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Sydney Life

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Do you have a kid who loves climbing, heights and physical challenges? Then TreeTop Adventure Park is a must-do for your family. TreeTop Adventure Park operates three parks, in Wyong, Newcastle and Sydney – we visited the Sydney one which is located inside the Plough & Harrow Park in South-West Sydney.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

TreeTop Adventure Park has courses for kids and adults, with the children’s course suitable for little ones aged 3 – 9. The next group, “Juniors”, consists of three courses for kids aged 10 – 17 who are at least 1.4m tall.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The children’s course is made up of four courses with different degrees of difficulty, and four flying foxes.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

While booking isn’t mandatory, the sessions are so popular that I highly advise booking a few days in advance to ensure you can take part in the timed session of your choice on the day. One the website TreeTop advises you arrive half an hour before your timed session, and if the weather is nice you may as well arrive early to make a day of it. The Adventure Park is right next to a massive playground in Plough & Harrow Park so kids can play there until they need to put on their helmets and harnesses.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

We were incredibly unlucky with the weather on our day. The skies opened and it poured just when we arrived. The session before ours climbed in the rain, but thankfully it eased up when our session was beginning to a slight drizzle. The sessions go ahead unless there is lightning or heavy winds, in which case the courses are suspended until they can begin again. I advise bringing a rain coat if there is a chance of rain, or investing in a $2 rain poncho from TreeTop like we did on the day.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Each group is restricted with numbers for safety reasons. The kids are strapped into the harnesses and helmets by TreeTop staff, and then given a very detailed talk on safety. The instructors drill the kids on the number of kids allowed on each platform, challenge and flying fox at a time, and ask the kids repeatedly to make sure the kids understand all the information.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Each child’s harness has it’s own metal pulley that is used to hook onto the wire that runs above each course for safety. They are large and heavy, making them quite dangerous for little kids to be trusted with, but the instructors had an excellent way of teaching the kids about how to use the pulleys, calling them a “froggy”, and using terms that kids would understand – like the “froggy” had to be put onto the wire “frog to the log” so he could “eat his food” (AKA the wire). The rope dangling down was called the “tail”, so we were calling out repeatedly “hold onto the tail!” and so on to describe how to get across the challenges.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The first course, “white”, was the easiest, and designed low to the ground so parents could hold their child’s hand if needs be. It also allows parents to assist kids with getting the pulley over the connectors at each platform – this, for the little kids, proved to be the hardest element of the courses. It was really difficult to swing the rope hard enough to get enough momentum to push it over the edge of the connectors at each platform. Once the kids are up on the higher courses, they must to every element on their own, as adults are on the ground and can’t reach to help.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

For my four-year-old, the courses were exceptional for not just physical enjoyment, but also to help her self-confidence and resilience. Quite a few times she struggled to get her pulley over connectors, but had to work it out herself – and while she got frustrated, she managed to do it, every time. She also lost a shoe at one stage, while she was several metres over our heads. Even though she couldn’t reach her feet with her hands, and she was balancing high up on a tiny platform, she managed to use her foot to place the shoe in the right position and jam her toes inside so it was on well-enough to get to the next platform where an instructor could fasten it for her.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

As an only child, Cheese is used to us doing a lot of things for her that she could probably work out herself, so this ropes course was just what she needed to realise that she was more than able to conquer many difficult things on her own. As the courses got harder, they involved more problem solving skills as well as balance, agility and also confidence! The last two courses involved a lot of moving logs and sections that were quite far apart – pretty hard and scary for little kids whose arms and legs couldn’t reach them. I was so incredibly proud of how Cheese conquered all of the four courses.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The minimum age for participation is three, with no height minimum, and, while there were three year olds on the course, there were a few who attempted the harder courses, got stuck or scared, and then couldn’t get down. The way the courses are created, you hook on at the start and unhook at the end. There is no way to unhook in the middle – AKA there’s no going back if you get scared or can’t physically finish the course. We had a moment during one of our courses where the kids all had to reverse backwards through the course to the beginning and unhook to allow a smaller child to leave the course.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

On the website it’s advised that you buy or bring gloves, and while we didn’t this time, we will definitely buy a pair when we return. Shoes must be closed toe like sneakers, and I would suggest long tights for girls so their legs don’t rub on the harness.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Looking around the courses I was pleased to see that they were set up in a way so as to not harm the trees – there was no drilling used to attach the platforms, and the structures were designed to allow trees to grow free of restrictions.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

The children’s course costs $28 per child. While initially I thought it sounded pricey, the you have two hours to spend on the courses. Time absolutely flies by and I really thought that it was money well spent.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

Cheese finished the day feeling strong, brave and incredibly happy! She told us she had the best day ever and can’t wait to go back.

