Australian Open Kids Ballpark – Non stop entertainment!

If you thought the tennis was intense, you should see everything on offer for Kids & Families this year!! An unforgettable experience awaits!

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The Australian Open is one of the worlds greatest sporting events, and this year, it’s even better… especially for the kids!

 

The incredible AO Ballpark presented by Emirates has officially opened at Birrarung Marr and has grown a whopping 4 x in size this year! That’s right, 4 times in size, taking up both the upper and lower terraces of Birrarung Marr. I told you it was whopping!

The AO Ballpark is the place to be for all of Melbourne’s cool kids, catering for a range of ages from the very small to the…well…very grown up! The fun isn’t all tennis focussed, far from it. Aside from the hot shots tennis courts where the kids can go all McEnroe on you, there are go karts, a zip line, LEGO fun, a super soaker battle zone, a nail biting sky flyer ride, a Ninja Warrior style obstacle course, a wonderful Disney themed section, and an awesome splash zone too! That’s where we’ll be cooling down!

There’s something for all ages from tiny tots to 10 year olds, and the NEW AO Hilltop especially for 10+ year olds.

It’s unbelievable I know, but all of this fun is on offer for just $5. The Australian Open kids ground pass ticket grants access to the new location in Birrarung Marr, encompassing both the Upper and Lower Terrace. For all you foodies, rest assured there are plenty of options, my personal favourite being the Pinchy’s Lobster bar! Yes maaaam’!

Offering kids of all ages even more summer fun than ever!

Let’s face it, we only go to the tennis to catch a glimpse of Rafa’s biceps, so for all the parents out there who’d like some time out to “watch the tennis” without having to keep one eye on the kiddos, get them booked into the awesome Kids Club and kick back!

The AO Kids Club is the first-ever childcare program offered at a Grand Slam, is even bigger and better than before, and in 2020 it’s in a new and easily accessible location at Deakin Edge at Fed Square. #winning

All the info:

A kids ground pass is just $5 for kids 3- 14 years and free for kids 2 year and under.

More information

Date: 20 January–2 February 2020
Times: Daily from 10am–7pm, Fri 31 Jan 2pm –10pm, Sat 1 Feb 10am–10pm, Sun 2 Feb 12pm–10pm
Price: AO kids ground pass $5, Adults $54
More information
Book tickets

Onsite childcare is available every day at the AO, making the event even better! Your kids will have nonstop fun at the tennis and entertainment program.

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Liv’s top tips:

  • Take drink bottles. There are lots of refill stations!
  • Pack your hats!!!
  • Pack plenty of sunscreen. Although there are lots of shady areas, it is very exposed, and you’re outdoors for many hours.
  • Pack your swimmers and a towel. The changing facilities for families are great so don’t worry about where you can change!
  • Take a packed lunch, and snacks because food is pricey.. delicious, but pricey!
  • Save your pocket money for ‘merch’ as there is some awesome AO 2020 merchandise on offer!
  • Wear comfy shoes, and make sure the kids have closed toes as they won’t be allowed on the rides or to climb without them.
  • Get a good night’s sleep beforehand as it is a big day at the Open!

Have fun

Liv xxx

Tow small, travel big! Go by Go Pod

Camping and I have a strange relationship! I love being outdoors, I don’t love the dust and dirt. I love the wildlife, I don’t love the creepy crawlies. I love the freedom that the children have, I love the camp cooking, I love the kids excitement at bed time when we’re all snuggling down. I do not love (or even like) tents! Nope! If all I have is a tent, you can go without me.

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Part of me envies the hoards of families who camp, and have all the stuff! Their camps look like they could sustain life for years and years, in a perfectly happy state, with not one meal missed or one iota of sleep even slightly disturbed. We do not camp like that! We don’t have nearly enough equipment, we barely have any camping knowledge, and to be honest I have always felt that ‘holiday sleeping’ requires, at the very least, a decent bed and a fluffy duvet! (Aka a hotel!)

