ABC Classic Kids: Music for The Dreaming - Sydney Opera House - Info

The ABC Classic Kids program's new production Music for The Dreaming is on this August at the Sydney Opera House from Friday 17th to Friday 31st of August. We went to the production of ABC Classic Kids: Sounds like Australia in May and loved it!

 Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Join ABC Bushwacked’s Kamil Ellis and Ensemble Offspring in this tailored and interactive show.  Little ones will develop sensory perception, musical literacy and awareness of instrument sounds in a fun and relaxed format, perfect for ages 2 – 5.  Music for The Dreaming is a brand new production celebrating new classical music for young Australian audiences. After the show, kids can meet the musicians and instruments.

 Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

Photo credit: Sydney Opera House

For more information on ABC Classic Kids: Music for The Dreaming, 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.

Tesselaar’s KaBloom - Festival of Flowers - Review - Melbourne

Kate and her little ones were really excited to head to Tesselaar's new festival of flowers this year - KaBloom. What a beautiful place to visit and a great idea to combine children's activities and shows in such a fantastic setting. Checkout Kate's review, gorgeous photos and tips before you head to Kabloom this year. Busy City Kids were invited to attend KaBloom for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. Thanks Kate for the review xo Catherine
 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

When we heard that Tesselaar were having a new flower festival in Autumn, we were very excited! We absolutely loved visiting the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in 2016 (you can read our review of that event here) so we couldn't wait to see this new and colourful festival of flowers.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Tesselaar’s KaBloom Festival builds on the history and blooming bonanza in autumn, showcasing over 130,000 plants across 140 garden beds.  Held on Tesselaar’s flower farm in the magical Dandenong Ranges with breathtaking views - and selfie opportunities abound - KaBloom is an explosion of colour in nature, with over 1.2 million flowers in bloom across five acres of garden.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

We timed our visit to KaBloom to coincide with Family Fun Days (Tues 3rd - Fri 6th & Mon 9th - Fri 13th April) with free entry for all children plus extra kid-friendly activities and a host of children’s entertainers. 

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Here is a list of our highlights:

  • Tractor Rides

Departing from Tulip Station, a ride in a carriage behind a shiny red tractor was definitely one of the poppets favourite things about the day.  They loved travelling through the colourful fields and spotting different things that they could see.  Tractor rides are perfect for those who don't wish to walk to the bottom of the fields too. $5pp/$15 family of 4.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Flower Maze

Get lost amongst the petunias in this gorgeous flower maze which is ideal for children.  Due to restricted access to the main garden beds this year, the maze offers a fantastic opportunity for little ones to get amongst the flowers. 

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Face Painting

Visit the face painting tent and choose from a huge selection of face painting designs. We left with a scary tiger and a sparkly bunny.  Super cute! $10pp

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Story Telling

Join Tesselaar’s resident fairy in the fairy garden for a special story time.  Little ones will love hearing her tales of meeting the Easter Bunny and throwing special fairy dust into the wishing well.  Be sure to play in the cubby houses and look out for the secret fairy doors in the gnome garden.

 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

* Petting Zoo

Animals on the Move petting zoo always offer a fantastic interactive environment for children. You can cuddle a bunny or guinea pig, feed a pig, pat a cow or do as Master Arlo did and kiss a goat!  

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Live Entertainment

There is fantastic, live family entertainment on every day during Family Fun Days including Ruby Ray & The Funky Monkeys, The Kazoos, Ruccis Circus and The Trash Test Dummies.  The poppets enjoyed participating in a fun and interactive African drumming workshop with the team from Full Circle Drumming.

 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

KaBloom is a fantastic addition to the Tesselaar’s calendar and an absolutely magical place that is perfect to experience with your family.  Whether you just wander amongst the gardens and soak in the beauty of the grounds or if you want to enjoy the additional themed activities, attractions and live music on offer during the rest of the season, I highly recommend you visiting Tesselaar’s KaBloom Festival.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Don’t forget your camera!
  • No matter what the weather forecast, pack gumboots (as it’s quite muddy underfoot close to the fields), a change of clothes for the little ones + a hat and sunscreen!
  • Pre-purchase your tickets online to avoid the queues.  Make sure you print them off at home as mobile tickets will not be accepted.
  • Bring extra cash as some of the activities incur a small fee.
  • This event is pram friendly, however I wouldn't recommend taking your pram into the fields but there is ample pram parking available around the grounds. The farm is on a bit of a slope, so be sure to hold on tight and use the break when parked!
  • There is a designated baby change and feeding area opposite the information centre.
  • Bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens or in one of the many designated picnic areas. There is a large range of food options at festival prices available on site.  On the day we visited we didn’t encounter any queues, however with such a delicious selection you may encounter long queues during busy times.
 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

KaBloom is on from March 30th to April 15th 2018. 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.

