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A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

It’s our third year bringing Cheese to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been since I was a kid. It’s a highlight day for us every year and previously I’ve written my tips for the show with a little kid.

This year I wanted to share how we spend our day at the show.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:15am: Park in P8. I wish we could manage the public transport because it’s included in the ticket price, but it’s just too hard from the area where we live. The $25 parking fee is a necessary evil for our day at the show, and it always makes me happy at the end of the day when I have a super tired kid to know we can just jump in the car and get home quickly.

9:20am: We already have our tickets (buy them in advance for a bit of a discount) so we head in. We try to get into the Woolworths Dome to use the bathrooms but discover everything is still closed! It’s the first year we’ve been too early to get into anything.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:30am: The Animal Walk is a fave of ours so we head there first, and line up at the first animal pavilion waiting for the doors to open. We stroll past the sheep and into the chicken pavilion where we make a beeline for the freshly hatched chicks in the incubator. Cheese wants to pat a chick, but it doesn’t open until 10am so we tell her we will come back and keep going.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:45am: In the goat pavilion we stop to watch the goats being judged. “Why is one better than another” Asks Cheese. “Why did that one win?” We have no idea about the intricacies of goat judging so we do what any good parent does and ask her, “Why do YOU think that one won over the rest?”.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

9:50am: In the pig pavilion we are a few minutes early to pat the baby pigs. The benefit of being early – it’s so empty everywhere! The downside – nothing’s open! We wait for the pigs since it’s only 10 minutes.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

10am: Pat a pig time! We sit down and a herd of piglets charge towards us in search of food.They like to nibble on shoes and bare toes, so be quick with your feet.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

10:15am: We enter the Woolworths Food Farm pavilion. It’s one of Cheese’s favourite places at the show. We spend the next hour and 15 minutes grinding wheat, shaping dough, watching pies back, “pollinating” flowers, climbing into the giant tractor and playing with the farm toys. She doesn’t want to leave. I buy a cored apple in a coil ($2) and a pear smoothie ($4) for us to share.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney
11:30am: It’s off to meet the in laws for lunch near the Woolworth Fresh Food Dome. They’ve managed to grab a prime table in the shade while they were waiting for us, which is a massive score. We all have the same meal for lunch – a cheese toastie and flavoured milk ($5) and corn on the cob ($5). Alec buys a $5 coffee then moans about the price.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

12:15pm: Cheese gets restless so we head off to explore more and leave her dad chatting with the grandparents. We head into the Woolworths Fresh Food pavilion to check out the fruit and vege displays. Cheese can’t quite believe that they’re all made from food and you can eat them.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

12:30pm: We walk into the Home, Garden & Lifestyle pavilion next door. Cheese climbs into a police car with glee then makes a beeline for the Artline stall where we stock up with textas each year. It takes a good 15 minutes to get her to finish her drawing so we can leave. We keep walking through the new Pet Pavilion next door but we can’t see much. The cats are behind a high barrier and a net. Better for the cats’ stress levels I’m sure, but hard for us to see anything.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

1:15pm: We exit the pavilion and I see what I think is a great photo opp with balloons and the ferris wheel in the background. I beg Cheese to stand in a spot while I take photos and she counters me with a bargain: “I’ll stand in front of the balloons if you let me have one.” I say OK without checking the price, then spend the rest of the day hauling around a $20 BB8 balloon that attacks people we walk past thanks to the strong breeze.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

1:30pm: We head back to the Pat a Chick station in the chicken pavilion and line up. There’s lots of lining up this year as it seems like every Sydneysider also thought today would be an excellent day for the show. The chicken display is put on by Steggles and they ply us with merchandise. It’s a bit awkward being vegetarian and just wanting to pat a chicken, not eat one.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

1:45pm: We finally make it to the front of the line and meet the chicks. They’re only three days old and cheeping like mad. I hope we don’t freak them out too much. The photographer is super kind and not only takes a really lovely photo on her own camera that gets emailed to us and sent to their print station for free printing but also takes one on my camera too. You can never have enough photos with everyone in them.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

2pm: Lining up again, this time at the Farmyard Nursery. The line moves quickly though and we are in the nursery buying a $1 cup of animal feed before too long. The pavilion is absolutely jam packed with people – so many it’s literally impossible to move without running into people, sheep, goats or chickens. The big goats are aggressive and freak Cheese out. We run interference for her so she can feed the smaller animals that don’t headbutt.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

Cheese just wants to hug everything – no goat or chicken is free from her hugs this year, even though I’m sure they wish they were.

