Heide Museum of Modern Art - Melbourne - Review

The Heide Museum of Modern Art has always been a great place for us to visit as a family since little Miss was born. Whether you’re a fan of modern art or not, you’ll still enjoy walking the grounds, checking out the sculptures and gardens, taking part in school holiday activities, weekly children’s programs or enjoy catching up with friends for picnic or grabbing a coffee at Café Heide.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We popped into Heide last October and enjoyed everything the museum and grounds had to offer.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We kept the kids busy with the free Sculpture Park Detective Trail which lets them explore Heide's sculpture park with fun Sculpture Park activities all while walking the grounds. The form, pin board and pen can be picked up at reception desk. There’s also a Sculpture Sounds Activity for the kids too and exhibition tailored activity trails too. Grab some snacks and a picnic and relax on the lawns and enjoy the space with friends and family.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There are many sculptures around the ground but our favourite sculptures would have to be the cows. Kids love the cows so much, they are great fun to hide behind and for a pic too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The beautiful vegetable garden which was once used by couple John and Sunday Reed isn’t used as a kitchen garden anymore but is still interesting to walk around to see what’s grown seasonally.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There you have it, a great way to get the kids busy out of the house while enjoying some art. There are great exhibitions inside the museum to explore too, so checkout the Heide website for the latest exhibitions info.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • Heide Museum and grounds are open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays except for public holidays.

  • Heide is located at 7 Templestowe Rd in Bulleen.

  • Bring sunscreen and a hat.

  • Bring snacks and a picnic to enjoy the grounds with family and friends or enjoy a coffee and a meal at Café Heide.

  • Book the popular Kids Programs in advance as they sell out fast and checkout current exhibitions if they tickle your fancy.

  • Guided Tours and a Museum App are also available to help you enjoy the museum to the maximum.

  • There are toilets located next to Café Heide with a change table from memory.

  • Parking is free at the top and bottom of Heide.

For more information on Heide Museum of Modern Art, checkout their website.

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

Rose Seidler House - Wahroonga - Sydney - Review

Visiting an architectural designed house in Wahroonga might not be the first thing you have in mind to do with kids on the weekend but if you enjoy art, design and 1950s furniture and showing the kids around a well designed house, you will be in for a treat with the Rose Seidler’s House. Designed by Harry Seidler for his parents Rose and Max and completed in 1950, this house was the most talked about house in Sydney at the time and you can see why.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Harry graduated from Harvard in 1946, an enthusiastic and committed modernist. That same year his parents and brother migrated to Australia, he however remained in New York, until his mother enticed him to Australia with the offer of designing and building her a house. He arrived in Sydney in 1948, intending to remain only until his parents’ house was completed, but the architectural success that followed persuaded him to stay.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

All rooms in the house except for the main bedroom, have panoramic views of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The floor plan flows really well as the house is divided into two distinct zones, the living and sleeping areas linked by a transitional zone of a central playroom, stairs and sundeck that can be used to extend either public or private areas, depending on the occasion. The designed kitchen might look dated however it was pure luxury in the 1950s.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The house was donated by Harry Seidler in 1988 to Historic Houses Trust and was reinstated with 1950s original colour scheme and stays in great condition today. We just love the original 1950s furniture and the simple yet tasteful design and furnishings. Seidler had a great eye for design and making sure that the property had the right features, furniture, spacious aspect and sufficient storage while keeping his simplistic approach in design.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The house has a series of flexible dividers instead of walls to allow spaces to be reconfigured into different areas. The modern sliding doors that slide right back into the window’s cavity is a genius yet modern idea that is common in today’s houses but was not back in the 1950s. Trying to find a builder to build this intricate house post second world war and finding the required material was no feet for Harry but he managed to do so after some difficult years.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our info & tips:

  • Open Sundays only 10am to 4pm

  • Entry Adult $12, Concession $8, Family (2 adults 2 kids, 1 adult 3 kids) $30, Members Free, Under 5 yo Free

  • Closed Christmas Day

  • 71 Clissold Road, Wahroonga, NSW 2076

  • No toilets onsite that we could remember

  • Please be mindful with little ones of the balcony, stairs and be mindful not to touch furniture

For more information on the Rose Seidler House, head to the Sydney Living Museums' 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.

How Cities Work - Museum of Sydney - Sydney - Review

How Cities Work is the latest exhibition which opened this week at the Museum of Sydney, right on time for the Summer holidays! Based on the How Cities Work book by James Gulliver Hancock, this exhibition is perfect for Busy City Kids! Kids will love this fun and interactive exhibition. Visitors are invited to wear a hard hat and protective gear as they arrive and throughout the exhibition to get into the construction mood and create their own city.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As soon as you walk in, you are surrounded by our busy cities, the modes of transports, the buildings, the landmarks and the people who live there. Kids can press a button at the three separate cities pods and see moving traffic and a train go by.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A cute area with a City Zoo, city & transport building blocks, a stadium and museum art gallery invites visitors to mix n’ match Zoo animals and find a spot for them in the City Zoo, discover, play along and read James Gulliver Hancock’s books How Cities Work and How Airports Work. Little Mister who is 3 years old loved this area.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids are then invited to find all the different things in a busy street of the Busy City area by interacting with the projection on-screen.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

A very popular area was the colouring area where kids are invited to colour in James Gulliver Hancock’s awesome skyscrapers. Once their work of art is complete, they can display it around the table. This was little Miss’ favourite area of the exhibition.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The underground area and the green area are nice to interactive with too. Don’t forget to enter the cool giveaway near the exit.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our kids loved the Building Zone near the entrance, we managed to build a few skyscrapers which little Miss decided to hide in - ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We really loved the fun and interactive How Cities Work exhibition at the Museum of Sydney. It will keep the kids busy these holidays! Don’t forget to checkout the Lonely Planet Kids videos on level 1 while you’re there for some fun videos & facts as well as the Street Photography exhibition on the same level as the exhibition and wonder around the rest of this great museum. A great morning in sight!

Our tips:

  • The Museum of Sydney is open daily 10 am to 5pm and located corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets in Sydney CBD.

  • Entry to the How Cities Work exhibition is free with General Admission. Adult $15, Child/Concession $12, Kids 0-5 years Free, Family (2 adults 2 Kids or 1 adult 3 kids) $38. Sydney Living Museums Members and Sydney Museums Pass holders go Free.

  • Visit the rest of the Museum of Sydney while you’re there to make the most of it.

  • How Cities Work is on now until 21 July 2019.

  • Toilets & changing facilities as well as pram parking is located on Ground Level. Lifts are available too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information about the How Cities Work exhibition at the Museum of Sydney, head to this website.

Busy City Kids attended the free public opening event of How Cities Work for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food and travel were self funded.

