Wild Nights - Werribee Zoo - Melbourne - Review

Kate and her little ones headed to Wild Nights last Sunday and had an amazing time! Don’t miss out on a great evening packed with lots of activities and fun at the Werribee Zoo. Thank you to Zoos Victoria for inviting us and for Kate for her great review and pics. Xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For eight nights only, zoo-lovers can visit Werribee Open Range Zoo after dark as it lights up with all the action of Wild Nights! Plus this year, for the first time, see the amazing life-size animatronic dinosaurs at Zoorassic: Dinos After Dark!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

This was our first experience of Wild Nights, and most definitely will not be our last. The poppets loved exploring the African Trail by torchlight and seeing what animals they could spot along the way. The event program is full of awesome activities that the whole family will enjoy.

Here are our highlights.


Zoorasic: Dinos After Dark

Explore the Werribee River Trail like never before as you come face-to-face with life-size dinosaurs that will be brought to life for Dinos After Dark with dazzling lights, animatronics and an extraordinary soundscape.

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

Fire Performers

Be captivated by dazzling fire performers as they wow audiences just inside the main entry gate using a variety of different objects in their high energy, theatrical show.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Lantern Parade

Between 7.00-8.00pm, make your way over towards the Safari Station to see the gorgeous Eastern Barred Bandicoot lantern parade. Children can also decorate their own paper lantern to place over torches from home to join the parade. Be sure to check out the Secret Garden close by too.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Glow Zone


Head over to the Africa Village to get your face painted with special glow in the dark paint before joining in the circus fun in the Glow Zone.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Marshmallow Toasting

As the temperatures drops, keep warm up around a flickering camp fire and toast yummy, gooey marshmallows. There are two marshmallow camp fires for your toasting pleasure - one near the Hippo Play Trail and the other near the Cheetah BBQ area. We highly recommend a hot chocolate or cup of mulled wine too!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Bandicoot Hideout

Head into the Bandicoot Hideout to introduce yourself to the critically-endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot and learn about the conservation work that’s bringing this native animal back from the brink of extinction.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Seeing the Jurassic creatures after dark definitely added to this already spectacular event and the best part, all proceeds from Wild Nights contribute to Zoos Victoria’s fight against wildlife extinction. Highly recommended for the whole family.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Tip - Remember to dress for all weather conditions (especially gumboots if it’s wet as the dinosaur trail can get quite muddy) and bring your own torch to help navigate around the zoo in the dark.

For more information on Wild Nights, 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.

Bellingham Maze - Tanawha - Sunshine Coast - Review 

Kate clearly found the best spots on the Sunshine Coast on her recent Noosa holiday and her little ones definetely had a great time wondering and taking part in the different mazes, mini golf and games at the Bellingham Maze in Tanawha. What a gorgeous place to visit! Thanks for the review and cute pics Kate x Catherine. To follow Kate’s cool adventures, head to her insta @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Bellingham Maze is renowned for being one of the Sunshine Coast’s most popular tourist attractions, ‘The Maze’ as it’s known locally has been loved by families since it first opened its doors over 20 years ago.  Located just 10 minutes from Mooloolaba and featuring an incredible 80m x 80m living hedge maze, timber maze, rope maze, tyre maze, 18 hole mini golf course, outdoor games, garden cafe and puzzle shop, it’s no wonder it attracts over 20,000 visitors a year.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

New owners Adam and Robyn acquired the business in June last year (they are the third owners since the Bellingham family developed and opened the property in 1993) and are very excited to own and operate a local icon and have many plans on improving what is already an a'MAZE'ing destination for locals and tourist alike. 

You know you are in the right place when you spot the large Dutch Windmill from the street (which was originally located up the road in Buderim) and once you negotiate the magic waterfall at the entrance (be careful not to get wet!) you will be promptly told by the lovely Bellingham Maze staff to ‘get lost’, in the star shape hedge maze that is!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The eight-pointed, star shaped maze takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. However, you can wander at your leisure through the pathways amongst the rows and rows of lilly pilly hedges to the tower in the middle and enjoy the views.  Along the way keep your eye out for Snow White’s dwarfs and try to crack the secret code as an added element of excitement. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Once you find your way out - we found that harder than finding the path to the tower! - the fun doesn't end there. Find the scrambled scrabble letters in the timber maze, take a relay challenge in the rope maze, try your skills on the tyre maze or stretch your mind with one of the floor puzzles, especially designed by award-winning maze designer, Adrian Fisher.

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

For even more fun, test your hand-eye coordination on the 18 hole, 2 par mini golf course - suitable for all ages.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

After all those activities, refuel with a coffee, cold drink, lunch or Devonshire Tea in the relaxing Garden Café. 

Try the puzzles on the tables in the cafe or browse the Puzzle Shop which has a unique range of brain teasing metal and wooden puzzles to purchase to take home.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Bellingham Maze is an ideal place for families to have good old-fashioned fun together on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a great place to challenge your mind, get out in nature + there is the added bonus that it gives little ones the chance to run off energy as they frantically search for the maze exit! Sounds like a winner to me!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to experience Bellingham Maze for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information about Bellingham Maze, head to their website.

The Ginger Factory - Yandina - Queensland - Review

During their recent Queensland holiday, Kate and her little ones spent a fun day at The Ginger Factory in Yandina riding on their historic ginger train, hopping on boat rides, going on a tour of the factory, experiencing a live bee show, doing lots of tastings and playing too! Thanks for the Ginger Factory for having us and thanks Kate for this great review! x Catherine To follow Kate’s adventures, head to her page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

One of the Sunshine Coast’s most popular attractions, The Ginger Factory in Yandina has been delighting families for more than 40 years.  Home of the famous Buderim Ginger, it is the world’s largest operating ginger factory and produces a large range of delicious and locally made ginger drinks, sweets, spreads and foods. However, there is more to the iconic Ginger Factory than manufacturing, it offers fun rides, fascinating tours, a unique retail precinct and café surrounded by beautiful sub-tropical gardens - there is something for everyone.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Here are our TOP SEVEN reasons for visiting The Ginger Factory with the whole family.

1. Ginger Train

Climb aboard Moreton, the historic ginger train for a tour of the factory grounds.  Moreton, the 116 year old, retired sugar cane train now spends his days taking people around the property giving a running commentary of the history of Buderim Ginger, the factory and local area + interesting things to see along the way.  Trains depart every thirty minutes from Ginger Town Station.  After three rides, the poppets voted the Ginger Train the best part of our day! 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

2. Overboard Boat Ride

Running continuously throughout the day, hop on a boat and chase the gingerbread man on an adventure as he escapes the clutches of hungry chefs.  As you sail through different countries, little ones will love trying to spot the gingerbread man as he hides amongst 200 homemade moving puppets including Moulin Rouge dancers, Santa and his elves and the guards at Buckingham Palace. Please note that this ride is quite dark in parts, which some children may find scary.

