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Sydney Life

The Funatorium: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Join the maddest tea party in town this summer, with the Sydney Opera House’s brand new tea party with a twist – The Funatorium.

Directed by former Circus Oz Artistic Director, Mike Finch, the Funatorium is a wild show for kids full of top talents from the worlds of circus and cabaret.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic story, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, the Funatorium is a completely immersive, engaging and absolutely crazy cabaret that is designed to enthral the littlest guests and leave them wondering if what they’ve seen on stage is magic or trickery, or just absolute mayhem.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Kids who love the story will adore seeing some of their favourite characters brought to life, such as the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the Red Queen. Those who aren’t familiar with the story will still enjoy the show immensely however, as, just as the tea party in Alice in Wonderland is a manic array of nonsense, so to is this one. It’s funny, silly and breathtaking as a stand alone show.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

The feverish blend of acrobatics, juggling, singing, hula-hooping, balancing, aerial acts, singing and comedic acts is the perfect mix of charm, delirium and total chaos. So, basically, the most perfect tea party a kid (or their parent!) could imagine.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

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Tips For Attending The Funatorium

Most searing is General Admission. Queues begin to form about 45 minutes before the show starts, so I would advise lining up early to get good seats.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Kids hungry? The snack bar has a Mad Hatter’s Kids’ Tea available for $15 that includes a juice box, small cupcake, popcorn, fruit and Smarties.

If you’re coming in on a week day, the cheapest option is bus and train to Circular Quay. On weekends, use Book-A-Bay to get a cheaper parking spot under the Sydney Opera House.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

Give the kids plenty of time before and after the show to enjoy the free Summer Playground, which is run both inside and outside the Playhouse until January 29, 2017 and includes plenty of large games and a large sandpit.

Funatorium: Mad Hatter's Tea Party at the Sydney Opera House

The Funatorium
January 7 – 22nd, 2017
Recommended for ages 5 and up
The Studio, Sydney Opera House
Buy Tickets

Thank you so much to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us. All opinions are our own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Beach at the Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney Festival

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

This summer in Sydney, you can visit a beach where you won’t get a sunburn or sand in your cossies. For the first time in Australia, The Beach, an interactive art exhibition, is available for Sydney-siders to play in an ocean made up of 1.1 million recyclable polyethylene balls, gently lapping against a 60-metre wide shoreline free of sand.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The Beach is the creation of Snarkitecture, a New York-based art and architecture collaborative practice, whose name is drawn from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of The Snark, a poem describing the “impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature.” In its search for the unknown, Snarkitecture creates architectural-scale projects, installations, and objects.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

By transforming the familiar into the extraordinary, Snarkitecture makes architecture perform the unexpected – which is exactly what we experienced at The Beach.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

To take a dip in The Beach, you can either do what we did, which is visit between 10am and 5pm and get free access, or skip the queues with one of their paid ticketed sessions. Every morning there is an all-ages ticket session from 9am-10am as well as an 18+ only session on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

We decided to arrive at 9:20am on a Sunday and thought we might be the first people there – how wrong we were. The line already had a lot of people in it, but we took turns waiting in the line and taking Cheese rock climbing around the Cutaway so time went fast.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

At 10am on the dot we were ushered in and made a beeline for the area next to the shallow end. We had hoped to grab a giant floatie but sadly were too late. You are permitted to bring your own, but who can fit a huge flamingo on the train? People tended to latch on to the equipment and not let it go even when they’d stopped using it, so I had no problem asking someone who had finished playing with the one they’d held on to for a long time if we could have a turn, and similarly was happy to pass ours on to other people when we’d had one for a good amount of time.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

At first leap in, the ball pit was somewhat scary for Cheese. At its deepest the ball pit is one metre deep, which is pretty much as high as she is. Initially it was a frightening experience for her to sunk under the balls and not be able to get back up again, but after she realised she wasn’t going to get hurt if she was swallowed by them, she started to really have fun and didn’t want to leave.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The ball pit was a lot more work than I had expected it to be! Once your feet are swept out from underneath you, it takes a massive amount of effort to stand back up and haul yourself out. I would say that’s my gym work out done and dusted for the entire week.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

