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Where The Wild Things Are: A Day At Taronga Zoo With Little Kids

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

We recently embarked on a classic Sydney family day trip to Taronga Zoo. Taronga is such an amazing opportunity for children and adults to experience beautiful animals in a world-class facility, set against the most gorgeous backdrop possibly in the world. No exaggeration. While a trip to the zoo can be a little daunting with small children due to its sheer size, with a little preparation it’s a fantastic and memorable day out for the whole family. So make a day of it, take the kids, and use these tips to have a wonderful time.

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Preparation!

Take a stroller
Even if your child resists the stroller, it gives you something to push your stuff in so it doesn’t weigh you down. The entire zoo is super stroller-friendly so it won’t get in your way. As the day wears on and your little one’s legs start to wear out, you might be surprised to see the stroller become acceptable again.

Pack well
It’s a long day at the zoo, so take plenty of water bottles, hats, sunscreen and snacks or a even full lunch. There are lots of tables and grassed areas for picnics.

Get an early start
Arrive at the zoo when it opens (9:30am) to take advantage of the quieter mornings. Most people arrive a little later, so early morning means getting to see the most popular exhibits without the crowd.

Collect a map
At the entrance there is a a booth giving out free maps. Take at least one as you will absolutely need it. The map has the main paths, trails and shortcuts, plus all of the show times.

Make a plan
The zoo is massive and little kids move at a snails pace. Before starting out, plan out which areas are the most important to see, and which shows you want to watch, and then schedule your day accordingly.

Prioritise
With little kids, it’s unlikely you will get to see everything. Identify the animals and shows you want to see the most and leave the rest to another day. If you try and fit in everything the day will be rushed and not as fun for everyone.

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

Must-see: the best best for kids at the zoo

Backyard to Bush
Follow the Kids Trail to the Backyard to Bush area where little ones can enjoy hands-on animal encounters like the “Pat a Pet” encounter (daily, 10:30am and 2:30pm), where kids can pat a rabbit or guinea pig. Kids can get up close to barnyard animals all day in this area, such as chickens, sheep, goats, ducks and pigs.

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

Farm Yard Playground
The playground in the Backyard to Bush area is fantastic for children of all ages, with a large climbing structure, musical items and a big water feature with gears and sprinklers. Bring a change of clothes and water shoes in preparation.

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

Lemur Forest Adventure
Another new addition to the zoo, this fun state-of-the-art playground encourages climbing, jumping and exploring, in a safe, enclosed environment. The forest area at the beginning of the exhibit has educational puzzles and games for kids to play and learn about the forest’s food chain and, habitats and environmental sustainability (everyone, if you don’t already recycle, start now!). The playground is right next to the new lemur exhibit (any other Madagascar fans here? “Hello freaks”!).

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

Seal Show
Who doesn’t love to watch the adorable seals in action? The keepers give a great talk about their charges that is both educational and fun, while running them through predominantly natural behaviours. Sit at the front to get super up close and possibly splashed. Seal shows run daily at 11am, 1pm and 2pm. Arrive 15 mins early to get a good seal in the shade or up the front.

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

The QBE Free Flight Bird Show
Set against the most magnificent view of Sydney Harbour, the bird show showcases many of the zoos avian residents performing their natural behaviours. Giant beautiful birds soaring over head is a highlight of the day. Arrive 10-15 mins early for the best seats. Shows run daily at 12pm and 3pm.

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

Lunch Options
If you’re planning on buying lunch, we liked the Fish Stop Cafe Takeaway. It’s a lot smaller and quieter than the huge Taronga Food Market, which is more like a giant cafeteria. The cafe had lots of outdoor tables (most under cover), and had reasonably priced meal options like sandwiches, plus cooked fish-and-chips-type of food. The Fish Stop Cafe is Australia’s first cafe certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as a sustainable seafood cafe, which gives it an even bigger tick in our book.

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

Sky Safari
The free gondolas take you from one side of the zoo to the other, over the elephant enclosure. A super fun way to end the day and get your family either to the car park or ferry when everyone’s legs (and arms) are worn out. The view of the harbour isn’t so bad either. The Sky Safari is free with zoo entry and operates 9:30am-4:30pm daily.

