Adelaide Botanic Gardens - Adelaide - Review

We love visiting the Adelaide Botanic Gardens every time we visit family in Adelaide. The gardens feature 50 hectares of magnificently maintained gardens and stunning architecture. It’s always a treat with our little ones to walk around the gardens. 

The garden features a variety of gardens and buildings, so make sure you grab a map at either entrance. We walked through the Bicentennial Conservatory which was built in 1989 and is the largest single span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere. Home to a number of endangered rainforest plans from subtropical and temperate forests in Eastern Australia and abroad, it is a nice space to walk through and look up and observe. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The International Rose Garden is a delight stroll among thousands of species of roses. Flowering in Spring and Autumn, the International Rose Garden and National Rose Trial Garden display over 5,000 roses including areas devoted to Australian-bred roses, single roses, heritage roses and pillar roses.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To no surprise, the kids loved the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden. This cute kitchen garden was designed as an educational space for children and includes garden beds abundant with seasonal fruit, vegetables & herbs, pots & trays, structures for climbing plants, fruit trees, compost, worms, working bench space and enclosed areas for group discussion and storytelling. It is regularly used by school groups. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The First Creek Wetland nearby is a calming spot for visitors. On top of being a sustainable water supply for the garden, the wetlands are beautiful, essential and useful for maintaining a healthy environment for the garden. You might be lucky to see wildlife in the wetlands during your visit. The kids loved the cute water chickens! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The 1877 built Palm House features a fascinating collection of plants from the ancient island of Madagascar and is one of the last of its kind remaining in the world. A great building to admire.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion was based on the leaf structure of the Amazon Waterlily and the original 1868-built pond is still the central feature and home of the beautiful and exotic flower.

We also visited the Santos Museum of Economic Botany which was completed in 1881 with a classical Greek-style exterior and features high ceilings, ornate Victorian details and historic cabinet displays. The kids loved looking through the Fruit model showcase, Fungi model showcase, grove and exhibition space.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Last but not least, the SA Water Mediterranean Garden is a cute water play area for little ones which shows clever strategies of water wise plants from the five mediterranean zones of the world. The garden highlights how careful plant selection and thoughtful garden designs can be used to create stunning garden displays that use water wisely and well.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Do visit the Adelaide Botanic Gardens next time you’re in Adelaide, the whole family will enjoy it!

Our tips:

  • The Adelaide Botanic Gardens is located on North Terrace in the Adelaide CBD. Entrances are from North Terrace, Plane Tree Drive, Hackney Road and Frome Road.

  • The Gardens is open 7:15 am weekdays and weekends & public holidays at 9am. Closing times vary each month of the year so check the website.

  • Entry is Free.

  • The Gardens is pram and wheelchair friendly.

  • There is parking at various parts around the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

  • There are toilets around the Gardens, grab a map at one of the entrances.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photos taken in October 2017

For more information and up-to-date news about the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Adelaide, head to our blog or our Adelaide daily spots lists.

Blue Lotus Water Garden - Yarra Junction - Melbourne - Review

Kate and her little ones headed to the luscious Blue Lotus Water Garden this weekend in Yarra Junction and were spoilt with this unique water garden filled with waterlilies and exotic lotus flowers. Kids can enjoy wondering around the garden by following a cute trail, playing in the kids garden, feeding fish, exploring greenhouses, trying lotus chips, listening to a story and face painting (on the weekend) and more! Make a day of it with the family. Thanks Kate for the gorgeous pics and review. x Catherine. To follow Kate’s adventures, head to her Instagram account.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

From December to April every year, the Blue Lotus Water Garden throws open its gates and shows off one of the world’s most spectacular seasonal floral displays.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Located in the Yarra Valley, Blue Lotus Water Garden is spread over 14 acres of lush landscaped grounds boasting thousands of beautiful waterlilies and exotic lotus flowers.  Originally operating as a cabbage farm until the late 1990s, owners Geoff and Yvonne Cochrane used the land to create an amazing water garden, which officially opened in 2006. Now, more than a decade later, the site features ornamental lakes, ponds, bridges, sculptures, fountains and even a waterfall, which are just waiting to be explored.


Here is a list of our highlights:

  • Flower Fairy & Kids Garden

Located on the shores of Silver Lotus Lagoon - near the giant mushrooms - you will find a fairy village, cubby houses, a rainbow slide, wishing well and the Fairy Queen’s magical throne. On weekends and public holidays the Flower Fairy Queen appears in the Fairy Garden between 12-2pm for story time and face painting. Check the website before you visit for Fairy Queen times and dates.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Goldfish Feeding 

At 2pm every day,  children can help feed the goldfish on the bridge near the Garden Kiosk at the Silver Lotus Lagoon. Be sure to keep a look out for the monster goldfish, which are up to 40cm in size.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Dragon Spotto

A fantastic interactive activity designed to get children interested in exploring the gardens and the wonders of nature.  Each child receives a sheet and pencil on arrival, the sheet contains clues to a dozen features, animals or plants found in the garden. Once the children have found 10 things on the sheet, they can return it to the ticket counter and exchange their pencil for a reward.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Dragon Trail

Children will love going on an adventure to meet the mystical Red Dragon. The journey takes you through the belly of the dragon as it winds around cascading ponds full of flowers and ends at the Fantasy Falls.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Giants of the Amazon

