Himeji Japanese Gardens - Adelaide - Review

We're heading to Adelaide soon and reminiscing on our visit late last year. One little gem we visited back in September was the Himeji Japanese Gardens located on South Terrace between Pulteney and Hutt Streets. Established in 1985 in celebration of Adelaide's sister city partnership with Himeji in Japan, the Himeji Gardens blend two classic styles: the ‘senzui’ style that displays the beauty of lakes and mountains, and the ‘kare senzui’ style that uses rocks to evoke the presence of water and oceans.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

T'his cute garden is a replica of a traditional styled Japanese garden. I say 'cute' because it is small and a quick visit however we did enjoy it! Such a peaceful setting, we found other visitors relaxing to the sounds and smells of the garden among the willows and the little stream. If your kids are anything like my wonderers, caution must be taken near the pond.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

When we visited, rangers were planting in the 'senzui' style garden and were resetting the 'kare senzui' style dry garden with the typical sand, rocks and moss. A very calming setting and we would have loved to be able to rake the sand away and reset our minds but we watched the rangers do it instead ha!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

himejigardensadelaide_11.jpg

We really enjoyed the tranquil and peaceful Himeji Japanese Gardens and highly recommend you pop in when you are visiting Adelaide.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Himeji Japanese Gardens is located between Pulteney and Hutt Street near Adelaide city.
  • Admission is free.
  • There is some free parking in front of the gardens.
  • The gardens are open from 8am to 5.30pm, seven days a week except during April to September when it closes at 4.30pm on weekends and public holidays.
  • Guided tours are available via bookings.

To read our other Adelaide reviews, head to this link.

Rouse Hill House & Farm in LEGO® Bricks - Sydney - Review

Months ago, we were invited to visit the Rouse Hill House & Farm in LEGO® Bricks exhibition at the Rouse Hill House & Farm part of the Sydney Living Museums. It was a bit of a trek from the Northern Beaches for us but the kids were happy once we arrived as I promised them LEGO!

The exhibition which is on until Sunday 22nd of July 2018 features impressive models of the iconic Rouse Hill House, outbuildings, stable and barns constructed from LEGO® bricks by the Southern Hemisphere’s only LEGO®-certified professional, Australia’s Ryan McNaught aka The Brickman. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This ‘explore and build’ exhibition includes a detailed model of the Australian Georgian style homestead which was developed between 1813 and 1819. It also features a cut-away section of the main house, the surrounding historic outbuildings and farmyard animals.

Kids and adults are encouraged to examine the lavish and quirky interiors and in turn create their own house and farm with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks located around the model and in a separate building area. There is also a special DUPLO® wall which will keep the younger visitors engaged.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

So much detail has gone into the model of the Rouse Hill House & Farm, LEGO® lovers and lovers of the museum will love Ryan's interpretation. And a special cut-away section of the house is also featured with additional detail of each rooms.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As we explored the model, we started building straight away and managed to build quite a few models during our session. The kids did much better than me as I struggle with coming up with clever designs ha!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss was busy building a liquorice all sorts LEGO® type of building which ended up having a rooftop pool and accumulated pretty much all the people figurines on it while little Mister had fun with the DUPLO® wall.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After building with LEGO® and DUPLO® for one hour straight, we headed outside and looked at the garden toys and the outdoor area while waiting for our tour guide to go up to the house. The Rouse Hill House can only be visited by guided tour only which lasts 45 minutes which in theory was a good idea however my youngest had different ideas.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Once the cart drove us up the hill to the Rouse Hill House & Farm, we walked to the front of the beautiful house where we listened to the tour guide. Tours and visits to old houses and museums are always a tester for kids. We had visited the beautiful Vaucluse House a few weeks prior and had no issue walking around the grounds, the house and even catching a bit of a guided tour too, the kids managed really well.

However, maybe it was the fact that it was a strict guided tour where you can't touch anything in the house or the heat that day but my youngest did not want to cooperate. The staff were really nice with the situation but insisted we could not walk off unless we had a tour guide present as there were a number of sightings of brown snakes that month so did not want us to wonder off which was fair enough!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a quick visit of the stunning old outside buildings, we headed to the chicken coop where the kids were invited to feed some beautiful chickens. A nice finish to our visit.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Rouse Hill House & Farm is a beautiful property. If you are a fan of old houses and your children are happy to walk through the house with a guided tour then go for it. If you think your kids would prefer something with more freedom and you live nearby then I would stick to visiting the LEGO® Bricks exhibition at the front of the property for an explore of the model and a build. 

Rouse Hill House & Farm in LEGO® Bricks is on at Rouse Hill House & Farm until Sunday 22nd July 2018. Open Wednesday to Sunday and daily during school holidays. Tickets range from $12 for adults & children, $8 concession and $38 for a family ticket and include House Museum visit. Bookings are required for weekends and there are 4 sessions daily. Rouse Hill House & Farm is located at 356 Annangrove Road, Rouse Hill, NSW 2155. For more information, head to the Sydney Living Museums' website.

Busy City Kids were invited to Rouse Hill House & Farm and the LEGO exhibition for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

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.

Gardens by the Bay - Singapore - Review

During the Easter break this year, we decided to stop postponing our trip to Singapore and head there instead! One of the places that we really wanted to visit with the kids was the Gardens by the Bay and their Children's Garden and water area and we thank Gardens by the Bay for inviting us to visit and review this stunner!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Singapore had a grand plan back in 2006 to build a City in a Garden. After numerous plan submissions, two UK design winners were announced. After a public exhibition and feedback from visitors, Gardens by the Bay broke ground in late 2007 and was open to the public in late 2011.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Gardens by the Bay is a national garden and premier horticultural attraction for local and international visitors. Gardens by the Bay is a showpiece of horticulture and garden artistry that presents the plant kingdom in a whole new way, entertaining while educating visitors with plants rarely seen in this part of the world, ranging from species in cool, temperate climates to tropical forests and habitats.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After making our way past the Outdoor Heritage Gardens which are very nice too I might add, we headed to pickup a rental pram for our youngest as our eldest was not well that day. We hired a S$2 pram at the Visitor Centre and I must say it was a very comfy pram which was much better than our travel umbrella pram! After all that, we headed to the beautiful Flower Dome where we witnessed the most beautiful flower and plant displays we'd ever seen! It was just stunning and the cool climate in there is so delightful to escape the Singaporean humidity!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can see an array of garden exhibits, from the Succulent Garden and Baobabs featured just before, to the South African Garden, South American Garden, Californian Garden, Flower field and Australian Garden with our native trees - the Flower Dome has it all!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We visited during the Japanese Garden months however every two months or so the Flower Field at the center of the dome has a new floral display and starting tomorrow 25th May 2018 till end of June 2018, there will be the Begonia Brilliance display. This is free as part of the visit and from this weekend to the 10th June 2018, there will also be a Children's Festival at Supertree Grove.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

