Emu Plains Market - Balnarring - Mornington Peninsula - Review

Kate and her family loved visiting the Emu Plains Market with their little ones in early January this year. What a fantastic market, lots of fun for parents and kids and the food looks so delicious, do come to the Emu Plains Market on an empty stomach! Thanks Kate for the cute pics and review. To follow Kate and her little adventure seekers, head to their Instagram page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Beneath the sun dappled stringy bark canopy, the Emu Plains Market transforms the natural bush setting into a snaking trail of colourful market stalls welcoming people to the unique atmosphere.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Created in 2012 by passionate locals Joel & Vanessa Johnson, the Emu Plains Market has become one of the Mornington Peninsula's favourite outdoor destinations. Each month between October and April they create a feast of art, food, design and culture set within the picturesque Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

We were fortunate to visit on a balmy summer’s night in January and enjoyed the first of the very special Twilight Markets.  With a diverse array of over 200 talented stallholders including clothing, homewares, cut flowers & plants, art, beauty & wellbeing, jewellery, craft, farm fresh local produce, gourmet food and live music, there really was something for everyone.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Of course there was also LOTS for the poppets to get excited about too including a jumping castle, face-painting, cupcake decorating and a wonderful playground in the heart of the market.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Emu Plains Market really is the perfect family activity.  Pack your picnic rug, an empty stomach and kick back and relax while soaking up all the sights and sounds of the incredible festival-like atmosphere created #underthestringybarks.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

    • Parking is available onsite for $4 with the money raised helping the community projects of the Western Port Rotary Group and the Emu Plains Reserve committee for the upkeep of the gorgeous grounds.  

    • Bring cash as most stalls do not offer EFTPOS facilities.  There is an ATM onsite for your convenience.

    • Although the gorgeous stringy barks offer a lot of shade, there are still parts of the market in the full sun (including the playground) so pack a hat and sunscreen.  

    • Don't forget your reusable shopping bags and a cool pack for transporting produce home.

    • Looking for another market to visit? Little Beauty In The Park is a stunning new event from the creators of Emu Plains Market.  Typically run on the 4th Saturday of the month from October to April each year in Frankston, Little Beauty In The Park features over 100 of Melbourne’s best marketers and creators hand picked for their uniqueness, creativity and ethos.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For more information on the Emu Plains Market, head to their website.

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

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm - Mornington Peninsula - Review

Kate and her little ones headed down the Mornington Peninsula last weekend for some special family time and took the opportunity to visit the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm to enjoy strawberry picking and to taste their delicious strawberry ice cream and gorgeous local produce. Thanks Kate for the cute pics and review. To follow Kate and her little adventure seekers, head to their Instagram page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

There’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly picked strawberries. It’s hard to describe the juiciness and flavour – you definitely won’t get it from any supermarket! And there’s no better day out with the family than hunting through the fields at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm to find the perfect strawberry.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For generations, Sunny Ridge has been one of the Mornington Peninsula’s most iconic and loved attractions.  Set amongst scenic bushland and rolling hills on Victoria’s Hinterland property in Main Ridge, Sunny Ridge is now the largest strawberry farm in Australia.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

From November to April (U-Pick Season) visitors can purchase a punnet for strawberry picking at the farm shop and follow staff instructions on how to pick the best strawberries and location of the days’ picking field.  With so many strawberries available on our visit, we took our time trying to find the biggest and juiciest ones!  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Once our punnets were full & the poppets had played on the red tractor next to the fields, we headed back inside to the cafe for morning tea.  The bartender & I couldn't resist ordering a serve of freshly baked scones served with Sunny Ridge’s famous strawberry jam and a helping of double thick cream.  Yum! Despite the cool weather, the ice cream cabinet was far to tempting for little people! Macy even let me have a lick of her choice - the award winning strawberry ice cream.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

With fully tummies, we couldn’t leave without buying some farm-made jam, local produce and a few strawberry-themed gifts to take home. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Strawberry picking at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm is fun for all ages and a perfect family activity to do in-between visiting the local wineries or food emporium on the Mornington Peninsula.

Our tips:

    • Sunny Ridge strawberry season typically runs from November through to April. However, picking availability is based on a number of circumstances including weather conditions or farm machinery requirements. Strawberry picking can also be closed due to popularity, meaning that Sunny Ridge can be ‘picked out’.  It’s very much first come, first served - so check social media updates before you visit & arrive early in the morning.

    • The only rule for picking: you must be able to close your punnet lid otherwise additional strawberries will be charged.

    • Don't forget your camera to capture the moment your little people spot the big juicy strawberries ready to pick.

    • Sunny Ridge is relatively pram friendly; access to the strawberry fields is located down a small flight of stairs. Staff are available to assist with prams if required.  Access to the strawberry picking from a pram is limited due to the row width.

    • Don't forget to pack you hat and sunscreen as well as a water bottle - especially if visiting during summer as there is very limited shade available in the fields.  FYI - disposable booties are available to cover your shoes if the fields are muddy.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to pick gorgeous strawberries at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food, travel and parking were self funded.

For more information on the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, head to their website.

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

Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage - Art Gallery of NSW - Sydney - Review

The Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage opened mid October last year at the Art Gallery of NSW. Works of art from well known European Modern Masters Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso and Gauguin from the 19th and 20th century are featured along with equally well known Russian Contemporary artists Kandinsky and Malevich. The exhibition has brought 65 paintings straight from St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Art Gallery of NSW invites families and carers to enjoy the Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage exhibition together with a cute kids’ trail which covers 7 pieces of art which encourages children to draw portraits, landscapes, an abstract picture and think about writing a poem.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Significant works in the exhibition include Monet’s Poppy field c1890; Cézanne’s Great pine near Aix 1895/97; Picasso’s Table in a Cafe 1912; Gauguin’s Month of Mary 1899; Matisse’s Nymph and Satyr 1908; Kandinsky’s Landscape near Dünaberg 1913 and Malevich’s Black Square c.1932, all of which are from the Hermitage’s illustrious modern collection.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids are invited to look out for kids’ labels next to some of the art throughout the exhibition as they summarise the art piece and painters for children to understand.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Masters of modern art from the Hermitage also tells the story of the Russian collectors Sergey Shchukin and Ivan Morozov, both wealthy businessmen who first championed the ground-breaking works of the French modern masters, and brought their work together with great passion. Shchukin frequently opened his home to the public to showcase his French art collection and this played a significant role in shaping the birth of the Russian avant-garde. A special room in the exhibition showcases stories of Shchukin for the public to watch.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We particularly loved pieces from Pablo Picasso and Henri Manguin and Andre Derain and Matisse.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As well as works from Paul Signac, Gauguin and especially Kandinsky and Malewich.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We enjoyed the Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage exhibition. It is great for school age kids who have an interest in art, the European modern masters and who enjoy spending time at the galleries. They will enjoy the cool kids trail too. Checkout the Art Gallery of NSW’s website before you head out to time your visit with the kids activities they organise.