We had the most fun jumping into the pit both front ways and also backwards, and playing catch with the giant blow up balls. Cheese tried surfing on a huge ice cream cone floatie and found a bucket to fill and move balls around, including dumping them over her head, our heads, anyone’s heads.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

There is a great little shallow end at one side of the beach that is perfect for wheelchairs and little kids. It’s nice for small ones to be able to sit and play with the balls without sinking to their heads, which is what happens in the main area.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

Tips for visiting The Beach

If you lose something in the ball pit you will have to wait until they drain it at the end of Jan to retrieve it, so leave all valuables like phone, keys, loose jewellery in the buckets provided.

It’s pretty hot in the ball pit, and sweaty work getting in and out. Take lots of water and leave it with your bag on the beach.

If you arrive early for the first session you will wait the least amount of time during the day as once you are in you can stay as long as you want. Most people stay around 45 minutes, but we stayed for an hour and a quarter.

There is no pass to leave and return, so go to the bathroom beforehand.

There are baby changing facilities available in the restrooms outside, opposite the elevator.

You can take your phone/camera into the ball pit but be very careful not to drop it. I would suggest taking a camera with a neck strap.

There is a coffee cart and food vans outside for before/after snack attacks.

Strollers must be left in the designated parking area outside The Beach.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

Final important Q&A thanks to the Barangaroo website

ARE BALL PITS UNHYGIENIC?

GermBLOCKTM antimicrobial balls have been used to create The Beach. This safe, powerful agent provides antimicrobial protection for everyone against 50 different germs and bacteria for the life of the ball. It cannot be rubbed, scrubbed, or wiped off. Each ball is moulded from 100% recyclable nontoxic materials.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

CAN THE BALLS BE RECYCLED?

Yes, in fact The Beach balls have already been recycled once thanks to the generous assistance of the Vinik Family Foundation and The Beach Tampa. The Sydney Festival is working with local plastic recycling services to make sure every single ball is recycled after the event. They are composed of a nontoxic Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) which makes them a “Type 4” Plastic for recycling purposes.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

ACCESS

The Beach provides wheelchair access by way of an accessible ramp that can accommodate guests using a push or electric wheelchairs. Guests will have full access to all areas of the shore, out onto the piers and onto a shallow ball area along one of the mirrored walls. This area is clearly marked with white and grey flags. Between these flags, the balls have a maximum depth of 250mm. This will allow guests to remain in their wheelchairs and move around the balls. Check out this great blog post on Have Wheelchair Will Travel for more info.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

HOW DO I GET THERE?

There are entrances to Barangaroo Reserve from Towns Place, Hickson Road, Munn Street Reserve and Merriman Street. The entrance to the Cutaway is near Hickson Road and Nawi Cove.

Public transport: Catch the train to Wynyard and Circular Quay and walk (approximately 1.1km). The closest bus stops are on Hickson Road at the Nawi Cove entrance, and are serviced by routes 324 and 325, which depart from Town Hall; and route 311, which runs between Central Station and Argyle Street.

By car: An underground carpark is located off Towns Place. You can also park on Hickson Road.

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival The Beach at Barangaroo, Sydney Festival

The Beach at the Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve
Dates: 7–29 January, 2017

Free Entry
7–8, 10–15, 17–22, 24–29 January from 10am–5pm
Tue–Sun, closed Mondays
Last admission for free entry at 3:30pm

All Ages Ticketed Sessions
7–8, 10–15, 17–22, 24–29 January at 9am-10am
Tue–Sun, closed Mondays
Tickets only valid for stated session times
Cost: $15 pp

