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Top Five School Holiday Activities Sydney

Top 5 School Holiday Activities for Sydney Kids
The school holidays are upon us, and I for one can’t wait to try these fun new school holiday activities Sydney. To make your planning a whole bunch easier, here are my top five picks to entertain kids over the April break:

The new Sydney Park Bike Track, St Peters
What was already a really fun place for kids to learn to ride their bikes has been given an upgrade! BYO bike and helmet to use the free track complete with miniature roads, traffic lights, bridges and tunnels.
Venue: Sydney Park, Sydney Park Rd.
More info

Get wild at the Australian Museum
Always a great day out with littlies thanks to their excellent Kidspace on Level 2, during the school holidays the museum amps up their educational programs to entertain kids for even longer. I particularly like the look of Jet Pack Craft, an all ages activity running from April 9-24 for kids to make their own jet pack out of craft materials. Older kids will love their Bee Bots robotics and code workshop (ages 5-8, April 11 & 12).
Venue: Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney
More info

Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS)
Formerly known as the Powerhouse Museum, the MAAS has a stellar exhibition now in it’s final weeks called Art of the Brick: DC Comics exhibition, featuring more than 120 large-scale sculptures of Super Heroes and villains like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. In conjunction with this exhibition, special school holidays activities include Green Screen Super Hero Photos, where kids can jump in front of a green screen and have their photo taken like a superhero, and the Giant Comic Strip, a giant comic strip ready for little ones to make their mark. Tiny tots will enjoy the interactive Wiggles exhibition.
All ages, April 9-25. The Art of the Brick: DC Comics closes May 1.
Venue: MAAS, 500 Harris St, Ultimo
More info

Sydney Observatory
Calling all future astronauts! During the school holidays, the Sydney Observatory is running special one-day Kids Extravaganza: Space Exploration (Ages 3–8, April 20, 10am–1.30pm). Kids can launch rockets, build their own take-home rocket, look through telescopes and learn about space exploration. The observatory is also running their LEGO program (ages 5+, April 9-25) for kids to build to their hearts’ content with their space-inspired LEGO bricks.
Venue: Sydney Observatory, Watson Road, Millers Point
More info

Comedy Jungle with the Sydney Comedy Festival
Sydney Town Hall will be transformed into an epic school holiday program for kids to enjoy hilarious comedic acts, dinosaurs courtesy of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo™, storytelling, theatre sports, illustration workshops and street dance workshops. This is a free activity with the exception of the $2.50 booking fee, which will be donated to the Sydney Story Factory.
All ages, April 19-25
Venue: Sydney Town Hall, downstairs
More info

Want more school holiday ideas? Try a few activities from this amazing infographic courtesy of Accor Hotels.

 School holiday activities Sydney by Accorhotels.com

Looking for even more fun school holiday activities Sydney?

This post was produced in conjunction with Accor Hotels.

Image Credit

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me
This year we spent Easter Sunday at the beautiful, historic Vaucluse House, taking part in their Egg-cellent Easter Trail. The event is held on Easter Sunday each year, towards the back of the estate, on one of their huge lawn areas.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

$17 per child gets you a trail map, four activities, and an Easter treat at the end. The activities are geared towards slightly older children than the Centennial Park Egg Hunt: a Hen Hunt (find the picture of the breed of chicken on the map and write it down), egg-rolling, which was kind of like egg croquet, an egg-and-spoon race with wooden spoons, and the hot cross bun station, where kids were given all the ingredients of a traditional hot cross bun to explore, and then write them down in the correct spot in the recipe in their book.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

The Egg-cellent Easter Trail has three timed entries and the activities can be done in any order. There are only three timed groups, and each one has an hour to complete the activities before the next one begins. It’s more than enough time – but also really great to not have to rush, particularly with little kids.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

This is an all-weather event – so bring gum boots, rain coat and umbrella if the forecast looks grim. It rained during our session which inspired us to do all the activities pretty quickly, but didn’t take away from the enjoyment.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

As well as the Egg-cellent Easter Trail activities, Vaucluse House puts on free Easter colouring in near the animals, and also free traditional games on the front lawn for everyone to enjoy.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

We all had a turn at croquet, quoits, skittles and hula hoops.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

The Tea Room at Vaucluse House is open Easter Sunday, so we reserved a table in advance (a must as they are always booked out on special days), and enjoyed high teas, fish and chips and other such delights. For a full review of their high tea, check out this post.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

Vaucluse House is holding a host of fun-looking events for kids over the upcoming school holidays, mostly geared towards older children.

