uni, is a pair of sunnies. It doesn't matter if it's winter - I'm wearing them. Part of this is vanity (we don't want to be squinting and getting wrinkles, do we?!) but a big part of it is now I'm so used to wearing them, real life seems full of glare without them!

My current (rather, former) pair of sunnies were a $20 pair purchased in a hurry a few years back when my previously indestructible Valentinos (purchased for £22 from TKMaxx, the most awesome of shops) succumbed to a heavy footstep from a small child.

While the el-cheapo glasses have survived, the decoration around the sides is peeling off and they look like a $20 pair of sunnies that have been battered.

On the weekend, while tootling around, we ended up in a department store looking at Lego. The store also had 30% off sunnies so I decided to have a look (having already looked at some discounted Valentinos online in the morning). Somewhat miraculously, I let the moths out of the wallet and came home with a brand spanking new pair of DKNYs (reduced from $140-odd to just over $100 - still a lot of money to spend but to make me feel better we worked out my sunnies are likely to cost me about 10c per day!).

Yet to wear them anywhere other than a quick trip to the supermarket on account of spending all our time down the beach!