2:30pm: We keep going on the animal walk through the dairy pavilion and to the horses. We see cute calves, cows being blowdried and and majestic horses being led past.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

3pm: It’s showbags time! The pavilion is teaming with people and I pick up Cheese so she can see the displays above the heads. I know it’s a better idea to get the showbags first and then dump them in a locker for the day, but the anticipation of the show bags being at the end of the day is just too much fun to do it any other way. We have a two showbag rule each year. Cheese likes the character bags and chooses two very expensive bags filled with various types of plastic and paper: The Littlest Pet Shop ($28) and the Tokidoki bag ($26).

3:30pm We sit down at the dog pavilion for some rest. Cheese empties out her showbags to play with while we watch the dogs being judged. It’s a blissful half hour watching shiny dogs trotting past. We need more food so delve into the snacks that I had brought with us – pistachios and Vita-weats with Vegemite, and drink our water that we brought in refillable bottles. It’s crazy hot so I buy us a Gaytime ($4) and chocolate Paddle Pop ($3) to share.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

4pm: We are all shattered and decide to hobble back to the car. My Fitbit tells me I did about 11K steps but honesty it feels like more! We’ve spent the whole day here and I still feel like there is more to see than we were able to get around to.

4:15pm In the car we are happy we forked out the $25 for an easy trip home. Cheese says, “That was the best day I’ve ever had!” which makes the sore feet, empty wallet and crowd navigating all worth it.

A Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is on at Sydney Olympic Park until Wednesday, April 18, 2017.

1 Showground Rd, Sydney Olympic Park
Online

We received media passes to attend the Sydney Royal Easter Show. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition, Sydney, Australia

It was a colder than usual summer morning today inside the brand new Penguin Expedition exhibit at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. A chilly 6 degrees C is set to keep the brand new Gentoo and King Emperor penguins at a comfortable temperature in their new home.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

Visitors to the new penguin exhibition, which is inspired by Macquarie Island in the Southwest Pacific, can climb aboard a raft and sail around the rugged, sub-Antarctic environment. You might want to pack a cardigan if you really feel the cold, or snuggle up to the person sitting next to you. At the end of the ride there is a further viewing window to see the penguins up close.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

The penguins are quite spectacular when viewed in person – and larger than expected. King Penguins can grow up to 100 cm tall and weigh 11 to 16 kg, while the smaller Gentoos reach a maximum weight of 8.5kg.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

The Gentoo and King Emperor penguins recently moved up from SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium to start a dedicated penguin breeding program on site whereby marine biologists hope to produce some baby King or Gentoo penguins next year.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

The breeding program will provide insight and research into the way penguin colonies work and assist in their future conservation in the wild.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

As part of the new Penguin Expedition, visitors to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium will learn about the issues facing penguins in the wild and the simple ways they can make a difference, including reducing single-use plastic consumption. Education programs such as this are beneficial in inspiring the next generation to become healthy ocean ambassadors.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Penguin Expedition

Entrance to Penguin Expedition, including daily feeds and talks from dedicated keepers and trainers, is included in the cost of general admission.

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Hours: Open daily from 9.30am
Cost: For the best deal, book online in advance. Walk-up price: Adults $42, Children (4-15yrs) $29:50
http://www.sealifesydney.com.au

We attended the launch of Penguin Expedition as a guest of SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

10 Tips for a Top Day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is a yearly tradition in our house. I’ve been going since I was a kid, and mum has been going since she was a kid. Every year, the whole family cant wait to spend a day at the show getting up close to the best of the country, trying new food, and patting cute animals.

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

Every year the Easter Show seems to get bigger and bigger. You could easily now spend a few days there seeing everything. If you just have the one day at the show, here are my top 10 tips to make it a fantastic family day out.

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

  1. Buy tickets in advance
    Discounted show tickets are available through places like the NRMA, but you can also buy your ShowLink tickets online (they include public transport and entrance) and save, too. Ride coupons can be purchased in advance for a saving of around 20% as well.
  2. Go early
    The show is the quietist in the mornings and the first week it’s open. My theory is people forget it’s on and all go on the last weekend, or plan to go over the Easter break. It’s worth arriving when the show gates open at 9am to get many of the attractions crowd-free, too.

