Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival 2018 - Melbourne - Info

Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival as it returns for its ninth year this year with a program packed full of intimate performances, workshops and unique activities to ignite your child’s imagination.

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

Running from Tuesday 3rd to Friday 13 July across Stonnington with the Festival Hub activated at Chapel Off Chapel from Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th of July.

The Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival has a curated diverse program with some of Australia’s most renowned performers at the Festival Hub all within the accessible price point of $15 and with plenty of free events also on offer.

The Festival Hub will feature Anna Lumb in Super Amazing Giant Girl, an hilarious action packed and interactive parable exploring the challenges of fitting in when you’re a Super Amazing Giant! The award winning company Asking For Trouble with FoRT, a fun and playful physical theatre show that inspires creative play with everyday objects.

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

The timeless and much loved fairy tale Cinderella presented by Victorian State Ballet and, back by popular demand, the internationally acclaimed Trash Test Dummies with their electrifying new production Splash Test Dummies, full of laughs and plenty of surprises, this world-class troupe will display a brilliant array of catch-your-breath stunt work, acrobatics, juggling and the sidE splitting, slapstick comedy for which the dummies are famous.

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

Candy Bowers, the 2018 winner of the Geoffrey Milne Outstanding Contribution Award will be leading a Rap Workshop designed to inspire aspiring young rappers and beatboxers. Kids can try their hand at juggling, plate spinning, hula hooping and more with The National Institute of Circus Arts, or take the Roola Boola Magic Class with master magician Lee Cohen.

For the crafty ones in the family, book in the special craft activities on offer! Make and take home a Comic Book, design a Flower Crown, or get involved with the unique one on one experience of I See You Like This, where children use their parent's face as their canvas, to make a portrait with objects and materials before capturing their image on their parent's smart phone. Plus a surprise pop up performance from Cirque Du Soleil clown Cameron Taylor with Pisca.

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

Image credit: Roola Boola Children's Arts Festival

For more information or to buy tickets, head to the Roola Boola Children's Art Festival website.

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

Busy City Kids - Melbourne July 2017 & School Holidays Events Lineup

Find something to do with the kids in July and during the school holidays! Share your experiences with us by tagging us on Instagram or using #busycitykids to be featured! Have fun!

Well almost .. ! 

Well almost .. ! 

More July events, activities and programs coming soon .. !

