Winter is too cold for outdoor fun, so we had to look for indoor fun for the little rambunctious toddler.
Springvale homemaker centre is about 20 mins from our place. It houses Ikea, Harvey Norman, Babyco, etc. We went initially to get furniture and electrical appliances for the new place.
Ikea was fun in terms of its displays and ideas. The toddler had lots of fun with jumping onto couches, playing in the children ikea section, playing in the ikea cafe playspace in the middle of the cafe. The service in ikea was a nightmare. We had to pick out our own boxes, cart them to another counter for them to be delivered. If you wanted help assembling the furniture, that was another company. Service wasn't seamless. Ah well. That's what you get with Ikea, I suppose.
Harvey Norman price matched my fridge and my washing machine, so I didn't have to make another trip down to The Good Guys. They delivered and installed those for abit extra. I was happy with the service here.
There is an indoor playground for the children to run around in. It's shoes off and no adults. But parents (being of all kinds), still went in to hover around their kids playing. Argh! Unless your child is a crawler or your child has a disability that requires your close supervision, just let them play. Watch in a distance please.
We happened to be there in the school holidays and the toddler managed to have a go at the 'zoo on wheels' section. She quickly got the hang of it and loved the little Panda she was riding on. I think the toy encouraged gross motor coordination. Brilliant invention.
We went back when Jimmy Giggle was there doing a meet and greet session. The queue was too long for a personal photo. The place was extremely crowded on a weekend.
Pluses: big covered carpark, parents room available, great family friendly cafe with Ikea, family friendly car park spots on Ikea's side
Minuses: I wish there was more eating places besides ikea and a cafe, I was also wishing there was a small grocer so I could pick up a loaf of bread along the way, rather than having to stop at another place.