Adventure, baby!

Kids

Tale Of A Lost Dolly

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

We’ve had a super sad week over at our house. Cheese’s Dolly, given to her when she was born by my dad, was lost. We can’t quite understand how she was even lost, but the fact remains we can’t find her. My daughter is devastated, as am I, and also my parents since they’re the ones who chose the doll and gave it to her.

Taking it back to the scene of the lost doll. My husband and Cheese took Dolly in the car with her to school. Usually the rule is Dolly doesn’t leave the house just because we’ve been scared of this happening, but on that fateful day, we’d all had a shocking night’s sleep, and when Cheese begged to take her “just in the car!” I relented through pure exhaustion. “How much harm can she come to in the car?” I thought. Alec was equally tired and doesn’t remember much about what happened to the doll after this, other than that when I asked him about where the doll was later on, that he didn’t know.  “She must be in the car”, he said, and went off to look. Nope. Dolly was not in the car. We started to panic as Cheese also noticed Dolly was gone and asked for her at bed time. The next day we drove back to where Dolly might have fallen out of the car and looked around the area. We door knocked the surrounding businesses to see if they’d found her. Nothing.

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

My mum made up posters in hope someone might have seen Dolly, which we plastered around the area we thought she was lost, as well as in the bottom of our building just in case.

It’s been several days and there has been no word of Dolly. Just one very sad child who, every night for the past week now, has asked for Dolly several times a night as she goes to bed, wakes up reaching for her doll, and then again in the morning, when she would usually bring Dolly with her into our room. I am hoping beyond hope that the doll is tucked away somewhere in the car in a secret hole we haven’t yet discovered.

Why is Dolly so special? My dad gave me my first doll when I was a new baby, and I still have the doll today. It was a special gift that he wanted to repeat for my daughter. Cheese took to Dolly and after a few months wouldn’t go to sleep without her. Dolly has travelled around with world with us – between Australia and New York several times, to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and more. Dolly had been a constant for my daughter in our life of travel. And now, Dolly is gone and we are so sad.

I found a few pictures of Dolly’s (short) life to commemorate her special place in our lives. Goodbye Dolly, you were well loved!

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

 

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

 

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

A Tale Of A Lost Doll #lovie #parenting via christineknight.me

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

7 Friendship Lessons For My Daughter

7 Friendship Lessons For My Daughter #parenting via christinekight.me

I’ve been blessed to have some of the most wonderful friends a person could hope for. Coming from a very small family, friends were essential to my life at an early age from being my playmates to later, my confidants. I pretty much consider several of my close friends to be family now—that’s how important they are in my life. As my daughter starts to form friendships of her own, and comes home from preschool with tails of “Emma isn’t speaking to me today!”, or “Jack wouldn’t play with me!”, I realized that it’s time for me to start teaching my daughter how to be a good friend, so that she might be lucky enough to enjoy some wonderful friendships in her life too.

Listen up
Everyone wants to be heard. Listening to your friends and asking them questions about themselves is just as important as you telling your friend all of your news and woes. Listening is essential to ensuring your friendship works both ways.

Practice forgiveness
We all make mistakes, say things we don’t mean and do stupid things. Often it’s not intentional, it’s just a momentary lack of judgement that is regretted straight away. Accept an apology with grace and don’t hold a grudge—a good friend is worth more than a few slip ups.

Don’t take it personally
It can feel very personal when you’re not invited to a party or a movie outing. Maybe the lack of invitation was deliberate, but you don’t know the reason why. With a party, maybe they were only allowed a few friends, or, with a movie date, it might be that your friend just wanted to spend time with another friend one-on-one. What’s important to remember is that it’s nothing to do with you, it’s likely you have done nothing wrong, so please don’t beat yourself up over it.

You can’t be friends with everyone
Just like you don’t want to be friends with every single person that you meet, the same will be for how people feel about you. Sometimes, you’ll really want someone to be your friend and they won’t be interested—and it will be really upsetting. Try not to take it personally, because it’s nothing to do with you. People like and don’t like people often for no fathomable reason. You can’t force a friendship, so if someone doesn’t want to be your friend, remind yourself that it’s their loss and move on.