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.

Josephine Wants to Dance - Monkey Baa - Sydney - Info

Monkey Baa is proud to present the world premiere of Josephine Wants to Dance, a new Australian play based on the celebrated picture book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley which will be on at Monkey Baa Theatre from Monday 16th to Tuesday 24th of April 2018.

We can't wait to see this show! The stage adaption will bring life to the iconic children’s book, set in Shaggy Gully, with stunning costume and set design, a hilarious original musical score and talented local cast.

 Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

Kids aged four and over will meet Josephine, a kangaroo who loves to dance. Even though her little brother, Joey, tells her that kangaroos don’t dance, they hop, Josephine continues to point her toes and leap through the air. When a ballet troupe comes to their sleepy town of Shaggy Gully Josephine learns that there is another way to dance – ballet. She watches the dancers for hours and hours, and practices their moves at night, all alone.

 Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

When the ballet troupe gets into trouble on opening night they need an understudy to replace their Prima Ballerina, but who could dance the lead role? Who else could leap that high? Josephine’s talents are called upon to help save the day. Can she do it, and more importantly, does it matter that she’s a kangaroo?

 Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

The show stars Rebecca Hertherington (Heathers, Blue Heelers), Chloe Dallimore (The Producers, The Addams Family), Amanda Laing (Mr Stink, The Merchant of Venice) and Hayden Rogers (The Secret Garden, Rent).

Following its world premiere at Sydney’s Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre in April, Josephine Wants to Dance will tour 47 venues across Australia until October.

Josephine Wants to Dance will be showing at Monkey Baa Theatre at Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre from Monday 16th to Tuesday 24th of April. Tickets are $29pp, $104 Family of 4, $125 Family of 5, $25pp Groups of 10+ (no booking fees apply).

 Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

Image credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

For more info and bookings, head to the Monkey Baa Theatre 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.

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.

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.

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.

Brickman Awesome - ICC Sydney - Review

This week we were invited to Brickman Awesome at the ICC Sydney and I must say it was truly awesome! It’s easy to take for granted how long it would have taken Ryan and his team to build the different models displayed, they all look so impressive and in some cases so life-sized and definitely something that I will let the experts do!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We saw the only life-sized LEGO Harley Davidson ever made as well as the impressive Caterpillar dump truck! Little Mister loved the full-sized LEGO Australian saltwater crocodile which weighs 60kgs and was built using more than 40,000 LEGO bricks and took 130 hours to build - how amazing!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The NASA Space Launch System with light and sound effects was also very impressive with over 460,000 LEGO bricks used and taking 563 hours - wow! The 3m Orcha Whale built using 14,000 LEGO Duplo and LEGO bricks was remarkable to stand next to, so was the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The exhibition isn’t only about record breaking LEGO models, it also inspires visitors and children to build models around the exhibition like building LEGO Duplo Penguins to add to the colony, build a Harley, build an animal, a time-travelling car, a dump truck and contribute with other visitors to build the longest LEGO snake!!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The exhibition is great for Lego fans and little builders. I recommend taking kids 3 years+ who can take full advantage of the building spots around the exhibition. The penguin station is the only Duplo station. Little Miss 5 really enjoyed looking around and building things around the stations including her name for the longest Lego snake. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children is $95. The tickets are for timed sessions but we stayed for 1 hour and were not asked to leave at any time. There is parking in the ICC Sydney building with a special summer price of daily charge of $20. Head to the Darling Quarter after for a play in the playground and to cool down in the water play spots. 

brickmanawesome.jpg

Brickman Awesome is on until the 4th of February 2018 at the ICC Sydney! For more info, head to their website.

Busy City Kids were invited to attend Brickman Awesome for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Parking was self-funded as always.

Grab the kids swimmers, a towel and some change of clothes and pop into the Darling Quarter playground and water play area nearby. Our review on the blog.

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.

Summer School Holidays 2017 - Sydney

Summer School Holidays are coming up in Sydney, here's our lineup of Activities and Events - let's do this!

 Photo credit: @busycitykids - Future Park

Photo credit: @busycitykids - Future Park

  • Alphabetical Sydney: Creative Lab at the Museum of Sydney. Immerse yourself in the alphabetical world of Alphabetical Sydney. Kids can explore the wonders of our beautiful city from A to Z. Read our review here.

  • Arctic voices at Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) takes families on a fascinating journey to the Arctic in this new interactive exhibition opening on Thursday 14th of December. Be sure to checkout the various school holiday activities taking place too at the ANMM. Read our review here.
     
