Adventure, baby!

Outdoor Play

Halloween in Sydney 2015

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Yay, Halloween! I didn’t get into it until we moved to the US, and now we’re all hooked, little Cheese in particular.

This year, we were invited to spend Halloween afternoon with our dear Canadian friends who also love the day. They went all out as you can see from the photos below.

Halloween party via christineknight.me

Halloween party via christineknight.me

Halloween party via christineknight.me

Halloween party via christineknight.me

Halloween party via christineknight.me

Halloween party via christineknight.me

After the wonderful party, we head on our for trick or treating. This year, Cheese decided she wanted to go as Elsa, and wanted me to be Ana, so I obliged. We tried to find a Kristoff costume for Alec, but sadly we couldn’t get one.

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween didn’t used to be a big deal at all in Australia until a few years ago, I believe. I’ve really enjoyed the past two years now, heading out in different neighborhoods to trick or treat and seeing the houses all decorated and the locals really getting into the spirit of the day.

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Something I did definitely notice was that most people were dressed goulishly. It makes total sense, but I was a bit surprised to see even little kids dressed as vampires and ghosts, with living dead-style make up. I remember out Halloweens in the US with the kids as being a bit more cutesy, like animals suits and creative costumes like a family dressed as the Impossibles rather than just witches etc. Cheese was the only Elsa that we saw – and one of only two princesses (the other was a toddler Aurora). So princesses were definitely not in style! That said, Cheese brought a smile to many a face in her cute dress – and my Ana dress was a hit with the preschool set too.

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

We visited a neighbourhood in Sydney called Bronte, where the locals are known to go all out. A few houses made a “tunnel of terror” like a haunted house-type thing, or filled their front or back yards with gory things. A few families set up barbecues on the street and had a party for themselves and their friends.

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

This entertaining house had a DJ spinning some creepy tunes out the front.

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Barbecue in progress!

Halloween in Sydney via christineknight.me

Halloween in Sydney was awesome! Can’t wait till next year to do it all again. Now to get rid of all that candy the Cheese collected …

Pirrama Park Playround And Cafe, Pyrmont, Sydney

This beautiful playground in Pyrmont has shiny, well-designed equipment, new, well-maintained bathrooms (including baby change facilities) and a cafe with shaded seating.

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

In the warmer months, water fountains spurt out of the ground in sporadic patterns, and a shade cloth over the sand pit gives kids a place to play without getting burned.

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Pyrmont Playground and Cafe #Sydney via christineknight.me

Undercover barbecues mean the park is great place for picnics and birthday parties, too.

Pirrama Park Playround is part of Pirrama Park, at the end of Harris Street Pyrmont.

Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Get directions.

Easter Saturday at The Grounds Of Alexandria

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

Our first Easter back in Sydney we have been enjoying everything Easter-y possible. It’s no secret that the chocolate holiday is one of my favourite times of the year, and I like to indulge in it – not just eating too many chocolate bunnies, but also enjoying Easter egg hunts, craft days and whatever activities I can find.

I found out The Grounds of Alexandria were hosting an Easter Fair and put it straight on our calendar. Even the prospect of an 8am start didn’t deter me. Nor did the weather when we woke up and it was pouring rain. It didn’t deter many people, it turned out, as the Grounds was packed with many other soggy families determined not to let the rain ruin their Easter.

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

The wonderful folks at The Grounds had gone to a lot of effort to make the place special for Easter. We visited a few weeks ago on a sunny day and took some photos of their new bunny, “Kate Moss” and the other decorations. I’m using them here because it was way too wet this morning to post for photos.

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

#Easter at The Grounds of Alexandria via christineknight.me

This morning, however, looked a bit different. The Grounds staff had hidden 5,000 Easter eggs all over their backyard, including one special golden egg that I don’t think anyone had found when we left later in the morning.

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They had also created Australia’s biggest chocolate Easter egg, which will be cracked open and shared tomorrow afternoon.

After a bit of waiting around (it turned out Channel 9 were there to film the hunt, so everything was a bit delayed), the Easter egg hunt began, and, despite the rain, it was a really fun morning for all of the families who made the effort to go.

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The eggs were liberally spread everywhere, including all over the ground. Pro: everyone went home with plenty of eggs. Con: people were treading on the eggs. I didn’t pity the guy who had to clean up the squashed remnants of chocolate on the round at the end of the day!

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While the Grounds folks had the most adorable little pails for kids to use, Cheese brought her old favourite from home.

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After the egg hunt was over (it was over when Cheese decided she had enough eggs – there were still eggs strewn around everywhere!), it was time for face painting and crafts. Channel 9 were there to film the festivities too.

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easter-grounds-of-alexandria-10

Easter At The Grounds Of Alexandria via Christineknight.me #sydney #easter

 

And then it was time to take our sodden selves home!