TreeTop Adventure Park Sydney via christineknight.me

TreeTop Adventure Park
Plough & Harrow, Western Sydney Parklands,
Elizabeth Drive, Abbotsbury
Online

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Hubby and I have been big fans of the Ice Age movies for a long time, so when I saw Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure was coming to town, I was pretty excited at the chance to see characters I love come to life on ice.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

It was also an opportunity to introduce young Cheese to the show as she has been too young thus far to watch the movies (mainly because she is a very sensitive soul).

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure tells the story of the latest batch of Ice Age characters from the movie, including Manny (Cheese’s favourite), and Peaches, the new baby. Without giving the story away too much, I really enjoyed how simple the storyline was. Peaches gets kidnapped by a scary bird, Shadow (Cheese kept calling him “The Boss”), and the rest of the gang need to bring Peaches home.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

The simple storyline meant that little kids could easily follow what was happening, leaving them enraptured in the spectacular costumes, puppets and areal acrobatics.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

I was incredibly impressed with how well the movies translated to a show on ice, which I think was mostly due to the superb designs by co-director Michael Curry, who has worked on Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney’s The Lion King. The puppetry was extremely well done, with the characters making very life-like movements, blinking, lip-syncing, as well as skating. It looked like hard work!

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

When I saw the large characters lumbering out onto the ice, I did wonder if the people inside them were going to do much skating, so I was thrilled when I saw them emerge from the suits, still in character, to engage in breathtaking acrobatics. It was a really clever way of ensuring the people inside the suits had a chance of showing their exceptional skills off as well as portraying these huge creatures in their amazing puppets.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

I also enjoyed the set design. The ice stalactites on the roof glowed with various colours, and a video screen integrated into the back set really enhanced the feeling of moving over vast distances as the group travelled on their big adventure.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Cheese, who is 4.5, loved the show. She is extremely sensitive to anything “scary” and was a little bit worried when Peaches was stolen, but she very quickly relaxed when she began to understand that nothing bad was going to happen to any of the characters. There was so much light, joyful music and a celebratory tone to the show that she was swept up in the mood and when it ended, said “Is it over? That was fast!”. The show went for almost two hours including interval, so I think that’s incredibly good, for a show to be so long and leave a preschooler with a short attention span wanting more.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

If you or your family enjoy Ice Age, or if you’re wanting to introduce your little ones to the characters, this is the show for you. We highly enjoyed Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

The show is currently touring around Australia – next stop is Perth! Check here for tickets.

Ice Age Live: A Mammoth Adventure via christineknight.me

Thank you so much to Ice Age Life: A Mammoth Adventure for hosting us. All opinions are, as always, my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

There’s still time to see the amazing The Art of the Brick: DC Comics exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum before it closes on May 1.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

This contemporary art exhibition by LEGO® artist Nathan Sawaya uses over a million bricks to create more than 120 large-scale sculptures of famous DC Comics superheroes and villains.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

We enjoyed seeing interpretations of Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, The Joker and Super Girl made, astonishingly, out of LEGO bricks. The exhibition is spread over 10 galleries, and is the world’s largest collection of DC Comics-inspired LEGO ever created.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

I visited with two almost five-year-olds who were mostly interested in finding Wonder Woman, and the LEGO video that filmed in one of the middle galleries.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

The exhibition is hands-off until the last section, so keep your eye on little ones who might want to grab the LEGO for themselves.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

If you visited during the first few months and are a hardcore fan, you might want to revisit before the exhibition closes to see the new sculpture that has been added to the collection to coincide with the Australian launch of Warner Bros. Pictures film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Called ‘Showdown’, the piece features a battle between Batman and Superman, made from over 30,000 bricks.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

The exhibition ends in a gift shop with large Duplo and LEGO areas for kids to build in, plus superhero video games to play. It was almost impossible to drag the kids out.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

During the school holidays you’ll get even more value for the entry fee with the free activities run by the Powerhouse Museum. Our girls highly enjoyed colouring in the Giant Comic Strip and the Bird’s-eye Super Hero Photos, both open daily until April 25.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

The Super Hero photo was a particular hit. The kids donned Wonder Woman capes and had their photo taken to make it look like they were soaring through the air.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics via christineknight.me

Note: The exhibition is extremely popular right now, so I recommend buying tickets in advance and try to make it to the 10am session (the first session of the day).

