Ross Street Playground - Seaforth - Sydney

The Ross Street playground is located off Ross Street in Seaforth in Sydney's Northern Beaches area. It is a great playground for kids 1 to 6 years of age located near cafés and shops and a nearby church which is often used for community activities.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This small yet popular playground is fully fenced due to the busy intersection nearby and nicely shaded with large shade sails. It has a small cubby house like structure with a slide, a fun see-saw, a small climbing structure and a swing set for infants and older children. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister 2 loves this playground as he can climb onto everything! He loves standing at the cubby house-like structure and yelling out and going down the slide.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Ross Street playground is a relaxing playground which also has a sitting area, some nice trees and free parking next to the playground. There are no toilets however so plan accordingly or you can try the toilets in the nearby community centre near the church which is open at times.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Tips:

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat for your little ones although there is nice shade from the sails
  • Bring a picnic, snacks and water bottle as there are no shops around the playground however a café nearby

This playground has:

  • Accessible parking on the street
  • Fully fenced playground
  • Free street parking
  • No toilets
  • Seating
  • Swings for babies and older kids

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Nanbaree Reserve - Balgowlah Heights - Sydney

The Nanbaree Reserve is located off Farrar Street between Valley Road and New Street in Balgowlah Heights. This playground is great for 1 to 6 year olds. It is a small playground however it has a grass area nearby which is good for kids to run around or play some casual ball play and the like.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The main theme with this playground is the mini train and track in the middle of the playground where kids can drive and get onboard at the back. It also has a side cart bike as well as a large see saw.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It also has an infant and child swing set which makes it desirable for kids who love a swing like little Miss. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This quiet playground is great for a play and a catchup with friends and family for a picnic. There are no toilets nearby so make appropriate plans. Also there are no fencing due to its location away from the streets so watch those little escape artists.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Tips:

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat for your little ones although there is nice shade from the trees
  • Bring a picnic, snacks and water bottle as there are no shops around the playground
  • Bring a ball or cricket set to play nearby

This playground has:

  • No Accessible public toilets
  • No fencing
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • Free street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Swings for babies and older kids

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Fitzroy Gardens Playground - East Melbourne - Review

The Fitzroy Gardens playground is a popular playground in the middle of Fitzroy Gardens. The gardens are located off Clarendon Street in East Melbourne and you can enter from Grey Street.

This is a small yet fun playground with a cool dragon slide, a giraffe swing and a small sandpit and we've been told the dragon glows in the dark!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Kate's little ones love this playground and recently shared these cute pics on the blog. The dragon is a fun part of the playground where little ones can walk up the spine of the dragon and slide down his tail or climb all over the dragon's head and body and little ones can even squeeze and pass through the middle of the dragon too!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The dragon is not the only fun thing in the playground. Little ones can swing off a giraffe's ears or arms (we're not sure there) but nevertheless it's a lot of fun and it looks very cute!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

There is open grass and a lake near this great playground where you and the little ones can enjoy running around, play with a ball, frisbee etc and enjoy a picnic by the playground too.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The sandpit is a lot of fun so don't forget to bring a bucket and some spades and some sand toys or even trucks if you can fit everything in the pram!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

As always kids will find something else to do beyond the playground so let them climb up trees if they want to - anything for them to burn all that energy!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

This small playground in the middle of Fitzroy Gardens is perfect after a stroll around the gardens and the lake - we love it! Thanks for the pics Kate!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Tips:

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat for your little ones although there is nice shade from the trees
  • Bring a picnic, snacks and water bottle as there is only one café around the playground
  • Bring a ball, frisbee or cricket set to play nearby
  • Bring the pram or walk to the playground

    This playground has:
  • Public toilets nearby
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • Street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids
  • Slide
  • Sandpit

Beauchamp Park and Playground - Chatswood - Sydney

Beauchamp Park is located on Nicholson Street in Chatswood. It is a great size playground suitable for different age groups and is also used for members of the public relaxing by the benches or having work lunch or a picnic with friends.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is not fully fenced as it is set back from the road but be mindful of your little ones as the streets near the playground are used regularly by commuters driving to Chatswood.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Some stone statues as well as a quirky cow and farm dog feature at the playground which will amuse the kids no doubt and make for funny pics!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground consists of a flying fox, a range of swings, climbing structures, slide and more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids will like to wonder around the playground and nature and use the different types of equipment available. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is also a sandpit where kids can discover dinosaur fossils.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

You can also settle down for a snack or a picnic with friends and family and let the kids run around the grass and playground.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is timed free parking along the playground or you can park in nearby streets and walk to the playground from there.

Tips:

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat for your little ones although there is nice shade from the trees
  • Bring a picnic, snacks and water bottles as there are no shops around the playground
  • The park has picnic tables or you can enjoy a picnic or a snack on the lawns
  • The playground is not fully fenced so be mindful of little wonderers

This playground has:

  • No accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • Free street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Long Reef Coastal Walk - Sydney

We love good weekend walks with the kids and the dog and always enjoy a Coastal Walk along Long Reef. You can either start at Griffith Park, park near the tennis club where there is free parking and do the full loop back or park at the Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club where there is paying or northern beaches permit parking. Either way you'll love it!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We generally park at the Long Reef Surf Life Saving Club, do the walk, follow Fishermans Beach and finish up with a cheeky ice cream or coffee and a play at Griffith Park off Pittwater Road in Collaroy and walk back. The views over the open space and over the ocean are stunning and make the walk a breeze.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