Located in the Tropical World complex you will find four specially designed greenhouses, two of which contain the largest waterlily species in the world.  The largest species on show is named the Victoria Longwood (hybrid) waterlily. This giant is distinguished by its massive leaves (lily pads), which can reach well over 2m in diameter. The leaves can get so large, it’s possible for a leaf to support the weight of a child or even a small adult. Wow!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Bridge Walk
    The best way to see Monet’s Lake (World of Waterlilies) is by walking through the middle of it. The walk is 300m, offers stunning views in all directions and features nine bridges, including the famous arched red bridge.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Lotus Root Chips

A trip to the Blue Lotus Water Garden would not be complete without sampling their homemade lotus root chips. The poppets were amazed by all the holes in the chips and they tasted so delicious that we had to order another cone.  Yum!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Blue Lotus Water Garden is perfectly located for a day trip from Melbourne and is a truly magical place to experience with your family.  Whether you just wander amongst the gardens and soak in the beauty of the grounds or if you want to enjoy the additional themed attractions, I highly recommend you making time to visit.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Don’t forget your camera!

  • Pick up a colourful umbrella from the entrance to protect you from the sun (or rain).  

  • Wear good walking shoes and ensure to take your hat and sunscreen.

  • Bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens or in one of the designated picnic areas.  There is also coin operated BBQs available. 

  • There are many family-friendly rotundas and seats around the gardens to stop for a snack, drink, rest or respite from the sun. 

  • The Lily Pond Cafe is a great spot to eat whilst overlooking the beautiful waterlily flowers.  Otherwise pick up an ice cream from the Garden Kiosk.  

  • Keep hydrated and drink water.  You can refill your water bottle at one of several drinking taps.

  • The gardens are mostly pram friendly with only a few slopes. 

  • There are baby change facilities located in the toilet block between the Garden Kiosk and Fairy Garden.  

  • Be sure to stay off garden beds and keep an eye on little ones at all times around the water + don’t let them pick the flowers or plants.

Busy City Kids were invited to experience the Blue Lotus Water Garden for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on Blue Lotus Water Garden, head to their website.

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

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

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden - Melbourne - Review

Updated Nov 2018. We visited the gardens in October for the Spring into Nature event at the Gardens.

Spring is now in full swing which can only mean one thing, warmer weather for little ones to go outdoors and explore! And the reopening of the Ian Potter Foundation's Children's Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne!!

The Children's Garden will reopen on Father's Day Sunday 2nd of September 2018 which will delight little ones and their carers. There are lots of places for little ones to explore and relax throughout the garden so don't forget a picnic and some spots of water play so don’t forget change of clothes.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

At the entrance you can find a beautiful tree, a Magic Pudding sculpture (pictured in background) and a lavender maze (pictured right).

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is also a walkway to the main garden's grass area where lots of little ones like to sit down for a snack and relax.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

To the left of the grass area is a large sandpit area which is our favourite spot. We spend a fair amount of time there when we visit. Your little ones no doubt will love it too so don't forget to bring a bucket and spade. 

The kids like running from the sandpit across the little bridge towards the elephant statue. We either explore the wetland area (which is a shallow pond with little fish in) or make our way to the Bamboo forest (behind the elephant statue), walk up the stairs to the little platform to get a view from above the garden.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then walk along the rill which is a gentle waterway that runs through the garden. In Summer, a water feature is turned on which sprays water out for little ones to play with. Which then leads to a little hide and seek area where little ones can take some shade. There is also an area which can be rented for parties and you can also access the garden's veggie garden around there too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We love walking around the vegetable garden in spring and summer, there are some areas for little ones to dig and play in the dirt too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The garden is not open every day so do check the opening times on the Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden website before you head out! Here’s a great map of the garden below.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Tips:

  • Come prepared with sunscreen, snacks, water, change of clothes, bucket & spade, few bandaids and a picnic rug.

  • There is Jardin Tan café nearby where you can also pickup drinks and food from too as well as toilets near the Information Centre.

  • Closest entry is via Gate F along Birdwood Avenue after the Observatory on the left (view map here).

  • There is paying parking along the avenue.

For a great list of playgrounds, checkout our list here.

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

 

Children's Garden at Albury Botanic Gardens - Albury - Review

These last September school holidays, we stopped overnight at Albury to break the drive from Sydney to Melbourne. We had a lovely stay overnight at Quest Albury Townsend and headed to the Children’s Garden set in the beautiful Albury Botanic Gardens.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This gorgeous Children’s Garden designed by Mary Jeavons is a place where children can enjoy learning about the environment in a safe, creative and fun way, stimulating their imagination and providing a sense of wonder.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This fully fenced Children's Garden will stimulate children’s senses through imagination, observation and play. Kids can follow trails around the garden to explore and discover a wonderful array of items. Little Miss and Little Mister loved the life sized dinosaur and especially the baby dinosaur at the entrance.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is a castle themed toilet nestled next to the bamboo forest (where kids can explore). This castle themed toilet is quiet interesting but very useful with children and adults toilets and change table facilities.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The latest addition to the Children’s Garden is the treehouse which will consist of multi-level decks, ramps, rope ladders and steps, leading to a top platform and covered by an all-weather thatched roof. The structure is supported by natural timber bush poles, with artistic toppings and will be surrounded by a sandpit, garden beds, rock features, soft-fall areas and timber seating. It wasn’t opened when we visited however it is almost finished.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Highlights include a life-sized dinosaur with interactive speaking tubes, carved animals, living cubbies, a fairy temple, a willow dome, a throne, a water play area, a wetland, dinosaur eggs, a creek line, troll cave, musical instruments, murals and more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Children’s Garden at Albury Botanic Gardens is a gorgeous spot in Albury where children can discover, wonder and enjoy. Make it a must stop when you’re visiting Albury next.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information and opening times to the Children's Garden, head to their website.