The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve
Hickson Road Entrance
Barangaroo 2000

sydneyfestival.org.au/2017/beach

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park, NSW, Australia

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

One of the absolute best things about living in Australia is the stunning natural environment we live in. A hour and 15 minutes south of Sydney is a gorgeous spot called Wattamolla, located in the Royal National Park.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

While it’s well-known as a spot to swim, snorkel, picnic and generally laze about, it’s also an historic area, with “Wattamolla” being the name the local Aboriginal people gave it many years before Europeans arrived.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

“Wattamolla” means “place near running water” – a highly appropriate name for an area that is a cove, lagoon and beach. In 1796 Matthew Flinders, George bass and William Martin came across the cove while exploring, and recorded its name as “Watta-Mowlee”, but is today spelt Wattamolla.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Today, Wattamolla is a popular spot for families, as well as groups of all ages, due to it’s wide variety of activities to do there. The beach has sparkling clear water, edged by rocks that are fun for climbing.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Then there’s the lagoon deeper into the cove, which is perfect for little kids to swim in. It’s shallow and calm, so kids of all ages can paddle, swim and play at its shore safely. Adults love to bring giant floats and canoes to the lagoon and wile away the day floating around.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

A pretty waterfall flows over the rocks at the back of the lagoon, and is a popular spot for daredevils to jump from into the water below, despite a large fence being erected and big warning signs cautioning people not to dive or jump from the rocks.

Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Tips For Visiting Wattamolla
Arrive early! Wattamolla is extremely popular and there is limited parking near the beach. We arrived at 10:30 and the parking lot was almost completely full. I would suggest arriving no later than 9:30 to enjoy the beach with few people there.

It’s a 250m walk from the car park to the beach along a narrow rocky path with lots of stairs.
There is no stroller access or paved path on the beach.

The lagoon is edged with plenty of trees to set up a blanket and picnic spot, but many visitors choose to bring their own tents with them.

There is no food available at Wattamolla, so bring a picnic with you down to the beach, or use the free barbeque areas near the parking lot to make your own lunch.

There is also no water available, so bring plenty with you.

While there are bathrooms at Wattamolla, they are located next to the parking lot so go before you walk down.

The beach is free to visit but entry to the Royal National Park costs $12 per vehicle per day and payment is cash only.

There is little to no mobile reception at Wattamolla.

The Royal National National Park is open 7am to 8.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents.
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Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia Wattamolla Beach National Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Wattamolla Beach
Royal National Park, Coast Track, Sutherland Shire NSW 2232
More info
Get Directions

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney’s Best Shows For Kids: Swamp Juice

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids These school holidays, treat the kids to Swamp Juice, the award-winning show that’s toured the world and is now coming to Sydney this January.

Swamp Juice is a ridiculously fun shadow puppetry show for kids aged seven and up. It was a sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with theatre critics calling the show “ Innovative” and “memorable”, from the Times, and “Breathtaking… Wonderfully enchanting… A heartwarming, funny show for children of all ages”, from the Evening Standard.

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

The show creatively makes shadow puppets out of bits of rubbish and household objects to tell the story of bickering snails, a neurotic snake and an opera singing mouse with a jaw-dropping 3D finale! This is a swamp like no other!

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

Swamp Juice is presented in Australia by Monkey Baa Theatre Company, based at the Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre in Sydney. We’ve been seeing their excellent productions for the past two years, and are always impressed by the exciting, inventive and fun shows that they put on for kids.

Swamp Juice: Sydney's Best Shows For Kids

Monkey Baa is actually Australia’s widest-reaching touring company, having conducted over 25 national tours to 135 regional and remote communities across every state and territory of Australia, 3 international tours and over 2,500 performances, and engaged with 1.2 million young people. It’s Monkey Baa’s goal to provide young people with fantastic theatre experiences no matter where they live or what their economic situation might be.

The company is also passionate about showcasing Australian cultures and stories, and work hard to create shows that offer young people a truly multifaceted reflection of the world we all inhabit.