My favourite garden space in the Flower Dome would have to be the Olive Grove which features a magnificent 1000-year-old Olive Trees. It is such a peaceful part of the garden where you can sit and admire these beautiful trees and the surrounding plants.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then headed to the Cloud Forest which features the breathtaking Waterfall View as you walk in and is possibly the most instagrammable photo!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Cloud Forest is just stunning everywhere you look, one cannot even start to imagine how long it took gardeners to plant, grow and maintain such a wonder. Take a walk around the dome via the Tree Top walk and Cloud Walk and you will see the Crystal Mountain, Cloud Forest Gallery and the Lost World area. Both walks are very pram friendly and are elevated so be conscious if you are afraid of heights. There are priority lifts for visitors with prams, children, the elderly and wheelchair visitors to get to the different levels.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Orchid lovers will love the Orchid display which is on now until the end of May 2018.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

And as Lego lovers we loved the Lost World which was there when we visited. The Lost World is the highest point of the mountain with flowers and Venus Fly-Catchers made entirely of Lego!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then made our way to the Supertree Grove area which has free admission and opened from 5am to 2am daily. The tree-like vertical gardens at Supertree Grove are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night with each measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For an extra admission fee, you can access the OCBC Skyway where at a height of 22 metres you will be surrounded by panoramic vistas of the Gardens and Marina Bay skyline on the 128-metre-long aerial walkway. The OCBC Skyway can be accessed by a lift and visitors who are scared of heights should be cautious before heading there.

 vPhoto credit: @busycitykids

vPhoto credit: @busycitykids

Although the kids loved visiting the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest Dome and the OCBC Skyway and seeing an array of gardens, plants and flowers, we knew that they would love the Far East Organization Children's Garden the most! It is closed on Mondays but opened public holidays so do check the hours of admission before you go and pack the swimmers for everyone as with the sprinklers onsite you will be sure to get wet!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The water play area features flower inspired water jets and sprinklers for kids 6 to 12 yrs old as well as an area for little ones 0 to 5 yrs old. Note that kids are not allowed to block the water jets or hang on the sprinklers in case they break. An amphitheatre with seating is situated opposite the water play area for parents to sit or used as a area for people to eat and for kids to get changed at.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There's also two playgrounds, one for little ones (1 to 5 yrs old) and the other definetely for older kids (6 to 12 yrs old) as it is setup in a rainforest tree house with nests and slides.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A day spent at the Gardens by the Bay is a day well spent and we loved every bit of it and highly recommend a visit to anyone interested in visiting Singapore in the future!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Gardens by the Bay is located at 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore which is about 15 mins drive from the city.
  • There are many ways you can get to the Gardens by the Bay, via mrt train, shuttle, bus or drive.
  • Gardens by the Bay is open daily 9am to 9pm however the Far East Organization Children's Garden and water play area is closed Mondays (or on a Tuesday if preceding Monday public holiday as it opens it public holidays)
    is open from 9am to 6pm.
  • There are toilets located around Gardens by the Bay. Some toilets have change tables at 5 different spots around the Gardens by the Bay.
  • There are food outlets at the front entrance of Gardens by the Bay and in the Children's Garden near the water play area.
  • Gardens by the Bay is pram and wheelchair friendly. You can rent a pram for as little as SG $2 with proof of ID
  • Ticket prices vary but for non Singapore residents and for access to 2 Conservatories Adult tickets are S$28 and Children tickets 3 to 12 yrs are S$15. Buy tickets online before you head there to avoid ticket lines. An extra S$8 per adult and S$5 per child 3 to 12 yrs old will get you access the OCBC Skyway.
  • Bring snacks, hats, sunscreen, insect repellent for mosquitoes, water bottles, comfy shoes as well as swimmers (tops and bottoms) for both kids & adults, swimming nappies (if needed), a change of clothes and possible rain gear if there is expected rain on the day. 
  • There are shuttles and tours available around Gardens by the Bay, ask the Information centre for more details.
 Photo credit: Gardens by the Bay

Photo credit: Gardens by the Bay

Busy City Kids were invited to the Gardens by the Bay for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel, food and fee paying activities and pram were self funded. To read our other Singapore reviews, head here. 

For more information on the Gardens by the Bay, plan your visit, check opening times and services or to buy tickets, head to their website.

Berry Island Reserve Playground - North Sydney - Review

The Berry Island Reserve Playground is located at the end of Shirley Rd in Wollstonecraft. The playground is set on the reserve overlooking the beautiful water of Balls Head Bay overlooking the city and nearby boats. These photos were taken in August 2017 when we last visited. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To access the area, drive down Shirley Road where you will find free parking, then walk pass the reserve, public toilets and BBQ area to access the playground on the right hand side near the water.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As you come into the playground, you will find an area designed for little ones with a small swing, climbing structure, seesaw, number wall, spinner and a small slide.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Then you will find a big kids area with a cool treehouse with two large slides, some more climbing structures and swings overlooking the boats.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Of course little Mister didn't want to try the little ones' corner and preferred to head to the big kids' slides which he loved.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

At the end of the big kids area, there are four swings - 2 for little kids and 2 for bigger kids.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Love the fact that the playground is overlooking a bay where boats are moored and where little fishing cabins are found.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is fully fenced from start to finish so no escaping or going into the water or anywhere else for little ones however there is a gate at the end of the playground near the swings to be cautious of as it can be opened and give access to the rock pools and the water. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A great playground to visit after visiting the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability in Waverton.

Tips:

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

    This playground has:
     
  • Accessible public toilets are located outside the playground walking back on the left
  • Accessible but limited parking on the street
  • BBQ equipment
  • Timed street parking 
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables, benches
  • Swings for babies and older kids
  • Walking paths

For more Sydney playgrounds, head to our dedicated page.

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

Bridgewater Mill Playground - Adelaide - Review

We love visiting Adelaide and when we do, we love visiting the Adelaide Hills to see family and friends. Our last visit back in September last year was action packed however we did manage to have some quiet days where we relaxed at playgrounds.

The Bridgewater Mill Playground was one of them. This cool playground reopened in later 2016 after some renovations to cater for kids of various ages. It is located opposite the beautiful Bridgewater Mill and Restaurant. We love the old 1860 water wheel - just stunning!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is located across from the Bridgewater Mill with some parking available for non patrons and public toilets located off Mill Road. It is surrounded by a little creek which is cute to walk across to the playground however supervision is recommended with little ones and wonderers aka my kids!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground has a dual swing set, a flying fox, a roundabout, some fun animal seats, a basket swing and more!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss loved the climbing structure and I reckon when we return this July for the holidays, her brother will be climbing that thing like anything!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is also a metal slide which can be accessed via stairs and provides a very quick slope so watch out for little ones' head and the slide gets a bit hot in summer too! There is an undercover gazebo with a picnic table nearby and benches.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Overall this is a great playground to visit with family & friends and enjoy a picnic at and we can't wait to visit it again soon!

This playground is located at 395 Mount Barker Road in Bridgewater. 

Our packing list for this playground:

  • Drink bottles
  • Food for snacks, for lunch or for a picnic
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhats

This playground has:

  • Public toilets at the back nature area
  • Accessible and street parking on the street along the playground
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables and benches
  • Slide, climbing structure
  • Water Play areas

To read our other Adelaide reviews, head to this link.

