Lost Picnic Melbourne - Melbourne - Review

Kate and her little ones headed to the first Lost Picnic Melbourne earlier this month while Lost Picnic Sydney returned to the Domain the following week. Lost Picnic is the ultimate outdoor live music event celebrating Spring, music, food and performance along with specially curated entertainment fun activities and lots of food options too to keep the whole family happy! Thank you Kate for the gorgeous pics. To follow Kate and her little ones’ adventures, head to their Insta page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The event lineup for Lost Picnic Melbourne consisted of Tash Sultana, Meg Mac, Marlon Williams, Odette, Big Words and Hot Potato Band. Many music lovers brought a picnic along and settled back until late in the night enjoying the bands and the activities throughout the day.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Families were treated to some very specially curated activities, performances and entertainment under and nearby the Dreaming Space where Kate and her little circus fans spent most of the day while listening to the music in the background.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Circus Playground was a fantastic drop in area where kids and adults were invited to discover the magic of circus play. Kate’s little ones learned how to use a hula hoop, how to spin plates, to learn poi and master the diablo.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids were also spoilt with special performances by Nylon Zoo who offered a variety of mostly magical, holographically hilarious, surprising and amazing interactive performances in and around an inflatable magic whale.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Krazy Koala performed his catchy songs and crazy puppet dance moves and Kazaam the Magician created wonder and mystery with humour and intrigue in his show.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Fizzics Science outdid themselves with a big science show which blew the kids' and adults’ minds.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There were also face painting, lawn games and roaming artists to keep the kids entertained.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kate and her family truly had the best time at Lost Picnic Melbourne, they loved listening to the bands on stage, joining in the kids entertainment and relaxing on the lawn with delicious food and drinks too. Bring on Lost Picnic 2019!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

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

For more information about Lost Picnic and to keep up-to-date, head to their website.

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

Giggle and Hoot's Hootastic Concert Tour - Melbourne and Sydney - Info

Giggle and Hoot's Hootastic Concert is coming to Melbourne and Sydney and the new show sets off on an exciting pirate adventure to find Mini Hoot and along the way encounters the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Magician” Jimmy Giggle-ini. 

Photo credit: Live Nation

Photo credit: Live Nation

As you help Hootabelle twinklify the stars, join in with all the gang’s best-loved songs including The Gigglemobile, Go Giggleosaurus, Birdbath Boogie, The Giggle Galaxy, Hoot’s Lullaby and many more. So get ready to hoot and holler and be sure to bring along your Giggle-icious Giggle Gallery pictures for the gang to look at!

Tour dates are as follows, tickets can be purchased via Live Nation (link below):

THE MEMO, HEALESVILLE                                    SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30
DAREBIN ARTS CENTRE, MELBOURNE              MONDAY OCTOBER 1
FRANKSTON ARTS CENTRE, MELBOURNE        TUESDAY OCTOBER 2
CARDINIA CULTURE CLUB, MEBOURNE            THURSDAY OCTOBER 4
GEELONG PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE            FRIDAY OCTOBER 5
CAPITAL THEATRE, BENDIGO                              SATURDAY OCTOBER 6
FRATERNITY CLUB, WOLLONGONG                   TUESDAY OCTOBER 9
SOUTHS JUNIORS CLUB, SYDNEY                      WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 10
NORTH SYDNEY LEAGUES CLUB                        THURSDAY OCTOBER 11
CLUB MENAI, SYDNEY                                           FRIDAY OCTOBER 12
REVESBY WORKERS CLUB, SYDNEY                 SUNDAY OCTOBER 14
CASTLE HILL RSL, SYDNEY                                  MONDAY OCTOBER 15
THE ART HOUSE, CENTRAL COAST, NSW         TUESDAY OCTOBER 16

Shows are 55 Minutes, no interval. All tickets $32.50 (infants 18 months and under free on adult knee). For more info and tickets, head to the Live Nation website.

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

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.

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:

2017 Music Play Children’s Festival - Melbourne Recital Centre

The Melbourne Recital Centre’s 2017 Music Play Children’s Festival is on again this Summer from Wednesday 11th to the Saturday 14th of January with a range of mini concerts, big concerts, workshops, free foyer fun and more.

Children 0 to 12 years old and their families can discover music, play an instrument and make some great noise at the festival.

musicplaychildrenfestival2017_01.jpg

ABC TV's Play School presenter and popular children’s music artist Justine Clarke will premiere her brand new show Look! Look! It’s a Gobbledygook. Clarke is joined by a band of musicians and a couple of cheeky monsters to explore the magic of books and the art of story-telling.

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Comedian Lawrence Leung narrates The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, an animated version of Gabrielle Wang’s picture book of the same name with an original score played on traditional Chinese instruments by the Australian Chinese Music Ensemble.

Camille Saint-Saëns’ timeless classic Carnival of the Animals is given a fresh new Australian perspective with everyone’s favourite environmentalist Bob Brown narrating this humorous musical favourite which features members of the animal kingdom.

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Cabaret star Ali McGregor has created a show for the whole family with her jazz band and guest comedians, cabaret and circus acts, CabHOORAY.

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Melbourne’s very own All Day Fritz will pack the dance floor with their jazzy, rock, swing harmonies playing original tunes and great songs.

Not so much as a concert but one large instrument that visitors can play, Bellbird by Polyglot is an enchanting forest of sound. Wander blind-folded amongst hundreds of streaming ribbons, ringing the attached brass bells – a musical dream for the senses.

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Children can take part in four workshops where they can experience music making at first hand regardless of their experience or ability. 

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Musician Ben Walsh takes the humble household bucket and wooden spoon to create an ensemble of musicians to discover sounds and rhythm.

Song writing specialist and music therapist Dr Emma O’Brien leads a creative journey from blank page to an original song proving You Can Write a Song.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac Dr Wang Zheng-Ting will lead an interactive workshop on Chinese music, instruments and culture.

