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I’ve never met a child who doesn’t wish they could fly

And now they can! I had the pleasure of visiting iFly DownUnder in Penrith, NSW last week and wow! What an experience!

Whether it is for Father’s Day, Christmas or your birthday, I’d be putting iFly on your wish list.

ifly kids 1iFly is a state of the art indoor skydiving facility that caters for all ages, with kids from as young as 3 being able to participate. Australia’s first indoor skydiving facility opened in Penrith just 3 months ago and five more sites are set to be open around the country in the near future with The Gold Coast being next on the list.

From the moment we arrived, the experience was phenomenal! The towering ‘wind tunnel’ was awe inspiring even from the outside. Even the staircase leading us to the top added to the anticipation with each step reading a thousand feet as we climbed. 1000ft, 2000ft, 3000ft, 4000ft.

ifly kids 2Right in front of us as we walked in was a huge 16ft wide glass tunnel with two of the more experienced instructors gracefully and effortlessly flying their bodies inside, flipping and somersaulting in the air. This show alone is worth the visit!

Something that really struck me about this place was the range of different people in the facility… Everyone from experienced award winning skydivers to 3 year olds, to adults 70 plus!

After we checked in we sat down to watch the other flyers until it was our turn for training. Gazing down into the depths of the tunnel invoked excitement and admittedly a little nervousness. As per usual all the kids were raring to go!

ifly kids 3After a short time our smiley instructor Tim called us into a room where we watched a short video about how to fly. Everything from hand signals to body position and a quick look at the gear we would be wearing was covered. The instructor took as through a practice session of our body position and we all got the thumbs up!

Now if you or your kids wear glasses, do not fear. They have special goggles that can go over the top so you can wear them for the flight. After hearing a few stories about people losing wedding rings and other bits and pieces in the tunnel, we took off all our loose items and stored them safely.

ifly kids 4The butterflies had kicked in as I strutted around in my suit but the kids were more excited than ever!

We walked single file into the holding chamber in the tunnel to take our places, but before we got started they invited all of us inside the huge tunnel to bounce around on the net and feel the air rush around us! Wow! The winds in this tunnel can be turned up to over 280km/hr!! For the more experienced fliers this is far more than a thrill ride, it’s a sport with ‘Bodyflight’ competitions being held all around the world with participant’s competing in many categories from artistic flying to ‘speed rounds’.

It was time…. We could hear and feel the wind increasing as we excitedly waited for our instructor Tim to gives us the nod. I launched into the tunnel with the help of Tim and started flying! Really flying! The first thing you notice is the strength of the wind and how it rushes all around you. The highly trained instructors never let you far from their grip and coach you all the way through with hand signals and extremely animated facial expressions. It’s actually surprisingly easy to get the hang of. Relax your body, chin up and smile!

Of course the kids were naturals which according to instructor Tim is common. iFly DownUnder even have a Junior iFlyer club with after school and weekend sessions for youngsters. If footy or dance lessons aren’t their thing, this very well could be! Bodyflight is a great way to keep kids active, improve coordination, build confidence and of course meet new friends!

They warned us as we arrived that flying is addictive and they were right! The feeling of effortlessly floating around inside the tunnel was incredible. In our last flight for the session the instructor cranked up the wind and whizzed us up to the top of the 13 metre tunnel and safely back to the net. For a moment you get to experience what would take hours of flying time to be able to accomplish alone.

Watching on as the other instructors spun and flipped and flew around the tunnel, it wasn’t surprising that so many become regular fliers.

Feeling euphoric as our session came to an end, we handed back our gear and high fived each other as we exited the tunnel. Looking through the photos and videos of our flights afterwards was hilarious. We never knew we could smile so wide!

We decided to stick around and grab a bite to eat while we watched the other flyers have their turns. Even the café there was amazing! UpRaw café supplies ultra-healthy foods that are delicious! No refined sugar is used in the café with a focus on healthy cooking techniques such as the intriguing ‘Air Fryer’ and the use of coconut oil. They of course offer Gluten free, lactose free and animal product free options.

iFly offers plenty of options for kid’s birthdays and other events with a focus on education and fun. This is definitely somewhere you want to check out.

Click here as iFly have specials running all the time and you can get all of the details here.

Thank you to Lex Stanley: Guest Dads Online writer and Skydiver.

Watching The Footy: What to do when the boys come around

boys watching the footyThe boys are coming over. What results is a football frenzy that may, or may not involve drinking, eating and possibly a little bit of raucous behaviour. When your team loses it could spoil the day but if you follow these tips, regardless of the results, you’ll always be a winner.



You want something that’s easy to prepare so you’re not distracted from the business of watching the game. Rev up the BBQ and you can knock out some delicious and easily prepared food that will satisfy everyone. If you’re going for steaks and chops, make sure they’re in the marinade on the morning of the game. Overnight is even better. Throw them on the BBQ and away you go.


Chips (hot and cold), dips, something healthy and something not so healthy. Know your friends and their dietary choices – you don’t want to exclude Keith the Vegan by laying on a meat-feast and forgetting to include some vegetables. Cover all your bases by supplying a wide range of snacks but remember that it might be a good idea to stagger the snack distribution; you don’t want everyone filling up before those chops and steaks come off the barbeque.


Yes, beer and footy-watching go together like steak and chips but it may be the case that not all of your friends want to throw down booze and shout at the television. Maybe they’d like to shout at the television while drinking an orange juice or a non-alcoholic cocktail? Never pressure anyone to drink and always respect their choices. But for those who do want a beer, wine or rum and coke, be sure to keep the esky filled with ice and selections. Maybe suggest a pre-match kitty so everyone contributes?