I don't believe the beach is dog friendly however I do see dogs whenever we walk past. The walking track is pram friendly except for little tricky areas.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The views over the golf course and ocean are just beautiful so take your camera for some great nature and ocean snaps.

longreefwalk05.jpg

Once you've reached the top, you can take a break, have a drink and enjoy the view and watch the hand gliders fly past. Humpback whales can seen at different times during the year along this coastal walk.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Fishermans Beach is a beautiful sandy beach where kids can chase the waves and see pelicans.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 I don't recommend letting your little ones or yourself go near or down the boat ramp (I learned that the hard way with weeks of chiropractor after slipping with my little one). 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A great way to finish the walk is to enjoy a coffee or ice cream from nearby shop at Griffith Park or a classic pie from Upper Crust.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Don't forget to apply sunscreen on the little ones and yourself before you go and wear a hat
  • Bring water bottles, snacks or a picnic if you prefer
  • Bring bathers and a towel if you'd like to go to the beach
  • Bring some money and your camera if you'd like to have a coffee and ice cream after the walk and like to take pics along the way
  • Bring the pram if you know your little ones don't like to walk far

 

 

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

2017 Royal Melbourne Show - Review

Kel and the Melbourne Minor gang headed to the Royal Melbourne Show for us this year and absolutely loved it! A full day at the show is bags full of fun including the showbags! This year's show is even better so take the kids along for a packed day of activities, demonstrations, rides, food and of course farm animals! Checkout Kel's review before you head there! To follow Kel's adventures, head to their Instagram.
Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

The Royal Melbourne Show is back in town and, as promised, is bigger and better than ever. I took along my favourite two junior showbag experts for five hours of fun and here were their favourite bits:

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

1. The Jayco Animal Nursery

An obvious winner with kids. A big shed full of chickens, sheep and little goats to pat, brush and feed. Entry into the hall is free but cups of food are $2 each. Ravi was under the impression that the game was to get as much goat hair on your brush as you could in a reverse pin the tail on the donkey situation but however you approach it, it's good fun. Lines can get long to enter but we found going on a drizzly day at 2pm was very quiet.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

2. Showbags

Can't skip the showbags! Step one is getting your hands on a showbag guide and insisting the children read it cover to cover a bazillion times in the lead up. We said to the kids that we would fork out for one bag each and then it would be time to get out the pocket money so a lot of thought went into their decisions. Mena, 8, chose the Doctor Who bag at $20 and the Discovery Kids Bag at $26 which is my top pick of the showbags this year. Rav, 4, chose the mega firefighter bag at $26 which has a full firefighter outfit with accessories and a remote control firetruck. Safe to say, they choose showbags better than I did as a kid.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

3. The Food Hall

This place is heaven for people who want tiny amounts of obscure free food to try. So, kids and foodies. I had half of those categories with me so fun was had. There are also some top choices for lunch or dinner in here. 

4. The Cakes and Craft

Don't skip the efforts of the CWA! While the jars of jam and lemon butter may not captivate the youngsters, my crew were blown away with the elaborate cakes and tea coszies and loved the hands on craft area (free).

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Pre purchasing tickets is the way to go and if you have ride-lovers add a rides pass. Trains run right to the gate or parking on site will set you back $25. The grounds and exhibition halls are all fully accessible. 

My favourite showbag is the classic Bertie Beetle but surely you don't need someone to tell you to grab one of those. Just do it!

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

To buy tickets and to start planning your Royal Melbourne Show experience, head to their website.
Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

For more ideas on what to do with the little ones, head to our blog or CBD Top 5 FREE activities or our popular Daily Spots List.

Werribee Open Range Zoo - Ranger Kids and Toddler Weekdays

The Werribee Open Range Zoo is such a wonderful Zoo to visit with kids especially during weekdays with Toddler Weekdays where there are a range of activities on including the Junior Safari tour specially catered for little ones - we love it! Toddler Weekdays is on Monday to Friday excludes school holidays and is included in your Zoo ticket. Just pack a picnic, snacks and a teddy for the safari!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

If you haven't been to the Werribee Zoo before, you can expect an African adventure with lots of fun! We love walking around the Zoo looking at the hippos, gorillas, lions and checking out the different areas like the Nocturnal area and much more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

And there's nothing better than jumping on the Safari bus to see rhinos, giraffes, zebras, camels, hippos and more. We love how on weekdays the Junior Safari driver guides the children and carers through the safari tour with fun explanations, stories and music.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

During summer, head to the Kubu River area to checkout Kubu River Hippos and the Hippo Beach with its water play area. Don't forget to pack some bathers, towels, sand castle gear and spare change of clothes!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There's always lots of fun to be had at the Zoo's playground and in the Ranger Kids' area if a little rain comes about!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Ranger Kids area is a great little play area where kids can pretend to be Zoo keepers help the wildlife, pretend to rescue animals via an helicopter and have a look at some cute animals part of the little enclosure inside the Ranger Kids area.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are toilets outside pass the Ranger Kids area on the left however the parents rooms inside the Ranger Kids area is great for little ones who need a feed and a change and if you need some privacy.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Buy a Zoos Victoria membership to enjoy Melbourne Zoos all year round and kids are free!
  • Head to the Werribee Open Range Zoo as it opens to ensure you get a park close to the entrance and avoid the crowds.
  • Arrive for the Junior Safari tour which is on Monday to Friday at 10 am (excludes school holidays). The tour is 35 mins and is free as part of admission. The other Safari Tours are just as great and run regularly weekdays and weekends.
  • The Ranger Kids area is open weekdays 12.30pm to 2.30pm and weekends 10.30am to 2.30pm and is free as part of admission.
  • Checkout the Zoo's website to find out What's On and times for Keeper Talks during the day.
  • Pack snacks, lunch, sunscreen, water and a change of clothes (if the weather is warm and you plan on getting wet at the Hippo Beach and water play area).
  • The Zoo is pram friendly but leave your pram outside the Ranger Kids area and outside the Safari Tour area and takes your belongings with you.
  • Parking is free near the Zoo entrance.
For more info on Toddler Weekdays, times and activities, checkout the Werribee Zoo website.