Archibald, Wynne, Sulman Prizes and Young Archies 2018 - Sydney - Review

Last Friday, I was invited to attend the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize winners announcement at the Art Gallery of NSW on Friday 11th May. While there has been a great deal of controversy around the Archibald prize in the past, I find the Archibald a refreshing event where Australian artists showcase their best work to win the best portrait award and the grand prize money of $100,000. I really enjoyed looking at the different portraits varying from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.

 Joanna Braithwaite: Hall of fame - portrait of Pat Corrigan. Dee Smart: Lunch in the Outback. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Joanna Braithwaite: Hall of fame - portrait of Pat Corrigan. Dee Smart: Lunch in the Outback. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Bringing kids to art galleries is always a gamble (I have done the hard yards and still do!) but done right when kids are not grumpy or hungry, it can be a worthy experience for them to see inspiring works. For this exhibition, the Art Gallery of NSW has taken extra care to include kid specific write-ups that explain the artwork and they question kids on their interest in the piece but also questions them about art in general. For example in the piece below by Noel Thurgate, the little note for kids had the following writing 'What is your favourite way of making art?' 'Noel Thurgate likes to use collage and assemblage to make art. In this portrait of artist Elizabeth Cummings, he uses a combination of paint, found objects, cut wood and even real bottles to depict Elizabeth's art studio. ..' It invites children to find things in paintings which they could possibly miss.

 Noel Thurgate: Elisabeth Cummings in her studio at Wedderburn, 1974 and 2018. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Noel Thurgate: Elisabeth Cummings in her studio at Wedderburn, 1974 and 2018. Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Archibald prize brings so much variety it makes this exhibition very interesting and varied which is perfect to keep the kids keen throughout the whole visit. Here's some of our favourites.

 Salvatore Zofrea: Sally Dowling SC. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Salvatore Zofrea: Sally Dowling SC. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Julian Meagher: Herb and Flan. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Julian Meagher: Herb and Flan. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Amber Boardman: Self-care exhaustion. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Amber Boardman: Self-care exhaustion. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Anne Middleton: Guy. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Anne Middleton: Guy. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Del Kathryn Barton: Self-portrait with studio wife. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Del Kathryn Barton: Self-portrait with studio wife. Photo credit: @busycitykids

And of course, we were all looking forward to the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes winners' announcements on the day with Yvette Coppersmith taking the grand prize for the Archibald for her painting titled Self-portrait, after George Lambert.

 Yvette Coppersmith: Self-portrait, after George Lambert. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Yvette Coppersmith: Self-portrait, after George Lambert. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Winners of the Wynne prize included Wawiriya Burton for her painting titled Ngayuku ngura (my country) which won her the Roberts Family Prize 2018Yukultji Napangati for her painting titled Untitled which won her the Wynne Prize 2018 and Phillip Edwards for his painting titled Glory be, water tree which won him the Trustees' Watercolour Prize 2018

 Winner of Roberts Family Prize 2018 - Wawiriya Burton: Ngayuku ngura (my country) Photo credit: @busycitykids

Winner of Roberts Family Prize 2018 - Wawiriya Burton: Ngayuku ngura (my country) Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Winner: Wynne Prize 2018 - Yukultji Napangati: Untitled. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Winner: Wynne Prize 2018 - Yukultji Napangati: Untitled. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Winner: Trustees' Watercolour Prize 2018 - Phillip Edwards: Glory be, water tree. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Winner: Trustees' Watercolour Prize 2018 - Phillip Edwards: Glory be, water tree. Photo credit: @busycitykids

And last but not least, Kaylene Whiskey took home the Sir John Sulman Prize 2018 for her painting Kaylene TV and Jamie Preisz took home the Packing Room Prize 2018 for his piece of Jimmy Barnes titled Jimmy (title fight).

 Winner: Sir John Sulman Prize 2018 - Kaylene Whiskey: Kaylene TV. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Winner: Sir John Sulman Prize 2018 - Kaylene Whiskey: Kaylene TV. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Winner: Packing Room Prize 2018 - Jamie Preisz: Jimmy (title fight). Photo credit: @busycitykids

Winner: Packing Room Prize 2018 - Jamie Preisz: Jimmy (title fight). Photo credit: @busycitykids

Other paintings which caught my eye was Yurpiya Lionel's Anumara, Paul Ryan's Kembla, Mount Kembla and Hiromi Tango's Red moon (which I must say is very selfie friendly ha!)

 Todd Robinson: Wringing core (we are letting go completely) with Yurpiya Lionel: Anumara. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Todd Robinson: Wringing core (we are letting go completely) with Yurpiya Lionel: Anumara. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Paul Ryan: Kembla, Mount Kembla. Highly Commended in Wynne Prize 2018. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Paul Ryan: Kembla, Mount Kembla. Highly Commended in Wynne Prize 2018. Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Hiromi Tango: Red moon. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Hiromi Tango: Red moon. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Sally Ross and The Huxleys were quite intriguing on the day of the announcement showing their piece Sally Ross: The Huxleys.

 Sally Ross: The Huxleys. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Sally Ross: The Huxleys. Photo credit: @busycitykids

What impressed me the most was the artwork of the Young Archie finalists which can be found on the outside wall of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman exhibition.

The sixth Young Archie competition attracted more than 1400 entries: 34% in the 5-8 year category, 38% in 9-12 year, 20% in 13-15 year and 8% in 16-18 year. Of the total, 72% were from girls. The five finalists from each age category are displayed at the Art Gallery of NSW and the honourable mentions at the SH Ervin Gallery. Here's some of our favourite pieces. Young Archie winners will be announced in July this year

From the Category 5-8 years old, Daniel Brough: My daddy when he was 17 years old and Maya Butler de Castro: Self-portrait with animals - both 7 years old. 

 Daniel Brough and Maya Butler de Castro. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Daniel Brough and Maya Butler de Castro. Photo credit: @busycitykids

And Esther Kim: My little sister Rachel - aged 8.

 Esther Kim. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Esther Kim. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Other artworks which were quite inspiring where from the 13-15 year olds category and featured artwork from Oliver Freeman: The legendary Tina Bursill at the age of 13 years which I found so detailed as well as artwork from Violet Watts: Immersed, aged 15.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

And my favourite of the Young Archie by far is by Hayley Steel: Sempre in the 16-18 year olds category - just stunning! Hayley is 17 years old.

 Hayley Steel: Sempre. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Hayley Steel: Sempre. Photo credit: @busycitykids

Attending the media preview of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW this year was a great experience and I highly recommend the exhibition whether you would like to take the kids or wonder solo or make it a dinner date with your partner or a friend.

Busy City Kids were invited to the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes media announcements for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes is on now until the 9th of September 2018, for more information head to the Art Gallery of NSW 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.

