Holey Moley & Strike Bowling - Sunshine Coast - Review

Kate and her little monkeys visited Holey Moley & Strike Bowling when they visited the Sunshine Coast recently and loved the mini golf and tenpin bowling experience! Thanks to Holey Moley & Strike Bowling for having us and thanks Kate for the review. xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Bringing fun to the Big Top Shopping Centre in Maroochydore; Holey Moley Golf Club and Strike Bowling offer a unique mini golf, tenpin bowling, karaoke and bar experience like no other!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

This new venue, operated by Funlab - who also run Sky Zone Australia, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq and the newest addition, B. Lucky & Sons - opened in February 2018 and has quickly become one of the hottest spots on the Sunshine Coast, or should that be ‘Funshine' Coast…?

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Get ready for the craziest round of mini golf you have ever played when you step onto the course at Holey Moley Golf Club!  Forget the usual windmills and castles, putt your stuff through two nine-hole courses, with 18 uniquely themed holes. With nods to much loved TV shows and movies (think The Simpsons, Happy Gilmore, Back to the Future and Game of Thrones) and pop-culture icons (Kayne West and Elvis), as well as tributes to nostalgic games and toys, get ready to tap, tap, tap it in!

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

Strike Bowling is definitely not your average bowling alley. Whether you’re competing to be crowned bowling king, or just a fan of wholesome fun, bowling is the perfect activity for all ages. Be ready to put on some shiny shoes and smash strikes down on the 10-lane alley where the lights are turned down low, fun is cranked to 100% and the sound system will have you grooving between bowls.

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

But the good times don't end there! There is a fully-equipped bar serving drinks and bar snacks including pizza, burgers, hot dogs and delicious loaded fries, which staff will happily deliver to your bowling lane or to the golf course (drinks only). Belt out tunes in one of the private karaoke rooms, play a game of pool, test your skills in the mind-bending escape rooms or get your groove on with the DJ spinning tunes.

FYI - Due to liquor licence restrictions, children under 18 years are not permitted in the venue after 8.00pm.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

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

For more information about Maroochydore Strike Holey Moleyhead to their website.

Brickman Cities Powered by LEGO® CITY - Scienceworks - Melbourne - Info

Brickman Cities Powered by LEGO® CITY is coming to Melbourne this June at Scienceworks! 

We loved Brickman Cities Powered by LEGO® CITY when it came to Sydney earlier this year, the kids loved the impressive builds and building their own Lego masterpiece. We spent almost two hours at the event and enjoyed our time there. Now it’s time for Melbourne to enjoy it! So head to Scienceworks this June with your LEGO fans!

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Created by the LEGO® Masters judge, Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught. The experience has been exclusively curated and built by McNaught and his expert team and opens at Scienceworks Melbourne on Saturday 15 June and runs through until August 4. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Showcasing five of the world’s most iconic cities at different time periods in history, visitors can trace each city’s evolution all the way from 1000AD to today in a fun, educational and immersive way.

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Brickman Cities Powered by LEGO® CITY

Brickman Cities Powered by LEGO® CITY

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

At the centre of this new interactive experience is a 3m x 4m scale model of Lower Manhattan, built entirely in white LEGO® pieces with 3D stories of New York projected directly onto them. Using cutting-edge technology of UHD 4K projectors, visitors are taken on a journey from the First People’s villages right through to present day.

More than 1,900 hours and 1 million LEGO® bricks were needed to build Brickman Cities powered by LEGO® CITY.  Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught and the creative team spent a further 250 hours developing sophisticated 3D projections to bring the hero city of New York to life.

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Budding builders itching to get their hands on some LEGO® bricks can do so in the interactive master build zone home to half a million LEGO® bricks where they can build their vision of a LEGO® CITY of tomorrow.  Brickman Cities also features a brand-new collaboration with LEGO® CITY, an entire wall showcasing the history of LEGO® CITY, including CITY Fire Stations from decades ago.

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

McNaught hopes the interactive experience will encourage visitors to learn and play whilst also enjoying large scale sculptures. “Brickman Cities brings to life the rich histories of the world’s greatest cities like never before and I hope visitors will find it both informative and fun.  I can’t wait to see young LEGO® enthusiasts take what they have learnt and use their imagination to create their own LEGO® CITY of tomorrow,” says McNaught. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

Photo credit: @busycitykids Sydney January 2019

For more information and to book, head here.

