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.

Wingara Reserve - Belrose - Sydney

The Wingara Reserve located at 18 Wingara Grove in Belrose, Sydney is fantastic with its nearby grass reserve. Located behind the Glenrose Shopping Centre (which I tend to call Glenrose Belrose Melrose ha!) it is a great playground to go to before or after a visit at the shops or a visit at the NEW Glen Street Library (our review here). I believe this playground was recently redone as the council website still has a photo of some swings and a slide which were there in the past.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground features a main structure which has a climbing spider web, a large slide, little rock climbing structures as well as a structure for little ones to climb up and a small slide. There is also a basket nest swing as well as a swing for babies and older kids.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is not fenced however it is in a quiet cul de sac and it is set away from the road altho little Mister won't let that stop him!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is local free parking next to the playground, alternatively you can park at the Glenrose Shopping Centre (also free) and take the pram down. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are no toilets onsite so if your kid needs to go, head to the Glenrose Shopping Centre.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A great playground all over - thumbs up!

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

This playground has:

  • No public toilets
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • 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.

Greville Park - Chatswood - Sydney

The NEW Greville Park renovation finished just recently on the 10th of July is located on Greville Street, North of Fullers Road in Chatswood, Sydney. Not to be confused with the Lowanna Park also located on Greville Street in Chatswood.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is limiting with just one slide and a large nest swing but nonetheless it has been nicely landscaped and it is nice for locals to have a play, a picnic, a birthday party or sport event and for little ones to play during that time.

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Little Miss did enjoy the yellow slide, a steep walk up to it and a fast and steep slide (which when she insisted taking her brother didn't turn out well). She must have gone on it almost 50 times!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To get to the playground, there are stairs or a small steep path if you are pramming it and a nearby sportsground and half basketball court with a few benches, rock sitting spots and barbecue equipment.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is free parking located nearby as well as another picnic table located at the entrance of the park. There are no permanent toilets at this stage only a temporary council toilet onsite.

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 on the nearby soccer pitch

    This playground has:
  • No accessible public toilets
  • Accessible parking on the street
  • BBQ equipment
  • Free street parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swing for babies and older kids

    For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

Northbridge Park - Northbridge - Sydney

The Northbridge Park is a new playground recently finished end of June 2017 located on Sailors Bay Road at Bonds Corner in Northbridge, Sydney. It is not an extensive playground however it still hosts a good size climbing structure, a see saw, a large nest swing which is shaded, a twin slide, a covered picnic table and some grass to run around.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It also has a nice little water feature spot great for summer.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We love the cute ladybug see saw and going down the small slide. It is a great playground for little ones under 5 years old.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Next to the playground there are flat rocks which collect a bit of rain so be careful they might be slippery.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This playground is not fenced as it located away from the main road. You have to walk across the grass area from the road to the playground however even my little monkey was trying to run off. There is free parking along Sailors Bay Road, we had more chance next to the golf course.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We popped in for a coffee after our play and grabbed a delicious pastry from the Bonds Corner Café.

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 is only one café around the playground
  • Bring a ball or cricket set to play nearby
  • Bring the pram or walk to the playground. It was a bit tricky pushing the pram through the grass but we did ok.

    This playground has:
  • No public 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.

Roola Boola Children's Art Festival 2017 - Melbourne - Review

Kate took her little ones to see the performance of Once Upon A Time at Chapel Off Chapel this morning and were mesmerised by the beautiful ballet performance by Melbourne City Ballet. The performance was part of the Roola Boola Children's Art Festival which is on until the 14th of July. Thank you to What's on Stonnington for having us and for Kate for this review. xo Catherine

Photo credit: What's On Stonnington

Photo credit: What's On Stonnington

With a program packed full with interactive performances and workshops spanning theatre, dance, music, magic, circus and craft to inspire and encourage children to get up and moving, it’s no wonder that the Roola Boola Children’s Art Festival is one of Melbourne’s most loved, annual school holiday events.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

As part of the festival, we attended the exciting new children’s ballet, “Once Upon A Time”, performed by artists of Melbourne City Ballet and choreographed by Brendan Bradshaw.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

This 45 minute production - suitable for little ones 3 years and over - followed the beautiful Little Red Riding Hood as she set out on an adventure through the forest to her grandmother's house. With a basket of homemade chocolate chip cookies (that she baked with the help of the Three Blind Mice), Little Red Riding Hood met plenty of new friends on her journey, including the Three Little Pigs and Little Bo Peep and with her new friends' help escaped the Big Bad Wolf.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The poppets absolutely loved this performance; giggling at the clumsy Three Blind Mice, pointing out the curly, pink tails on the bottoms of the Three Little Pigs and dancing along to the beautiful accompanying soundtrack. Meeting the cast after the show was certainly an added bonus too. Master Arlo even tried to steal a cookie from the basket!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Roola Boola Children’s Art Festival is on now until Friday 14th July and with fantastic free and ticketed events happening daily, it is guaranteed to put a smile on your dial! Head to their website for more details.