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.

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition - Sydney - Review

STAR WARS™ Identities is the Powerhouse Museum’s latest exhibition. We checked out this great exhibition on opening weekend and were spoilt with characters at the entrance of the museum and exhibition.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

STAR WARS™ Identities will take you on a journey to explore the world of STAR WARS™ and your true STAR WARS™ Identity along the way. The exhibition will let you choose and customise a character that matches your personality and will let you decide if you will join the dark force or not.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors are invited to grab an ear piece and a bracelet upon entry to interact with the exhibition. The ear piece will let you hear all the commentaries about the STAR WARS™ movies, characters and mini movies on display. The bracelet will let you choose a character upon entry and will enable you to build up your character throughout the different selection booths and will let you see your final character at the end of the exhibition.

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Little Miss loved this exhibition. Her and her dad were massive fans of the STAR WARS™ Identities interactive booths and building up their character along the exhibition and also enjoyed watching the mini movies. Little Mister and I on the other hand were happy selecting our character at first but were intrigued by the STAR WARS™ costumes, props, models and artworks, watching little movie clips and checking out Darth Vader and the gift shop ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

STAR WARS™ fans will of course love this exhibition but even little Miss and her brother enjoyed all that was on offer even though they were not familiar with the movies. Little Miss now wants to watch the movie and collect the characters.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Even though my husband and I have watched most STAR WARS™ movies, there is still a great deal we didn’t know about the enterprise and so it was a great to visit this exhibition and share it with our children. Did you know that when the creators were deciding on the Yoda character, they wanted someone with wisdom and therefore took inspiration from Albert Einstein.

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

We all really enjoyed STAR WARS™ Identities, it is a very interactive and family friendly exhibition and highly recommend it. Maybe something to do during the school holidays. Entry to the exhibition will also allow you access to the rest of the Powerhouse Museum. Checkout the Wiggles exhibition while you’re there (our review here).

Photo credit @busycitykids

Photo credit @busycitykids

Busy City Kids were invited to the STAR WARS™ Identities exhibit for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Food and travel were self funded.

For more information on STAR WARS Identities: The Exhibition, head to the Powerhouse Museum's website.

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

STAR WARS™ Identities: The Exhibition - Sydney - Review

OUR REVIEW HERE

Discover your STAR WARS™ identity this summer at the Powerhouse Museum, with the NEW STAR WARS™ exhibition - STAR WARS™ Identities.

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Are your little ones like Yoda or Darth Vader? Fans of the galactic series will be given the opportunity to discover the forces that shape them and the Star Wars character they most identify with in STAR WARS™ Identities. This interactive adventure into the STAR WARS™ galaxy opens on Friday 16th of November at the Powerhouse Museum and will have you and the kids choose which side you are on and which character you would be.

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

STAR WARS™ Identities is designed for visitors of all ages and uses technology and expertise in the fields of neuropsychology, psychology, and biochemistry, interwoven with a collection of over 200 original artefacts, costumes, and props from the Lucasfilm archives, to lead Star Wars fans on a personal Identity Quest.

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Visitors will be invited to explore their own identity and learn about the forces that shape them as they move through a series of interactive stations. Each station will provide insights that help museum guests define a unique STAR WARS™ character that they create and meet at the end of the exhibition. Will your choices lead you on a path to the dark side of the Force? Are you a Wookiee Jedi Knight? Or maybe an Ewok with fighter-pilot skills?

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

Photo credit: Powerhouse Museum

starwarsidentities - 8.jpg

Along the way rare treasures from the Lucasfilm archives and original costumes, props, models and artworks will be on display, giving a behind the scenes look at the movie-making process. There’s BB-8, R2-D2, the Millennium Falcon, Yoda from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back™, Darth Vader’s suit from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi™, plus so much more!

The STAR WARS™ Identities exhibition is on at the Powerhouse Museum from Friday 16th of November 2018 to Monday 10th of June 2019. Tickets are $36 adult, $32 concession, $23 child and $95 family (2 adults 2 kids). All tickets include general admission to the rest of the museum, where you can enjoy the Wiggles Exhibition (see our review here) and so much more around the museum.

For more information on STAR WARS Identities: The Exhibition, head to the Powerhouse Museum's website.

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

Whales | Tohorā - Australian Museum - Sydney - Review

Whales are a fundamental component of our marine ecosystems whether we live near a beach or not. Sydney is a city familiar with whales sightings and their history. As whales have dominated our existence for thousands of years, take a deep look into these incredible creatures with the NEW exhibition Whales | Tohorā at the Australian Museum.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Developed by Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, the travelling exhibition Whales | Tohorā explores the diversity, biology and how whales have adapted and have been treated by humans in their oceans throughout history.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can expect to learn a great deal about these beautiful creatures and learn about dolphins too in this comprehensive exhibition.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Whales | Tohorā has a number of interactive setups throughout the exhibition to show visitors and children important facts, images and videos about whales and dolphins around the world as well as interactive games and a fun children’s trail. Little Miss liked the whale and dolphin quiz about their anatomy (see pic below).

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Children will be impressed with the life size replica of a blue whale’s heart and can crawl inside it and watch little videos about this creature. This was little Mister’s favourite part of the exhibition and very popular with other kids too.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids will love listening the different whale sounds in the Sound Chamber. It is easy for kids to use, they can just turn the dial to listen to whale clicks as well as high and low pitch sounds some whales make.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Whales | Tohorā visitors will be impressed with one of the most extensive collections of whale skeletons ever displayed including an 18m skeleton of a Bull sperm whale.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids will be treated to a cute Whale Trial where they can have a whale of a time looking for clues around the exhibition to help them complete the trail by using specific sections to uncover their little whale on the paper and respond to a word puzzle.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors will also learn how humans have revered whales, hunted them and explored their astounding adaptations to life in the sea and will learn the stories of some of the people whose lives have been inextricably linked with whales – from legendary South Pacific whale riders to whale scientists and former whaling families.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Australian Museum also invites visitors during their visit to the exhibition to pop over near the Museum Shop and take part in the Australian Museum and World Wildlife Fund campaign by pledging to reduce their use of plastics through signing up at the Australian Museum.

