Adventure, baby!

Outdoor Play

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.

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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

Halloween in Sydney

#Halloween in #Sydney via christineknight.me

The past three Halloweens we’ve been in New York, so this was our first Halloween experience in Sydney with little missy E. While we’d been away, the Halloween tradition really spread with a vengeance. A dear friend invited us to spend Halloween with her family, so we eagerly drove up to the leafy North Shore area to trick or treat with friends.

#Halloween in #Sydney via christineknight.me

The big question is always who or what to dress up as. E is hugely into Disney princesses and changed into Cinderella and Anna outfits before settling on Tinkerbell.

#Halloween in #Sydney via christineknight.me

The day before Halloween, a flyer was placed in mailboxes with a black balloon, letting residents know that trick or treating would be happening the following afternoon. Anyone who wanted to participate was asked to tie the blown up balloon to their mailbox. The kids very excitedly ran up and down the streets on the look out for the next balloon.

#Halloween in #Sydney via christineknight.me

On Halloween day in Sydney, the weather was a sweaty 30 plus degrees, making for some hot and thirsty work. With daylight savings already having started, the afternoon was super bright even after 6pm, when we decided to call it quits and take our sugar-high kids on home.

#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 #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

 

How was your Halloween? Did you go trick or treating?

A Day At Coogee Beach: Sydney’s Best Family-Friendly Beaches

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

Always on the hunt for Sydney’s best beaches, our quest recently took us to nearby Coogee Beach for a glorious, sunny day. Despite growing up in Sydney, I’d never been to Coogee until this day. Big mistake, as it turns out I’ve been missing out on one of Sydney’s gems for years.

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

Coogee Beach is quiet compared to the biggies (Bondi, Manly, etc), filled with locals instead of tourists. The vibe is much more laid-back, and the beach usually has far less bodies on it than the more famous ones. Given how stunningly beautiful Coogee Beach is, it’s surprising that it’s not swarming with sun-seekers all year-round.

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

First stop: food. We lunched at the newly renovated Coogee Pavilion (check out the full review here). Their pizza is amazing and the Pavilion is filled with fun activities for kids, like the life-sized magnetic Scrabble board. (169 Dolphin Street, Coogee)

#Coogee Pavillion #Coogeebeach #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Coogee Pavillion #Coogeebeach #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

On the day we visited, there were free kite flying lessons on the beach, sponsored by the nearby Coogee Pavillion. Large sea-themed kites were set up on the beach and were as you’d expect, a magnet for all the children nearby. Friendly staff handed us a regular-sized kite on arrival and showed Missy E how to fly it. Within a few months she was off and running and her first kite was flying high.

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

coogee-20

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A scenic stroll around the foreshore brought us to the Coogee Beach Playground at Grant Reserve (Beach st, Coogee).

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

This large playground includes climbing structures, slides, swings and more, set next to barbecues (perfect location for your next outdoor get together!).

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

After all the play, Missy E needed a rest, and actually fell asleep in the stroller as we walked along the boardwalk. Note to parents with kids who need to be strolled to sleep, this path, past the playground, is perfect for you.

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

The last stop on our Coogee day out was Gelatissimo (1/258 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee) for some really fine gelato and sorbet (my favourite is the Mango Sorbet).

A Day At #Coogee #Beach via brunchwithmybaby.com

Up Close With Aussie Icons At Featherdale Wildlife Park

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale Wildlife Park has long been the place to take kids and tourists for an up close experience with Australian animals. Established on 7 acres of land 1953, Featherdale has evolved from a poultry farm into one of the best privately own wildlife parks in Australia. In 1972, Featherdale opened to the public as a wildlife park.

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Only three years later, the park was under threat by plans to use the property for a housing commission development. The then Premier, Sir Robert Askin was presented with thousands of signed petitions stressing “the importance of Featherdale Wildlife Park” to district school children. The government saw reason and Featherdale was saved.

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

In the following years, Featherdale has established a successful Wildlife Education Program. If you visit during the week it’s almost impossible not to trip over groups of school kids on an educational excursion.