Master of Modern Art from the Hermitage is on now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until Sunday 3rd of March 2019. For more information on Masters of modern art from the Hermitage, head to the Art Gallery'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.

Pixar Putt - Federation Square - Melbourne - Review

Kate took her little ones and their cousin to Pixar Putt this week to test out the NEW Pixar Putt experience. We are big fans of Pixar movies and I must say the course looks fantastic! Checkout Kate’s review below and head to her Instagram page to follow their adventures.

Australia’s newest pop-up mini golf experience, Pixar Putt, has landed in Melbourne.  Inspired by the beloved stories, characters and icons from some of Disney-Pixar’s most iconic films including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Inside Out and Coco, Pixar Putt is guaranteed to take guests to infinity… and beyond!  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Located on the River Terrace at Federation Square, guests can choose to play the full 18 holes or go for the express nine-hole option. Allow approximately 30-40 minutes for nine holes with a group of four & 1 hour - 1.5 hours for 18 holes. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Pixar Putt is for everyone. The course is quirky, fun and a challenge for adults as well as kids.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

It’s evident that the design team have really worked close with Pixar animation to really bring the heart and soul of each of these films into a mini-golf-hole.  From dodging seagulls down a wooden pier from Finding Nemo and using strings of Miguel’s guitar from Coco to hitting up a ramp towards the bulls-eye of an archery target from Brave there is sure to be many favourite holes.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

We all loved the 18th hole the best - inspired by the movie UP.  Players have to putt into a house, then operate a winch that flies the house to the top of Paradise Falls before releasing the balls onto the green below.  SUPER cute! 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

There is plenty of photo opportunities throughout the course + Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody from Toy Story at the entrance.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Golf clubs, golf balls, score cards and pencils are all provided. It is an outdoor event, so make sure you bring sunscreen, hat and comfortable shoes!  Play will go ahead during hot weather and rain, so don't forget to take your wet weather gear.  FYI tickets to any sessions where you deem it too hot or too wet for your team to play will be valid for the next seven days. Flexi tickets are also available.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kate recommends booking a 10am or early tee off before the course gets too busy + most of the course is in the shade in the morning too.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Pram parking is available on site and the closest toilets and baby change facilities are located in The Square, next to Time Out and in The Atrium, near the Deakin Edge.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our info:

  • Pixar Putt is on at Federation Square on River Terrace.

  • This event is on from 4th of January to 3rd of February, daily from 10 am.

  • Prices are as follows: Adult - (18 Holes): $39.90, Child - (18 Holes): $29.90, Family (2A/2C) or (1A/3C) - (18 Holes): $119.60 or Adult - (9 Holes): $24.90, Child - (9 Holes): $19.90 and Family (2A/2C) or (1A/3C) - (9 Holes): $79.50.

Busy City Kids were invited to Pixar Putt for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food, travel and parking were self funded.

For more information about Pixar Putt at Federation Square, head to their website.

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

Back to School with Smash's 2019 Range at Woolworths - Product Review

Holidays have been great but before we know it, kids will be back at school and we’ll be making sandwiches! A new year doesn’t necessarily means new everything however some new products out there like the new Back to School 2019 Hero products from Smash Enterprises from Woolworths will make your life easier and keep the kids lunch boxes cool, fresh and safe this Summer until lunch.

Products like the Snack n Freeze Snack Pots are a great idea to send the kids off with yummy yoghurt and fruit for their morning tea without yoghurt going off. Freeze the Snack n Freeze Snack Pot overnight and then insert some fresh yoghurt and fruit on top, close the lid and insert into a cool lunchbox bag.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Cooltops Sandwich Boxes and Cooltops Snack Boxes are also a great way to keeping snacks and sandwiches or other lunch foods cool, fresh and safe this summer at school. Freeze the lid or freeze the lot!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Cooltops Sandwich Boxes are perfect for sandwiches and other lunch food of course but we have loved using them this summer to freeze watermelon, grapes and blueberries for a cool snack at the beach and playground so we will be using these guys for some frosty fruit treats for school when the kids go back.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister was pretty happy to receive his Dinosaur Bento Switch Up! box. So much so, I had to whip him up a lunch box in preparation for his first lunch boxes as he starts preschool this year!

The Bento Switch Up! boxes come with one large divider to split foods (I used an extra one in the pic below) and a smaller divider for the second section of the lunch box. The dinosaur pattern part is a soft caddy that you can throw in the freezer overnight and then insert the lunch box into once it’s ready and finish off with the lid to cover the food.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Some Bento Switch Up! boxes have a matching Caddy Coldbox! to keep lunch boxes cool or your Bento Switch Up! extra cool! Some great designs for boys and girls.

The Caddy Coldbox! insulated lunch gear bag are great to keep food cool and protect against harmful bacteria as Smash Enterprises’ insulated products all have Blue IQ lining which is mould resistant, antibacterial, 100% food safe, wipes clean easily and is tested to the highest international standards.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We also received some cool girly Insulated Lunch Bags like the Double Coldbox (first left), cute butterfly Insulated Lunch Bags with a bottle holder and a Caddy Coldbox!.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We really enjoyed reviewing the new Back to School 2019 products from Smash Enterprises and can’t wait to putting them to use at school and preschool this year! Different selections and designs are available at Woolworths as well as BigW and Coles. To checkout our other product reviews on the blog, head to this link.

Samples from the NEW Back to School 2019 products from Smash Enterprises were provided for free to Busy City Kids for the purposes of a review. This post is in no way sponsored financially. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. 