There is also the nearby Oddies Creek Park which is an inclusive play space which caters for all ages and abilities which also features a flying fox, basket swing, toilets, BBQ and picnic area, musical sculptures, sandpit and climbing walls.

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. Or if you’re heading to Sydney, checkout our Website, our Daily Spots List or Blog.

Auburn Japanese Garden - Auburn - Sydney - Review

Last month, I took a trip to Auburn and visited the Auburn Japanese Garden part of the Auburn Botanic Gardens the day before the Cherry Blossom Festival. Update 14 Sep 2018: the main cherry blossoms have come to an end for this year however there will be flowering peaches and apples displaying blossoms over the next month throughout the gardens.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Japanese Garden consists of a traditional rock garden, a traditional Torii gate at the entrance and another rock entrance to the lake.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The cherry blossoms did not disappoint and many visitors on the day were in love with them, I may have taken 50+ photos of them and the bees wondering through the blossoms ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After admiring the cherry blossoms, I made my way to the main garden where a Guzei traditional red Japanese bridge stands but was stopped in my tracks by a beautiful peacock wondering the gardens with a couple of others.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The main feature of the garden is the center lake. As there are no fencing around the lake, extra care is to be taken when taking children. I went solo that day but can imagine my youngest son was trying hard to give me heart attacks but I saw many children there that day, families enjoying the garden together and walking on steps on the water.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It is not a very large garden but nonetheless a well designed and maintained garden that families and friends can enjoy. I did find myself sitting by the water and taking in the relaxing atmosphere.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Auburn Japanese Garden is a must visit if you enjoy the cherry blossom but do check-in with the garden before you go to make sure the blossoms are still blooming.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Auburn Japanese Garden is located at 98 Chiswick Road in Auburn.

Our tips:

  • The Japanese Garden is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm

  • There are toilets located outside the garden

  • There is free parking onsite however it is very limited at times

  • Entry to the garden is generally $4 during Cherry Blossom time but at times entry is free

  • There are picnic spots outside the garden with playgrounds

  • Bring your camera of course

  • Bring some snacks, water and a picnic if you want to make this a day experience as there is no café onside and not a great deal around either

For more information about the Auburn Japanese Garden in Auburn, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.


Himeji Japanese Gardens - Adelaide - Review

We're heading to Adelaide soon and reminiscing on our visit late last year. One little gem we visited back in September was the Himeji Japanese Gardens located on South Terrace between Pulteney and Hutt Streets. Established in 1985 in celebration of Adelaide's sister city partnership with Himeji in Japan, the Himeji Gardens blend two classic styles: the ‘senzui’ style that displays the beauty of lakes and mountains, and the ‘kare senzui’ style that uses rocks to evoke the presence of water and oceans.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This cute garden is a replica of a traditional styled Japanese garden. I say 'cute' because it is small and a quick visit however we did enjoy it! Such a peaceful setting, we found other visitors relaxing to the sounds and smells of the garden among the willows and the little stream. If your kids are anything like my wonderers, caution must be taken near the pond.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

When we visited, rangers were planting in the 'senzui' style garden and were resetting the 'kare senzui' style dry garden with the typical sand, rocks and moss. A very calming setting and we would have loved to be able to rake the sand away and reset our minds but we watched the rangers do it instead ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

himejigardensadelaide_11.jpg

We really enjoyed the tranquil and peaceful Himeji Japanese Gardens and highly recommend you pop in when you are visiting Adelaide.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Himeji Japanese Gardens is located between Pulteney and Hutt Street near Adelaide city.
  • Admission is free.
  • There is some free parking in front of the gardens.
  • The gardens are open from 8am to 5.30pm, seven days a week except during April to September when it closes at 4.30pm on weekends and public holidays.
  • Guided tours are available via bookings.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Adelaide, head to our blog or our Adelaide daily spots lists.

Gardens by the Bay - Singapore - Review

During the Easter break this year, we decided to stop postponing our trip to Singapore and head there instead! One of the places that we really wanted to visit with the kids was the Gardens by the Bay and their Children's Garden and water area and we thank Gardens by the Bay for inviting us to visit and review this stunner!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Singapore had a grand plan back in 2006 to build a City in a Garden. After numerous plan submissions, two UK design winners were announced. After a public exhibition and feedback from visitors, Gardens by the Bay broke ground in late 2007 and was open to the public in late 2011.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Gardens by the Bay is a national garden and premier horticultural attraction for local and international visitors. Gardens by the Bay is a showpiece of horticulture and garden artistry that presents the plant kingdom in a whole new way, entertaining while educating visitors with plants rarely seen in this part of the world, ranging from species in cool, temperate climates to tropical forests and habitats.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After making our way past the Outdoor Heritage Gardens which are very nice too I might add, we headed to pickup a rental pram for our youngest as our eldest was not well that day. We hired a S$2 pram at the Visitor Centre and I must say it was a very comfy pram which was much better than our travel umbrella pram! After all that, we headed to the beautiful Flower Dome where we witnessed the most beautiful flower and plant displays we'd ever seen! It was just stunning and the cool climate in there is so delightful to escape the Singaporean humidity!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can see an array of garden exhibits, from the Succulent Garden and Baobabs featured just before, to the South African Garden, South American Garden, Californian Garden, Flower field and Australian Garden with our native trees - the Flower Dome has it all!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We visited during the Japanese Garden months however every two months or so the Flower Field at the center of the dome has a new floral display and starting tomorrow 25th May 2018 till end of June 2018, there will be the Begonia Brilliance display. This is free as part of the visit and from this weekend to the 10th June 2018, there will also be a Children's Festival at Supertree Grove.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