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Hold on though….. You may find this hard to believe, but even I have been persuaded to fall in love with camping after testing out the gorgeous Go Pod Teardrop Caravans last weekend!

We picked up our beautiful GoPod at about 11am, on the hottest Victoria day since records began. Honestly, the thought of arriving at a campsite and having to erect a camp in this heat would have been hell. Not with our GoPod. With lots of great tips and advice from Kayleen, we hooked the teardrop caravan up to the car, and drove off toward the ocean, knowing there would be very little do do, in order to get comfy on arrival!

We have never towed anything before, not even a trailer, and as Mr W was a little ‘tired‘ after his work Christmas party the night before, I was in charge!  The glory of the GoPod is that it is very lightweight and super easy to tow. Thank goodness!! We made it safely to Anglesea with me at the helm, even negotiating Bunnings and Hungry Jacks on the way! *You may applaud now!

Set up was done and dusted in about 20 minutes. We unhooked the GoPod, rolled it into the best position, plugged it in and put up the tent! Once the table and chairs were up, and the kids were bouncing on the jumping pillow, we kicked back to enjoy our weekend. That is perfect camping in my mind! No stress, no arguments about who put the groundsheet in the wrong place, just an easy set up and a perfectly snug place to sleep…. with the fly screens tightly shut!!!

The GoPod 90 has double doors ( a godsend for extra air and midnight toilet trips!) and a deliriously comfy queen bed. (Bedding can be hired on booking). There was so much storage I felt like we could have travelled for weeks and weeks even with Monty’s desire to change his clothes every thirty six minutes. Everything has been meticulously thought about from the mattress to the tool box. Even the MukMat, chairs and table were included. Like I said, nothing had been left out!!

We make sure you have the confidence to set off and are always a phone call away for our hirers. With the support of YouTube, a manual and our advice you have everything you need for a great trip’- GoPod

The GoPod kitchen was lovingly filled with everything your little camping heart could desire! Gas burners and fridge, crockery and lights, enough storage to be able to make a Christmas feast if you so wish! The GoPod has plugs for chargers, USB sockets, heaps of storage for clothes, toys, UNO (of course), and all the other camping paraphernalia you need. There really is no easier way to hit the road!!

Everything you need for a simple getaway is right here. – GoPod

As we were four and the GoPod 90 sleeps 2 (or two adults and a small child), we added on a tent for the boys! Everyone was happy! Even the tent had a fab mattress, duvet and fan which doubled as a light. It barely felt like camping, as we were all so comfy!

I know camping is a little like Vegemite, you either love it or you hate it, however, if you are anything like the Wilsons, and are divided down the middle,  you need to look at the GoPods. These cute caravans are wonderful alone, and a marvellous addition to any camp setup. They are especially splendid for those of you who like to have home comforts whilst on the road! (Think cuddly duvet and wine glasses).

There are a few different types of GoPod, some sleeping up to four people, so they are perfect for everyone, plus, they are offering great deals on long term hire too for you adventurers! Another great use for the GoPod is for guests when you don’t have the spare room at home! Imagine giving your guests their own GoPod for the weekend, within reach of your dinner table and witty conversation! Best sleepover ever!!!

For people who want an easy towing experience for a safe and amazing getaway. GoPod Teardrop Campers are the caravans you never knew you needed. – GoPod

If you love the idea of hooking up and escaping, without the hassle, if you love the idea of being in the great outdoors whilst sleeping and cooking in luxury, this is the caravan for you! Tow small and travel big is the GoPod motto, and trust us, these are 100% made for big adventures! Who’s coming with us on our next trip??


BOOKING INFO

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VICTORIA

GoPod 90    GoPod 82   GoPod Plus

NSW

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Prices start at $80 per night (insurance included)

Click here for all the contact details

 

One who lives, sees much. One who travels, sees more!