Music therapists Jo Rimmer and Tanya McKenna invite pre-school children with a disability and their siblings to move, listen, play and explore music with Sensory Sounds.

musicplaychildrenfestival2017_08.jpg

In addition to the ticketed big & mini concerts and workshops, the Melbourne Recital Centre has a variety of FREE activities throughout the foyers.

Local artists Speak Percussion are setting up a Gong Wall and invite budding musicians to have a ‘bash’. The stringless Magic Harp creates a beautiful sound that is truly magic despite missing one vital component. The Photo Booth is also a great opportunity to capture the visit when the Melbourne Recital Centre’s popular face painter returns.

For more information and ticket bookings, head to the Melbourne Recital Centre's Music Play Children's Festival's website. Tickets range from $10 to $30.

Christmas with Baby Love Music Fun - Saturday 10th Dec 2016

The Baby Love Music Fun school is holding a special festive concert on Saturday 10th of December to introduce your little one(s) to the joy and magic of beautiful Christmas music. 

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Melanie (professional opera singer of 15 years and teacher) and her team will share some interactive memorable Christmas fun with your little one(s). The Christmas concert will be suitable for children aged 3 months to 6 years and will feature live singing, video projection, dancing, props and facilitated movement to enhance your experience of the music together.

The delightful concert will incorporate well known Christmas songs such as Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, Little Drummer Boy, Jingle Bells, Nutcracker, Deck the Halls and more. There will be 4 concerts held on Saturday 10th of December at the Clifton Creative Arts Centre in Richmond. A 10am, 11:30 am, 3pm and 4:30 pm. Concerts last 50 minutes. Tickets start at $10 for adults and $20 for kids. All children must be accompanied by at least one parent.

Little Miss loves Baby Love Music Fun concerts, we have been to many and always have a great time, see a review we did for a concert last year.

To buy tickets or for more info, head to their dedicated page.

To celebrate, we are giving away ONE family pass to the 3pm concert on Saturday 10th of December. Entries are now open and will close this Friday 2nd of December 5pm. Winners will be announced on the day, please check Facebook for announcement. If the prize is not claimed by Monday 5th of December, the tickets will be redrawn. Subscribe and write us a quick comment below. Good luck!

For more Christmas events and ideas, head to our blog.

MSO Classic Kids 3 - Lah-Lah and Buzz Meet the MSO

How exciting! Lah-Lah and Buzz are coming to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) this November! 

Come on a great big musical adventure with the MSO as they join forces with Lah-Lah and Buzz the Bandleader, those quirky stars of ABC Kids TV show Lah-Lah. 

Meet the stripy-socked singing sensation Lah-Lah, Buzz the Bandleader and Lola the Dancing Double Bass in this fun-filled musical event that is sure to get the whole family up singing and dancing.

It will be entertaining, educational and perfect for kids aged 3 to 7 years old. 

There will be three performances: one on Thursday 24th of November and the other two on Friday 25th of November 2016. Each session last 45 minutes. More info and booking details via their website.
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For more ideas of what to do with the kids in Melbourne, checkout our Daily Spots ListCBD Spots or Blog.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra - Jams for Juniors 7 Review

Last weekend, one of our Melbourne contributors Kate took her little ones to a Jams for Juniors session. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO)'s Jams for Juniors sessions are a great experience to expose children to music from an early age. During the sessions, children are taught about rhythm and melody and are invited to play along with the orchestra and enjoy a special treat at the end. Thank you Kate for this great review and pics!
Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Today we know more about how children learn and grow than ever before. Music is great for young brains and exposure from early on has proven benefits – plus it’s fun and enjoyable!

At the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) they believe that experiences with great music inspire the imagination and ignite a thirst for knowledge.  With their wide range of programs, they strive to create experiences that combine the highest principles of music education with a joyful and fun approach to audience engagement.    

Making music is an experience to be shared. Jams for Juniors offers a musical adventure for children up to five years and their parents.  Arlo and Macy absolutely love music, so this was definitely a workshop that we were very eager to attend!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Due to extensive renovations at the ABC Southbank our session of Jams for Juniors 7 took place at Swanston Hall, Melbourne Town Hall instead of the Iwaki Auditorium. We entered Swanston Hall via the mezzanine level and descended down the marble stairs into the main room with Macy excitedly playing with the black music note jumbo balloons that were close by.  Beneath an intricately beautiful lighting dome, Swanston Hall’s rich green tones, timber panelling and Art Deco grace definitely provided a stunning alternate venue location.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

We navigated our way over to a little area just to the left of the stage and secured four colourful cushions (which might I add were super comfortable and I later learned were provided by a collaboration between three local Melbourne businesses).  We had not been seated long, before the poppets spotted the collection of musical instruments that were scattered on the floor. Wow, what a collection of instruments there was! Jingles and handbells, wooden castanets, claves and tapping sticks, finger cymbals, egg shakers and maracas, tambourines, metal triangles, hand held wood tone blocks and cabasas all patiently waiting for little musicians to pick them up. As the children began to explore their instruments, the sound in the room was already magical and the workshop hadn’t even begun.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

It wasn’t long before the musicians of the MSO entered the stage, led out by our facilitator for the morning, Karen Kyriakou.  Karen introduced the musicians and tested the audience on their accompanying instruments including the keyboard, violin, French horn, xylophone/glockenspiel, snare drum and cello.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Today’s workshop featured music from Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 (The Emperor) and after a quick warm up (copying the actions to “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” early on a Saturday morning is hard enough, let alone when you have to do it backwards!). Karen was teaching the children about rhythm and melody and inviting them to play along with the orchestra.  Arlo preferred to sit on my lap during the performance; watching the musicians intently and alternating between a castanet and large half moon tambourine. Meanwhile Macy was determined to join the musicians on stage and was seen energetically shaking two maracas throughout the entire performance.  Our little ones were definitely too young to understand Karen's instructions, but thoroughly enjoyed playing with a variety of instruments and watching the musicians and other children playing.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