My favourite garden space in the Flower Dome would have to be the Olive Grove which features a magnificent 1000-year-old Olive Trees. It is such a peaceful part of the garden where you can sit and admire these beautiful trees and the surrounding plants.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then headed to the Cloud Forest which features the breathtaking Waterfall View as you walk in and is possibly the most instagrammable photo!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Cloud Forest is just stunning everywhere you look, one cannot even start to imagine how long it took gardeners to plant, grow and maintain such a wonder. Take a walk around the dome via the Tree Top walk and Cloud Walk and you will see the Crystal Mountain, Cloud Forest Gallery and the Lost World area. Both walks are very pram friendly and are elevated so be conscious if you are afraid of heights. There are priority lifts for visitors with prams, children, the elderly and wheelchair visitors to get to the different levels.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Orchid lovers will love the Orchid display which is on now until the end of May 2018.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

And as Lego lovers we loved the Lost World which was there when we visited. The Lost World is the highest point of the mountain with flowers and Venus Fly-Catchers made entirely of Lego!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then made our way to the Supertree Grove area which has free admission and opened from 5am to 2am daily. The tree-like vertical gardens at Supertree Grove are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night with each measuring between 25 and 50 metres tall.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For an extra admission fee, you can access the OCBC Skyway where at a height of 22 metres you will be surrounded by panoramic vistas of the Gardens and Marina Bay skyline on the 128-metre-long aerial walkway. The OCBC Skyway can be accessed by a lift and visitors who are scared of heights should be cautious before heading there.

vPhoto credit: @busycitykids

vPhoto credit: @busycitykids

Although the kids loved visiting the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest Dome and the OCBC Skyway and seeing an array of gardens, plants and flowers, we knew that they would love the Far East Organization Children's Garden the most! It is closed on Mondays but opened public holidays so do check the hours of admission before you go and pack the swimmers for everyone as with the sprinklers onsite you will be sure to get wet!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The water play area features flower inspired water jets and sprinklers for kids 6 to 12 yrs old as well as an area for little ones 0 to 5 yrs old. Note that kids are not allowed to block the water jets or hang on the sprinklers in case they break. An amphitheatre with seating is situated opposite the water play area for parents to sit or used as a area for people to eat and for kids to get changed at.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There's also two playgrounds, one for little ones (1 to 5 yrs old) and the other definetely for older kids (6 to 12 yrs old) as it is setup in a rainforest tree house with nests and slides.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A day spent at the Gardens by the Bay is a day well spent and we loved every bit of it and highly recommend a visit to anyone interested in visiting Singapore in the future!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Gardens by the Bay is located at 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore which is about 15 mins drive from the city.
  • There are many ways you can get to the Gardens by the Bay, via mrt train, shuttle, bus or drive.
  • Gardens by the Bay is open daily 9am to 9pm however the Far East Organization Children's Garden and water play area is closed Mondays (or on a Tuesday if preceding Monday public holiday as it opens it public holidays)
    is open from 9am to 6pm.
  • There are toilets located around Gardens by the Bay. Some toilets have change tables at 5 different spots around the Gardens by the Bay.
  • There are food outlets at the front entrance of Gardens by the Bay and in the Children's Garden near the water play area.
  • Gardens by the Bay is pram and wheelchair friendly. You can rent a pram for as little as SG $2 with proof of ID
  • Ticket prices vary but for non Singapore residents and for access to 2 Conservatories Adult tickets are S$28 and Children tickets 3 to 12 yrs are S$15. Buy tickets online before you head there to avoid ticket lines. An extra S$8 per adult and S$5 per child 3 to 12 yrs old will get you access the OCBC Skyway.
  • Bring snacks, hats, sunscreen, insect repellent for mosquitoes, water bottles, comfy shoes as well as swimmers (tops and bottoms) for both kids & adults, swimming nappies (if needed), a change of clothes and possible rain gear if there is expected rain on the day. 
  • There are shuttles and tours available around Gardens by the Bay, ask the Information centre for more details.
Photo credit: Gardens by the Bay

Photo credit: Gardens by the Bay

Busy City Kids were invited to the Gardens by the Bay for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel, food and fee paying activities and pram were self funded. To read our other Singapore reviews, head here. 

For more information on the Gardens by the Bay, plan your visit, check opening times and services or to buy tickets, head to their website.