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

3. Live Bee Show & Tasting

Led by an experienced beekeeper, learn about the life of a bee, how bees make honey and see different bee species up close in this fascinating presentation. Honey lovers will enjoy tasting some delicious varieties of honey at the completion of the show with opportunities to buy jars to take home.  

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

4. Factory Tour & Tasting

Take the fully guided Factory Tour for a behind the scenes look into how far Buderim Ginger has come in the last 77 years, from a small farming community and ginger growers cooperative to one of the world’s largest suppliers of ginger.  Finish the tour with a private tasting in the Tasting Room featuring products available to purchase in the Ginger Shop and recipe ideas.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

5. Gingerbread Decorating

Purchase a freshly baked gingerbread man from the Ice Creamery with a tub of colourful icing, mini chocolates and lollies for children to use to decorate.  The poppets loved decorating the gingerbread men, but they loved eating them more!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

6. Kids Play Area

There are several free and fun play spaces for kids to explore. The undercover playground next to the Ginger Cafe allows children to play in a fenced areas with tunnels, stairs, slides, windows for peaking, and ropes for climbing. There is also a smaller play space designed for toddlers with their very own train to climb, a carriage to crawl through and colourful balls to play with. The poppets also loved playing the giant snakes and ladders located outside the Overboard Boat Ride.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

7. Café, Ice Creamery & Shop

A fun day out isn’t complete without a treat from the café (the ginger scones come highly recommended) or a handmade ice cream. Pop into the Ginger Shop on the way out to pick up your favourite Buderim Ginger products for home or gifts for family or friends.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Admission into The Ginger Factory is FREE - this allows you access to the Ginger Shop, Ginger Cafe, Ginger Town, play areas, gardens and Rainforest Walk.  Extra costs apply for the Ginger Train, Overboard Boat Ride, Live Bee Show and Factory Tour.  Check the website for prices and special bundle offers.  If you want to experience everything, purchase a Play, Taste & Discover Bundle which includes entry to all tours and shows + unlimited rides. Note, children aged three and under are free.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to experience The Ginger Factory for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on The Ginger Factory, head to their website.

Australia Zoo - Beerwah - Queensland - Review

On her recent trip to Queensland, Kate took her little ones to Australia Zoo for the ultimate day out to see and interact with wonderful wildlife, see wildlife shows and have lots of fun along the way! Thank you to Australia Zoo for inviting us and thank you Kate for this wonderful review. x Catherine To follow Kate’s adventures, head to her page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Australia Zoo - home of the Crocodile Hunter - on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, is nestled on over 70 acres of natural Australian bushland. With over 1,200 gorgeous native and exotic animals, a line up of free wildlife shows daily, interactive animal encounters and an action-packed 24-hour Wildlife Hospital, there is never a dull moment at Australia Zoo.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

If you've ever wanted to cuddle a koala, walk alongside a cheeky cheetah, get up close to a gorgeous lemur, wrap a python around your shoulders or waddle with a wombat, then Australia Zoo is your ultimate destination. 

Located just under an hour’s drive north of Brisbane or south of Noosa, there is no better place to spend a day with the entire family than at Australia Zoo.  Here is a list of highlights from our recent visit:

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • The Crocoseum

A visit to The Crocoseum to watch the world famous Wildlife Warriors Show is a must! Held every day at 12pm, keepers and their amazing animals will take you on a slithering, swooping, jaw-snapping adventure of epic proportions.  See giant snakes, colourful, soaring birds and the highlight; Steve Irwin's favourite animal in the entire world - the impressive saltwater crocodile.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Roo Heaven

Purchase some roo food for a couple of dollars and watch the enchantment on your children’s faces as they feed the friendly red and grey kangaroos as they laze about and roam around in their large outdoor enclosure.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Wildlife Hospital

Located at the rear of the main carpark, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital was opened in March 2004, inspired by the memory of Lyn Irwin (Steve’s Mum), who was a pioneer in wildlife care in Queensland.  It was Steve Irwin's dream to build the world's largest wildlife hospital at Beerwah to honour his mother Lyn, and to provide a lifeline for nature's innocent victims - providing sick, injured and orphaned wildlife with leading-edge treatment and rehabilitation before eventual release back to the wild. The incredible team in the hospital have already treated more than 80,00 patients. By purchasing a $2 Sneak Peak donation, you can visit the Wildlife Hospital and see first hand the vital work that is taking place.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Pat A Koala

Admire our best known Aussie icon and visit Koala Walkthrough, where you can pat a cuddly koala or watch them snoozing or eating amongst the eucalyptus trees.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Tiger Temple

Home to the majestic Sumatrans and Bengal tigers, Tiger Temple provides an amazing opportunity for you to get up-close with these magnificent big cats.  At 2.00pm daily, watch the popular Tiger Show and observe the tigers showcasing their impressive speed, agility and confidence both on land, and in water.  If you’re lucky you might even see them swimming in the underwater viewing area - the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.  Be sure to arrive early for the show as seating is limited.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Kids Zoo

Have some farmyard fun at the Kids Zoo located adjacent to The Crocoseum.  Little ones will love feeding and patting the super cute baby animals in their enclosures.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Bindi’s Island

Visit Bindi’s Island, a tropical island paradise that has ring-tailed lemurs free roaming amongst giant tortoises, colourful macaws, an alligator snapping turtle + Bindi’s three-storey treehouse, which offers sweeping views of Australia Zoo.

  • Roving Wildlife

The Wandering Wildlife team regularly roam around Australia Zoo with animals to meet. Get up close for a pat or to snap a photo with a possum, blue tongue, baby alligator, snake, koala or cockatoo to name a few.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Africa

Catch the FREE Safari Shuttle and explore the wide open plains of the 24-acre African savannah to see the only multi species exhibit in Queensland.  Marvel at the gorgeous giraffe, rhino and zebra or meet one of the mischievous meerkat families.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Play Areas

If the kids need a break from the animals, there are several play spaces located within the zoo for them to run around.  Outside The Crocoseum, kids will love the giant jumping pillow,  tea cup ride and recently opened Laughing Frog Water Park.  At Bindi’s Bootcamp Playground you will find a rock climbing wall and heaps of gooey, scaly, interactive games to play and challenges to complete.  The poppets loved exploring the little shaded playground adjacent to the wombats and snakes too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids for @kateflatman

Photo credit: @busycitykids for @kateflatman

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Steve and Terri Irwin's vision has always been to make Australia Zoo the biggest and best wildlife conservation facility in the entire world.  With conservation projects on-going and expansion plans going full steam ahead (including ‘Camp Crocodile Hunter’ which will open in 2020 as part of Australia Zoo’s 50th anniversary celebrations), Australia Zoo is certainly delivering an animal experience like no other and keeping Steve's dreams and legacy alive.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Don’t forget your camera!