After checking out the exhibition and activities, be sure to drop by the Wiggles Exhibition on the ground floor. It’s been updated with Emma Wiggle.

Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007
Online

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical {Giveaway!}

Dream Lover The Bobby Darin Musical via christineknight.me

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Dream Lover.

I had the privilege this week of attending the media launch of the brand new show, Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical.

Sydney will be home to the world premiere of this entertaining show in September this year, for a limited three month engagement.

“Who is Bobby Darin?” I hear some of you ask. Well, let me tell you exactly who he is. Bobby Darin is a legendary American singer, songwriter and Academy Award-nominated actor whose songs are synonymous with the 1960s. You probably know the majority of his songs even if you didn’t know his name. Think Mack the Knife, Splish Splash, Beyond the Sea and of course, Dream Lover … ahhhh yes, that’s him! I have loved these songs all my life and knew nothing about the life of the man who sang them.

Dream Lover The Bobby Darin Musical via christineknight.me

Bobby Darin led quite the extraordinary life, which became the basis for the new musical. As well as his musical and acting prowess (he played 9 instruments!), Bobby was married to the film star Sandra Dee (YES… LIKE IN GREASE!!), and, like many of our stars today, died before his time at age 37.

It seems Bobby had a feeling he wasn’t going to life as long as most people so was determined to cram an entire lifetime into the years he had. Bobby’s motto was to make every moment of every day count – something which I’m sure we can all relate to, even if we’re not destined for superstardom.

Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical will tell the extraordinary tale of this musician and feature his famous works, sung by the dreamy (and let’s not forget, extremely accomplished) David Campbell, with the lovely Hannah Fredericksen playing his wife, Sandra Dee. There will be 40 performers on stage, including a live 18-piece big band.

As the show is only going to be staged in Sydney, I highly recommend you get your tickets to see the musical when it premieres.

Dream Lover The Bobby Darin Musical via christineknight.me

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the launch of this new musical, I’ve teamed up with Dream Lover to offer Adventure, Baby! readers a chance to win a double pass to see a preview showing of Dream Lover when it opens in September. All you need to do to be in the running to win is enter the question in the form below in 25 words or less, “What is your favourite song from the 1960s and why?”.

The giveaway is open to Australian residents only, from 6pm April 6 to 9pm 27th April, 2017. The winner must arrange their own transport to and from the Lyric Theatre to see the show. See full terms and conditions here.

Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical will be staged at the Sydney Lyric Theatre for an exclusive limited season, with tickets from 30 September on sale from 7 April.

Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star
Season From 30 September 2016
Performance Times Wed & Thurs 7.30pm, Fri & Sat 8pm, Matinees Tues & Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 3pm
PRICES: From $69.90*
BOOKINGS: ticketmaster.com.au or 1300 795 267

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Sydney’s Best Parks & Playgrounds: Blaxland Riverside Playground

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Once of the fun things about being new to being a parent in Sydney is discovering for the first time fun kid-related things, such as the Blaxland Riverside Playground. Even though I grew up in Sydney, so much has changed since I was a kid that a lot of the city feels brand new to me.

Blaxland Riverside Playground had been suggested to me by a few friends, so I checked it out on a hot Autumn day with Cheese and my parents. Turns out the playground is the biggest in Sydney, with new play equipment set among three hectares of rolling green hills and big open spaces.

The playground caters for kids of all ages and abilities with a fantastic water play area (the largest outdoor water play facility in NSW), moving play elements, high and steep landforms and hidden and confined spaces. There’s a double flying fox, mega-swing, tunnel slides, scramble wall, spinning play disk, Viking swing and a multi-level tree house to be discovered and enjoyed.

Since the play space is so spread out, it really forces – I mean, encourages – parents (or carers) to get actively involved with the play.

I was incredibly impressed with the playground, with the only improvement I’d have liked being shade cloths over the equipment where possible.

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

blaxland-riverside-park-7 Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

If you get hungry or thirsty, there’s a little cafe in the playground serving basic pastries and lunch food. In the same block are facilities such as a family room with changing tables.

Blaxland Riverside Playground via christineknight.me

Blaxland Riverside Playground
Jamieson St, Sydney NSW 2127
Hours of operation of water play: 10am – 4pm

Parking: Free parking is limited. You can also park in P5 car park, located off Hill Road, and make use of the pathways to cycle or walk to the play space. Parking at P5 carpark costs $4 per hour, maximum $20 (except on event days, when a flat fee of $25 may apply).

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

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!

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!

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!

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.
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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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:

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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.

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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.

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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!

Nutcote: Walking in the footsteps of May Gibbs

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!