At the end of the 30 minute session, we were invited up to the stage to meet the members of the MSO and see their instruments up close. Master Arlo was super excited to tap away on the keyboard (and cheekily press a few buttons!) and bang the sticks on the snare drum. Macy preferred to explore the other musical instruments on the floor and help to reposition the cushions ready for the next session! 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Jams for Juniors provides not only a valuable opportunity for little ones to listen and respond to popular repertoires but it also inspires them to have a lifelong passion for music. With programs designed for children of all ages, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra can be a valuable inclusion to your family and enhance your child’s musical journey.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • We highly recommend allowing time for your child to meet the musicians at the end of the session. They love chatting to the little ones and seeing their faces light up when they have a turn playing an instrument.
  • Limited chairs are provided at the back and sides of the hall, so arrive early if you would prefer to sit on a chair instead of the floor.
  • The dedicated entrance to Swanston Hall from Swanston walk is pram friendly.
  • Pram parking is available on the mezzanine level of Swanston Hall. 
  • The Melbourne Town Hall is family friendly with baby-change and feeding areas located adjacent to Swanston Hall.
For more information about Jams for Juniors sessions, head to the MSO website.

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

 

Spot On Children's Festival - Riverside Theatres Parramatta

The fifth annual Spot On Children’s Festival presented by Riverside Theatres has unveiled its epic September school holiday program where children will delve into magical worlds through live theatre, sensational storytelling, marvellous music and far-out films.

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From the 27th September to 2nd October, Spot On will welcome thousands of children and their families to experience a sensational program of award-winning shows, relaxed performances, free activities, Sydney premieres and even a Helpmann-nominated production!

Award-winning comedy duo The Listies will have a brand new show all about the movies, 6D. Audiences can expect haunted backpacks, ninja nans, vomiting puppets and fully automatic toilet-paper guns. With the assistance of a GoPro camera, The Listies will create a movie at every performance which is sure to see the silver screen turn brown! 

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Little Wings Puppets will bring their incredible creations to the Spot On stage in the interactive show The Owl's Apprentice. Set in the Australian bush, The Owl’s Apprentice combines shadow and hand puppetry with physical comedy to tell the story of a young owl who is learning to become wise.

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Former Yellow Wiggle and ARIA Award winner, Sam Moran, will add a dash of star power to the Spot On program with his show, Play Along with Sam. A colourful journey through the world of music, movement, word play and imaginative games, the show will include singing, dancing and hilarity for the whole family. 

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Returning to the Festival due to popular demand is Curious Jac, a delightful musical story led by bilingual storyteller Lilli Pang. With insatiable curiosity, Jac will embark on a globe-trotting adventure to discover the answers to all her questions. 

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Spot On patrons will be invited to step into the story in the exciting new adventure game, In A Deep Dark Forest by The Inhabitors. Set within a magical pop-up forest and played in the dark, participants are guided by the storyteller as they undertake a series of fun challenges to complete the quest and bring to life a classic storytelling adventure. 

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Photo credit: Spot On Children's Festival

Other shows include Slingsby Theatre Company's beautiful production of Oscar Wilde’s The Young King. Nominated for a Helpmann Award this year, the incredible show will take audiences on a journey to far away lands where a naïve boy, raised by goatherds, discovers he is heir to a kingdom. 

There will also be movies on show at the bargain price of just $10, Maya the Bee Movie and Blinky Bill the Movie, a stunning remastered version of The Iron Giant: Signature Edition, and the new film Kubo and the Two Strings featuring Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey.

Rounding out the bumper Spot On program will be a variety of FUN FREE activities including balloon twisters, face-painting, craft activities, a play gym, book tent and more. 

The 2016 Spot On Children’s Festival program is available via the Riverside Theatre's website

What: Spot On Children’s Festival
Dates: 27 September to 2 October 2016
Venue: Riverside Theatres – Corner of Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Recommendation: Children aged 1-12 years 

Tickets: Free to $20. From the Box Office (02) 8839 3399 or www.riversideparramatta.com.au

Full Program: 

  • The Listies 6D – 10.30am on 27 and 28 Sept; 1pm on 28 Sept
  • The Owl’s Apprentice – 10am and 12.30pm on 27 and 28 Sept. Relaxed performance* at 12.30pm on 27 Sept 
  • Curious Jac – 10am and 12.30pm on 29 and 30 Sept. Relaxed performance* 12.30pm on 29 Sept
  • Play Along with Sam – 11am and 2pm on 29 Sept
  • The Young King – 10.30 am and 1pm on 29 Sept to 1 Oct 
  • Maya the Bee Movie – 2.15pm on 29 Sept
  • In a Deep Dark Forest – 12pm and 3pm on 30 Sept, 9:30am, 12pm and 3pm on 1 and 2 Oct
  • Blinky Bill the Movie – 2.15pm on 30 Sept
  • The Iron Giant: Signature Edition – 2.15pm on 1 Oct 
  • Kubo and the Two Strings – 2.15pm on 2 Oct

*Relaxed performance - To cater for young audiences with anxiety or additional needs. During relaxed performances, the theatre lights will be kept on, children can meet the performers before the show and there are no rules on entering or leaving the theatre throughout the performance.  

Seymour Centre Spring School Holiday Program

Kids of all ages will have fun at Sydney's Seymour Centre these Spring holidays with some great shows, activities and free fun from the Thursday 27th of September till Tuesday 1st of October 2016.