  • Brickman Awesome at the ICC Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Brickman Awesome will be made up of 38 never-seen-before LEGO® models, totalling more than 1.5 million bricks and clocking up more than 4,500 hours of build-time! It will also showcase the only life-sized LEGO® Harley Davidson ever made, the largest ever LEGO® Caterpillar 797 dump truck and a full-sized LEGO® Australian saltwater crocodile, weighing over 60kgs and built using more than 40,000 LEGO® bricks! Read our info post here.
     
  • Ian Potter Children's WILD PLAY Garden at Centennial Parklands opened late October. The garden is a special place for children and their families, a beautiful little oasis amongst Centennial Parklands with a beautiful garden, a treehouse with slide, bamboo forest, mounds and a water play area. Read our review here.

  • Learn & Play! teamLab Future Park at Powerhouse Museum is the latest exhibition by Japanese art collective teamLab. Featuring eight interactive light installations never seen in Australia, Future Park is exclusive to the Powerhouse Museum. Read our info post here.
     
  • Mammoths at Australian Museum. Rule out myths, learn new facts and get up close to the world's most intact 42,000 year old baby wooly mammoth! This interactive exhibition will have your little ones wrestling with mammoths, touch mammoth fur, tusks and walk past life size replicas of mammoths and so much more! Checkout the awesome school holiday activities coming up at the Australian Museum too! Read our review here.
     
  • Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean at MCA. Pipilotti's vivid projections explore the relationship between nature, the body and technology and takes you outside of your comfort zone with rooms of hi fi projections. Lay down on beds to view projections, walk through the Instagrammable Pixel Forest and moreRead our review here.

  • Tiger Trek at Taronga Zoo is a great experience to see critically endangered Sumatran Tigers face-to-face. Read our review here.

  • Titanic The Exhibition at Moore Park. See the world’s largest and most comprehensive touring exhibition with 10 new exhibits including a Titanic VIRTUAL REALITY experience that lets you dive to the wreck, new artefacts and a new learning gallery! Must close in February. Read our info post here.

  • Wind in the Willows at Royal Botanic Garden continues its well-loved summer tradition returning to the beautiful surrounds of the Royal Botanic Garden from Friday 5th to Sunday 28th of January 2018Read our info post here

Also checkout these great places in July ... entertain them for hours to avoid cabin fever!

  • The Penguin Expedition at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - Visitors are invited to see a colony of King and Gentoo Penguins up close onboard a little raft. It is the first of its kind and the experience is included in your entry ticket when you visit the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.
    Read our review here.
     
  • Wiggles Exhibition at Powerhouse Museum - A revamp of the old space, the Wiggles Exhibition is sure to entertain your little ones these holidays and it's here to stay and part of your Powerhouse ticket! Wiggles' favourite characters Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain Feathersword remain part of the exhibition however profiles of latest members Lachy, Emma and Simon along with some of their precious items and new interactive activities have been added to the new exhibition. Read our review here.
     
  • The Room of Lucky Charms at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). A NEW contemporary art installation featuring 600 soft sculptural good luck charms opened recently at the MCA and we love it! Room of Lucky Charms (2017) is a multi-sensory work created by Melbourne-based artist Kate Beynon for the sixth annual Bella Room Commission. Read more info here.
     
  • Our Top 5 things to do at the Australian Museum - The Australian Museum is always a great place for babies, toddlers, their parents and carers. There's always a new exhibition on that will tickle your little one's fancy, school holiday activities, free activities for under 5s during the week as well as weekday activities during term. Read Our top 5 permanent things to do at the Australian Museum here.

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!

Brickman Awesome New Exhibition - Info & Giveaway - Sydney and Melbourne

OUR REVIEW IS ON THE BLOG NOW

Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught, the only LEGO® Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere and one of only 14 in the world is smashing another ‘awesome’ LEGO® record with his latest Brickman exhibition coming to Sydney this December and he’s on the hunt for Australian brickies to help him along the way!

Brickman Awesome starts its national tour in Sydney this Boxing Day at the ICC Sydney, Convention and Exhibition Centre and has already broken LEGO® records before it has even opened! It will be Ryan's third exhibition made entirely from LEGO® bricks and will be on until the Sunday 4th of February 2018 before heading to Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

 Photo credit: Brickman

Photo credit: Brickman

The exhibition will be made up of 38 never-seen-before LEGO® models, totalling more than 1.5 million bricks and clocking up more than 4,500 hours of build-time! Brickman Awesome will also showcase the only life-sized LEGO® Harley Davidson ever made and the largest ever LEGO® Caterpillar 797 dump truck! Adding to the awesome-ness is a full-sized LEGO® Australian saltwater crocodile, weighing over 60kgs and built using more than 40,000 LEGO® bricks!