Biennale of Sydney - SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement - Sydney - Review

During the school holidays, little Miss and I visited Cockatoo Island for the first time to coincide with the Biennale of Sydney SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement exhibition. A few ferries later and we arrived on the island and first impression - we need to come back! I didn't even step into the beautiful old buildings and warehouses, I knew that it was going to be a place full of history and with the Biennale of Sydney and some kids art activities - even better!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We made our way inside the main warehouse where most of the exhibits were installed and walked through the shipping containers by Yukinori Yanagi and explored the notion of human existence and looked at our reflection in the mirrors and looked down into our endless mirror reflection at the last space of the exhibit.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then walked towards Martin Walde's time piece where every six minutes a printed sheet of paper with a date on it flies down from an elevated printer giving visitors a concept of time and the passing of years. There are quite a few other exhibits on the island however we have chosen to highlight a few of our favourites.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Of course, the pièce de résistance at the Biennale of Sydney for Cockatoo Island would have to be Ai Weiwei's piece on the refugee crisis in the world. I have personally loved Ai Weiwei's work since 2015 when he launched the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition and the Studio Cats installation for kids exhibitions at the NGV Melbourne. I was very inspired by his talk during the media preview as he has always been an artist and activist but only since 2014-2015 has he been allowed to leave China to continue his work because of the Chinese government and freedom of speech restrictions. 

Ai’s Law of the Journey creates an imposing statement. Featuring a 60-metre-long boat crowded with hundreds of anonymous refugee figures, the work brings the monumental scale of the humanitarian crisis sharply into focus and lets us reflect on human rights.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Throughout our visit, I couldn't help but snap photos of the old buildings on Cockatoo Island. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cockatoo Island was once home to prisoners and convicts who were put to work there to build prison barracks, a military guardhouse, hand-carved granary silos, Fitzroy Dock and hundreds of boats before World War I. Learning about the history of this island would take another visit in my opinion as there is so much to learn however we did explore as we could on this visit.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We took a break from wondering the exhibits to attend one of the school holiday art workshops run by Samantha Relihan where we added our many creations to the love message board setup while other children were taking part in building a Collaborative sculpture made from reusable products.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Join in the fun this Sunday 20th May from 11am to 4pm for Family Day at the Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island. There will be talks, workshops, activities and performances. Head to this link for more info.
 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After some time creating our own masterpieces, we headed back to the old warehouses to continue our art journey where we saw Mit Jai Inn's work which defies conventional boundaries both physically and conceptually. Mit’s artworks often appear as hybrid objects – paintings that could be sculptures, or sculptures that incorporate painted methods. This was by far little Miss' favourite installation as she loves paint and painting.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Pieces from Tawatchai Puntusawasd fitted one of the old warehouse's space nicely. A Dim Night, a smaller companion piece (shown below) made from brass and nickel alloy allows the viewer to examine the sculpture in its entirety, manifesting the human striving towards knowledge. The sculpture is displayed alongside a new series of engravings on copper sheet documenting Puntusawasdi’s process.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss was quite intrigued by Abraham Cruzvillegas' pieces and told me that she 'made some of these at preschool' - kids are so funny sometimes ha! I don't think her preschool work would compare to Cruzvillegas' pieces but it's cute! Cruzvillegas uses objects and repurposed materials and ensures he recognises the life and history inherent in each article.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

While exploring other Biennale of Sydney installations throughout Cockatoo Island, we stopped to admire some of the old buildings on the island including guards, prisoners quarters as well as the convict punishment cells. Cockatoo Island is a place rich in history and one which is great for families to visit throughout the year. We look forward to heading there during the warmer months and enjoy a wonder around the island and a picnic with friends. We really enjoyed our visit on the island for the Biennale of Sydney and highly recommend it.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information on Cockatoo Island, head to their website.
Biennale of Sydney - SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement is on now until the 11th June 2018. 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.

NUBO Chatswood Chase - Sydney - Review

 

This week, Little Mister and I were invited to experience the brand NEW NUBO Chatswood centre in Chatswood Chase! We have been looking forward to visiting NUBO Chatswood since July 2017 when we visited NUBO Alexandria (our review can be found here). And it was everything we imagined and more - such a gorgeous center, we loved the way it made us feel and allowed us to relax, play and learn! 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As soon as you walk towards NUBO Chatswood, you notice the beautiful design and attention to detail the owner and designers of NUBO have gone through to bring this second center together. 

NUBO meaning cloud, was created by owner and mother Mollie Li who came up with the idea of the center when she first moved to Australia and felt there was no play centres where she could interact with her child through play. Owner Mollie Li's focus is on learning through play and doing so in a space which promotes a relaxed environment, where parents, carers and grandparents can learn and play with their children.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

While the concept is the same, NUBO Chatswood differs slightly to NUBO Alexandria due to its main focus and size. NUBO Chatswood is aimed at children 0 to 6 yrs and its core focus is on providing educational workshops at different times during the day covered by a selection of specialists in their specialised field (art therapy, design, performing arts, music, dance, early years’ education, health and wellbeing). At other times of the day, workshop rooms are setup for play and puzzles, dancing & gym and drawing. We loved playing with the funny texture of moulding goo while overlooking the play area.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Once little Mister got a glimpse of the play area and a little truck, there was no stopping him from going there and he loved it so much that he did not want to leave and I literally had to pull him out of the area screaming when we needed to go as he was having so much! It is such a gorgeous space to play in, who can blame him!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We saw parents and carers interacting with children, taking part in play but also allowing children to be self sufficient and letting them explore the new space. Little Mister loved going down the very fast slide and found himself on the ground a few times but the soft ground cushioned his fall. Boys are certainly very adventurous!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

He especially loved the little market & café area where he played pretend shop for ages and enjoyed playing along with other kids too.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We enjoyed two workshops on the day one about Science and the other about Music. In the Science workshop, we learned about the lifecycle of a frog and created our own lifecycle from egg to frog! In the Music workshop, we did some warm up dance exercises and sang & danced along to songs with the instructor on the guitar. From the end of May, workshops will be segmented into age groups to ensure each child gains the most value from the workshops so watch out for those.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

At different times during the day, there are story time sessions in the tree house and the sensory room is open for kids to explore.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The sensory room is a special room for little ones to experience different textures, feelings through special lighting, music, and objects. Little Mister loved playing with the animals in the kinetic sand, playing with the leaves and wooden peddles, checking out insects through the microscope but most of all playing in the special sink with the clouds and water suction objects.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Do pop by the onsite café while you're there. Little Mister and I had a babycino and a tea however he was quick to finish his and run back to the playground, leaving me behind but I was able to move to a table right on the edge of the playground behind the fence where I could see him play and enjoy my tea at the same time.

There is a parents room available for parents to use for feeding their children as well as Unisex toilets available for parents and children to use with a change table and a very cool cloud mirror and rain for water to use to wash your hands!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved visiting NUBO Chatswood and couldn't recommend it more and being closer for us, we will sure to be back soon!

Note: Having only been opened for two weeks, it is our understanding that it is early days for NUBO Chatswood in terms of how the center will operate. Recent feedback from the public regarding the Chatswood Family Club has meant that NUBO is looking into being more transparent about the way they will operate forward. We have provided our own feedback regarding workshops durations and along with public feedback regarding casual visit, casual play, workshops, child minding service and family club membership, we hope that NUBO Chatswood will come up with something that works for everyone and where everyone has access to this wonderful center. 