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

Consider a Zoo Friends pass
If you’re planning to go more than once a year, think about becoming a Zoo Friend. Membership gives unlimited entry throughout the year so you can visit for an hour or two at a time rather than trying to get your money’s worth in a single day. Toddlers up to age four are free, and you also get 90 minutes of free parking, or $7 (instead of $17) to park all day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taronga Zoo
Bradleys Head Rd,
Mosman NSW 2088
(02) 9969 2777
Open daily, 9:30am-4:30pm

Brunch With My Baby received a complementary pass to visit Taronga Zoo. All opinions are our own.

Wizzy World Chatswood – Sydney's Best Indoor Play Centres

We’re always in search of clean, big play centres to entertain our energetic kid in cold or wet weathers. We recently joined friends at Wizzy World Chatswood for a play date and were super impressed with the centre.

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Wizzy World caters for children up to age 12, with a dedicated area for kids three and under. The toddler room was filled with soft climbing blocks, a jumping castle, play house and junior climbing gym. It was still popular with our girls, who are almost three and 3.5.

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Wizzy World is absolutely huge. It lives in a 1600m² space and has one of the largest indoor play frames in Australia, plus a dedicated sports zone.

#Sydney's Best #Play Centres #WizzyWorld #Chatswood via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

The girls were entertained for over three hours at the play centre, dashing between the little and big kid areas and stopping occasionally to eat. The big kid area is recommended for kids aged four and up, but since there were few if any big kids when we visited, it was perfect for our toddler/preschool-aged kids.

#Sydney's Best #Play Centres #WizzyWorld #Chatswood via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Wizzy World play centre is not only huge, it’s extremely clean and new-looking. There was pretty much zero wear-and-tear on the equipment, with everything working perfectly and no marks/stains to be seen.

#Sydney's Best #Play Centres #WizzyWorld #Chatswood via brunchwithmybaby.com

The cafe has basic food and drinks. All very simple but decent food for families to enjoy while taking a break from playing. I really enjoyed the dual proximity of the seating to both play areas, so we could change seating depending on where the kids were playing. We ordered babyccinos (perfect temperature, huge amount of foam with a marshmallow) and a large bowl of chips ($9). It was piping hot and was enough to feed all of us.

#Sydney's Best #Play Centres #WizzyWorld #Chatswood via brunchwithmybaby.com

Wizzy World
Unit 9, 372 Eastern Valley Way
Chatswood NSW
Prices: Weekdays, over fours are $13.50, under 4s are $11.50, and under 1s are $5 (free with siblings). Adults free. Weekends, over fours are $16, under fours are $13.50. Mon-Thur disconted entry after 12:30pm of $8. Prices change during school holidays.
Hours: During school term: Mon-Thur 9:15am-2pm, Friday, Sat & Sun 9:15am-6pm
Get Directions

Not Bread Alone; Kid-Friendly Cafes, Crows Nest, Sydney

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Pre-baby, Not Bread Alone was one of my absolute favourite cafes. It was a pleasant surprise to find they are also super kid-friendly when I dropped by with E and some friends for brunch. Missy E was treated to her first Babycino ($2). I also ordered her some Hot Chips with tomato sauce ($4.50) in case she didn’t like the other food I ordered. I needn’t have wasted the money on the chips, as she devoured most of my meal anyway — lesson learned, the kid has good taste!

The adults in our party ordered: Lamb Shank (with creamy mashed potato, chef’s greens and a tomato and red wine jus, $20.90), Sweet Corn & Chive Fritters (with crispy bacon, baby spinach and oven roasted roma tomato, $16.90), Free Range Eggs (scrambled, poached or fried eggs with your choice of toast, $10.90) with Oven Roasted Roma Tomato ($4) and Baby Spinach ($4). Whenever I visit NBA, I always get the exact same dishes (the fritters or eggs) because they’re just SO DAMN GOOD. So good that I used to drive an hour or so to the cafe just for their breakfast.

On this particular visit, the staff were attentive and kind, especially to squiggly E who was also struggling with jet lag and a bit cranky. When they saw me taking photos of the food, they helpfully turned the plates to show off the meals to their best advantage (“We just had a lesson in food photography!” they told me. How awesome is that?).