Whales are at the top of food chain and a fundamental component of marine ecosystems.  They face constant threats from whaling, overfishing and pollution and most recently the effect that plastic pollution has had on whales and marine life across the globe has been alarming. Pledge today to reduce your use of plastics, help with beach cleanups and try to refuse, reuse and recycle when you can to help keep our oceans clean.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Pop over to the revamped Kidspace after the exhibition if you have little ones under 5. It has had a great facelift and is currently themed with the Whales exhibition in mind with ocean themed water play, a game where kids are invited to match photos of whales and dolphins to their name, kids are invited to draw a whale on little chalkboards and read books about whales. And of course, kids can enjoy the three pods as well as other spots in the kidspace.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Once you’re done in the KidSpace, head to Search & Discover which also received a facelift and is looking fabulous with so much to search and discover including the new Frog ID section where kids can identify and listen to the sounds of frogs. The Frog ID is a great app which helps you identify and learn about frogs near you all while contributing to science with your help. There is a small section for little ones to relax and read, spots where they can look at insects through microscopes, a dinosaur area where they can colour in and make their dinosaur on the screen and more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Australian Museum is open daily from 9:30 am to 5pm except Christmas Day

  • General Admission to the Museum applies. Adult $15, Concession $8, Kids 0-15 years Free, Family (2 adults 2 Kids) $30, Family (1 adult 2 Kids) $15. AM Members go Free.

  • Admission to Whales | Tohora is additional Adult $27, Concession $22, Kids 5-15 years $14, Kids 0-5 yrs Free, Family (2 adults with up to 3 kids) $72, Family (1 adult with up to 3 kids) $49. Members can discounted rates for the exhibition. New Members who join up during the exhibition, get free entry to Whales | Tohora.

  • Whales | Tohora is on now until Sunday 28th April 2019.

  • There are changing facilities on level G on the Museum as well as in the Search & Discover area and KidSpace area.

  • The Australian Museum is pram and wheelchair friendly with a number of ramps as well as lifts.

For more information on the Australian Museum, head to their website.

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

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.

Sydney Bus Museum - Leichhardt - Sydney - Review

Last month, we visited the Sydney Bus Museum in Leichhardt and were spoilt by hopping onboard a Vintage Double Decker Bus from the QVB to the Sydney Bus Museum. The kids and specifically little Mister, were smiling and laughing at the bumpy yet awesome ride from the top deck. It’s a nice drive to the Museum where passengers can have a look around the city and go across the Anzac Bridge.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

When we arrived at the Museum, the kids’ eyes popped as they saw the vintage buses in the warehouse and so did I! There’s nothing better in my mind than preserving these great vehicles from the past.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Sydney Bus Museum is a great Museum for kids as they can pretty much touch everything and get on most vintage buses and drive them at the exception of some buses where notices have been written to make sure some of the buses’ old mechanics are preserved.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The back wall of the 100 year-old tramshed consists of some information about the museum and the buses onsite and a video to show visitors. Visitors can explore the rest of the Museum by hopping on each bus and pretending to be a driver or passenger. There are quite of few buses so it might be hard to pick a favourite.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids and other families on the day loved wondering around and hopping on the different buses and other vehicles onsite and especially the English double decker bus.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Once we walked around the Sydney Bus Museum for over an hour, we caught a vintage bus back to the city to top the experience! We had such a great time at the Sydney Bus Museum. The Museum is run entirely by volunteers and open the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, check the Museum’s website (below) for more information, upcoming events and special themed Sundays.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Sydney Bus Museum is located at 25 Derbyshire Rd in Leichhardt.

Our tips:

  • The Sydney Bus Museum is open every first and third Sunday of the month 10 am to 4pm.

  • Ticket prices are: Adult $15, Child (4-16) $10, Concession $10 - Companion and Seniors cards accepted and Family (2 Adults / 2 Children) $35.

  • Each ticket includes all day entry to the museum and a ride aboard a vintage double-decker bus to Queen Victoria Building and return.

  • The Sydney Bus Museum is located at 25 Derbyshire Rd Leichhardt, access from Norton and William Streets only.

  • Please note there is limited parking on site. Disabled parking is available.

  • There are toilets onsite with a change table in the disabled toilets.

For more information on the Sydney Bus Museum, head to their website.

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

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 Postal Museum - London - Review 

Kate and her little ones recently visited the United Kingdom where they popped over to London and visited many spots like the London Transport Museum, Natural History Museum, Paddington Station, London Zoo, Green Park, London Eye, Science Museum and couldn't stop talking about the Postal Museum and I must say it sounds and looks amazing. I wish the UK wasn't so far, we would pack our bags and go tomorrow! Thanks for the fab review and pics Kate x To follow and see what Kate was up to in the UK, checkout her Insta page @kateflatman.

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @kateflatman for @busycitykids

When I first read about The Postal Museum, I knew that we would have to put it on our list of places to visit when we were in LondonThe Postal Museum is so much more than a traditional museum; with two interactive exhibition galleries, a dedicated family play space plus Mail Rail, a subterranean train ride that follows London’s 100 year-old underground postal delivery network, this is an experience that really does offer something for the whole family. Here's our highlights from the Postal Museum.

Ride Mail Rail

Who wouldn't love an opportunity to whizz around on tiny trains through tunnels deep under the streets of London?!

One hundred years ago, a secret railway was built under central London. Stretching six-and-a-half miles from Paddington to Whitechapel and linking post offices across the city, the driverless electric line carried up to four million letters a day! But in 2003, after 75 years of service, this wonder of engineering was shut down.  Lucky for us Mail Rail has recently reopened with tiny trains running through the tunnels again but this time they are carrying people rather than sacks of mail.

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

During the 15-minute journey, that’s deeper than the tube, visitors ride on one of two new trains, near-replicas of the originals but with (slightly) padded seats and better suspension.  The trip is not for the claustrophobic.  The tunnels were never designed for human cargo so there’s not much room to move once inside a car.  The ride is narrated by your guide and ex-mail rail employee, Ray Middlesworth and makes several stops. Movies are projected on the walls that show how the rail to the sorting facilities worked.  There is one section when the train pretends to break down in order to replicate the frequent power cuts that afflicted the real track.  It only lasts for a few minutes but I am glad that we pre-warned the poppets it might be dark as they did get a little freaked out.  Be sure to look down through an arch into a lower tunnel, tightly packed with old sleeping trains.

Mail Rail Museum

The old engineering depot, where the ride kicks off, has been converted into an exhibition space all about the history of the Mail Rail and the people who made it all possible. There are plenty of interactive displays for younger kids, including a real-life travelling post office complete with shaking floor.

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

Sorted! The Postal Play Space

Designed for children aged 8 and under, Sorted! The Postal Play Space is a fun, interactive play area designed as a miniature town for little ones to exercise their imaginations and use up excess energy. Children can play with postal trolleys, slides, parcel pulleys, letter chutes and pretend to drive a wooden vintage post van.  During your 45 minute session, little ones can even take on roles as cashiers or customers in a mock-up post office, or work out the best way to deliver parcels to a mini neighbourhood of roads and houses. 