Happy Easter Saturday to you and yours! What are you getting up to for Easter this year?

A Guide To The Sydney Royal Easter Show With Little Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sydney By Sea

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

One of the best ways to get around Sydney is undoubtedly by ferry. While a bit on the pricer side ($6 for a single short trip), the view is magnificent, no matter what destination you choose.

For Cheese’s first ferry trip, we caught one from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour. Adorably, she thinks all ferries are called “Fergus” after the book series based on a Sydney ferry called, you got it, Fergus.

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

ferry-7

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me
#Sydney By Sea - christineknight.me

How much fun is it to just jump on a ferry and explore somewhere new? I’d love to hear where you’ve been exploring lately.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Growing up in Sydney, it was always a special day trip to drive up to the Blue Mountains and go bush for a few hours. I’ve always loved spending hours traipsing down trails through lush rainforest to a waterfall with no one else in sight. Magical.

Since moving back I’ve been wanting to take the Cheese for a trip up to the mountains to get a bit of bush into our city kid, and we finally got around to it a week ago.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Going bush with a preschooler who hates walking long distances anyway required a different type of preparation. I decided that the best way for us all to enjoy the day out was to visit Scenic World, so we could get a bit of variation in our activities, so we could all still experience the bush, but in a way that was accessible and fun for a 3.5 year old as well.

Scenic World sits right in the middle of the world-heritage listed Blue Mountains, and consists of four activities: the Scenic Skyway, the Scenic Railway, the Scenic Cableway and the Scenic Walkway.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

We arrived a bit hungry, so started our morning off with coffees and snacks at the Terrace Cafe. The views from this cafe are spectacular – I’d suggest visiting just to get a few photos at Mary’s Lookout.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Next we hopped on the Scenic Skyway to take our first look at the valley from the air.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Suspended 270 metres above the Jamison Falls Valley, the Skyway glides between two cliff tops. With 360 degree views and a glass bottom floor, the view is nothing short of breathtaking. On one side is the famous Three Sister rock formation and the Jamison Valley stretching off into the horizon. On the other are the majestic Katoomba Falls.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

It’s interesting to hear that the Scenic Skyway was actually Australia’s first cable car (constructed in 1958 and pictured above), and that it boasts the world’s only electrostatic glass floor, turning from opaque to transparent. In its 67 year history, the Skyway has carried over 25 million passengers.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

When we disembarked at the Skyway’s east station, we had the option of checking out the views and getting back on the Skyway to ride back across, or taking a stroll down to the Katoomba Cascades and then walking back to Scenic World (about a 15 minute walk). I was lured by the cascades and off we went. Of course, what’s meant to be a 5 minutes walk with a preschooler ends up being an hour walk once we stopped to pick up sticks and throw leaves into a little river.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Eventually we made it to the cascades and they were gorgeous. The helpful guide on the Skyway actually suggested we take Cheese down to the cascades as it’s a short walk down and kids can get right up close to the waterfall. He was certainly right. Cheese and Alec took off their shoes and happily splashed around in the cool mountain water.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Back at Scenic World we stopped for lunch at their restaurant, EATS270.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

We grabbed a table with a view that made us all stop in awe for a moment, and ordered burgers (one meat and one vegetarian) and fries, plus a beetroot salad. They had lots of vegetarian meals on offer, and the cuisine, while simple, was varied enough that most people would be able to find something to eat. Their menus offered Asian, Italian and Australian items, with options ranging from light (sandwiches, salads, wraps) to substantial (pizza, pasta, burgers). The restaurant features seasonal produce sourced from local suppliers where possible.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Our food was cooked quickly and also eaten just as quickly, as we admired the view and prepared for the next stop on our adventure. Everything was fresh and well-cooked. Simple, hearty food that was good for this picky eater and her family to nourish them on their day in the bush.

Next on our agenda (and unfortunately everyone else’s) was the Scenic Railway. We really should have done this first as it had the longest wait of any of the experiences. No matter. The train departs every 10 minutes, so even with a huge queue it moved quite quickly.

While we were waiting, the friendly staff gave Cheese and some of the other kids a few instruments to play to occupy themselves.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

The Scenic Railway is famous for its 52 degree incline, making it the steepest passenger railway in the world. Since the Railway opened to the public in 1945 (happy 70th birthday!), it has thrilled over 25 million passengers.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

After a redevelopment in 2013, the carriages now have glass roofs, so you get an even better view of the rainforest and Jamison Valley than I remember from my last visit when I was a teenager. If you’re more of a daredevil you can adjust the seat position by up to 20 degrees and choose an adventurous ‘Cliffhanger’ ride at a steep 64 degree incline.