May Gibb's Nutcote - Neutral Bay - Sydney - Review

Little Miss and I recently visited Nutcote, the beautiful house and gardens of May Gibbs in Sydney's Neutral Bay. May Gibbs (1877-1969) is one of Australia’s foremost children’s author and illustrator and best known today for her iconic story The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie. Nutcote is now a house museum surrounded by an English garden and Australian garden which is opened to the public all year round and run by volunteers.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

May Gibbs lived at Nutcote for 44 years until she passed away and donated the property to Unicef who were not able to hold it and was later sold to a developer whose intention was to demolish the site. After years of 'Save Nutcote for the Nation' campaign, the house was placed on the Register of the National Estate. North Sydney Council years later bought Nutcote for $2.86m in 1990, it was then restored to show the house as it would have looked in the late 1920s and early 1930s and then was opened to the public in 1994.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

It was lovely walking among the beautiful gardens and imagining May Gibbs living there, such a calming place to visit. Try to stop the large caterpillar in the garden, very cute.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Before attending one of the guided tours, we walked to the back of the house, around the Australian garden and admired the perfect view! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

At the back of the house, we spotted the statue of the Big Bad Banksia Man with Mr Lizard trying to save a gumnut baby.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

We spent some time on the bottom level of the house, watching a video on May Gibbs and Nutcote, looking at cute gumnut babies, colouring in, reading books, playing dress-ups (before and after the tour) and taking photos behind the gumnut babies' screen. Kids can dress up as the Big Bad Banksia man, Ragged Blossom or a Gumnut baby and yes - we did tidy up after little Miss' multiple dress-ups ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

We then headed to the guided tour, where a kind volunteer showed us around May Gibb's beautiful house built in 1925. The restored house was just lovely and it was interesting to listen to stories of May Gibbs and her husband, about the house and how May Gibbs left everything she had to children focused charities as she loved children but was never able to have her own.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Our tour guide so sweet and made sure that little Miss and another little girl visiting were both included in the visit by showing different things around the house like an old typewriter, old record player, old telephone and a big Banksia that inspired May Gibbs' character the Big Bad Banksia Man. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

May Gibbs' gorgeous drawings, stories and characters are showcased throughout the house and true fans will love reading up on these special pieces.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

One of my favourite rooms in the house would have to be the restored kitchen - how stunning!

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

After a very interesting tour, we walked around the English garden where we found the Bib & Bub Gumnut Babies. We also enjoyed a warm cup of hot chocolate and some delicious homemade biscuits at the Bib & Bub Tea Rooms overlooking the garden and the house. Little Miss was also happy playing some garden games.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

And visited the Nutcote gift shop before we left, so much cuteness to choose from!

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

We really enjoyed our visit at Nutcote and will be sure to visit again with family and friends. I know my mum would love to visit May Gibbs' beautiful house and gardens! Nutcote is such a gorgeous place and is great for parents and carers to bring children along. We saw many grandparents with their little ones visiting Nutcote during the holidays.

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

Photo credit: @busycitykids under permission from May Gibbs Nutcote

If you are thinking of experiencing Vivid this year, Vivid Sydney are having a special 100th anniversary show of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie with May Gibb's colours and characters at Customs House near Circular Quay. Renowned art and animation collective Ample Projects brings May Gibbs’ immortal characters to life on the façade of Sydney’s 1845 Customs House.

Visitors can join Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and their stalwart companions on their journey through the Australian Bush as they encounter the weird, the wonderful — and things quite unknown altogether. On from Friday 25th May to Saturday 16th of June from 6pm to 11pm for free at Customs House.

Photo credit: Vivid Sydney

Photo credit: Vivid Sydney

Our tips:

  • May Gibb's Nutcote is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays). The garden is located at 5 Wallaringa Avenue in Neutral Bay.
  • Entry fees are as follows: Adults: $10, Concessions: $6, Children: $4 (Age 5 and over) and Family: $20 (2 adults and up to 2 children aged between 5-16 years).
  • Leave the pram in the car or at the gift shop and take bub in the carrier as there are many stairs (stairs from gift shop to the tea rooms down to the garden and stairs down to the back of the house and Australian garden).
  • Accessible toilets and a baby change toilets are available onsite.
  • There is limited parking onsite however we were lucky to find a park close to Nutcote.
  • There are regular guided tours, you can check with the gift shop for times or head to May Gibbs' house where time will be indicated.

Busy City Kids were invited to May Gibb's Nutcote in Neutral Bay for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information on May Gibb's Nutcote in Neutral Bay, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

Wendy's Secret Garden - Lavender Bay - Sydney - Review

In September last year, we found Wendy's Secret Garden amongst the trees and overlooking the beautiful Lavender Bay, Luna Park, the Harbour Bridge, the beauty goes on!

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

The history behind Wendy's Secret Garden goes back to when Wendy and her renowned artist husband, the late Brett Whiteley, set up their family home in Lavender Bay in 1970 and lived there together for two decades. Wendy's house overlooks the big fig tree and garden.

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Following Brett's death in 1992, Wendy needed to regain some control in her life and found herself cleaning up piles of overgrown rubbish on the large land filled valley of unused railway land at the foot of her house day after the next. As Wendy cleared the site, she began creating a garden like a giant painting. Rather than being horticulturally inspired, Wendy’s gardening was driven by aesthetics, colour, form, beauty and whimsy and successful transformed this large unused land into a beautiful and tranquil place for people to visit.

After a Google find, we walked down Lavender Street, walked past Clark Park and found some steps amongst flowers and trees and made our way down. It's a cute trail for kids however be mindful some spots have steps and other spots are steep.

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Once we made our way down to the Garden's lower ground, we wandered about looking at the treasures and the beautiful flowers.

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Our favourite tree in Wendy's Secret Garden was the large fig tree, such a stunning tree! I can imagine that Wendy took inspiration for the garden from this beautiful tree.

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

The view under the large fig tree is so stunning, we saw couples and friends sitting in different spots around the lower ground of the garden and under the beautiful fig tree.

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

We then walked down the many steps to Lavender Day and did some more exploring and loved walking around the jetty looking for little sculptures and overlooking the stunning view.