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 Postal Museum Exhibition

The Postal Museum itself, on the opposite side of the street, has an exhibition showing how the Royal Mail developed from transporting letters ordering troop movements by horse for Henry VIII in the 16th century to the present day. Like the Mail Rail exhibition, the Postal Museum does a great job of integrating interactive displays for little ones. The poppets particularly loved watching the pneumatic tubes whizz over their heads and making their own personalised stamps with our faces on them!

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:

  • Save time and secure your place by booking your tickets online before you visit.  Look out for special ticket offers throughout the year to save on entry.
  • With younger children, allow approximately 2 hours to visit The Postal Museum Exhibition, Mail Rail Exhibition and the Mail Rail ride (which lasts approximately 15 minutes) + time for morning/afternoon tea or lunch. 
  • The Postal Museum is split into two separate areas: Mail Rail, Mail Rail Museum and Sorted! are on one side of the road and The Postal Museum (and Cafe) is on the other side of the road, diagonally opposite. 
  • The onsite Counter Cafe, serves a variety of (healthy) light snacks, lunches, cakes and drinks. If weather and seating permits. the super cute postal themed courtyard is a great place to enjoy an ice cream from the ice cream cart.  Highchairs are also available.
  • The Postal Museum and main level of Mail Rail is completely accessible with a pram and although prams are not permitted on the Mail Rail ride or lower ground/exhibition level, there pram parking space on the ground floor.  Baby change facilities and lockers are also available.

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

For more information on the Postal Museum in London, head to their website.

Above & Beyond - Scienceworks - Melbourne - Review

Enter the world of flying with the Above and Beyond exhibition currently at Scienceworks. It will take you on a journey into the sky and beyond!

We sent Melbourne Mum Renata and her daughter to experience the exhibition during the last school holidays and they loved it and they reckon young space fans will love it too. Great for kids 5 years and over or little ones can enjoy the exhibition with their siblings. Renata and her daughter Anastasia particularly enjoyed the Visit Mars and the Spread your Wings activities. To follow Renata and her daughter’s experiences on Instagram, head to @renatakatarzyna.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

This aerospace exhibition features immersive flight simulations, design challenges, visionary concepts for the future and inspiring stories from game changing innovators. Visitors can design and fly their own aeroplane, pilot a drone into the eye of a hurricane, and ride an elevator to the edge of space.

Above and Beyond is presented by Boeing and produced in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Children and young adults will be inspired to imagine the future of aerospace technology.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Kids will have lots of fun with the different exhibits on offer including the biometrics screen where they can experiment.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Anastasia loved spreading her wings and flying in formation with birds in the Spread your Wings exhibit.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

She was very intrigued by the International Space Elevator. People have long dreamed of building a tower to space and this has evolved into concepts for a space elevator.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Visitors can also have a look at the NASA exhibits showcasing missions and the shuttles used.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Kids can take control of their space jet and fly through the skies.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

They can also blast Space Junk debris stuck in orbit - boom! And understand what debris gets stuck in space.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

 Visitors can also learn about different flight modes like hot air balloons, rockets, gliders and more.

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: @melbourneminor for @busycitykids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

And be exposed to more complex exhibits like flight simulation.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Busy City Kids were invited to Above & Beyond for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food were self funded. 

For more information on Above & Beyond at Scienceworks, 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.

Real Madrid World of Football Experience - Melbourne Museum - Review

Melbourne Mum Renata took her daughter and her friend to the Real Madrid World of Football Experience this morning and loved the experience! The girls had lots of fun and learned a great deal about football in the exhibition with the great displays, the hands-on experiences, a game of soccer and play on the 16 person Fuzbol table in the Battle Zone. Thank you Renata for the great photos and review. To follow Renata and her daughter’s experiences on Instagram, head to @renatakatarzyna.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Kids 5 years and older, parents and families will love this exhibition. This exhibition is not only for football fans but for all ages, even smaller kids can enjoy themselves with older siblings. 

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

The Real Madrid World of Football Experience is a new, state-of-the-art, digital and hands-on interactive football experience designed for all ages. Through impressive audio-visual displays, physical interactive football experiences, playable gaming technologies combined with historical club memorabilia and stunning trophies, visitors can go behind the scenes to discover the culture passion, players and epic victories that make Real Madrid C.F. the football Club of the Century.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Housed under the roof of a massive 50m x 30m touring pavilion, Real Madrid World of Football Experience offers visitors four immersive zones. 

The Real Madrid C.F Exhibition Zone offers incredible audio-visual displays, original memorabilia, trophies and interactive technology to help visitors discover the Clubs’ history.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

The 360 Cinematic Match Day Experience Zone allows visitors to feel the passion and adrenaline pumping energy from the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

Photo credit: Real Madrid World of Football 

Photo credit: Real Madrid World of Football 

The interactive ‘Come Play’ Zone is loaded with physical, digital and playable technology and test your power, speed and accuracy against the Real Madrid C.F team.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Have fun in the EA Sports FIFA Arena and battle it out in the Fuzbol Battle Zone with a gigantic 16-person Fuzbol Table.

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Our tips:

  • The Real Madrid World of Football Experience is on now at the Melbourne Museum until 30th September, open daily 10 am to 5pm.
  • Tickets are $19.50 per Kids 4 to 16 yrs, $35 per Adult, $80 per Family (2 adults/2 kids or 1 adult/3 kids) or $99.50 per Hero (1 adult/4 kids). Kids under 4 go Free.
  • You can get to the Melbourne Museum via public transport or car. There is parking along Carlton Street but also parking under the Museum at casual rates, museum member discount rates or by booking online to save 30%.
  • Hourly timed sessions allow you to arrive within the hour purchased. Once inside the experience there is no time limit as to how long you can stay. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy at their own pace.
Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Photo credit: Renata Marchionna for Busy City Kids

Busy City Kids were invited to Real Madrid World of Football Experience for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food were self funded. 

The Real Madrid World of Football Experience is on now at the Melbourne Museum Plaza until 30th September 2018. To find out more about the Real Madrid World of Football Experience, head to the Melbourne Museum's dedicated website.

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

Migration Museum - Adelaide - Review

On our recent Adelaide school holiday trip, we visited the Migration Museum in the CBD. The Migration Museum works towards the preservation, understanding and enjoyment of South Australia’s diverse cultures. It is a place to discover the many identities of the people of South Australia through the stories of individuals and communities. We popped in to have a look and were pleasantly surprised by the rich history the Migration Museum presented.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Migration Museum honours the arrival of families those hundreds of years ago in the Leaving Britain & Establishing South Australia permanent exhibition and shares their stories and their brave journey to make Australia their new home in hope for a better life and more freedom and a great future for their children. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Migration Museum also talks about immigration in the 20th century and how migration in the last few decades as changed Australia in fundamental ways.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The permanent exhibition Immigration in the 20th century shows how migrants impacted on the first peoples and how mass migration schemes made us the multicultural country we are today.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Last but not least in the exterior building is the permanent exhibition In this Place, which touches on the history of the Migration Museum site which was once part of Adelaide’s Destitute Asylum.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

If you are a SA resident and have lived in Adelaide all your life and have family in Adelaide do checkout the family register to see if your family is registered. You can also commemorate your family history with an engraved paver which will be placed in the courtyard.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Migration Museum is located at 82 Kintore Avenue near the State Library of South Australia.
  • The Museum is open daily 10 am to 5pm except Christmas Day.
  • Admission is FREE.
  • The Museum is pram friendly.
  • There are toilets located next to the Museum near the courtyard.