The house is celebrating its centenary as a museum at the moment, so it’s a particularly great time to visit.

Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me Vaucluse House Egg-cellent Easter Trail via christineknight.me

Vaucluse House
69A Wentworth Rd,
Vaucluse NSW
(02) 9388 7922
Get Directions

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Great Centennial Park Easter Egg Hunt

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

Ahhhhh Easter, the chocolate holiday is here again! In our household, we like to celebrate chocolate over the Easter long weekend, as well as spending as much time as we can with family and friends.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

This year we finally made it to the Great Centennial Park Easter Egg Hunt. It’s a great, active day out for families in Sydney, and at $17 per participating child, it’s an affordable outing, too. That’s right, no fee for adults, or age requirements, just a $17 fee per child who wishes to have a map and collect chocolate eggs along the way.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

The egg hunt is suitable for kids of all ages. More than an egg hunt, it’s a multi-stop engaging quest to follow the map along a specially designed course to it’s fabulous conclusion – the Easter bunny (and bilby!) and chocolate, of course!

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

To take part in the Easter egg hunt, you’ll need to choose your start time, 9am and 3pm, and buy tickets accordingly. Entry to the course is timed in 15 minutes increments to ensure that it’s never too crowded.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

Registration for the course is at the start point, the Learning Centre, Education Precinct, Dickens Drive. Arrive right at the beginning of your time slot – you amy only collect your map and begin the course during your 15 minute time slot. You may, however, take all the time you need along the course to get to the end.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

The course consists of five station, with an egg and spoon race (don’t worry, it’s a rubber egg!), hop scotch activity, ring toss and egg hunt for kids to complete at each station before the final stop, where they get a photo with the Easter bunny and bilby and collect their big chocolate prize.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me
Upon completing each station along the way, kids are given a stamp on their map and a little chocolate egg. The completed map must be presented at the last stop to receive the big chocolate prize – which, this year, was from sponsor Darrell Lea.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me
The information on the website suggests that the course will take between 30-45 minutes to complete. It took our kids a lot less time to finish, but they had a fantastic time. Each activity was very well suited to our group, with kids aged 2, 4 and 6.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

At the beginning of the course, in the Learning Centre, was a large room with tables and chairs, and bilby colouring in sheets plus crayons for families to take a break out of the heat. Nearby, a Combi Van food truck was parked to provide refreshments, and public toilets just beyond.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

I would suggest planning to make a big morning or afternoon of the event, by bringing a picnic lunch, bread to feed the ducks (watching the docks, eels, fish and turtles in the lake entertained our lot for minutes! Lots of them!), and anything else your family needs to spend a few hours enjoying the gorgeous Centennial Park.

The Great CP Easter Egg Hunt via christineknight.me

The Great Centennial Park Easter Egg Hunt is held yearly in Sydney over Easter weekend.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

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! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

Nutcote, the home of Australian author and illustrator May Gibbs, has long been on my “must see” list in Sydney. As 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of her most famous work, the Gumnut babies, I thought it was time to finally make that 10 minute drive to Neutral Bay to pay homage to an author/illustrator whose stories entertained me as a child, and inspired me as an adult.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

May Gibbs’ Nutcote, where she lived for 44 years, is now a visitable house museum after many years of changing hands. The home was designed by popular architect B. J. Waterhouse, a friend of May’s whom she would catch the ferry across the harbour to her studio each day. It’s believed he might have given her “mates rates” because of their friendship.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

The house sites on a parcel of land bought by May’s mum, Cecilia Rogers, with May moving into the house with her husband, James Ossoli Kelly, in 1925. The couple never had any children (she called the gumnuts her “babies”) and, after May’s death in 1969, the estate was left to UNICEF.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

Nutcote was then sold to a private party in 1970 who had plans to demolish it (when you see the view from the block of land you’ll understand why it was in demand for redevelopment), but the house was thankfully saved by the newly formed May Gibbs Foundation in 1987. The house was placed on the Register of the National Estate and then bought by North Sydney Municipal Council for $2.86m in 1990. With its future finally safe, Nutcote was restored to represent what life would have looked like there in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and opened to the public in 1994.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

The house is on an amazing block of land that sprawls down to the harbour. The view is just stunning – it’s easy to see why May would have been inspired to write here, in her little slice of paradise.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

At the entrance to the property is the giftshop (it used to be a garage), with the cafe underneath in what was once the gardener’s flat. The actual house is further down past the gardens. Visitors are welcome to roam around the house, but I would suggest taking a free guided tour from one of their very well-versed volunteers.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