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

We then did a bit more exercise and walked back up all the stairs (no gym session was needed after this trip ha !)

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

We finished our adventure walking past Wendy's beautiful secret garden and her beautiful house (cream colour house as can be seen on this photo).

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Photo credit: @busycitykids - taken Sep 2017

Wendy's Secret Garden is always open and free. To find the location of Wendy's Secret Garden or to find out more information about the garden, head to Wendy's Secret Garden's website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

Pollination at The Calyx - The Royal Botanic Garden - Sydney - Review

A few weeks ago, we visited the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney after seeing a performance of Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies. We love the gardens, it is a relaxing place to visit in the city, to wonder and to admire. It is located between the Sydney Opera and the State Library of NSW. Despite its size, It is easy to walk through the different sections of the garden like the Camellia Garden, the Herb Garden, the Oriental Garden and the Calyx our new favourite floral space.

Pollination finished in August 2018. The Calyx will reopen on the 1st of October 2018 with a new installation: Plants with Bite. More info here.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We have been wanting to visit The Calyx space at the Royal Botanic Garden ever since it was established, and especially the Pollination space. We hope to visit it again soon before it closes on the 15th of August 2018 for a new setup.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Pollination is the current floral display at The Calyx and it is just gorgeous and a great place to bring the kids along too. Both my kids loved looking at the flowers, the giant bee and the small bees hanging from the ceiling.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The wall features a collection of plants and flowers showcasing the role colour plays in nature's magnificent act of pollination. Garden beds of vibrant coloured orchids, daisies, gardenias and lilies are set against the backdrop of the display hero - the green wall. The wall, the largest of its kind in Australia, stands at 6 metres high and spans 50 metres.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a look around the gorgeous wall and floral displays, we found a little kids space by surprise and little Miss and her brother were happy exploring the little kids setup which lets children look at pieces from the garden through a microscope and insects through a magnifying glass

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They also loved doing some puzzles and colouring in insects from the garden as well as taking a photo at the little photo booth. Tablets with pictures of flowers and insects were also available for kids to play with.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Calyx is a gorgeous place to take families and friends while exploring the Royal Botanic Garden but also a great place to have a coffee, high tea, take some photos and attend special events. Entry is free and donations are welcome.

thecalyx_rbgsydney - 6.jpg
For more information on The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

Chinese Garden of Friendship - Darling Harbour - Sydney - Review

This week, we headed to the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour to explore this little secret garden. This secluded garden nestled amongst the city and the harbour is a tranquil place to visit with family and friends. The garden is a unique symbol of friendship between the people of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and Sydney - two sister cities. Little Miss was pretty excited when I told her we were going to explore the garden and jumped with joy!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After picking up an info sheet on the Koi fish that can be found in the Chinese Garden of Friendship and grabbing our copy of The Emperor's Quest - A Chinese Zodiac Adventure (great for kids 5 to 12 yrs), we started our walk around the Garden looking for Koi fish and Chinese Zodiac signs. Little Miss 5 and her brother were pretty happy to see the different types of Koi fish in the ponds around the Garden. There's daily fish feeding at 11:30 am in the Lenient Jade Pavilion which is a cool experience for kids. The ponds are not fenced so I had to make sure I held Master 2's hand at all times, he tends to run off on his little adventures! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We stopped by the Water Pavilion to admire the view, take a few photos and little Miss & Master 2 took part in the school holiday activities. This week's school holiday activities focused on this year's Chinese year of the Dog. Kids were invited to decorate their dog mask with colour and stick-on materials to take home. Next week's school holiday activities will be held Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Friday 11am to 1pm as Wednesday 25th for Anzac Day public holiday. Next week's activities will be Chinese paper folding where kids can craft a butterfly, a boat, or hat, to keep or gift to a loved one. The activities are free with entry and were a welcome surprise for us, the kids loved them.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After some crafts, we continued our quest around the Chinese Garden of Friendship and found each of 12 animal sculptures of the Chinese lunar calendar that were hidden in the garden including some real water dragons that were a bonus find ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

While the lower gardens are accessible by wheelchair or by pram, it is best to leave the pram at the entrance to explore the upper gardens. We loved the nice walk around the garden amongst the rocks, the forests of bamboo, the waterfalls and looking at the lotus flowers across the lake.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids loved the Emperor's quest around the garden, it made it really interesting for them, their favourite Chinese Lunar calendar animal was the monkey by far. They also enjoyed looking at the Koi fish in the lake and ponds amongst the weeping willows. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The peaceful pavilions, trees, limestone rocks and colourful koi fish make the Chinese Garden of Friendship a beautiful place to visit. Kids and adults can dress up in traditional Chinese costumes and take their own photos in the garden for an extra fee. There is also a range of range of Chinese tea and refreshments in the traditional Chinese teahouse for visitors to enjoy.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a relaxing walk around the Chinese Garden, Master 2 admired the Bonsai trees while little Miss drew in the children's feedback book. We had a fantastic time and will be sure to visit again in the future. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Chinese Garden of Friendship is open daily except on Christmas Day and Good Friday 9:30 to 5pm (April to Sept) and 9:30 am to 5:30pm (October to March). The garden can be accessed via Pier Street in Darling Harbour.
  • Entry fees are as follows: Adult: $6, Child: $3 (under 12 years), Family: $15 (two adults and two children), Concession: $3 (Australian pensioners and students only) and Senior: $4.50 (Australian seniors only).
  • Lower garden is accessible for wheelchairs and prams however the upper garden is best travelled by foot. You can leave your pram near the Children's feedback corner.
  • There are no fencing around the lake and ponds so children supervision is advised at all times.
  • Accessible toilets and a baby change toilets are available onsite.
  • School holiday activities are available Monday to Friday during the holidays (except when a day falls on public holiday), they are free and run from 11am to 1pm.
  • Traditional Chinese dress-ups is available daily 11am to 5pm charged at $10 for an Adult and $5 for a child.
  • There is a free daily tour of the garden available 11:45am (1 Oct – 31 Mar) and 2pm (1 Apr – 30 Sep).
  • Bring some water and snacks if you wish to sit down and have a snack on your visit, there is a bench near the lake that visitors can use.
Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to the Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information on the Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, our daily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden - Singapore - Review