SWAMP JUICE

A Bunk Puppets production, presented by Monkey Baa Theatre Company

Where: Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre, Terrace 3, 1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney (opposite the Darling Quarter children’s playground)

When: 17 – 21 January, 10.30am & 12.30pm

Suitable for: ages 7+

Duration: 55 minutes

Tickets: $29 adult/child; $104 family of 4; $125 family of 5

More info: http://www.monkeybaa.com.au/shows/swamp-juice/

A Day In The Darling Quarter #darlingharbour #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

What’s nearby?

After the show, check out the Darling Quarter playground directly opposite the theatre and enjoy lunch in one of the area’s many cafes, or bring a picnic and enjoy it in the sun on one of the many green areas.

This article was produced in conjunction with the Monkey Baa Theatre Company. All opinions are, as always, my own. We genuinely love their productions and think readers will enjoy their new show.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Room On The Broom: Sydney’s Best Shows For Kids

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Room On The Broom is a classic story, written by Australian author Julia Donaldson. The story has been adapted into a gorgeous stage show that has returned this December to the Sydney Opera House to wow children and their accompanying adults with its wit, joy and fun.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

The very simple story of a witch and her cat who are happily flying on their broom until a stormy wind blows the witch’s hat, bow and wand away is a lyrical adventure performed with clever dialogue and catchy songs by a colourful cast of endearing characters.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

This lively performance with gorgeous puppetry takes the audience on a delightful journey to find the lost things, make new friends, and come face-to-face with a dragon.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Along the way, the characters learn the importance of friendship, sticking together and realise that there is, in fact, room on the broom for everyone. A very simple story with an important message for us all. No matter our kind or creed, there is room for us all.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

Room On The Broom is a highly engaging show for children ages three and up. Limited seats are still available to its two remaining shows.

Room On The Broom The Stage Show

 

Room On The Broom
Sydney Opera House
Dates: 9 – 23 December
Prices: Standard $30 – $40, Insiders $24 – $32 (Booking fee applies per transaction)
Tickets: sydneyoperahouse.com

We were guests of the Sydney Opera House for reviewing purposes, and were under no obligation to write about our experience. Both the kid and I really enjoyed this show and highly recommend it.

Photos care of the Sydney Opera House.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney – LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

If LEGO is your kids’ jam, then you simple must take them to see the new Brickman Wonders of the World LEGO exhibition in Sydney this summer.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World features over 50 amazing LEGO sculptures of famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Arc De Triomphe and the Great Wall of China, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through history through time.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The exhibit has been curated by the only LEGO® Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere (and one of only 14 in the world) Ryan McNaught and his team.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

While most exhibits are “look but don’t touch”, this one is incredibly well thought out and very interactive for kids. Several of the sculptures have large bricks pits built around their base, encouraging kids to build their own pyramid, race car or Leaning Tower of Pisa. I thought we would be in an our in an hour, but we honestly could have stayed inside building for most of the day.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The sculptures feature are more than just statues, too. When looked at closer, they reveal amazing set ups with tiny LEGO people in the scenarios that are even more fascinating than the buildings themselves. We searched for “Leo the explorer” in each sculpture, with the aim to discover them all and enter to win a prize at the end, and in the process found ourselves swept up in the tiny detailed lives of the LEGO people in each creation. The level of detail is extraordinary.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

The only downside to the exhibition is that there are no bathrooms or food available inside, so you need to exit the exhibition for both. While they will allow children to exit and return again for “bathroom emergencies” when we asked if we could get some food for the kids and then go back inside again the answer was no. My advice: Go first thing in the morning or straight after lunch when kids can last the longest without food.

Brickman Wonders of the World Sydney - LEGO Exhibition

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Brickman Wonders of The World
ICC Sydney, International Exhibition Centre, Exhibition Hall 1
20 December 2016 – 5 February 2017

Open daily. Booking is advisable.
Tickets on sale now at http://www.ticketek.com.au
http://www.brickmanwonders.com.au
Prices: Adult $35, Concession $30, Family of Four (Admits 4) $95, Junior (age 4-16) $25. Kids aged 3 and under are free.