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Erth's Dinosaur Zoo

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Erth's Dinosaur Zoo

For the first time in Australia, one of the world’ most-loved dogs will take to the stage in the musical Spot. With over 60 million books sold in six languages, Eric Hall’s Spot has been an essential part of childhood for over 30 years and is now adapted for the stage by the Netherlands’ Theatre Terra. Little ones can join the beloved puppy and his friends for an exciting and fun-filled adventure with help from new friends in the audience. There will also be a free Spot Puppetry Workshop after the show for ticket holders.

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Spot

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Spot

Children aged 5+ will love the wildly acclaimed Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo with prehistoric creatures from cute baby dinos to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that have ever walked the planet! In this fun and educational show, children will learn how to feed and interact with Erth’s amazing array of unmistakably ‘alive’ creatures.  

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Erth's Dinosaur Zoo

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Erth's Dinosaur Zoo

Families will also be treated to a buzzing program of free activities including The Owls Apprentice by Little Wings Puppets, a beautiful show combining shadow puppetry, hand puppetry and storytelling; and Polyglot Theatre’s Forest Feast where children will create a feast of food from craft items, as well as Ants, an interactive roving performance where human-sized ants and children work together in a gentle and unusual landscaping project.

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Forest Feast by Polygot Theatre.

Photo Credit: Seymour Centre. Forest Feast by Polygot Theatre.

SCHOOL HOLIDAY PROGRAM

Spot – Suitable for ages 2+.

10am on 28, 29, 30 Sept and 1 Oct; 12pm on 28, 29, 30 Sept and 1 Oct; 2pm on 27 Sept and 2 Oct; 3pm on 1 Oct. 

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo – Suitable for ages 5+.

10.30am and 12.30pm on 27, 28, 29, 30 Sept and 1 Oct

Where: The Seymour Centre – Corner of City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale 

Tickets: Via Box Office (02) 9351 7940 or via www.seymourcentre.com
Full program available via the Seymour Centre's website

Jay Laga’aia: Family Time - Monkey Baa Theatre

One of Australia’s most renowned performers for children, Jay Laga’aia brings his brand new family show to the stage at Sydney's Monkey Baa Theatre these September school holidays.

Photo credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

Photo credit: Monkey Baa Theatre

The star of Play School and Jay’s Jungle ignites imaginations, both young and old, in this musical celebration of the power of play.

Marvel at the wonder of life through a child’s eyes as you journey into jungles, backyards and even outer space.

Experience the magic of theatre for kids in a show that reminds us to take time, to make time with our little ones.

Dates: 27 September – 1 October, 10.30am & 12.30pm (weekdays); 12.30pm & 2.30pm (weekend)
Location: Monkey Baa Theatre - Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre
Tickets: $29 adult/child; $104 family of four; $125 family of five (no booking fees!)
Relaxed Performance for young children or children with special needs: Thu 29th Sep at 12.30pm $17
Recommended age: 3+

Checkout Monkey Baa Theatre's dedicated site here.

Melbourne Spring School Holidays Guide 2016

Well term 3 went fast! We have put together a great list of events, activities and programs for these Spring school holidays (Sat 17th Sep - Sun 2nd Oct) to keep you and the kids busy!

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ACMI - SChool Holiday Program (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). Kids movies and a number of movie, animation, minecraft, codign and lego workshops for kids. More info here.

ArtPlay - 'Play' (7th Sep - 30th Oct). Kids can listen to calming music while giving bulbous sculptures a gentle nudge. Our review of Play last year and more info here.

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Arts Centre Melbourne - Snugglepot & Cuddlepie (17th to 25th Sep). Celebrate the 100th anniversary of May Gibb’s first book Gumnut Babies with the beautiful theatre production of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie at the Arts Centre Melbourne. Checkout Kate's review of the preview event here.

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ArtVo - Interactive Art. Children and their parents can experience art in a whole new way and practice their photography and selfie skills in over 10 gallery zones! Kel's review here.

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Chinese Museum - Moon Festival Stories and Crafts Workshop (19th Sep). Kids can participate in traditions and learn paper craft skills and hear great Chinese legends of the moon. More info here.

Collingwood Children's Farm - Family Day (2nd Oct). The next Family Day will be on the last day of the school holidays. Little ones will love a day on the farm, cuddling guinea pics, brushing the cow, helping milk the cow, go on tractor rides and walk around the farm. Bring the gumboots! Read Kate's review of Family Day here.

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Dandenong Festival of Lights - (ends 9th Oct). See 500 beautiful and unique silk lanterns. The kids will love checking out all the different lanterns and the entertainment. Cute penguins, pandas galore, zodiac signs, dinosaurs, tigers, Australian animals and more! Read Kate's review & tips here.

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Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre - Circus Oz TWENTYSIXTEEN (28 - 29th Sep). Darebin Arts is bringing the circus to Preston with Circus Oz's latest show. More info here.

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Foxtel Footy Festival (30th sep - 3rd Oct). The Foxtel Footy Festival celebrates the best Melbourne has to offer in food, music, movies, and of course, footy. Free for fans and a kids zone. More info here.

Ian Potter Children's Garden - Visit the garden and attend special Snugglepot & Cuddlepie event (20th - 22nd Sep).  Lots of space to run around, play in the little waterway, sandpit, veggie garden and explore! Listen to a special May Gibbs' story and create your own magical gumnut to take home. Read our review of the Garden and info regarding the special event here.