Be kind
This is something you should remember with everyone you encounter in life and especially with those you care about. Don’t laugh at a friend when they fall over or do something embarrassing in front of others. Be a shoulder for friends to cry on when they’re sad and pick them up when they fall down. If you’re kind to other people they will, in turn, be kind to you.

Be loyal
If your friend tells you something personal, regardless of whether they said it was a secret or not, keep it to yourself. Absolutely never spread rumors or comment on silly gossip. Never, ever talk about a friend behind his/her back. A good rule is: if you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it—period. If you’re known to be a loyal friend, your friends will behave the same way towards you.

Move on
Some friendships go sour. People change and so do their friendship needs. Know when a friendship is over and acknowledge the good times you had, while focussing on your real friends who are going to last.

This article first appeared on MommyNearest.

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Disney Into The Woods Movie Blu-ray Giveaway

Into The Woods Blu-ray #Giveaway via christineknight.me

I love a good movie night. If you do, too, then you’ll love this giveaway I’m running with Disney this week. FIVE readers will have the opportunity to win a blu-ray copy of the Disney movie Into The Woods. This giveaway is open to Australian residents only (sorry US peeps!).

Into The Woods Blu-ray #giveaway via christineknight.me

Into the Woods is a funny and warm musical that follows classic fairy tales with a twist – they’re all tied together by an original story about a baker and his wife. Some big names star (and sing!) including my personal favourite actresses Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick. I really enjoyed the new additions to traditional tales, and the wonderful singing.

A big thanks to Disney for giving me FIVE copies of Into The Woods for this giveaway (RRP $49.95). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what your favourite fairytale is.

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Friday May 22nd 2015 to 11:59pm Thursday May 28st 2015. For full terms and conditions click here.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

9 Things Made Difficult By A Preschooler

9 Things Made Difficult By A Preschooler via christineknight.me

You’d think that by the time your baby had grown into a preschooler, life would get a bit easier. Unfortunately, those annoying strangers who used to helpfully say, “Just wait, it gets harder!” as you were frantically trying to quiet your screaming newborn baby might have been on to something. Perhaps life has not exactly gotten harder, but it certainly has turned into quite the battle of wits. Here are just a few challenges life with a preschooler presents.

1. Being on time
Have you ever noticed that despite your best efforts, you are always at least five minutes behind schedule with a preschooler in tow, if not more? I sure am. Even when I pack the night before, wake up in plenty of time and frantically spend a morning shepherding, cajoling and begging a certain small person to move it along, things always creep at a snail’s pace. Even pressing the elevator button takes an eternity. Speaking of buttons…

2. Pushing your buttons
Not only do you have someone who likes to push every elevator and door button known to man, they also like to push your emotional buttons too. As if you needed to feel even guiltier about going to work or drinks with friends! “But Mommeeeeeeee please don’t goooooo!” Gah!

3. Ownership of possessions
At one time it was your iPad, you phone, your jewelry and your knick knacks. Not any more. Now you are sharing custody of all of your objects with a very possessive preschooler and need to sneak them away if you want to use them after bedtime for yourself.

4. Sleeping in
I think the last time I slept in was during my pregnancy. Mornings where I get to lounge around, read a book or make breakfast in bed are a thing of the past (unless I want some unbridled enthusiasm and Disney Junior’s Octonauts with that).

5. Lying
Okay, so I know, lying is bad, but sometimes a little white lie can help expedite things—as long as your preschooler doesn’t expose you. For example: at the movies, where kids under three get in for free. The ticket seller asks how old my daughter is and I say she is almost three (when she was just over three). My daughter pipes up, “No I’m not, I’m THREE!”

6. Flying under the radar
I’m a reserved person by nature and don’t like drawing attention to myself. Life with a preschooler, however, is about being in the spotlight. A supermarket run will involve fairy wings over the Elsa dress, plus a tiara and wand, with fluttering steps the entire way. Once we are there, if there is, God forbid, some kind of stage or chair resembling a podium, the entertainment part of our shopping trip will commence, usually with a rousing rendition of, you guessed it, Let It Go.