Busy City Kids were invited to the Migration Museum for the purposes of a review. Entry is FREE for everyone. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel, food and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information on the Migration Museum and other History of Trust SA Museums, head to their website.

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

South Australian Maritime Museum - Adelaide - Review

On our last visit to Adelaide, we visited the South Australian Maritime Museum in fitting historical Port Adelaide. The Museum preserves, explores and celebrates the human history of our oceans and rivers with a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions on display.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As you walk into the South Australian Maritime Museum, you will not miss the stunning replica ketch Active II ship. Built by shipwright Bill Porter and rigged by sail maker Don Lucas in 1986, this replica shows how hard the ketch trade was back in the 1800s. The first Active was built in 1873 and worked the coast until 1959. Kids can get on board the ketch and experience life at sea on dry land! Navigate the ship and go below deck to checkout the ship's quarters.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can also catch the permanent exhibition Doplhins! The Port River Pod which talks about the Port River and how a pod of about thirty dolphins makes the river estuary its home. As many as 200 dolphins visit each year, all within a city of more than one million people. The exhibition looks at their anatomy, ecology, how they communicate and how they live in social groups. It also explores how humans communicate with dolphins and how we have impacted on their environment as a result of plastic pollution and sewerage pollution in the river.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Museum also has a great collection of artefacts and model ships upstairs.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Museum also looks at the roles that South Australians have played in the colonial navy and the Royal Australian Navy through the First and Second World Wars and the Vietnam War and from memory it also mentioned recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is showcased at Action Stations.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Bound for South Australia exhibition on the lower level of the Museum features precious personal mementos first immigrants brought to South Australia. It explores how nine ships left Britain for the newly created Province of South Australia in 1836 and shows life at sea, what they ate, where they slept and how they fared on the long sea voyage.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We quite enjoyed our time at the South Australian Maritime Museum, when we visited there were some underwater play stations upstairs for kids to have a go at and other sections were going under development. There was a carnival area with old pier carnival games and some surf boards for the kids to have a go on too. Lots to learn and discover at the South Australia Maritime Museum.

Don't forget to visit the Port Adelaide lighthouse before you leave Port Adelaide. The lighthouse is Port Adelaide’s icon. It stands at the end of Commercial Road marking the place where the city meets the Port River. Visitors can climb the seventy-four steps and take in the views of Port Adelaide, the coast and back past the city to the Mount Lofty Ranges. The lighthouse was first lit in 1869 and originally stood at the entrance to the Port River. We didn't climb up but it was great to see the lighthouse.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The South Australian Maritime Museum is located at 126 Lipson Street in Port Adelaide about 30 mins from the CBD.
  • The Museum is open every day of the year except Good Friday and Christmas Day from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Admission to the Museum is $15 per adult, $6 for children, Free for kids under 5 and $34.50 for a family.
  • The Museum is pram friendly with a lift inside to go between levels. No pram allowed on the Active II ship.
  • There are toilets inside the Museum.

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

For more information and up-to-date news about the South Australian Maritime Museum, head to their website.

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

Museums Discovery Centre - Sydney - Review

We recently took advantage of Free Museum Weekend and visited the Museums Discovery Centre in Caste Hill for the first time a few weekends ago, for free! 

The Museums Discovery Centre (MDC) is a collaboration between the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS)Australian Museum (AM) and Sydney Living Museums.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Inside the Museums Discovery Centre, visitors can expect to find millions of treasures, with hundreds on display, and thousands more waiting to be discovered through booked tours of the deep collection stores.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved looking at the different cars, bikes, scooters, buses, planes, boats on display as well as miniature trains, cars, planes etc. The kids loved the discovery boxes where hundreds of treasures were there ready to be discovered. There were also experts on the day transmitting message in morse code and writing them up on an old type writer for kids to enjoy.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After we checked out the many treasures, we headed to a different store of the Discovery Centre where we found collections of furnitures, clothes, costumes and antiques not accessible to the public. Meccano experts were showcasing their models for the open day. We love Meccano so we were quite happy to see the models!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Inside the store of various things, we found costumes and official uniforms for the Sydney Olympic Games' opening ceremony.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There is also another store filled with old cars which little car enthusiasts will love. It has access restrictions but some special tours are available to organise access.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We really enjoyed visiting the Museums Discovery Centre! The centre has an immense variety of treasures on display. There was so much to take in on the day that it truly deserves another visit!

Our tips:

  • The Museums Discovery Centre is located at 172 Showground Road in Caste Hill. 
  • Parking on the day was available at the nearby TAFE off Green Road. I recommend using that entrance.
  • The Centre is open Mon to Fri from 10am to 5pm with last entry at 4pm. Closed public holidays.
  • Admission is $10 per adult, Free for kids 16 and under and $8 for seniors and students. Free for members.
  • The Museum is pram friendly with lifts available.
  • The museum has a disabled toilets with fitted change table.
Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

For more information on the Museums Discovery Centre, head to their website.

Busy City Kids attended the Museums Discovery Centre for the purpose of a review as part of Free Museum Weekend. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food were self funded. 

For more ideas and reviews for what to do with kids around Sydney, head to our blog where you will find reviews as well as useful guides like our Daily Spots List as well as parents roomsplaygroundsbeaches & pools and more!