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

As well as school kids, you’ll find plenty of tourists at Featherdale for a very good reason – it’s one of the few parks where you can get up close to koalas for free. In fact, there are plenty of free roaming areas for the animals where visitors can interact with them, but where the animals can still retreat to safe areas if they’ve had enough.

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Featherdale has a large collection of Australian animals in particular, such as wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, Tasmanian devils, bilbies, echidnas, cassowaries and koalas. They also have an extensive bird collection. I did feel sorry for the birds, as I do for all caged birds, but I tried to give the park the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they were hand-raised rescues and not able to be returned to the wild.

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Featherdale is a great place to visit in any season. Lots of trees give plenty for shade for hot summer days. There are several areas with benches to eat a packed or bought lunch. If you plan to buy lunch, there is a kiosk with basic food and snacks, with a large undercover eating area next to it.

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Miss E’s favourite parts of the park were the free roaming wallabies and the barnyard animals. She took a particular liking to a white goat and followed him around, only agreeing to leave the barnyard when the goat knocked her over with his little horns not once, but twice. The girl certainly is persistent.

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

If you arrive in the morning or stay for the afternoon you can watch some of the animal feedings and talks (check out the schedule in advance).

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

While the Featherdale trip was a special outing for Missy E, I also found myself enjoying it more than I had expected I would. The animals were all very healthy looking, with clean enclosures and plenty of food, water and shelter. There were plenty of staff caring for the animals, constantly feeding and checking on them. While of course a life in the wild is preferable for native animals, if an animal isn’t able to live in the wild and needs to live out its life in captivity, Featherdale is a pretty nice place to be!

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

Featherdale #Wildlife Park #Sydney #Australia via brunchwithmybaby.com

 

Featherdale is a bit pricey, but we got a good deal by using an Entertainment Book voucher to get two-for-one entry. I’d definitely suggest trying to find a discount voucher to save on costs.

Featherdale Wildlife Park
217-229 Kildare Road,
Doonside, Sydney NSW 2767
(near Blacktown) Australia
Phone: 02 9622 1644
Hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Prices: Adults $29, child (3-15) $16, Student $22.50, Senior $20, Family (2 adults/2 children) $82
Get Directions

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.

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

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.

Sydney Park + Cycling Center: A Tricycle Built For One

A new favourite weekend location for us is Sydney Park in St Peters. This 40-hectare park contains large expanses of grass perfect for kicking a ball around, landscaped gardens, rolling hills (great for sliding down on cardboard boxes – not kidding!), pathways for strolling or running and wetlands home to native birds. The park is also super dog-friendly, so on any given day you’ll see many many many dogs rolling, running and snuffling with abandon. Our two favourite areas of the park are the huge playground and The Sydney Park Cycling Centre.

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

The playground is particularly great as it as it has tactile equipment for kids of all ages. A large, fenced in sandpit is fun for babies as well as older kids, plus swings, slides, a strung bridge and rope climbing web make for a one-of-a-kind playground that will keep children entertained for hours.

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

On the edge of the playground sits Sydney Park Kiosk, a great spot to refuel. Undercover seating is available. Bathrooms including change tables are next to the kiosk and playground.

Sydney Park #Australia #playground #sydney via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Sydney Park Cycling Centre is a short walk from the playground. The cycling centre is a unique area designed to help families teach their kids about cycling and road safety. Kids can test out their wheels undercover on a large asphalt surface, and then try the “road” – a circuit set up with traffic lights, lanes and pedestrian crossings. Perfect for teaching kids the basics about road safety before taking them for the real deal.

Sydney Cycling Centre via brunchwithmybaby.com

Sydney Cycling Centre via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Cycling Centre runs a free Parent & Child Clinic every Saturday to teach pre-schoolers to ride balance bikes. The sessions are staffed by experienced professional instructors who give advice and provide equipment to help kids get pedalling safely on two wheels.