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.

A Family & Foodies Guide to the Mornington Peninsula - Melbourne

Kate loves taking her little ones on new adventures and wrote this gorgeous article of her time on the Mornington Peninsula this year. We love this piece of Victoria and cannot wait to visit all these interesting places too one day! Thank you Kate for this beautiful piece and photos. To follow Kate’s adventures, head to her Insta page. xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Located just over an hour drive south from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is one of our most favourite parts of Victoria.  With grandparents in Mornington, I spent many school holidays on the Peninsula and it’s been such a joy to share those special memories with the poppets + discover new things along the way too.

With its world class wineries, busy bayside villages, stunning coastline and gourmet delights, the Mornington Peninsula is perfect for families - and foodies!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

In early February we escaped the city for a three day weekend in Rye and didn't let the rain or cooler conditions stop us from exploring this fabulous region.

Here are our TOP 10 places to visit on the Mornington Peninsula on even the gloomiest of days.

1. Peninsula Hot Springs
With over 30 globally-inspired experiences Peninsula Hot Springs’ Bath House is a bathing wonderland for families and children to discover together.  Enjoy the designated family area as well as magical cave pool, reflexology walk, Turkish Hamam steam room, underground saunas and massaging thermal mineral showers.

Read our full review here.

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

2. Rosebud Pier Adventure Playground

An amazing all-abilities playground with a variety of play equipment to keep children entertained from enclosed baby swings, tunnels and rope climbing walls, to net swings, a flying fox and three slides.  This is a perfect spot for a family BBQ or picnic overlooking the safe swimming beach and 300m long pier.  Just be mindful that in hot weather the metal slides can get too hot to use. Other great playgrounds to visit include the McCrae Foreshore Playground (also called the McCrae Lighthouse Playground), Rye Foreshore Playground and Sorrento Park. 

Read our full review of the Rosebud Playground here.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

McCrae Foreshore Playground

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

3. Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm

There’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly picked strawberries! 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. We highly recommend the fluffy scones served with house made strawberry jam and whipped cream from the Cafe.

Read our full review here.

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. Main Ridge Dairy

A farmhouse cheese factory and goat dairy, offering a true paddock to plate experience. Enjoy a cheese tasting at the counter or spot on the deck for a cheese platter and a glass of local wine.  Children will love the lovely lawns to play on and they can even get up close to the goats in the paddocks too.  Inside you will find a simple children's play area with colouring sheets, books and toys.

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

5. Pure Peninsula Honey

This charming farm shop has the most impressive range of honey and bee products you may ever see.  Enjoy free taste tests, see bees building honeycomb, collecting pollen and producing honey, browse the bee themed gift shop and read amazing bee facts. Be sure to buy a tub of the honey ice cream, it’s delicious.

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

6. Johnny Ripe

From homemade sweet and savoury pies, to sausages rolls, meringues and buttery croissants - not forgetting their famous cronuts - Johnny Ripe is a small home-style bakery producing seriously tasty treats.  Order from the all day brunch menu or make a selection from the take-away counter and find a spot on the beautiful sheltered deck over looking the Red Hill Lavender Farm and the hills of Main Ridge.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

7. Red Gum BBQ

With a large, indoor play area, colouring sheets, change facilities, highchairs and plenty of space for little people to roam around, Red Gum BBQ is an awesome place to visit with the entire family.  Best of all their Aussie-smoked,  Southern American BBQ is simply the best we have ever eaten.  Bookings recommended. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitkids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitkids

8. Green Olive at Red Hill

Wind your way down the driveway through the olives trees and grapevines to this magnificent, family friendly, whole farm experience.  Offering a cafe, farm shop, kitchen garden, children's outdoor play area (complete with in-ground trampoline!), animals, farm stays and cooking classes.  Their extremely popular school holiday program gives children the opportunity to meet farm animals, plant seeds, learn about where food comes from, and get dirty in the garden. 

Read our full review here.

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

9. Mock Red Hill

This family-owned and operated orchard has been producing high quality, bio-dynamic fresh fruit, apple juice, apple ciders and apple cider vinegar for the local region and beyond for many years.  Visit their unique cellar door space offering sensory tasting experiences within an original wooden cool store, then purchase apples to take home from the shop.