The meal always ends on a sweet note — a few Fantails are always given with the bill. My friends didn’t want theirs, so I happily pocked them all for later (score!).

#NotBreadAlone - #kidfriendly #cafes #crowsnest #sydney #australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

not-bread-alone-eloise

#NotBreadAlone - #kidfriendly #cafes #crowsnest #sydney #australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

#NotBreadAlone - #kidfriendly #cafes #crowsnest #sydney #australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Last Bite: Always a winner for really great food, plus friendly, considerate staff. Outdoor, protected seating means you can make a quick escape or stroll around the block with fussy kids.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Not Bread Alone
376 Pacific Hwy,
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone: 02 9966 9788
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Sat 7:30am-11pm Sun 7:30am-5pm
Get Directions

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Burnt Orange Cafe, Mosman + Balmoral Beach, Sydney

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In my pre-baby days I used to frequent Burnt Orange for a light afternoon tea on the way to admire the view at Middle Head. Post-baby, it’s good to know that one of my old fave cafes can still be a go-to when I’m craving scones or something a little more substantial.

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The Burnt Orange cafe is housed in an historic sandstone manor overlooking Sydney Harbour. Note: the veranda stretches all around the building but only the front gets the harbour view. If you’re making a reservation, ask for a table overlooking the water, just in case.

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I have always enjoyed the food at Burnt Orange. They do simple breakfast, lunch and afternoon/morning tea exceptionally well. On this particular visit, Alec ordered the Linguini with Western Australian Blue Swimmer Crab, Confit of Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic & Red Chili ($28) and I chose the Pumpkin, Goat’s Cheese and Walnut Tart with Melissa’s Carrot Jam and Crisp Salad Greens ($22). My tart was perfection — big chunks of cheese and pumpkin, flaky pastry and crunchy walnuts. Alec’s pasta was cooked beautifully, with a generous amount of crab spread throughout. Delicious.

As for missy E, while they do have a kids’ special (a choice of Crumbed Whiting Fillets with Chips, Pasta Spirals with Fresh Tomato Sauce or Mini Organic Cheeseburger with Chips served with a Smartie Cookie and a choice of fresh Orange Juice, Strawberry or Chocolate Milk for $15), instead we asked if they could make her something with egg since that’s what she was asking for. It was no problem at all, and we very soon had an off-menu boiled egg delivered to our picky toddler.

#burntorange #mosman: #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

#burntorange #mosman: #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

#burntorange #mosman: #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Now, you can’t stop at a cafe renowned for their treats without indulging. I was hoping for a scone, but sadly they weren’t being served till later in the afternoon. Instead I chose one of the Smartie cookies and shared it with an ecstatic missy E.

#burntorange #mosman: #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

#burntorange #mosman: #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Inside the mansion is the Burnt Orange store. While I used to enjoy the adult section, with gorgeous clothes and home wares, this time I gravitated towards the kids’ section, loving the boutique brands and adorable toys. E was particularly taken with the kid-sized mirror pictured below. I would LOVE to go on a shopping spree here and fit out her room. The “Parisian shabby chic” feel is exactly what I would love for her bedroom, and for our home in general!

#burntorange #mosman: #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

#burntorange #mosman: #kidfriendly #restaurants #Sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

After our lunch we drove further down to Balmoral Beach. Balmoral has always been one of our favourite beaches because it’s simply stunning. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We noticed on this trip that it is also extremely toddler-friendly — the perfect beach for toddlers, in fact, as it’s sheltered and doesn’t get many waves. The water is calm and clear, and E thought it was amazing. She ran in and out of the water, shrieking with joy. Walk along the pedestrian path to the kiosk for gelato (there’s also a playground right next to it for days when it’s not swimming weather).

#balmoral #beach #australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Last Bite: Burnt Orange satisfies all customers looking for a delightful afternoon tea or lunch, from toddlers to their doting grandparents.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.

Burnt Orange
1109 Middle Head Rd,
Mosman NSW 2088
Phone: 02 9969 1020
Prices $$$
Hours: Daily 8:30am-5:30pm
Get Directions

Burnt Orange on Urbanspoon