  • School Holidays at Zoos Victoria - Healesville Sanctuary will be all about storytelling and warming up with soup. Melbourne Zoo will host The National Geographic Photo Ark photography exhibition, find out more here. Werribee Open Range Zoo will once again throw open its doors after dark for visitors to experience the thrill of Wild Nights, find out more info here. All starting from Saturday 1st of July. 
  • The Big Freeze Festival at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre - Last year's popular city snow festival will again provide city peeps an affordable snow experience and this year it has 9 interactive zones and will run from Saturday 1st of July to Sunday 9th of July. Journey through the snowfall forest and winter village before tossing a snowball, playing in the snow pit and riding down our snow slide. Continue the fun with the kids’ active challenge, polar bear slide, circus skill workshops, construction zone and art ’n’ craft activities. Opens Saturday 1st July. Find out more info or buy tickets here. Our review of this year's festival here.
  • LEGO City at Harbour Town Melbourne - A LEGO City Play Zone is coming to Harbour Town Melbourne these holidays! Children and parents are invited to make their way to Docklands everyday between 12pm – 4pm from Monday 3rd of July through until Sunday 16th July to experience fun and free LEGO City activities. Activities include a Free Build Zone, Take a pic in front of the LEGO Police Jail and the LEGO Fire Station, Play some of the amazing LEGO City iPad games and watch the virtual LEGO City come alive before your eyes and come and see a LEGO City model and spectacular LEGO statues guaranteed to impress. Starts Monday 3rd July. Read our review here.
  • Imaginary Architecture with ArtPlay at Kensington Town Hall - Join ArtPlay and artist Lara Tumak as they take over Kensington Town Hall. Kids can make their own special diorama to add to a mega mini city in this cool FREE event. On from Thursday 6th of July 2017 to Sunday 9th of July 2017. More info and our review here.
  • Bug Lab: Little Bugs, Super Powers at Melbourne Museum - Bug Lab will allow visitors to marvel at ultra-detailed large-scale models of bugs, discover cutting-edge science and explore the world as bugs do, through immersive sensory experiences. Opens Friday 23rd June. Read our review 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. Opens Saturday 1st July. Read our review here.
  • Gods, Myths and Mayhem at Immigration Museum - Celebrate the final weeks of the Ithacan community exhibition Our Odyssey and explore Greek mythology through dance, stories and craft. Hear stories of heroic gods, legendary creatures and mythical monsters, try traditional Greek dancing and create crafts inspired by ancient Greek beasts. Sessions will run for 90 minutes and include a dance workshop, storytelling session and make and take craft activity. Numbers are limited, bookings recommended. On Thursday 6th to Sunday 9 July. More info here.
  • Little Art Big Art - The very popular Little Art Big Art Holiday Program is jammed packed with workshops that is sure to ignite imagination, exploration and creativity whilst expanding skills and having fun! More info & bookings have now been released check out their website. More info here. Our review here.
  • Mess Matters - Mess Matters offers each and every child a unique art experience. At the Mess Matters studio children are free to express themselves in an unstructured yet supportive environment. Their school holiday program is out now. More info & bookings here. Our review here.
  • SciencePlay Kids - 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.
  • Craftercise - School holiday sessions registrations now open. Classes will be running on Wednesday 5th July, Friday 7th July, Tuesday 11th July and Thursday 13th July. Times are 9.30 am to 10.15 am, 10.45 am to 11.30am for both 18 months to 3 years, 12 noon to 12.45pm for 3 to 6 years and 1.15 am to 2pm for 6 to 18 months (Tues, Wed, Thurs). Book to avoid missing out. Read more info and book here. Read our review here.
  • River Rink at Fed Square - School holidays are coming around again so it’s time to get your skates on, grab your best mates, rug up and head to Fed Square’s outdoor skating sensation, River Rink. A winter experience like no other in Melbourne, skaters will enjoy the picturesque backdrop of the Yarra River and the city skyline whilst gliding on the ice. And all in time for school holiday fun. Opens Saturday 1st July. More info here.
  • Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill - Back on again this year to celebrate Christmas in July from Saturday 1st July to Sunday 30th July 2017, the Sovereign Hill township will evoke a sense of old-world wonder during the day and Main Street will sparkle with an amazing light projection show with over 20 of Sovereign Hill’s buildings lit up with large-scale image projections and Christmas animations at night. Opens Saturday 1st of July. Read our review here.
  • Roola Boola Festival at City of Stonnington - The Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival returns for its eighth year with a program packed full of intimate performances, workshops spanning music, dance, circus and magic and unique activities! Running from Tuesday 4th to Friday 14th of July 2017 with fantastic FREE and affordable ticketed events happening daily! Our review of Once Upon a Time and more festival info here.
  • National Trust of Victoria - Polly Woodside on Pirate Sunday - Sunday 2nd July. Bring along your scallywags and buccaneers and join the Polly Woodside for a day of adventures. $16 per adult and $9.50 per child. Read our review 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.
  • Van Gogh and the Seasons at the NGV Melbourne - We loved the exhibition and living the four seasons through Van Gogh's eyes. Little Miss loved the NGV's Van Gogh An Art Book for Kids. Now closes on Wednesday 12th of July. Win a family pass and a copy of Van Gogh and the Seasons an Art Book for kids here.
  • School Holidays event at Eastland - Get the kids decorating cupcakes, decorating cookies, learn create & play with realm workshops, do a chocolate workshop, build a bear and experience a future of infinite possibilities with Inflatable sculptures all at Eastland shopping centre. More info here.