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

10. Mornington Peninsula Chocolaterie

Located in the charming seaside town of Flinders, the newest, petite-sized sibling of the Yarra Valley and the Great Ocean Road stores opened its doors late last year taking over the space formerly occupied by Mornington Peninsula Chocolates.  As well as serving up chocolate (up to 180 unique varieties!) and ice cream, it also features a brownie bar and continues to make truffles in flavours made popular by the site's previous owners.

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 was invited to experience some of the places mentioned above for the purpose of a review. Most were self-funded. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

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

Rosebud Foreshore Playground - Mornington Peninsula - Melbourne - Review

Put the kids climbing shoes on and head to Rosebud Foreshore Playground next time you visit the Mornington Peninsula.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The playground is a multi level nature playground and is perfect for small and big kids with lots of swings, slides, a flying fox, lots of climbing with ropes, a tunnel and lots more.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Kate took her little ones to the Rosebud Foreshore Playground recently and they really enjoyed their time there.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Rosebud Foreshore Playground is located at Point Nepean Rd & Jetty Rd in Rosebud.

Our packing list for this playground:

  • Drink bottles

  • Food for snacks, for lunch or for a picnic

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunhats

This playground has:

  • Accessible and street parking

  • Bike stations

  • Flying fox

  • Picnic areas with BBQ

  • Public toilets with disability access

  • Seating, picnic tables and benches with shelter

  • Slides, swings and climbing structures

For more playgrounds, go to our dedicated page

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.

Jubilee Adventure Playground - Onkaparinga - Adelaide - Review

Come for the giraffe, stay for the awesome day out for small kids and big kids at the Jubilee Adventure Playground! Situated on the lower reaches of the Onkaparinga River, just off Saltfleet Street is, Jubilee Park. The park overlooks both the Port Noarlunga sand dunes and the Onkaparinga estuary, giving nature lovers superb views of this unique ecosystem. Kate and her little ones recently visited this great playground while on a trip to Adelaide and loved it!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The fantastic Jubilee Adventure playground was built by the community for the community, with multiple bbq and picnic facilities and a small junior playground for little ones.

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

This great playground is fully fenced with plenty of swings, slides and seating available for the adults and toilet facilities close by.

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

This awesome playground was a hit with Kate and her little ones and you can see why they stayed there for almost three hours. Thanks Kate. xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The Jubilee Adventure Playground is located at Saltfleet Street in Port Noarlunga South.

Our packing list for this playground:

  • Drink bottles

  • Food for snacks, for lunch or for a picnic

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunhats

This playground has:

  • Accessible and street parking

  • Ball game areas

  • Changing facilities

  • Picnic areas with BBQ

  • Public toilets

  • Seating, tables and benches with shelter

  • Slides, swings and climbing structures

  • Walking and cycling tracks

  • Water Play areas

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

Ramp Kids Sessions at Rampfest - Melbourne - Review

If your little ones need to improve their scooter or bike skills, checkout Rampfest in Braybrook. Kate’s little dare devils grabbed their helmets and scooters and headed to Rampfest recently to test out the Ramp Kids sessions. What a clever program for kids to improve their scooter skills and confidence. Thanks Kate for the great pics and review. Follow Kate via her Insta page. xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

What did we do before scooters? Fast, compact and fun, they’re now a wildly popular mode of transport for adults and kids alike – and for preschoolers they are a dream toy, allowing energetic little ones to travel with the speed and independence they crave.  My two absolutely love their scooters and I love them too as they are the perfect tool for developing their balance, coordination and motor skills while giving them a taste of independence. 

Rampfest Indoor Skate Park, located in Melbourne's inner west suburb of Braybrook has been offering riders, skaters and ‘scooter’ers' a top-quality skate park - and plenty of expertise to go along with it - since 2008.  As one of Australia’s largest indoor skate parks, Rampfest has now helped 1000's of kids get started on their first bike, scooter or skateboard.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Every Saturday and Sunday morning from 9am, Rampfest offers a special one hour session for children under 10 years of age.  Designed for younger riders to enjoy the skate park before it officially opens at 10am, each Ramp Kids session is fully supervised by one of the Rampfest coaches, and parents are welcome to jump on the course and give their kids a hand as well.  After 10am, you're welcome to hang out longer if you like too or join a coaching clinic.