For more product reviews, head to this website.

The Wiggles Frog Disco Review - Melbourne Zoo - Melbourne - Review

Kate and her little ones are massive fans of the Wiggles and the Melbourne Zoo so they could not miss the school holiday event Wiggles Frog Disco! Thanks for the cute pics and review Kate. To follow Kate’s adventures, head to her Insta.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

“Gonna tell you a story 'bout a little frog.  He’s got stripes yellow and black.”

To celebrate the opening of its brand NEW, musical play space The Wiggles Frog Disco, Melbourne Zoo is going wild about Corroboree Frogs every day of the summer holidays! 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

There are so many ways to join in on the fun:

Collect a Corroboree Frog mask at the Zoo entrance.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Show off your best moves as you dance to The Wiggles “Corroboree Frog” song on the MC Escher inspired frog dance floor. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Join the giant frog puppet in a parade that will make its way through the Zoo and to the Frog Disco each day at 10.30am and 12.30pm. This incredible puppet was created by the team from A Blank Canvas with heat treated nylon and is operated by four puppeteers. If you’re lucky you might even get a turn on the gears + a high five (four!).

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

See the real Corroboree Frogs up close in Keeper Kids and The World of Frogs.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

frogdiscomelbournezoo_ - 3.jpg

Search for 15 Corroboree Frogs hiding amongst the plants, in the garden outside The World of Frogs.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Purchase Corroboree Frog merchandise from the Zoo Shop to help Zoos Victoria fight extinction and raise awareness for this unique endangered frog.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Entry to the Wiggles Frog Disco is included with entry. Kate used her Zoo membership for entry into the Zoo. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Zoo membership, food, travel and parking were self funded.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Visit the Zoos Victoria website to find out more about the Frog Disco and about their Southern Corroboree Frog recovery program.

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

Travelling with Multiples - Info

Kate has been travelling with her little ones for years both interstate and overseas and recently in London. Kate thought it would be beneficial to share her experience with our readers to help them with travelling with multiples leading up to the holidays. Thanks Kate for such an informative and helpful article! xo Catherine

Travelling with multiples - especially travelling with infant or toddler twins — can be stressful and exhausting. However with preparation, planning and research you can help lessen your stress level and not lose your passion for travel.

Here are my TOP TWENTY TIPS for travelling (by plane) with multiples.

1. Packing - I am a self confessed over packer. Your amount of luggage depends largely on your destination (e.g. beach/resort holiday generally means less clothes). Bring as much luggage as you can manage/carry but be sure to divide belongings between each bag in case one goes missing. Don’t forget items that you rely on at home e.g. GRO Clock, bedtime music, special blanket/toy. Also count how many pieces of luggage you leave the house with so you can do a quick count each time you move between transport, airports etc. This saved us from leaving a backpack in a taxi once.

2. Maximise your carry on allowance - Pack one bag simply with back up items: outfits (two for each child, one for each adult) nappies (pack double the amount you would usually use within the same time frame at home), formula (same rule as nappies), baby wipes, tissues and zip lock bags for dirty clothes.

3. Pack each child their own bag - Each bag should have the required nappies, formula, disposable bottles (use and dispose), snacks, water bottle, toys (wrapped in gift wrap), books, iPad and headphones. I found packing individual nappies in separate zip lock bags useful so I could just grab one bag plus the wipes each time.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

4. Help little ears - Help little ears at take-off and landing by offering breast, bottle, straw water bottle or a lolly pop to suck. On a recent flight we used Animal Balloon Buddies for the first time which were also fantastic! If you can teach older children to pop their ears before the flight that will help a lot as well.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

5. Book a driver - Book a driver to transfer you to and from the airport. Instead of driving yourself, finding a park, unpacking the car, chasing after the children in the carpark, waiting for the bus, loading on your luggage, finding a seat so you don’t stack it, unloading your luggage and hunting down a trolley ALL BEFORE ARRIVING AT THE TERMINAL! Not to mention the fact that we couldn't even fit everything into our 4WD that we needed to take on our first holiday! It may cost a bit extra but it will definitely help your sanity.

6. Baby wear, pram vs Trunki - Decide whether you are going to baby wear, take a pram or use something like a Trunki to transport the little ones. Most airlines require you to check in double prams but offer free use of their prams right up to the boarding gate. We have found the Trunki's to be fantastic for toddlers, they love being pulled along or racing each other through the terminal - which wears them out for the flight. More on this topic below.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

7. Arrive at the airport early - Arrive an extra 30 minutes to an hour earlier than suggested by your airline. This will allow ample time for check in, baggage drop, something to eat, toilet and nappy changing + play time. If you're travelling domestic, find an empty gate at the airport and let the kids run around, crawl under chairs and watch the planes take off and land. If you're travelling international, you will find several designated play areas within the terminal. We have always let the kids run around and boarded last on domestic flights where there isn't as much to get organised and we don’t have as much carry on. For international flights we ALWAYS try to board first with other families. You have more luck getting extra pillows, blankets and bottles of water if you board early on international flights too.

8. Plane Cushions - Hire or purchase a plane cushion such as Plane Pal or Kooshy Kids. Approved by most airlines these cushions allow little ones to be extra comfortable and sleep during the flight. We recently used them from Melbourne > London via Dubai on Emirates and although they are not an approved airline we didn’t incur any problems on any of our flights. In fact, not one cabin crew member even commented on them! Between Melbourne and Dubai the poppets slept 8-9 hours both flights and between Dubai and London it was about 4-5 hours. That’s uninterrupted, solid sleep. I have since hired them out to several families at our kindergarten who have also had similar experiences. Highly recommended!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

9. Seating - Infants under 2 years of age are not required to purchase a seat and therefore are required to sit on an adults lap. Note: only one infant can be booked to travel with one adult. Although this is the most economic time to travel, depending on the size of your little ones and length of flight, this might not be the most comfortable. If you do want extra room, consider purchasing just one child seat not two. Choosing the right seat on the plane is very important too if possible pre-book your seats in advance. For domestic flights we have always flown two in front, two behind and for international we have chosen three seats on one side and one across the aisle. Wherever you choose to sit, get set up as soon as you board. Make sure you have sucking aids, toys, and a few snacks ready to go before take off.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

10. Airport Transfers - Just like you did in Melbourne travelling to the airport, organise for a private transfer at your destination. They should either be waiting for you at the luggage carousel with trolleys ready or directly after you have collected your baggage. Those with cold water and treats for the kids are even more amazing! This helps having to navigate public transport or taxi lines. If you need to hire a car at your destination, do so closer to your accommodation. You are less likely to need a bigger car than you would have needed at the airport when you landed with all your luggage.