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IMAX - Take the kids for some 3D Movie fun these holidays. The Secret Life of Pets 3D, A Beautiful Planet 3D and Prehistoric Planet 3D. On at various dates and times. More info here.
Immigration Museum - A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). If you could pick one picture to represent your family immigration story, what would it be? Craft an image that represents your immigration story and include it in our family album that will be on display for our visitors. Flick through other family pictures to discover the similarities and differences between your stories. All Ages. Free with entry. More info here.
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Melbourne Fringe (15th Sep - 2nd Oct). Lots of kids shows and activities including Bellbird by Polygot Theatre. Various dates and times. More info here.
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Melbourne Fringe - Big Tops and Tiny Tots Circus Show (17th - 25th Sep). A circus adventure for 3-6 year olds. Roll up! Roll up! Run away to the circus with this fun and physical show by Solid State Circus performer Luth Wolff. With hula hoops, unicycle, magic and plate spinning, Luth takes kids on a madcap circus adventure, with plenty of help from the audience! More info here.
Melbourne Fringe - The Boy who was born with a Moustache (17th - 25th Sep). What happens when you don’t quite fit? When you simply don’t look like everybody else? This kooky tale for kids speaks of facing up to adversity and turning your supposed foibles into your finest attribute! Monica Trapaga (from Playschool) and her family bring quirky circus, comedy and storytelling together to tell the tale of the Boy Who Was Born with a moustache. More info here.
Melbourne Library Service - School Holiday Program (19th - 29th Sep). Kids can enjoy a great range of activities at various libraries. Crafternoon, magic act, puzzles puppets workshops, Westide circus workshops, silly stompers, Bubble Stompers and Australian Animal Show and more. All FREE! More info here.
Melbourne Museum - Devonian Seas - Virtual Reality Experience (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). Dive into the Devonian seas and view prehistoric life in an ancient, underwater world created by the Melbourne based Zero One animation studio. More info here.
Melbourne Museum - Carboniferous Critters (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). In the Carboniferous period (359 – 299 million years ago), Arthropods (invertebrates with exoskeletons) dominated the land and the air and the high oxygen levels helped them to evolve to gigantic proportions. Join the Melbourne Museum in the Museum foyer and make your own Meganeura, a massive dragonfly, one of the most iconic giants of the Carboniferous era. More info here.
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Melbourne Museum - Jurassic World: The Exhibition (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). Based on one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, the exhibition immerses audiences of all ages in scenes inspired by the beloved film. Now, the park that was only a promise comes to life… right before your eyes. Must close October 2nd. Read Kel's review and tips here.
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Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary (17th Sep - 2nd Oct) - Teddy Vet Checks at Zoos Victoria. Teddies are precious and they deserve lots of love, care and special attention, just like the wildlife. During the Spring school holidays, kids are invited to meet the Zoos' special Teddy Check Teams and find out about the care Zoo animals receive too! The complimentary Teddy Vet Checks will be offered every day of the spring school holidays from 11am to 3pm at Healesville Sanctuary's Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Keeper Kids at Melbourne Zoo, and Ranger Kids at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Plush wombats, giraffe, and gorillas will be welcome too! Free entry for kids and for teddies for kids under 16 these holidays. More info here.

Read our review of Teddy Vet Checks' preview event here.

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Polly Woodside - Pirate Day (2nd Oct). Bring along your scallywags and get onboard of the Polly Woodside tall ship for a day of adventures. Treasure hunt, pirate games, arts and crafts and more! Join the Polly crew for a tour of the ship and discover what life was like on a tall ship sailing the seven seas. More info here.
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Royal Melbourne Show - Melbourne Showgrounds (17th - 27th Sep). Kids will love the show with lots of farm animals, activities and shows on during the day, meets & greets, rides and parents and carers can enjoy great food too! As well as sheep, poultry and beef judging and on display and lots lots more! We had a small taste of this year's show at a preview event, checkout Kel's review here. Checkout our review & tips on how to make the most of the show from last year here. Free for under 5's.

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Scienceworks - Test Lab (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). Make your own mini pinball machine, build a wind-powered Whirligig machine or join the Thing-amajig challenge! Test Lab is a new, pop-up, maker’s space for older children aged 10-15 years at Scienceworks, it’s a space to tinker with things and build cool stuff! More info here.
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Scienceworks - Re-Inventing the Wheel (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). Help Scienceworks celebrate the launch of our brand new exhibition Freewheeling with a spring holiday program exploring the science of movement! What wheels do you work with? How do you make them turn? In this live 20-minute science show we’ll widen your world-view of that ancient and wondrous invention – the wheel! All Ages. More info here.
Scienceworks - Get into Gear (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). Why are wheels always circles? Can we have different-shaped wheels? How do gears help us change speed? Test out and build models to examine the inner workings of this most essential technology. All Ages. More info here.
Scienceworks - Virtual Goalie (17th Sep - 2nd Oct). The Virtual Goalie interactive returns very soon to the Sportsworks exhibition at Scienceworks! We look forward to showing you the new active 3D technology featured in the exhibit. Thanks to the participation of Football Federation Victoria’s best young soccer players, the new Virtual Goalie will be a must-see experience for our visitors. All ages. More info here.

State Library of Victoria Play Pod - Mr Chicken arriva a Roma (17th Sep - 30th Nov). Checkout the Play Pod's new theme and have fun with Mr Chicken Italian style! Hop on your Vespa and ride around Rome with Mr Chicken! Inspired by Australian Children's Laureate Leigh Hobbs' newest book Mr Chicken arriva a Roma, explore the wonders of ancient Rome, create giant bowls of spaghetti and take your tourist snaps! Checkout Kate's review of the last Play Pod theme and activities here.

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Tesselaar Tulip Festival - Childrens Week (8th Sep - 4th Oct). Set on 25 acres in the magical Dandenong ranges, families can wander the gardens and enjoy an action packed program full of live entertainment and activities to keep the kids busy and parents happy! Kids entry is FREE. Children’s Week program highlights include Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Hoot and Hootabelle’s Owl Playdate and The Mik Maks (shows at various dates & times). Yummy food for the kids (and parents!), along with a petting zoo, didgeridoo workshops, Fairy Monica storytelling, face painting, train rides, craft workshops and much more. More info here.
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Fancy a city visit? Checkout our TOP 5 Activities in the city with the kids here.