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 over 1000 square metres of skate park, the poppets absolutely loved scootering around, up and over the plywood ramps during the Ramp Kids session and although they are quite competent and constantly scaring me with ‘tricks’, they had no previous skate park experience. Thankfully Rampfest runs a range of coaching programs, so we didn't hesitate in signing them up for a beginners lesson.

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

Held every Saturday morning from 10.30am - 12pm (2x 45min groups), the Saturday Beginner Coaching Sessions focus on skate park safety and etiquette, basil skills and techniques, use of skate park obstacles and giving riders the confidence to use the skate park independently. 

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

Our pro rider coach, Reece was extremely patient with the group of (mostly) scooter riders, who ranged in age from 4-9 years old with varying levels of competency. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

At the end of the session, the poppets definitely had solid base of skills that they can now use at any skate park and a desire to progress faster to more advanced skills.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

If you have a budding rider, are looking for an activity to burn off some energy (especially on rainy days) or want to try something different during the school holidays, grab a scooter, bike or skateboard and head to Rampfest.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Check the website for up-to-date information about session times, special events and school holiday programs.

  • Ask about their membership options if you plan to visit often or consider enrolling your little one in an eight week term Ramp School program. 

  • Scooters and helmets are available to hire every day, starting from $5 per session. FYI folding scooters are not permitted.

  • Rampfest is a great venue for children’s birthday parties or group bookings.  They have several different packages to choose from including exclusive private hire.

  • There is a limited menu available at the onsite canteen; pies, sausage rolls and hot dogs + drinks, tea and coffee. No food is permitted inside the skate park but you can make use of the outdoor tables for a BYO picnic.

  • When riding it is really important to follow the rules of the park, that goes for adults watching too.  Be sure to keep an eye on your little ones at all times.

  • Rampfest offers a great range of scooters, bikes, accessories, safety equipment, streetwear and apparel.  If you buy a complete bike, scooter or skateboard you receive a free coaching clinic.

Busy City Kids were invited to experience Ramp Kids Sessions at Rampfest in Braybrook for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on Rampfest and their programs, 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.

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.

Alexander Calder: Workshop for Kids - NGV - Melbourne - Review

Kids can get hands-on and creative at the latest kids installation at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) - Alexander Calder: Workshop for Kids. Kate’s little ones enjoyed their time at the NGV last week making cute llamas and virtual sculptures.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Alexander Calder: Workshop for Kids opened 5th April 2019 in conjunction with the artist’s main exhibition Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor. Kids can construct animal sculptures by using custom-designed paper templates and working with intersecting shapes and folding techniques. Kids can also take part in a multimedia game where they can design virtual public artworks across Melbourne.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Alexander Calder was captivated with movement and animals even as a child; at age 11 he gifted his parents with sculptures he had made of a dog and a duck. Taking direction from this fascination, Alexander Calder: Workshop for Kids presents children with the opportunity to construct their own unique creatures.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Just as Calder designed outdoor sculptures on a grand scale, children will also be able to create public artworks in a specially designed multimedia game. Equipped with a virtual toolbox of shapes and colours, children will enrich Melbourne by designing public sculptures at popular Melbourne sites St Kilda Beach, Royal Botanical Gardens or NGV International.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

While Alexander Calder is well known for his suspended mobiles that move, he also made sculptures without moving parts which sat firmly on the ground. His friend Jean Arp created a new game called the sculptures ‘stabiles’ which stood as high as fifteen metres. You can create your own ‘stabile’ and hear some music during your visit which was popular when Calder was busy making art.

alexandercalder.jpg
Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Alexander Calder: Workshop for Kids is on from Friday 5th of April to Sunday 4th Aug 2019. Open 10am–5pm daily. Entry to the Kids installation is FREE however the main Alexander Calder exhibition is ticketed.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

For more information on Alexander Calder, head here. For more information on Alexander Calder for Kids, head here

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.

GoBoat Melbourne - Melbourne - Review

Kate and her little pirates boarded a GoBoat Melbourne boat last week and had the best time on the water exploring Melbourne along the Yarra River. What an amazing experience! Thank you Kate and family for sharing these pics and great review. To follow Kate’s adventures, head to her Instagram page @kateflatman. xo Catherine

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

GoBoat, which started in Copenhagen in 2014 and now runs in multiple locations including Sweden, London and Canberra, launched in Melbourne last January, offering a new way to see our beautiful city, and a unique experience suitable for the whole family.