11. Accommodation - You have two options as far as accommodation goes: shared hotel style room or an apartment. Your decision will be based on the length of your stay and the number of children you have (i.e. how many beds you need). We find for longer, beach holidays we prefer a unit with separate lounge and bedrooms + a full kitchen.

Where as on a recent trip to London, we stayed in a hotel right alongside the London Eye, Arlo and Macy were happy to share a fold out double bed in the lounge room but it certainly helped that we were only in our room to sleep! At the very minimum you need a small kitchenette for snacks, drinks etc. Think about location too - do you want to be closer to the action (generally smaller, more expensive accommodation) or a little bit further away (larger, more economical). Enquire about access too, you don't want to be carrying several suitcases, a pram and children up and down lots of stairs everyday!

12. Child Proof - Whatever your accommodation choice and no matter what age your little ones are, make sure you child-proof your room. I keep a bag of childproofing equipment in our suitcase all the time so I know that I won’t forget it. Scan the floor, tape up locks or doors, kitchen cupboards, sharp edges of tables + electrical sockets with duct tape, lock windows and/or doors to balconies and remove unwanted items such as alarm radios and bedside table lamps. We have also been known to completely remove furniture out of bedrooms or place into wardrobes and duct tape blankets to windows or block out blind to stop light coming in.

13. Baby Equipment Hire - You already have your hands full with your multiples, there is no need to lug multiple baby items with you as well! Investigate baby equipment hire businesses at your destination - most offer airport and hotel services, so all your baby equipment hire needs are ready before you arrive. Easy!

14. Laundry, laundry, laundry! - No mater whether you are at home or holidays, there is always laundry to be done! Consider whether you want a washing machine and/or dryer at your accommodation or whether you are happy to do washing by hand. Another alternate is to outsource to a local laundromat, some even offer a collection and drop off service. This will be an additional cost to factor into your budget but it also relieves the stress and valuable time you deserve on YOUR holiday.

15. Groceries - When you arrive at your destination, it is inevitable that you will need groceries, whether it’s a few basic items or a few bottles of water you will need to buy supplies. In most areas you will be able to find a convenience store or supermarket close by which is perfect for a few items. If you need to do a larger shop and don't a car, I highly recommend organising groceries to be delivered directly to your accommodation.

Depending on your location and type of accommodation you may be able to order simply through Coles or Woolworths. Alternatively some holiday destinations offer a grocery service whereby you can order online and they will deliver and unpack items ready for when you arrive.

16. Routine - Part of the fun of family travel is the break from routine. But a break from routine can affect not only sleep but a child’s behaviour too. Whether your schedule is focused around feedings or based on nap times, the key to peace of mind is recreating your schedule at home and sticking to it - most of the time. Do your best to maintain this schedule but also don’t be afraid to make a few changes if you know that your little ones will not be affected too much.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

17. Holidays are all about having fun, right?! So spend some time before you travel researching attractions, tours, restaurants and fun activities to do at your destination. Look online for special offers or ask whether they offer a discount for multiples. I highly recommend having a list of wet weather options up your sleeve too - even if it’s as simple as story time at the local library or an indoor play centre.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

18. Read - For toddlers and older children, read books about going on a holiday or your destination beforehand. Libraries are a great resource for this and you may even find some of your children’s favourite characters have visited your destination too! I’m pretty sure I can now recite most of ‘Peppa Pig Goes To London’!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

19. Coming Home - When your holiday has come to an end and you are packing your suitcases, it will be handy to have pre-prepared a coming home bag with familiar snacks, lolly pops, different toys and activities for your flight home. The last thing you have time to do when you’re preparing to come home is run around to collect more supplies, so pack the bag before you leave and it will be ready to distribute into carry on luggage when the time comes.

20. BREATHE - I know travelling with multiples can be stressful, but try to relax. You must remember that things may happen that are out of your control (no matter how prepared you are!) and you just have to roll with it. Delayed flights happen. Being stuck in traffic is never fun. Children cry and scream. Just take a deep breath and relax. I promise when you get to where you’re going it will be worth it! You will see your little ones having fun and you will forget the bad things. Lower your expectations and order another cocktail!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

How Cities Work - Museum of Sydney - Sydney - Review

How Cities Work is the latest exhibition which opened this week at the Museum of Sydney, right on time for the Summer holidays! Based on the How Cities Work book by James Gulliver Hancock, this exhibition is perfect for Busy City Kids! Kids will love this fun and interactive exhibition. Visitors are invited to wear a hard hat and protective gear as they arrive and throughout the exhibition to get into the construction mood and create their own city.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As soon as you walk in, you are surrounded by our busy cities, the modes of transports, the buildings, the landmarks and the people who live there. Kids can press a button at the three separate cities pods and see moving traffic and a train go by.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A cute area with a City Zoo, city & transport building blocks, a stadium and museum art gallery invites visitors to mix n’ match Zoo animals and find a spot for them in the City Zoo, discover, play along and read James Gulliver Hancock’s books How Cities Work and How Airports Work. Little Mister who is 3 years old loved this area.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids are then invited to find all the different things in a busy street of the Busy City area by interacting with the projection on-screen.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A very popular area was the colouring area where kids are invited to colour in James Gulliver Hancock’s awesome skyscrapers. Once their work of art is complete, they can display it around the table. This was little Miss’ favourite area of the exhibition.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The underground area and the green area are nice to interactive with too. Don’t forget to enter the cool giveaway near the exit.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our kids loved the Building Zone near the entrance, we managed to build a few skyscrapers which little Miss decided to hide in - ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We really loved the fun and interactive How Cities Work exhibition at the Museum of Sydney. It will keep the kids busy these holidays! Don’t forget to checkout the Lonely Planet Kids videos on level 1 while you’re there for some fun videos & facts as well as the Street Photography exhibition on the same level as the exhibition and wonder around the rest of this great museum. A great morning in sight!