For more ideas on what to do with the little ones, head to our blog or CBD Top 5 FREE activities or our popular Daily Spots List.

Every effort has been made to provide accurate information at the time of this publication, photos are from archive as such some sights may differ. We recommend checking out the Zoo's website to ensure up-to-date dates, times and details.

Chadstone Play Pods - Chadstone Shopping Centre - Review

Cute little play pod areas were completed in early August at the Chadstone Shopping Centre on the Lower Ground near Daiso. Great for little ones to enjoy a play while carers take a break.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The pods include a Café and Shop play pod where little ones can pretend to shop and have a coffee just like their parents and carers!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Crawlers can wonder in the fish pond and climb over some areas of the play pod.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can also play along at the interactive stations setup at different pods.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We love these new play pods at the Chadstone Shopping Centre. These are great little additions that will please little ones and their carers and keep them busy while carers can take a break from shopping!

Our only comment would be that some fencing around the play pods to stop escape artists going to the nearest shops would have been great! 

For more ideas of what to do with the kids in Melbourne, checkout our WebsiteDaily Spots ListCBD Spots or Blog.

For actual playgrounds around Melbourne, go to our dedicated page.

To find a parents room near you or in Chadstone, head to our dedicated page.

State Library of Victoria - Play Pod : The Very Noisy Bear - Review

Kate and her little ones joined the State Library of Victoria today for a morning of songs, dancing, craft activities and games to launch their NEW Play Pod theme inspired by Nick Bland's The Very Noisy Bear. And what a great morning they had!
Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The Play Pod is the State Library of Victoria's program for children aged five and under, packed with activities to read, create and play. With a new theme every season, Play Pod is always changing, fun and interactive, so children are free to explore and engage with the support of their parents and carers.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

There is music in the air in the Jingle Jangle Jungle! Can Bear's friends help him find the perfect instrument to play? How cute is this new theme!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Bears are everywhere in the Play Pod's new theme!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Kids can use craft materials as part of the new theme, to create the Jingle Jangle Jungle and add their creation to the Play Pod poster.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The Play Pod launch included a Baby Bounce session where library staff read The Very Noisy Bear, sang songs and rhymes.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Kids were also spoilt at the launch party with an African drumming performance!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Kids can also make their own jungle picture, shaker, bear face and play with musical instruments and jungle costumes - oh what fun!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Checkout the new theme when you pop into the city soon! Thanks Kate for the great pics and filling us in today!

Our tips:

  • Entry is FREE, woo hoo!
  • The space isn’t big and can get quite busy on weekends and school holidays – so go early when the library opens at 10am.
  • Be aware that the doors into The Courtyard stay open at all times.  If you have a little one who likes to go off exploring, you will have to keep an eye on them.
  • No food or drink is to be consumed within The Courtyard, except for bottled water.
  • Pram parking is available in The Courtyard or you can check them into the Cloakroom at the Welcome Desk on level one.
  • State Library of Victoria is very family friendly with designated baby-change and feeding areas located adjacent to The Courtyard.
To BUY the book, head to this link.

This post contains some affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra and I earn a small commission to help pay for website hosting costs. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.

If you're interested in our other Play Pod reviews, head to this link.

For more ideas of what to do with the kids in Melbourne, checkout our Daily Spots ListCBD Spots or Blog.

To find out about other kid events coming up at the State Library of Victoria, checkout their website.

Questacon and Mini Q - Canberra - Review

Where do I start except for saying that Questacon - the National Science and Technology Centre is an amazing place and you will keep the kids busy there for hours! There is so much to see, experience, learn about and enjoy! We loved our visit when we headed there mid July!

When we first visited Canberra, it was during a public holiday and we arrived at 11am and quickly realised there was no way we would get in with the massive queues so when we recently went back to Canberra we headed there as soon as the center opened at 9am. We grabbed our Mini Q session tickets straight away before they were gone and headed inside.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Mini Q is a custom built space especially designed for kids 0 to 6 years old and we were so glad we managed to visit the space as the kids loved it! Mini Q had timed sessions in place when we visited which meant the space was not over crowded and from memory we were allowed for 45 minutes which was great but hard to explain the kids to leave.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They loved the wet play area, the role play area and the space play area. They played in the role play area for most of the time pretending to be shop keepers and serving us food and minding sick animals at the vet. Once they found out about the water play, they were fascinated with it!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Once we visited Mini Q, we went onto checking out the rest of Questacon. Levels after levels where kids can explore, discover, learn from and see. The areas were busy however the centre is quite large so it was manageable and the kids were still able to touch the experiments, play in the Q Lab which is suited for visitors aged 7 or more but still interesting to watch and try it. Kids and adults will be engaged with science with over 200 hands-on exhibits in eight interactive galleries and outdoor Science Garden experiences.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids loved The Shed where you can see hands-on exhibits, artworks from artists and makers and an area where they could design and make their own flying cup and play with gravity and cars.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The other galleries comprise of Above and Beyond - an epic journey into the sky and beyond where kids can learn about the speed of sound, pretend to fly like a bird, learn about supersonic flight and much more!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Awesome Earth where kids can feel the force of an earthquake, let lightning park their imagination and wonder at the grandeur of the universe. Excite@Q is also a cool area of high energy, high impact and highly addictive physical phenomena and don’t forget to soak up the science with H2O.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We will definetely visit Questacon next time we visit Canberra as there was a lot to take in for a first visit!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our Tips:

