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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Wonderland at ACMI - Melbourne - Review

Kel and the gang over at Melbourne Minor recently attended the media preview of Wonderland - the latest exhibition based on the story of Alice in Wonderland currently on at ACMI in Fed Square. Primary school children and older will appreciate this exhibition. Read up on Kel's great review and pics below. Thanks Kel xo Catherine.
 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Anyone familiar with ACMI exhibitions will know there is already a ‘rabbit hole’ feel about walking down those stairs and not knowing what you will discover in the underground exhibition space but Wonderland takes this to a whole new level!

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Wonderland explores the story of Alice in Wonderland through its many screen appearances over the years. The exhibition uses illustrations, costumes, props, posters, movie footage and projections to bring to life the story. Visitors receive a map to guide them around the exhibition that also interacts with the exhibition at scanning points. There are so many twists and turns and little surprises the whole thing felt like a treasure hunt!

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

The famous Mad Hatter’s Tea Party has been reimagined with the help of state of the art projections in a three minute show not to be missed. A white room is transformed again and again in a dreamlike sequence and is like no tea party you’ve been to before.

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

A favourite of all the kids that attended today was the croquet room where you design your own card and then scan it onto the wall with your face. These card people then skip around painting the roses red! 

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Wonderland is going to captivate people of all ages and is a terribly curious way to spend your time. Tickets are on sale now and it’s recommended to book in advance as limited tickets are sold for each session.  

 Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

For more information about Wonderland at the ACMI, head to their website. Wonderland is on from Thursday 5th April to Sunday 7th October 2018. Watch Disney's 1951 animated adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic 'Alice' stories while you're there. ACMI is located in Federation Square and is fully accessible. Tram and train service Fed Square and there is also ample paid parking. Full $25, Members $20, Concession $21, Child $16 and family $65. 
 
 

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

South Australian Aviation Museum - Adelaide - Review

Late last year, we visited the South Australian Aviation Museum while visiting family and friends in Adelaide. The SA Aviation Museum is run entirely by volunteers who are true aviation fans and members.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As soon as we entered the museum and were greeted by volunteers at the counter, we knew that the museum was run by a team of people who were very passionate about aviation. We were taken away by the quality and sheer size of all the planes as soon as we walked into the hangar. The kids kept pointing at all the planes!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The SA Aviation Museum has over 20 aircrafts on display which you can see, read about and the best thing for the kids - you can climb aboard some of the planes! We climbed aboard all the planes and loved it!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids jumped onboard the Aero Commander (shown below) and loved being at the cockpit and flying the plane for ages!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The SA Aviation Museum's collection keeps growing with new planes being worked on and added to the first and second hangar. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved jumping aboard the Royal Australian Airforce's Douglas C-47B via the Qantas steps minus the actual flight ha! You can peer through the plane's windows, checkout the cockpit and read up on this very interesting plane.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After the plane visit, Little Mister wanted to ride a baggage handle car and little Miss an arcade plane - both had fun which was a win win for me considering I was flying solo with these guys for the whole Adelaide trip!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We visited the inside of the Fokker F27 Friendlship craft and its cockpit which was very interesting too.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then walked around the museum and read up on all the history and looked at the other aircrafts.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is a second level of the Museum which is dedicated to the history of certain aircrafts present at the museum but also talks about the world wars some people endured, women pilots and more. While you are visiting, lookout for a cute little bear hiding in one of the aircrafts.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

At the time we visited which was in September last year in 2017, the second hangar was a work in progress and some aircrafts were being worked on. They are currently working on the Orion aircraft and the latest news indicated that some more changes were underway for that aircraft.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We managed to see the Westland Wessex Helicopter and the DHC-4 Caribou Light Plane in the second hangar and were able to enter the interior of the Caribou which reminded me of army movies and the inside of the Helicopter was also very interesting to enter.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Don't forget to visit the Museum Shop and pickup some great aviation toys on your way out and most importantly support this great group of volunteers.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

All and all, we loved our visit at the South Australian Aviation Museum! Who doesn't like to jump aboard an aircraft, play pilot, learn all about aircrats and still stay on land! This place is a must visit on your next Adelaide visit!