Our tips:

  • The Museum of Sydney is open daily 10 am to 5pm and located corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets in Sydney CBD.

  • Entry to the How Cities Work exhibition is free with General Admission. Adult $15, Child/Concession $12, Kids 0-5 years Free, Family (2 adults 2 Kids or 1 adult 3 kids) $38. Sydney Living Museums Members and Sydney Museums Pass holders go Free.

  • Visit the rest of the Museum of Sydney while you’re there to make the most of it.

  • How Cities Work is on now until 21 July 2019.

  • Toilets & changing facilities as well as pram parking is located on Ground Level. Lifts are available too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information about the How Cities Work exhibition at the Museum of Sydney, head to this website.

Busy City Kids attended the free public opening event of How Cities Work for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food and travel 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.

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition - Sydney - Review

STAR WARS™ Identities is the Powerhouse Museum’s latest exhibition. We checked out this great exhibition on opening weekend and were spoilt with characters at the entrance of the museum and exhibition.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

STAR WARS™ Identities will take you on a journey to explore the world of STAR WARS™ and your true STAR WARS™ Identity along the way. The exhibition will let you choose and customise a character that matches your personality and will let you decide if you will join the dark force or not.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors are invited to grab an ear piece and a bracelet upon entry to interact with the exhibition. The ear piece will let you hear all the commentaries about the STAR WARS™ movies, characters and mini movies on display. The bracelet will let you choose a character upon entry and will enable you to build up your character throughout the different selection booths and will let you see your final character at the end of the exhibition.

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Little Miss loved this exhibition. Her and her dad were massive fans of the STAR WARS™ Identities interactive booths and building up their character along the exhibition and also enjoyed watching the mini movies. Little Mister and I on the other hand were happy selecting our character at first but were intrigued by the STAR WARS™ costumes, props, models and artworks, watching little movie clips and checking out Darth Vader and the gift shop ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

STAR WARS™ fans will of course love this exhibition but even little Miss and her brother enjoyed all that was on offer even though they were not familiar with the movies. Little Miss now wants to watch the movie and collect the characters.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Even though my husband and I have watched most STAR WARS™ movies, there is still a great deal we didn’t know about the enterprise and so it was a great to visit this exhibition and share it with our children. Did you know that when the creators were deciding on the Yoda character, they wanted someone with wisdom and therefore took inspiration from Albert Einstein.

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

We all really enjoyed STAR WARS™ Identities, it is a very interactive and family friendly exhibition and highly recommend it. Maybe something to do during the school holidays. Entry to the exhibition will also allow you access to the rest of the Powerhouse Museum. Checkout the Wiggles exhibition while you’re there (our review here).

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to the STAR WARS™ Identities exhibit for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food and travel were self funded.

For more information on STAR WARS Identities: The Exhibition, head to the Powerhouse Museum'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.

Plants with Bite at The Calyx - The Royal Botanic Garden - Sydney - Review

Plants with Bite at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is the latest floral installation at The Calyx. The Calyx is the largest vertical floral wall in the southern hemisphere which was curated by the garden’s horticulturalists.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The NEW Plants with Bite green wall is composed of 18,000+ plants and represents the carnivorous plant Drosera capensis the Cape Sundew. Carnivorous Plants are under threat of extinction and it has been said that among the 800 known species, 56 percent of them are under threat from habit loss, poaching and weeds.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Carnivorous plants only require sun, soil and sky to survive, yet they can thrive in inhospitable environments by luring, trapping, killing and digesting insects.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can see the iconic Venus flytrap at this free display as well as the ‘pitfall’, ‘flypaper’, ‘lobster-pot’ and ‘bladder’ styles of traps. Plants with Bite showcases these fascinating plants while bringing awareness to the ways in which many species are currently under threat due to habitat loss.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Plants with Bite installation was stunning and definetely worth checking out. Unlike the previous installation at The Calyx, there were only a few kids activities that were on offer for little ones this time around which was disappointing.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

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.

LaQ Australia - Creative and Tactile Construction Set - Busy Tech Kids - Review

A few weeks ago, Kate found LaQ (pronounced as La Kyuu), a very simple, yet highly creative and tactile construction toy. Its uniqueness comes from using just 7 types of block parts (2 base parts and 5 connector parts) to make an infinite possibility of creative 2D to 3D models. To build different models, all you have to do is click the different pieces together. Kids can make simple to complex 3D models that will also challenge teenagers and adults alike.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kate’s little ones were gifted the Basic 101 Kit which includes 185 pieces. Designed for kids 4 years+. You can build 46 2D models with the set’s instruction guide using 4 flat types of LaQ parts in 10 fun colour. Kate’s kids enjoyed snapping together & clicking the LaQ parts but with a little help from Kate they were both quickly using the instruction sheets & making a variety of colourful models. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Little Miss and her brother were gifted the LaQ Sweet Collection Princess Garden Set which includes 175 pieces. Designed for kids 5 years+. You can design 5 different 2D models in the instruction guide provided as well as simple designs.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It was a bit tricky for little Mister to click the pieces together however he still enjoyed the idea behind the product and liked the tree and bird we made together.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss on the other hand, had no issues putting together a bird, a castle, a strawberry shortcake, a horse, a tree and a flat bracelet. She is slowly getting around the idea of building a 2D horse and carriage. The kids and I really liked the LaQ Sweet Collection Princess Garden Set and will have a look at other sets that might be of interest to us for future presents.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss likes making the one dimension castle, however we both gave 2D construction a go and made the first model - Flower Castle. A very cool castle, bit tricky in parts but lots of fun. I helped little Miss with selecting the parts and she was happy to put it together following the instructions. Doing the construction together was a great activity for the two of us to spend time together and great for little Miss’ fine motor skills and promotes her attention to detail and concentration.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information about LaQ Australia products, head to their website.

Busy City Kids asked to test this product to add to our Busy Tech Kids review page and to encourage the use of STEM/STEAM products. This post is in no way sponsored. Products were provided however our opinions are our own and we only endorse businesses or/and products we believe in. Read more in our Disclosure Policy here.