  • Questacon is located on the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.
  • The centre is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm including holidays except 25th Dec.
  • Ticket prices are as follows: Adults $23, Children (4 to 16 yrs) $17.40, Concession $12, Kids under 4 are free and a Family ticket is $45 (extra child $5).
  • If you are a member of Museums Victoria or the Australian Museum check your membership for reciprocal rights as you may be eligible to free entry to Questacon!
  • Head there early as it opens to avoid the crazy queues and grab Mini Q session tickets at the counter. 
  • Plan ahead before you go to see what's on by checking out their website.
  • There is no online ticket booking system at the moment but the center is working on it.
  • There is parking outside the center.
  • There are toilets inside including parents rooms
  • There is also a café onsite. 
  • The center is pram friendly with a walking ramp and lifts.
For more information about Questacon, checkout their website.

National Dinosaur Museum - Canberra - Review

Kids love dinosaurs and our kids are no different! So we had to bring them to the National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra on our last visit to get their dino fix!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

And that they did! There were dinosaurs at every angle possible, from the minute you arrive and walk around the front of the museum or once you go inside. Those guys are everywhere!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

If you don’t have time to visit the Museum and want a quick thing to do, checkout the dinosaurs outside as it is FREE for anyone to walk there. Kids can take happy snaps with their dino friends! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Once you are inside and you make your way upstairs, you realise that a lot of work has gone into putting the museum together, from real dinosaur skeletons, dinosaur statues, artefacts, dinosaur animatronics to fossils not available anywhere else in the world - it is packed for dinosaur lovers. And if you spend the time reading the information, the family will learn a great deal about those fascinating creatures.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After the visit upstairs, kids can have a play in the small kids area downstairs where they can take photos in dinosaur eggs, help create large dinosaur puzzles, colour in and touch stones and gems. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We did enjoy our visit, a great deal of information to take in and lots of dinosaurs to look at which was great and kept little Miss and Mister interested for some time. Little Mister was scared of the animated dinosaurs though but kept walking around to avoid them so be mindful young children might be afraid.

The museum is smaller than we expected and in need of some repairs in parts as some exhibits were broken. The shop downstairs is quite extensive with a large range of fossils, minerals, stones, geodes and more so overall a good experience.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The National Dinosaur Museum is located in Gold Creek Village in Canberra. 
  • The Museum is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm. 
  • Ticket prices are as follows: Adults $16, Children $9.90, Concession $12, Kids under 4 are free and a Family ticket is $45 (extra child $5).
  • Parking is free outside the Museum.
  • There are toilets inside including a parents room.
  • There is no café onsite.
  • The place is pram friendly but it might be easier to leave the pram in the car in you have a carrier as the museum isn't very big. There are lifts to go to the first level though.
  • Head to the Museum with a thinking cap on and lots of time to take it all in.
  • Be mindful that young children may be scared of the animated dinosaurs.
For more information on the National Dinosaur Museum, head to their website.

NGA Sculpture Garden - Canberra - Review

There’s nothing better than to walk in the fresh air and admire sculptures in the NGA Sculpture Garden. First created in 1981 by Harry Howard & Associates and James Mollison the first Gallery Director, it was designed to compliment the building with the diagonal of the main pathway and the floor plan of the garden matching that of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) main building. 

Clement Meadiore’s Virginia - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Clement Meadiore’s Virginia - Photo credit: @busycitykids

The grounds lie between the NGA and the shores of Lake Burley Griffin and comprises of 26 carefully selected sculptures made by International and Australian artists with recent sculptures including Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North facing Lake Burley Griffin and the Fog Sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya so bring the kids to the Fog Sculpture between 12:30pm and 2pm daily. 

Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Bert Flugelman’s impressive Cones in polished stainless steel is by far my favourite sculpture in the garden along with Clement Meadiore’s Virginia 'twist' as we call it.

Bert Flugelman’s Cones - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Bert Flugelman’s Cones - Photo credit: @busycitykids

I do have a bias love for French sculptors (being French and all) so I was naturally in love with Emile Antoine Bourdelle’s Penelope, Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure and of course Aristide Maillol's La Montagne and Auguste Rodin's Nude study for Jean d'Aire and so was little Miss albeit a few questions ha!

Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Emile Antoine Bourdelle’s Penelope - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Emile Antoine Bourdelle’s Penelope - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Aristide Maillol's La Montagne and Auguste Rodin's Nude study for Jean d'Aire - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Aristide Maillol's La Montagne and Auguste Rodin's Nude study for Jean d'Aire - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss and her brother loved wondering through the NGA Sculpture Garden. It was nice and fresh that day but we still enjoyed looking at the different sculptures. Just be mindful of the large pond area and little hills that might not be suitable for little children. Little Mister was very intrigued by Dadang Christanto’s Heads in the Water. It is a very strange sculpture set and apparently very creepy when the Fog sculpture is on. 

Dadang Christanto’s Heads in the Water - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Dadang Christanto’s Heads in the Water - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can also have a play in the NGA Play kids area and checkout the Reko Rennie's installation - see our review here.

