Play All Day at Sunshine Plaza

Image source: Contributed

Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer and her family swap the oppressive summer heat for the cool confines of Sunshine Plaza – where there’s something fun to be discovered around every corner thanks to their genius range of Sunshine Play Passes.

Whether you’ve got little kids, big kids or are a child at heart, there’s plenty on offer at Sunshine Plaza this summer!

They’ve (very thoughtfully) bundled some of the best experiences into a range of Sunshine Play Passes, so families can save money while having a whale of a time at the Coast’s biggest shopping centre – a no-brainer, if you ask us.

My husband, our two pre-school kids and I headed to Sunshine Plaza one Saturday morning for a day of family fun, excited to use our Adventure Plus passes to enjoy a number of key experiences, including the movies, paddle boat hire, soft play, restaurants, gelato and more.

We picked up our pass books from the Customer Service desk, and the first order of the day was a trip to Plaza Pontoon where a selection of colourful boats were lined up on the water. We hopped in the big blue family paddle boat and my husband steered us up and down Cornmeal Creek as the kids and I sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Our little ones looked suitably adorable in their life jackets, and loved feeding the fish from the supplied tubs of bread – big schools of hungry grey bream, who eagerly followed on both sides of the boat, snapping up the crusts as soon as they hit the surface.

“Don’t put your hands in the water,” the pontoon assistant warned us as we climbed onto our boat “– they have teeth!”

After we’d done a few laps of the creek and the fishies’ tummies were full, it was time to mosey over to Rush Adventureland – the Sunshine Coast’s largest kid’s indoor playground and adventure centre – for a spot of unlimited soft-play action.

The stroll around Sunshine Plaza was pretty and serene and we stopped to say hello to a family of water dragons and a group of elegant white-faced herons perched on the railing before crossing the festoon-light-adorned bridge.

Above our heads, we could hear yells of delight from the brave big kids and adults tackling the Next Level high ropes course – the highest and most thrilling adventure park in the country!

With seven challenging levels, including 16 ziplines stretching up to 130 metres, this adrenaline-inducing activity offers aerial fun and stunning views over Maroochydore for ages six and up and if you’re keen to take your Sunshine Plaza adventure to new heights, entry for one circuit is included in the Extreme Plus and Ultimate Experience Sunshine Play Passes.

Once inside the multicoloured children’s nirvana that is Rush Adventureland, my husband and I sipped our free flat whites while our son and daughter busied themselves in the ball pit, laughing, shrieking, throwing balls everywhere and generally going wild.

The little obstacle course was the perfect enriching environment for our 20-month-old, and we watched in amazement as he climbed up high, navigated his way past hurdles and challenged himself in ways we hadn’t seen before.

Meanwhile, our three-year-old went to the older kids’ multi-level area to do some hardcore clambering, running, jumping and sliding, reappearing after 20 minutes looking thirsty, unkempt and completely delighted with herself.

We also discovered that Rush isn’t just for the littlies – the bigger kids there were absolutely loving the ninja course, nine interactive climbing walls (fun!), hyper bumper cars, a virtual reality simulator and a Rush Coaster, offering plenty of ways to tire out youthful bodies and minds in a safe, air-conditioned, super-challenging environment.

All that running around (them) and sitting around (us) meant we’d worked up an appetite, so we headed to Sunshine Plaza’s pretty waterfront dining area to check out our lunch options.

Our Sunshine Play Passes had loads of great restaurants to choose from including Betty’s Burgers, TGI Fridays, Coca Bar and Grill’d but we decided to treat our tummies to fresh, fast food from Fishbowl, sharing two Miso Salmon Boxes with house slaw and sesame seeds, and two Spring Chicken Boxes with kale and a zesty lime dressing. Delish!

As anyone with young kids knows, it’s the law that they have to ask for an ice cream at least once a day, and today luck was on their side. Thanks to our Sunshine Play Passes, they both enjoyed an artisan gelato from Gelatissimo – choc mint for her, mango for him – which they promptly devoured, but not before smearing a significant portion of it all over themselves and their clothes.

After a fun-filled, action-packed day, we were all exhausted, which meant we didn’t have time to visit the BCC Maroochydore Cinema or to relive our youth playing arcade games at Timezone – but luckily our Sunshine Play Pass is valid until July 2024, so there’s plenty of time to head back and make sure we’ve torn every last coupon from our books.

We validated our free parking at the Customer Service desk before driving home with two very happy and tuckered-out little people in the back. And since our visit, I’ve been telling everyone who’ll listen about the great value the Sunshine Play Passes offer for families, and how Sunshine Plaza is about so much more than just shopping this summer.

What a fantastic way to spend a day!

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