  • Be sure to make use of Steve's Safari Shuttle for internal transport, hosted by friendly and knowledgeable guides, it can help tired legs or respite from the sun/rain. 

  • Allow at least four to six hours to explore Australia Zoo, depending on the age of your children.  We were there for nearly eight hours with our nearly 5yo twins. The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital is open until 5.30pm so we visited for thirty minutes after the Zoo had closed at 5.00pm.  

  • Check out the range of animal encounters, Zoo tours and studio photo opportunities that are available for an additional cost. 

  • Do your homework before you arrive. Visit the Australia Zoo website and make a list of the animals, shows, exhibits, etc. that you wish to see. Alternatively download the Australia Zoo app onto your phone for exhibit information, as well as handy hints on how to book an encounter, which shows to catch, and where to eat lunch. It also has a really awesome day planner and show reminders to make sure you don't miss all the action. 

  • Wear good walking shoes and be prepared for all weather conditions with a hat, sunscreen and umbrella or rain poncho.

  • Bring snacks and a picnic or enjoy a bite to eat in the two-storey, 1500-seat Feeding Frenzy food court or Dingo Diner, as well as several kiosks and beverage and ice cream vendors though the Zoo grounds. 

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

  • Ramps, pathways and enclosures are designed to be accessible by prams, wheelchairs and motorised scooters. Prams, tag-along wagons and lockers are also available for hire.

  • There are several parents nursing rooms + most toilet blocks have toddler seats in bathroom stalls. 

Busy City Kids were invited to experience Australia Zoo for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information about Australia Zoo, head to their website.

Green Olive School Holiday Program at Red Hill - Melbourne - Review

Escape the city and head to Green Olive at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, you won’t regret visiting this gorgeous place and the children will love it too! Kate took her little ones yesterday to experience one of their school holiday program activities and loved their time there. Thanks Kate for the gorgeous photos and review. To follow Kate’s adventures, head to their Insta page. Xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Whether you are a park parent, an arts & crafts parent, a working parent or an out & about parent, chances are that you need to plan at least one activity during the school holidays to keep little ones busy.

I’m definitely the organised, out & about parent and with an abundance of school holiday programs and activities on offer in Melbourne and surrounds, the choices really are limitless.

Whilst visiting Green Olive at Red Hill during a long weekend on the peninsula in February, I came across an advertisement for their School Holiday Program and knew straight away that it would be a perfect activity for the poppets.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Located just one hour from Melbourne in Main Ridge, Green Olive at Red Hill is a family owned and operated business encouraging children to enjoy and learn from the surroundings of a real working farm.  Their Farm Kids school holiday program gives children the opportunity to meet farm animals, learn about where food comes from, get creative in the kitchen and plants seeds while spending time outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

After much discussion and deliberation over which activity they wanted to participate in, the poppets chose the Kids Chicken Workshop from the appealing program - and what a good choice they made!  All three of us had such a fun time visiting and feeding the resident Isa brown chooks (who are guarded very closely by Pisa, the Maremma Sheepdog) and collecting freshly laid eggs from the chicken nesting trailer.  The excitement on their faces when they found an egg was just magical! 

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

While the chefs were busy in the kitchen making and flipping the super cute chick-shaped pancakes, the children decorated plastic easter eggs which then had cotton wool, water and sprout seeds placed inside. We cannot wait to see them once they grow! 

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

Once the pancakes were cooked and the egg shells sprouts carefully put away to take home, the poppets got to sit down and enjoy the yummy pancakes with homemade strawberry jam, the most perfect end to an egg-cellent morning. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

If you're looking for a unique, wholesome, fun activity for the kids to do during the school holidays, we highly recommend exploring the program of events at Green Olive at Red Hill - I know a certain someone who is waiting eagerly for the winter holiday activities to be released!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Tip - Be sure to allow time after your session for a play in the outdoor play area.  Kids will love bouncing on the in-ground trampoline and climbing on the tall rope structure while you sit back and enjoy a cuppa and a piece of cake, some tapas or even a glass of wine from the estate vineyard.    

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

Busy City Kids were invited to experience the Kids Chicken Workshop at Green Olive for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on Green Olive at Red Hill, head to their website.

For more ideas on the Mornington Peninsula, checkout our Family & Foodies Guide.

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

Neon Playground - Zoos Victoria - Melbourne - Review

Kate and her little ones had an amazing night on the opening night of Melbourne Zoo’s Neon Playground after dark experience last week.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

They were spoilt with night lights, projections, art installations, interactive performances, food and drinks and more - including a Graeme Base Waterhole performance.

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

Neon Playground is a new event celebrating wildlife conservation with a showcase of some of the best local light and visual artists and designers. 

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

Checkout tips on how to make the most of your night, download the event program, and map on the Zoos Victoria’s Website.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Neon Playground is on now until Saturday 27th April 2019 5:30pm-9:30pm. All proceeds will go to the critically endangered Southern Corroboree Frogs. Adult $39.00, Child (4-15 years) $19.00, Child under 4 FREE Adult Member $35.10 and Child Member $17.10.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to experience Neon Playground for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on Neon Playground, head to the Zoos Victoria's website.

Sovereign Hill - Easter School Holiday: Lost Trades Workshops - Melbourne - Review

These holidays, head to Sovereign Hill for a big day out and put the kids to work! Kate and her little team headed to Sovereign Hill this weekend to enjoy Sovereign Hill’s latest offerings and explored the working life of the goldfields, checked out the latest playground onsite and the latest multi sensory AURA show. Thanks for the fab review and pics Kate. xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Sovereign Hill comes alive these Easter holidays (Saturday 6th April - Monday 22nd April) as visitors explore the working life of the goldfields.  Relive history and discover lost trades with a range of exclusive workshops and FREE events that will transport you back to the busy goldfields of Ballarat. 

As several of the Lost Trade Workshops had height or age restrictions that prevented our four year old poppets from participating, we also took part in many activities from Sovereign Hill’s extensive daily program - including the all new sound and light evening show AURA.  Here are our highlights.

LOST TRADE WORKSHOPS

  • Try Your Hand

Learn traditional ‘hands-on’ skills such as rag rug making and cross-stitching inside the Horse Bazaar. And the best part? When you’re finished you get to take your handiwork home!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Small Animal Grooming

Little ones will love meeting Sovereign Hill’s adorable miniature donkeys, horses and twin baby goats. The poppets loved helping to groom and feed the resident goats on our visit as well as making coconut feeding toys for them to play with. 