National Motor Museum - Adelaide - Review

If you're visiting Adelaide or the Adelaide Hills, do make the drive to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood. Motor enthusiasts and families love this museum and for my car obsessed son, this was heaven! Little Miss loved looking at all the cars and motorbikes too, we had a fun afternoon.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

From the get go at the Museum Shop, the kids got on the little cars for sale and wanted to ride through the museum. Would have been a great idea but we left the cars at the shop for repairs haha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The National Motor Museum has a unique collection of cars, trucks, vans, motorbikes, bicycles, toy and model cars and so much more! Kids will love walking through the aisles of cars and motorbikes and checkout one of a kind vehicles that are only at the museum. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Checkout the latest exhibition Sunburnt Country which celebrates Australia’s unique love affair with all things motoring. The exhibit includes the hand-built 1899 Shearer Steam Carriage, the 1908 Talbot that crossed from Adelaide to Darwin and the faithful 1936 Leyland Badger that enabled the legendary South Australian Mailman of the Outback, Tom Kruse, to deliver mail to rural communities. We liked watching the video in this exhibit showcasing the way cars were built back in those days.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Walk through the aisles of motorbikes and scooters on show and make your way to the 1920s mechanical workshop which has petrol pumps, original tools, advertising images, a fire extinguisher, and even a vintage typewriter and small office.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Don't miss the Model Behaviour exhibit on your way out which features a number of pedal cars which came to life in the workshop of Adelaide grandfather Bob Phillips, and an impressive collection of Corgi model cars which was the life-long passion of Eric Hauschild.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved our time at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood and didn't mind the drive up through the beautiful villages. The kids did not stop admiring everything in sight. It was heaven for my car loving son!  

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The National Motor Museum is located at Shannon Street in Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills.
  • The Museum is open every day of the year except Christmas Day from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Admission to the Museum is $15.50 per adult, $6.50 for children, Free for kids under 5 and $35 for a family of 2 adults and up to 6 children.
  • The Museum is pram friendly.
  • There are toilets inside the Museum.

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

For more information and up-to-date news about the National Motor Museum, head to their website.

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

Justice & Police Museum - Sydney - Review

The Justice and Police Museum located in the city a short walk from Circular Quay was a busy place in the 1850s with the recent end of convict transportation, the discovery of gold, and improved transport and communications, people of all kinds flooded through the bustling port which meant crime as well as trade was on the rise. The crimes of drunken flights, petty criminals were hauled before the Water Police Court daily, so busy in fact that a new building was needed urgently. The new Water Police Court was completed by 1856, and soon after the new Water Police Station was opened. In 1886 a Police Court was squeezed into the vacant land between the two buildings, making the three-building complex one of the busiest legal precincts in the colony.

Today as the Justice & Police Museum, the history of crime, policing and justice are explored in these same buildings, where the gritty business of maintaining law and order once played out. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can brave the steep steps in front of the Justice & Police Museum or use the side ramp to enter with prams and wheelchairs. Once in, visitors can read up on the notorious criminals and bushrangers who have left their stories at this museum.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can appreciate the old building which has been well kept and preserved when moving from one part of the Museum to the other.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids or adults can dress up as witnesses, criminals and the like in the Police Court using provided outfits and play pretend. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can view an interesting range of weapons confiscated by NSW Police in the Crime Museum

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

My little ones loved playing in the Charge Room, there's a hole puncher, some paper, finger printing quest sheet and a small open cell they can sit in. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The 1890 holding cells are pretty interesting, the first one is as they were back in those days whereas the other cells have been fitted with artefacts, stories and draw visitors into a world of crime, punishment and policing, from bushrangers, sly grog and razor gangs to forensics.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

There's lots to read up on, Mister 2 wasn't so interested except when he saw dogs, bikes and cars on photos and displays. Little Miss was following a little trail throughout the Museum.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The highlight of the visit was the Mock Trial in the Police Court which happens Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am for 30 minutes and asks visitors to either step into the shoes of a notorious bushranger and plead your innocence. Or perhaps visitors can wear the barrister’s or the judge's wig to test their powers of persuasion. Visitors can see first-hand how a 19th century magistrates court put Sydney’s infamous criminals behind bars. The Police Court retains the original magistrate’s bench, reporter/jury box, witness stand and prisoner’s dock (not pictured). 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

On your way out, don't forget to checkout the City of Shadows installation (some photos aren't kid friendly) but this room provides a vast archive of crime scene photography and mug shots from more than a century of underworld Sydney.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Justice & Police Museum is a great place for primary school children, teenagers and adults to read up on, understand and appreciate the rich history of the buildings and underworld Sydney. The Museum is only open weekends and the Mock Trial is only on once a day on Saturday and Sunday so make sure you attend during those times. Kids can play dress ups and follow a little trail to find their missing friend provided at reception. I did query reception regarding the Cop or Robber activity available weekends at 10:30 am for 30 minutes but was told there was no such activity and that a tour takes place during that time instead.

Our tips:

  • The Justice & Police Museum is located at Corner Albert and Phillip Streets, Circular Quay, Sydney CBD.
  • The Justice & Police Museum is open 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday only.
  • Admission is $12 per adult, $8 per concession, $30 per family, Members and Kids under 5 go free.
  • Free self guided tour and guided tour at 10:30 am.
  • Free dress ups in the courtroom.
  • Free family-friendly Bushrangers Behind Bars mock trial at 11:30 am.
  • Entry to the Museum for prams and wheelchairs is available on the side of Albert Street using the ramp. Ring and hold the bell to make sure someone opens up for you. The Museum is pram and wheelchair friendly throughout most of the building however you can leave the pram at the entry and the staff is cloak it for you.
For more information on the Justice & Police Museum, head to their website.

Busy City Kids were invited to the Justice and Police Museum for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food were self funded. 

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.

Hyde Park Barracks Museum - Sydney - Review

The Hyde Park Barracks Museum is currently CLOSED for a major renewal project that will transform the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site into a world-leading heritage destination. The Museum will re-open in late 2019. Further information can be found here.

Hyde Park Barracks is one of the most significant convict sites in the world. Built in 1817-1819, this UNESCO World Heritage listed site was a crossroads for tens of thousands of people, it played a central role in the world’s largest and longest-running system of convict transportation.

On a recent trip into the city, I wanted to explore this gorgeous building in the centre of the city and the history behind it. It is a great place for primary school children, teenagers and adults to visit. Little ones under 6 will appreciate a few spots of dressing up too. Don't forget to pickup a Kids' Rats' Trail at front desk which takes the kids through the museum to collect historical clues and receive a stamp upon completion.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

It is so fascinating to walk within the building, read up on such times and still see parts of the building as they stood back in the 1800s. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can follow Ratty's Rat Trail and read up on vivid stories about what it was like to be a convict, or to be an orphan shipped across the world to make a new life.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Level 1 of the Barracks houses the Convict Period: 1819 - 1848. More than 50,000 convicts passed through the gates of the Hyde Park Barracks between 1819 to 1848. The convicts were a motley crew of thieves, protestors, robbers, pirates, slaves, bushrangers and repeated offenders. However through hard work and obedience some gained their freedom.