Liv xx

Ocean Invaders arrive at Sea Life Melbourne

The incredible new immersive $1.5 million jellyfish exhibit at SEALIFE Melbourne will open to the public on the 12th December, just in time for school holidays!! Yes, SEALIFE Melbourne have done it again! They have created another jaw dropping exhibition full of learning opportunities with plenty of “oohs” and “aaahs”.

I went and had a peek inside the most incredible deep blue exhibition, and descended into the fascinating world of jellyfish! They are truly magnificent, and completely mesmerising to watch! Everything has been thought about in this exhibition from the lighting, to each of the three interactive zones, almost bursting with multiple species of jellyfish! This really is a Jellyfish lovers dream!!

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Ocean Invaders at SEALIFE Melbourne immerses you in the beauty and wonder of a jellyfish invasion as you are surrounded by thousands of mesmerising creatures and spectacular lighting projections across multiple displays! I loved the amazing spherical globe filled with swarming jellyfish. It is a sight to behold!

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Further in to the exhibition you will find ‘The Jelly Lab’ where you can discover strange facts about the jellyfish lifecycle and take a peek behind the scenes as SEALIFE Melbourne staff tend to the blooms of these graceful (and sometimes dangerous) sea creatures.

In the third zone, children and adults alike can escape the invasion by crawling through an amazing cylindrical tank filled with oscillating jellyfish. (Got to be seen to be believed!)

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My kids absolutely love the interactive SEA LIFE Melbourne’s Art Aquarium, and this time they will get the chance to design their own colourful jellyfish, which will be brought to life on a giant projection wall.  Take your camera!!

Ocean Invaders works hard to educate all visitors about the causes behind the increasing population – or invasion – of certain species of jellyfish in our oceans and the actions people can take to limit these exponential and sometimes problematic population increases, so make sure you don’t miss a thing!

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There really is so much to see and even more to learn about these incredible creatures, so make sure you have plenty of time to make the most of this truly special exhibition!

Ocean Invaders opens at SEALIFE Melbourne on the 12th December

BOOK HERE

Will you find the $400 nugget at Sovereign Hill these school holidays?

We are so lucky to live in such a wonderful part of the world where there seem to be endless ways to entertain the children!! It’s no mean feat trying to keep everyone happy, all summer, but I’m pretty sure, this may be the answer to your prayers!! 

This summer, Sovereign Hill is set to be busier than it’s been since the goldrush of the 1850’s. With brand new activities every day and the chance to win a $400 gold nugget every week, it feels like the gold rush is happening all over again! We cannot wait to get over to Sovereign Hill to experience some of the fun!

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Each day of the week, for six weeks, a different adventure awaits. From ‘Make it Mondays’, to ‘Find it Fridays’, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

All of your favourite Sovereign Hill activities will also be on, including bowling, the gold pour, costume photos, as well as Sovereign Hill’s new sound and light show, AURA. 

You can read about our last adventure to Sovereign Hill here!!

If you think you and the family would love to experience everything that’s on offer, you absolutely can!!!! Purchase a  *Sovereign Hill Annual Pass, which provides you with unlimited entry to Sovereign Hill and the Gold Museum, 364 days a year, as well as discounted mine tours, coach rides, and other special offers. 

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For full program details visit www.sovereignhill.com.au

PROGRAM OF EVENTS:

MAKE IT MONDAYS – Try your hand at butter churning and cheese making, make your own block candle or help us sew the Eureka Flag. 

TROTTING TUESDAYS – Meet the Sovereign Hill horses, get your photo taken with a Clydesdale and watch our horse team change over the horses that pull the Sovereign Hill vehicles. 

WHATS’ THAT WHISTLE WEDNESDAYS – Learn about steam engines, take a tour of some ruins and hear stories of child miners on the goldfields. 

TRADE THURSDAYS – Watch rare trades in action, have a go at the traditional process of Cyanotype, go behind the scenes of the Sovereign Hill coach builders. 