    10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

  3. Do the animal walk
    One of the longest-standing Easter Show features, the animal walk gets better every year. Not only do you get to meet some of the most beautiful farm and domestic animals up close, you also get to partake in interactive exhibits along the way. Pat a piglet or a chick, milk a cow, help shear a sheep, stroke an alpaca and feed baby animals in the Barnyard Nursery. Collect a free Passport at the first stop and visit each station along the way to collect a stamp and fill up the passport.
    10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me
  4. Meet farm folk
    I absolutely love meeting the amazing people fro the country whose hard work goes into making the Easter Show such a brilliant showcase of NSW’s agriculture. In the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, the people behind the displays made out of crops are keen to teach kids about the materials that have gone into the display. This year one display featured cotton plants, with cotton seeds and un-spun cotton for kids to touch. The people who put so much effort into the displays and animals are always up for a bit of a yarn. To create the award-winning Pollinators display this year, for example, took 10 months of collecting crops, followed by an intense ten days at the show assembling all of the elements.

    10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

  5. Enjoy all the free stuff
    The Easter Show can get very pricey – but it doesn’t need to be. There is so much entertainment and exhibits to see that you can spend the entire day without spending an extra cent on a ride or attraction. Tip: pick up the free daily show schedule as you enter and plan your day around seeing all the attractions that are included, such as live characters shows and meet and greets, all of the interactive animal activities and all of the shows in the grand arena. You can bring your own lunch and refill water bottles, too, if you’re on a tight budget.
    10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me
  6. Make a budget and stick to it
    Before you arrive, decide how much you’re going to spend on rides, showbags and food, and stick to it. If you’re on a budget but still want to try a bit of everything, you can do one ride (around $7), select showbags from the cheaper end (like the $2 Bertie Beetle show bag), and have lunch at the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome where you can get my fave grilled cheese sandwich for a bargain $2.

    10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

  7. Plan your day
    With little kids in particular, a day at the show can be a lot of walking to and fro (the bathrooms, more snacks, a rest, more water!), so I like to schedule our day to fit in everything. What’s on the daily schedule you might want to see? Any live shows? If you’re doing the animal walk, start it early in the morning as it takes a long time to get around the entire walk, particularly with little ones.

    10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

  8. Take breaks
    Help little ones last the whole day with breaks in between exciting activities. The live shows are my favourite way to schedule breaks – this year there are Paw Patrol and In The Night Garden free character shows, plus the woodchopping, dog judging and horse riding in the main area (now called the Spotless Stadium). In the middle of the day when it’s the hottest is the perfect time to take a shady break to rest up and prepare for the afternoon. It’s amazing how kids manage to perk up and get a second wind after a break.
  9. Be safe
    Get a free wristband from the Sydney Transport stand for your child as you enter and write their name and your phone number on it, just in case. Put valuables and heavy things in a locker (they cost $2). It’s a long, hot day out, so bring refillable water bottles, plus a hat and sunscreen.

    10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

  10. Enjoy a Devonshire Tea
    Our last stop is always the CWA Tea Room for an authentic Devonshire Tea made by the Country Women’s Association. This year the tea room is at the back of the Home, Garden & Lifestyle Pavillion. The CWA ladies are scone-making machines, and at whatever time of day you drop by, you will get fresh, warm scones straight out of the oven.

Our new faves this year:

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

The Streets ice cream jumping castle next to The Shed (free).

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

The countless activities for kids in the Woolworths Food Farm: free shows, cooking classes, farm play, and more. We could have spent the majority of the day in this one area – it was more popular with the preschooler than even the baby animals.

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

The free Australian Wildlife talk outside the entrance to the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome. Snakes, owls and a little crocodile called “Snappy” are read to meet you. If you’re feeling brave, you can stroke Snappy’s back.

10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me 10 Tips For A Top Day At The Sydney Royal Easter Show via christineknight.me

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is Australia’s largest annual event, attracting over 900,000 people. It runs from 17 March – 30 March at Sydney’s Olympic Park, Homebush.

Thank you to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for my media accreditation.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

8 Of The Best Animal Experiences in Sydney

8 Of The Best Animal Experiences In Sydney via christineknight.me

Whether you’re visiting or are lucky enough to call the city home, a visit to one of Sydney’s zoos or farms to see wildlife and farm animals up close is a fantastic day out with kids.