For more Busy Tech Kids reviews of apps, products and more, head to our Busy Tech Kids page.

Osmo Creative Kit and Coding Awbie Game - Busy Tech Kids - Review

The kids and I were recently gifted some cool products from Osmo to test out. We were already massive fans of Osmo, having used the Genius Kit many times at our friend’s house before and recently at the recent Play World Australia event.

Osmo is a clever play system that teaches kids coding, maths, language and art while they have fun. This great STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) product is lots of fun for little and big kids from 4 to 12 years although little Mister 3 had lots of fun trying them out too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We were gifted the Osmo Creative Kit and the Coding Awbie Game. The Osmo Creative Kit comes a fuzzy pouch/eraser, six Yoobi dry-erase markers, the creative white board and the Osmo base which lets you use the Monster app with the kit along with the Masterpiece and Newton apps. The Coding Awbie Game comes with coding blocks which lets you take a cute Awbie friend on walks, jumps and lets him eat strawberries and build a world in a magical world.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss first tested out Osmo Creative Kit. The Osmo base includes a little gadget which lets your iPad ‘see’ what you draw on the creative board. Kids are taken on a journey with their onscreen friend Monster. They are asked to draw a balloon as a first task and then asked if they want to go on a journey to do a magical show, draw a kitchen/bedroom and more. Instructions are quite easy to follow and even little Mister had a go at the game and loved it.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Osmo Monster app and Creative Kit are both amazing in regards to creativity but are also great for literacy. Little Miss liked following the prompts, draw what Monster asked her to draw and copying the writing on the screen.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We also tested Coding Awbie Game which is an excellent game to help kids understand the concept of coding. As technology evolves everyday, experts say that by the time our children finish school, they will be exposed to technologies that don’t even exist currently. This is why the sudden push towards encouraging children towards STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). Girls especially are encouraged to participate in STEAM fields as they are outnumbered by boys. A great example is little Miss’ coding class where she is the only girl in her class. When I completed my degree in IT, we were only 3 girls in our degree and by honours year I was the only girl. I was hoping things would change in 12 years but we still need to help girls take part in those fields.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss already takes coding class after school every week however she hadn’t tried the Coding Awbie Game before. It comes with easy to use coding blocks which represent coding sequences like walk straight away for 5 steps (as shown below) and a play button to execute the sequence. The kit also comes with various other sequences like run, jump and other special sequences/commands which all ‘click’ together by the use of magnets and swivel buttons. Help from the app is provided at the start and phase out to let children make their own decisions.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss loved the Osmo Creative Kit and Coding Awbie Game and so did her brother even though he is 3 he still had a go and loved those games. We featured a video of little Miss using the Coding Awbie Game on Instragram which is lots of fun which can be viewed here. Having tested both products and received lots of great feedback from both kids and they haven’t stopped playing with them, we highly recommend them.

Busy City Kids were asked to review these two Osmo products, these were gifted to us for the purpose of the review however no sponsored payment was provided. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses and products we believe in. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.


For more Busy Tech Kids reviews of apps, products and more, head to our Busy Tech Kids page.

Day and Night on the Reef - Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - Sydney - Review

The NEW Day and Night on the Reef exhibit at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is now open and it’s fabulous and all about the Great Barrier Reef by Day and Night. The entrance to the new exhibit is the old one after the touchpool, the nice coral aquarium were previously there however undertook a little remodelling and large cylinders Jelly Lullaby where glowing jellyfish reside can be found when walking through.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids will love walking on Moonlight Beach and see their footsteps glow in the interactive floor projections and on screen display. Little Mister loved this section, he kept running around the beach and laughing.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Walk down the expansive coral garden which glows under the ‘night’ lights. Little Miss loved seeing her clothes, teddy glow, touching and looking at the coral display on walls.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Another interactive aspect of the exhibit is the coral spawning motion detecting display where visitors can control the coral reef current through motion sensors by moving their hands across the screen. Kids will love hanging onto the projected coral reef and clock too and being covered by the colourful projections.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Walk down further and you will see the giant turtle aquarium spanning along with Myrtle the rescue turtle and her fellow turtle friends Dave and Choung with hundreds of beautiful sea creatures. A great photo opportunity if you spot the turtles.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It was little Mister’s favourite spot, he loved watching on the sea creatures and the turtles and looking at the giant stone turtle in the aquarium.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can learn how we can protect our reef by picking up litter on the beach and watch the life-cycle of a turtle through projection from nesting to the birth of baby turtles. Little Mister loved looking at the baby turtles. Little Miss is all across picking up litter at the beach with me to prevent sea creatures getting hurt so she loved the interactive litter game.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved visiting the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium to see the new $5 million interactive exhibit developed by a team of over 100 people, Day and Night on the Reef. This great exhibit is the largest Great Barrier Reef display in the world with interactive experiences which help visitors appreciate the Reef.

Busy City Kids were invited to the Day and Night on the Reef exhibit for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food and travel were self funded.

For more information about Day and Night on the Reef, head to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium'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.

Arts Centre Families Summer | Autumn 2019 - Melbourne - Info

Families will experience an array of remarkable theatrical adventures and interactive experiences this Summer & Autumn as part of Arts Centre Melbourne’s 2019 Summer Autumn Families program from January to May 2019. This season, the Arts Centre Melbourne celebrates incredible Australian talent from the worlds of theatre, circus, music, puppetry and dance. Children will also become the creators when they conduct their own orchestra, bring puppets to life and choreograph dance moves for a unique dance performance.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kate and her little ones were spoilt last week with a preview of the Arts Centre Melbourne’s 2019 Summer Autumn Families program as well as some crafts, games and cute cupcakes.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kids will love the giant game of musical chairs ‘Invisible Orchestra’ where the music starts when you sit down! Run by Polyglot Theatre with special guests ‘The Listies’ and Tamara Rewse. Kids can help compose a symphonic masterpiece by sitting on the musical chairs.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Join the FREE event for this surprising and superbly silly sound experiment these summer holidays. On from Saturday 5th Jan to Sunday 13th Jan (no performances 7th Jan).