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

  • Latitude Melbourne - Let the kids jump around at Latitude Melbourne this winter and wear themselves out for a good night's sleep. Latitude is the first integrated trampoline and climbing park in Australia. With over 100 interconnected trampolines, a massive air bag, basketball lanes, an obstacle course, climbing zone, dodgeball arena and dedicated Kids Zone, there’s something for everyone and every age.  Read our review here.
  • Legoland Discovery Centre Melbourne - Kids will turn into a Lego by the end of their trip to Legoland in Chadstone or you will ha! They will enjoy spending hours looking at Lego, playing with Lego, going on rides, using the play equipment etc. Read our review and tips here.
  • Little Creatures Play Space - Kids can play pretend for hours in this awesome indoor play centre. With an open-plan set up consisting of different play themes including a home corner, grocery store, fire station, builder’s workshop, costume room, soft play equipment, reading corner and train table, Little Creatures is the perfect play space for little ones. Read our review here.
  • Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery at the Melbourne Museum - Children 0 to 5 years, their siblings and older children have an amazing space to visit, discover, explore, read, relax, learn and imagine! So much to do and explore - we love it! Read our review here.
  • Play Pod at the State Library of Victoria - Play Pod is the Library's program for children aged under eight years, packed with activities to read, create and play. With a new theme every season. This season welcomes 'Penguin Problems'. Read our review here.

For more ideas, checkout our popular pages below:

Santa's Christmas Spectacular - Wonderland Spiegeltent - Review

Little Miss is a big fan of Christmas this year, pointing at decorations everywhere we go, preparing her Santa list and loving the Christmas chocolates! It's so cute to see little ones' eyes light up at the shiny Christmas lights. Kate and her little ones are starting to enjoy the joys of Christmas too and had a fun time at the Santa's Christmas Spectacular show at Docklands last weekend. Thank you Santa's Christmas Spectacular for having us and Kate for the great review and pics. Catherine xo

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year and if you have little ones then you have even more reason to be excited about the pending arrival of the big, jolly man in the red suit.  As children, part of the reason why Christmas is so magical is because everything is new and exciting. We get swept up in the mystery of Christmas – the sights, the sounds, the smells and the atmosphere.  

Recapture that sense of wonder this year by visiting Santa’s Christmas Spectacular at Wonderland Spiegeltent Docklands, a special fun-filled adventure for the whole family.


As we arrived underneath the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, the poppets were instantly drawn to the brightly coloured carnival rides and games located adjacent to the Wonderland Spiegeltent.  After a quick peek-a-boo game at the magic mirrors, the smell of freshly popped popcorn got the better of Arlo who headed in the direction of the Wonderland Sweet Treats shop.


With two boxes of hot buttery popcorn being held tightly between little toddler hands, we made our way back over to the Wonderland Spiegeltent where the crowd was being greeted by Head Elf, Shiny who welcomed us into Santa’s magical workshop.  With much anticipation, we found seats in the front row (little ones were given the opportunity to sit on the floor closer to the stage) and with our Santa hats on (a gift from Shiny) we sat down and watched as two cheeky elves (Alan and Steve) got up to mischief before the show officially began.


Starring an amazing cast (only six in total) of some of Australia's most talented acrobatic characters, the show was quickly underway with an engaging and hilarious story that centres around the beautiful – extremely flexible – Christmas Fairy being transported inside the magic snow globe by accident whilst the team of elves get ready for Santa to make his deliveries.  Will the mischievous elves finish making all the toys in time? Can the beautiful Christmas Fairy escape from the globe?


The show perfectly engages children and adults alike with a combination of high-energy acrobatic adventures, astounding stunts, tumbling and flying through the air in Santa’s workshop and an upbeat Christmas soundtrack that will have you singing along before you even realise! Miss Macy particularly loved Rudolph spinning around inside his gigantic metal ring whilst Arlo squealed with excitement when Ragdoll Dolly wowed the audience with her foot juggling skills using foot catches and kick-ups to juggle five shiny, red balls and balance an astonishing six cardboard boxes! Wow!


Of course no Christmas Spectacular would be complete without a visit from Santa himself and he joined Shiny and his team on stage for a beautiful rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (complete with falling snow) before greeting all the boys and girls after the show with a photo opportunity and small gift (Wizz Fizz, remember that?!).  


I have to say, experiencing Christmas through the eyes of the poppets is most certainly proving to be my favourite thing about being a parent during Christmas.  Santa’s Christmas Spectacular is a magical show not to be missed, your children will adore it and you will too.