A Guide to #Taronga Zoo With Little Kids #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com
Taronga Zoo

The big daddy of zoos, Taronga is the perfect day trip for visitors to Sydney with its superb harbour views. Situated on 52-acres, you’ll need a full day to get around to all 4,000 of the animals residing there. Take the ferry from Circular Quay and catch the Sky Safari cable car up to the top entrance, then walk your way back down. Watch the daily QBE Free-flight Bird Show to see condors and eagles in action, set against the stunning Sydney Harbour.
Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman
Taronga.org.au

#Symbio #Wildlife Park via brunchwithmybaby.com
Symbio Wildlife Park

This smaller zoo is great for getting up close with Australian native animals. It will take you around an hour to get around, so it’s an easy activity with smaller kids. The kangaroo/wallaby enclosure is excellent – pat and feed these free roaming animals, who are very happy to pose for a picture.
Symbio Wildlife Park, Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Helensburgh NSW
Symbiozoo.com.au

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com
Featherdale Wildlife Park

Specialising in Australian native wildlife and birds, Featherdale is the number one spot to meet koalas in Sydney. They now offer additional experiences to meet animals up close for additional fees.
Featherdale Wildlife Park, 217 Kildare Rd, Doonside
Featherdale.com.au

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com
Calmsley Hill City Farm

City slicker kids can enjoy a day on the farm watching shearing and cattle dog displays, taking a tractor ride and patting the farm animals. The day is schedule with hourly show times, so arrive early and enjoy a full-day of farm activities.
Calmsley Hill City Farm, 31 Darling St, Abbotsbury
Calmsleyhill.com.au

Golden Ridge Animal Farm #Sydney via christineknight.me
Golden Ridge Animal Farm

The number one place in Sydney for kids to get a hands-on experience with farm animals. Bookings are essential, as only limited numbers are allowed on the farm each day. The experience begins in the morning with a farm tour, where your group is taken around various areas of the property to hold ducklings and chicks, bottle-feed lambs and meet the incredibly friendly goats and cows.
Golden Ridge Animal Farm, 686 Old Northern Rd, Dural
Goldenridgeanimalfarm.com.au

#sealife #sydney #aquarium #australia via brunchwithmybaby.com
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

At time of writing, the aquarium is home to the only pair of rescued dugongs on display in the world. The pair, Pig and Wuru, were orphaned at birth and have been unsuitable for release. The aquarium’s newest zone, Jurassic Seas, takes visitors on a journey back through time to meet prehistoric creatures.
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney
Sydneyaquarium.com.au

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me
Wild Life Sydney

Ideal for visitors with limited time in Sydney, this small zoo features Australian native animals right in the heart of the city. Meet a five-metre crocodile (from a safe distance!), pat a tiny sugar glider and watch it take flight, and walk among butterflies in their Butterfly Tropics enclosure.
Wild Life Sydney, 1-5 Wheat Rd, Darling Harbour
Wildlifesydney.com.au

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me
Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary – CLOSING END OF 2017

A marine-life rehabilitation facility and aquarium, the sanctuary has hands on areas where kids can touch sea life like star fish, and an excellent penguin-feeding demonstration. Manly is home to an endangered colony of 60 breeding pairs of Little Penguins. While the general population aren’t allowed up close to these little creatures, a visit to the captive-bred penguins at the aquarium is a great way to learn about these special creatures.
Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, W Esplanade, Manly
Manlysealifesanctuary.com.au

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Best of Sydney with Kids: Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

*** Please note this aquarium is closing down *******

Beautiful Manly, on Sydney’s northern beaches, is a great day trips not just for a swim in the sea. The Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary has been a popular place for families to get up close with ocean life since its opening in 1965. The sanctuary is located 200 metres from Manly Ferry Wharf, making it a super-easy outing using public transport.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

The focus at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary is animal conservation, with their rescue, breed and protect program. They are passionate about rescuing sick and injured wildlife, nursing animals back to health and releasing them back into the wild, as well as protecting their natural habitats.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

One of the reasons I really enjoy this aquarium is because it’s small – you can see everything in about an hour, including at least one of not two feeding demonstrations or keeper talks. I also like the conservation message the aquarium teaches its visitors.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