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

Thanks to Go Boat Melbourne you can now book your own private cruise and explore Melbourne - and the best part,  YOU captain the boat! The nominated skipper doesn't require a boat licence but they do need to be 18 years old to sail the boat. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Founded on a sustainable outdoor experience, GoBoat boats are a state-of-the-art, Scandinavian designed vessel made from recycled plastics and fibreglass. With a maximum capacity of eight people (including the captain), each boat is powered by a super quiet electric motor and has a wooden picnic table + plenty of storage for bags.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Departing from Water Plaza Wharf, Docklands, guests choose between three different sailing adventures: one hour, two hours or three hours*.  We chose the two hour experience which had us sailing under the Bolte Bridge up the Yarra River to Princess Bridge and back.  Along the way we sailed past many famous landmarks, including South Wharf, Sealife Melbourne Aquarium, Southgate, Pony Fish Island and Flinders Station Station.  The poppets loved pointing out the landmarks they recognised, as well as waving to the other boats going past and the people along the river bank.  Watching a red helicopter land on the helipad opposite Crown Casino was definitely a highlight of our trip!

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

Take advantage of the large table in the middle of the boat that makes it super easy to enjoy snacks and drinks.  Either pack a picnic from home, pick up something on the way from one of the nearby businesses or order directly through GoBoat. Alcohol is permitted on board but restrictions do apply.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

There is plenty of photo opportunities whilst on board and if you would like an instant memento of your ride, you can hire a polaroid camera with 10 polaroid prints from the office. Plus you can purchase sailor and pirate hats at the office too, or BYO from home. Our little pirate loved scaring other sailors with her tall sword!

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

A detailed course map , life jackets and safety gear are all provided (children under 12 years old must wear a life jacket at all times while on the boat).  Don't forget to pack for the elements; sunscreen, hat and water.  Bottled drinks are available to purchase from the office plus they also have bathrooms onsite to use before and after your trip.  

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Last but certainly not least, be sure to say hello to Gigi the Bernese Mountain Dog - GoBoat Melbourne’s Official Ambassador - who hangs out in the office and greets sailors, both big and small with sloppy kisses and cuddles. 

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

* Take advantage of Go Boat’s April Offer: Book one hour and get the second hour for FREE. That's a saving of $80.  Valid Monday - Wednesday only. Book online and use code: free2hour at checkout.

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

For more information on GoBoat Melbourne, head to their 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.

Pittwater Sports Centre - Kindygym Kindy Recreation - Sydney - Review

Little Mister and I are on a quest to testing out some of Sydney’s kindy gym classes, so we headed this week to review the Pittwater Sports Centre’s Kindygym Kindy Recreation class and what a lot of fun we had!

Kindygym Australia at the Pittwater Sports Centre is Sydney’s longest running children's kindy gym classes with experienced teachers. They specialise in the gross motor development of boys and girls aged 12 months to 5 years and are also a great venue for your child's next birthday party.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We first headed to the Sand Bucket Play Centre & Café to burn off some energy before class (our review here) and after a stamp, little Mister lined up with his gym buddies and followed the instructors to take part in the class. Parents are not allowed on the gymnastics area unless their little one feels distressed.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After some warm up and being told that the theme of the week was all about space, the kids were split up in three groups each with an instructor in different areas.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister first headed to the bars and trampolines area where he walked around cones, through hurdles, did some bar and then jumped in the foam pit then crawled across a mattress and jumped on trampolines.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

He then took part in more exercises in the second area where he walked across a beam assisted and jumped onto a large mat and did some rolling and practiced techniques around jumping on the trampoline as he tends to run instead ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

And at the last area - his favourite, he was equipped with a little trampoline, a walking path where he had to pickup a toy and place it in a bucket on the large mat to then go through a tunnel and over foam rolls and a bar. Sorry I probably should learn the names of gymnastic equipment ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The class finished up with some singing and walking around like aliens in space and playing with the parachute by throwing stars up in the air.

