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. 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.

Funtopia Maribyrnong Review - Maidstone - Melbourne

Funtopia Maribyrnong is set to open very soon and the Melbourne Minor gang checked it out last week and shared their photos with us - it looks amazing! Thanks Kel for the awesome pics x
Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Funtopia Maribyrnong is located at 98 Hampstead Road in Maidstone near Highpoint Shopping Centre and is a large indoor rock climbing center which has two worlds - Playground World and Climbing World. Oh and of course, there’s a café connected to the venue - Mr Spriggins! 

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Playground World features 650 sqm of play space which includes an area for toddlers. It is both educational and fun and features Australian icons like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and even a giant Melbourne tram!

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Climbing World has a crazy 40 interactive climbing walls with challenges for beginners and climbing pros. The climbing walls are all different, there's a jump and a giant drop slide but most of all the kids (and you) must experience the giant beanstalk! Kel's little Rav studied the giant beanstalk for hours before Mena took the plunge and climbed up hah!

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Mena loved climbing all the different obstacles, it sure does look like a lot of fun and perfect for birthday parties and no doubt adults can have all the fun too!

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

For more information and to stay up-to-date with Funtopia Maribyrnong, checkout their website.

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

Horrible Harriet - Arts Centre Melbourne - Info

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.

Photo credit: Arts Centre Melbourne

Photo credit: Arts Centre Melbourne

Harriet lives in the roof of her school and keeps teachers chained in the cellar to do her homework. She doesn’t see eye to eye with the other children but really wants a friend. When Athol Egghead lands in his hot air balloon, Harriet finally meets someone who understands her. But then Mr Chicken arrives to disrupt the whole show.

Photo credit: Heidrun Lohr from Arts Centre Melbourne

Photo credit: Heidrun Lohr from Arts Centre Melbourne

Horrible Harriet is the work of CDP Kids Productions, the team behind the hit stage shows The 13, 26, and 52-Storey Treehouses, The Gruffalo and Mr Stink. The show will play at the Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse and is recommended for kids 3 to 8. An Auslan interpreted performance as well as a Relaxed performance will also be available.

To find out more info about the Horrible Harriet show and to book, head to the Arts Centre Melbourne's 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.

Top Ryde City Shopping Centre - New Play Area

Upon our first visit to the Top Ryde City Shopping Centre last November, we checked out new play areas that the center had setup whilst waiting for further renovations to take place. 

The centre had a kids soft play area which was ideal for children 0 to 2 years old, a fully fenced playground for older kids 3 to 12 years of age. As well as a mini golf area ideal for kids 2 years and up and a cool soft building area where kids of all ages could build and play on level 1.

Fast track to this week and the new play area and a new parents room on level 1 are now complete with a climbing structure for little and older kids as well as an area for little ones only and an interactive & reading area.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

toprydeplay03.jpg

We are pleased to hear that a few alterations will be made to the main climbing and slide structure. We did it tricky to access the upper levels of the structure and other parents we met on the day provided similar feedback.

Top Ryde announced last Friday the following alterations:

  • an alternative method to access the upper levels of the climbing structure will be installed for the younger children
  • further improvements to the rope ladder and rock climbing wall
  • the dedicated 0-2 play zone will return for those parents wanting a separate space for their little ones and
  • hand sanitisers will be installed for use before and after play and more.
     
    The centre will also officially open the kid's precinct as part of its school holiday activation in September with a combination of life size games and a Turning Mecard Tournament. 
Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We also love the new parents room on level 1, trust us we have inspected the parents rooms on all four levels of the center! Photos and room specs are up on our parents room page. 

The new parents room on Level 1 has a little relaxing area before you go into the parents room with chairs cushions etc. When you enter the room, you can park your pram on the left and either feed bub in the feeding rooms, change bub, use the kid friendly toilets with both girl and boy kid toilets and parents or have a play!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are more parents rooms around the center, like the below. More pics and details can be found on our Sydney Parents Rooms page.

