Story and photos by Vivienne Pearson
There are still a few days left of school holidays. Depending on your family’s combination of kids, work and other commitments, you’re likely feeling either rested or restless. In either case, if you feel the need to head out for an end-of-holiday meal, here are two options:
OCEAN SHORES COUNTRY CLUB KIDZ CLUB
Thank goodness it’s Friday and time for the Ocean Shores Country Club ‘Kidz Club’. A little known extra offered by the club, this is perfect for parents who like to eat out but whose kids can only tolerate polite company for a short time. Each Friday, a room in the club is transformed into Kidz Club; a supervised space offering craft, board games and a movie. Parents need to stay in the club (and check on their little darlings every half an hour or so) but otherwise are free to enjoy a relaxed dinner either on the new deck or in the main restaurant.
The kid menu covers the usual suspects as well as nachos, chicken, corn and noodle soup, and a chicken avocado and tomato salad. Kids can order from the adult menu and might want to spend some of their Kidz Club time perusing the extensive pizza menu. Kids can join their parents to eat before scurrying back to their games, or parents can act as waiters by delivering their offsprings’ dinner to them.
Every Friday 6-9pm, Orana Road, Ocean Shores. Bookings recommended, open to kids aged 3-12. Phone: 6680 1008
TREEHOUSE AT BELONGIL
Even the name is evocative of childhood. Treehouse at Belongil (which, funnily enough, is located on Childe Street!) is a great option for eating with kids. The cafe is spacious and offers lazy couch seating areas as well as tables. It is located just across a quiet street from Belongil Beach, which has a grassy area complete with tree-swing and beach volleyball court before you reach the sand, making Treehouse a good option for older kids who are up for a bit of independence.
The kid menu is not written down but includes traditional options like spag bol and nuggets/fish and chips. Their kid pizzas have cute custom-shaped, cheese-filled dough ears. ‘Every kid has a different reaction,’ says manager, Tash Paznokaitis. ‘Some think it is a teddy, others a koala!.’ Milkshakes and smoothies are kid favourites and Treehouse also offers non-alcoholic mocktails – two-layered colourful drinks with a sprig of mint.
There’s a retro Space Invaders game and black-and-white movies flickering within the host stand – ‘it keeps toddlers transfixed… and some adults too,’ says Tash.
25 Childe Street, Byron Bay. Bookings, especially for dinner, strongly encouraged: 6680 9452.