NGA Play Reko Rennie - Photo credit: @busycitykids

NGA Play Reko Rennie - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Entry is FREE to the NGA Sculpture Garden and most exhibitions at the NGA. There are parents rooms in the building as well as toilets and a café. You can access the NGA Sculpture Garden from outside or through the back of the building. There is reasonable parking nearby the building or under the NGA building and the area and the NGA are pram friendly.

To make the most of your visit, head to the NGA front desk and collect information on what’s on at the NGA.

Play Up at the Museum of Australian Democracy - Canberra - Review

Next time you are visiting Canberra, do pop into the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament. It is a great place for families and their children to visit the 1920's historical site which was home to the House of Federal Parliament until 1998. It is also an important place where families can engage in conversations about Australian Democracy and their voices in it. 

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

We loved visiting the House of Representatives Chamber as well as the Senate Chamber and pretend we were politicians! We admired the architecture throughout the building especially the old doors, furniture and symbolic pieces like the Queen's replica Crown Jewels which little Miss loved looking at. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

museumaustraliandemocracy04.jpg

There are many exhibitions at the Museum of Australian Democracy that change frequently. We saw the Dress Code: Empire exhibition which was great as well as permanent exhibitions.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

But of course, the space which attracts many visitors to the Museum of Australian democracy is the kids space 'Play Up' where kids can play up, dress up, make up, think up, stand up and step up! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Play Up consists of three rooms. The first room has a toy area with many toys, building blocks, an area where kids can do some colouring in as well as an area where they can watch and listen to some Australian stories.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The second room is a library where kids can lounge on bean bags and read books, hide in the Tipi or play with construction gear.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The third room is The Right to Shelter where kids can pretend play at a little play kiosk with politicians' faces or play in the play kitchen too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Also don't miss the DRESS UP space where kids can dress up like many past politicians or past public figures which is located right near PLAY UP.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

When we visited, we peeked at the Behind The Lines exhibition where kids could dress up as royalty with a fancy cloak and do some colouring in or play some games at the small tables setup.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Museum of Australian Democracy is open daily (except for Christmas Day) from 9am to 5pm.
  • Admission is as little as $2 for adults, $1 for children (free for children under 5 years old) and concessions, $5 for a family.
  • Entry to Play Up is FREE after general entry. It is a popular spot so head there early or as the museum opens.
  • You can take your pram in the Museum but be mindful that you will have to take several lifts to get to the different levels of the Museum. Entry to the lift is via the lower entries which are located at the front of the building, either side of the main stairs.
  • There is parking in the area or near Questacon.
  • There is a café onsite.
  • There are Baby change facilities available behind the visitor’s service booth in Kings Hall and on the first floor Senate (red) side of the building opposite the children’s “Dress-Up” room.
  • Make the most of your visit by checking Museum's website before you head out to see what new exhibitions are out and if there are any special events coming up too.
For more information on the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, head to their website.

If you are visiting Canberra from now until December, head to the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and have a play at the NGA Play kids area and checkout the Reko Rennie installation - see our review here.

Melbourne - September School Holidays 2017

Here we go again, the school holidays are almost upon us again - let's do this! 

schoolholidaysmelbourne.jpg
  • Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers at the Melbourne Museum - Visit Bug Lab and marvel at ultra-detailed large-scale models of bugs, discover cutting-edge science and explore the world as bugs do, through immersive sensory experiences. On until Sunday 15th October 2017. Read our review here.
  • Bug Lab School Holiday Activities at the Melbourne Museum - Kids can make their own ant antennae and participate alongside Polyglot Theatre’s Ants free performances during these upcoming holidays. More info here.
  • LightTime: Illuminate your eyes, ears and mind at Scienceworks - A collective of 11 Melbourne based artists who have created hypnotic and mesmerising work that invite visitors to engage their senses to explore the phenomena of light, sound and optics. Kids can be immersed in a space where lasers project holographic effects to an evolving original soundtrack; enter a room of LED screens that create a spectacle to confound and entrance; and lie beneath an ultraviolet garden of floral meditation. On until April 2018. Read our review here.
  • Happy Happy Joy Joy at the Immigration Museum - Celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival with craft, storytelling and energetic workouts that promise to bring double the happiness and luck to the whole family. Suitable age 4 to 12 years old. On from Tuesday 26th Sept to Thursday 5th of Oct 2017. More info here.
  • Royal Melbourne Show - The Royal Melbourne Show is back this year from Saturday 23rd Sept to Tuesday 3rd of Oct and you can save up to 25% if you book tickets online before the 31st of August. Kids can get up close and see, pat and feed hundreds of farm animals at the Royal Melbourne Show’s expansive animal precincts and attractions. They can meet and greet adorable baby animals in the Animal Nursery, try their hand at sheep shearing and milking cows in The Farmhouse or visit The Animal Farmyard and see their favourite farm animals roaming their paddocks as they would on the farm. There's also food, rides, gourmet food in the Winning Tastes Pavilion and Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion, shows, demonstrations, performances and so much more! Checkout Kate's review to find out what to expect from the Royal Melbourne Show. Kate took her twins last year and they love every moment! Our review of the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show is now up on the blog.
  • Horrible Harriet at the Arts Centre Melbourne - Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs’ humorous tale of a wicked, wild and wonderful girl will be brought to life in Horrible Harriet at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse from 27th to 30th of September 2017 as part of a national tour. Families are invited to join Harriet's search for identity and friendship, with songs, humour and mischievous fun. More info on the blog.
  • The Pool at the NGV Fed Square - Dip your feet in the pool at the NGV Fed Square's free exhibition. With a multi-sensory installation of water, light, scent and sound, The Pool is an interactive space with a 11 metre long pool. More info here.
  • Fiona Hall: Uneasy Seasons at the NGV Melbourne - Uneasy Seasons is a captivating and imaginative response to the environment and changing seasons through the lens of one of Australia’s most brilliant artistic minds. The exhibition features two large scale tree houses - one for young visitors and the other for teenagers. Visitors are invited to explore the two spaces and participate in art making activities and how they feel about the natural world. On until 8th of October. Read our review here.
     