Entering the sanctuary there is a stroller bay just inside to park your buggy. The middle level is stroller-friendly, but there is no elevator-access to the lower or upper levels.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

On the entry level of the sanctuary is where you’ll discover some of the incredible and bizarre animals that call Sydney Harbour home.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

Seahorses, cuttlefish, lionshish and clown fish, to name just a few, can be found on this level. There are more species of fish found in Sydney Harbour than in the entire Mediterranean Sea – and this is the place to meet some of these beautiful creatures up close.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

Keep a look out for the aquarium’s baby Port Jackson, Bamboo and Epaulette Sharks who were all born at the sanctuary.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

One of the biggest hits on this level with kids is the interactive rockpool, where visitors can touch a shark egg, hold a crab and explore other animals such as star fish.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

A stroll down to the lower level takes you to Shark Harbour. A 4 million litre oceanarium with massive stingrays gliding overhead. Cheese’s favourite was ‘Sea Biscuit’, the rescued Green Sea Turtle. We all watched in awe as stunning Grey Nurse Sharks with very pointed teeth swam past.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

Join a free daily tour to learn the animals’ stories, or, if you’re feeling particularly daring, you might want to jump in with Shake Dive Xtreme and meet a shark face-to-face.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

The very top level of the sanctuary is home to 20 adorable little (or fairy) penguins. We were just in time for the penguin talk, where we learned that the sanctuary is very involved in conserving Sydney’s penguin colony in Manly, where there are 60 breeding pairs of little penguins needing protection from dogs, cats and, of course, humans.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

A fun fact about penguins: they have a salt gland under their beaks that enables them to sneeze out the salt from salt water. What genius in-built water filtration.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

The exit is back on the middle entry level, right next to the new Shipwreck Shores experience. What a fantastic idea to place an enclosed soft play area within the sanctuary for kids to be able to safely run around like maniacs for a few minutes.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

The play area is in the shape of a sunken ship and even has a surprise on the inside with a few undersea creatures waiting to be discovered.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary #Sydney via christineknight.me

A note on accessibility: Please note pram and wheelchair access is limited to the mid-level of the sanctuary. Access to Penguin Cove and Shark Harbour is via stairs only.

Buy tickets online in advance and save between 10 and 30% off admission prices.

Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary
W Esplanade, Manly NSW
Prices: Adult $25, kids 4-15 $17

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Best of Sydney with Kids: Wild Life Sydney Zoo

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

We somehow picked what was probably the most popular day of the year to visit WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour. Cheese has been asking to go to a zoo and I thought this one was a good size to be manageable with a small child, as well as being easy for me to get to.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

WILD LIFE Zoo is in a larger complex with SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and Madam Tussauds Sydney down in Darling Harbour. I’ve been to the aquarium on many occasions and never had a problem with going straight in, but somehow this was the day that every visitor to Sydney decided they wanted to visit one of these three attractions, so the queues were out of sight.

I would usually buy my tickets online in advance as there is a saving of 30% if you do, but this time I had a voucher for one adult free with one child ticket, so I lined up in the “WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo” line for over an hour to get our tickets. As a side note, the line next to us was for collecting prepaid tickets such as bought online, and it wasn’t any shorter or moving any faster, so apart from the price difference, I don’t know what the advantage of buying the tix in advance was!

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

After a very, very, very long wait, we finally made it to the entrance. As the ticket desk is now one huge one with all the attractions, there is no counter when you enter the zoo. The whole zoo is stroller-friendly, which is lucky as I had brought mine for the journey and wanted to check it when I arrived, only to find out that there was nowhere at the entrance to check the stroller or large bags etc, so it came with us the entire time.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

The zoo is indeed very small. Cheese is now 4.5, and together we saw everything we wanted to see in an hour, including the crocodile feeding show and the sugar glider animal experience.