The Railway ride took us on a very fast descent through a cliff-side tunnel, and then ancient rainforest. It was fast, and steep, as promised. It was so steep that Cheese was falling out of her seat and I had to hold onto her tight. She loved it. The preschooler in front of us was screaming to get off. Cheese was yelling to do it again. Of course.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

At the Railway exit, we emerged from our thrilling descent onto the Jamison Valley floor. The Scenic Walkway is at the base of the Railway, giving passengers the opportunity to stroll along 2.4 kilometres of Jurassic rainforest on an elevated walkway. The walkway means there is limited impact on the environment from all of the visitors, as well as making it super easy for families and less mobile people to enjoy a bush experience.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Right at the exit sits one of the original carriages for visitors to climb up on and take a look at. Of course Cheese wanted to climb everything so up we went and perched on the edge of the seats. I cannot imagine how scary it would have been to ride down the railway in this carriage.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Along the boardwalk, we checked out a few elements of the site’s cola mining history, including the mine entrance, a replica miners’ hut and scale bronze sculpture of a miner and his pit pony. The sculptures of the miner and pit pony were very popular with tourists and kids alike.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

There are three different routes you can take on the boardwalk that take 10 min, 30 min or an hour. I was keen for a longer walk but Cheese was showing signs of getting pretty tired by this stage so we opted for the shortest walk, which also lead to the Scenic Cableway back out of the valley.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

The Cableway gently descends and ascends (depending which direction you’re going) 545 metres between the Jamison Valley and top of the escarpment at Scenic World. With all-glass sides we were treated to another killer view of the valley and rock formations as we returned to Scenic World HQ, including Orphan Rock and Mt Solitary.

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Scenic World: A Day In The Blue Mountains With Kids

Our bush outing was a complete success. We catered to our preschooler’s ability and thus we all had a very enjoyable day.

I absolutely love the mountains and we will absolutely be back to explore more as Cheese gets older and can handle more strenuous outings.

Scenic World
Tickets: The ultimate Scenic World experience includes unlimited rides on the Railway, Skyway, Cableway and Walkway.
Adult: $35.00
Child (4-13yrs): $18.00
Family: $88.00 (2 adults and 5 children)
Concession: $32.00
To enjoy the Unlimited Discovery Pass experience, please allow at least two hours.
Open daily from 9am-5pm
Scenic World is located at on the corner of Violet Street & Cliff Drive, Katoomba in Australia’s World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains.
Get Directions

EATS270: Open 10:30am – 3:00pm daily.
Terrace Cafe: Open 9:00am – 5:00pm daily.

FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN (From the Scenic World website)
Scenic World is a third-generation family business and welcomes families with children.

All Scenic World experiences are suitable for children of any age. Babies and small children are welcome on all rides and must be held by a guardian as baby seats are not provided on the Railway, Skyway or Cableway. Prams are not permitted on the Railway and pram accessibility is limited on the Walkway.

Pram parking, storage lockers and baby change facilities are located in our Main Building.

A huge thank you to Scenic World for hosting us.

Wanderlust

The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors Sydney

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

We just made it down to Dawes Point in time to see The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors (last day is Feb 22). These amazing, life-sized lanterns are based on the discovery of the 8,000 terracotta warriors and horses that were unearthed in China’s Shaanxi Province in 1974.

Chinese artist Xia Nan created these lanterns for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 out of fabric and wire. The 90 2.1 metre high warriors and two horses glow in brilliant bursts of colour after dark, making this a remarkable installation both during the day and night.

Our family visited during the day so Cheese could see the warriors. We were absolutely in awe of this exhibition.

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Lantern Warriors #Sydney #DawesPoint via christineknight.me

Summer Playground At The Sydney Opera House

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

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

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

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

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

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

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

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

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

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

Summer At The House #sydneyoperahouse via christineknight.me

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

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

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

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

Sydney Festival: Waterfall Swing, Festival Village & The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

The Sydney Festival is on right now (it runs 8-25 January) and they have some really fun events for families. We’ve checked out the Waterfall Swing in Darling Harbour, the Festival Village in Hyde Park, City of Sydney Lawn Library and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. Next, I’m looking forward to Family Week (Jan 20-25) in Hyde Park, with its free workshops, art and music for kids.

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

The Waterfall Swing in Darling Harbour is super fun for kids and adults. In fact, when we were there, I saw about 50% kids, 50% adults enjoying the swing, so don’t be shy! The intelligent swing creates a cascade of water that opens just in time for the rider to pass through. Be prepared to get soaking wet! (8–24 January, 9am–9pm, daily)

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

We also stopped by the City of Sydney Lawn Library, which is home to a lot of activities for all ages like calligraphy, circus skills and pop-up crafts. The kids particularly enjoyed the big Jenga-style blocks.
(8–25 January 2015 ,11am–11pm Daily, Closed Mondays)

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

The Festival Village in Hyde is home to delicious (albeit a bit pricey) eats and treats. Restaurants include Bar Pho, Harvest Trader & Co, Puntino Trattoria, Bite Size Delights, Bar Coco Milk Bar, Jafe Jaffles, the Village cheese shop Cheesesmith, and Porteno and Gelato Messina have joined forces to create The Double Down Diner.