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

  • Make Your Own Rope

Try making rope using traditional methods. Then see if you can turn your rope into quoits and challenge the local champions to a game.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Beauty & The Beast 

Held in the beautiful Victoria Theatre this hilarious performance of one of the best-loved fairy tales of all time is riotous fun for the whole family.  We all adored this show which has lots of silliness, a good dose of slapstick and even the odd pirate and witch. Be sure to arrive at the theatre at least 10 minutes before the commencement of the show to secure a seat.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

DAILY PROGRAM

  • Candle Dipping

Pop into William Hewett’s Yarrowee Soap and Candle Works at the top of Main Street where little ones can make a colourful dipped candle to take home.  The poppets were fascinated by the process of dipping their candles only four times in three pots of coloured wax to create FIVE different colours. They will make perfect Easter gifts for the grandparents in the UK.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Coach Rides

Climb aboard the horse drawn coach for a ride around the property. This activity is an additional cost and we recommended arriving early to purchase tickets as there can be a wait during busier times. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Sweet Making Demonstration   

No trip to Sovereign Hill is complete without a visit to Brown’s Confectionery.  It was fantastic watching the confectioners use original equipment and processes to make their famous boiled lollies. However, the real highlight was getting to taste the freshly made raspberry drops, yum!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Red Coat Soldiers 

Parading through Main Street at 1.30pm every day, the Red Coat Soldiers are always a crowd favourite.  Lead by the drummer beating his drum, the soldiers march into the centre of town and show visitors how soldiers in the 1850s practiced firing their rifles.  Please note that although the Corporal will tell the audience members to put their fingers in their ears, the noise is still very loud and may be unsuitable for small children or babies.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

  • Play Space 

Opening in October 2018, this new, interactive adventure land is full of unique equipment, including a gold rush-themed two storey-high sailing ship, jetty and row boat.  The play space also includes a full-size coach with carved horses, a poppet head with a large slide, a rock-climbing wall and a mining tunnel with an ore truck.  The poppets absolutely loved climbing, sliding and exploring this playground - it really is such a perfect addition to Sovereign Hill. 

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

AURA - SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW

Running nightly, AURA is Sovereign Hill’s new sound and light show that takes visitors on a spectacular journey though time and space to experience the story of gold and its power to change everything.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Set over 64 acres, this new multi-million dollar show takes over from its predecessor, Blood on the Southern Cross - which had been running for over 20 years!.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The 90 minute show begins with a 3D movie screening in a small theatre in the basement of the main entrance building where we explore space and literally feel the vibrations of stars exploding in front of our eyes.  From this moment, the stage is set for a truly magnificent evening.  When the screening ends, we board vehicles that take us deep into the Sovereign Hill property and arrive at a covered outdoor viewing platform to delve into the Dreamtime. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Wadawurrung creation story unfolds before us told through state-of-the-art projections on a magnificent lake, featuring stunning images of birds, land and flowers that look so lifelike the poppets ask if the eagle will fly over their heads.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our last location is an adjacent indoor theatre where the screen opens to reveal a detailed historical set making us feel right in the centre of the action.  We watch as the land is transformed by the gold rush, gunfights and protests erupt under the night sky and the chaos of the Eureka Rebillion comes to life as we witness creation and discovery of the world’s most precious metal.

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

Conceived by Andrew Walsh AM and his Accolade Event Management team, who delivered events that include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the first four years of White Night, together with Sovereign Hill’s own historical experts, AURA was two years in the making and is a tribute to the creativity of teams involved. Highly recommended for the whole family.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

A few quick tips before you go:

  • Several of the Lost Trade Workshops need to be booked in advance.  Visit the Sovereign Hill website to book online prior to your visit.

  • Pre-booking for AURA are essential.  

  • Parental discretion is required for AURA as the show includes loud sound effects and dramatic pyrotechnics. 

  • The weather in Ballarat tends to be a bit cooler than Melbourne so wear and pack a few different layers (especially if attending the night show) + gumboots if it’s wet. Flat shoes are also recommended.

  • There are several restaurants and eateries onsite. We always enjoy the - award winning - hot pies and sausage rolls from the Hope Bakery.  Pre-show dinner packages are also available before AURA (bookings essential).  

  • Take advantage of the two day visit offer for the price of a single day’s entry. Sovereign Hill and Ballarat have excellent accommodation options suitable for families.

Busy City Kids were invited to experience Sovereign Hill’s There’s work to be done School Holiday program for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on Sovereign Hill's School Holiday Program 'There's work to be done', head to this page. For more information on the Aura show, head to this page.

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

Zoorassic - Werribee Zoo - Melbourne - Review

These school holidays and until the 14th of July 2019, kids can walk with dinosaurs at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Follow the Werribee River Trail to find 12 life-size dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurs rex, Stegosaurus and more! Kate took her little dino lovers to Werribee Zoo to checkout this great school holiday activity and had an amazing day there! Thanks Kate for the great photos x Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Dinosaur fans will love the realistic creatures brought to life through animatronics! Zoo rangers will be observing behaviours, taking notes and helping you interpret the unique movements and sounds of these prehistoric creatures!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

How amazing is this life-size T-Rex in contrast to Kate’s little one!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

There’s plenty of dinosaurs around the Werribee Zoo to choose a favourite or two! For extra dino fun, don’t miss the fossil digs that take place each day in the Dino Ranger research tent.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Zoorassic at Werribee Zoo is on from the 6th of April to the 14th of July 2019 from 9.00am to 4.30pm daily.

Dinopark at Melbourne Zoo is also on from the 6th of April to the 14th of July 2019 from 9.30am to 3.00pm daily. Be amazed this autumn as the dinosaurs take over Melbourne Zoo’s historic Carousel Park. The Zoo has teamed up with the creators at Erth Visual & Physical Inc to present Dino Park; a unique walk-through experience where you will see these prehistoric creatures come to life.

And don’t miss Megabeasts at Healesville Sanctuary also from 6th of April to the 14th of July 2019 from 9am to 5pm. A megafauna experience straight out of the ice age! Giant animals, called megafauna, once roamed the landscapes of Asia, Africa, Europe and North America more than 10,000 years ago. Don’t forget to visit the Nature Play Space area too if you’re visiting the Healesville Sanctuary. The Nature Play Space is nestled in the centre of the sanctuary with the new Pavilion Café and Reptile House just next door, our review here.

The experiences are included with Zoo entry. Kids under 16 visit FREE on weekends and school holidays. Members visit free every day.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were not invited to experience Zoorassic at Werribee Zoo for the purpose of a review as it was a special Zoo Members sneak peak. Kate is a member of Zoos Victoria. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on Zoorassic and other Dinosaur events taking place at Zoos Victoria's three Zoos these holidays, head to their website.