There are additional options you can pay for such as “Wild Flight”, where you can zoom over the top of the trees in the zoo connected to a harness for an extra $10 (kids have to be age 7 and up), or having your photo taken with a koala (an additional $15). There are wild life talks every half hour or hour from 10:30am-5pm around the zoo which are great for learning more about the native animals.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo focuses on Australian animals. This makes complete sense as the area where the zoo is is a bit of a tourist mecca, with visitors who are desperate to meet a koala or pat a kangaroo.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

The zoo is designed in sections to mimic Australia’s famous landscapes – the Butterfly Tropics, Wallaby Cliffs, Devils Den, Daintree Rainforest and so on. For a zoo that is almost completely indoors, I though it was designed pretty well, with large enclosures for the animals with plenty of natural light from open roofs. I don’t *love* zoos, so I was relieved to see the animals we saw looked happy and well cared for, including enrichment toys such as in the echidna den.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

The first enclosure – and my favourite – was the Butterfly Tropics, where butterflies roam freely and get up close with visitors. One curious creature landed on my hand, and another on Cheese’s head, much to her delight and then terror.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

Other highlights included “Topsy” the Tasmanian Devil who looked like he wanted to pounce on us, the snakes and extremely active lizards, “Ringo” the wombat who was taking an adorable snooze when we visited, and “Princess” the cassowary, who appeared as queenly as her name.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

In the Night Fall area, with nocturnal animals, I was excited to see a spotted quoll for the first time, and Cheese was delighted to see the ghost bats in flight.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me
Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

The one exhibit that scared Cheese was Rex, the massive 5 metre crocodile in the Kakadu Gorge section of the zoo. We learned that when crocodiles in the wild reach five metres they are classed as nuisance animals by wildlife protection offers (they like to eat dogs and tourists alike, apparently) and so are often removed for safety. They used to be shot when they got too big, resulting in a massive decrease in large crocodiles in the wild. Rex was captured and taken to a crocodile farm, where he didn’t play very nicely with the other inhabitants (read: tried to eat his female companions), and was lucky to end up at WILD LIFE Zoo instead of being made into a fancy purse.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

Cheese’s favourite part of the zoo was the animal encounter with two sugar gliders. One, whose name I’ve forgotten, has been starring in her own animal show for a while, so was very happy to be gently touched by visitors, and show off her jumping skills. The tiny little gliders only weigh 100 grams, and have the softest fur I’ve ever touched.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

 

The last cute animal mention goes to the echidnas, who were very active during our visit and extremely adorable.

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me Wild Life Sydney Zoo via christineknight.me

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
1-5 Wheat Rd
Darling Harbour

Prices: Adult $40, kids 4-15 $28 (buy online to get 30% off)
Hours: Open daily, 9:30am-6pm. Special hours apply during holiday periods.

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!

A Guide To The Sydney Royal Easter Show With Little Kids

#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me

I’m a long-time lover of the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I’ve been going since I was a kid myself, so have been so looking forward to taking Cheese for the first time this year.

#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me

We tackled the day with one objective – to go at Cheese’s pace and let her enjoy it, however she wanted to. This meant we ditched all the things that we usually like to check out, and focussed on a small number of areas that we thought were do-able (and enjoyable!) for a 3.5 year old.

We had such a wonderful day out, particularly teaching our city kid about the animals and country life.

#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me

Top picks for little kids:
Here are my recommendations on ways to spend an enjoyable day with toddlers and preschoolers.

#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me

The Animal Walk: This is fun for all ages, and is particularly awesome for kids. Follow the giant paw prints around all of the animal pavilions. Pick up a “passport” and collect a stamp from each station. The pavilions are a lot more interactive now than when I was a kid. There are now colouring in stations, and areas where you can watch chickens hatching, “pat a chick”, and watch wool being spun.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Pat A Pig: Kids can give cute little piglets a tickle, and check out newborn piggies in the stall adjacent.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Sheep Shearing: After watching the demonstration, kids can assist the shearers in shearing a sheep.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Farmyard Nursery: A classic favourite. Get up close with goats, chickens and other barnyard favourites. As you exit, you can have you photograph taken with the cutest lamb you’ve ever seen. $15 for one large, high quality image, or $25 for a pack.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Food Farm: Technically this is on the animal walk, but there are no live animals here. Instead, you’ll find a lot of interactive stations for kids to play as they learn about where our food comes from. Cheese’s favourite was the play chicken laying shed, where she placed eggs under hens and then collected the eggs over and over and over. The tractor that kids could climb into and pretend to drive was another hit.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
The Dairy Farmers Milking Shed: Here’s your kid’s chance to try their hand at milking one of the more gentle cows.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Live Shows: Cheese highly enjoyed the My Little Pony and Giggle And Hoot live shows. Both had live singing and the characters dancing, and ran for 25 minutes each under the shady Big Top Amphitheatre. A great way to take a rest break and keep the kids entertained at the same time.