 Photo credit: Brickman

Photo credit: Brickman

Brickman Awesome will showcase the tallest LEGO® model in the Southern Hemisphere – a NASA SLS rocket standing at a whopping 7.5m tall and built from more than 450,000 bricks! Taking more than 500 hours to create, Ryan has pushed LEGO® building boundaries by installing an in-built lighting system giving the effect that the rocket is blasting off into space!

If that’s not awesome enough, visitors will be forgiven for thinking they have stepped inside a zoo as they find themselves surrounded by a LEGO® Kangaroo, Koala and even a giant Orca Whale!

 Photo credit: Brickman

Photo credit: Brickman

Ryan is not stopping at the current LEGO® records, he'd like to get another one! He wants to build Australia’s longest LEGO® model a giant snake - but he will need all the budding Australian brickies out there to help him and his team! The Brickman team has already built the head and the tail but they need everyone who visits the exhibition to help them build the belly too!

LEGO® fanatics will have lots of opportunities to show off their building skills at Brickman Awesome – visitors can help the Brickman team expand their LEGO® colony of Emperor Penguins, build their very own time machines and even put them on display next to Ryan’s LEGO® models of Doctor Who’s TARDIS and the DeLorean from Back to the Future! Needless to say this exhibition is going to be awesome - Brickman Awesome to be exact and we can't wait!!

 Photo credit: Brickman

Photo credit: Brickman

To celebrate, we have 1 family pass to giveaway for Sydney readers. Head to our upcoming giveaway on Instagram to find out how, don't forget to mention the word 'snake' while you're there, follow us, like our post and tag friends for more entries! Good luck! This giveaway is not associated with Instagram or Facebook.

Brickman Awesome will be in Sydney from 26th December 2017 until 4th February 2018 at the ICC Sydney, Convention and Exhibition Centre, before continuing around Australia, stopping in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. For more information or to book online, head to the 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.

Christmas 2017 Activities in Melbourne

The Christmas season is upon us! We have put together a list of events and activities you can attend from now until Christmas. We will keep updating it as we go - enjoy!

 Fed Square Christmas Hub - Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Fed Square Christmas Hub - Photo credit: @melbourneminor

  • Myer Christmas Windows - Perfect Christmas. The annual windows are now open in Bourke Street Mall for you to visit. Now open until Thursday, 5th January 2017 7:30 am to 1:00 am daily. For Kel's cute review over at Melbourne Minor, head to this page. FREE.
     
  • Santa's Magical Kingdom - This popular event will deliver a Christmas wonderland full of activities to capture children's imagination. Opens Friday the 17th of November till Sat 23rd of December. For our 2016 review, head to our dedicated page. 
     
  • David Jones Christmas Concert - PJ Masks, Peppa Pig and everyone's favourite Christmas characters are coming to Santa's Grand Arrival with 2 concerts! You can also join us in the LEGO Play Zone before and after the show. Saturday 18th November from 9am. More info via this event. FREE.
     
  • Myer Christmas Carnival - Join Myer as they turn our Bourke Street Mall store into a festive fun fair with live entertainment, workshops, giveaways and more. Saturday 26th November 10am-6pm. More info here. FREE.
     
  • Christmas Festival Official Tree Lighting Ceremony - The City of Melbourne is throwing a Free Ceremony Event on Friday 24th of November at 7pm to 9:15pm to mark the beginning of the Christmas Festival. This year's NEW Christmas Festival Hub will be at Federation Square with the 16 metres high Christmas tree higher than ever! Roving performers will entertain children before the tree lighting. More info on their page. FREE.
     
  • Santa's House - Open from Saturday 25th Nov to Sunday 24th of December, Santa will be there every day from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm Fridays. Queues may be long but his elves will be there to entertain. More info on their page. FREE
 Myer - Christmas Windows - Photo credit: @melbourneminor

Myer - Christmas Windows - Photo credit: @melbourneminor

  • Giant Christmas Bauble - The Giant Christmas Bauble will be back again this year at Federation Square. It was a huge hit last year! You can walk inside this six-metre-high white wonder, which is a perfect spot for Christmas kisses and #melbmoment selfies. Thursday 30th November to Monday 25th December. More info on their pageFREE.
     
  • Santa’s Post Box - Drop off a letter to Santa or a gift for a child in need this Christmas. To receive a personalised reply, a self-addressed envelope and stamp must be included. Santa's Post Box and Spirit of Giving Box will be outside the Australia Post GPO on Elizabeth Street this year and a second letter box outside the District in Docklands. To give a gift to someone less fortunate this Christmas, put it in the Spirit of Giving box with a tag showing the recommended age for your gift. Open from Saturday 3rd of November to Friday 15th December. More info on their page.FREE.