FIND IT FRIDAYS – Rush to the diggings for the chance to discover a $400 gold nugget, take a photo with the Australia nugget (worth over $85,000) and see a coin press machine in action. 

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SWEET SATURDAYS – Take a walk around lollipop lane, take a photo with a giant jar of Raspberry Drops and join an exclusive hands-on experience in Brown’s Confectionery. 

SOLDIERING SUNDAYS – Dress as a redcoat and join their parade, learn a Trooper drill and watch on as a mass license hunt takes place in the Red Hill Gully Diggings. 


All the info

What: Sovereign Hill’s Summer Gold Rush

When: 26th December, 2019 until 27th January, 2020

Time: 10am – 5pm 

Where: Sovereign Hill, Bradshaw Street, Ballarat, 3350


*Sovereign Hill Annual Pass

PRICES Annual Pass Single Entry
Adult $119.00 $58.20
Child (5–15 years) – only available when purchased with an Adult, Family or Single Family Ticket/Pass $31.50 $26.20
Concession* (To be purchased as Adult Pass) N/A $46.80
Family (2 Adults and up to 4 Children) $255.00 $148.00
Single Adult Family (1 Adult and up to 3 Children) $165.00 $106.00
Conditions: Annual Pass is valid for 12 months from date of purchase. Current Annual Pass card and photo ID must be presented on each visit. This Annual Pass is not transferable. A surcharge may apply for entry to special events. Only the Annual Pass holder whose name is listed on this card is entitled to free entry to Sovereign Hill. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Discounts are not accumulative – only a single discount can be applied to purchases.

Extra charges apply for some activities and major events.

BUY NOW

 

Carols by Daylight -Friend in Me

If you are a parent in Melbourne, you will have heard of the amazing gang at Friend in Me. If you haven’t, keep reading because you need to know about the wonderful work they are doing!FIM3.jpg

Friend In Me enhances social inclusion and spreads kindness in childhood in the effort to break the cycle of mental health conditions that derive from being ostracised from society. These guys deliver all the magic that is sadly missing from some children’s lives! Talk about AMAZING!!!

Friend in Me are on a mission to make sure that no child is left behind.

‘We want to children to be empowered to celebrate their uniqueness and have the confidence and the tools to build their tribe so they can go forth with life when they never thought possible. We are working and collaborating with organisations to have an impact on social change through our events and workshops.’ – Friend in Me

Friend In Me is having an end of year celebration at the iconic Melbourne Museum on Saturday, 14th December 2019 with some amazing acts including;
 
Team Dream 
Signing Choir
Bethany Fisher and her dance crew
Santa
Headlining act by Harrison Craig winner of the second series of ‘The Voice’ 
Snow Queen Elsa 
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To join in all the fun at Melbourne Museum, in support of Friend in Me, you can purchase adult tickets for $30. All of the money will go directly to Friend In Me to make sure even more kids are supported! Kids are free  (or gold coin donation).
**Tickets include free entry into the Museum after the event so you can all make a day of it.

Check out the event here

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Please share this post with your friends and family, and get the word out there about this wonderful event!!!

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Get your paws on tickets to the Cat Lovers Show!

AUSTRALIA’S ULTIMATE FELINE FESTIVAL POUNCES BACK TO MELBOURNE WITH A 70% BIGGER SHOW AND AN INCREDIBLE LINE UP OF TALENT. BOOK TICKETS HERE!

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This November, the hotly anticipated Cat Lovers Show returns to Melbourne for its second year at the Royal Exhibition Building, on Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December 2019. Let me tell you…we’re pretty excited about getting up close and personal with some super cute felines in the ‘Pat-a Cat zone’!!!  

“Due to the overwhelming public response we received in our inaugural year, we are committed to presenting a larger and more exciting show this year. It will truly be the ultimate day out for any cat lover. 70% larger than last year, the show offers a plethora of opportunities to meet, interact and learn about wonderful felines and what makes them tick.” CEO and Show Founder, Jason Humphris.