This parents room is on Ground Level. It has nappy change areas, private feeding rooms, a little spot to play/watch tv, microwave and kids toilets.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This parents room is on Lower Ground 1. It has nappy change areas, private feeding rooms, a little soft play area, microwave and kids toilets.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This parents room is on Lower Ground 2. It has nappy change areas, private feeding rooms, a spot to eat and watch tv, microwave and kids toilets.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

And a cool little play area with digital games.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Lots to do in this shopping centre including shopping so watch your parking ticket as you have 3 hours free - ha!

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.

Grug and The Rainbow - Monkey Baa Theatre - Sydney - Info

The stunning production of Grug and the Rainbow based on the much loved picture book by Ted Prior is coming to Sydney this September and more precisely at Monkey Baa Theatre Company from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th September. 

Photo credit: Shane Reid. L-R Jude Henshall

Photo credit: Shane Reid. L-R Jude Henshall

Grug began his life as the grassy top of a Burrawang tree. Embarking on his own epic journey to find a rainbow, it always seems just beyond his grasp. But Grug is bursting with determination and his adventures are always full of surprises.

Photo credit: Photo Shane Reid. L-R Nathan O'Keefe

Photo credit: Photo Shane Reid. L-R Nathan O'Keefe

Featuring exquisite puppetry and more of the gentle storytelling that has delighted audiences around the world, this new show has been created especially for the next generation of the littlest theatregoers. 

Photo credit: Shane Reid. L-R Ellen Steele

Photo credit: Shane Reid. L-R Ellen Steele

Come and join Grug's exciting adventure. Recommended for ages 1 to 5.

Photo credit: Shane Reid. L-R Ellen Steele

Photo credit: Shane Reid. L-R Ellen Steele

For more information on Grug and The Rainbow at the Monkey Baa Theatre, head to their website.

For more ideas and reviews for what to do with kids around Sydney, head to our blog where you will find reviews as well as useful guides like our Daily Spots List as well as parents roomsplaygroundsbeaches & pools and more!

Lowanna Park - Chatswood - Sydney

The Lowanna Park is located on Greville Street in Chatswood not to be mistaken with Greville Park also located on Greville Street but located north of Fullers Road in Chatswood. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It is a small and old style playground with a small climbing structure, small slide, a swing set with child and baby swing as well as a sandpit. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This playground is fully fenced due to the nearby street and main road. The areas of play are covered in rubber soft fall and mulch soft fall which are great for little ones especially near the slides and the roundabout.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is a path around the playground where little ones can take their bike or scooter for a ride. There is sitting and and a shaded picnic table and bbq equipment nearby the playground ideal for a party or family picnic. Unfortunately, there are no toilets nearby so plan appropriately. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are no shade sails over the playground however canopy from established trees provide nice shading over the playground and nearby picnic areas. There is nearby free parking on the street.

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
  • There is a walking and cycling path along playground so grab the little one's scooter or bike

This playground has:

  • No accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • BBQ equipment
  • Cycling & scooter track
  • Fully fenced playground
  • Free street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids
  • Walking and cycling paths

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman - ACMI Melbourne

We kept Kel and her little ones from Melbourne Minor busy in the city this weekend with a trip to the Arts Centre and the ACMI. We have been looking forward to finding out about the new kid friendly exhibition at the ACMI - Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman since it opened! So glad to hear from Kel and Mena that it was very interesting and lots of fun creating their very own animation clip. Thank you Kel for the review and pics xo Catherine
Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

The Magic or Aardman really brings the magic! 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.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

The exhibition covers the full career of the prolific creators so you can see behind the scenes of Wallace and Gromit but also the Pirates, the Were Rabbit as well as early works and an upcoming film still in production.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

There is plenty to discover as you walk around and the kids loved finding little peeking holes with different scenes playing. The models have been set up with children in mind as well with no problems viewing the elaborately created scenes.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Animations are scattered throughout to show the finished product and work well to entertain children who are not won over by the sketches and production stories.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

After all that, you are sure to be inspired to create something yourself, as we were, so you can grab some clay and have a go at making a stop motion claymation in the studio. ACMI staff will help you with the tech, you just need to make your characters and whip up a story. The exhibition is well suited to families and everything is fully accessible.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

The exhibition highlights over 350 objects from Aardman’s most amazing animations, as well as extracts of Aardman’s most famous films selected from more than 60 shorts and features and so much more! 

Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman is on now at the ACMI at Fed Square until the 29th of October, for more information, head to the ACMI 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.

The Secret Life of Suitcases - Arts Centre Melbourne

The Melbourne Minor gang fell in love with the magic of The Secret Life of Suitcases this morning at the Arts Centre Melbourne. Here's Kel's review. Thank you Kel for the review and pics xo Catherine

The Secret Life of Suitcases is a heartwarming story about a hard working man called Larry. Two puppeteers bring to life many different characters to join Larry on stage and spin a tale that will both entertain children and captivate adults.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Photo credit: @melbourneminor

There is plenty of humour in the show but the underlying message is a profound one. The whimsical story along with the puppeteers being an active part of the story, not hidden behind curtains as they would normally be, gives the show a vibe of children telling an amazing tale with beloved toys.

Photo credit: The Esplanade Singapore

Photo credit: The Esplanade Singapore

My whole family really enjoyed the performance and the phrase 'the qworks will fix it' has already made it's way into the family vernacular. I feel like it's a story that will stay with us for a long time after the suitcases have travelled on.

Photo credit: Esplanade Singapore

Photo credit: Esplanade Singapore

The Secret Life of Suitcases runs for 50 minutes with no intermission. Lights are kept on and low during the performance. The theatre is fully accessible. Ages 4+.

The Secret Life of Suitcases is on today and tomorrow Sunday 13th August 10am and 12:30pm at the Arts Centre Melbourne. For more information and to book, head to the Arts Centre's 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.

Lapwing Reserve - St Ives - Sydney

The Lapwing Reserve playground is located at 14-16 Carcoola Road in St Ives. This playground was recently built and opened in late December 2016 and has a natural feel to it which works well with the part but especially the other parts of the playground which have been purposely left undeveloped following community wishes.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The main feature of the playground are the three slides, one long plastic slide and two small metal slides. Just beware of the metal slides on sunny days as they can get quite hot on the bum! There is also a see saw, accessible roundabout, a toddler spinner, a cute wooden playhouse and a variety of climbing and balancing equipment throughout.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A natural spot with shaped rocks and wooden step and bridge is located at the back of the playground as well as an area for little ones to have a game of cricket or softball or to have a picnic and run around.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This playground is fully fenced due to the nearby street. The areas of play are covered in rubber soft fall and mulch soft fall which are great for little ones especially near the slides and the roundabout.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Shade sails were recently installed over the playground in July 2017 since these photos were taken. New trees have been planted around the playground to provide natural shading over time.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is a picnic shelter, drinking fountain and seating which are great for a break between plays. Unfortunately, there are no toilets nearby so plan appropriately. There is nearby free parking on the street.

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

This playground has:

  • Accessible parking on the street
  • Fully fenced playground
  • Free street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids
  • Walking and cycling paths

Killara Park - Killara - Sydney

The Killara Park playground is located off Rosebery Road in Killara. This playground located within Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest was upgraded and reopened in late November 2016 and has a natural feel to it.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The main feature of the playground is a multi-play treehouse type of structure with a couple of cubby houses, climbing nets that older children can climb their way to and hide in and play panels or sensory play for little ones.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are multiple swings including the inclusive 360° birds nest swing, a lounge chair swing as well as two child swing and a baby swing. The playground also has a cricket spring ride and a roundabout for everyone to enjoy.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This playground is not fenced due to its nearby Killara Park and oval. An accessible path connects the different areas of play covered in rubber soft fall and mulch soft fall which are great for little ones especially near the slides and bouncers.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are no shade sails over the playground however the surrounding trees provide shade in most areas. There are nearby sitting areas as well as a picnic table so bring some drinks and snacks with you. Unfortunately, there are no toilets nearby so plan appropriately. There is nearby free parking on the street.