Circus Workshops: Kids can try their hand at circus arts under the guidance of Ashton Entertainment Circus professionals.

Character Meet And Greets: Say hello to “Oh” from the movie “Home” (have you seen it yet? It’s adorable!) and Transformers.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Ferris Wheel: The rides are expensive. For three of us to do the ferris wheel it was $23. It was worth it though, to take Cheese on her first ferris wheel and see her face light up with joy as we flew through the air. We also had a fabulous view of the show and surrounds up there, making it a nice change of pace when you need a break from the crowds.
#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Showbags: A visit to the show ins’t complete without a showbag. The little kiddie ones are at the entrance, making it a stress-free experience to drop by with a little kid and not get stuck roaming around the pavilion with a kid who wants everything. The showbags that Cheese wanted were all the licensed character types, which were around $26 each. Cheese picked out the Disney Princess and Dance bags, both of which I was happy to see were excellent value. Each had a lot of items that Cheese will get a lot of use out of (like dress up items, hair bands, play jewellery and wands), and were of good quality. She was thrilled.

#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
Tips for making the day a success
Start early: Get there when it opens as the showground is very quiet for the first few hours. Crowds start picking up around midday.
Set a budget: Decide before you go how many rides/showbags/toys the kids can have and stick to it. Pack food and your own water bottle to help keep the costs down.
Schedule wisely: With little kids, you’re not going to see everything in one day, so pick a handful of experiences to enjoy, and leave the rest for next year.
Keep kids close: With so many distractions it’s easy to lose your kids. Write your phone number on their arm or on a band around their wrist (I think they hand these out at the main entrance as I saw a lot of kids with them).

#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me

#Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me #Sydney Royal #Easter Show Guide For Little Kids via christineknight.me
A big thank you to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for providing me with tickets to write this blog post. Head to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for your own magical day out. The Easter Show runs from Thursday 26 March to Wednesday 8 April, 2015, at Sydney Olympic Park. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Summer Playground At The Sydney Opera House

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

The Sydney Opera House never ceases to surprise me with their wonderful programming for families.

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

Right now, kids can enjoy the fabulous free Creative Play available daily at the Sydney Opera House just inside the Western Foyer. Kids can take time out of the heat with free LEGO play, while contributing to a collaborative musical composition – using their LEGO creations. The shapes built by the kids is turned into music using a really cool technology (a scanner in the roof and some sophisticated software). Three very entertaining and energetic musical performers engage the kids and introduce the LEGO music every 15 minutes.

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

I’d previously thought Cheese was just not really into Lego, but she surprised me by wanting to build Lego towers for over an hour. I literally had to drag her out of the building, which was a shame considering how great the air conditioning was.

Creative Play operates daily until January 26. Free and suitable for any ages who enjoy building with regular sized LEGO (no Duplo here).

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

Out on the Western Forecourt is the Summer Playground. The Harbourside sandpit is a big hit, letting kids kick off their shoes and play with the provided sand toys while parents can sit around the sandpit under shade and enjoy a drink or lunch.

Hungry families can grab a bite at the Summer Playground’s House Eatery By George, Opera Bar or Opera Kitchen. Their kids’ menu features three meals, each $15 (tip: if the cafe inside the foyer is open, you can pick up a kids’ box for $7 which includes sandwiches, juice, a cheese stick, museli bar, lollypop and mini box of smarties. These boxes can be brought out into the Summer Playground area to eat).

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

When we stopped by, the Taronga Zoo’s Zoomobile was there, giving kids the chance to meet Australian wildlife like echidnas, snakes and shingleback lizards. Sadly the day we visited (Jan 15th) was the last day for the Zoomobile.

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

The Sydney Opera House Summer Playground is open until 01 Feb 2015, Sun-Thur 9am-11pm, Fri & Sat 9am-12am.

Public transport is the easiest way to get there (catch the train to Circular Quay), but if you need to drive, until 31 January Wilson are offering Opera House visitors a special Summerhouse deal. Pre-book a bay in the Opera House car park and quote Summer15 to receive $15 flat rate for weekday parking 9am-5pm and $9 flat rate for weekend parking 9am-5pm.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Brunch Survival Guide: Governors Island Day Trip

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

Desperate to get away from the cement landscape that is Manhattan? Us too, especially on days when the heat radiates from the ground up. One of our favourite easy escapes is an afternoon trip to Governors Island. The 172-acre island is just off the southern tip of Manhattan, near Brooklyn. Governors Island was used as a military base for almost two centuries, before 150 acres were sold to the people of New York in 2003. (The remaining 22 acres of the Island was declared the Governors Island National Monument that is overseen by the National Park Service.)

