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    ... PRESS RELEASE ...

    New website takes the headache out of keeping kids active.

    Sanity saving venue review website suggests
    where to go, what to do and how to save money

    Sydney web designer Ivana Katz used to keep her son Jordan amused during the holidays by following a simple motto - another day, another adventure.

    Now that quest to discover new places they could enjoy together has become the catalyst for a great new interactive resource for parents around Australia.

    Ivana has just launched a new website Kids Universe - www.kidsuniverse.com.au.

    The website allows anyone caring for kids to search for listings of all child-friendly places to visit in a particular area and to share, review and rate their experiences and favourite venues.  The website currently lists places around NSW and will expand to other states over the upcoming months.

    Parks and Playgrounds ResearchIvana said "We all have the same struggles and challenges when it comes to keeping children amused and word of mouth is the best way to share information among family and friends. This website is really about creating a much bigger network - a network of parents, grandparents and carers around Australia sharing their knowledge. Everyone has maybe 5 to 10 different places they visit and the website gives everyone the opportunity to enter the details of their favourite venues and to also upload photos and videos. Even if a place is already listed they can review it from their particular perspective so we can get a good range of views.’’

    She added "it would allow families to more easily plan outings beyond their familiar local places by relying on the information posted by others."

    The popularity of review websites such as TripAdvisor and Eatability has skyrocketed over the past few years because of the wealth of information they contain – it’s really about people helping people.  And that is the aim of the Kids Universe website.  
    Ivana already runs the popular website HeyGorgeousKids.com, a comprehensive information resource for parents.  She said the idea of Kids Universe grew from her own frustration at being unable to find adequate information about both free and commercial venues when she and her young son wanted to explore beyond her local area.

    "There was very limited information around on free parks, playgrounds and venues,’’ she said. "Many of the commercial venues were covered, but even they seemed to be scattered around different websites, so I decided to create something that encompassed everything.’’

    That means not just parks and playgrounds but also zoos, amusement parks, beaches, gardens, aquariums, indoor playgrounds, cinemas, swimming pools, sporting venues, community centres, farms, libraries and also kids classes and activities.

    She said she designed the site to be very user friendly and rich in information and search capabilities.

    "Anyone can come to the site and do a basic search by entering the name of a park, postcode or suburb, or they can search by different criteria,’’ she said. 

    "For example, they could be looking for a park where you can swim, that is suitable for children 3-5 years of age, where there are showers, shade and somewhere to buy a coffee. That sort of thing takes a lot of research and when you have children you just don’t have that much time. It’s also great when you go on holidays, you can search areas you don’t know.’’

    Ivana said she hoped the site would be of great assistance for time-poor parents wanting to keep their kids active and entertained. "I’m hoping this will make it fun for everyone in the family to get out and explore new places and experience new things.  After all children are so curious and learn best through fun and play.’’

    She said the site is designed to include the widest range of child friendly venues and is totally free for families to use.

    Anyone who wants to contribute to the website can register for free and add their favourite places.  Simply go to - http://www.kidsuniverse.com.au/register.php

    This is what some parents said about the website:

    “ I think this is a very good idea and I would use this site to look for ideas of place and new things to do with the kids and would pass it onto my playgroup as well”
    Louise, Narrabeen

    “Let me say that I think that this website is a fantastic idea especially for families and that there should be more websites out there for this specific purpose.”
    Rob, Strathfield

    “This is a great idea – we could get friends together with their kids more often”
    Aaron, Central Coast

    “This sounds like a wonderful resource.  I can see it being very useful and popular.  It is sometimes hard to think of places to go especially when the kids reach a new age group.
    Karen, Collaroy

    “What a great idea. Pictures of playgrounds are so important, also list of age groups appropriate for playground and a map so you can easily find your way there”
    Clare, Cromer

    Ivana is launching the website with "Your Holiday Angel" Facebook photo contest, which allows parents, grandparents and carers to enter Christmas photos of their kids.  3 Lucky Winners will win from a prize packages valued at over $600 - prizes by: Cool Art Vinyl, Picture Store, Australian Ugg Boots, OnQue Celebrations, Angel Star Hair & Beauty, Stix & Stones Baby, Cool Gifts, Fiona Kate, Camping Equipment Company, We Need a Nanny, iScent and DadShop.  For more details about the photo competition visit: www.Facebook.com/KidsUniverse

    For more information contact Ivana Katz on 02 9907 7777 - 0405 636 204
    or by email


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