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

This playground has:

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

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Wahroonga Park Playground - Wahroonga - Sydney

Wahroonga Park is located along Coonabarra Road in Wahroonga. This popular playground was renovated and reopened in September 2016 and a new toilet facility was completed in July 2017. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The main feature of this playground is a cute train with carriages as the playground is close to Wahroonga train station. Little Mister was enjoying on our visit, he loved going into the front of the train and going through the tube as well as sitting in the carriages pretending we were on the train tracks.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is nicely shaded with a large shade cloth covering the train, a small climbing cubby, bouncers, a child and baby swing, a small slide structure, a roundabout and a climbing structure with flying fox.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister loved the train platform area with built-in bells, great for stepping on to make music. He also liked loved walking along the ledge nearby following the other children. We also love that the playground floor is soft fall rubber which makes it safer for little ones. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The other area of the playground is shaded by trees and has a medium structure where kids can play hide and seek and climb on top of as well as another climbing structure where they can admire the playground from high ground like a pirate!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The mulch soft fall side of the playground also has a larger structure which represents half of a boat where older kids can climb and slide down.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is full fenced and has a number of seating areas where you can sit and enjoy a coffee from nearby café. Bring some snacks and drinks for the little ones. There is more seating and picnic tables outside of the playground which has a number of different swings such as a lounge chair swing, a large 360° birds nest swing and a baby and child swing. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The nearby recent refurbished toilet facility with a family friendly cubicle is steps from the playground which is ideal too. There is also nearby free parking along Coonabarra Road.

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 from home or drop into the nearby café for a coffee

This playground has:

  • Accessible public toilets
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • Fully fenced playground
  • Free street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids
  • Toilets near playground
  • Walking and cycling paths

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Hectic Electric: How to Hypnotise a Droid - Review

Successful entrepreneur Josh Lefers surprised everyone when he launched his first book for children: How to Hypnotise a Droid last month. And we're pleased to say it's hectic, epic and electric and we love it!

Little Miss was pretty excited when we received the book for review as she started borrowing chapter books at the library recently thanks to the Billie B Brown chapter books series by Sally Rippin. Sally Rippin who funnily enough helped launch How to Hypnotise a Droid at the Gallery in the CBD! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This hilarious book is the first in the Hectic Electric series written by Joshie Lefers, illustrated by Wayne Bryant and published by Hardie Grant Egmont.

Little Miss can't read as yet as she just turned 5 so we read the story to her at bedtime over several nights. She loved the funny story and drawings throughout. She may have not grasped some of the witty and quirky comments in the book but still loved it to the point that I now have to read it to her again very soon and she won't let her cousin borrow it!

How to Hypnotise a Droid is cleverly written with wit and humour, where every sentence and illustration has been well thought out. We love the way the illustrations and the fun text makes it a fun book to read.  

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We won't give the story away as kids aged 6+ will enjoy this fun, high tech and hilarious adventure of one very clever and cheeky Joshie Hectic. Joshie loves giving everyone a nickname and is a bit of a conspiracy theorist in our mind but we love him anyway!

He also loves coming up with missions to scare off babysitters that his mad scientist mum keeps organising. But Joshie may have met his match when a new kind of babysitter - a droid, comes along!

We loved How to Hypnotise a Droid, it made us laugh, giggle as we kept wondering what was going to happen next in this fun adventure! We can't wait to read the next instalment of Hectic Electric!  

Photo credit: @ busycitykids

Photo credit: @ busycitykids

Hectic Electric: How to Hypnotise a Droid is available now at Target, Big W, and all good book retailers across Australia and online.

To read more of our product reviews, head to our dedicated page. 

For more ideas on what to do with your little ones, head to our blog for lots of ideas of places, events, programs and activities you can attend.