7. An adult evening with friends
Miss three-and-a-half is usually asleep by 7:30pm, so occasionally instead of organizing a sitter we invite friends over for dinner. However, after our last disaster, I don’t think we will be doing it again for a while. Our daughter flat out refused to go to sleep until well after 9pm, by which stage we were all exhausted and ready to call it a night.

8. A relaxing vacation
We travel a lot as a family and, while I love these experiences, I certainly wouldn’t call any of these a “vacation.” They are active adventures where we explore new places and are constantly on the go, searching for the next park, playground or pool. Not a good book or pool-side martini in sight.

9. Being bored
I used to get bored a fair bit and feel like I had chunks of time to fill (hello Netflix!), but life with a preschooler is entertaining, stimulating, exciting and basically one giant non-stop adventure.

First published on Mommynearest.

Linking up with Bron.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Babies Proms, Country Kids: Best Shows For Kids, Sydney

Babies Prom: Country Kids

Today Cheese was introduced to country music for he first time at the wonderful Sydney Opera House’s Babies Proms Country Kids. We’ve gone to every single Babies Prom at the Opera House since arriving back in Sydney, and both Cheese and I enjoy them so much, we always look forward to he next one with great anticipation.

In case you haven’t been to a Babies Prom yet, they are a series of events aimed at kids aged 2 – 5 put on by the Sydney Opera House. Other ages are welcome, and there are usually lots of smaller babies and toddlers in attendance.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

Each Babies Prom focuses on a theme (in this case, Australian country music), and amazingly talented performers teach the kids about that particular style of music through songs and engaging conversation. A big component of each show is teaching kids about the instruments used in that particular style.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

With the Country Kids show, Gold Guitar winning country music artist Darren Coggan was leading the performance, with his band of talented musicians showcasing instruments such as the banjo, fiddle and double bass.

The songs chosen were familiar Aussie favourites, like “Thank God I’m a country boy” and “Waltzing Matilda” – making it the first time for many of kids to hear these classic songs.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

Talented musician Coggan held the kids in rapt attention, and even managed to get the parents and grandparents on their feet to try their hand (or foot) at boot scooting to finish off the show.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

As the show wraps up, the musicians (including Coggan) come down to the floor to meet their pint sized fans and let the kids have a go of the instruments. It’s a great opportunity for kids to touch the strings on the double base, or get up and close to the fiddle.

Babies Prom, Country Kids, Sydney Opera House #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Babies Proms run for 30 minutes, which is perfect for a kid of this age’s attention span. They manage to cram in a jam-packed agenda of songs and education, and kids leave not realise they’ve actually just been taught a lot about a whole new genre of music.

Shows like the Babies Proms are so important for the tiniest kids to learn about music from a young age. Catering to little ones like this program does is pretty unusual in my experience. Many shows cater to slightly older kids and expect kids to sit down and just watch a show. The Babies Proms are so successful because they really speak to the age of the kids and engage with them, and have created an environment where it’s ok for kids to stand up and dance, or run to and from their parents. It’s relaxing for all involved, as there is no expectation on the kids to sit down and stay quiet. In fact, the expectation is the opposite, as children are encouraged to sing, move and often play percussion instruments along with the cast.

Cheese and I love the Babies Proms and obviously can’t say enough good things about the shows. If you’re interested in taking your child to see a Babies Prom, the current Country Kids show runs from Wednesday, 6 May through to Sunday, 17 May with 9.30 am, 10.30 am and 11.30 am sessions available most days from $16.00 a ticket. Tickets are available from the Sydney Opera House.