And checkout our popular pages - Daily Spots - Playgrounds and Parents Rooms.

The 3 Little Pigs musical preview at the Arts Centre

Little Miss and I were invited to a special event last Friday to celebrate Stiles & Drewe's The 3 Little Pigs' UK musical coming to Melbourne at the Arts Centre next month. 

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Little ones and Little Miss were spoilt with arts & crafts on arrival. She made her own pig ears, coloured them with glitter glues and pencils and also made her own 3 Little Pigs stick puppets with the Big Bad Wolf included of course!

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After some curly crafts, little ones were treated to a special storytime of the three little pigs' classic fairytale and a song preview of the Stiles and Drewe's 3 Little Pigs' musical by the Big Bad Wolf himself. Little Miss was very attentive to the Big Bad Wolf's great voice and tapped her feet during the musical preview. Such a treat!

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After the preview, little ones were spoilt with cute and delicious piggy cupcakes, gingerbread houses and a Little Piglet lunchbox. 

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The Stiles and Drewe's 3 Little Pigs' musical is a 'curly musical tale' by the award winning songwriters of Mary Poppins. This fun and colourful musical will feature three very modern little pigs, their mother and the Big Bad Wolf. It is suitable for children 3 years + and their families. 

The story features Mother Pig as a single parent who has decided it's time for her three youngsters (Bar who loves to exercise, Bee who is 'green to the core' and Q the insatiable bookworm) to leave the sty. Together they learn to work together to defeat the Big Bad (possibly misunderstood) Wolf.

The musical will feature the stars of London's West End as well as catchy songs, colourful costumes and jokes for little ones and their parents to enjoy. 

The Stiles and Drewe's The 3 Little Pigs' musical is on at the Arts Centre Melbourne from Saturday 2nd January to Sunday 17th of January 2016. Tickets from $26. Ages 3+. More info on the Arts Centre's website.

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Melbourne Christmas events 2015

Every year, great Christmas events take place in our beautiful city, this year is no different! Checkout our list of Melbourne Christmas events which we have sorted by date and will keep updating during the festive season - enjoy!

Melbourne Christmas Events 2015
  • Myer Christmas Windows - Now until Wednesday 6th Jan - Bourke Street Mall

This year's Myer Christmas Windows celebrate 60 years of Christmas windows and Melbourne with the cute story of  a little dog. Checkout our review here.

  • Myer Giftorium - Now on - Level 6 Myer Melbourne

The Myer Giftorium is the only retailer in Australia to offer a unique set of services to assist customers when shopping for gifts, decorations and festive food ideas this coming Christmas season. There will be 2.5 million products to chose from and a range of services for customers to personalise their gifts this year. Checkout our review here.

  • Santa at Myer Santaland -  Now until Thursday 24th Dec - Level 6 Myer Giftorium Melbourne

Children can meet Santa at Santaland for a photo to cherish and a chance to tell him all the goodies on their wish list. More info here.

  • Santa at David Jones - Now till Thursday 24th Dec - Level 5 Toy Department Bourke Street Mall

Children can meet Santa in his enchanted Magic Cave and have their photo taken with Santa. More info here.

  • Santa & Sensitive Santa at Highpoint - Now to Thursday 24th Dec - David Jones Forecourt L2

Children can share their Christmas wishes, have their photo taken and enjoy a free gift from Santa. There will also be a special experience with children with autism. More info here.

  • Santa's Magical Kingdom - Now to Thursday 24th Dec - Caulfield Racecourse

Santa's Magical Kingdom is set to bring all the wonder and joy of a traditional Christmas with an interactive walk-through and a wonderland full of activities. This magical experience includes everything that you love about Christmas so get the ready to be amazed! More info here.

  • Santa’s Post Boxes - Now to Friday 18th Dec - Christmas Square

Write a letter to Santa addressed to North Pole, 9999 and post it in Santa’s Mail Box to get a reply from Santa himself!  Plus drop a gift off at the Australia Post Giving Box where your donation will be delivered to a child in need. More info here.

  • Crown's Atrium Spectacular - Now to Friday 1st of Jan - Atrium at Crown Towers

See the Atrium at Crown Towers come alive with a spectacular animatronic, lighting and musical display every 30 minutes. A 15 metre 24-hour fully lit Christmas tree with giant spinning baubles pop open to reveal all of Santa's friends. Daily 10am to midnight. FREE photographs with Santa, 12 - 6pm daily.

  • Christmas Square - Now to Friday 25th Dec - City Square

The centre of Melbourne’s Christmas Festival, City Square will be transformed into Christmas Square, a magical forest offering festive fun for families and children. By day, discover nutcracker soldiers, interactive candy canes, free photos with Santa and visit Intel’s interactive RealSense area and explore an exciting glimpse of the future. By night, enjoy the Christmas sound and light show wonderlands.

Christmas square will officially launch Melbourne’s Christmas Festival at its free public tree lighting ceremony on Friday 27th November. More info here.

  • Melbourne Town Hall Projections - Now to Friday 25th Dec - Melbourne Town Hall

Watch as Christmas projections, inspired by the twelve days of Christmas and Melbourne icons illuminate MelbourneTown Hall and turn it into a magical scene that changes before your eyes. More info here.

  • Santa in the City - Now to Friday 25th Dec - Christmas Square

Children are invited to meet Santa, tell him their Christmas wishes and take a FREE photo with Santa and his helpers. More info here.

  • LEGO Christmas Tree - Now to Sunday 27th Dec - Federation Square

This Christmas, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest LEGO® Christmas Tree is coming to the heart and soul of Melbourne – Federation Square. Standing taller than a two-storey house, wider than a family car and built from half a million LEGO bricks, this spectacular tree will switch on its lights on Friday, 27 November to mark the official start of the festive season. More info here.