Our tips:

  • The South Australian Aviation Museum is located at 66 Lipson Street in Port Adelaide which is about 20-30 mins from Adelaide city.
  • The museum is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. It is open from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • The museum is run entirely by volunteers.
  • Admission to the museum is as little as $10 per adult, $5 for children 5 to 16 yrs, Free for kids under 5 and $25 for a family of 2 adults and 3 children.
  • The museum is pram friendly however you cannot take your pram on the planes or on the second level of the museum. We left ours next to the toilets and walked around the museum.
  • There are toilets onsite as well as free parking.
 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Busy City Kids visited the South Australian Aviation Museum at their own expense for entry fee, transport and all. Our opinions & feedback are always genuine & truthful. 

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

For more information and up-to-date events news about the South Australian Aviation Museum, head to their website.

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018 Review 

Kate @kateflatman and her mini gardeners were invited to venture to the Royal Exhibition Building and gardens to experience the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. There's so much for kids to enjoy at this annual show - architecturally designed cubby houses, gardening workshops, playground testing, the Great Hall and its great exhibits and so much more. Thanks Kate for the great review and pics. Glad you guys had fun! xo Catherine
 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The annual Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show opened this week in the exquisite heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens for another year of breathtaking and on-trend garden designs. Over five glorious Autumn days, visitors will be inspired by spectacular floral displays, experience masterclasses with floral designers, meet key landscape designers, exhibitors and industry experts, as well as the opportunity to peruse the avenues of exhibitors selling everything from bulbs, plants, tools, trinkets and garden accessories.  

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Plus with FREE entry for children 14 years and under and a fun filled program suitable for all ages, the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is an excellent event for the whole family to enjoy.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Having not visited the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show for the last few years, I was excited to be exploring one of Melbourne’s must-see events this year for the first time with the poppets.  Here is a list of our highlights and tips for visiting the show with toddlers:

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Kids Under Cover Cubby House Challenge® 

Run by the not-for-profit organisation Kids Under Cover, visitors can see five cubby houses - designed by some of Melbourne’s leading architects - that have been auctioned off with all proceeds raised (over $70,000!) being donated to the organisation, assisting with the ongoing prevention of youth homelessness.  Little ones will love exploring and playing in the cubbies; including a vibrant blue head, a log cabin, a dream catcher, a cubby you can climb, and one that resembles a giant Connect Four. 

You can also meet the Deluxe Dog and have your face painted!

 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

* The Diggers Club

A 1940s-style potting shed and chicken shed made of recycled materials is the centrepiece of The Digger’s Club exhibit this years Show.  The poppets stood in awe staring at the heirloom pumpkin display, which has been integrated into the potting shed design.

With a focus on backyard gardening, there are several mini gardens on display including a pollination garden to attract bees; a picking-garden of beautiful flowers; a tropical garden featuring rare fruit and a seasonal veggie garden. There is also talks on pickling, growing your own veggies, the benefits of worms, building a chook house and taste tests. The poppets loved joining in on the famous tomato taste test! It was really amazing tasting the difference between home-grown, heirloom varieties and the bland offerings found at the supermarket.

 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

* Funky Monkey Bars

Kids can go bananas on Funky Monkeys Pop Up Playground featuring some of their most popular backyard models.  Kids can play on the incredible monkey bars, swings, flying fox, trapeze and the poppets favourite, the fireman pole!  A great spot for little ones to release some energy before visiting the formal floral and garden displays.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Sensory Zones

The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show provides a true immersion of the five senses.  Fully immerse yourself at the Show by visiting each of the five sensory zones - ‘Taste’ where you can discover an edible garden and tantalise your tastebuds, ‘Sight’ where you’ll see The Great Hall of Flowers, ‘Touch’ where little ones can feel the soil between their fingers and pot a plant to take home, ‘Smell’ where you can surround yourself with the sweet scent of lavender, and ‘Hearing’ where you can soothe and refresh your mind and body at beautiful water features. 