Thank you to the Sydney Opera House for having us at this Babies Prom. We are huge fans and all opinions are, as always, very much our own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Fear Of Missing Milestones

Fear of missing milestones #parenting #kids via christineknight.me

Before my daughter was born I bought a pregnancy and baby book to fill in. And then found a bigger, better baby book, and then another that was birth to five years. Suddenly I had five different baby books, all staring at my from their spot on the shelf, judging me for forgetting to fill in their empty pages. Did I remember to write down the day of baby’s first smile? Her first tooth? The first time she had a bath, rolled over, sat up and danced a jig?

My half-assed attempt to record everything fell by the wayside when exhaustion reared its formidable head – which it did often. I could barely remember what day it was, let alone to write notes down in the baby books. And then, my fear of missing milestones (hence to be known as FOMM) kicked in, and anxiety forced me to try and write down and photograph every tiny detail in my young daughter’s life.

Turns out FOMM is a powerful motivator. Tormented by Pinterest and its lure of onesies with months counted off on them, I still persisted in my attempts to be the mum who does it all. I constantly questioned though, did I have a good enough plan to adequately document every single important moment of my child’s life? Apparently not, as, with my now three-year-old, I see blog posts and tutorials on hand prints taken every month from birth, and realise I’ve missed the boat. I don’t have any hand prints of my baby thus far. I didn’t video any of her birthday parties. I haven’t put together any scrapbooks or albums to celebrate her life thus far. Definitely no shadow boxes on the wall with outgrown baby shoes and locks of hair. In my role as keeper of her childhood memories, have I failed at my job already? Oh, FOMM, there you are, kicking me when I’m already down.

Then reality sinks in. This new phenomena of the need to make every single moment of your child’s life documentable and beautiful is a new one. The arranging of bedding and props for the perfect Instagramable moment, the casting of tiny hands and feet in bronze for the wall. There are no hand and foot prints on display in my parents’ home, no locks of hair, no family art projects on the walls. And do I wish there were? Honestly, no, I don’t. The truth is I’m far to concerned with looking forwards to dwell in my own past. So if we’re not documenting and photographing for the benefits of our kids, who are we going to this immense effort for?

The rise of social media platforms like Pinterest and blogs have created a new “keeping up with the Joneses”, but in this case, the “Jones family” is a crafty mum with too much time on their hands and loves posting pictures of her clever bento box lunch art. We share and comment on these images, blog posts and pins, marvel at the complexity and the cleverness, but deep down, feel our own lack of creativity and commitment to making our children’s memories magical.

Are we raising our children in a pastel pink shiny world where it’s normal to have parties that are “Pinterest-worthy” and have books and albums videos documenting every single breath they took? And would they want us to? Is FOMM stopping us from letting our kids enjoy just being kids, and keeping us, as parents, at a distance in order to capture these moments?

Are we doing our children favours by implying to them that they are so important that we dedicated ourselves to this documentation, this making of sandwiches in the shape of Hello Kitty to entice them to eat (at the same tie as broadcasting to the world what devoted and clever clogs we are)? I think not.
And yet. I am trapped in the cycle myself. Writing down cute things she says. Photographing every day. Pinning ideas for her next birthday party. Watching from the outside instead of playing, laughing and participating. Maybe tomorrow is a good day to start anew and make memories instead of just documenting them.

Linking up with Bron.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

5 Lessons I’m Learning From My Preschooler

5 Lessons I'm Learning From My Preschooler via christineknight.me
I spend a lot of time teaching my preschooler the little things. The names of animals and flowers. The polite way to ask for something. I am her teacher in life as well as her caretaker. I realized the other day, however, that for all I am teaching my child, she is also teaching me a few things. It turns out that we have so much to learn from each other.

Be curious
My preschooler can literally spend an hour walking from our house to the supermarket three blocks away, engrossed by every single bug, flower, rock and crack in the pavement we encounter. “Why, Mommy?” is asked a thousand times a day. Why are the leaves falling off the trees? Why are the ants swarming? Why is there a puddle? Instead of rushing her to get our chores done, I’m trying to relax and go at her pace, and marvel in rediscovering what a weird and wonderful world we live in.