Each year, Governors Island opens every Memorial Day weekend through to the end of September, and is chock full of fun events all summer long. With a young toddler, our choices are a bit limited —so this year the best bets for us were the FIGMENT interactive installations (including the treehouse pictured, above) and a mini-golf course (open summer-long, at the Parade Grounds) the Fête Paradiso and Compost Outpost. Older kids will love the Children’s Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost Program, which is open all season from 11am to 3pm, at Nolan Park. Kids can enjoy hands-on workshops including painting, sound design, sculpture, animation and podcasting.

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

As well as enjoying the seasonal events offered, it’s also really nice to simply take a walk around the island. I love this walkway  (above) through the middle of the park, with the towering trees on both sides, and the empty buildings that once housed military personal (which can sometimes make you feel like you’re in a ghost town).  On a quiet day, it’s an eerie vibe. You can walk or bike (BYO bike or hire one when you get there) around the entire island, to take in an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty and southern tip of Manhattan.

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

The hot event to visit this summer has been Fête Paradiso, a traveling festival of vintage carnival rides and carousels, making its American debut. The collection includes attractions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as carousels, flying swings and a pipe organ. Not only is it cool seeing rare, museum-quality items in a setting as beautiful as the island, you can also ride most of the vintage attractions. Insider tip: The rides are a bit on the pricey side, particularly if you’re going with a toddler. If you’re riding with your kid, it will cost you each a ticket, even if you’re just holding your kid while they’re riding the carousel. The best value is a buying in bulk.

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

There are a lot of rides, mostly suited to adults and older kids due to lack of modern safety features. The best rides for small kids are the carousels.

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

A carousel with cars was the favourite among the junior set (vroom vroom!). The only problem? No seat belts to strap the kids in, so the merry-go-round presents a couple of challenges — a moving platform, plus a moving toddler ON the platform who wants to buzz from car to car to car. TOO MANY CHOICES FOR TODDLER BRAINS!

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

This miniature VW van was dubbed “the party bus” by the parents watching the chaos unfold, as all the kids scrambled to squeeze inside and take the wheel at once.

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

For a change of pace, calm everyone down at Earth Matter’s Compost Outpost (open all season, 10am-5pm, South Battery). Kids can get up close to chickens, goats, rabbits and worms, all of whom spend their days eating compost, care of Governor’s Island visitors. Older kids can learn about compost first-hand, by taking part in the daily composting.

Eating On The Island
When it comes to food, you have a few expensive choices. Fête Paradiso features an eatery inside a pavilion designed in 1900 for bumper cars. Food is available in a tent, catered by French eatery Le Gamin. You’ll be able to try some traditional bistro fare like Steak Frites ($15), Croque Monsieur ($8) Salade Nicoise ($8) and sweet crepes with Nutella, lemon sugar or jam ($5). Kid-friendly options include hamburgers ($8) and Rotisserie Chicken ($10). Adults can enjoy spirits and wine from the Languedoc region of France. There is also the King Island Food Court, featuring a variety of vendors and cuisines, and picnic tables at which to sit. For a really relaxing day, bring a packed picnic and blanket.

Tips to Know Before You Go:

  • There’s no drinkable water on the island (so no drinking fountains). You can buy water from island vendors and vending machines, but we’d advise bringing plenty of your own. Water bottles can be re-filled in the Governors Island Ferry Waiting Room at the Battery Maritime Building.
  • The only indoor bathrooms are located on the upper and lower level of Building 110, adjacent to the ferry landing. There are plenty of port-a-loos placed around the island if you can’t hold on to find these bathrooms.

Governors Island
Open every Sat, Sun and holiday Monday from 10am-7pm through to September 29. To get there, catch the East River ferry from Manhattan (from Wall St/Pier 11 ($4) or the free ferry from the Battery Maritime Building) or the free Brooklyn ferry from Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6. Check out the ferry schedules before you go, and be prepared for a long line if you’re heading across from Brooklyn.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!