For more information about Santa's Christmas Spectacular, head to their website.

For more Christmas activities and events, head to our special Christmas post or head to our blog for more ideas.

Santa’s Magical Kingdom Melbourne 2016 - Review

Last Friday, we were invited to the Santa's Magical Kingdom opening evening to celebrate all things Christmas, meet Mrs Claus, Santa and their friends at the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. Kate, her niece Ruby and Ruby's parents attended the event and had a magical time! Santa's Magical Kingdom is on now until Friday 23rd of December on various dates. Enjoy the Kingdom and celebrate Rudolph's birthday this year with Rudolph the Reindeer and his movie star friends the Trolls. For more info re Santa's Magical Kingdom head to their website. Thank you to Kate and Stephen for this great review and photos! Catherine xo

After four successful years, Santa’s Magical Kingdom has returned to Melbourne to bring the magic of Christmas to life with a Christmas wonderland of activities that will capture the imagination of both children and adults.

Bringing all the wonder and joy of a traditional festive season, Santa’s Magical Kingdom is certainly an event that cannot be missed. Visited by thousands of people from all around Australia, it’s easy to see why Santa’s Magical Kingdom has become a Christmas tradition for many families. 

Perfect for the whole family, I visited last Friday night with my (soon-to-be) nine year old niece Ruby who helped me compile a list of our highlights so that you can get the most out of your visit. 


* Snowland & Meeting the Snow Queen*

Positioned directly opposite the front entrance, take a stroll through the beautifully decorated Snowland to meet the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale.  Best of all, you can catch the snowflakes (foamy bubbles) fluttering down around you.  Have your photo taken with the Snow Queen, Frosty the Snowman or one of the handsome reindeer.


* Gingerbread Decorating *

Nothing says Christmas than the smell of gingerbread! Pop into Gingerbread Land (complete with a large gingerbread house and gingerbread making machinery!) to decorate your own gingerbread man.  Miss Ruby had lots of fun dressing up her gingerbread man with icing, mini marshmallows and M&Ms – she had lots of fun eating him too!  Look out for the Christmas trees decorated with gingerbread men and candy canes, way too cute!


* Christmas Craft Village

Make your own Christmas tree ornaments in the Christmas Craft Village (located right next door to Gingerbread Land).  Using the supplied foam kit, little ones will enjoy piecing all the different elements together to create three fantastic Christmas tree ornaments. These are a great Christmas activity and once complete the ornaments make an ideal Christmas gift for a family member or friend.


* Christmas Spectacular Circus Show

Roll up, roll up and prepare to be amazed at the 35 minute Silvers Circus Christmas Show – included in your ticket – which begins approximately one hour into your allotted session time.   This energy packed show complete with juggling acts, acrobatics and dare devil stunts as well as adorable puppy dogs (Ruby’s favourite part) will leave you on the edge of your seat, or shrieking with fear (I’m such a scaredy cat!).  Buckets of popcorn are sold within the arena and with a good balance of butter and salt, it was much enjoyed throughout the performance!    


* Rides

With a fantastic selection of rides that have been carefully chosen to ensure minimal queuing and consistent traffic flow, there is sure to be a ride that will entertain all ages.  Santa's Magical Sleigh Ride appeared to be a big hit with steady lines all night, as did the Super Slide. The 48 metre long slide (located outside, to the rear of the main tent) is the biggest slide in the southern hemisphere.  With eight lanes of gravity fun as you hurtle down the bumpy slide, this is bound to provide lots of thrills and spills. It was far too high for Miss Ruby (and Aunty Kate!) so we opted to a ride on the Ferris Wheel instead which provided us with beautiful views across Caulfield Racecourse.


* Giant Snow Globe

Based around the well loved concept of a miniature snow globe with flakes tumbling around a picturesque scene, step inside this giant snow globe which recreates that snowy scene we all remember… But this time, you are part of it!  Little ones will love having a snow fight and posing for photos alongside the polar bear, or perhaps even riding it like a horse+. (+Not recommended!) 


* Mrs Claus Land and Santa photos

Write a letter to Santa, meet Mrs Claus in Mrs Claus' Land and have your photo taken with Santa himself on the day too!