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

There are also a variety of free and paid events on during the festival. Freebies include live music playing, such as this band.

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Gelato Messina “The Royale With Cheese” ($10). The Messina “gelato burger” – milk chocolate gelato patty layered with white chocolate cheese, passionfruit “mustard” and raspberry “ketchup” served on a warm brioche bun. Honestly, I didn’t like this one. The bun was a bit weird and not sweet enough for me. I would have preferred some kind of fake bun made out of biscuit .

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Gelato Pie ($8) “The Nutty Professor” – peanut butter biscuit base layered with peanut custard, vanilla gelato, peanut crunch and topped with whipped cream. Pretty tasty, but I’m not a huge nut fan.

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Gelato Pie ($8) “Lemon Meringue Pie” – Buttery biscuit base layered with lemon custard gelato, lemon curd and topped with torched lemon meringue. This was my favourite of the three. Really lemony and delicious.

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Basket of fries $10. Really good and a big serve to share.

Sydney Festival via christineknight.me

Ricotta and spinach pastizzi ($4 each). They were huge and really tasty. Zero spinach weirdly.
(8–25 January, Closed Mondays. Free entry until midnight, food available from 11am.)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show #Sydneyfestival #Sydney via christineknight.me

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show has got to be one of the best kids’ shows I’ve ever seen. The show features four stories by Eric Carle, combining 75 beautifully constructed puppets  with the timeless charm of Carle’s famous stories and illustrations. At 50 minutes it was the perfect length for the attention span of small children. The seamless mix of storytelling and puppetry was mesmerizing for adults and the kids alike.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show #Sydneyfestival #Sydney via christineknight.me

Stick around after the show to meet the Very Hungry Caterpillar himself. (8–18 January at 10am & 12pm Wed & Sat at 10am, 12pm & 3pm).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show #Sydneyfestival #Sydney via christineknight.me

Darling Quarter Playground + Lindt Cafe

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

The sparkly new Darling Quarter playground is one of the most amazing playgrounds I’ve ever seen. Ever. I remember visiting the area when I was a kid and it was a bit of a waste land. After a huge renovation of the entire Darling Quarter area, Darling Harbour is now a fun destination for local families to enjoy year-round. The playground is the big feature that families will love. With a huge water play area, climbing ropes for big and little kids, swings, slides, and a flying fox, there’s enough to entertain (and wear out) kids of all ages for an entire day.

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

Water scoop: turn the wheel, get wet!

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

Lots of shade over rest and play areas.

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

An Archimedes water screw!

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

Three-metre high giant slide and supanova wheel.

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

Sand diggers!

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

3D ring swing.

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

10-metre high octanet.

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

Baby ropes.

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

21-metre long flying fox.

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

Little E spotted a carousel and so we took a spin. $4 per person to ride. Adults can accompany 3-year-olds for free as long as they are standing beside them and not on a horse.

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

After playing it was time for lunch. Just around the corner is the Lindt Cafe, where I have indulged in many a chocolate shake over the years.

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

While you’re waiting on your order, stock up on Lindt balls and and bars. The cafe also serves cakes, chocolates and ice cream, making it pure chocolate heaven.

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

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

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

For a light lunch, the cafe is perfect with its location and menu. I ordered the milk chocolate shake, a vegetarian quiche and sourdough toast for Missy E. Alec ordered a roast beef sandwich. The order took a while to arrive, so we entertained E in the meantime by giving her a Lindt ball.

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

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

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

On a lovely day, sitting in the outdoor area is really a relaxing experience. The cafe sits on the waterfront in Cockle Bay, giving it a gorgeous view.

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

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

Our last stop in Darling Harbour is the fountain area. These fountains have been here for as long as I remember. When I was a kid I loved playing in them, so I thought E might as well. The big water arcs are a favourite with kids of now two generations, who dance in and out of them trying to get wet just enough to cool down, but not so much as to get soaked. Ahh memories!

Darling Quarter Playground
1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney
Bathrooms: Several very clean bathrooms with change facilities.
Picnic tables: No
Shade cover: Partial (not over the water area)
Cafe: Yes
Skatepark: No
Off-street parking: No (Use the Darling Quarter Wilson car park)
Children’s playground: Yes
Water features: Yes
Get Directions

Lindt Cafe
104-105 Cockle Bay Wharf
Darling Harbour, Sydney
Phone: (02) 9267 8064
Hours: Sun-Thur 10am-10pm Fri & Sat 10am-12am

Highchairs: Not that I saw.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Lindt Chocolat Café on Urbanspoon