Golden Jubilee Field - Wahroonga - Sydney

The Golden Jubilee Field playground located on Esk Street next to the Golden Jubilee fields in Wahroonga in Upper North Shore in Sydney was recently upgraded and completed in April 2017. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This cute playground features an interesting 'baseball' looking climbing structure which leads to a nice long slide with rubber soft fall areas around the slide and swings. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is a four-way rocker, a junior swing seat and a large nest swing for little ones to swing about too!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The main feature of this cute playground is its 'Tiny Town' where small children can have some fun pretending they are in a little town of their own, play inside the little houses and play panels and meet new friends.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can bring along their scooter and scoot through the town and wave hello as they pass by the areas. Little Mister loved this little town, we will have to bring his sister there soon. I can just imagine them playing hide and seek and let their imagination go wild in this fun little town.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are no toilets or cafés in the area or water fountain so be prepared and take some snacks or a picnic with you to make most of the trip and this little playground amongst a quiet residential area.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are no shade sails however council has planted trees which over time will provide natural shade. However they have advised to be sun smart. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is no fencing installed around the playground because its location is set back from the road. It has a nice pathway around the playground so bring the bikes/scooters for a stroll or the dog too for a walk but be mindful that dogs should be kept 10 metres away from the playground. Free parking is located the street along the playground. Enjoy!

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
  • There is a walking and cycling path along playground so grab the little one's scooter or bike

This playground has:

  • No accessible public toilets
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • No BBQ equipment
  • Cycling track
  • Free street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids
  • Walking and cycling paths

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Little Kids Day In - First Peoples - Melbourne - Info & Giveaway

Celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day on Little Kids' Day In on Monday 7 August.

Photo credit: Scienceworks

Photo credit: Scienceworks

Partnering with SNAICC, Scienceworks celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day with a special day dedicated to Koorie people, knowledge, stories and culture.

Explore Indigenous Australian constellations in the planetarium, get moving with traditional Aboriginal dance performances, see the Possum Hunt Puppet Show, participate in meditation workshops, get your hands on objects from the museum's Australian Indigenous collection, get involved in Aboriginal art experiences and much more!

Photo credit: Scienceworks

Photo credit: Scienceworks

Little Kids' Day In on Monday 7 August will be a fun day especially for kids aged 5 and under, their parents and carers. To celebrate, we are giving away 5 x family passes to the event to our lucky subscribers. Entries are now open to VIC residents and close this Thursday 3rd of August.

For more info and the full program of the Little Kids Day in - First Peoples - head to their website.

Nubo - Sydney - Review

At the start of the July school holidays, we visited the beautiful Nubo indoor play space in Alexandria in Sydney's Inner East. It is such an inspiring space which is both fun and educational for little ones. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As soon as we walked in, the kids were so calm in the serene space. They were happy venturing around the library and relaxing in the reading nooks and hot hair balloon. They enjoyed story time where an instructor read a cute book and played some little tunes on his guitar.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They didn't venture down the giant slides as it is more suited for kids 4+ and little Miss was a bit scared of the slope on those slides but I'm sure she will get the courage next time we visit.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The space is truly appealing to the eye. Parents can relax at the café while they watch their little one playing in the ball pit.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can explore other spaces and build in the blue room with Big Blue Blocks, Gears and MagFormers.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Or do some crafts in the craft room where an instructor runs craft activities during the day. Little Miss enjoyed playing with clay and creating her own medal on Olympic week.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The most popular section of Nubo would have to be the ball pit where everyone was floating on the balls and going down the super fast slide.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is an upstairs section where kids can play shop and have a tea party at the café. Little Miss and her brother loved this space and looking over the centre. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved Nubo and will definetely pop in next time we are in the area as little Miss often asks me when we will go back to the 'new playground'. 

Here's a few tips before you head to Nubo:

  • Checkout Nubo's What's on page on their website to see the 'Theme of the Week' and what activities have been planned in the library, art studio, building room and workshop room.
  • A few Nubo reserved parking spots can be found next the centre with a reasonable parking fee or other parking can be found in the other car parking areas in the business centre.
  • Arrive as Nubo opens before the crowds come for the morning activities so the kids can enjoy the space alone.
  • Bring socks for the kids and yourself as the centre does not allow shoes for adults and children (even in the toilets) so bring your socks with you on the day.
  • The centre is open 7 days, caters for children 0-10 years.
  • Prices vary depending on the day you visit and how long you stay so checkout the Visit page on their website. Activities are included in the entry fee which is great.
  • There are toilets onsite including a parents room with a change table as well as a kids bathroom with an out of world cool 'octopus' sink with taps.
  • Outside food is not allowed at the café so keep your snacks for when you leave the center or treat yourself to a coffee and a snack from the café.
  • A Nubo will be coming to Chatswood Chase towards December this year so keep an eye on their social to stay in touch.
To find out more about Nubo, their program and where they are located, head to their website.