  • Fed Square, the State Library of Victoria and Docklands will become windows onto Santa’s workshop during the festival. Every night, magical, colourful Christmas Projections will show St Nick visiting the hard-working elves in his various toy-making departments. At Docklands, projections will be on the ground and interactive. Kids will love chasing and engaging with the Christmas colours, characters and imagery along New Quay Promenade.  Friday 1st of December to Monday 25th of December. More info on their page. FREE.
     
  • Gingerbread Village by EPICURE - One of the city centre’s most popular Christmas attractions, the Gingerbread Village is a wonder for all ages. Spot iconic Melbourne locations including the MCG or MelbourneTown Hall, purchase festive buttery biscuits and remember to make a gold coin donation as all proceeds will go towards the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Opens Friday 1st of December to Sunday 24th of December at Melbourne Town Hall. Our 2016 review here. Gold Coin.
     
  • Santa's Tree House at The District Docklands - Meet Santa in a scandi inspired tree house, have a chat and a photo and take part in free Christmas craft activities after! Our review here.
     
  • Christmas delights at Docklands - The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel will have its nightly transformation into a kaleidoscope of colours for the Christmas-themed light display. From Monday 13th November to Sunday 24th December. More info here. FREE.
     
  • Enjoy a FREE Christmas ArtVo Pop Up at Crown during the Christmas season as well as the Crown Christmas Spectacular Show. Our review and info here. FREE.
     
  • Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland Discovery Centre - Experience the true magic of Christmas at the popular Melbourne attraction with festive activities scheduled throughout the month including special LEGO builds in Santa’s workshop, cupcake decorating and visits from Santa. More info here.
     
  • Santa at David Jones Bourke Street - Visit the Magic Cave and meet Santa. Open various times. More info here. 
     
  • Santaland at Myer - Meet Santa and Mrs Claus at Myer. Open various times. Read our review here. FREE.
 Myer Santaland - Photo credit: @activedisplaygroup

Myer Santaland - Photo credit: @activedisplaygroup

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

Australian Ballet - Storytime Ballet - Sleeping Beauty Info - Sydney & Melbourne

The Australian Ballet’s Storytime Ballet is back with a production of The Sleeping Beauty. The company’s first mainstage production created especially for children aged 3 years old and up, Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty will run in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland from December 2017 to January 2018.

 Photo credit: Australian Ballet

Photo credit: Australian Ballet

“After the success of the first season of Storytime Ballet in 2015, it’s wonderful to be able to keep bringing productions to our youngest ballet fans,” said Artistic Director David McAllister. “The Sleeping Beauty is one of the world’s most-loved story ballets and it has been fantastic to create this immersive experience for families. It’s the perfect introduction to ballet for children, as they follow this classic story of a sleeping princess and a prince searching for his true love.”

To celebrate the launch of Storytime Ballet - Sleeping Beauty, the Australian Ballet invited special guests and their children to get a teaser of what to expect from the production and a private ballet lesson - lucky ballet dancers! Kate and her little ballerina attended the event for Busy City Kids and loved the Fairy of Joy from the Australian Ballet.

 Photo credit: Australian Ballet -   Ally Deacon

Photo credit: Australian Ballet - Ally Deacon

With a performance duration of just under an hour, designed to suit kids under the age of eleven, this live and interactive production features a narrator to guide the audience through the ballet. Children are encouraged to come dressed in their favourite ballet-inspired outfits and can interact with the performers on stage.

 Photo credit: Australian Ballet -   Ally Deacon

Photo credit: Australian Ballet - Ally Deacon

Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty brings to the stage this classical ballet featuring Princess Aurora, Prince Désiré, a sparkling crowd of fairies, and storybook characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Storytime Ballet is sure to become an annual family favourite. Expect little ones to be dancing down the hallway with (almost) perfect pirouettes, long after the curtain comes down.

 Photo credit: Australian Ballet -   Ally Deacon

Photo credit: Australian Ballet - Ally Deacon

Melbourne performances will be at the Arts Centre Melbourne, 13th - 17th December 2017
Sydney performances will be at the Opera House, 20th - 29th December 2017

Sydney performances will be at the Concourse Chatswood, 3rd - 6th January 2018

For more information and to book tickets, head to the Australian Ballet's website.
 Photo credit: Australian Ballet -   Ally Deacon

Photo credit: Australian Ballet - Ally Deacon

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

Melbourne - September School Holidays 2017

Here we go again, the school holidays are almost upon us again - let's do this! 