The house contains replica furniture in the style of the original furnishings, with some original items, such as photographs, the ice chest and May’s work desk, set up by the window taking in the view.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

Underneath the house is a perfect spot for kids, with a little set of table and chairs, colouring in sheets and pencils and dress ups clothes.  There is also a DVD playing on repeat that tells May’s story if you can convince the kids to sit down long enough to let you watch it.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

Keep heading down the stairs to the final section of the garden, where we found a basket set out with more colouring in equipment for kids. We took a lovely siesta down here undisturbed for quite some time. Cheese happily coloured in en plein air, while the hubbie and I took in the view and relaxed. Ahhhh the serenity.

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Dotted around the garden are little tributes to May’s life. The Big Bad Banksia man stealing Ragged Blossom, a Scots Terrier (the breed of dog May kept in her home), the caterpillar hedge and, of course, “Bib and Bub”, who we know as Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

After enjoying the view, art and tour of the house, it’s time for lunch, so we dropped by the Bib and Bub Tea Room. The tea rooms is usually open during Nutcote’s open hours, but, as it is staffed by volunteers, it’s recommend that you call ahead if you are planning to lunch there.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

The tea room serves light refreshments such as tea and coffee, scones, cakes and sandwiches. We had an egg sandwich, made freshly with herbs from the garden, a “fairy sandwich” and a brownie.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

A delicious, light lunch, and possibly the best egg sandwich (definitely the freshest!) I’ve ever eaten.

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs via christineknight.me

It’s impossible to pass through the exit without buying a little souvenir or two – we chose the children’s book “A Day With May Gibbs At Nutcote” which has since been a bedtime favourite at home. All proceeds go back to the foundation to keep the house in great condition and open to the public.

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Nutcote
5 Wallaringa Ave, Neutral Bay
Phone: (02) 9953 4453
Hours: Wed-Sun 11am-3pm
Prices: $10 adults $4 children aged 5 and over
Online: http://www.maygibbs.com.au
Accessibility: Some stairs.
Get Directions
NOTE: Nutcote will be closed from March 25 until late June for renovations.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Babies Prom: Music For Tutus

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

The first Babies Prom of the year, Music for Tutus is the perfect way for littlies 2-5 to experience ballet for the first time. Held in the intimate Studio inside the Sydney Opera House, tiny tots are invited to watch, dance and direct the performers throughout the show – making it a stress-free way for families introducing their children to the arts.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

This gorgeous performance features music by the famous composer, Tchaikovsky, with two ballet dancers pirouetting their way through melodies from The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, and an orchestra including a stunning harp, cello, violins and conductor. The two dancers, Emma and Jacob, led their rapt audience through the three ballets in a way that showcased their skills as well as engaged small children with short attention spans.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

The classical music, performed by the Babies Proms orchestra, swept not just the children, but the adults, too, up on an enchanting discovery of three of Tchaikovsky’s best-loved pieces of music.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

The Babies Proms are aimed at children aged 2-5, but this doesn’t mean that kids older or younger won’t enjoy the show. Babies and grade schoolers alike were enchanted by the beautiful dancing and music, along with parents and grandparents. This parent will admit to feeling a tear come to her eye when the score to Swan Lake was soaring through the Studio.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

As the show came to a close, the dancers came down to the children and led them through basic ballet steps, much to the delight of the tulle-clad masses who jostled to get up closer to the pair in their stunning costumes.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

Sadly all good things must come to an end, and Music For Tutus ended in the same fashion as all Babies Proms do, with the children being invited to meet the musicians, touch their instruments and pose for photos. Cheese has just started playing the cello at school, so this was a wonderful experience for her to hear a professional cellist live and realise where a lot of practice on this instrument could one day take her.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

Kids can ask the musicians questions – or just strum a string and image that they, too, could one day perform in front of an audience at the Sydney Opera House.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

If you haven’t been to a Babies Prom before, this is what you need to know:

Babies Proms are aimed at kids aged 2-5.

They are casual performances where adults sit around the sides of the studio, and kids sit on the floor in the middle. There is no pressure for kids to sit still or not talk – they are encouraged to dance, sing and interact with the performers.

The performance goes for 35 minutes, the perfect length for short attention spans.

All adults and children over 12 months need a ticket.

Seats are not numbered, so most people line up around half an hour before the start of the Babies Prom to ensure they get seats close to the floor where there kids will be seated.