  • LEGO Christmas Creations - Now to Sunday 27th Dec - Federation Square

Head to the Atrium Fracture Gallery to see a display of amazing LEGO models that have been built by the Melbourne community and dedicated adult fans of LEGO. More info here.

  • Giant Theremin - Now to Friday 25th Dec - Near Signal at the end of Sandridge Bridge

The giant Christmas Theremin is a super-sized musical instrument standing more than seven metres tall, controlled by movement rather than touch and can be played by up to 8 people at once. Through December enjoy creating your own Christmas styled compositions and spread the Christmas cheer. More info here.

  • Our Christmas Gift: A Concert Spectacular - Saturday 28th Nov - Hamer Hall

The Salvation Army presents 'Our Christmas Gift', a family concert for the community of Melbourne. This concert spectacular will include carol singing, entertainment and music featuring some of Australia's finest entertainers: Silvie Paladino, David Hobson, Emma Pask, Fatai and Wacky Creative all supported by the 150 voice choir and The Salvation Army Band. More info here.

  • Gingerbread Village by Epicure - Now to Saturday 24th Dec - Melbourne Town Hall

Find your favourite Melbourne landmark made out of gingerbread at Melbourne Town Hall. Make a gold coin donation to Make-A-Wish Australia. Read our review.

  • Nativity Scene Blessing - Wednesday 2nd Dec 10:30 AM - Christmas Square

You are invited to witness a blessing of the Nativity scene and listen to traditional Christmas carols sung by a Christmas choir. More info here.

  • Christmas Films Outdoor Cinema - Wed 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd Dec - Federation Square

Pull up a deckchair in front of the Big Screen and relax with friendly Christmas films every Wednesday. More info here.

  • QV Outdoor Cinema - Thursday 3rd Dec to Sunday 28th Feb - QV Square

Kick back and relax at QV's new outdoor cinema.  The December program will feature a host of Christmas classics including Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Bad Santa, Miracle on 34th Street and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as well as other beloved big screen favourites. More info here. 

  • Williamstown Christmas Night Market - Friday 4th Dec - Ferguson St & Douglas Pde

FREE street event. FREE face painting. FREE Carousel Ride. Santa will be there on a very special vintage fire truck. Performing elves. Christmas Carolers. Shops open until late so you can get a kick start on your Christmas shopping. More info here.

  • Christmas Celebrations on Union Road - Saturday 5th Dec - Union Rd, Ascot Vale

FREE street event from 10am to 2pm. Twilight Carols from 4.30pm to 6pm. The festival will have photos with Santa, a Balloonologist Elf, a Craft station, live music, a jumping castle, face painting and more! More info here.

  • Moonee Ponds Central Santa Photos & Sensory Santa - Saturday 5th to 24th December - outside Kmart

Little ones can meet and have their photo taken with Santa. More info here. There's also a special Sensory Santa on the Sunday 6th and Tuesday 8th of December. More info here.

  • LEGO Christmas Decoration Build - Sunday 6th, 13th and 20th Dec - Federation Square

Come to The Square and build your own LEGO decorations to take home with you in this festive workshop for the whole family! More info here.

  • Christmas Story times and circus with Melbourne Library Service - Tuesday 8th to Tuesday 15th December 

Entertain the little ones with Christmas music, stories, craft & magic at various libraries this Christmas season. More info here. 

  • Carols in Queens Park - Sunday 13th Dec - Queens Park Moonee Ponds

Celebrate the festive season with a free evening of carols and entertainment under the stars at this year’s Carols in Queens Park. Kids activities taking place before the show. More info here. 

  • Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight - Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight has been a fabulous Christmas tradition for 77 years, bringing together Australian classic Christmas carols, and an evening of entertainment with something for the whole family. More info here.

Essendon Symphony Orchestra: Animal Antics Concert Review

The Essendon Symphony Orchestra held their yearly children's concert at the Clocktower Centre a few weekends ago, little Miss and I were invited to experience Animal Antics

The orchestra was led by conductor Jenny Going who was very entertaining throughout the performance asking children to stand up and dance, jump up and down and move as if they were riding a horse. She also asked little ones what they thought each piece of music played represented. 

The orchestra were all wearing animal ears which little Miss liked and commented on. She really enjoyed when a big bear came on stage during one of the performances and walked around the stalls to meet little ones. 

We really enjoyed Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebe and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Little Miss and little ones around us did however get a bit impatient at the 'grown up' piece during the middle of the concert. 

But things changed and became more relevant to little ones when the orchestra's youngest member Leonora (who I believe is thirteen years old) conducted the orchestra through her arrangement of Old MacDonald.

Overall, we really enjoyed the performance from the Essendon Symphony Orchestra a few weeks ago. Little Miss and little ones in the audience gained an appreciation for the orchestra on the day. We are looking forward to attending next year's children's concert.

For more information on the Essendon Symphony Orchestra and their upcoming performances, checkout their website, Facebook or Twitter page.

Lah Lah at East Melbourne Library

Little Miss was spoilt last Friday with a small Lah Lah's Big Live Band concert at the East Melbourne library thanks to the Melbourne Library Service to celebrate Children's Book Week. We were lucky to be part of the selected few who managed to grab a seat to this small concert.

After little ones met Lah Lah and Buzz, they were invited to jump up and sing along to their latest songs like 'Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band’, 'Shake It Like This', 'Let’s Put On Show', 'Brush Your Teeth', a small acoustic version of 'There are many stars' and more! 

Little Miss was fascinated by Lah Lah and Buzz and was staring at them during the whole concert and is still talking about them today.  Buzz was very funny while Lah Lah was very sweet with her smile and beautiful voice.

If like us you and your little ones are huge fans of Lah Lah and Buzz, you will love their latest DVD 'Let's put on a show'! We have one up for grabs until this Thursday 3rd of September, so be quick!