Here's a few tips before you head to NUBO Chatswood:

  • Checkout Nubo Chatswood's What's on page on their website to see the current theme and what workshops and activities have been planned for the day.
  • NUBO is located on level 2 next to KidStuff shop.
  • There is ample parking at Chatswood Chase with 3 hour free parking.
  • Arrive as Nubo opens before the crowds arrive so you can enjoy the space alone.
  • Bring socks for the kids and yourself preferably non slip socks with grips underneath 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 caters for children 0-6 years and is open 7 days at various times, checkout NUBO Chatswood website below for more info.
  • Prices vary depending on the day you visit, how long you stay, workshops booked so checkout the Visit page on their website. 
  • There are unisex toilets onsite with a change table as well as a parents room.
  • Outside food is not allowed at the café so keep your snacks for when you leave the centre or treat yourself to a coffee and a snack from the café.
To find out more about NUBO Chatswood, their program and where they are located, head to their website.

To read our past review of NUBO Alexandria, head to our review here.

Busy City Kids were invited to NUBO Chatswood in Chatswood Chase for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

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!

May Gibb's Nutcote - Neutral Bay - Sydney - Review

Little Miss and I recently visited Nutcote, the beautiful house and gardens of May Gibbs in Sydney's Neutral Bay. May Gibbs (1877-1969) is one of Australia’s foremost children’s author and illustrator and best known today for her iconic story The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie. Nutcote is now a house museum surrounded by an English garden and Australian garden which is opened to the public all year round and run by volunteers.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

May Gibbs lived at Nutcote for 44 years until she passed away and donated the property to Unicef who were not able to hold it and was later sold to a developer whose intention was to demolish the site. After years of 'Save Nutcote for the Nation' campaign, the house was placed on the Register of the National Estate. North Sydney Council years later bought Nutcote for $2.86m in 1990, it was then restored to show the house as it would have looked in the late 1920s and early 1930s and then was opened to the public in 1994.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

It was lovely walking among the beautiful gardens and imagining May Gibbs living there, such a calming place to visit. Try to stop the large caterpillar in the garden, very cute.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Before attending one of the guided tours, we walked to the back of the house, around the Australian garden and admired the perfect view! 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

At the back of the house, we spotted the statue of the Big Bad Banksia Man with Mr Lizard trying to save a gumnut baby.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

We spent some time on the bottom level of the house, watching a video on May Gibbs and Nutcote, looking at cute gumnut babies, colouring in, reading books, playing dress-ups (before and after the tour) and taking photos behind the gumnut babies' screen. Kids can dress up as the Big Bad Banksia man, Ragged Blossom or a Gumnut baby and yes - we did tidy up after little Miss' multiple dress-ups ha!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

We then headed to the guided tour, where a kind volunteer showed us around May Gibb's beautiful house built in 1925. The restored house was just lovely and it was interesting to listen to stories of May Gibbs and her husband, about the house and how May Gibbs left everything she had to children focused charities as she loved children but was never able to have her own.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Our tour guide so sweet and made sure that little Miss and another little girl visiting were both included in the visit by showing different things around the house like an old typewriter, old record player, old telephone and a big Banksia that inspired May Gibbs' character the Big Bad Banksia Man. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

May Gibbs' gorgeous drawings, stories and characters are showcased throughout the house and true fans will love reading up on these special pieces.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

One of my favourite rooms in the house would have to be the restored kitchen - how stunning!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

After a very interesting tour, we walked around the English garden where we found the Bib & Bub Gumnut Babies. We also enjoyed a warm cup of hot chocolate and some delicious homemade biscuits at the Bib & Bub Tea Rooms overlooking the garden and the house. Little Miss was also happy playing some garden games.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

And visited the Nutcote gift shop before we left, so much cuteness to choose from!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

We really enjoyed our visit at Nutcote and will be sure to visit again with family and friends. I know my mum would love to visit May Gibbs' beautiful house and gardens! Nutcote is such a gorgeous place and is great for parents and carers to bring children along. We saw many grandparents with their little ones visiting Nutcote during the holidays.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

If you are thinking of experiencing Vivid this year, Vivid Sydney are having a special 100th anniversary show of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie with May Gibb's colours and characters at Customs House near Circular Quay. Renowned art and animation collective Ample Projects brings May Gibbs’ immortal characters to life on the façade of Sydney’s 1845 Customs House.

Visitors can join Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and their stalwart companions on their journey through the Australian Bush as they encounter the weird, the wonderful — and things quite unknown altogether. On from Friday 25th May to Saturday 16th of June from 6pm to 11pm for free at Customs House.

 Photo credit: Vivid Sydney

Photo credit: Vivid Sydney

Our tips:

  • May Gibb's Nutcote is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays). The garden is located at 5 Wallaringa Avenue in Neutral Bay.
  • Entry fees are as follows: Adults: $10, Concessions: $6, Children: $4 (Age 5 and over) and Family: $20 (2 adults and up to 2 children aged between 5-16 years).
  • Leave the pram in the car or at the gift shop and take bub in the carrier as there are many stairs (stairs from gift shop to the tea rooms down to the garden and stairs down to the back of the house and Australian garden).
  • Accessible toilets and a baby change toilets are available onsite.
  • There is limited parking onsite however we were lucky to find a park close to Nutcote.
  • There are regular guided tours, you can check with the gift shop for times or head to May Gibbs' house where time will be indicated.

Busy City Kids were invited to May Gibb's Nutcote in Neutral Bay for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information on May Gibb's Nutcote in Neutral Bay, 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.

Wendy's Secret Garden - Lavender Bay - Sydney - Review

In September last year, we found Wendy's Secret Garden amongst the trees and overlooking the beautiful Lavender Bay, Luna Park, the Harbour Bridge, the beauty goes on!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

The history behind Wendy's Secret Garden goes back to when Wendy and her renowned artist husband, the late Brett Whiteley, set up their family home in Lavender Bay in 1970 and lived there together for two decades. Wendy's house overlooks the big fig tree and garden.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Following Brett's death in 1992, Wendy needed to regain some control in her life and found herself cleaning up piles of overgrown rubbish on the large land filled valley of unused railway land at the foot of her house day after the next. As Wendy cleared the site, she began creating a garden like a giant painting. Rather than being horticulturally inspired, Wendy’s gardening was driven by aesthetics, colour, form, beauty and whimsy and successful transformed this large unused land into a beautiful and tranquil place for people to visit.

After a Google find, we walked down Lavender Street, walked past Clark Park and found some steps amongst flowers and trees and made our way down. It's a cute trail for kids however be mindful some spots have steps and other spots are steep.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Once we made our way down to the Garden's lower ground, we wandered about looking at the treasures and the beautiful flowers.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Our favourite tree in Wendy's Secret Garden was the large fig tree, such a stunning tree! I can imagine that Wendy took inspiration for the garden from this beautiful tree.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

The view under the large fig tree is so stunning, we saw couples and friends sitting in different spots around the lower ground of the garden and under the beautiful fig tree.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

We then walked down the many steps to Lavender Day and did some more exploring and loved walking around the jetty looking for little sculptures and overlooking the stunning view.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

We then did a bit more exercise and walked back up all the stairs (no gym session was needed after this trip ha !)