There is stroller parking and baby change facilities in the foyer.

While train is the easiest way to get to the Sydney Opera House, you can also park in the car park underneath. Book online at Wilson Parking for a $9 weekend deal.

For lunch, grab a sandwich at the Sydney Opera House kiosk outside the theatre, or enjoy a sit down meal at Opera Kitchen on the lower concourse level. Their kids’ fish and chips is a winner.

Babies Proms: Music for Tutus via christineknight.me

Babies Proms: Music For Tutus
Dates: March 9-20, 2016
Studio, Sydney Opera House

Thank you to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us at this performance, and for use of some of their images by Dan Boud in this blog post. Photography during performances are not permitted.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

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 – without paying an additional fee. Koalas can be found napping most of the day with their keeper close by, so anyone can walk up, gently stroke their back, and snap a selfie.
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

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

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

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

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Early Start Discovery Centre: Australia’s First Children’s Museum

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

Australia’s first children’s museum has opened in Australia! The Early Start Discovery Space in Wollongong is the country’s only dedicated “Children’s Museum”. Last weekend we drove the hour and a half south of Sydney to check it out and see what made it different from a regular play space.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

The Early Start Discovery Space is located on, and operated by, the University of Wollongong. It was designed to teach children through play using interactive exhibits. It was created using educational resources and is mapped to the NSW Board of Studies K-6 Syllabus. The museum is suitable for kids from birth to age 12, with the lower level completely accessible and some of the best family bathrooms I’ve ever seen.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

We visited on a bit of a dreary day and expected the place to be crawling with people. It wasn’t. We were happy surprised that while there was a constant buzz of people in the space, it was certainly not full or so busy that Cheese couldn’t try her hand at every single exhibit without having to wait her turn. I ran into a friend there who mentioned how busy it was that day, compared to during the week, so I imagine if you do visit on a week day you might have this entire magnificent space to yourself!

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

The museum is spread across two floors, with each exhibit in a designated area. Upon entry we received a very helpful map which enabled us to plan our visit.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

The majority of the exhibits are on the entry level:

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Shipyard
Ahoy, it’s pirate play!

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Tummy Tour
Crawl through a human digestive tract! In through the mouth, out through the … you get the picture.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Construction Site
Learn about safety on building sites, dress up in a vest, hard hat and tool belt, and build the city. Kids can lay carpet tiles, place mortar and bricks in the house to build walls, or thread pipes and connectors into the frame.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Market Place
Littlies will love “shopping” with realistic-looking groceries, and older kids can use a shopping list to collect their goods and then “buy” them.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
CreARTivity Space
The place for artists to let their imaginations go wild. This space also features daily educator-led activities.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Book Nook
A quiet spot to enjoy a book or join story time activities.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
The Cave
Grab a torch and discover stalactites and stalagmites.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Lights, Sound, Action!
Kids can dress up in costume and perform.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Games Area
Big kid games like chess and giant Connect Four.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Crawler’s Cubby
Soft play for babies plus gears for toddlers/preschoolers.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
The Pod
A 2 story interactive LCD screen where kids can be part of the story on the screen in front of them.

The Dig/Archeology was closed for maintenance on our visit.

Also scattered around the floor are little nooks with activities like building, threading and puppets.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

The floor is a giant circle with the exhibits and amenities spread around the inside and outside edges of the circle. It’s fantastic as kids can literally run in circles here and find it endlessly entertaining to start over at the exhibits they already discovered as they entered. Hours of fun, guaranteed.

Upstairs are activities best suited for slightly older kids.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Digital Media Lab
Kids can learn how to create an eBook, an ePoster, video and editing

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me
Galileo’s Study
This science-themed area teaches kids how a telescope works and basic astronomy.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

When it’s time for a snack, head outside to The Discovery Gardens. There are shaded picnic tables so you can bring your own food, and take a breather while kids explore the fruit and veggie beds, quarry and creek.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

If you’re like us and never pack lunch (busted!) try the onsite cafe, Espresso Warriors, where all-day brekkie is on the menu, as well as amazing looking pastries and a kids menu that features meals like ham and cheese toasties, fish, sweet potato chips and grilled chicken for $10-11. Each kids meal comes with fresh fruit and a juice box.

The Early Start Discovery Space via christineknight.me

The Early Start Discovery Space
University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong.