Australian Reptile Park - Somersby - Sydney - Review

What’s better than having a birthday on New Year’s eve? Heading to the Australian Reptile Park of course! We surprised reptile and dinosaur lover little Mister on his birthday with a visit at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby last year and made an amazing day of it! So much to do, it was incredible.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

During the school holidays, the Australian Reptile Park has various activities, feeding times, talks etc. For the summer school holidays, the park had dinosaurs around various parts of the park, dino dig for fossils, interactive dino walks, dino dance party, dino reptile show, roving reptiles and turtles as well as the usual alligator & crocodile feeding shows and more. Checkout their website before you head out to make sure you make the shows and special activities.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After the kids had a chat with the reptile keeper, we headed to the Lost World of Reptiles where we found an array of different reptiles from around the world.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss was fascinated with iguanas while little Mister with cobras and anacondas.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Egypt themed room was filled with baby crocodiles around the large statue which the kids loved to spot.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Spider World was a cool area to see our arachnid friends and see a giant spider in action as well as comic related info and some fun spider-themed games along the way.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then headed outside to say hello to Elvis in the crocodile swamp. There are various feeding times during the day for Elvis.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids then checked out the playground briefly before heading to the Komodo Dragons palace. If you wanted to make the trip a day trip, bring some snacks, a picnic or bbq and set things up at various uncovered and covered picnic areas or sit at various benches around the park.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids did limited dino digging for fossils on the day as the dig pit was filled with friendly kangaroos so the kids were more than happy to give them a pat and cuddle.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After some cuddles, we ventured across the nature walk where we saw wallabies, cassowaries, dingos, koalas, lace monitors, wombats, birds, a walk-in owl flight, parrots, night animals, tassie devils, tortoises and more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Do no miss the alligators along the nature path too and make sure you attend one of the alligator feeding time - it was fascinating to see these creatures and see the large female alligator which rules the alligators basking area. The alligator keepers are truly amazing to be working with such creatures. The Australian Reptile Park is the first zoo in Australia to import the alligators species and breed them. Alligators are found in the swamps and bayous of the south eastern US, and are currently under threat due to wetland clearance and polluted drains.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a fantastic alligator feeding, we headed to meet some roving dinosaurs and break some dino dance moves at a dino dance party. Both great summer holiday treats for visitors.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Before heading home, we fed some kangaroos with some feed from reception and checked out the gift shop of course! We had such an amazing time at the Australian Reptile Park and we will have to visit again soon if not make it a yearly ritual for little Mister’s birthday!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Australian Reptile Park is located at 69 Pacific Highway in Somersby.

  • Open 9am-5pm everyday of the year, 7 days a week, except Christmas Day.

  • Adults $39, Child (3-15 years) $21, Senior +60 $29, Family Pass (2 adults, 2 child) $105, Single (1 adult, 2 child) $75 or Extra child on family pass $15. Yearly memberships are also available.

  • Checkout their daily schedules or school holiday schedules before you go to make the special activities, talks and feeding times.

  • Bring water bottles, snacks or lunch or a picnic with you (there is a small café with some food there too).

  • There are picnic areas as well as picnic tables in the park.

  • Bring hats and sunscreen on warm days.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to the Australian Reptile Park for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food and travel were self funded.

For more information on the Australian Reptile Park, 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.

Myuna Farm - Doveton - Melbourne - Review

The Myuna Farm in Doveton is a gorgeous little community farm managed by the council of City of Casey. Families can visit the working farm and get hands-on contact with a variety of animals and learn about farming processes, farm animals as well as various sustainability activities. Melbourne contributor @littlemonkeys.melb visited the Myuna Farm recently and was very kind to share some great pics and their thoughts on their visit.

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Kids can pat and cuddle baby farm animals such as rabbits, goats, guinea pigs, sheep every day at the Animal Display Centre. Kids can also chat to resident Joey the talking cockatoo and other birds in the aviary. Visitors can get up close to Australian native animals such as kangaroos, cockatoos and emus as well as visit the reptile displays for all things creepy crawly, such as snakes, turtles and lizards.

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Visitors can also walk the feed trails around the paddocks and feed lots of different farm animals.

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Young children will love riding ponies too.

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Families will love to sit back and enjoy the farm train as it goes past the animals and landscapes, down to the wetlands. An easy way to visit the colony of flying foxes at the wetlands a kilometre down the farm. Visitors can also talk a walk through the wetland's boardwalks and view the native wildlife that share the natural environment.

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Or spend the afternoon getting lost in the farm maze and exploring the playground and gardens.

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Melbourne contributor @littlemonkeys.melb, her daughter and friends really loved their visit at the Myuna Farm and cannot wait to go back! A fantastic day out.

Our info:

  • Myuna Farm is located at 182 Kidds Road in Doveton.

  • Myuna is open 10:00am to 4:00pm, 7 days a week except Christmas day.

  • Admission is: Single: $8.50 (concession: $7), Family of 4 (maximum): $30 (concession: $23), Children under 12 months : Free, Annual family membership: $130 or Annual family membership for Casey residents: $110.

  • Train rides are $3 each. Pony rides are $3 each.

  • You can also host a birthday party or special event at the farm, there’s also regular events and school programs that run at the farm too.

  • Bring snacks or a picnic to enjoy during your visit or enjoy a wide range of good farm tucker, hot and cold drinks and ice creams at the Farm Cafe.

  • There are also free barbeques onsite and visitors are encouraged to bring along a delicious meal as there are no outside food restrictions.

  • Bring sunscreen and hat.

  • The farm is wheelchair accessible.

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

For more information on Myuna Farm, 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.

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.

Emu Plains Market - Balnarring - Mornington Peninsula - Review

Kate and her family loved visiting the Emu Plains Market with their little ones in early January this year. What a fantastic market, lots of fun for parents and kids and the food looks so delicious, do come to the Emu Plains Market on an empty stomach! Thanks Kate for the cute pics and review. To follow Kate and her little adventure seekers, head to their Instagram page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Beneath the sun dappled stringy bark canopy, the Emu Plains Market transforms the natural bush setting into a snaking trail of colourful market stalls welcoming people to the unique atmosphere.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Created in 2012 by passionate locals Joel & Vanessa Johnson, the Emu Plains Market has become one of the Mornington Peninsula's favourite outdoor destinations. Each month between October and April they create a feast of art, food, design and culture set within the picturesque Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

We were fortunate to visit on a balmy summer’s night in January and enjoyed the first of the very special Twilight Markets.  With a diverse array of over 200 talented stallholders including clothing, homewares, cut flowers & plants, art, beauty & wellbeing, jewellery, craft, farm fresh local produce, gourmet food and live music, there really was something for everyone.

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

Of course there was also LOTS for the poppets to get excited about too including a jumping castle, face-painting, cupcake decorating and a wonderful playground in the heart of the market.  

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 Emu Plains Market really is the perfect family activity.  Pack your picnic rug, an empty stomach and kick back and relax while soaking up all the sights and sounds of the incredible festival-like atmosphere created #underthestringybarks.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

    • Parking is available onsite for $4 with the money raised helping the community projects of the Western Port Rotary Group and the Emu Plains Reserve committee for the upkeep of the gorgeous grounds.  