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

We finished our adventure walking past Wendy's beautiful secret garden and her beautiful house (cream colour house as can be seen on this photo).

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Wendy's Secret Garden is always open and free. To find the location of Wendy's Secret Garden or to find out more information about the garden, head to Wendy's Secret Garden's 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.

Pollination at The Calyx - The Royal Botanic Garden - Sydney - Review

A few weeks ago, we visited the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney after seeing a performance of Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies. We love the gardens, it is a relaxing place to visit in the city, to wonder and to admire. It is located between the Sydney Opera and the State Library of NSW. Despite its size, It is easy to walk through the different sections of the garden like the Camellia Garden, the Herb Garden, the Oriental Garden and the Calyx our new favourite floral space.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We have been wanting to visit The Calyx space at the Royal Botanic Garden ever since it was established, and especially the Pollination space. We hope to visit it again soon before it closes on the 15th of August 2018 for a new setup.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Pollination is the current floral display at The Calyx and it is just gorgeous and a great place to bring the kids along too. Both my kids loved looking at the flowers, the giant bee and the small bees hanging from the ceiling.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The wall features a collection of plants and flowers showcasing the role colour plays in nature's magnificent act of pollination. Garden beds of vibrant coloured orchids, daisies, gardenias and lilies are set against the backdrop of the display hero - the green wall. The wall, the largest of its kind in Australia, stands at 6 metres high and spans 50 metres.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a look around the gorgeous wall and floral displays, we found a little kids space by surprise and little Miss and her brother were happy exploring the little kids setup which lets children look at pieces from the garden through a microscope and insects through a magnifying glass

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They also loved doing some puzzles and colouring in insects from the garden as well as taking a photo at the little photo booth. Tablets with pictures of flowers and insects were also available for kids to play with.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Calyx is a gorgeous place to take families and friends while exploring the Royal Botanic Garden but also a great place to have a coffee, high tea, take some photos and attend special events. Entry is free and donations are welcome.

thecalyx_rbgsydney - 6.jpg
For more information on The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, 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.

ABC Classic Kids: Sounds like Australia - Sydney Opera House - Info

Introduce your children to a lifelong love of classical music with the new series ABC Classic Kids at Sydney Opera House. ABC Classic Kids is a year-round series of classical music experiences for little ears aged 2 to 5, focusing on how sound can tell stories through immersive and educational live performances.

A new podcast series designed to extend the experience beyond the stage was also launched last week and begins this May with ABC Classic Kids: Sounds like Australia.

 Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

ABC Classic Kids: Sounds like Australia will delight tots with sounds evocative of Australian animals, plants and weather in a captivating and participatory show led by Play School's Luke Carroll with live music from Ensemble Offspring and musical arrangements and underscore by respected Australian composer Jessica Wells.

 Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Young audiences will be treated to musical soundscapes and classical compositions as they go on a journey with lead character Kirra Quokka, along the way learning about instrument sounds, developing their musical vocabulary and exploring the importance of listening. Following the performance, kids are invited to meet the musicians and instruments.

 Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

The current season is on now at the Sydney Opera House on various days until Monday 21st of May 2018. Standard tickets are from $25 with $8.50 booking fee per transaction. The show will run for 45 minutes with no intervals and is great for kids 2 to 5 years old. Relaxed performances and Sing & Play Access Shows are also available.

 Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

For more information or tickets, head to the Sydney Opera House 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.

Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights 2018 - Info

The Sovereign Hill's Winter Wonderlights event is back on again this year to celebrate Christmas in July from Saturday 30th of June to Sunday 22nd of July 2018. Kate and Kel loved visiting the Winter Wonderlights the past two years and will be popping over to Sovereign Hill again this year gumboots, ski gear and all!

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

More than 100,000 visitors enjoyed the event in 2017, and with large crowds expected again this year, Wonderlight-goers are encouraged to pre-book to avoid missing out on their chance to rug up and take in the spectacle! Sovereign Hill will shine brighter with an expanded footprint and more light projections than ever before, bring the total to 25 dazzling buildings. As the sound of carolers echo throughout the township, and anticipation of snowfall fills the air, visitors will be swept up in the excitement of a special European-style Christmas.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Featuring two additional building facades lit up with festive yuletide animations, and over 15km of fairy lights throughout Sovereign Hill’s garden, the entire township will come alive in what is the largest light projection spectacle ever staged in one site anywhere in Australia.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

During the day, Sovereign Hill will evoke a sense of old-world wonder. Visitors can take a stroll down Main Street as faux snow-flakes fall at regular intervals over the Victorian-style buildings, decorations fill the window displays, the smell of Christmas treats and spices fill the air, and traditional Christmas-themed pantomimes are performed.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Visitors will also delight in the European Christmas market where they can purchase enchanting decorations, or try some traditional treats including a steaming cup of mulled wine, or Sovereign Hill’s famous toffee apples.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Sovereign Hill’s Winter Wonderlights Christmas in July event will be on from Saturday 30th June to Sunday 22nd July 2018 from 10am daily. The ‘Winter Wonderlights’ show will start each evening after 5.45pm. Sovereign Hill is on Bradshaw Street in Ballarat. Ticket prices vary: Adults $61.00, Children (5-15) $27.60, Concession ($48.80), Family ($154.00) and Single Family ($110.00). Kids under 5 Free.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Before you head to Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights this July, checkout past reviews and clever tips from Kel in 2016 (via this link) and Kate in 2017 (via this link)

For more information and tickets, head to the Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights website.

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

Mister Maker Returns - Sydney and Melbourne - Info

MISTER MAKER RETURNS for a series of live shows in July that will take him around the country in what promises to be the family show of the year! There will be 4 shows in Sydney on Saturday 30th of June & Sunday 1st July and 5 shows in Melbourne on Thursday 5th ofJuly, Friday 6th of July and Saturday 7th of July.  

 Photo credit: Mister Maker

Photo credit: Mister Maker

Joining Mister Maker on stage will be his famous side-kicks The Shapes as well as the Mister Maker dancers. Mister Maker Returns is a brand-new theatre show, perfect for children of all ages & their grown-ups too! Full of laughter, music and lots of big surprises, this family production will entertain everyone with its creative chaos and fun.
 

 

There are lots of exciting opportunities to interact with Mister Maker during the show... There are games to be played and prizes to be won! Mini Makers' artwork will be showcased at the theatre! And, for the first time ever, one lucky audience member will get the chance to dance live on stage with The Shapes! #iamashape

 Photo credit: Mister Maker

Photo credit: Mister Maker

Screened in over 100 countries, and dubbed in several different languages, Mister Maker’s crafty approach to children’s entertainment sees mini-makers transcend culture and age, with a fan base ranging from toddlers to adults.

For complete tour and ticket information, head to the Live Nation 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.