After 1848, the barracks became an Immigration depot and Asylum until 1886. It was then a Courts & Offices quarter from 1887-1979. In 1979 conservation works began where 120,000 artefacts were recovered from the site including beneath floorboards. And later in 1984 the Barracks then opened as a Museum.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

You will find little Ratty signs and boxes throughout the building keeping it interesting for little ones showing artefacts, asking questions and more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

On level 1, you will find the Convict Sydney: People room where kids can see what convicts ate, dress up as a convict, try on leg irons and admire all the different tools on display that convicts used back in the day.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The convict Sydney: Place still on level 1 shows where the Barracks were in these early colonial days and places convicts went to work and who they were. The maps, images and panorama in this room are quite interesting to look at too. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Level 2 houses the Immigration Depot & Asylum Period: 1848-1886. The Barracks back then provided safe haven for around 40,000 immigrant women some with children. The women slept in iron beds in dorms on level 2 and 3. It then became an asylum. 

Kids can sit on beds and dress up as the women did back in the days in this room and adults can admire the remaining of the pressed ceiling (ok maybe that's just me ha!).

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

On the same level, kids can admire the archeology exhibits on display, very interesting for little historians in your family. Visitors can also discover artefacts found beneath the ground at floor spaces and see some fascinating items.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Still on the same level, visitors can look at different models of how the Barracks and site have changed over time and understand the rich timeline.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

My favourite area in the building would have to be level 3 where the Courts and Offices were located. The building's ceilings and beams are just stunning. This level includes a silhouettes gallery where visitors can hear sounds and voices of convict life. You can also listen to the hourly chime of Australia's oldest continuously functioning public clock on this level - such a beautiful piece of machinery and also checkout the hammocks room.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Don't forget to peep through the holes of the rooms to see through the Hammocks Room. Kids can sit in the hammocks of this reconstructed convict dormitory and ponder how life would have been as a convict sleeping on these hammocks. Very comfy however I'm not sure how I would sleep on these for long periods without falling ha!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids and parents will enjoy visiting the Hyde Park Barracks and learning about this site's rich history. Kids will enjoy following the Rats' Trail and follow Ratty's clews around the building, dressing up, exploring and laying in a hammock.

Our tips:

  • The Hyde Park Barracks Museum is located at Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney CBD.

  • Free guided tours and audio tours are available.

  • The Museum is only pram and wheelchair friendly on the ground floor of the building as upper levels are only accessible via stairs. Limited pram parking too.

For more information on the Hyde Park Barracks, head to their website.

Busy City Kids were invited to the Hyde Park Barracks Museum for the purpose of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and food were self funded. 

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

Australian War Memorial - Canberra - Review

A visit to the Australian War Memorial is sacred to most Australians including my husband who served in the navy for almost a decade and went to many wars and was lucky to come out of them alive.

Having moved from France twenty years ago, my war history is restricted to European history however I have learned throughout the years that Australia played a big part in fighting around the World, in Europe and especially in France. War was a big thing in my family in France and I lost many family members in World War I and Wold War II and even had German soldiers occupy my father's village during World War II so it was a privilege to visit the Villers–Bretonneux Australian National Memorial in France last April and the Australian War Memorial in June last year.

This is why walking through the Australian War Memorial brings out a high level of respect for those who fought wars to give us the freedom that we have today. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Memorial includes many permanent galleries covering Australia's involvement in major conflicts and some temporary exhibitions that cover other aspects of military history.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Highlights of the Australian War Memorial's include the stunning Commemorative Courtyard, the Roll of Honour which contains the names of over 102,000 members of the Australian armed forces who have died during or as a result of war service, the Hall of Memory, the Dioramas, the Hall of Valour, the Aircraft Hall, the Anzac Hall and the Discovery Zone.

Although the kids could not read most of the exhibits, their father and I conveyed important messages to them about the war history of Australia, Europe and other countries. The war artefacts, aircrafts, boats and vehicles kept the kids interested while we were visiting the different exhibiting galleries.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The kids thought the Discovery Zone was a lot of fun! It has five different zones which are all inspired by Australia's military history. It includes a trench on the Western Front in France from the First World War, an Australian home front during the Second World War, an Iroquois helicopter hovering in a field in Vietnam, an Oberon Class submarine, searching for enemy targets and a peacekeeping mission in a war-ravaged community. Kids will love climbing, jumping, crawling and exploring all zones. 

The Discovery Zone is open during limited times during the week but opened all day on weekends and holidays (see times in our tips below). My little ones' favourite zone was by far the Iroquois helicopter where they enjoyed flying and sitting in the passenger seat. They also liked getting dressed up with the dress up clothes provided nearby. Little Miss liked the trench, wearing a war helmet and exploring the submarine. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Australian War Memorial is a great place for the whole family to learn about Australia's and the World's war history. While it may not be an automatic place to bring children, I believe that war is part of Australia's and the World's history therefore is important for our children to understand. Throughout our visit, we found that the material presented throughout the galleries was not scary for children but presented in a way which was educational. The Memorial welcomes school groups from around Australia daily. Kids will enjoy seeing the artefacts, planes, helicopters, miniature boats and will love playing in the Discovery Zone, flying an Iroquois helicopter, going through a trench and a exploring a submarine. Do pop in when you're in Canberra next.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The Australian War Memorial is located at Treloar Crescent in Campbell, Canberra
  • The Memorial is open 10am to 5pm daily except on Christmas Day. Open and closing times vary on Anzac day and Remembrance day.
  • Galleries close from 4.40pm and visitors are invited to join the Memorial for the Last Post Ceremony.
  • The Discovery Zone is open from 12:30pm to 1:30pm during weekdays and all day during weekends, public holidays and ACT school holidays. 
  • Admission to the Memorial is free but donations to the Memorial is encouraged to support the Memorial's efforts and volunteers.
  • Free tours are available.
  • The Memorial is pram and wheelchair friendly with lifts available. Both are available for hire on free loan at the front desk. As well as free cloaking.
  • Free parking is available under the Memorial (4 hour limit).
For more information on the Australian War Memorial, head to their website.

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

South Australian Museum - Adelaide - Review

Some Museums get better with age! I may have had work drinks at the South Australian Museum back in the 2000's looking at the taxidermied animals gallery, some of which are probably still at the Museum today but one thing is for sure - we love Museums in our family. I grew up going to Museums and Galleries in Paris with my dad every weekend and I wouldn't have it any other way with my kids. The best thing is, most Museums are free to visit and if they're not, entry or membership fee pays itself in knowledge! 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We loved visiting the South Australian Museum on our last trip to Adelaide. The World Mammals Gallery, the Discovery Centre, the Fossils Gallery, the Ancient Egypt Gallery, the South Australian biodiversity and Whales & Dolphins are sure to keep your little ones busy and that's not all of the Museum and the best bit is general entry is free!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The South Australian Museum's Discovery Centre is a wonderful thing. Located on level 1 of the Museum, it is a place of wonder where many species are exhibited. Children can also see an impressive working beehive, live scorpions, stick insects and more!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors at the Discovery Centre can get pretty hands-on (aka my kids - touch everything in sight ha!) and touch real fossils, minerals, rocks, animal skin and the like. Kids will love putting everything under the microscope and complete their own experiments. It was pretty impressive to watch the bees working away in the beehive, and watching them come in and out of the hive and going outside of the building. 