The Discovery Space is located on Ring Road opposite the Western (P4) Car park.
Hours: Tues-Sun 9am-4pm (Closed Mondays)
Prices: Adults and children 12 months and over: $15. Children under 12 months: free.
Get Directions

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, Australian Premiere

The Lion Guard Australian Premiere via christineknight.me

My childhood was spent falling in love with Disney movies. I was absolutely obsessed with all of them – starting with The Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, through to the modern ones that came out as I was growing up such as Aladdin and The Lion King. I was 15 when I saw the original Lion King movie, and was obsessed with the music for months (ahem, might have been more like years). When The Lion King stage show came out in my 20s, I saw one of the very first shows in Sydney and cried all over again at the beauty of the music and heartbreaking storyline.

The Lion Guard Australian Premiere via christineknight.me

Now I have my own Disney-obsessed kid, who is still too young to watch the original Lion King movie. She is, however the perfect age for the new Disney Junior series that is a spin off from the much loved movie – The Lion Guard.

The Lion Guard Australian Premiere via christineknight.me

We were lucky enough to attend the Australian premiere of The Lion Guard, where we watched the first extended episode, called Return Of The Roar. At 45 minutes, the first episode is longer than the following ones will be to introduce the new cast, re-introduce beloved old characters, and set the scene for the next generation of troublesome cubs to take on their own adventures. Simba and Nala have grown up and have cubs of their own, including Kion, who is the star of this new series. Cameos from Pumbaa and Timon also link the old with the new, and bring in a motley crew of brand new animal characters: Bunga, Ono, Fuli and Beshte.

The Lion Guard Australian Premiere via christineknight.me

The reason I haven’t shown my four-year-old The Lion King movie yet is I think it’s still too scary for her, but I was confident that a Disney Junior spin off would be age appropriate – and it was. There were moments in the show when I wasn’t sure what direction it would go (the suspense!) and I was relieved that each moment of confrontation was diffused without violence. My very sensitive child agreed at the end that The Lion Guard was great and that she enjoyed it immensely.

The Lion Guard Australian Premiere via christineknight.me

While my daughter is not yet able to articulate why she enjoyed it so much beyond she loved the songs and the honey badger, Bunga, I really enjoyed the skillful animation, beautiful music and the themes that emerged: friendship, loyalty, perseverance, bravery and love. Perfect for my little girl to be watching and learning from.

The Lion Guard Australian Premiere via christineknight.me

I can’t wait to watch the rest of The Lion Guard when it premieres on the Disney Junior Channel on February 6.

Thanks so much to Disney Australia for inviting us to join The Lion Guard.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

DirtGirl’s Get Grubby Musical: Sydney’s Best Shows for Kids

dirtgirl's Get Grubby Musical via christineknight.me

With a daughter who loves every kind of Disney princess out there and doesn’t like to do anything “yucky”, her latest love of dirtgirl has been a refreshing change for our family. We watch dirtgirlworld on ABC Kids, and I really enjoy the environmental messages in the show, as well as how it encourages kids to “get grubby” outside.

When I found out the dirtgirl’s Get Grubby Musical was coming to the Sydney Opera House, I was keen to take Cheese to see it. The show is recommended for kids aged 3 and up, and I found my four-and-a-half year old to be the perfect age for it.

dirtgirl's Get Grubby Musical via christineknight.me
Dirtgirl, scrapboy and Costa the garden gnome appear live on stage in a show filled with upbeat music, slapstick jokes and, underneath it all, a serious environmental issue that effects our planet – the loss of our bees. It’s an issue my husband and I have discussed ourselves before with concern, so it was great to see it being played out before us in a way that kids could understand and get involved with, too.

dirtgirl's Get Grubby Musical via christineknight.me

Fans of the TV show will enjoy seeing their colourful favourite charaters come to life before them, against a beautiful backdrop representing the most fantastical garden you’ll ever see. When presented by these hip eco-warriors, making compost out of chook poo and saving water have never been funkier. Catchy, interactive songs engaged the young audience, with the figure-of-eight bee “bum” dance being repeated frequently on our way home.

dirtgirl's Get Grubby Musical via christineknight.me

After the show, the cast came around to the foyer to meet their young fans. They were very friendly and encouraging with their tiny grubby friends, and the kids were so excited to take pictures with them and get their autographs.

dirtgirl's Get Grubby Musical via christineknight.me

We walked away from the show thoroughly entertained, and with a desire for gardening in my daughter’s head. Time to get grubby!

dirtgirl's Get Grubby Musical via christineknight.me

dirtgirl’s Get Grubby Musical
Sydney Opera House
January 22-24, 2016

Thank you to the Sydney Opera House for hosting us. All opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.