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

Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Disney Magic - Sydney & Melbourne - Info

Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Disney Magic!

Celebrate the legacy of Disney with Disney On Ice these July holidays! The ice skating spectacular is celebrating 100 Years of Disney Magic across Australia with various dates in July for both Melbourne (5th to 10th July) and Sydney (18th-23rd July).

 Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

Be dazzled by the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf. Sing-a-long to over 30 of your favourite Disney songs including “Let It Go!,” “You’ve Got A Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.”

 

Exciting moments from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more will leave the whole family with memories that will last a lifetime.

 Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

 Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

Arrive at the show on time to help everyone’s favourite Zootopia pals, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde investigate an off-ice caper to ensure Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic starts without a hitch.

 Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

Photo credit: Disney On ice Australia

For more information and for ticket sales, head to the Disney on Ice 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.

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

PAW Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" - Sydney and Melbourne - Info & Giveaway

Last week, Pascale and her daughter from @littlemonkeys.melb headed to the media preview of PAW Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" on behalf of Busy City Kids where they enjoyed songs from the upcoming show and met the Paw Patrol crew at Polly Woodside in Melbourne!

 Image credit: Paw Patrol Live! Launch Event 3rd May 2018 - Polly Woodside Melbourne

Image credit: Paw Patrol Live! Launch Event 3rd May 2018 - Polly Woodside Melbourne

In PAW Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" Mayor Goodway is getting everything shipshape for a big Pirate Day celebration in Adventure Bay. When Cap’n Turbot falls into a dark and mysterious cavern, it’s PAW Patrol to the rescue! The Pups save Cap'n Turbot and discover a secret pirate treasure map that leads them on an epic adventure. No job is too big, no pirate pup is too small! 

PAW Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" tour dates are out now and shows start next weekend!

  • Canberra - Saturday 12th May
  • Sydney - Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th May
  • Newcastle - Wednesday 23 May
  • Adelaide - Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th & Monday 28th May
  • Perth - Saturday 2nd & 3rd of June
  • Geelong - Thursday 7th of June
  • Melbourne - Sunday 10th & Monday 11th June
  • Brisbane - Saturday 16th and 17th of June

To celebrate the launch of Paw Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure", we are giving away 1 x family pass to the Monday 11th of June 2018 Melbourne show at 1pm valued at $149.90!

To enter, head to our Facebook page tonight Thursday 10th of May from 7pm - good luck! Entries are now open and close next Tuesday 15th May at 5pm AEST.

We experienced a technical glitch with our giveaway on the blog so have removed the giveaway here, please head to our Facebook page tonight to enter - our apologies.

 Image credit: Paw Patrol Live! Launch Event 3rd May 2018 - Polly Woodside Melbourne

Image credit: Paw Patrol Live! Launch Event 3rd May 2018 - Polly Woodside Melbourne

For more information on PAW Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" and ticket info, head to this 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.

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

Chinese Garden of Friendship - Darling Harbour - Sydney - Review

This week, we headed to the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour to explore this little secret garden. This secluded garden nestled amongst the city and the harbour is a tranquil place to visit with family and friends. The garden is a unique symbol of friendship between the people of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and Sydney - two sister cities. Little Miss was pretty excited when I told her we were going to explore the garden and jumped with joy!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After picking up an info sheet on the Koi fish that can be found in the Chinese Garden of Friendship and grabbing our copy of The Emperor's Quest - A Chinese Zodiac Adventure (great for kids 5 to 12 yrs), we started our walk around the Garden looking for Koi fish and Chinese Zodiac signs. Little Miss 5 and her brother were pretty happy to see the different types of Koi fish in the ponds around the Garden. There's daily fish feeding at 11:30 am in the Lenient Jade Pavilion which is a cool experience for kids. The ponds are not fenced so I had to make sure I held Master 2's hand at all times, he tends to run off on his little adventures! 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We stopped by the Water Pavilion to admire the view, take a few photos and little Miss & Master 2 took part in the school holiday activities. This week's school holiday activities focused on this year's Chinese year of the Dog. Kids were invited to decorate their dog mask with colour and stick-on materials to take home. Next week's school holiday activities will be held Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Friday 11am to 1pm as Wednesday 25th for Anzac Day public holiday. Next week's activities will be Chinese paper folding where kids can craft a butterfly, a boat, or hat, to keep or gift to a loved one. The activities are free with entry and were a welcome surprise for us, the kids loved them.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After some crafts, we continued our quest around the Chinese Garden of Friendship and found each of 12 animal sculptures of the Chinese lunar calendar that were hidden in the garden including some real water dragons that were a bonus find ha!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

While the lower gardens are accessible by wheelchair or by pram, it is best to leave the pram at the entrance to explore the upper gardens. We loved the nice walk around the garden amongst the rocks, the forests of bamboo, the waterfalls and looking at the lotus flowers across the lake.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids loved the Emperor's quest around the garden, it made it really interesting for them, their favourite Chinese Lunar calendar animal was the monkey by far. They also enjoyed looking at the Koi fish in the lake and ponds amongst the weeping willows. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The peaceful pavilions, trees, limestone rocks and colourful koi fish make the Chinese Garden of Friendship a beautiful place to visit. Kids and adults can dress up in traditional Chinese costumes and take their own photos in the garden for an extra fee. There is also a range of range of Chinese tea and refreshments in the traditional Chinese teahouse for visitors to enjoy.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a relaxing walk around the Chinese Garden, Master 2 admired the Bonsai trees while little Miss drew in the children's feedback book. We had a fantastic time and will be sure to visit again in the future. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Chinese Garden of Friendship is open daily except on Christmas Day and Good Friday 9:30 to 5pm (April to Sept) and 9:30 am to 5:30pm (October to March). The garden can be accessed via Pier Street in Darling Harbour.
  • Entry fees are as follows: Adult: $6, Child: $3 (under 12 years), Family: $15 (two adults and two children), Concession: $3 (Australian pensioners and students only) and Senior: $4.50 (Australian seniors only).
  • Lower garden is accessible for wheelchairs and prams however the upper garden is best travelled by foot. You can leave your pram near the Children's feedback corner.
  • There are no fencing around the lake and ponds so children supervision is advised at all times.
  • Accessible toilets and a baby change toilets are available onsite.
  • School holiday activities are available Monday to Friday during the holidays (except when a day falls on public holiday), they are free and run from 11am to 1pm.
  • Traditional Chinese dress-ups is available daily 11am to 5pm charged at $10 for an Adult and $5 for a child.
  • There is a free daily tour of the garden available 11:45am (1 Oct – 31 Mar) and 2pm (1 Apr – 30 Sep).
  • Bring some water and snacks if you wish to sit down and have a snack on your visit, there is a bench near the lake that visitors can use.
 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to the Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information on the Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour, 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.

Paw Patrol Sea Patrol at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium - Review - Melbourne

Kate (@kateflatman) and her little ones headed to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium this week for a fun morning to enjoy the Aquarium and take part in the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol pups adventure.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The interactive experience will take families on a PAWsome underwater quest throughout the SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium to help find the missing PAW Patrol pups and save the day. No job is too big, no pup is too small!

