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Fun Areas

Starlight Express Room

Come and meet Captain Starlight!

The Starlight Express Room (On J2 ward) is an exciting place where Captain Starlight and a team of volunteers create a world of fun with games, arts, crafts, singing and dancing.

It's a bright, happy space that looks and feels nothing like hospital - Kids and families can take a break from all things medical.

The Starlight Express Room is all about fun, kids and teens can explore their imagination and we give them a chance to forget about their illness and treatment.

There are board games, card games and all the latest video games. Kids and teens can sing, dance, watch a movie, have their face painted, enjoy arts and crafts and more.

A place where everyone’s welcome

Everyone is welcome to visit the Starlight Express Room. Whether you're in hospital for an appointment, a day, or for a longer stay, you can pop in, spend time together and enjoy all the fun and games.

Brothers, sisters and whole families are welcome. Please note that kids under 8 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Find out more at www.starlight.org.au


Starlight's Livewire program is for teens aged between 12 and 20.

By day, Livewire delivers activities on the wards, whilst at night, the Starlight Express Room becomes a teen hangout. A chill out zone where you can be social, connect with others, chat with the Livewire Facilitators or take part in a fun workshop.

Some of the fantastic workshops in the Starlight Express Room are foley sound effects, escape room, tie dying or just hanging out and listening to music. The Livewire Facilitators can also come to your ward to chat with you at your bedside.

Find out more at www.livewire.org.au.

The Livewire program runs Wednesday to Friday every week.

Starlight TV

Starlight TV (Channel 100) broadcasts all the fun of the Starlight Express Room live to kids’ bedsides daily too. So if you can’t come to the Starlight Express Room the fun can come to you!

Location and operating hours

Level 2 (Ward J2)
Opening hours 
Monday to Friday        10.00am - 4.00pm 
Saturday and Sunday 1pm - 4pm

Ronald McDonald Family Room

The Ronald McDonald Family Room (located outside ward J1) is a place for families and carers of child patients 0 - 18 years of age to unwind and relax away from the ward and still be close to their children.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room is offered free of charge to all parents and carers providing a home-away-from-home for families.

In the Ronald McDonald Family Room, families can relax; take a quiet moment and a deep breath in a warm and comfortable environment that the medical world does not enter.

Facilities in the room

The Family Room provides:

  • A comfortable lounge area
  • Washing machine, clothes dryer, ironing facilities
  • Kitchen and dining facilities including tea and coffee
  • A referral service to Ronald McDonald House for eligible families
  • Shower and baby change area
  • A nap room and a fold up cot
  • Games and toys for children
  • TV, music and videos
  • Access to J1 playground and The Fairy Garden
Location and operating hours

Enter through the entrance of Ward J1 and The Ronald McDonald Family Room is on your left.

Operating hours are 8.00am to 9.00pm weekdays and 9.00am to 6.00pm weekends.

Fairy Garden

The garden is accessed via a door that has been painted with a 3D image, brightly coloured magical castle entrance with fairy's, flowers, and Walter the garden's resident dragon. Walter is very shy but he welcomes you at the door.

Providing children, young people and their families with access to the outside world, The Fairy Garden offers a sanctuary to where they can experience a sense of freedom from the hospital environment. The Fairy Garden offers a space where families can meander at their own pace around a path which reflects an infinity sign, to renew their senses and delight in the colour and splendour of nature.

Location and operating hours

The Fairy Garden is located in the J1/K1 Courtyard and has wheelchair access.

Operating hours are dawn till dusk.

Patients have priority access to the Garden.

The Book Nook

John Hunter Children's Hospital enjoys their very own in-house library offering a wide variety of paperback and audio books. Appealing to kids with a passion for reading, be it for latest best selling adventure or fantasy series, the BookNook offers something for all patient ages and tastes.

The Book Nook is a place for children and families to take time out to read and learn, or listen to a story, in a space designed for quiet contemplation and imaginative time out.

Books offer that very special magic that can engage a child's imagination; transporting them to their ‘unique place' for a little time out from the expectations of clinical care.

Even children in isolation have access to the library through regular visits by BookNook Volunteers. Selected books can be borrowed immediately from the BookNook mobile trolley.

How to loan books

Up to three books can be loaned at any one time.

When a book is borrowed the librarian will fill in a borrower's sheet with the patients name, age, bed number, book title and barcode.

In Ward J1 and J2 book returns are placed in the return box with the ward clerk. Returns in H1 are taken back to the Book Nook.

Donating books

We accept a wide range of books from baby and toddler story time books through to books suitable for young adults.

Books for the lending library must be new.

We quite often have requests for particular authors and topics of books, if you would like to know what books are currently required please contact Public Relations on 4921 4492.

As returned books are "quarantined" for a period of time to comply with our infection control policy - we often require multiple copies of popular books - e.g. Harry Potter or The Wiggles - so even if we already have it, we are more than happy to accept duplicate copies of popular books.

If you have any questions regarding book donations, please feel free to contact Public Relations on 4921 4492.

Location and operating hours

The Book Nook and playground is located in Ward H1 (Children's Medical Ward).

Playground operating hours are 8am - 6pm.

The Book Nook is open 24hrs. Books can only be borrowed when a librarian is present.