Bubble ’O’ Bill ice creams. New Kids on the Block. The Neverending Story. These are some of the things that take me straight back to my childhood. I’m sure you’ve got a list from your own vintage – tastes, sounds and sights that time-warp your brain back to a time when life was more simple, when we played with a loop of elastic for hours a day, for weeks on end.
I love that our senses have the power to take us back there. I still love Bubble 'O' Bill ice creams and recently introduced my kids to them. I told them they could chew the bubblegum but couldn’t swallow it. Subsequently, they checked with me before swallowing ANYTHING for the next fortnight.
One of the best things about being a parent is watching my kids have the time of their lives. A lot of our favourite things to do remind me of my own childhood and, much like the cowboy ice cream, let me reminisce about things I did as a kid with my own parents. From the most simple things like bike rides and sandcastles on the beach through to family camping holidays on the coast, there are loads of ways to embrace your inner child and bring back some memories in Geelong and The Bellarine:
- FAIRY PARK – We had family trips and school excursions to Fairy Park, even before Disney made castles and princesses cool again. I remember the playground being particularly awesome and my seven year old assures me it still is. “It’s epic!” – Will Carter, age 7.
- A MAZE N GAMES – I remember trying to solve this maze on a trip with the extended family. I can guarantee the adults deliberately ditched us so they could have a coffee in peace. I can’t guarantee I got through it without crawling under walls.
- ADVENTURE PARK – This is one that is radically different from my childhood (I remember my first trip to the property - it was a trout farm!) The park is now full of awesome rides and activities and loads of stuff that brings out our competitive streaks – the Aqua Racer, the go-karts, even archery are hotly contested for family bragging rights. (Adventure Park opens for this season on 31 October 2015).
- SUPATRAMP - I grew up in the 80's, well before trampolines had safety netting around them. I survived. More recently (and in a much safer environment!) I have loved practicing bouncy tricks, slam dunk competitions, dodgeball antics and rock-climbing races with my kids.
- BELLARINE ADVENTURE GOLF - This is one that brings out our inner competitive beasts. There are two courses on the grounds with all the funny (and frustrating!) challenges you'd expect from mini golf. Banter, heckling and Happy Gilmore quotes aplenty.
What are your favourite ways to recreate your childhood?