Family | Adventure | Beach 19 March 2024

8 fun things to do with kids in The Entrance, NSW 

Sitting snugly between the Pacific Ocean and Tuggerah Lake on the Central Coast of New South Wales lies a charming seaside town called The Entrance.

Yes, that’s really its name.

With sandy beaches, friendly pelicans, and nostalgic ice cream parlours, this little slice of paradise will have the whole family morphing into blissful beach bums.

And with Oaks The Entrance Waterfront Suites perched right on the water’s edge, there’s no better place to enjoy those jaw-dropping lake views.

Here’s our round-up of the best things to do with kids at The Entrance. 

Take a bath

Image via Sport Central Coast

Okay, hear us out. For anyone holidaying in The Entrance with kids, your first stop has to be the iconic Grant McBride Baths. With mesmerising ocean views, these pools are an absolute gem.

Formerly called The Ocean Baths, this popular swimming spot provides locals and visitors with a safer place to swim – a nice alternative to that unpredictable channel between the ocean and the lake.

The ocean baths feature three pools: a children’s wading pool, a medium lap pool (22m) and a grand 50 metre outdoor pool. Clean, safe and ready to welcome you with open watery arms, these pools are free to use all year round, with lifeguards on deck during select seasonal hours.

Local tip: Head to the baths at night for a gorgeous view of the starry night sky!

Enjoy breakfast without the hassle

Before you head off on a day of adventure, take advantage of the in-room perks at Oaks The Entrance Waterfront Suites. At the time of booking, you can add one of our handpicked grocery hampers to enjoy in the comfort of your room. The Breakfast Bundle features all the classics like freshly baked pastries, cereals and juice, which means no early morning grocery runs on this holiday!

Or enjoy a movie night in…

No matter how exciting of a day you have planned, you can always make your hotel time more fun.

Our one and two-bedroom apartments are practically begging for a movie night, with all their streaming capabilities, not to mention the in-room perks – did someone say Movie Night Hamper? Packed with all your favourite movie snacks, from popcorn to Tim Tams, this hamper sets the stage for an unforgettable movie marathon. So kick back, relax, and enjoy a night with the family without leaving the comfort of your room.

Pro tip: Add a grocery hamper to your booking to ensure your kitchen is stocked with your favourite goodies when you arrive!

That’s what’s SUP

Image via The Entrance Boat Shed

The Entrance is truly a hub for water adventure, thanks to the watercraft for hire at The Entrance Boat Shed. Located under The Entrance Bridge, this family-run haven offers everything from stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), kayaks and pedal boats to fishing gear.

For a really unique experience, you can even have a BBQ on the water with their brand new BBQ boat! Complete with a kitchen, BBQ grill, and even a loo on board, this floating feast is available for half or full day rentals. Better yet, there’s no boat licence required!

This is one experience the kids will never forget – and your taste buds will probably thank you too.

Swim with Vera

Vera, is that you? Image via Visit NSW 

If the kids haven’t experienced a swim and play at Vera’s Water Garden, have they really been to The Entrance?

No. No, they haven’t.

This family favourite on the NSW Central Coast is a toddler’s aquatic wonderland. With quirky, colourful statues, playful fountains, and plenty of potential new BFFs running around, this mini-carnival offers at least half a day of free-play adventures.

Once your water warriors have had their aquatic fun, the playground awaits! There are two play areas along the waterfront. One boasts climbing frames, roundabouts and four in-ground mini trampolines. The other, located on the other side of Memorial Park next to The Entrance Visitor Centre, is a bit more basic, but hey, it’s fenced and shaded – a parent’s dream.

This place is a hit for all ages, especially on a hot day. Toddlers and preschoolers will find their happy place, and even the older kids might rediscover their inner child amidst all the fun.

If only there were more public pools like Vera’s!

Pedal through paradise

Image via Love Central Coast

The Central Coast boasts some of the most picturesque bike rides and cycle trails in Australia.

You can roll in with your own set of wheels, or opt for a breezy bike rental at one of the nifty bike stations peppered near the paths. They come with helmets and bike locks too, courtesy of local businesses.

Now, little legs might not be ready for the Tour de France, so we’ve hunted down a few family-friendly bike paths that’ll ensure everyone has a wheely good time (sorry).

Long Jetty Foreshore

For pint-sized peddlers, Long Jetty Foreshore is a great place to start. Covering a chill 800m, this popular stretch along the Tuggerah Lake Cycleway is the perfect mixture of ride and play. It’s nestled between two playgrounds and only a stone’s throw away from our good friend, coffee, making it the perfect first pit stop.

Terilbah Reserve

Next, there’s Terilbah Reserve – a 1km track from The Entrance Playground to The Sensory Gardens.

After burning some energy at The Entrance Playground, hit the paved pathway northbound, winding your way through green fields. There are a few small inclines, and the track isn’t completely shaded, so don those hats and sunscreen. As you pedal, keep those eagle eyes peeled for pelicans, spoonbills, and if you’re feeling lucky, Wally the beloved resident seal.

When you hit The Sensory Gardens, enjoy a quieter experience with the family surrounded by an abundance of native plants and flowers. Find the perfect spot to unwind and have a rest before heading back. (Kudos to the on-site groundsman for keeping this place in tip-top shape.)

Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway

For longer limbs, Tuggerah Lakes Cycleway is a 12km coastal adventure stretching from Picnic Point all the way to Chittaway Bay. This is a safe and leisurely track with plenty of glorious lake views and family-friendly pit stops along the way, from shaded BBQ and picnic areas to playgrounds, lake access and even a kid-approved BMX track.

Bonus: It’s also an opportunity to ogle at some of the Central Coast’s most impressive waterfront real estate. One day…

Ice cream, you scream

Image via Ciao Bella Gelato’s Facebook page

What’s a seaside family holiday without a big scoop (or three) of blue bubblegum ice cream? Luckily you’re spoiled for choice at The Entrance, with loads of ice creameries in the area.

For a great beach atmosphere, head over to The Great Australian Ice Creamery on The Entrance Road, where they sling sundaes, milkshakes and waffles that’ll have you swooning with nostalgia. Or make your way along the road to Ciao Bella Gelato Bar, a local hotspot with classic favourites and seasonal surprises. Over in Waterfront Plaza, you’ll find the popular Licks Ice Cream, with a stellar selection of housemade flavours and friendly service.

Two scoops? Heck, make it three, I’m not driving.

Join the pelican party

Image via Love Central Coast

To round out the day, head over to the Marine Parade waterfront (aka Pelican Plaza) for a pelican feeding show at 3:30pm.

Hosted by the passionate volunteers from Marine Wildlife Rescue, this show features a quick pelican history lesson, followed by some up-close-and-personal bird feeding. Prepare to be schooled on local marine life, and maybe even lend a hand in untangling a pelican or two from fishing lines (you’ll be doing the Big Guy’s work).

It’s a hit with the kiddos, keeping them entertained and educated in one fell swoop.

This feathered fiesta happens on weekends, and on weekdays during school holidays, at 3.30pm. It’s the hottest (read: free) ticket in town, but donations are encouraged to help the volunteers cover food, vet costs, and wildlife rehab.

Local tip: Watch out for unexpected splatter – birds have impeccable aim, especially if you’ve parked nearby.

Planning your stay at The Entrance? Choose Oaks The Entrance Waterfront Suites as the perfect home base to explore the Central Coast, with a range of family-friendly activities right on your doorstep. Make your stay extraordinary with one of Oaks’ handpicked grocery hampers, filled to the brim with a range of mouthwatering goodies and convenient essentials. Book now and let your beach getaway begin!