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Families will love Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus these holidays. Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amid a storm of powder, tumbling and twirling. Musical mayhem and movement fuse in this family show with a circus twist! To those who know him, he is Wolfgang, the dart-playing, pun-loving ratbag. To those who are watching and listening, he is the wigged genius Mozart. Come and discover his irrepressible spirit with Circa’s dexterous daredevil artists and a live accordionist.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

On from Wed 2nd to Saturday 12th January 2019 with two performances per day at 10am and 1pm with one relaxed performance on Wednesday 9th Jan at 1pm. Duration 1 hour. Prices range from $32 to $36.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kate and her little ones loved the preview and cannot wait to experience these events these upcoming holidays.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Over summer, children can also have the chance to experience a participatory and interactive one-on-one performance workshop with dancer and choreographer Amrita Hepi in A Call To Dance (15 - 20 January).

In March, the Arts Centre Melbourne will present String Symphony (8 – 11 March) an interactive installation where participants can take hold of a rope and work together to bring to life a giant illuminated puppet. Only A Year (13 - 16 March) will also be running, which is a sensory theatre experience for babies aged 0 - 12 months and their carers and Picasso and His Dog (23 - 24 March), a heart-warming story of an artist and his cheeky sausage dog, Lump.

During the April Easter school holidays, families will have the opportunity to witness an exciting stage adaptation of David Walliams' best-selling book Billionaire Boy (6 -14 April), created by the makers of Mr Stink and the Treehouse series productions.

Little ones and their families will also have the chance to pop on their party outfits for two exclusive events; enjoy a Sunday morning boogie and treat at the High Tea Party (5 May) and experience the circus extravaganza from the makers of Briefs Factory, Brat Kids Carnival (23 March) featuring acrobatics, magic, puppets and ballet.

More information via the Arts Centre's website.

Busy City Kids were invited at the preview of the Arts Centre Families Summer | Autumn 2019 Program. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food 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.

North Harbour Reserve - Balgowlah - Sydney - Review

The North Harbour reserve playground in Balgowlah is a popular playground for families for a play date, a run on the scooter or bike or for a picnic or birthday party. Due to families concern regarding the playground close to a busy road and the water, council made the playground fully fenced and are currently undergoing renovations for the toilets onsite.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground consists of a main structure with climbing spots, slides, monkey bars and more. There are also dizzy sticks, bouncers and a large see saw. There is also a double swing and a swing for all abilities. Kids can also use their scooter or bike within the playground. There’s also lots of benches too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is a nice reserve near the playground where families are often seen throwing birthday parties, playing sport or walking the dog. There’s also a café next to the playground for refreshments, biscuit, ice cream or a coffee.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The North Harbour Reserve is located at Lot 7001 Condamine Street in Balgowlah.

Our packing list for this playground with water play:

  • Drink bottles

  • Food for snacks, for lunch or for a picnic

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunhats

This playground has:

  • Public toilets

  • BBQ Areas

  • Picnic spots

  • Park Benches

  • Sports Ground

  • Basketball Court

  • Great for Birthday Parties

  • Bubbler

  • Free Parking onsite off Condamine Street

  • Café nearby on Lower Beach Road

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.

Little Rascals - Brookvale - Sydney - Review

Little Miss was invited at Little Rascals Playland some time ago for a friend's birthday party. The Little Rascals Playland runs the center as a membership based indoor playground where members have unlimited access to the venue and runs birthday parties or celebrations for parents & carers at other times.

littlerascals04.JPG

The facilities include an enclosed toddler zone for under 5s, a huge 300m2 Climbing Frame, a Pulsating 3-lane Giant Racing Slide, a Fun Ball Zone, a Web climb Zone, Trampolines, a Spiral Slide and is of course fully air-conditioned which is perfect for hot or rainy days.

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 Rascals Playland can be hired for 2.5 hours at various times on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. Pricing for party venue hire and catering packages vary and you can bring your own cake. Children must be 11 years or under to play on the equipment and kids 5 and under can play in the Toddler Zone. There is also a café onsite. There is ample free parking onsite as well as kids toilets. It is a great option for celebrating a birthday party with friends and family.
 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information on Little Rascals, head to their website.

Busy City Kids were NOT invited to conduct a review at Little Rascals however we thought we would share our experience at this birthday party venue to provide ideas for parents for their child's birthday.

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.

Gymstars Cheerleaders Birthday Party - Brookvale - Sydney - Review

Earlier this year, little Miss was invited to a friend’s birthday party, but not just any party - a Gymstars Cheerleaders Birthday Party brought to you by the same people who run Ninja Kids in Brookvale.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Gymstars Party Team are a group of professional, American style, competitive cheerleaders who will teach some dance and cheer routines and show some fun stunts and tumbling to party guests! All routines are age appropriate, fun and easy for guests to perform. The Gymstars Party Team also did a few fun games like dance statues and guests when we attended and were treated to a cute glitter tattoo on arrival too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss loved the pom poms and getting lifted by the cheerleaders and also loved how her little group were shown a specific routine which they then completed all by themselves.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Gymstars Cheerleaders Birthday Party are a cute idea for a birthday party. Guests are given time between routines and play to have a break and enjoy birthday treats and the birthday cake. Parents and carers of the birthday guest can BYO their food and drinks for the party.

Busy City Kids were NOT invited to conduct a review at Gymstars however we thought we would share our experience at this birthday party venue to provide ideas for parents for their child's birthday.

For more information on Gymstars, 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.