Make your own fun
I feel like I need constant stimulation and activities to have fun. Galleries, restaurants, movies. My preschooler loves to pick up sticks and pretend they are fairy wands. She can be entertained for hours with nothing more than a few bit of shrubbery and her imagination. When did we start to need so much “stuff” to just have fun?

Dancing like no one’s watching
My preschooler dances up and down the street. In shops and elevators. In restaurants and car parks. Whenever the mood strikes her, she busts a move and puts on her best arabesque for anyone who happens to be watching. She exudes so much joy in every move of her tiny body, and her lack of self consciousness is a delight to behold. Why should we care what people think of us (and our dancing!). We should be dancing in the streets if the mood takes, not caring if we’re a bit uncoordinated.

Sing like no-one’s listening
I used to love singing! Absolutely love it. Somewhere along the way though, it came to my attention that I was not as good a singer as I had thought, and I stopped singing out loud so as to not offend people with my off-key melodies. My daughter, however, doesn’t care if she’s hitting all the wrong notes when she belts out Wheels On The Bus. She doesn’t let what people think get in the way of doing what she loves. Can’t we all take a note out of her book and sing if it give us joy (even if we’re tone-deaf?).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Women are the worst at criticizing the way we look. We’re never just happy with what we’ve got, we have to compare ourselves to how we think we should look. Taller, thinner, fitter, better nose, smoother hair. We wave off compliments and joke about how much we need to hit the gym. Our children, however, think we are the most beautiful things they have ever seen. They don’t notice our flaws, they just see the person who loves them more than anything, who is there to kiss their boo boos and hug them when they wake in the night with bad dreams. Preschoolers see their moms as powerful, strong, and beautiful, so why can’t we see ourselves this way, too?

Rock your own style
As we get older and more aware of the expectations of work and society, we tend to tone down our personal style and wear plainer clothes. I can’t imagine my preschooler in anything that could be called “plain”. Right now she is favouring tutus, glittery socks, bright blue Mary Janes and tiaras – with an Elsa braid or old lady bun. She dresses exactly how she feels and has so much fun with her outfits. She’s reminding me of the enjoyment I used to get when I dressed for fun rather than for function, and helping me bring my inner style back to the outside again.

This article was first published on MommyNearest.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Golden Ridge Animal Farm: Best Animal Experiences in Sydney

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

We’ve raised Cheese thus far as quite the city kid. She, like our whole family, loves animals and we try to get her out to experience the bush and country life where we can. We had the opportunity recently to enjoy a day trip to Dural for a birthday party at Golden Ridge Animal Farm.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge has been running as a children’s farm for 41 years. It has been owned and run by family of the current owner, Alisa Nye, for the past 26 years.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

The animals at Golden Ridge are all pets (you can see more info on the animals and their names online.) and they absolutely love visitors.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

A standard visit to the farm follows a path of activities, for which you must be on time to be able to enjoy. The farm opens at 10:30 am weekdays, and 11am on weekends. Activities are guided and hence if you are late, you will miss out.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

The visit begins with holding baby animals. On our visit, this included ducklings, chicks and rabbits that were only a few days old. We were told how to hold them and asked to assist the children in holding the animals correctly. It was had to tell who was the most excited about holding the baby animals, the kids or parents.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Next was a walk around the farm feeding and seeing the larger farm animal varieties. We bought the $5 feed bucket option and had a wonderful time feeding the various goats, lambs, deer, ponies, cows and alpacas, all of whom were most excited to see visitors bearing delicious food for them.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Our tour concluded with feeding a baby goat with a bottle. Cheese thought this was awesome.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Afterwards, it’s lunch time, which can either be a picnic lunch or a barbecue using the farm’s facilities, or you can buy lunch from the canteen. After lunch the ponies come out and kids can take a little ride on one of the very friendly farm ponies.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

One of the best things about the farm is the space. While the activities are guided, kids can return after the tour to see the larger animals, pat and feed them, or just run around and enjoy seeing a range of other animals roaming around, like ducks and a very friendly little dachshund.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me

 

For a day of hands-on country activities, Golden Ridge can’t be beat.