  • The Magic or Aardman at ACMI - Experience the magic of Aardman at the ACMI's latest exhibition: Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman. There is so much to see from original sketches, watercolours and models all the way up to full sets, finished movies playing and claymation workshops. On until Sunday 29th October. Read our review here.
     
  • Have fun at Funtopia Maribyrnong - Experience Melbourne's newest indoor rock climbing center with two worlds - Playground World and Climbing World for hours of fun. Read our review here.
  • Melbourne Fringe - The Melbourne Fringe is a celebration of cultural democracy and art for everyone that embraces diversity and a spirit of independence. It is the most adventurous, inclusive, all-encompassing multi-artform festival in Australia with thousands of artists from every discipline performing 400+ events in over 160 venues to an audience in excess of 350,000 people. Find out more info here.
  • Melbourne Library Service - Celebrate the school holidays with the Melbourne Library Service this Spring from Mon 25th Sept to Sunday 8th Oct. Get your party clothes on, grab your friends and join Melbourne libraries for some party fun with great craft, food and dancing workshops or maybe chill out at one of our yoga sessions. Celebrate, it's party time! Bookings open Monday 11 September from 8am. More info here.
  • Junior Rangers - Web-Weaving Wonders at the Australian Native Gardens Join park rangers from Tues 26th Sep to Wed 4th Oct and go looking for arachnids in this fun-filled morning of games, exploring and craft. Take a closer look at the cute and curious eight-legged creatures of Royal Park. Free event. More info here.
  • Children's Garden Discovery at the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria - A hands-on holiday program for vacation care groups during which children will discover the wonderful world of plants and nature. There's also some school holidays activites at The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden and Cranbourne Gardens. More info here.
  • Footy Festival at the MCG - Head down to Yarra Park to take advantage of all the great activities on offer. The Toyota AFL Grand Final Live Site, Taste of Football featuring Melbourne's best food trucks, a Kids zone including NAB AFL Auskick Clinics and the biggest ever AFL inflatable obstacle course and a AFL Grand Final Eve Concert. More info here.
  • State Library of Victoria - Play Pod's NEW theme 'The Very Noisy Bear' - There is music in the air in the Jingle Jangle Jungle! Can Bear's friends help him find the perfect instrument to play? The new theme is super cute and there are lots of things to do. Check it out next time you pop into the city. Our review here.
  • State Library of Victoria's School Holiday Activities - 2nd to 6th of October - Head to the Library and Start your own family band and on a musical adventure in two workshops for kids and grown-ups. More info here.
  • SciencePlay Kids - School Holidays - SciencePlay Kids classes are designed to encourage your little scientists to explore science in the world around them. Each class runs for an hour, has 2-3 hands on experiments that foster creative thinking and problem solving in a fun and MESSY way. Dressing in mini lab coats and safety glasses, each child has their own scientific equipment and materials to undertake their experiment at their own pace. More info here. Read our review here.
  • To celebrate Fiona Hall: Uneasy Seasons at the NGV Melbourne - the NGV is holding ANIMALS! FOR REAL A free activity where there will be reptiles, marsupials, and bugs will be on show for children to draw and to find out about their incredible lives and habitats during this free program live in the Great Hall. Free from Monday 25th to Frida 29th September from 10am to 1pm. More info here.
  • Spring is here and Zoos Victoria zoos have cubs to meet, teddies to vet check and a photo exhibition to enjoy across Victoria’s three great zoos: Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo these school holidays! The National Geographic Photo Ark at Melbourne Zoo's Leopard Lodge. Closes on 1st of October. Entry part of the entry fee. Lion cubs at Werribee Open Range Zoo Teddy Vet Checks at Healesville Sanctuary. More info here.

State Library of Victoria's Play Pod party - The Very Noisy Bear

Join the State Library of Victoria on Wednesday 6th of September for a morning of songs, dancing, craft activities and games to launch their new Play Pod theme inspired by Nick Bland's The very noisy bear. 

OUR REVIEW OF THE NEW THEME IS NOW ON THE BLOG VIA THIS LINK

Photo credit: State Library of Victoria

Photo credit: State Library of Victoria

The Play Pod is the State Library of Victoria's program for children aged five and under, packed with activities to read, create and play. With a new theme every season, Play Pod is always changing, fun and interactive, so children are free to explore and engage with the support of their parents and carers.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The event is FREE and will run from 10:00am–1:00pm in the Courtyard on the 6th September 2017. No bookings are required. Checkout the State Library of Victoria's official event post here.
To BUY the book, head to this link.

We love the Play Pod here at Busy City Kids, checkout our reviews of the different Play Pod themes on the blog.

This review is not sponsored in any way however a copy of this book was provided to us for review. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses and products we believe in. This post contains some affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra and I earn a small commission to help pay for website hosting costs. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.

Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden - Info - Sydney

We love the Ian Potter Children's Garden in Melbourne so when we heard about the Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden opening soon in Sydney, we were very excited! 

Design element: Artesian Water Play area Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

Design element: Artesian Water Play area

Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

The construction of the Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden started September 2016 and is planned to be completed by October this year weather permitting. The Garden is not just another playground or picnic area, but a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility aimed at providing children opportunities to reconnect with nature at a time when many have rapidly decreasing access to nature and the outdoors.