We were provided with tickets to see the Brickman show for reviewing purposes but were under no obligation to write about the experience. I genuinely enjoyed the show and am planning to return over the summer.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

From the creators of the biggest-selling magic show internationally, The Illusionists, and the award-winning puppeteers of War Horse comes Circus 1903, a show that blends the best of both predecessors into a breathtaking performance inspired by the golden age of circus.

This all-age show features turn-of-the-century circus acts with a modern twist. Authentic period costumes and careful set design combined with dangerous and jaw-dropping acts left this theatre goer and her five-year-old daughter completely captivated, often gaping in awe, and occasionally hiding behind our hands when some of the more thrilling acts were being performed.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

The cast of talented performers have been sourced from all over the globe – strong men, contortionists, acrobats, knife throwers, high wire and tumblers. So much incredible talent left our hands numb from clapping and cheering.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Traditional circuses of this era used live performing animals such as elephants – an incredibly inhumane practice that is thankfully dying out. Circus 1903 does an excellent job of paying homage to the magnificent animals that spent their lives entertaining the public through incredibly innovative puppetry.

To say that the moment with the enormous elephant puppets on stage is show stopping would be an understatement. The clever puppeteers did a tremendous job bringing these enormous pachyderms to life, creating true works of art that are beautifully nostalgic as well as exciting to watch.

This is a truly captivating circus extravaganza that is perfect for audiences of all ages.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

TOUR FAQ

Q:  Is this family friendly?  Can I bring my kids?

A:  Absolutely.  This is a show for all ages!

Q:  Does Circus 1903 feature a live elephant?

A:  No. The elephants featured in Circus 1903 are puppets, brought to life by the talented team at Significant Object (the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse). Circus 1903 is a very unique show in that it takes aspects of the traditional circus but puts a fresh, innovative and more humane spin on them. One of those new directions is using carefully constructed and realistic puppets in place of actual animals.

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Sunday, December 18 – Thursday December 29, 2016.
Prices: Standard from $74.90, child from $48.90 (plus transaction fee of $5 – $8.50per order)
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com
More Info: sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/circus_1903 or circus1903.com

Circus 1903 – The Golden Age at the Sydney Opera House

We attended the show as guests and under no obligation to promote or write about it. We generally absolutely loved the show.

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!

Nubo Play Centre, Alexandria: Sydney’s Best Play Centres

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Today we checked out a gorgeous new play centre in Alexandria, Sydney, called Nubo. This space is like no other you will find in Sydney. While most play centres are a seething mass of running, crying sweaty children with parents either frantically trying to locate their wailing child or sitting having a coffee with their feet up, Nubo is a place of quiet and calm, even when filled with kids.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

What makes it so different? The purpose of Nubo is to let kids explore, create, rest and wonder. Each section of the centre focuses on a different purpose and activity that matches it, resulting in a space looks more like a children’s museum than a traditional play gym.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

While physical activity is certainly important and there are plenty of ways for kids to be active here, they can also build, get arty, indulge in pretend play and read books in the most gorgeous book nooks I’ve seen.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Parents must supervise their kids at all time, and the result is a lot more engagement with offspring such as building with Magnatiles, making a grand old play doh mess or reading a book to them.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Each area has a number of children allowed per activity and the physical ones have an age recommendation too. The whole centre caters for kids up to the age of 10.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Several of the smaller rooms in particular are geared towards older kids, such as the upstairs party room which was set up with Play Sticks and suggestions of what to build with them when we visited, and the large climbing structure in the middle of the space.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Younger kids can enjoy dedicated areas or play with the more complex activities along with an adult. With creative areas such as the Blue Room, set up with Magnatiles and Imagination Blocks, it’s the kind of play that parents can get into, too.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Nubo is really a space that adults can enjoy being at almost as much as their kids will. It’s bright and light and relaxing (yes, relaxing!), with a large cafe space and fantastic facilities such as a feeding room for nursing babies and a gorgeous (!) dedicated kids’ bathroom.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