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The PAW Patrol underwater adventure is included with all SEA LIFE Melbourne admission tickets and upon admission children receive a PAW Patrol Pup Pack with wearable puppy ears, a treasure hunt map and five PAW Patrol stickers to use to complete the treasure hunt.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The race is then on to follow the map (and the paw prints!) and find all of the PAW Patrol SEA Patrol pups who are hiding throughout SEA LIFE Melbourne.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kate's poppets liked seeing which pup they would find next and taking turns guessing and posing in front of each pup. Lots of cute photo opportunities!

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Once Kate's little ones have completed their treasure map, they showed it to the gift shop desk to receive a full Paw Patrol sticker sheet for them to keep. There is also limited Paw Patrol merchandise at the gift shop for Paw Patrol lovers. A great morning at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium!

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Sea Life Melbourne’s PAW Patrol SEA Patrol experience is on until Monday 30th April 2018. For more information, head to the SEA LIFE Melbourne website.

Busy City Kids were invited to the Sea Life Melbourne for the purposes of a review of Paw Patrol Sea Patrol. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

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

Find Wally at the Melbourne Star - Melbourne - Review

Kel, Wenda and Wally from Melbourne Minor took a ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel on behalf of Busy City Kids yesterday and loved it! The holidays are great to take the kids out and about Melbourne and great if you can save some money too! Kids can fly free these holidays with a paying adult - how great! On until this Sunday 15th April 2018. Thanks Kel for the gorgeous pics and review xo Catherine
 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Wally and Wenda needed a better view to see all the Where's Wally fun at District Docklands so we jumped into a pod on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. A flight on the Melbourne Star takes appropriately half an hour and you get wonderful views over Melbourne and beyond.

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

With the help of the map provided and the commentary you can walk around the cabin and find all the landmarks you know and see some new sights too. There is also a seat in the centre of the cabin so you can just kick back, as Wally did, and let the Star bring the view to you.

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

The Melbourne Star is fully accessible and you can bring your wheels on board (wheelchairs and prams with under ones).

These school holidays kids fly for free with paying adults which certainly helps the holiday budget! While you are in District Docklands make sure you check out all the Where's Wally fun, there are statues throughout the centre, a happiness hunt with prizes to win, craft stations and murals. It's all FREE and will be on until this Sunday 15th of April.

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to ride the Melbourne Star for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. Thanks Kel!

For more information on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel head to the Melbourne Star's website.

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

Buds by Shangri-La - Singapore - Review

When researching places to experience in Singapore, I stumbled upon Buds by Shangri-La and knew I had to take the kids there! The kids' face when we entered Buds and they saw that ball pit and the gorgeous place was priceless! They had the best time and didn't want to leave but after more than 2 hours, I was the one feeling tired ha! We did not have time to see the outdoors area which is a shame as it looks fantastic! Thank you to Buds for inviting us - what an amazing play space!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Children 4 years+ will love the Explorer Zone - they can jump and play in the ball pit, bounce on a corner trampoline, climb their way up to the second level and bounce off up there, swing off large mesh balls and more.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They will also enjoy the little 'garden' space on the right of the ball pit where they can play with pretend dirt and go through tunnels. There is also a climbing structure located next to that space with a slide against the wall where the rainbow starts.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They will love the second section of the Explorer Zone where they can use slides to slide into the ball pit, play with rubber balls and shoot into a games' wall and climb upstairs into the space zone and shoot with ball guns and go down a metal slide.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little ones under four years old will love the Toddler Zone - they will love playing the piano floor, play in the little playground, the ball pit, bouncers, play with shapes and enjoy the vintage free car rides.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Parents can 'recharge' in the recharge café located next to the Toddler Zone. RFID wristband technology is available for parents if they wish to recharge while their children are safe & secure in the play zones. A number of staff supervise children during their play.

The Explorer Zone for kids over 4 does not need parental supervision however myself and my husband wanted to join in the fun too and allow little Mister 2 to join in the fun with his sister even though the space is designed for older kids. This meant that we had to be mindful as some spaces like the little 'garden space' was challenging for him and he almost lost his balance standing on a mound like his sister but luckily a staff member who was closer than I was grabbed him quickly for me.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Themed spaces like Muddy, Stage, Bake and Party Room supplement the Buds play zones. Muddy is for budding artists who like to make a splash, Stage is a music studio for young performers, Bake is a fully equipped cooking classroom for children & parents and Party Room is an interactive space for celebrations. Activities are charged separately. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can have fun outdoors amongst the hotel lush gardens with a giant pirate structure fitted with challenging climbs and slides in the Outdoor Playground and cool down in the Water Play Zone euqppied with splash pads. They can also enjoy the free-form outdoor swimming pool located in the centre of the hotel property, with its wading area and jet fountain.

 Photo credit: Buds by Shangri-La

Photo credit: Buds by Shangri-La

 Photo credit: Buds by Shangri-La

Photo credit: Buds by Shangri-La

We really enjoyed our time at Buds by Shangri-La! What an amazing space for hotel guests and non hotel guests to enjoy. Shangri-La is such a beautiful hotel, wish we had stayed there - time to organise another holiday ha!

Our tips:

  • Buds by Shangri-La is located inside Shangri-La Hotel at 22 Orange Grove Rd, Orchard Road, Singapore.
  • Buds by Shangri-La Indoor is open Mon-Sun from 9am to 9pm and Outdoor is open Mon-Sun from 9am to 7pm. 
  • Head to the Tower Wing, Level 1, Adjacent to The Line, Pool & Health Club to get to Buds Indoor first.
  • There are custom designed children's toilets inside Buds and a nursing room opposite Buds' entrance as well as toilets.
  • There is a Recharge Café for parents inside Buds. Parents can recharge with RFID wristband technology to keep their children safe & secure.
  • Buds cannot accommodate for prams inside the centre due to space restrictions. Grab a carrier if you have a little one with you that needs to nap during their brother/sister plays.
  • Kids must wear anti-slip socks for safety at all times. Kids will not be allowed to play or go in the ball pit without socks. You can purchase socks at reception if needed. Adults can use slippers provided but cannot access the ball pit without socks on.
  • Admission prices vary - hotel guests of Themed Family Suites and Family Deluxe Rooms get in for free, entry for other hotel guests varies from $18 to $28 per chid (includes entry for one adult) and entry for non hotel guests (includes entry for one adult) varies from $28 to $48 for three hours. Activities are charged separately.
  • Bring a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent for mosquitoes, water bottles, as well as swimmers (tops and bottoms) for both kids & adults, swimming nappies (if needed), a change of clothes if you are heading in the Outdoor playground and Water play zone.
  • Water and baby milk is allowed inside Buds however outside food is not allowed.
  • Buds admits Children 0 to 12 years old. Children under 4 need to be supervised by an adult at all times. Adults are not allowed at Buds without a child.

Busy City Kids were invited to Buds by Shangri-La Singapore for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel was self funded. To read our other Singapore reviews, head here. 

For more information on Buds by Shangri-La Singapore, head to their website