Little Mister had an amazing time, he was really focused the whole time during class and I was impressed he followed the teacher and classmates from start to finish. He was very sweaty, hungry and thirsty afterwards which was a good sign! He then later passed out in the car haha! A great way to tire your little ones!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our info:

  • The Pittwater Sports Centre (PSC) is located at 1525 Pittwater Road in North Narrabeen.

  • The centre is open 7 days a week at different opening & closing times so check their website or call in to check.

  • They also have classes for 12-20 months old, 20 months old to 3.5 years, 3.5 years to 4.5 years and 4.5-5 years (year before school). They also have gifted classes and school holiday classes. Checkout their website (listed below) to check their timetable and fees for each class.

  • The PSC is a NUT FREE Centre.

  • Free parking is available onsite.

  • Toilets are located inside the gymnastics main area.

Busy City Kids were hosted by Pittwater Sports Centre for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful.

For more information on Pittwater Sports Centre, 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.

The Sand Bucket Play Centre and Café - Pittwater Sports Centre - Sydney - Review

This week, we headed to Pittwater Sports Centre to review their Kindygym Australia Kindy Recreation class (our review here), so we thought we’d checkout the centre’s Sand Bucket Play Centre and Café while we’re there.

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

The indoor playground centre is perfect for a play before or after Kindygym class or perfect for a play with friends & family during the week or weekends or even for a birthday party (parties must be booked). It is fully air-conditioned with Free Wifi. It caters for children 0 to 12 years old with various climbing areas, flying foxes and slides. The main structure for kids 4 and over has 7 slippery dips, 3 levels, 2 ball pits, 2 flying foxes, and loads of soft play equipment. There are also two areas for children 0-2 years and 2 to 5 years of age.

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister loved the challenging climbing areas of this indoor playground and had lots of fun, it was tricky convincing him to leave for his gym class - ha!

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

There is also a baby area for little ones under 2 years old. Since there were no babies when we were there, little Mister had fun with the ball pit and surroundings. There is also a toddler area for kids 2 years and over which was lots of fun too but little Mister preferred the main structure. We look forward to visiting again and showing little Miss this great indoor playground. We had a nice bite to eat and a juice after little Mister’s class at the Sand Bucket Café, a great complex.

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Photo Credit: @busycitykids

Our info:

  • The Sand Bucket Play Centre and Café is located at the Pittwater Sports Centre (PSC) at 1525 Pittwater Road in North Narrabeen.

  • The centre and café are open every day at various opening & closing times so please check their website or call before you head there as they sometimes close earlier than advertised.

  • PSC is a NUT FREE Centre.

  • Children MUST wear socks when in the Sand Bucket Play Centre at all times.

  • No food or drinks are to be consumed in the indoor playground.

  • Parent supervision is compulsory at all times.

  • Ensure the centre gate is locked at all times for the safety of all children.

  • Baby change room and pram parking are located in the corridor.

  • Toilets are located inside the gymnastics main area.

  • Free parking is available onsite.

  • Prices for play vary: Unlimited play for kids during the week for under 1’s is $5, under 2’s is $7 and kids over 2 is $10. Weekends are charged at $10 for all ages. Ask for their 5 or 10 visit passes to save. You can also save on entry when your child is signed up to the Pittwater Sports Centre’s Kindygym program.

Busy City Kids were hosted by The Sand Bucket Play Centre and Café for the purpose of a review. Food and travelling costs were self funded. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful.

For more information on The Sand Bucket Play Centre and Café, 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.

Simply Fun - Energetic Explorers Program - Chatswood - Sydney - Review

This week, we tested out Simply Fun at Chatswood on the North Shore. The center opened late last year and has proven popular with families wanting their little one(s) to take part in physical activity and free play.

Simply Fun offers a wide range of inspiring programs for children aged 6 months through to 10 years that encourage physical, mental and social development in their engaging and multi-sensory learning environment. Simply Fun runs parent assisted classes, non-parent assisted classes and after school classes as well as birthday parties and school holiday camps.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We attended the Energetic Explorers program which is suitable for 2.5 to 3.5 year olds. The class focuses on giving your little one(s) confidence in their movements, in their ability to jump, hop and complete different gymnastics moves as well as take part in educational games.

