Nothing beats a good old true blue Aussie barbie with friends and family on Australia Day.
Slip on your boardies, slide on your thongs and slap on your sunnies, it’s time to host a BBQ to remember. While the barbecue feast you cook up might be the talk of the town, being the great chef that you are, it’s also a good idea to plan some fun Aussie themed activities for fun in the sun.
In preparation for Australia day, don’t forget to:
- Make sure there is plenty of seating, tables and shade for guests to get comfortable.
- Mow the lawn and pack away any kids toys or stuff laying around the yard.
- Ensure you have enough food, beverages, ice and water on hand.
- Have plenty of sunscreen, insect repellant and spare towels if guests will be swimming or playing in water.
Once you’ve ticked off all these items, it’s time to start planning for the perfect event. Here are six great Aussie activities to arrange for Australia’s favourite holiday.
There’s no doubt that playing backyard cricket is one of the most iconic Aussie ways to spend Australia Day. It’s perfect for friends and family of all ages and requires minimal equipment to play.
All you need is a set of stumps, one or more cricket bats, a few cricket balls (in case some get lost over neighbours’ fences) and a small group of players. Alternatively, if you don’t have stumps use a wheelie bin or even an esky instead. Take it in turns bowling six balls to get the batsman out. If you succeed, you become the batsman and the other players will then attempt to bowl you out.
For more information on how to play, here are the key rules of backyard cricket brought to you by champion former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh.
The ultimate slip‘n slide
Are you planning on laying down a sheet of tarpaulin and spraying it with a hose and some detergent to make a backyard slip‘n slide?
Why not take the Aussie tradition of a backyard slip‘n slide to the next level with an inflatable water slide. An inflatable water slide will surely give you an Australia Day to remember. Not only will it keep the kids entertained for hours, even the adults can jump on and have a turn.
Inflatable water slides may not require as much space as you’d expect and only need access to power and water. They’re a great substitute for a pool where guests can cool down on a hot afternoon. The slide can be set up quickly so you can get to some slip‘n slide action in no time at all.
Create your own cork hats
This is a great one for the kids but does require some preparation before Australia Day.
Purchase some wide brim hats, a roll of twine and a large bag of corks. Alternatively, if you’re unable to find wide brim hats, use cardboard and cut it to create a ‘disc’ shape big enough to fit around a child’s head, resting on their ears.
Prepare the wide brim or cardboard hats by cutting multiple holes around the edge of the brim. Cut multiple lengths of twine between 30 to 40cm in length ready for the kids to start creating their own fair dinkum cork hats to keep the flies at bay. The ideal BBQ accessory!
Assist children by showing them how to thread the twine through the hat and tying a knot. With the other end of the string, tie it around the cork to create a shield from the many pesky Australian insects that come out during a backyard celebration. That’s it! Kids will feel like a true blue Aussie outback explorer with these quirky cork creations.
King of the pack
This simple yet enjoyable game only requires an AFL or NRL football and a small group of players. One player (the king) stands at one end of the backyard and kicks the footy to the group of players (the pack) at the other end. The pack all attempt to mark the football and if one succeeds, they become the king of the pack, swapping spots with the current king.
Have an adult spraying the pack with a hose to add to the difficulty of marking the footy. It’s sure to be a game full of tumbles, enjoyment and laughs.
As Australia Day falls in the middle of summer, water activities are essential and attractive in the afternoon heat. If you have a pool, have it cleaned and check the chlorine or salt levels a few weeks prior to Australia Day. Purchase some pool toys to keep the kids entertained all day long.
If you don’t have a pool there are still some great ways to have a wet and wild outdoor Australia Day. Sprinklers and water hoses around your home are a terrific way to cool down in the blistering sun. Set up an obstacle course with rotating sprinklers and sprayers. Have children and adults race through the course attempting to stay dry.
If you want to take your backyard water activities to the next level, set up some inflatable obstacles or slides. This will ramp up the wet and wild course, sure to be a memorable experience for your guests.
If you’re hosting an Australia Day barbie, you’re sure to have an esky or two in your backyard to keep your drinks icy cold. If you do, then esky freeze is a quick and easy game sure to be a fun competitive challenge for family and friends.
Have players stick both hands into an ice cooler to see who can last the longest without pulling them out. Set a maximum time limit of 5 minutes (3 minutes for kids) to ensure people don’t start to feel like they’re going to lose their fingers. Have some small Australian themed prizes such as miniature boomerangs, Tim Tams, lamingtons or Australian flag stubbie holders on hand for the winners. You could even award the loser with a heaped teaspoon of Vegemite, straight off the spoon. Yummo!
While enjoying the sun on Australia Day, don’t forget to regularly apply sunscreen, wear a hat and protect your eyes with sunglasses. Also, remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water to keep up with all the fun Australia Day activities you have planned.