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The Cat Lovers Show is a veritable feline festival, featuring everything for and about cats in the one place, celebrating all aspects of ownership. A series of unique feline-inspired feature zones will offer visitors the chance to learn, be inspired and connect with fellow cat lovers. This will be a great chance for you and your family to learn more about your cat, or to decide whether a cat is right for you.

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Educating owners on the many facets of cat wellbeing to ensure long and enriched lives remains a cornerstone of the show. Australia’s most renowned vets and animal experts including Dr Chris Brown, Dr Katrina Warren, Kelly Gill, Rose Horton, and new Bondi Vet, Dr Danni Dusek will present two days of free educational talks on the Royal Canin Stage focusing on cat health, breed information and advice on behaviour and training. 

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Cat trainer extraordinaire Catmantoo – aka Robert Dowlett – and his superstar felines ‘Didja’ and newcomer ‘Bindi’ are set to make an awe-inspiring appearance in the Black Hawk Colosseum. With their skateboards in tow, the world-record holding trio will take to the stage presenting a new series of entertaining tricks that need to be seen to be believed! Yes, that does say Skateboarding cats!!! 

The Cat Lovers Show is committed to supporting animal shelters and rescue organisations that provide vital care to cats in need and assistance in finding fur-ever homes. 

What’s ‘Pawsome” at the 2019 Cat Lovers Show?

  • Talks by some of Australia’s most treasured vets and animal experts, including Dr Chris Brown, Dr Katrina Warren, Kelly Gill, Rose Horton, and Bondi Vet, Dr. Danni Duseks.
  • All your ‘cat questions’ will be answered in the Ask-An-Expert Zone, offering cat lovers ten-minute appointments with vets, groomers, trainers and breeders.
  • The opportunity to get up close with cats of all shapes and sizes at the largest ever Pat-A-Cat zone. MEOWWW!
  • You can learn everything there is to know about the importance of rescue and adoption and even start the adoption process at the Petstock Assist Adoption Zone.
  • Catch cat trainer ‘Catmantoo’ and his legendary felines Didja and Bindi, who are going to blow your minds with their skateboards and awe-inspiring tricks.
  • Kitty-Kristmas shopping lists will be completed with more than 150 exhibitors offering the latest and greatest cat products and services, new product launches and exclusive show specials.
  • The ‘Purrfect’ Match Zone will assist potential owners, giving details on over 50 different cat breeds to help you make informed decisions on which breed is right for your family. 
  • Unwind at the Purrfect Paws & Prosecco Parlour with a glass of bubbles and kitty-inspired manicure by Clara H Nails; the ‘go-to’ Melbourne nail technician for super-stars Katy Perry and Serena Williams.
  • Little ones can get hands-on with feline themed arts and crafts, face painting and a funny photo wall at the Get Catty! Kitty-Kids Zone.
  • Entries for the Kitty-Cosplay CATwalk Fashion Purr-rade are now open for fanatics to join the cat cosplay community and adorn their best feline fashions. Sashaying down the CATwalk at the Black Hawk Colosseum, there will be a daily prize for the most feline-fabulous outfit.

The Cat Lovers Show is the first and only major festival in Australia dedicated to celebrating our fabulous felines whilst educating, entertaining and informing the passionate cat community. 


EVENT DETAILS 

Location: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton 

Dates: Saturday 30 Nov & Sunday 1 Dec 2019 

Times: 9am – 5pm daily (N.B. the show is opening 30 minutes earlier this year) 

Tickets: Book here 

Up to a 20% discount available for tickets purchased via the website 

 

Event Management International (EMI) strongly encourages the cat-loving public to pounce on tickets as another sell-out Show is expected and a limited number of tickets are available each day to ensure cat welfare and an enjoyable experience for all visitors. 
EMI recognises the health and wellbeing of cats is paramount, and encourages all visitors to respect the cats inside the Royal Exhibition Building. Whilst there will be many more cats than the previous year, attendees are encouraged to listen to handlers, pay close attention to event signage regarding cat welfare and respectfully interact with all animals. 