Design element: Bamboo Forest Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

Design element: Bamboo Forest

Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden will provide an outdoor learning experience for children aged 2-12, of all abilities and backgrounds, enabling a 'whole-of-life' approach to education. Located adjacent to the existing Education Precinct off Dickens Drive in Centennial Park, the Garden will consist of dedicated natural spaces including Artesian water play, creek beds, bamboo forests and outdoor classrooms, all designed to inspire and encourage children to engage in exciting, creative and imaginative outdoor 'wild play'.

Design element: Jungle Play Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

Design element: Jungle Play

Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

Design element: Jungle Play Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

Design element: Jungle Play

Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden project proposes a significant increase in the Parkland’s offering for children including:

  • play spaces that offer innovative, world’s best play experiences
  • play spaces to be co-located with complementary visitor spaces
  • play spaces with unique character that offer a diverse range of experiences and cater for a diverse group of people, from babies to adults
  • play spaces that respond to and enhance the existing Park’s landscape character.

It will create 'nature smart' kids, build and strengthen an 'outdoor, nature focused' community and enable 'nature-based' play.

Design element: Mounds Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

Design element: Mounds

Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

The key elements to the garden include: 

  • Artesian Water Play area
  • Bamboo Forest
  • Dry Creek
  • Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS)
  • Jungle Play
  • Mounds
  • Observation Tree
  • Picnic Lawn
  • Relaxation Tree
  • Swamp Water Play and
  • Wild Play areas and Nature Art Space  ... wow!

Oh my, the Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden sounds amazing, we cannot wait to visit when it opens!!

Design element: Wild Play areas and Nature Art Space Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

Design element: Wild Play areas and Nature Art Space

Illustration credit: Centennial Parklands

For more information on the Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden, head to the Centennial Parklands website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity at the NGV Australia - Melbourne

Just when you thought the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) was cool enough, comes The Pool!

An 11 metre long pool celebrating and exploring one of Australia’s greatest cultural symbols. With a multi-sensory installation of water, light, scent and sound, The Pool is an interactive space, complete with wooden decking and pool lounge chairs revealing the connection between landscape, culture and architecture through a singular architectural form.

Photo credit: NGV

Photo credit: NGV

We love it and so did Kel and Rav from Melbourne Minor when they headed there last week for a preview opening. How cool does Rav look! Definitely the perfect look for the pool this summer!
Photo credit: NGV

Photo credit: NGV

Tony Ellwood, Director at the NGV, said ‘Whether natural or manmade, inland or coastal, pools are undeniably linked to the Australian lifestyle and our national psyche. We encourage visitors to dangle their feet in the water or relax poolside as they reflect on the idea of the pool as a place of cultural exchange, socialising, competition and reminiscence.’

Photo credit: NGV

Photo credit: NGV

The installation also includes a series of eight ‘lanes’ that present audio excerpts from eight prominent Australian figures who share their personal stories to further reveal the relationship between the pool, its architecture and Australian cultural identity. 

Olympic gold medal winning swimmers Ian Thorpe and Shane Gould; environmentalist and 2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery; fashion designers Romance Was Born; writer of best-selling book The Slap Christos Tsiolkas; winner of the 2012 Miles Franklin Prize Anna Funder; Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins and Australian rock musician Paul Kelly will be featured.

Photo credit: NGV

Photo credit: NGV

The Pool was co-curated by Isabelle Toland, Amelia Holliday and Michelle Tabet and was originally commissioned for the Venice Architecture Biennale by the Australian Institute of Architects where it received more than than 100,000 visitors.

Photo credit: NGV

Photo credit: NGV

The Pool is on at the NGV Australia, Federation Square on Ground Level in the Design Studio daily 10am to 5pm until the 18th of February 2018. Free entry.

For more information about The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity exhibition, checkout the NGV's website.

For more ideas of what to do with the kids in Melbourne, checkout our WebsiteDaily Spots ListCBD Spots or Blog.

Great Melbourne spots for Dinosaur lovers

There's something about dinosaurs that make little ones roar with excitement! Little Miss loves an outing which features dinosaurs and we thought your little ones would too!

1. The 'Dinosaur Walk' exhibition at Melbourne Museum is a permanent exhibition showcasing large dinosaur skeletons.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To see a virtual representation of the 'Dinosaur Walk', go to the Museum's virtual page.
Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are also two moving dinosaurs (animatronics) in the section on the right as you walk in the area of the 'Dinosaur Walk' where you'll see fossils and the like. A video of dinosaurs also plays frequently in the little section on the right of the dinosaur walk.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

2. The McNish Reserve Dinosaur Playground aka Mimi the Muttaburrasaurus is located on Court Street in Yarraville. Little ones can climb into the belly of the dinosaur and roar through its mouth and slide down the inside of its tail as well as hide inside a dinosaur egg and climb little nets. This playground is a bit limiting as the dinosaur is the only feature there apart from newly installed dinosaur bouncers but is nonetheless a cute dinosaur spot for little ones.

Photo credit: Big Fish Design

Photo credit: Big Fish Design

3. The Portasaurus aka Garden City Reserve is located in the corner section bordered by Beacon Road, Crichton Avenue and Tucker Avenue in Port Melbourne. Technically it's a dragon but we will claim as a dinosaur like creature! The main structure includes a slide, a rock climbing wall, bench seating, peek-a-boo holes and a mosaic eye. The playground has features a flying fox, swings and slides and more.