schoolholidaysmelbourne.jpg
  • Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers at the Melbourne Museum - Visit Bug Lab and marvel at ultra-detailed large-scale models of bugs, discover cutting-edge science and explore the world as bugs do, through immersive sensory experiences. On until Sunday 15th October 2017. Read our review here.
  • Bug Lab School Holiday Activities at the Melbourne Museum - Kids can make their own ant antennae and participate alongside Polyglot Theatre’s Ants free performances during these upcoming holidays. More info here.
  • LightTime: Illuminate your eyes, ears and mind at Scienceworks - A collective of 11 Melbourne based artists who have created hypnotic and mesmerising work that invite visitors to engage their senses to explore the phenomena of light, sound and optics. Kids can be immersed in a space where lasers project holographic effects to an evolving original soundtrack; enter a room of LED screens that create a spectacle to confound and entrance; and lie beneath an ultraviolet garden of floral meditation. On until April 2018. Read our review here.
  • Happy Happy Joy Joy at the Immigration Museum - Celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival with craft, storytelling and energetic workouts that promise to bring double the happiness and luck to the whole family. Suitable age 4 to 12 years old. On from Tuesday 26th Sept to Thursday 5th of Oct 2017. More info here.
  • Royal Melbourne Show - The Royal Melbourne Show is back this year from Saturday 23rd Sept to Tuesday 3rd of Oct and you can save up to 25% if you book tickets online before the 31st of August. Kids can get up close and see, pat and feed hundreds of farm animals at the Royal Melbourne Show’s expansive animal precincts and attractions. They can meet and greet adorable baby animals in the Animal Nursery, try their hand at sheep shearing and milking cows in The Farmhouse or visit The Animal Farmyard and see their favourite farm animals roaming their paddocks as they would on the farm. There's also food, rides, gourmet food in the Winning Tastes Pavilion and Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion, shows, demonstrations, performances and so much more! Checkout Kate's review to find out what to expect from the Royal Melbourne Show. Kate took her twins last year and they love every moment! Our review of the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show is now up on the blog.
  • Horrible Harriet at the Arts Centre Melbourne - Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs’ humorous tale of a wicked, wild and wonderful girl will be brought to life in Horrible Harriet at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse from 27th to 30th of September 2017 as part of a national tour. Families are invited to join Harriet's search for identity and friendship, with songs, humour and mischievous fun. More info on the blog.
  • The Pool at the NGV Fed Square - Dip your feet in the pool at the NGV Fed Square's free exhibition. With a multi-sensory installation of water, light, scent and sound, The Pool is an interactive space with a 11 metre long pool. More info here.
  • Fiona Hall: Uneasy Seasons at the NGV Melbourne - Uneasy Seasons is a captivating and imaginative response to the environment and changing seasons through the lens of one of Australia’s most brilliant artistic minds. The exhibition features two large scale tree houses - one for young visitors and the other for teenagers. Visitors are invited to explore the two spaces and participate in art making activities and how they feel about the natural world. On until 8th of October. Read our review here.
     
  • The Magic or Aardman at ACMI - Experience the magic of Aardman at the ACMI's latest exhibition: Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman. There is so much to see from original sketches, watercolours and models all the way up to full sets, finished movies playing and claymation workshops. On until Sunday 29th October. Read our review here.
     