Sydney Cycling Centre via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Parent & Child Clinic is open every Saturday from 11am. Helmets and balance bikes are provided free for kids taking part. No need to book. Sydney Park Sydney Park Rd, St Peters NSW Get Directions

Ice Skating on the Beach at Bondi Winter Magic

#Bondi #Wintermagic via brunchwithmybaby.com

A gorgeous, sunny winter day calls for … ice skating, of course! We tried one of the many pop up ice skating rinks over the weekend at Bondi Beach as part of their Winter Magic event. We had a fantastic time, and little E took to ice skating like a natural. The penguin aid that we rented certainly helped her confidence.

Thinking of trying a pop up rink this winter? Here are our tips:

  • Book in advance (the sessions usually sell out).
  • Rent a penguin aid for littlies where possible — they only have limited numbers and they go fast.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes early to ensure you are able to secure a pair of kid-sized skates (only limited double-bladed kid skates are available).

That’s it! We all had so much fun, and would absolutely go again if it wasn’t quite so expensive ($22 for adults, $10 for kids under 5 and $8 penguin aid hire).

The Bondi Winter Magic ice skating rink is  located in front of the Bondi Beach Pavillion, and is open from 27 June to 13 July, between 10am to 9pm each day. Skating sessions start on the hour and each skating session is 45 mins long. Book tickets online.

City Kid Meets Country: Calmsley Hill City Farm

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

City kids meet country life at Calmsley Hill City Farm. Nestled in a quiet suburb in south-west Sydney, the farm dates back to 1806, when a Land Grant of 80 hectares was given to John Jamieson, a Scottish immigrant, who was the Superintendent of Government Stock at the time. He named the property Coulmesly Hill, but the spelling was later changed to Calmsley Hill. In 1984 Fairfield City Council took up the lease on the land and created Fairfield City Farm, now known as Calmsley Hill City Farm, as a place for families to learn about life on a farm.

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

The farm features many animal enclosures where you can get up close to farm animals like cows, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and more. A favorite is the Australian Fauna walk-in, where you can meet free-roaming kangaroos and wallabies. The farm also runs tractor tours for an extra $3 per person a ride.

The best way to enjoy your farm visit is to plan to spend the day there and attend the educational shows. The schedule of events is timed so there is something on every 30 minutes from 10:30am, with a half-hour break for lunch at 12pm.

A sample daily entertainment schedule:

Animal Patting 10.30am
Morning Cow Milking Show 11.00am
Tractor Ride 11.30am (additional $3 per person)
FREE TIME for Lunch
Stock Whip Show 12.30pm
Working Dog Show 1:00pm
Sheep Shearing Show 1:30 pm
Koala Talk/Exhibition 2.00pm
Tractor Ride 2.30pm (additional $3 per person)
Animal Patting 3:00pm
Afternoon Cow Milking 3.30pm

You can also just roam around the farm and see the animals at your leisure. While the farm is quite small, there are a lot of animals and a lot of interactive opportunities.

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

The farm has baby animals throughout the year, such as this Shetland pony foal Dallas, born late in 2013. The newest baby animals are some multi-coloured piglets.

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

A small playground situated right in the middle of the farm, next to the barbecues and cafe, is great for entertaining little ones while you take a break (and possibly an ice cream).

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

Bring your own picnic lunch, or use one of the electric barbecues on the farm to cook your own lunch. You can also pre-order a DIY BBQ pack from the farm. Reasonably-priced take-away food can be purchased at the Farmhouse Kiosk (you can get a hot dog, hot chips and a milkshake for $9).

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com
The shows are extremely educational, as well as entertaining for little ones. We particularly enjoyed the working dog demonstration, where as well as seeing the dogs round up sheep, we learned about the correct way to approach dogs in general, and how working dogs are trained.

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

#Calmsley Hill City Farm via brunchwithmybaby.com

Calmsley Hill City Farm
31 Darling St, Abbotsbury NSW 2176
Phone: 02 9823 3222
Open daily, 9am-4:30pm (last entry is 3:30pm)
Get Directions

Prices: Adult $23, Pensioner $16, Child (3-16years) $14, Family $70 (2 adults and 3 children – an internet deal for a family for $50 is currently on their website), Children under 3 FREE. Animal Feed Bags $2.