We started the class with a little run around, a welcome song and the little nursery rhyme song Five Little Ducks. Little Mister loved singing along and taking the little peg ducks off the sheet every time they ran away.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids and their parents then followed a circuit around the room taking part in different physical exercises. The circuit course changes every two weeks.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Valerie the instructor on the day was extremely engaging and children responded really well to her instructions and the exercises she proposed.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister really enjoyed working with Valerie and had so much fun and kept going back for more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Another fun exercise that little Mister really liked was pushing a little scooter board on the ground and feeding the Easter bunny with carrots. A fun little numeracy game where kids are asked and given a number of carrots they would like to feed the bunny. Once the kids grab the carrots, they push the little scooter board with carrots and head to a number of bunnies with a number on them. Parents help their little one identify the number bunny to the number of carrots.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids then did a fun game of identifying fruit & vegetables on cards shown to them.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids then had some time to take part in different fun activities around the room like bucket swings, climbing a climbing frame to grab a little pig and having fun on little donkeys. We then finished the class with a parachute game, some singing and lots of bubbles.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids attending the class can have a play before or after the class in the ‘Free Play’ area. Non-class goers can take part in ‘Free Play’ anytime and explore the center’s multi-sensory play area at a small fee or a reduced fee for members.

Simply Fun is currently offering 3 Trials for Just $50 and is an approved provider with NSW Active Kids & NSW Creative Kids. Eligible families can claim up to one Active Kids Voucher + one Creative Kids Voucher per calendar year towards recreation programs designed for children who are enrolled in school, aged between 4-18 years like Super Ninjas (Active Kids), Kids Drama (Creative Kids) and Kids Hip Hop (Creative Kids).

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister had an amazing time at Simply Fun Chatswood this week taking part in their Energetic Explorers Program and Free Play and we can’t wait to visit again - it was very hard to lure him away haha!

Busy City Kids were hosted by Simply Fun for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful.

For more information on Simply Fun Chatswood, 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.

Aussie Gems - Little Gems Preschooler Multisport Program - Frenchs Forest - Review

If your little ones are anything like mine, they don’t like to sit still one second! I have found this especially true with little Mister aka Energiser Bunny. We have been trialling different programs since last year in an effort to keep him busy and active and stumbled upon Aussie Gems at Frenchs Forest. I had heard great feedback about the preschooler program from a school mum and attended my daughter’s friend birthday party there recently so we thought we’d checkout their Little Gems Preschooler Multi-sport Program and share our experience with our readers.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Gems at Aussie Gems is a fun, high-energy movement and motor skill development program for preschoolers designed to help children cultivate their gross motor, visual motor and social skills in a non-competitive environment. Kids will learn the basics from a variety of sports and have lots of fun doing it!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The class we attended, started with a little running game to warm things up. Little Mister took a little of time to warm up but after a few goes and some convincing that there would be a trampoline activity, he was happy to run around and follow the instructors in the one hour session and bond with new friends.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a bit of running around, kids were invited to do a series of jumps on the trampoline, go through obstacles, pick up a sand bag and run back and repeat.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Then do some rope climbing and hold onto the frame for as long as they could.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After a water and fruit break (complementary freshly cut fruit is provided for each class), kids then did another running game to tire them further ha! Yes, little Mister had no issues falling asleep that evening, in fact he was snoring! A great activity to wear them out :)

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The children continued with some wall climbing, tumbling exercises and finished off with a cool Ninja Course!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Little Mister was very happy with the program, loved the instructors and thought they were funny and when I asked him if he wanted to come back to Aussie Gems, he said ‘Yes Please’. Aussie Gems also run a Cheerleading Academy and Fitness Academy and School Holiday Programs. They also run Birthday Parties on Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sunday which are very popular and lots of fun. The parties include 2 hours of non-stop fun with 2 party coaches for up to 17 children and exclusive use of the birthday party room. When I attended the birthday party, the centre used paper plates and cups, paper table clothes and provided freshly cut fruit, popcorn and crisps to the children. Parents brought their own cupcakes and lolly bags to celebrate. More info via their website.