Golden Ridge Animal Farm
686 Old Northern Road,
Dural NSW 2158
(02) 9651 1028
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30am-2pm, Sat & Sun 11am-2:30pm.
Prices: $15 per person entry. $5 extra for a pony ride or a bucket of feed. Babies under 1 year free.
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL.
Get directions.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Barbie Princess Power High Tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

I was a Barbie kid myself, so it’s been an enjoyable case of history repeating to see my own preschooler getting out my old Barbie dolls and playing with them at the same age that I did. Barbie and I experienced so many adventures during our time together, and I love watching Cheese take the same Barbies (and a few new ones who have much better hair than mine) on her own magical outings.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

One such outing that almost too good to be true was the Barbie Princess Power high tea at The Langham Hotel Sydney. The Langham has recently re-opened after a significant renovation and this was our first visit since the launch. Boy does it look good. The old hotel was beautiful, and the renovation has given everything a facelift to make it brighter and shinier.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

The Barbie high tea was held over two weekends during the school holidays. It was more than just a high tea, it was a special event for kids who love Barbies, and their parents who love good food.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

The high tea was split into two rooms. One with activities and one with tables set up for enjoying the high tea. The activities room had a paparazzi style media wall set up for some photo ops, a nail salon and an activity table with stickers for the kids to decorate their own superhero masks.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Inside the dining room, the new Barbie movie was set up to play on a large screen while we enjoyed our high tea. At each child’s place was a gift bag containing a Barbie doll, plus a blank mask for colouring in, and a poster that, when turned over, had more colouring and activities. The tables had containers filled with textas and pencils, so the kids has plenty to play with while waiting for their high teas to arrive.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

The thoughtful staff confirmed who at our tables were vegetarians, and asked the girls if they would like a hot chocolate? With TWO marshmallows? Would they ever.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Next came the platters of food – top tier full of sweet delights like red velvet cake, pistachio cake, and macarons, the next tier plan and raisin scones with jam and cream, and the bottom tier savoury, with sandwiches, wraps, mini burgers, pumpkin tarts and heart-shaped fairy bread.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

With one vegetarian adult and child, and one non-vego adult and child, we had quite the variety of food. It was hard to tell what was meant for who, so we let the girls choose what they felt like eating, and then ate the rest ourselves.

As you’d expect from a hotel as gorgeous as the Langham, the food was exquisite. The scones were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The sandwiches were fresh and light, and the desserts full of flavour, with perfect pastry crusts and light creamy fillings. It was a delicious high tea.

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

As the event wound down, the girls were getting tired from all of the excitement, which was our cue to leave. Cheese was getting over a bad cold and was very tied and grumpy – hence the next pic we asked the concierge to take outside the Langham as we were leaving, where she refused to get in the picture. A big thanks to the concierge with the wicked sense of humour who captured my cranky daughter in the photo anyway. Does this sum up life with a threenager, or what?

Barbie High Tea at The Langham Hotel #Sydney #Barbie via christineknight.me

We had a wonderful time at the Barbie high tea, and will absolutely be back for the Langham’s next event for kids.

Barbie Princess Power High Tea at The Langham Hotel
89-113 Kent St, Millers Point,
Sydney NSW 2000
Prices: Children’s high tea is $65 children with gift, $70 adults with glass of bubbles
Get directions.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Circus Factory: The Best Of Sydney For Kids

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Powerhouse Museum is one of my favourite places to take Cheese in Sydney at the moment. Not only does it have the fantastic Wiggles exhibit at the moment, it also is home to Circus Factory. We finally got around to seeing the exhibition during the school holidays (and if you want to see it you’d better be quick as it closes May 3, 2015).