  • Have fun at Funtopia Maribyrnong - Experience Melbourne's newest indoor rock climbing center with two worlds - Playground World and Climbing World for hours of fun. Read our review here.
  • Melbourne Fringe - The Melbourne Fringe is a celebration of cultural democracy and art for everyone that embraces diversity and a spirit of independence. It is the most adventurous, inclusive, all-encompassing multi-artform festival in Australia with thousands of artists from every discipline performing 400+ events in over 160 venues to an audience in excess of 350,000 people. Find out more info here.
  • Melbourne Library Service - Celebrate the school holidays with the Melbourne Library Service this Spring from Mon 25th Sept to Sunday 8th Oct. Get your party clothes on, grab your friends and join Melbourne libraries for some party fun with great craft, food and dancing workshops or maybe chill out at one of our yoga sessions. Celebrate, it's party time! Bookings open Monday 11 September from 8am. More info here.
  • Junior Rangers - Web-Weaving Wonders at the Australian Native Gardens Join park rangers from Tues 26th Sep to Wed 4th Oct and go looking for arachnids in this fun-filled morning of games, exploring and craft. Take a closer look at the cute and curious eight-legged creatures of Royal Park. Free event. More info here.
  • Children's Garden Discovery at the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria - A hands-on holiday program for vacation care groups during which children will discover the wonderful world of plants and nature. There's also some school holidays activites at The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden and Cranbourne Gardens. More info here.
  • Footy Festival at the MCG - Head down to Yarra Park to take advantage of all the great activities on offer. The Toyota AFL Grand Final Live Site, Taste of Football featuring Melbourne's best food trucks, a Kids zone including NAB AFL Auskick Clinics and the biggest ever AFL inflatable obstacle course and a AFL Grand Final Eve Concert. More info here.
  • State Library of Victoria - Play Pod's NEW theme 'The Very Noisy Bear' - There is music in the air in the Jingle Jangle Jungle! Can Bear's friends help him find the perfect instrument to play? The new theme is super cute and there are lots of things to do. Check it out next time you pop into the city. Our review here.
  • State Library of Victoria's School Holiday Activities - 2nd to 6th of October - Head to the Library and Start your own family band and on a musical adventure in two workshops for kids and grown-ups. More info here.
  • SciencePlay Kids - School Holidays - SciencePlay Kids classes are designed to encourage your little scientists to explore science in the world around them. Each class runs for an hour, has 2-3 hands on experiments that foster creative thinking and problem solving in a fun and MESSY way. Dressing in mini lab coats and safety glasses, each child has their own scientific equipment and materials to undertake their experiment at their own pace. More info here. Read our review here.
  • To celebrate Fiona Hall: Uneasy Seasons at the NGV Melbourne - the NGV is holding ANIMALS! FOR REAL A free activity where there will be reptiles, marsupials, and bugs will be on show for children to draw and to find out about their incredible lives and habitats during this free program live in the Great Hall. Free from Monday 25th to Frida 29th September from 10am to 1pm. More info here.
  • Spring is here and Zoos Victoria zoos have cubs to meet, teddies to vet check and a photo exhibition to enjoy across Victoria’s three great zoos: Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo these school holidays! The National Geographic Photo Ark at Melbourne Zoo's Leopard Lodge. Closes on 1st of October. Entry part of the entry fee. Lion cubs at Werribee Open Range Zoo Teddy Vet Checks at Healesville Sanctuary. More info here.

State Library of Victoria's Play Pod party - The Very Noisy Bear

Join the State Library of Victoria on Wednesday 6th of September for a morning of songs, dancing, craft activities and games to launch their new Play Pod theme inspired by Nick Bland's The very noisy bear. 

OUR REVIEW OF THE NEW THEME IS NOW ON THE BLOG VIA THIS LINK

 Photo credit: State Library of Victoria

Photo credit: State Library of Victoria

The Play Pod is the State Library of Victoria's program for children aged five and under, packed with activities to read, create and play. With a new theme every season, Play Pod is always changing, fun and interactive, so children are free to explore and engage with the support of their parents and carers.  

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The event is FREE and will run from 10:00am–1:00pm in the Courtyard on the 6th September 2017. No bookings are required. Checkout the State Library of Victoria's official event post here.
To BUY the book, head to this link.

We love the Play Pod here at Busy City Kids, checkout our reviews of the different Play Pod themes on the blog.

This review is not sponsored in any way however a copy of this book was provided to us for review. As always, our opinions and comments are our own and we only endorse businesses and products we believe in. This post contains some affiliate links. You don’t pay any extra and I earn a small commission to help pay for website hosting costs. Read more in my Disclosure Policy here.

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

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

 Photo credit: What's On Stonnington

Photo credit: What's On Stonnington

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

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

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

For more ideas on what to do with the little ones, head to our blog or CBD Top 5 FREE activities or our popular Daily Spots List.

Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill - Melbourne - Review

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

sovereignhillwinterwonderlights18.jpg

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

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

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

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

For more ideas on what to do with the little ones, head to our blog or CBD Top 5 FREE activities or our popular Daily Spots List.

2017 Royal Melbourne Show Preview - Melbourne - Review

This week, Busy City Kids were invited to a preview of the 2017 Royal Melbourne Show. Kate and her little ones went along and enjoyed patting every animal in sight ha! They also got a flavour for what to expect from this year's show.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

They were treated to Farm animal Art & Craft activities with Ramona & Beck from Handmade Life.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Farmer Darryl's Mobile Animal Farm brought along goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, piglet, rabbits & Macca the Alpaca. Kids could brush the goats, sheep & Alpaca as well as feed animals & have cuddles with chickens & rabbits.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

  Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Kids also enjoyed pony rides and face painting from Animals 2U and also loved the cute life size animal figurines with woollen clothing! They were also happy to taste delicious party food (fairy bread, sausage rolls, muffins, fruit kebabs, popcorn, jelly cups & sandwiches) and play farmer dress ups with props (straw hats, hay bales, wheelbarrow).