Every time I have visited Singapore in the past, I have found myself walking around the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens. This year's trip was with our children and we couldn't wait to show them around and of course visit the new Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden which opened in November 2017 last year after a $12 million extension to the Singapore Botanic Gardens! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is the first garden in Asia dedicated to children. Its theme of ‘Life on Earth Depends on Plants’ aims to educate and instil a love for nature in children. The Garden offers children a space for exploration, adventure and play with a farm, an orchard, and a forest with its own stream and ponds.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Great for young adventure seekers who can explore the suspension bridge and nature play areas. Budding naturalists can walk along the stream and climb into the tree-houses and urban gardeners can observe how plants grow and pick up some gardening tips! Grab a Kid's map at the Visitor Centre at the entrance to help your child become an ‘Adventurer’, ‘Gardener’ or ‘Naturalist’ for a day at the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden by following the dedicated trails.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our first stop was in the Explore Zone, where the children enjoyed going up the Tree House and going down the red slides. Little Mister 2 was brave and loved these speedy slides! The children also enjoyed a play in the sandpit area. You can access the Pond area by turning pass the red slides and follow that trail. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We continued the Explore Zone and went pass the Suspension Bridge, pass the Water Play and Playground areas in the Play Zone and pass the Maze. We then did a loop and went pass the Forest Zone to head to the Orchard Zone.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved the Forest Zone' Adventure Play and Flying Fox spots. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The children loved jumping on the little ground trampoline as well as climbing around the Adventure Play areas which lead to the Flying Fox area. We did not try the Flying Fox as there were a few people on the day.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved our visit at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden. We highly recommend you visit this little Children's oasis amongst the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens. Kids will love wondering around this garden that has been especially designed for them.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is located at 1H Cluny Road (Singapore Botanic Gardens), Singapore.
  • There are many ways you can get to the gardens via MRT, bus, car or taxi.
  • The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is open Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 7pm and closed on Mondays (except when it falls on a designated public holiday).
  • There are toilets located around the gardens and the gardens are fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs.
  • There are food outlets in parts of the gardens for visitors.
  • Entry to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is FREE. 
  • Great for kids 14 yrs and below. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Adult visitors without children are not permitted at the Children's Garden for children's safety.
  • Bring snacks, hats, sunscreen, insect repellent for mosquitoes, water bottles, comfy shoes as well as swimmers (tops and bottoms) for kids to enjoy the small wet area, swimming nappies (if needed), a change of clothes and possible rain gear if there is expected rain on the day. 

Busy City Kids were NOT invited to the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden for the purposes of a review. Entry to the garden is FREE and we loved it. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel, food and fee paying activities were self funded. To read our other Singapore reviews, head here. 

For more information on the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, head to their website.

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018 Review 

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Kids Under Cover Cubby House Challenge® 

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

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

* The Diggers Club

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

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

* Funky Monkey Bars

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Sensory Zones

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

KaBloom Festival of Flowers - Tesselaar - Info - Melbourne

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

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

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

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

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

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

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

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

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

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

Photo credit: KaBloom Festival

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

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

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

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

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

Photo credit: The Australian Shakespeare Company

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

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

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

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018 - Info - Melbourne

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

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

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

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

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

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

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

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

Photo credit: @busycitykids - March 2015

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

Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

Photo credit: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2018

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

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

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

WILD PLAY Garden Centennial Parklands - Review - Sydney

The Ian Potter Children's WILD PLAY Garden at Centennial Parklands officially opened on the 18th of October! We have been waiting for this amazing space ever since we moved to Sydney and we are so happy to say that this beautiful little oasis is a special place for children and their families.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

From the moment you walk in the garden, you are automatically drawn by the cheer beauty, hard work and attention to detail landscapers and gardeners have put in to make this nature playground a beautiful place and an escape from the city.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is a 4 million dollar state-of-the-art nature play space designed to engage the five senses, and help children reconnect with nature. Complete with water, natural vegetation and soaring heights, children have the chance to get lost in nature and our little ones did just that! The Banksia tunnels are visually stunning and great for little climbers. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

WILD PLAY also features dry creek beds, an artesian water play area, a bamboo forest, turtle mounds and the park’s first treehouse. It’s a dramatic landscape in which children are encouraged to run, jump, play, learn and discover the wild side of life!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Most areas are safe however children need to be supervised at all times as places like the wooden bridge, steps in the water areas, areas on top of the mounds can be a bit tricky or slippery for little ones. Parents joined their little ones in the adventure when we visited, to make sure they were safe and they could still enjoy the playground.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss is 5 and a bit of a scaredy cat so I couldn't convince her to walk along the bridge and the treehouse and go down the long slide. However her brother and her were happy to walk and discover the garden at their own pace. We love the way this playground feels like it's always been there. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It is such a serene spot to wonder, get lost and enjoy! We loved the little bamboo forest, it is such a cute little maze.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The back area of the garden includes areas where children can walk along wooden stumps, where families can enjoy a picnic, enjoy exploring nature, walk under the beautiful trees, have a birthday party at the Discovery Centre and more!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