The cafe at the moment serves very healthy basic snacks such as salads, sandwiches and smoothies. In the new year they will have a dedicated kitchen installed and chef to make hot food on site. Nubo serves only healthy food and drinks – you’ll find lots of raw and whole foods here and very little sugar.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

During the week, Nubo staff, who are mostly former child care workers, run activities geared towards the younger set of under fives such as story time and craft activities. On the weekends and school holidays these activities change to become suitable for kids aged up to 10.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

At the moment these activities are included in the cost of admission but as they develop these events further into workshops that are run in series, they will be charged separately. So, for example, a kid can come for a weekly workshop without also paying to use the play space, but they can choose to pay for a bundle of both if they wish to do so. On the cards for upcoming workshops as they grow are robotics and coding for all ages, even the under 5s.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

We highly enjoyed our time at Nubo – yes, that’s right, the both of us.

Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney
Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney Nubo Play Space Alexandria, Sydney

Nubo
2/160 Bourke Rd, Alexandria NSW 2090
(02) 9317 3206
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Prices: $10 for 0-12 months, $18 for ages 12-24 months, $38.50 for 2 years and over. For multiple children it’s $30 each. Current special promotion running: buy one get one free for general admissions and free workshops until 31 December.
Get Directions
Parking: If you can score a spot marked “Nubo” it’s free. Otherwise it’s pay and display ($3 hour weekdays and two hours free on weekends).

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

Every year since Cheese was born, I’ve printed photo Christmas cards for our friends and relatives. I love receiving gorgeous photo cards from our friends, and hope that they, similarly, enjoy receiving our holiday wishes for them in the mail.

This year, I designed our cards with Minted, a US company specialising in gorgeous stationary.

Minted has some excellent features that I really like and wanted to share.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

1. A large variety of cards to choose from
There are hundreds of cards to make a selection from. Literally too many to look through!

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

2. A personalised card preview tool
You can easily upload your own images to see what the cards will look like with your favourite shots in them.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

3. Photo manipulation
It’s super easy to zoom in and out and crop the images to suit the cards, and there’s an option for “auto enhance” too.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

3. Customisation options
Add foil, change the colours, change the text from “holiday” to “Christmas” greetings. There are so many options for each card.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

4. Save and review later
One of my fave features, you can save all your designs and then view them all at once so it’s easy to compare them and choose your favourite.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

5. Free recipient addressing
It’s really easy to upload a spreadsheet with your family and friends’ addresses in them, and they are printed on the envelopes FOR FREE! My handwriting is appalling, so I really appreciate this.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

6. Digital proofing service
This is great for the nervous orderers among us – when you’re printing a lot of expensive cards, it’s reassuring to know there is someone looking over them and checking you haven’t made a silly mistake. If you choose not to use the proofing service you get a $10 discount and get your order 2 days faster.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

7. Frequent discount offers
When I ordered mine they had a 20% off sale, with the code in a banner across the top of the site.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

8. The quality is gorgeous
I’ve ordered from Minted before and the quality is just stunning. When you compare them to much cheaper places you can get cards from, there is no quality comparison at all. You get what you pay for – which is, in this case, gorgeous cards your family and friends will keep long after the holidays are over.

A Merry Christmas with Minted Holiday Cards

9. International shipping
I was stoked to see they shipped to Australia! It costs $20 for their standard international mail, but that’s pretty regular for getting something shipped all the way Down Under.

I can’t wait to get my cards! I will show them off on social media when they arrive.

Wanting to order your own gorgeous holiday cards? Make sure you do so while there is still time at Minted.com.

Thanks to Minted.com for the complimentary voucher to try their card ordering service. I’ve ordered from Minted in the past and have always been extremely happy with their quality and service so was more than happy to share my experience with others.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!