For more July School Holidays ideas, head to our Holiday Guide.

To follow Kate and her poppets' adventures around Melbourne, head to her Instagram page.

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.

Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill - Melbourne - Review

It's 'snowing' at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat as residents celebrate Christmas in July. Kate took her little bunnies a few days ago, all rugged up to experience the Sovereign Hill and the Winter Wonderlights. Here's their review. Thank you to Sovereign Hill for having us and thank you Kate for the fab review and pics xo Catherine
Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

I love Christmas! I mean I REALLY love Christmas! I am one of ‘those’ people on Facebook who start counting down to Christmas on Boxing Day. Yes, that’s me. So the thought of celebrating Christmas twice in one year, well that’s just music (the jingle bell variety of course) to my little elf ears!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Situated in the historic city of Ballarat, Sovereign Hill comes alive this winter as it celebrates its annual Christmas in July event. As the sound of carollers echo the township, and anticipation of snowfall fills the air, the whole family will be swept up in the excitement of this special European-style Christmas event.

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During the day, enjoy a range of activities, a full theatre program, make believe snow falls and delicious treats to bring Christmas cheer to all. By night, as the sun sets and the snowflakes fall, the Victorian-style buildings will be transformed by sparkling grand-scale images and bright Winter Wonderlights dancing along its familiar facades plus little ones can attempt to catch the Gingerbread Man as he dashes from building to building, peeking out from the Christmas themed lights and animations!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Visiting Sovereign Hill with two little toddlers makes for a fairly big day out so we decided to leave the regular activities (coach rides, gold panning, gold pour, underground mine adventures, theatre shows, sweet making and musket firing demonstrations to name a few) for another visit and instead allowed a few hours before the sun went down to enjoy the Christmas in July Program.

* Snowfalls - Little ones will love dancing under the snowy winter wonderland as snow falls in Main Street at several specified times during the day and throughout the Winter Wonderlights. The foamy snow can get quite slippery in sections so mind your step.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

* Little Red Robin Hood Pantomime - Held in the beautiful Victoria Theatre this hilarious pantomime delights audience members young and old with it’s presentation of Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood, at the same time! The poppets absolutely loved this show and it makes for a perfect opportunity to warm up inside for half an hour. Be sure to arrive at the theatre at least 10 minutes before the commencement of the show to secure a seat.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

* Storytime: The Gingerbread Man - Hear the classic tale of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ read by one of Sovereign Hill’s costumed characters. See if you can catch him later on hiding in the lights as he races along the Main Street facades. We teamed up story time with the craft activities which are both held within the Marquee.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

* Photo Opportunities - Capture the wonder of your visit to this special event by taking a snap with St. Nicholas, the beautiful Floral Reindeer and Sleigh and Dress Up Horse. And of course you will be able take your own photos along Main Street when the lights are turned on too!

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

* Craft Activities - Several trestle tables are set up just inside the entrance to the Marquee with different craft activities for children to choose from. Macy loved painting her own wooden Gingerbread Man whilst Arlo couldn't resist decorating the real, biscuit version with red icing and boiled lollies from the Confectionary Factory and Sweet Shop (mmmm raspberry drops!).

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

* Christmas Choir - Join the Sovereign Hill Choir at the Post Office corner when the sun goes down as they make their way up the hill to welcome the Wonderlights. We enjoyed singing along to many festive classics.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

* Winter Wonderlights After a quick visit to the Sweet Shop (have I mentioned the scrumptious raspberry drops enough yet?!), we stood in awe as Main Street was transformed with yuletide animations and over 10km of fairy lights sparkled throughout the gardens.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The poppets loved watching the projections and ran up to the buildings to try to ‘huggle’ and kiss the animations! Make sure you walk up the hill to see the gigantic Christmas Tree lit up too.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

A few quick tips before you go:
-It will be freezing, so wear lots of warm layers (and gumboots if it’s wet) and take advantage of the activities inside as well as the glowing braziers to warm up.
-There are several restaurants and eateries open until 7pm. The New York Bakery and Charlie Napier Hotel both offer special Winter Wonderlights dinner packages (bookings essential). We opted for - award winning - hot pies and sausage rolls from the bakery. We picked them up just before 5:30pm and the line wasn't long at all.
-The Main Street definitely gets busier when the lights are first turned on. If you have smaller children or a pram I would recommend starting at the top of the hill near the Christmas Tree and making your way down towards the exit as the crowd moves along.

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

To find out more information about Sovereign Hill and the Winter Wonderlights, head to their website.

For more July School Holidays ideas, head to our Holiday Guide.

To follow Kate and her poppets' adventures around Melbourne, head to  her Instagram page.

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.