Combine three children with the economic downturn and one becomes quite astute at making affordable fun. To be fair, my wife is the true expert.

Of course we are quite lucky living within 15 minutes of town and are able to make use of the excellent facilities at South Bank during the school holidays. It was with some satisfaction then that we managed to spend no more than the cost of a packed lunch to provide our three cherubs with a fun packed three hours at said venue.

Imagine then if you will, our horror on exiting the car park to be greeted, and I use the term loosely, by Brisbane’s version of Scrooge (pre transition) with a charge of $24 dollars for the 180 minutes we trespassed in his underground lair.

A quick calculation revealed that, next time, should we decide to make a whole day of it, it would be cheaper to park illegally and suffer the consequences, I digress.

Beautiful and sophisticated as our fair city is, I am given to wondering how on earth we have managed to become the 5th most expensive city in the world in which to leave our people movers.

Mercifully, our 4 year old is afraid of heights else an unmissably large, misplaced circular object, could have brought more devastation to my folding money and left me pleading with Ebenezer to take a cheque.

Of course one could argue that we are provided with an excellent public transport system only we are not.
One last splash out then we decide before the 2009 bell tolls again to summon our fine offspring to trudge excitedly back to their place of learning. We no longer refer to it as school, as apparently this can cause unnecessary anxiety and parking fees must prevail over lawsuits, I digress.

Off then we decide to that other fun filled location that we are privileged to be within driving distance, Dream world. On discovering there are apparently no family discount options we were faced with a fee of $273 for our day of fun. Similar attractions in the vicinity were similarly priced, so we rallied.

The whole day was spent happily not to mention safely at Chandlers wonderful indoor aquatic centre complete with 3 pools, water slides, lifeguards and all for approximately the same price of the 10,800 seconds our Toyota spent underground at South Bank.

I urge all Brisbanites with families. Next time you decide to splash out on a fun filled day with the kids, say to the Dreamworlds, and the Seaworlds and Movie worlds of this ……world, “Enough.” Get back in touch with the family as there are commensurately far better options out there, and the parking is free.