south_australian_museum06.jpg
Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kids can easily spend close to an hour exploring the Discovery Centre as there are an array of things to keep them busy with and keep them exploring around the room. My little ones' favourites are all the insects species throughout the centre hung up in beautiful frames and classified in draws. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Opal Fossils Gallery has a vast range of opalised fossils from Coober Pedy and Andamooka in the State's north to the largest ammonite ever found in Australia.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Other galleries include the South Australian Biodiversity Gallery. More than 12,000 individual models were hand-made to create this gallery, along with historical taxidermy specimens from the Museum’s mammals and birds collections. The Minerals and meteorites gallery has 35,000 specimens ranging in all sorts of stunning colours, shapes and sizes, some of which glow in the dark!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Ancien Egypt Gallery would have to be on of our favourite gallery rooms. Originally established in 1939, it gives an insight into the religion, burial practices and everyday life of Ancient Egypt. The room features some of the 650 artefacts from the museum's collection, most of which are genuine pieces from Ancient Egypt, with only a few replicas and model casts.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

While you're there don't miss Architeuthis duxthe 11 m long model of a giant squid which is a favourite among children. The display is in an old lift shaft and extends over four floors, complete with life-size models of other creatures that inhabit the murky depths. And if you didn't catch them on your way in, make sure you checkout the Whales and Dolphins skeletons at the front of the museum next to the café. The museum also has a Megafauna gallery with large animals including mammals, birds and reptiles. Don't miss the museum's Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery and Pacific Cultures Gallery as both galleries include large collections of artefacts.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The South Australian Museum is a fantastic museum for local and interstate/overseas visitors to visit. Allocate a minimum of 2 to 3 hours if you want to soak up most of the museum's collection and if your time is limited and make sure you visit the Discovery Centre.

Our tips:

  • The South Australian Museum is located on North Terrace in the Adelaide CBD.
  • The Museum is open daily except Good Friday and Christmas Day from 10am to 5pm. Anzac Day 12pm to 5pm. 
  • The Discovery Centre is open from 11am to 4pm weekdays and 11am to 3pm weekends and public holidays. It is closed from 25 December – 1 January.
  • Admission is Free except for special exhibitions
  • The Museum is pram friendly with lifts around the museum.
  • Parking can be found across from the Museum or along the river and University of Adelaide.
  • Be aware of current tram works extension.
For more information and up-to-date events news about the South Australian Museum, head to their website.

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

Royal Australian Mint - Canberra - Review

We visited the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra at the end of last year and found it an interesting stop to add to our many Canberra places to visit. Opened in 1965, the Mint has produced more than fifteen billion circulating coins. It now has the capacity to produce two million coins per day and can also produce coins for other countries, along with medals, medallions, tokens and seals for private clients, both national and international.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

At the front desk or the shop, kids can request a Mint Activity Book and head upstairs to complete the Mint Treasure Hunt. There are a few interactive screens for kids to learn about currency and how the factory works as well as a colouring station for little ones. When we were there, there was a colour your coin competition. 

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can wander through the national coin collection and read up on the history of currency, coinage and legal tender. They can discover the Holey Dollar and Dump, Australia's first minted coins made by a convicted forger and so much more.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can see a working factory in action during the week and see Titan the strongest robot at the Mint. They can even wave to Titan! Titan is capable of lifting 1000 kilograms and if he's not busy he will even dance!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Make sure you keep the best for last - kids can mint a legal commemorative $1 coin (cost of $3 per coin) and start a collection of their own. They will love it!

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Albeit a bit short and not hugely interactive for little ones but interesting for primary & high school kids, we did enjoy our visit at the Royal Australian Mint. The Mint is an interesting place to learn about the history of currency, coinage and legal tender. Kids will enjoy seeing the working factory, wave to Titan and even mint their very own coin! 

Our tips:

  • Royal Australian Mint is located on Denison Street in Deakin around 10 minutes from the city centre of Canberra.
  • The centre is open 8.30 am to 5 pm Mon Fri and 10 am to 4 pm Sat & Sun. Closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.
  • Entry is FREE.
  • There is free parking outside the center.
  • There are toilets inside.
  • The center is pram friendly with a walking ramp and a lift to access the first level.
For more information on the Royal Australian Mint, head to their website.

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

Kspace at the National Museum of Australia - Canberra - Review

There's always something to do with kids in Canberra so if you want to head into the warmth and learn about Australia's history and have some fun in the process, head to the National Museum of Australia.

 Kspace is the National Museum’s interactive adventure game for kids. Designed for children aged 5 to 12, it’s fun for children and adults. Kspace takes about 30 minutes to complete. It is popular so you will find that you have to wait a bit while others do the first stage of Kspace.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kspace is a three-stage experience and up to 12 visitors can take part in each stage. Visitors start their adventure in the Design Station where they use touch screens to create a time-travelling robot and make up their team.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

After designing their robot, visitors can practice their moves and skills with their new robot outfit before entering the next room.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors then enter a Time Pod area where they are blasted back to a mystery location, such as the Victorian goldfields of 1854 or Sydney in the 1930s when the Harbour Bridge was being built.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors use their robots to explore the locations and collect points before teaming up with others as one big robot to complete a mission unique to that time and place. Once the mission is complete, visitors move to the Cool-down area to reflect on the experience and see how their team went compared to other teams.

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Kspace is a fun team game ideally played with four people however you can customise the team that have lesser members. Come as a team, meet new friends or go solo and enjoy this popular attraction. We really enjoyed playing Kspace and even though the kids were 2 and 5 it was still fun to play along and have a laugh and realise how uncoordinated we are as a family playing video games ha!

Our tips:

  • The museum is located at Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula in Canberra
  • The National Museum of Australia is open from 9am to 5pm daily (closed Christmas Day) and is FREE general admission (except ticketed exhibitions).
  • Great for kids 5 to 12 yrs old.
  • Younger kids can have a go but might struggle with using the console's remotes and joysticks.
  • Head there early to avoid wait time.
  • Check the National Museum of Australia's website for up-to-date visiting times.
  • Entry to the National Museum of Australia to the permanent collections is free so if Kspace is busy checkout the collections as there's lots to see and kids will love wondering around.
  • There are toilets around the museum including change tables.
  • There is ample parking at the Museum entry however paying during the week. Free weekends and public holidays and limited parking until September 2018 due to works.
For more information on Kspace at the National Museum of Australia, head to their wesbite.

To read our other Canberra reviews, head to this link.