    • Bring cash as most stalls do not offer EFTPOS facilities.  There is an ATM onsite for your convenience.

    • Although the gorgeous stringy barks offer a lot of shade, there are still parts of the market in the full sun (including the playground) so pack a hat and sunscreen.  

    • Don't forget your reusable shopping bags and a cool pack for transporting produce home.

    • Looking for another market to visit? Little Beauty In The Park is a stunning new event from the creators of Emu Plains Market.  Typically run on the 4th Saturday of the month from October to April each year in Frankston, Little Beauty In The Park features over 100 of Melbourne’s best marketers and creators hand picked for their uniqueness, creativity and ethos.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For more information on the Emu Plains Market, 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.

Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm - Mornington Peninsula - Review

Kate and her little ones headed down the Mornington Peninsula last weekend for some special family time and took the opportunity to visit the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm to enjoy strawberry picking and to taste their delicious strawberry ice cream and gorgeous local produce. Thanks Kate for the cute pics and review. To follow Kate and her little adventure seekers, head to their Instagram page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

There’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly picked strawberries. It’s hard to describe the juiciness and flavour – you definitely won’t get it from any supermarket! And there’s no better day out with the family than hunting through the fields at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm to find the perfect strawberry.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For generations, Sunny Ridge has been one of the Mornington Peninsula’s most iconic and loved attractions.  Set amongst scenic bushland and rolling hills on Victoria’s Hinterland property in Main Ridge, Sunny Ridge is now the largest strawberry farm in Australia.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

From November to April (U-Pick Season) visitors can purchase a punnet for strawberry picking at the farm shop and follow staff instructions on how to pick the best strawberries and location of the days’ picking field.  With so many strawberries available on our visit, we took our time trying to find the biggest and juiciest ones!  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Once our punnets were full & the poppets had played on the red tractor next to the fields, we headed back inside to the cafe for morning tea.  The bartender & I couldn't resist ordering a serve of freshly baked scones served with Sunny Ridge’s famous strawberry jam and a helping of double thick cream.  Yum! Despite the cool weather, the ice cream cabinet was far to tempting for little people! Macy even let me have a lick of her choice - the award winning strawberry ice cream.

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

With fully tummies, we couldn’t leave without buying some farm-made jam, local produce and a few strawberry-themed gifts to take home. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Strawberry picking at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm is fun for all ages and a perfect family activity to do in-between visiting the local wineries or food emporium on the Mornington Peninsula.

Our tips:

    • Sunny Ridge strawberry season typically runs from November through to April. However, picking availability is based on a number of circumstances including weather conditions or farm machinery requirements. Strawberry picking can also be closed due to popularity, meaning that Sunny Ridge can be ‘picked out’.  It’s very much first come, first served - so check social media updates before you visit & arrive early in the morning.

    • The only rule for picking: you must be able to close your punnet lid otherwise additional strawberries will be charged.

    • Don't forget your camera to capture the moment your little people spot the big juicy strawberries ready to pick.

    • Sunny Ridge is relatively pram friendly; access to the strawberry fields is located down a small flight of stairs. Staff are available to assist with prams if required.  Access to the strawberry picking from a pram is limited due to the row width.

    • Don't forget to pack you hat and sunscreen as well as a water bottle - especially if visiting during summer as there is very limited shade available in the fields.  FYI - disposable booties are available to cover your shoes if the fields are muddy.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to pick gorgeous strawberries at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food, travel and parking were self funded.

For more information on the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, head to their website.

For more ideas on the Mornington Peninsula, checkout our Family & Foodies Guide.

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

The Wiggles Frog Disco Review - Melbourne Zoo - Melbourne - Review

Kate and her little ones are massive fans of the Wiggles and the Melbourne Zoo so they could not miss the school holiday event Wiggles Frog Disco! Thanks for the cute pics and review Kate. To follow Kate’s adventures, head to her Insta.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

“Gonna tell you a story 'bout a little frog.  He’s got stripes yellow and black.”

To celebrate the opening of its brand NEW, musical play space The Wiggles Frog Disco, Melbourne Zoo is going wild about Corroboree Frogs every day of the summer holidays! 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

There are so many ways to join in on the fun:

Collect a Corroboree Frog mask at the Zoo entrance.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Show off your best moves as you dance to The Wiggles “Corroboree Frog” song on the MC Escher inspired frog dance floor. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Join the giant frog puppet in a parade that will make its way through the Zoo and to the Frog Disco each day at 10.30am and 12.30pm. This incredible puppet was created by the team from A Blank Canvas with heat treated nylon and is operated by four puppeteers. If you’re lucky you might even get a turn on the gears + a high five (four!).

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @littlemonkeys.melb for @busycitykids

See the real Corroboree Frogs up close in Keeper Kids and The World of Frogs.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

frogdiscomelbournezoo_ - 3.jpg

Search for 15 Corroboree Frogs hiding amongst the plants, in the garden outside The World of Frogs.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Purchase Corroboree Frog merchandise from the Zoo Shop to help Zoos Victoria fight extinction and raise awareness for this unique endangered frog.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Entry to the Wiggles Frog Disco is included with entry. Kate used her Zoo membership for entry into the Zoo. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Zoo membership, food, travel and parking were self funded.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Visit the Zoos Victoria website to find out more about the Frog Disco and about their Southern Corroboree Frog recovery program.

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

Day and Night on the Reef - Sea Life Sydney Aquarium - Sydney - Review

The NEW Day and Night on the Reef exhibit at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is now open and it’s fabulous and all about the Great Barrier Reef by Day and Night. The entrance to the new exhibit is the old one after the touchpool, the nice coral aquarium were previously there however undertook a little remodelling and large cylinders Jelly Lullaby where glowing jellyfish reside can be found when walking through.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids will love walking on Moonlight Beach and see their footsteps glow in the interactive floor projections and on screen display. Little Mister loved this section, he kept running around the beach and laughing.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Walk down the expansive coral garden which glows under the ‘night’ lights. Little Miss loved seeing her clothes, teddy glow, touching and looking at the coral display on walls.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Another interactive aspect of the exhibit is the coral spawning motion detecting display where visitors can control the coral reef current through motion sensors by moving their hands across the screen. Kids will love hanging onto the projected coral reef and clock too and being covered by the colourful projections.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Walk down further and you will see the giant turtle aquarium spanning along with Myrtle the rescue turtle and her fellow turtle friends Dave and Choung with hundreds of beautiful sea creatures. A great photo opportunity if you spot the turtles.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It was little Mister’s favourite spot, he loved watching on the sea creatures and the turtles and looking at the giant stone turtle in the aquarium.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can learn how we can protect our reef by picking up litter on the beach and watch the life-cycle of a turtle through projection from nesting to the birth of baby turtles. Little Mister loved looking at the baby turtles. Little Miss is all across picking up litter at the beach with me to prevent sea creatures getting hurt so she loved the interactive litter game.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved visiting the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium to see the new $5 million interactive exhibit developed by a team of over 100 people, Day and Night on the Reef. This great exhibit is the largest Great Barrier Reef display in the world with interactive experiences which help visitors appreciate the Reef.