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

I wasn’t planning on taking Cheese as the Powerhouse recommends it for kids ages five and over, but after seeing some adorable pics on Instagram I decided to give it a go anyway, and was so glad we did. At age 3.5 Cheese was a fantastic age for the exhibition. No doubt older kids will et even more out of it, including areas of the exhibition Cheese was too little for, but we spent three solid hours in the exhibition and I had to drag her out at the end, which says that this exhibit was a smash hit for the preschooler set.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory celebrates the daring, absurd and curious nature of circuses. It focuses thankfully on the human element, such as clowns, acrobats, circus acts, etc, rather than the sad history of animals in circuses.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Circus Factory is set up over three levels. The top floor has costumes and the bottom one has a fantastic collection of automatas – the later you can also see when you purchase a general exhibition pass. An automata is an interactive artwork, where you wind a handle and it moves the subjects inside. They automatas are kind of creepy to be honest, and they really freaked Cheese out. The subject matter includes things like freaky looking monkeys and skulls. Fascinating for adults, but some of them are a bit scary for little kids.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

We spent our entire visit on the main floor of the attraction. The massive space is broken up into many interactive areas for kids to just go wild and really experience elements of the circus for themselves.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

 

Cheese highly enjoyed each of these areas: clown costume dress ups, colouring in, a mirror maze, hula hoops (they were a bit heavy for her but she made her own game out of them), clown faces, balancing tricks (again, a bit hard for her but she enjoyed trying), the balloon room and carousel.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Her absolute favourites were the carousel (we had three rides) and the balloon room. The carousel is a hand-carved 100-year-old beauty made in England around 1900. It is paired in this exhibit with the original Luna Park 89 key Gavioli organ. Absolutely magical.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

The balloon room was basically a netted area with a wind tunnel blowing into it, and many brightly coloured helium balloons floating in it. AKA paradise for kids, little and big. Cheese spent around an hour just in this one area chasing balloons. Thoughtfully placed couches inside give parents a place to sit while keeping an eye on the balloon activities.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Depending when you visit there are a range of live activities to enjoy, too. As we visited on a Friday during school holidays, we were lucky to see a range of short performances called “Amuse Bouche”, especially created by Circa for the Powerhouse Museum. Every hour on the hour, two performers delighted the crowd with a 6 – 10 minutes acrobatic performance involving balancing, contortionism and the vertical rope. Each hour there is a brand new performance to witness, so we kept going back for more, wanting to see what amazing tricks we would be surprised with next.

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Here is their schedule for live activities:

Amuse Bouche by Circa
Shows on the hour, 4 Apr to 19 Apr

Science of Circus Show
Explore the physics behind circus acts like plate spinning.
27 Jan to 3 Apr, and 20 Apr to 3 May
Weekdays: 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm
Weekends: 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm

April school holiday activity: Clown carnival
3 to 19 April
Make your own juggling balls, contribute to our giant fabric bunting, play carnival games and get a balloon animal to take home (weekends only). On weekdays, learn how to hula-hoop, juggle and more from circus experts. (Free with general admission.)

Planning on eating while you’re there? You’ll love the Black Star Pastry outlet that’s set up in the cafe area. They serve sandwiches and lunch foods, plus their famous desserts and kids’ shakes. It’s worth going for the Black Star pastries alone!

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

Circus Factory, Powerhouse Museum #Sydney via christineknight.me

We had the most amazing time at Circus Factory and will absolutely go back. It helped that we were able to get in for a bit cheaper care of finding a Groupon voucher for adult general admission $7 (instead of $12). At the entrance I was able to upgrade the voucher to include Circus Factory for an extra $8, making it $15, and significantly cheaper than the full admission price of $35.

Last notes before you go:
No strollers inside the exhibition.
The Powerhouse advises that you prebook your tickets (particularly on weekends) to ensure you get in on a busy day.

Circus Factory
Circus Factory FAQs
Open 20 December 2014 to 3 May 2015
Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
Circus Factory entrance (includes general admission into the Powerhouse Museum):
Up to 3 kids free with each adult ticket

Adult: $35
Member adult: $25
Family: $65
(2 adults and up to 6 children)
Member family: $45
(2 adults and up to 6 children)
Concession: $20
Additional child (4—15 yrs): $8
Free entry for children under 4 years

Exhibition tickets include same-day entry to Powerhouse Museum. Transaction fees from $3.95 may apply.

Get directions.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!