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Pre-purchase your tickets online to avoid the queues.  Tickets are not day specific so pre-purchased tickets are valid for use on any single day of the Show.
  • We recommend travelling to the Show via public transport as street parking and parking at Melbourne Museum is limited.
  • There are several food outlets at the Show, including well known food trucks, drinks, tea and coffee.  You are also welcome to bring your own lunch and snacks from home to enjoy on the lawns.  You will also find water stations around the Show to refill your water bottles.
  • The gorgeous trees do provide lots of shade, but don’t forget to pack sunscreen and hats too.
  • The Show is very pram friendly with ramps and ample space to park your pram if necessary too.  There is also two designated parents rooms with baby-change and feeding areas located within the Royal Exhibition Building. 
 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For more info or to book, head to the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show website.
 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

Indieguerillas at NGA Play - Review - Canberra

At the end of December last year, we headed to Canberra for a few days. We love a Canberra visit as it's always relaxing, we can drive there, it's never too crowded and there is lots to do with kids and most of it is free!

One of our favourite spots to visit when we do is the NGA (National Gallery of Australia) and we always make some time to explore the kids space - NGA Play.

   Photo credit: @busycitykids

  Photo credit: @busycitykids

The latest kids installation at the NGA Play is from Indonesian duo Indieguerillas. This free installation takes visitors on a cultural journey through the stories of their home in Yogyakarta.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Family and friends will be surrounded by colour and joy. Visitors can ride bikes to create sound and movement.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can colour in Indieguerillas' every so cool prints, take them home or put them up in the YEAH ROOM!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They can also create their own digital avatar on provided iPads, our avatars looked quite interesting - ha!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can also play a fun bedroom tidying up game. Not surprising, little Miss wasn't interested, so as usual mummy had to tidy up!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Indieguerillas' art is bright, colourful and kids love it!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Mine loved the slide in the YEAH ROOM! A slide in a gallery - sure why not! The NGA Play is our favourite place to explore, learn and create in Canberra - always something fun to do!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can pin their colouring masterpieces, create their own shadow puppets and leave them as part of the display in the YEAH GALLERY.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can also colour the walls - yes you heard me write on walls! 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Or do a quite colouring in the YEAH ROOM, might be safer ha!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Indieguerillas is on now until Sunday 13 May 2018 from 10.00am – 5.00pm daily - entry is free - enjoy!

Our Tips:

  • The NGA is located in the heart of Canberra, near Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and next door to the National Portrait Gallery. You can also get to the NGA from the path around Lake Burley Griffin if you walk through the Sculpture Garden.
  • NGA Play is located near the main entrance as soon as you arrive at the NGA Gallery.
  • The gallery is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm except Christmas Day.
  • Entry to the NGA gallery, NGA Sculpture Park and the NGA Play is free except for special ticketed exhibitions.
  • There is underground paid parking is available via Parkes Place off King Edward Terrace. 
  • There are toilets inside including parents rooms
  • There are café spots onsite. 
  • The center is pram friendly with a walking ramp and lifts.
For more information, head to the NGA website.

To read our other Canberra reviews including our review of the NGA Sculpture Park, head to this link.

KaBloom Festival of Flowers - Tesselaar - Info - Melbourne

Celebrate the carnival of colour at Tesselaar’s new KaBloom - Festival of Flowers from March 30th to April 15th 2018. Held on Tesselaar’s flower farm in the magical Dandenong Ranges, KaBloom will be an explosion of colour in nature, with waves of over 1.2 million flowers in bloom across five acres of garden. Wow that's a lot of flowers for the kids to count - haha!

 Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Festivities begin with the delicious Chocomania weekend (March 30 – April 2), with a visit from the Easter Bunny, Easter egg hunts and live entertainment daily with Cheek to Cheek and the Tracey Roberts Trio.

 Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Run over two weeks, the Family Fun Days (3-6 April and 9-13 April) kick off with daily shows from The Mik Maks, Bethany Fisher and Full Circle Drumming Workshops (first week) and The Kazoos, Trash Test Dummies and Ruccis Circus School (second week). Treasure hunts, petting zoo and giant garden games will keep the little ones entertained all day.

 Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

KaBloom also brings colour to a new level during Colourific Weekend (14-15 April). Browse the annual Garden & Plant Expo and enjoy live entertainment from Fused and Bollywood dancers The Naach Box. If that’s too tame you can join in on our Colour War, but make sure you wear white for maximum impact!

 Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

 Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Live entertainment daily, delicious international and local food and children’s activities galore all contribute to this brand new carnival of colour. Photos below were taken last week - how beautiful are all those blooms!

 Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

 Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Open every day during the festival from 10am – 5pm, entry: adults $25, concession $22 and children under 16 free. Some activities require pre booking and additional costs like tractor rides and face painting. For more info or tickets, head to the KaBloom website.

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

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies - The Royal Botanic Garden - Info & Giveaway - Sydney

In Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies, the adventurous Tinkerbell happens upon the fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Together, the cheeky Mustardseed, fluttery Moth, daring Cobweb and sweet Peaseblossom all go on a magical quest with Tinkerbell, learning about each other and the different worlds they come from.

 Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Audience members are invited to come dressed up for fun either as a Fairy or an Elf but Jedi’s, Pirates and all super heroes are all welcome! Sing and dance away your Easter holidays while helping Tinkerbell and her Fairy Friends find their lost wings.

 Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

This delightful show was developed in conjunction with early learning experts to ensure it truly engages and inspires young minds. So pack a picnic and join in the magic! 

 Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies will be returning to the Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney during the Easter holidays from the 14th to 29th April. 

To celebrate Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies, we will be giving away 2 family passes - one on our Instagram page and the other on our Facebook page. So keep an eye out !

For more information or to buy tickets, head to the website.

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018 - Info - Melbourne

Take the family to this year's Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show from Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th March 2018. 

Our last visit was back in 2015, we loved it so much and still have fond memories of the day so we thought we'd share some pics. 

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Families will be greeted this March by The Welcome Garden before walking through the floral wonderland of vibrant colour, bold blooms and perfumed petals filling the Great Hall.

Witness the next generation of Australian designers when RMIT fashion students create visually stunning and technically brilliant plant-based garments.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Architecturally designed cubby houses, floral wonderlands, roving live entertainment, face painting, kids' activities and hands-on gardening workshops; the countdown is on for mini gardening gurus and floral friends!

Kids are encouraged to get their hands dirty in the worm farm and veggie patches as part of The Diggers Club 40th anniversary celebration. Enjoy workshops on beekeeping and building chook sheds amongst the abundance of heirloom fruits, plants, vegetables and the iconic gardening club’s beloved pumpkin installation.

melbinternationalflowerfestival - 1 (1).jpg

Enhance or complete your garden with the fantastic choice of plants, flowers, products and more from retail exhibitors.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Kids and adults alike will not want to miss the Cubby House Challenge® - the annual auction of cubby houses created by leading Australian design and architecture firms. Coordinated by the show’s official charity partner, Kids Under Cover, all proceeds go to the charity’s youth homelessness prevention programs.

 Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

 Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is on from Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th March 2018. The show will be open from 9am to 5pm daily at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens for the exception of Friday 23rd of March until 9pm for Gardens by Twilight. Adult tickets are $29.90, Concession tickets are $25.90 and Children 14 and under go FREE.

For more information or to buy tickets, head to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show website.

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

Wonderland - ACMI - Info - Melbourne

ACMI invites you to venture down the rabbit hole into an enchanted world with WONDERLAND this April where expectations are turned upside down and curiosity is rewarded. Wonderland will celebrate the screen history of Lewis Carroll's timeless stories - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There in an entirely original immersive exhibition. 

WONDERLAND will illustrate the ongoing fascination of Carroll's stories and characters with new visual technologies from over more than a century. From the earliest optical toys to silent film, animation, puppetry, live-action cinema, video games, CGI, 3D and beyond, the exhibition explores how the moving image has kept Alice and her stories in the public consciousness, reinvented in contemporary contexts and mediums.

Commencing in Lewis Carroll’s drawing room, visitors of WONDERLAND are handed their own Lost Map of Wonderland, a physical and digital device unlocking surprising experiences during their exhibition journey and beyond. With their interactive map in hand, visitors wander the world of Wonderland, losing themselves in the Hallway of Doors, playing at the Queen’s Croquet Ground and taking part in a magical Mad Hatter’s Tea Party that comes to life before their very eyes.

wonderland_03.jpg

Along the way they will find more than 300 unique objects sourced from all around the world including first edition publications and illustrations, magic lantern projectors, concept drawings, animation cels, spectacular costumes, puppets, props and more.