Busy City Kids were invited to the Day and Night on the Reef exhibit for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food and travel were self funded.

For more information about Day and Night on the Reef, head to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium'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.

Chesterfield Farm - Melbourne - Review

Experience the farm near the city at Chesterfield Farm! Kate and her little ones chose the perfect day for visiting the Chesterfield Farm recently and loved it! They enjoyed feeding and patting all the animals on site, milking a cow, cuddling bunnies and getting onboard the tractor for a fun tractor ride. Thanks to Kate over at @kateflatman for this great review and pics xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Chesterfield Farm in Scoresby is an historical tourist and children’s farm offering country life in the city.  Located at a 40 minute drive south-east of Melbourne (nestled right next to Eastlink Freeway), Chesterfield Farm allows children to get close to animals and see first hand how a farm operates.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

During your visit you will see all your favourite farmyard animals - sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, goats, ponies, rabbits, guinea pigs and donkeys as well as alpaccas, camels, deer, llamas, emus and kangaroos. Feed bags can be purchased for $1.50 for animals on the feed trail - watch out for the greedy goats!

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

By far the best way to see Chesterfield Farm is to hop onto the tractor and take a ride ($3.00 per person aged 3+) through the paddocks.  The all-weather wagon on the back fits about 20 people with the ride lasting approximately 10 minutes with full commentary.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Want to get even close to the animals? Head into the Baby Animal Nursery to cuddle a bunny, pat a calf, hand feed the guinea pigs or have a piglet nibble your shoe laces! Try to resist the urge to smuggle a baby goat into your bag, they are just so cute! 

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

A popular aspect of Chesterfield Farm is the daily farm activities, which are always lots of fun for all ages. Activities may include hand milking a cow, sheepdog display, pig talks, sheep sheering, whip cracking and bottle feeding lambs.  A timetable of the day’s activities is given to you upon entry.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Before heading home, be sure to pop into the farm shop to pick up fresh eggs, homemade cheese or milk from the farm.  The milk is pasteurised but not homogenised so you’ll find a thick layer of yellowish cream on top, just like Grandma used to drink!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Don't forget your camera to capture the adorable interaction between the animals and your little people.  Master Arlo is known as the animal whisperer and is often seen with puckered lips, offering sheep or goats a kiss!

  • Check the website for up-to-date information about daily activities before you go as activities and frequencies differ between weekdays and on weekends/public holidays.

  • Line up early for all scheduled activities as they can get really busy, especially on weekends and during the school holidays.

  • The Homestead Cafe sells delicious pies and sausage rolls, homemade sandwiches, ice creams, snacks + hot and cold drinks.  

  • Feel free to bring your own picnic.  There are several all weather lunch/picnic areas + $5 BBQ Hire facilities. 

  • Chesterfield Farm is relatively pram friendly with ample pram parking available outside of the main show barn, tractor station and animal nursery.  There is also a designated baby change area located within the toilets opposite the main entrance, near the car park. 

  • Don't forget to pack your hat and sunscreen or gum boots and a change of clothes depending on what season you visit.

  • Chesterfield Farm is the perfect venue for children’s birthday parties, kinder and school excursions, mother’s groups and playgroups or a group function.  Catering options are also available.

  • Remember this is a working farm with hazards, so be sure to keep an eye on your little ones at all times.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited at Chesterfield Farm for the purpose of a review with tractor rides and animal feed provided with entry. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food were self funded. 

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

Nature Play Space - Healesville Sanctuary - Melbourne - Review

Last Saturday, Kate and her little ones headed to the Healesville Sanctuary to checkout the NEW Nature Play Space just opened for the Spring Holidays and were spoilt with the weather and of course the natural beauty of the new forest play space which Kate’s little ones loved and yours will too! Thanks Kate for the gorgeous pics and review. We cannot wait to visit. To follow Kate’s little ones adventures, head to their Insta @kateflatman. Xo Catherine

Nestled in the centre of Healesville Sanctuary, with the new Pavilion Café and Reptile House just next door, the new Nature Play Space is the perfect spot for little ones to continue to run around while parents take a break and grab a coffee or even a local cider!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Designed to encourage children to interact with the natural world, to run wild and explore, the Nature Play Space features water play with metal hand pumps, raised sand pits, two cubby houses (designed and made by the amazing team at Castle & Cubby) and an enchanted forest for kids to explore.  

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

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The poppets particularly loved playing with the water pumps and watching the water run down into the creek beds (I can see this being a very popular spot come the warmer months!). 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Nature Play Space is perfect for little ones to run, jump, forage, climb, balance and dig as they explore - just be sure to watch out for the plastic creepy crawlies (an assortment of bugs, beetles, an ant, grasshopper, butterfly and a fly) that have been added to the space for children to use their imaginations and learn about Australia's native insects. Eeek!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

During these Spring holidays, head to the Healesville Sanctuary’s Nature Play Space from 11am to 2pm each day and meet the Play Maker team who will bring out every child’s natural wild child with the following activities.

  • Become a bush builder and construct your own ‘Gunya’ shelter for a wild day in the bush,

  • Become a Helmeted Honeyeater to ward off predators with face paint and a special dance

  • Become a bush explorer and forage to make nests in our magical Casuarina Forest

  • Become a didgeridoo player and learn how to play the didge at Murrundindi’s Didge Scho

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

With several additional elements being added over the coming weeks, including sail shades over the sand pits and water play for sun protection, the Nature Play Space is a fantastic addition to the exiting play spaces at Healesville Sanctuary.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Healesville Sanctuary is located on Badger Creek Road in Healesville.

Our tips:

  • Arrive at Healesville Sanctuary as it opens especially during the holidays or weekends

  • Entry to the Healesville Sanctuary varies however Kids go free at Zoos Victoria Zoos during the holidays

  • There is plenty of parking onsite

  • Don’t forget to pack some snacks or a picnic to make the most of the day

  • The new Nature Play Space is wheelchair accessible for participation in sand and water play

  • There are ample toilets onsite

  • There are two parents room onsite, checkout our parents room page

For more information, head to Zoos Victoria website.

Busy City Kids were invited to explore the Healesville Sanctuary for the purposes of a review however Kate used her Zoo membership for entry into the Zoo. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Zoo membership, food, travel and parking were self funded.