They can also enjoy building cubbies out of branches and relax under the shade or enjoy a sneaky ice cream as we did with the conveniently located ice cream truck!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

This area of the playground is large and great for groups to meet up, for families to switch off, embrace nature and relax.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are a number of mounds where kids can walk up to and discover the beautiful flowers and the overall view of this beautiful garden.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved the little mound with a tunnel in the middle which leads kids to a sandpit, great for little nature explorers.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The one thing which my little ones loved the most was the water play areas - to say they loved it was an understatement! I haven't seen them having this much fun in ages. We left this activity last so that we could dry up, get dressed, have a snack and head home. We parked our pram on the decking area for easy access to spare clothes, towels etc. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The area is really nicely designed with little jets throughout the main water area and a large rock with a jet inside at the top of the water area which can be accessed via stairs.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

WILD PLAY is a beautiful little oasis among Centennial Parklands, perfect for little nature explorers and their families and perfect for the warm months coming up. We highly recommend this gorgeous place! Pack some essentials before you head out, park along Grand drive and enjoy every moment!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The playground is located on Grand Drive pass the Homestead Restaurant and Centennial Parklands Visitor Centre, pass the Pavilion and located on the right side of Grand Drive. There is free 3 hour parking all along Grand Drive and its' open every day 10am to 5pm. Head during the week if you can to avoid the weekend crowds as this garden is very popular.

centennialparklands.jpg

Our packing list for this playground:

  • Drink bottles
  • Food for snacks, for lunch or for a picnic
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhats
  • Swimmers and/or swimming nappies
  • Towels
  • Change of clothes and undies and/or nappies
  • Buckets and spades for the sandpit
  • Pram or carrier
  • Some change for the ice cream van (hehe)
     

This playground has:

  • Public toilets at the back nature area
  • Accessible and street parking on the street along the playground on Grand Drive
  • Picnic areas
  • Seating, tables and benches
  • Sandpits
  • Slide, climbing structure
  • Water Play areas
For more information about the Ian Potter Wild Play Garden at Centennial Parklands, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Sydney, head to our blog, ourdaily spots list or pools & beaches or playgrounds list. And for a full list of parents rooms around Sydney, head to our parents room page.

NGA Sculpture Garden - Canberra - Review

There’s nothing better than to walk in the fresh air and admire sculptures in the NGA Sculpture Garden. First created in 1981 by Harry Howard & Associates and James Mollison the first Gallery Director, it was designed to compliment the building with the diagonal of the main pathway and the floor plan of the garden matching that of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) main building. 

Clement Meadiore’s Virginia - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Clement Meadiore’s Virginia - Photo credit: @busycitykids

The grounds lie between the NGA and the shores of Lake Burley Griffin and comprises of 26 carefully selected sculptures made by International and Australian artists with recent sculptures including Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North facing Lake Burley Griffin and the Fog Sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya so bring the kids to the Fog Sculpture between 12:30pm and 2pm daily. 

Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Bert Flugelman’s impressive Cones in polished stainless steel is by far my favourite sculpture in the garden along with Clement Meadiore’s Virginia 'twist' as we call it.

Bert Flugelman’s Cones - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Bert Flugelman’s Cones - Photo credit: @busycitykids

I do have a bias love for French sculptors (being French and all) so I was naturally in love with Emile Antoine Bourdelle’s Penelope, Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure and of course Aristide Maillol's La Montagne and Auguste Rodin's Nude study for Jean d'Aire and so was little Miss albeit a few questions ha!

Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Gaston Lachaise’s Floating Figure - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Emile Antoine Bourdelle’s Penelope - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Emile Antoine Bourdelle’s Penelope - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Aristide Maillol's La Montagne and Auguste Rodin's Nude study for Jean d'Aire - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Aristide Maillol's La Montagne and Auguste Rodin's Nude study for Jean d'Aire - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss and her brother loved wondering through the NGA Sculpture Garden. It was nice and fresh that day but we still enjoyed looking at the different sculptures. Just be mindful of the large pond area and little hills that might not be suitable for little children. Little Mister was very intrigued by Dadang Christanto’s Heads in the Water. It is a very strange sculpture set and apparently very creepy when the Fog sculpture is on. 

Dadang Christanto’s Heads in the Water - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Dadang Christanto’s Heads in the Water - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can also have a play in the NGA Play kids area and checkout the Reko Rennie's installation - see our review here.

NGA Play Reko Rennie - Photo credit: @busycitykids

NGA Play Reko Rennie - Photo credit: @busycitykids

Entry is FREE to the NGA Sculpture Garden and most exhibitions at the NGA. There are parents rooms in the building as well as toilets and a café. You can access the NGA Sculpture Garden from outside or through the back of the building. There is reasonable parking nearby the building or under the NGA building and the area and the NGA are pram friendly.

To make the most of your visit, head to the NGA front desk and collect information on what’s on at the NGA.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Canberra, head to our blog or our Canberra daily spots lists.

 

Melbourne - September School Holidays 2017

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

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