Photo credit: City of Port Phillip

Photo credit: City of Port Phillip

4. Fitzroy Gardens playground is located off Clarendon Street in East Melbourne. The playground includes a cool dragon (which apparently we've been told glows in the dark!), a giraffe swing set and a sandpit with a nearby lake in the heart of the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens. Ok it's not a dinosaur either but why not, we love creatures at our house! Read our review and tips on the blog now.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

5. The Megasaurus Playground is located on Newington Drive in Cranbourne East. The playground includes a flying fox covered by a huge 25m long ‘brontosaurus’ dinosaur frame, a 20m long dinosaur climbing frame incorporating climbing nets and a slide, a ‘pterodactyl’ basket swing with tactile steel feathers which form a ‘cubby house’ and a series of stegosaurus climbing plates with climbing holds that incorporate noise making elements.

Photo credit: Urban Edge Landscape Architects

Photo credit: Urban Edge Landscape Architects

Photo credit: Urban Edge Landscape Architects

Photo credit: Urban Edge Landscape Architects

There you have it, a few 'permanent' ideas for your little ones to enjoy Dinosaur spots around Melbourne. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for any Dinosaur inspired events or exhibitions coming to Melbourne soon.

For more ideas of what to do with the kids in Melbourne, checkout our WebsiteDaily Spots ListCBD Spots or Blog.

For more playgrounds, go to our dedicated page.

Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability and Café - Waverton - Sydney

The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is situated close to Balls Head Reserve in Waverton in North Sydney.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It is such a great place to enjoy a little walk amongst historical buildings, community gardens, aboriginal bush setting and the foreshore. You can walk from Coal Loader to Balls Head Reserve traversing the largest bushland remnant in North Sydney

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved our visit at Coal Loader last week, the centre has a relaxing atmosphere which is very welcoming especially when so close to the city. It was nice to walk amongst the trees, the community garden and the community nursery were nice to explore.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss was fascinated with the beehive and the bees passing by the plants in the community garden. The community nursery is also nice however not as pretty as the community garden as the nursery is a working nursery. We saw some aboriginal bush food on our way to the centre as well as rock engraving near the beautiful Powerhouse building. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The most impressive feature of the Coal Loader Centre is the Wharf on the foreshore, great for pics too! We took the lift down and little Miss and her brother loved looking at the boats nearby and the Navy ships across the water working away.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The 160m coal loading tunnels are quite impressive too, we did not go all the way through however because of water dripping from the ceiling and the kids were a bit scared of the dark tunnel. Only one tunnel is open at this stage due to construction work onsite.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

coalloader08.jpg

We took the lift back up one level and were pleased to see the Chicken Yard which is home for 10 chickens although the poor things are in the middle of works as the centre is undergoing some construction work for the new Coal Loader Green Roof Project due November 2017.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Green Roof Project is nearly 75% complete and will be a site where individuals, groups and a new community garden group can grow their own food. Up to 250,000 litres of collected stormwater will be filtered through ‘raingardens’ established in the old coal loading chutes and stored in one of the old tunnels beneath the platform to irrigate ‘urban harvest’ plots of vegetables, fruit trees, aquaculture. How exciting!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To finish our visit, we relaxed at the Coal Loader Café (only open Wednesdays to Sundays) overlooking the foreshore and enjoyed some cute cookies. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The center is kid friendly, pram friendly and dog friendly - everyone can enjoy some relaxing time at the Coal Loader Centre. There are toilets near the café and highchairs at the café. You can take your pram and walk around the centre and taking the lift makes it easy to go down to see the chickens, the tunnels and foreshore. There is very limited parking near the centre, we managed to grab some parking on Balls Head Drive just after it opened at 9am during the week.

The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is located at 2 Balls Head Drive, Waverton. For more information, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

Big Wild Imagination - Lane Cove - Sydney

This week we popped into the Big Wild Imagination studio in Lane Cove in Lower North Shore in Sydney and found a beautiful inspiring space. A space where kids can explore, create, be free to be messy with art supplies and let their imagination go wild and what better name for a studio then Big Wild Imagination.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

When we first arrived, the newly setup birds nest swing with pots of paints instantly appealed to little Mister followed by a box of mixed coloured sand with bright yellow diggers - irresistible! He spent a bit of time at this station at first followed by a wonder around the other stations but this was by far his favourite setup as he kept coming back for more!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The other stations comprised of soft snow-like textured powder made from flour and vegetable oil, a rock painting and decorating station and of course the birds nest swing painting station.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There was also an area for drawing on mirror-like strips as well as an arts & crafts area (near the wall) full of different textured paper, stamps, pens, glue, stickers - the list goes on and so were the possibilities!

  Photo credit: @busycitykids

  Photo credit: @busycitykids

Big Wild Imagination is run by both Steph and Ngaire from a residential home in Lane Cove. They are both lovely and you can tell that they have over 15 years experience between them in both home and centre environment and each have a Diploma in Early childhood Education. Little Mister felt safe exploring and learning through play with Steph and Ngaire throughout the session. They are both very calm and friendly ladies.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Big Wild Imagination currently runs workshops this term for 2 to 5 year olds on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings. They also run workshops this term for after school kids 5 to 12 year olds on Monday afternoons. You can either book for a full term or book a casual session on their website.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They also plan to run a vacation care program of full days 9am to 3:30pm (with morning tea and lunch breaks) for kids 5+ but will also run open studio days for kids under 5 for them to enjoy messy play, sensory activities, construction and painting. Perfect for little siblings who always miss out on school holiday fun!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information about the Big Wild Imagination Studio and their timetable of sessions, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.