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

Collingwood Children's Farm - Melbourne - Review

Spring is here and little goats are ready for little ones' pats at Collingwood Children's Farm. How gorgeous are these pics from Kate!  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

We thought we would take the opportunity to show how great the Collingwood Children's Farm is for little ones! Below are some pics from the archives that Kate took when her and her little ones visited the farm last. For her review of Family Day at the Farm, head to her review here.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Little ones and their carers will love visiting the Collingwood Children's Farm, we loved visiting when we lived in Melbourne and cannot wait to visit again. At the farm, kids can enjoy wondering around the paddocks checking out the farm animals (horses, cows, goats, chickens, pigs, guinea pigs, geese and more!), giving cuddles to guinea pigs, touching other farm animals or milking a cow.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

You can combine a visit to the Farm on Saturdays which is when Farmers' market is on where delicious food from local producers as well as fruit & vegetables and meat are sold on the day however there are no cuddles with animals in the morning. Extra activities are often organised on weekends and school holidays.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kids will love patting a horse, milking a cow and wondering through this beautiful farm. Great for a day out with friends and family. The Farm Café as well as the Abbotsford Convent Café next door also offer great coffee and food. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Collingwood Children's Farm is open Monday to Sunday 9:15 am to 4:30 pm
  • Entry is $5 full/$3 concession for a Child, $10 full/$5 concession for an Adult, Family (two adults & up to four children) $20 full/$10 concession. An annual membership is also available at reception
  • Activities happen every day no bookings or fees. Cow Milking at 10.15am & 4pm, Guinea Pig cuddles 10.30am-11am, 12.30pm-1pm and 3.15pm-3.45pm
  • Family Day on each month where cuddle times vary but there are no cuddles on Market day in the morning
  • Extra activities are often organised on weekends and school holidays
  • At busy times, for the animals welfare, free access to paddocks may be closed to visitors
  • Last entry to the farm is at 3.30pm
  • Parking is available close to the Farm at St Heliers Street. Proceeds go to Abbotsford Convent Foundation and the Collingwood Children's Farm
  • Pop into the Farm's café for some great food and drinks
  • Pop into the Abbotsford Convent Foundation for some great food and drinks

The Collingwood Children's Farm is located at 18 St Heliers St in Abbotsford.

For more information on Collingwood Children's Farm, 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.

Goolwa Animal Farm - Adelaide - Review

On our recent Adelaide school holiday trip in July, we took the opportunity to visit relatives on the Fleurieu Peninsula. We couldn't resist popping in to the cute and local gem - the Goolwa Animal Farm.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Run by friendly couple Allan and Caroline, this cute animal farm is worth a visit as kids will want to stay for hours to pet the animals, go on a trailer ride, ride a pony or play in the little playground so grab some snacks or a picnic.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss was given a little spotting game at reception to spot the gnomes around the farm which was quite amusing. The kids couldn't wait to see the animals as soon as we visited and were pretty much in love with the rabbits and guinea pigs so we grabbed some animal feed.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Animals on the farm include rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, chicks, ducks, turkeys, goats, doves, pigs, donkeys, ponies as well as 3 different types of kangaroos, some emus and alpacas.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids loved the rabbit and guinea pig area and were happy to stay in there for ages while they cuddled, fed and looked at new baby rabbits.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It was then time for us to jump onto the trailer for a trailer ride around the paddock where we saw emus, alpacas, different types of kangaroos, sheep and more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We then had a snake showing of the resident python which the kids and I were happy to pat and hold (yes I held a python to my surprise).

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We continued looking around the farm checking out the ducks, chickens and jumping on the old tractors around and playing in the little play area with sandpit, toys and riding cars.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Miss insisted she wanted to take her first pony ride and loved the experience that Allan provided and wants to ride again. Thank you Allan and Caroline for making this experience for her so special.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We had an amazing time at the Goolwa Animal Farm and highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. The kids will love it and you will too!

Our tips:

  • The Goolwa Animal Farm is located at 85 Airport Rd, Goolwa minutes from Goolwa on the way to the airport.
  • The farm is open at various times during the school term and school holidays, check their website to check times and opening days.
  • Admission to the farm is $10 per adult, $8 for children/senior/student and Free for kids under 2.
  • A trailer ride is included in admission, pony ride for kids over 2 is $5 and animal feed $1.
  • A play area is available for under 2s and older kids.
  • The farm is pram friendly.
  • Grab some animal feed at reception.
  • Enjoy a coffee or other treats at the café while you're there.
  • Toilets are located at the entrance (male, female, disabled and baby change facilities available).

Busy City Kids were invited to the Goolwa Animal Farm for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel, food and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information and up-to-date news about the Goolwa Animal Farm, 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.

Urimbirra Wildlife Park - Adelaide - Review

Urimbirra Wildlife Park is one little gem we found when looking at things to do around Goolwa, Port Elliott and Victor Harbor when visiting family these last school holidays. I read fabulous reviews online with people loving this local wildlife park so I couldn't wait for us to check it out.

Urimbirra Wildlife Park is located in Hindmarsh Valley just 5 minutes from Victor Harbor. The Park has a range of Australian animals kids will love. Visitors can pat and feed kangaroos, pat a koala, feed an emu, watch a professional snake handler, see reptiles and more.

As soon as we arrived and purchased kangaroo feed at the counter and grabbed a map, we headed straight outside and the kids 'jumped' on the first kangaroo they saw. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As you enter the wildlife park, you will see wild birds such as black cockatoos, owls and a cassowary and see lorikeets and other birds in the walk through aviary. There are also some salt and fresh water crocodiles and reptiles to checkout, emus as well as farm animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs and sheep before venturing around to see the rest of the Australian animals.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The highlight of Urimbirra Wildlife Park is by far the open range area where the kids met various wallabies and kangaroos. Even little baby joeys in their pouches - so cute! The kids loved chatting to them and feeding them. There was a small moment where a few kangaroos were startled which scared the kids a little but other than it was a very pleasant experience and they spent a lot of time with them.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We managed to catch one of the Koalas Feeding session, there are daily sessions at 11am, 2pm and 4pm as well as a Snake Handling session at 4pm both near the Koala Enclosure. After an intro from the Koala keeper, visitors were invited to pat and take a pic with a koala.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We continued exploring and saw dingos, wombats, more birds, reptiles and more Kangaroo Island Kangaroos and Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Little Miss fell in love with one of the baby kangaroos and wanted to take him home ha! We had a wonderful time and highly recommend a visit at Urimbirra Wildlife Park!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Urimbirra Wildlife Park is located at 10 Welch Road, Victor Harbor which is in Hindmarsh Valley just 5 minutes from Victor Harbor. 
  • Urimbirra is open every day of the year from 10 am to 5 pm including public holidays.
  • Admission to Urimbirra Wildlife Park is $14 per adult, $7 for children (4 to 14 yrs), Free for kids under 4. Students & Seniors $10.
  • The wildlife park is pram friendly. 
  • There are toilets inside the wildlife park next to the entrance building.

Busy City Kids were invited by Urimbirra Wildlife Park for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel, food and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information and up-to-date news about the Urimbirra Wildlife Park, 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.