 Photo credit: ACMI

Photo credit: ACMI

From the first screen adaptation by Cecil M Hepworth in 1903 to Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), WONDERLAND reveals the development of special effects from pre-cinematic entertainment to silent film, animation to puppetry, live-action cinema, videogames, CGI, 3D and beyond. Among the films featured; Norman Z McLeod’s 1933 version featuring a young Cary Grant; Lou Bunin’s Alice Au Pays des Merveilles (1949) which almost did not make it to the screen; Jan Svankmajer’s acclaimed Alice (1988); the Quay Brothers’ experimental Alice in Not So Wonderland (2007); and television versions by the BBC and NBC, and much more. 

So take a trip through the looking glass into an immersive, enchanted world that draws together a remarkable selection of original behind-the-scenes material. The more curious you are, the more you’ll discover. 

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

Free Kids Yoga - The Darling Quarter - Review - Sydney

Alyssa from @thekidsbookhunter visited The Darling Quarter last week to take part in the FREE Kids Yoga activity. Hunter had so much fun! Alyssa was happy to share their experience with Busy City Kids. Here's their review. Thanks so much Alyssa xo Catherine
 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Looking for a fun activity to get the kids outdoors and active? Then head down to the beautiful setting of the Darling Quarter’s Northern green on Friday mornings for a FREE half hour session of Kids Yoga. 

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Designed for preschool aged children and their carers, the sessions are run by qualified yoga instructor Danielle (Dee Dee) Connor of Yoga Budz. 

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Dee Dee energetically introduces young children to various Yoga poses and movements in a fun and age appropriate way. Children’s Yoga is not only a great form of exercise and relaxation, but is also super cute to watch. Kids will love acting like animals, telling stories with their movements, and moving their bodies into a mix of serene and dynamic positions.

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

There are 2 free half hour sessions running each Friday morning at 10:30am – 11:00am and 11:30am – 12:00pm. All mats are provided and no bookings are necessary. On days of poor weather sessions are held in the front foyer of Monkey Baa Theatre. 

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

For more information, head to The Darling Quarter 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.

MAAS Minis and Tinkertoreum at Powerhouse Museum - Review - Sydney

Recently Alyssa from @thekidsbookhunter visited the Powerhouse Museum to test out MAAS Minis with her children and ended up testing out Tinkertoreum and the MAAS story time too while they were there! Alyssa was happy to share their experience with Busy City Kids. Here's their review. This visit was self funded. Thanks so much Alyssa xo Catherine

The Powerhouse Museum (or the MAAS) is one of our favourite places to visit in the city. Along with their multitude of engaging and educational permanent exhibitions, there is always something new and exciting to see and explore. 

On Monday the 12th February we attended the very first MAAS Minis. MAAS minis is a monthly curated play-based learning session that provides young children with the opportunity to explore and experiment with a range of toys, books and sensory items. Minis is designed for young children aged 3-5 years (and for the younger children there is MAAS Tinies program for 0-2 year olds).

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

The 45-minute sessions are run by museum staff and have a different theme/focus each month. The session that we attended had an emphasis on colour and light and provided a range of learning opportunities that were perfect for little hands and minds to explore and experiment with.

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

After MAAS Minis we tried out the new Tinkertoreum, a creative workstation that provides children with the opportunity for hands on creation and construction using various materials and building suggestions. Set up with everything you need, such as cardboard, playdough, tape, pop sticks and straws, budding engineers can create and design till their hearts content.

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

After our busy morning of play-based learning we enjoyed MAAS story time. During story time you can enjoy a children’s story book (in one of the coolest settings there is) followed by a fun matching craft project.

 Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @thekidsbookhunter for @busycitykids

The next MAAS Minis session is on the Tuesday 6th March and will be design based to coincide with the Sydney Design Festival. Children’s tickets can be purchased online for $15 each (non-member) and it is free for the accompanying adult.

For more information on the Powerhouse Museum and MAAS Minis, 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.