A 45 minutes Preschooler Craft Sessions for 2-6 year olds is also available twice a week Wednesday & Friday at 10:30 am and 11:30 am. Little Mister made and played with slime after his preschooler program before we had a snack and a drink and relaxed by the centre’s café’s little play area. The centre’s Hukilau Café is fully equipped and the chef onsite organises platters for classes or weekend birthday parties. Parents and carers can sit by the café’s glass windows and watch their little ones take the class while they relax and enjoy a coffee.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Mums - Let the kids do their Aussie Gems sports activity, while you treat yourself at the Union Jacks Hair Professionals hairdresser upstairs. As a mum herself, Julia understands that as mums we don’t always have a chance to sit down and relax and have our hair done. She comes with over 25 years industry experience and can provide 1 on 1 personal care by appointment only Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays. Products she uses include Joico Hair, Evy Organic Karitin, Olaplex and Wella. Complimentary barista style beverage from the centre’s Hukilau Café as well as onsite massage chair. Julia’s Facebook page can be found here along with great customer reviews.

Dads - Dads can also treat themselves while the kids do their Aussie Gems sports activity. Obi at Look Sharp Barber, will look after you with over 10 years experience. Enjoy $20 cuts for the month of March, kids can get their hair cut too. Walk inns welcome.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There you have it, Aussie Gems is a great hub of services for children and their parents/carers - what a fun place to hang out!

Our info:

  • Aussie Gems is located at Allambie Grove Business Park at Unit 10, 25 Frenchs Forest Road East, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086

  • Preschooler Programs run during school terms Mondays to Saturdays for specific ages at specific days & times. Each session includes multisport, fruit break and 15 min focus activity which changes daily. Become a member or attend casually or buy a pack of 10 classes or attend unlimited classes per week.

  • Checkout their website for more information on their Cheerleading Academy, Fitness Academy, School Holiday Programs and Birthday Parties.

  • There is ample parking at the front of the building.

  • There is also a baby change room, comfy chairs for breastfeeding, toilets, water bubbler, a/c and a kids play corner.

For more information on Aussie Gems, head to their website.

Busy City Kids were hosted by Aussie Gems for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful.

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.

Monkey Mania - Eastland Shopping Centre Ringwood - Melbourne - Review

Indoor playgrounds are always a great option for rainy or warm days. Kate and her little ones checked out Monkey Mania in Eastland last week and had a great morning running around and playing. Thanks for the review Kate. To checkout Kate’s adventures, head to her Instagram page. xo Catherine

monkeymaniaeastland - 19.jpg

Located inside Myer Eastland on Level 3, Monkey Mania is a super fun play centre that is sure to keep little people happy and entertained for hours.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

The spacious indoor place space has a large multi-level soft play structure with several slides, Imagination Playground’s big blue foam blocks, plenty of things to climb and an awesome ball arena. Children will love firing balls from the cannons and activating the central cannon to launch multiple balls up into the sky.

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

But the fun doesn’t end there! Monkey Mania also has an inflatable jumping castle, three kinetic sand tables, miniature electric train, brick house to build (and smash down), themed party zones and a fenced off toddler area for little ones aged three and under.

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 spent the entire two hours of our visit running around, happily playing and exploring and with the added benefit of a cafe on site (adult entry price includes a coffee, tea, soft drink can or bottle of water), convenient, free parking (for up to three hours) and air conditioning/heating, Monkey Mania really does have it all.

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

Our tips:

  • Monkey Mania Eastland is located inside Myer Eastland on Level 3.

  • The centre is open Monday to Sunday at various times and holiday trading hours.

  • Members and non-members pricing are available.

  • Socks must be worn on all play equipment. No bare feet, no shoes. Adults too. Socks are also available for purchase if you forget to bring your own.

  • Check out the Monkey Mania membership program if you plan on visiting several times a year with your tribe. Benefits include: $2 off every child's entry fee, 10% off food and beverages purchased in-store and access to Toddler Tuesdays ($6 entry for 0-5 year olds every Tuesday during the school term). 

  • No outside food or beverages are permitted with the exception of baby food and children’s drink bottles.  The onsite café offers a wide variety of food and drink options.

  • Closest parking is via the West 3 or West 5 car parks from Ringwood Street.

  • Monkey Mania is very pram friendly with ample space to park your pram if necessary too.  There is also a designated parents room with baby-change and feeding areas, located adjacent to the toilets and toddler area.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to experience Monkey Mania at Eastland for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food was self funded.

For more information on Monkey Mania at Eastland, 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.