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

The 2017 Royal Melbourne Show will be held this year from Saturday 23rd of September to Tuesday 2rd of October at Melbourne Showgrounds. As for previous years, the show will feature arts & crafts for children, farm animals to pet, other animals to observe, cats & dogs and cattle judging, some great shows as well as some impressive food halls.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Tickets to the Royal Melbourne Show are now on sale and you can save up to 25% by pre-purchasing tickets online until the 31st August. Children under 5 go FREE which is fantastic! But before you head out, have a read of Kate's review of the 2016 Royal Melbourne Show on the blog to get some ideas of what to expect.

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

To buy tickets and to start planning your Royal Melbourne Show experience, head to their website.
To follow Kate and her poppets' adventures around Melbourne, head to her Instagram page.

For more ideas on what to do with the little ones, head to our blog or CBD Top 5 FREE activities or our popular Daily Spots List.

The Big Freeze Festival 2017 at Fountain Gate - Melbourne - Review

The Big Freeze Festival is back this year with a number of activities to keep the little ones busy during these holidays. Kate took her little ones to the festival preview yesterday where they experienced snow for the first time and went down the snow slide at least twenty times! They had a great time. Thanks to the Big Freeze Festival for inviting us and thank you to Kate for the review and pics xo Catherine
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Winter is here (and it’s freezing) and unless you are lucky enough to pack up and head to Mount Buller or Falls Creek, chances are you can pretty much rule out any chance of a natural Winter Wonderland experience. Until now!

After the success of 2016, The Big Freeze Festival returns these July school holidays to give Melbourne families the opportunity to experience the joy of snow without having to buy new outfits, figure out how tyre chains work and try predicting a sunny winter’s day!

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Featuring a range of interactive zones - focusing on winter fun - where kids can either be active or creative, The Big Freeze Festival is an indoor winter playground under the Big Top protected from the elements so you can stay and play rain, hail or shine!

Your session at The Big Freeze Festival includes access to all festival zones and activities, there really is so much to see and do!

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Here is a list of our highlights:

  • Snow Forest - Positioned right in the middle of the Big Top, dance under the snowflakes (foamy bubbles) fluttering down around you while visiting the woodland animals family.
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

  • Winter Village - Step into a world of imagination play and visit the little village with cafe, hospital, market and jail. Be sure to grab a few pieces of fresh fruit courtesy of the team from Aussie farmers Direct.
  • Snow Slide - Enjoy unlimited rides down the brand new snow slides! With a smaller version for little ones and a higher platform for those who enjoy a little more speed, everyone will love racing down the lanes on inflatable tubes (or donuts as the poppets called them).
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

  • Snow Play - What wonderful memories we will have of Arlo and Macy experiencing snow for the first time. Their squeals of excitement as they played in the three large snow pits was delightful. With snow machines dumping fresh ‘snow’ continuously throughout the day, you are guaranteed to have a blast!
     
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

  • Snowball Toss - What child doesn't love throwing snow balls? Grab a snowball and have a go at knocking down your sister* or the adorable inflatable penguin bowling pins. *Not recommend! :)
     
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

  • Photo Opportunities - Little ones will love meeting Percy Penguin and Polar Bear who wander around the exhibition happily posing for photographs and giving lots of high fives.
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

  • Construction - Full of foam blocks perfect for building your very own igloo as well as tables full of Lego to keep older children entertained. The poppets took great delight in knocking down other people’s creations (oops!) and burying each other under the blocks.
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

Our tips:

  • Pre purchase your tickets online to avoid the queues.
  • The Big Freeze is cold, so make sure you rug up. I suggest dressing your little ones in layers because they will warm up on some activities and be colder in other zones.
  • Waterproof clothing and gum boots is a must if you plan on playing in the snow pits.
  • Be sure to pack a change of clothes + a spare pair of socks too!
  • There is free onsite parking at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre opposite. Allow a bit of extra time to find a park as the car park gets very busy.
  • Each session in the Winter Wonderland tent lasts 2.5 hours so arrive on time to make the most of your allocated session time. Families are also welcome to spend time before or after their session in the Community Precinct where there will be daily stage shows and additional activities, as well as food vendors.
  • All zones and activities are included in the entry ticket price so be sure to see and try as much as possible!
  • There are several food outlets onsite, including hot food, drinks, tea and coffee. You are also welcome to bring your own lunch and snacks from home.
  • This event is pram friendly, with ample space to park your pram if necessary. There is also a family room onsite with baby change facilities.
 Photo credit: @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman

To BOOK TICKETS to the Big Freeze Festival, head to this page. (This is an affiliate link, you don't pay any extra but I earn a small commission which funds our website fees.)

For more ideas on what to do with the little ones, head to our blog or CBD Top 5 FREE activities or our popular Daily Spots List.

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

To follow Kate and her little ones, head to her Instagram page.