For more ideas and reviews for what to do with kids around Sydney, head to our blog where you will find reviews as well as useful guides like our Daily Spots List as well as parents roomsplaygroundsbeaches & pools and more!

Custom Shoes by Bobux

Little Miss likes to write on her shoes from time to time so when we were asked to test out the limited edition Custom Shoes by Bobux - it was an easy choice and a cute surprise for her!
Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

In my mind, every child likes to be individual and these Custom kicks helps them show their creativity more than once either by colouring in the characters on the shoes in their favourite colour(s) or/and writing their name or anything they like on them really! The best part - the special pens that come with the shoes wash off!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Custom shoes by Bobux are only available in the Kid+ range sizes. They are unisex, so comfortable and you can change the design by simply wiping off the colour off the shoe with water and start again! 

They are made with high quality coated leather upper, have a breathable cotton lining and Velcro strap fastening which allows for greater adjustability.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The fun character illustration designed by Bobux’s own Audi Siregar along with your child's unique touch and colour choices will make these shoes one of a kind!

Kids will love these unique and limited edition shoes - we sure liked them! Little Miss cannot wait to show her friends HER unique new shoes and write all over them and write her name in bold ha!

bobuxcustomshoes10.jpg
The Custom Shoes by Bobux are limited editions - so be quick to grab your kids a pair before stock runs out! For more information, head to their website.
If you love the look of these cool Bobux shoes, follow Bobux on Facebook or Instagram to stay updated on their upcoming Spring/Summer Season launch. We can't wait to see what they have instore!
Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To celebrate these awesome one of a kind limited edition kicks, we are giving away ONE pair of Custom Shoes valued at $105 RRP to one of our lucky subscribers!! Note: The shoes are only available in Kid+ sizes sizes 27 to 33. To enter, be sure to be subscribed to our newsletter. If you haven't yet, you can signup here. And jump to the widget below to enter! Good luck!

Conditions: Only NSW or VIC residents can enter this giveaway. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 2nd of August at 5 PM AEST. If we don't hear from the winner within 24 hours, the prize will be redrawn. This giveaway is not sponsored and not affiliated with Facebook or Instagram.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To read more of our product reviews, head to our dedicated page. 

For more ideas on what to do with your little ones, head to our blog for lots of ideas of places, events, programs and activities you can attend.

Darling Harbour Children's Playground - Sydney

The very popular Darling Harbour Children's Playground located in Darling Quarter, Sydney is a big favourite in our family every time we visit Darling Harbour. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are so many spots to play, it's hard to know where to start which means it will keep the little ones occupied for hours!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are a range of climbing structures, swings, slides, balance ropes, a flying fox, a giant ring swing and the list goes on!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The best thing of all, there are a number of areas for water and sand play so bring some spare clothes with you!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are a number of shade clothes throughout the playground but don't forget the sunscreen as some wet play areas aren't shaded.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We love the small and larger water play areas at this playground, perfect for those warm days! My kids didn't want to leave when we went. They loved the water pump stations!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It's so good to be able to pop into the city for a shop, a cultural fix and drop into Darling Quarter for a play and let the kids burn off some energy.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Please note: these photos are from our archives and dated January 2017 this year, some changes to the playground may have occurred since we last took these pics - thank you.

Tips:

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat for your little ones
  • Bring some wet gear, spare clothes and towels
  • Bring a picnic, snacks and water bottles
  • There is a café located at the playground if you need a caffeine hit so bring your reusable cup

This playground has:

  • Accessible public toilets
  • Accessible parking
  • Areas for little ones to play
  • Picnic areas in the quarter
  • Cafes and restaurants nearby
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids

 For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.