For more info on Santa's Magical Kingdom, head to their website

For more ideas on what to do with the kids this Christmas or these coming holidays head to our Melbourne Christmas list or to our blog.

Circus Oz - 3 Speed Crunch Box - Review

Kel from Melbourne Minor and her little circus fan headed to the Circus Oz headquarters this morning to checkout their latest show 3 Speed Crunch Box designed for little ones starting from the age of 3 with matinée sessions available - perfect! Thank you Kel for checking this event for us, for the fun review and pics! xo Catherine

Circus Oz has crammed their fantastic madness into the Melba Spiegeltent for 3 Speed Crunch Box. The venue is much smaller than traditional Circus Oz performances which makes for an up close and personal show that works perfectly with the style of this show.


Three talented Circus Oz performers delight the crowd with juggling, acrobatics, aerial tricks and a whole lot of humour! This show is cheeky as always, they had the school groups shrieking with laughter this morning.


There is floor seating for the kids and plenty of chairs around the sides for the big kids to watch the show. Everyone gets a perfect view of each throw and tumble. 


It's relaxed and interactive, with an genuine feel of getting a sneaky preview of a rehearsal without losing the wow factor of those crowd pleasing tricks.


I would certainly recommend the show to kids who see themselves as potential circus folk, as Rav most certainly does, or even to those who just love a fun show.


The Melba Spiegeltent is set up at Circus Oz Headquarters in Collingwood. Limited street parking nearby or a short walk from Victoria Park train station.


Circus Oz - 3 Speed Crunch Box is on from Wednesday 16th to Saturday 19th of November at 10:30am and 12:30pm daily. The show runs for 50 minutes and is perfect for kids 3 to 12 years old.

For more info regarding 3 Speed Crunch Box, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids, head to our Blog or Daily Spots List.

Santa's Christmas Spectacular - Wonderland Spiegeltent - Docklands

Christmas is coming so let's celebrate early! Santa’s Magical Workshop comes to life in Santa’s Christmas Spectacular at Wonderland Spiegeltent Docklands from Saturday 19th of November to Sunday 18th of December. It’s one BIG GIANT PARTY and a special fun-filled adventure for the whole family!

Starring an amazing cast of some of Australia’s most talented acrobatic characters, astounding feats and hilarious antics abound! Will the mischievous elves finish making all the toys in time? Can the beautiful Snow Fairy escape from her dome? Will Santa make his deliveries?


Of course, no Christmas show is complete without a visit from The Man himself as Santa greets all the boys and girls after the show. He’ll be checking his “naughty or nice” list so you better be prepared!


The show is suitable for all ages, runs for 60 minutes, show times are 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm and is located at the Wonderland Spiegeltent, 101 Waterfront Way, Docklands.

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

WIN - To WIN 1 of 3 family passes (4 people) to Santa's Christmas Spectacular for the Sunday 20th of Nov 2016 at 1:30PM session - comment below and make sure you are subscribed. Entries are now open and close Tuesday 15th of Nov at 5pm AEST. Winners will be announced that evening on Facebook - please check our timeline. Winning tickets will need to be claimed by Wednesday 16th of Nov or a redraw will take place. Good luck!

For more ideas on what to do in Melbourne with the kids, head to our blog.

Circus Oz - 3 Speed Crunch Box

A new show is in town and it's perfect for children from the age of 3! 

3 Speed Crunch Box is a humorous, frenetic, fantastically physical comedy that will surprise and delight audiences whilst proving anything is possible with a shared goal, a little hard work and a whole lot of imagination.


Circus Oz - 3 Speed Crunch Box will be performing at The Melba Spiegeltent, located next to Circus Oz's headquarters at 35 Johnston St in Collingwood from Wednesday 16th to Saturday 19th of November at 10:30am and 12:30pm daily. The show runs for 50 minutes and is perfect for kids 3 to 12 years old.

For more info or to book, head to their website.
WIN - To celebrate, we are giving away ONE family pass to Saturday 19th of November 10:30 AM performance. Head to our Instagram account to enter. It's a one day giveaway on Friday 11th of November so good luck!

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Melbourne, head to our blog.