Location of the TV

outdoor lunch watching the footyIt’s no good having the barbeque outside and the television inside. How will you catch all the action if there’s a wall between you and the game? Hearing your mates screaming in excitement is no match for actually seeing what’s going on, so either move the TV to a spot that’s visible from the barbeque or move the barbeque to a spot where you can see the TV – even if it means bringing the barbeque inside the house. That’s a joke. Don’t do it.

Sore losers and bad winners

Everyone knows the terrible pain of watching a favourite team lose and most people know the exhilarating joy of watching their team come out victorious. No one likes a sore loser and no one likes a graceless winner. Rubbing your team’s victory in the face of a loser is not good form and will often result in the breaking down of a friendship. As winner, offer condolences such as Well played, old chap. Better luck next time. And extend your hand in a gesture of solidarity and love of the game. Or just yell Sucker and run away.

What pre-footy rituals do you have? How do you like to watch the action? Share your answers in the comment box below.

The Super Dad’s guide to a healthy kids birthday party

The Super Dad’s Guide To A Healthy Kids Birthday Party








Kids birthday parties can sometimes end with belly aches, nausea and sugar lows that are not much fun for anyone involved. Try to avoid sending home the neighborhood children with these symptoms by following our healthy party tips!

Don’t bring all of the food out at once

Lollies and kids go hand in hand and they will always choose an unhealthy food option over a healthy one any day. When you throw a party, put out a range of nutritious food platters that are healthy and filling and once you think the children are sufficiently full, you can offer the lollies and treats.

Smart drink choices

Water is the healthiest drink choice for everybody but when attending a party, the kids want something a little more tasty. Instead of juice, soft drink and cordial which are full of sugar, make them some slushies and smoothies using real fruit. You could even decorate the cups with a pineapple wedge or a strawberry for an extra special touch.

What to serve

It takes very little effort to provide tasty food that is both healthy and filling. A platter of sandwiches with a variety of fillings such as chicken and mayonnaise, egg and lettuce and ham and cheese are likely to satisfy everyones tastebuds. If you were thinking of doing hot food, mini pizzas with ham, cheese and pineapple are sure to please. Fruit sticks are a fun way to serve fruit. Thread watermelon, rockmelon, kiwi fruit and pineapple onto popsicle sticks. Add a marshmallow to each one as a surprise treat. For a final healthy treat idea, jelly cups with real fruit not only looks delicious but I’m sure your guests will think they taste great too.

Going natural

Where you can, go natural! Even though naturally flavoured lollies and chips still have a high sugar and fat content, you will be eliminating artificial colouring and flavouring which a lot of children have allergic reactions to and it can also affect their behaviour. The great thing about choosing these products is that they are usually free of preservatives too.

Swap the lolly bag for a treat bag

Instead of giving the kids lollies to take home, swap them for special treats. Bubbles, balloons, pencils, rubbers, stickers, toy cars, costume jewellery and temporary tattoos all make great treat bag ideas.

Have an sporty party

The choices for active parties these days are endless. You can have gymnastics parties, soccer parties, ten pin bowling parties and the any of your favourite sports team as theme. So even if the kids have had some sugary food during the party, they will well and truly burn it off before they go home.

At your next kid’s birthday party, try a few of the above ideas and see what a difference it makes. The only other important thing to remember is to send your party invitations out in time for the birthday bash.

Guest written by Mike Cutcliffe

Mike prides himself as a ‘super dad’ being a stay-at-home father of 3 boys while running his home-based IT business. He has recently held a 10th birthday party for his son and got everyone to dress as their favourite sports stars.

Party Sausage Rolls

Grab the kids to help you in the kitchen and make these yummy sausage rolls.
There is nothing better than cooking with kids, its so much fun 🙂

Makes 24

500g sausage mince
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 small brown onion, grated
1 medium carrot, peeled, grated
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
Tomato sauce, to serve

Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.

Combine mince, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, breadcrumbs, mustard powder, onion and carrot in a bowl.

Cut each pastry sheet in half. Shape 1/2 cup mince mixture into a sausage shape. Place along 1 long side of 1 pastry half.
Roll up pastry to enclose filling.
Using fingertips, pinch pastry to seal.
Cut into quarters. Place, seam side down, on 1 prepared tray, 5mm apart. Repeat with remaining mince mixture and pastry.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve with tomato sauce.


Crispy Potato Skins with Dip

You wont get any complaints serving these up.
Serves 4

4 large (about 1kg) sebago potatoes, scrubbed.
Olive oil spray,
1/2 cup (50g) grated cheddar
Mild tomato salsa, or a dip of your choice

Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the potatoes on the shelf in the oven and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours or until tender.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the soft potato flesh, leaving some flesh close to the skin. Cut each piece into 2 or 3 pieces length ways.

Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Place the potato skins on the baking tray and spray generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with cheddar. Bake for about 20 minutes or until skins are golden and crispy.

Set aside to cool slightly before handling

Serve with the salsa or dip.


Chocolate Crackles

A Dads favourite and your child’s too!

Makes 20 small crackles


200g Mars bars, chopped
2 tbs thin cream
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
3 cups Rice Bubbles

Place the Mars bars, thin cream and cocoa in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (Help you child and do this together), making sure bowl does not touch water. Stir until melted and smooth. Place Rice Bubbles in a large bowl, pour in Mars bar mixture and stir until well combined. Pile mixture into paper cases and place in the fridge until firm.