Chesterfield Farm - Melbourne - Review

Experience the farm near the city at Chesterfield Farm! Kate and her little ones chose the perfect day for visiting the Chesterfield Farm recently and loved it! They enjoyed feeding and patting all the animals on site, milking a cow, cuddling bunnies and getting onboard the tractor for a fun tractor ride. Thanks to Kate over at @kateflatman for this great review and pics xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Chesterfield Farm in Scoresby is an historical tourist and children’s farm offering country life in the city.  Located at a 40 minute drive south-east of Melbourne (nestled right next to Eastlink Freeway), Chesterfield Farm allows children to get close to animals and see first hand how a farm operates.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

During your visit you will see all your favourite farmyard animals - sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, goats, ponies, rabbits, guinea pigs and donkeys as well as alpaccas, camels, deer, llamas, emus and kangaroos. Feed bags can be purchased for $1.50 for animals on the feed trail - watch out for the greedy goats!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

By far the best way to see Chesterfield Farm is to hop onto the tractor and take a ride ($3.00 per person aged 3+) through the paddocks.  The all-weather wagon on the back fits about 20 people with the ride lasting approximately 10 minutes with full commentary.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Want to get even close to the animals? Head into the Baby Animal Nursery to cuddle a bunny, pat a calf, hand feed the guinea pigs or have a piglet nibble your shoe laces! Try to resist the urge to smuggle a baby goat into your bag, they are just so cute! 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

A popular aspect of Chesterfield Farm is the daily farm activities, which are always lots of fun for all ages. Activities may include hand milking a cow, sheepdog display, pig talks, sheep sheering, whip cracking and bottle feeding lambs.  A timetable of the day’s activities is given to you upon entry.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Before heading home, be sure to pop into the farm shop to pick up fresh eggs, homemade cheese or milk from the farm.  The milk is pasteurised but not homogenised so you’ll find a thick layer of yellowish cream on top, just like Grandma used to drink!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Don't forget your camera to capture the adorable interaction between the animals and your little people.  Master Arlo is known as the animal whisperer and is often seen with puckered lips, offering sheep or goats a kiss!

  • Check the website for up-to-date information about daily activities before you go as activities and frequencies differ between weekdays and on weekends/public holidays.

  • Line up early for all scheduled activities as they can get really busy, especially on weekends and during the school holidays.

  • The Homestead Cafe sells delicious pies and sausage rolls, homemade sandwiches, ice creams, snacks + hot and cold drinks.  

  • Feel free to bring your own picnic.  There are several all weather lunch/picnic areas + $5 BBQ Hire facilities. 

  • Chesterfield Farm is relatively pram friendly with ample pram parking available outside of the main show barn, tractor station and animal nursery.  There is also a designated baby change area located within the toilets opposite the main entrance, near the car park. 

  • Don't forget to pack your hat and sunscreen or gum boots and a change of clothes depending on what season you visit.

  • Chesterfield Farm is the perfect venue for children’s birthday parties, kinder and school excursions, mother’s groups and playgroups or a group function.  Catering options are also available.

  • Remember this is a working farm with hazards, so be sure to keep an eye on your little ones at all times.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited at Chesterfield Farm for the purpose of a review with tractor rides and animal feed provided with entry. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food 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.

Julian Opie and Julian Opie: Studio for Kids - National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne - Review

A few weeks ago, Kate and her little ones visited Julian Opie: Studio for Kids at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). They enjoyed Julian’s individual style in both the main exhibition and the kids installation. If you’re in town, do checkout this great artist and have fun in the kids installation.

Julian Opie, one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists has been making portraits since the 1990s. Julian’s bold style sometimes has him reducing people he sees into simple shapes.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

In his main exhibition self titled Julian Opie which is currently at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Julian created a wide range of subjects specifically for the NGV spaces. In the central gallery, more than forty of the artist’s moving image works from 1993 to the present are on display.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

julianopie_ngvmelbourne - 15.jpg

People are a key focus throughout the exhibition and Opie’s most recent works feature portraits and walking figures drawn straight from the streets of Melbourne.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

He also setup a city of skyscrapers which is currently taking over Federation Court from the floor to the glass roof. You will also see carps swimming behind the waterfall facade; some stone sheep grazing in the gardens and a crowd of sculptures of people walking have been placed in the lobby.

Photo credit @melbourneminor

Photo credit @melbourneminor

The Julian Opie: Studio for Kids also at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), presents an interactive exhibition for families, featuring hands-on and digital activities developed by the NGV and the artist. In this studio, Julian Opie invites children (and adults) to create a portrait in a new way. Kids can try constructing a portrait using felt shapes or create a digital self-portrait using only line and colour.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Heads - The felt activity shows how just a few basic elements can come together to make a portrait. Children can also play with shape and colour to create a portrait using colourful felt pieces.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Julian Opie + Me - This digital activity is inspired by Julian’s earliest work and how he used to look at himself in the mirror when he first started to draw portraits. He used to close one eye and carefully trace his reflection using a felt tip pen. Inspired by Julian’s approach, the digital setup guides children step-by-step to create their own colourful portrait in the style of the artist. Finished portraits can be shared on social media for friends and family to enjoy. Kids will also see portraits by Julian Opie around the installation which might inspire them to create their own.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For more information about Julian Opie, checkout their website. For more information about Julian Opie Studio for Kids, checkout their website.

Busy City Kids were invited at the media preview of Julian Opie and Julian Opie: Studio for Kids for the purpose of a review. Both the main exhibition and kids installation are FREE entry. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food 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.

SciencePlay Kids Classes - Melbourne - Review

On our last school holiday trip in Melbourne, we attended one of Dr Loz’s SciencePlay Kids school holiday session at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. Little Miss was so inspired after the class and loved it so much, she spoke to her dad and I in length about her space probe and alien she made during the class and how she wanted to attend another class the next day!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Some of you may have remembered the Melbourne Minor gang featuring on Busy City Kids with their review (link here) of SciencePlay Kids when it first started in 2016 in Maidstone. Since then, Dr Loz’s popular science workshops and school holiday program sessions have grown in popularity, so as her team and gear so SciencePlay Kids found a new home at the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss really enjoyed making her first space probe during the class, listening to Dr Loz’s explanations about space and completing the task by herself with a helping hand from the team for the tricky bits. She loved seeing her space probe glow in the dark and make noise with the special battery packs.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss also enjoyed making her own alien, her brother enjoyed doing this task too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our SciencePlay Kids session was by far the best school holiday session we have done to-date. We learned so much about space, space crafts, space probes, space missions and so much more. Dr Loz is a true inspiration for kids and especially for little girls like Little Miss!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information on SciencePlay Kids, head to their website.

Busy City Kids were invited to Science Play Kids for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food, travel and parking were self funded.

Our tips:

  • SciencePlay Kids run various sessions at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland St in Footscray.

  • If you are attending a session, get there at least 10 minutes before the class starts.

  • They also run term classes, special events, school holiday sessions and Mini Makers sessions at Highpoint Shopping Centre once a month so check their website (above) for more info and signup to their newsletter to keep informed.

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