Essendon Symphony Orchestra: Animal Antics Kids' Concert + Giveaway

The Essendon Symphony Orchestra are holding their yearly kids' concert at the Clocktower Centre this month on Sunday 23rd of August at 2:30pm. Little ones will love this year's concert 'Animal Antics' which will feature lots of musical fun and entertainment! They can even come dressed as their favourite animal!

There will be lots of animal music on the day, from the fast ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by Rimsky-Korsakov to some beautiful excerpts from ‘Swan Lake’ by Tchaikovsky. There will be excerpts from 'Carnival of the Animals' by Saint-Saens including the ponderous Elephant and 'The Thieving Magpie Overture' by Rossini.

The concert will be aimed at little ones but adults will still appreciate it. There will be explanations about the music and the orchestra and a few surprises during the show for little ones to gain an appreciation for music and more importantly have fun :)

To find out more info about the Essendon Symphony Orchestra, go to their website at: www.essendonsymphony.com and to book tickets to the show at the Clocktower Centre, go to the concert's page at http://tinyurl.com/clocktoweranimalanticsconcert. Tickets are on sale now and will be $15 for an adult and $15 for a child.

This is a sponsored post for the Essendon Symphony Orchestra.

To WIN 2 tickets to the Animal Antics Kids' Concert taking place on Sunday 23rd of August at 2:30 pm at the Clocktower Centre in Moonee Ponds, simply signup to our newsletter and leave us a comment below. 

One newsletter subscriber will be picked at random. Entries close Wednesday 19th August at 5PM AEST. The winner will be announced that evening and tickets will be available for pickup on the day - good luck!

Baby Love Music Fun - 'Favourite Things' Concert

Little Miss and I have been to three Baby Love Music Fun concerts in the past at the Melbourne Recital Centre and loved them! We went to the 'Favourite Things' concert last Saturday held at the Clifton Hall in Richmond and loved it too! The smaller venue meant that we had a concert almost to ourselves and little Miss took part in some of the fun.

The concert featured well known songs from the Sound of Music, Over the RainbowPuff the Magic Dragon, Offenbach’s Barcarolle Duet, Abba and more, each including a 'Favourite Thing'.

Baby Love Music Fun was founded by professional opera singer Melanie Maslin (pictured right) in 2007 and has been running interactive concerts as well as music classes for babies, preschoolers and toddlers ever since.

This interactive concert had lots of props for little ones to use as part of their top 10 'favourite things' - teddies for cuddling, scarfs for playing peekaboo, a large coloured scarf as a rainbow, plastic plates for doing their favourite thing: making noise! and more. It even had a small puppet show where Puff the Magic Dragon made an appearance!

Little ones were of course drawn by one of their favourite things Bubbles! 

The best was saved for last as number 10 on the list of 'favourite things' were balloons! Little Miss was pretty happy to dance along, play with her balloon and the best thing she could take it home.

Little Miss loved the concert, the props helped her feel involved which meant no running off and going home early! Mel and her team never disappoint and their clever twists on well known songs are both clever and fun to listen and dance to. 

Baby Love Music Fun will be holding a new interactive concert called 'Opposites Day' at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Tuesday 7th & Wednesday 8th of April 2015 both with a 10am & 11.30am session. A child ticket is $20 (which allows FREE entry for one accompanying adult) and additional adult tickets are $20. To book go to this link.

Musical Sprouts

Musical Sprouts is composed of three singers - Bridget, Sharni and Julia. The beauty about this harmonious team is that they are all mums so they know how to keep bubs entertained! Bridget is a mum of 1, Sharni a mum of 3 and Julia also a mum of 1. They each come with years of musical experience and are passionate about working and engaging children through music.

                     Musical Sprouts' singers (left to right) Bridget, Sharni and Julia

                     Musical Sprouts' singers (left to right) Bridget, Sharni and Julia

Little Miss and I were invited to attend Musical Sprouts' first concert held at Essendon Baptist Church last Thursday 12th of March and I am pleased to say we had a great time!

Little ones were entertained for 45 minutes with a mix of interactive musical parts, nursery rhymes and Disney songs from Mary Poppins and the much loved Frozen movie. Bridget, Sharni and Julia sang in harmony and made sure little ones (little Miss included) were kept busy. Little Miss' favourite parts were when little ones were asked to pick soft toys and asked their relation to nursery rhymes, when Bridget played the violin and when Bridget, Sharni & Julia sang the Mary Poppins' 
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song with umbrellas and the Frozen theme song of course!

                                                Musical Sprouts singing Mary Poppins' Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song

                                                Musical Sprouts singing Mary Poppins' Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song

We attended the first concert of the day at 11am and it was a great turnout pre-nap time. Grandparents, parents and friends were on attendance and little ones were welcome to stand at the front to dance and sing along.

                                                            Musical Sprouts singing Frozen theme song - Let It Go

                                                            Musical Sprouts singing Frozen theme song - Let It Go

Overall, little Miss and I had a great time, we loved Bridget, Sharni and Julia as entertainers and were really comfortable at the venue. 

The Essendon Baptist Church on 138 Buckley Street in Essendon was a great place for the concert with updated facilities, lots of room, chairs, a change table in the ladies' bathroom and parking. 

Musical Sprouts held two concerts in Essendon last Thursday 12th of March, one at 11am and the other at 1pm. They will be holding another two concerts in Footscray on the Tuesday 21st of April also at 11am and 1pm at Bluestone Church Arts Space. To book your tickets, head to their website and book ahead of time if you can or you can purchase your tickets on the day. Tickets are $19.95 for 1 adult & 1 child, extras are $4.95 per child and $9.95 per adult or a $30 family pass for 2 adults & 2 children is also available.

We will be back for more at the next Essendon concerts!