NGV Kids Summer Festival 2020

We are so excited to tell you that the NGV Kids Summer Festival returns in 2020, and this year it’s inspired by the NGV’s summer program featuring KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness and Keith Haring | Jean Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines. If you haven’t seen this exhibition yet, then you need to get to the NGV pronto!!

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Running from Saturday 11 – Sunday 19 January this year’s summer program follows the theme of Party Time featuring hip-hop workshops, dance parties and hands-on art-inspired activities hosted in the NGV’s Great Hall. Now who could possibly turn that down?

Drawing on the emotive characters featured in KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, kids can design a portrait using bright colours and expressions to explore identity and emotion. Taking inspiration from Keith Haring’s iconic New York subway chalk drawings, kids can share their own chalk art on an installation responding to the NGV’s Great Hall stain glass ceiling.

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KAWS: PLAYTIME Relaxed Mornings will run from Monday-Friday during the Kids Summer Festival offering children with autism or disability a quiet and relaxed session in the free kids space.

During the January holidays, teens get the opportunity to master a new skill at a screen printing workshop at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

Make sure you head to the NGV website and get hold of all the information, so that your little darlings don’t miss out on all this wonderful fun!

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11 January 2020 – 19 January 2020, 10am-5pm | NGV InternationalFree entry

All activities running during the Kids Summer Festival are free.

**Bookings required for KAWS: PLAYTIME Relaxed Mornings.

 

We’ve found the perfect Aussie pen pals!

Since moving to Australia, I have found buying gifts for friends children, here and overseas, a nightmare. I always want to buy something interesting, not made of plastic, and an experience rather than a toy! I try and choose a gift that is typically ‘Australian’ but other than books or cuddly Koala toys I find myself stumped for a unique idea. **You’re going to thank me for this, I promise!!

If you’re like me, and have searched to no avail, for the perfect gift for a special child in your life then let me end your searching!  I have recently discovered The Adventures of Ash & Indigo, and would love you to check it out!

Give a wild gift of adventure, story telling and nature connection. Waste free, no plastic packaging, delivered to your door, and spreading beautiful messages – The Adventures of Ash & Indigo

 

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The Adventures of Ash & Indigo is the brain child of Brenna and Becky, two ex-primary school teachers, who had a dream to bring the Aussie bush to children across Australia and the world. They are both mothers, trained forest school leaders and hugely passionate about inspiring kids to get out into the wild, wherever they may live, through their monthly letter subscription service.

“This work is so important to us because we know that kids who are in nature care about it, they are connected to it and they will act to protect it as they grow’ – Becky

Having received our first two letters, I can assure you that your children will delight when they receive theirs. With a subscription, a special letter will arrive each month from Ash and Indigo, two kids growing up in the Australian Bush. The letter shares their adventures and helps builds a strong connection with nature through the power of story telling.

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Tracks in the mud, bird calls and warm tea (July)

Monty thinks these letters are the most wonderful treasures when they arrive in the mail.  The letters have brought him so much joy whilst teaching him about life in the Aussie Bush, a place we love to explore. It has also sparked our imagination as parents, and we are much more conscious of creating numerous ways to bring more of the outdoors into our everyday lives!

Monty’s first letter (July) was so beautiful; bright blue paper with a majestic Cockatoo peeping at us from the envelope. The theme for July was focussed on the tracks wild animals make in the bush. Monty’s idea of heaven is following creatures footprints, so this was a winner!

We loved reading Indigo & Ash’s letter with Monty. The delightful way in which it was written, really took us into the bush, we could almost smell the eucalyptus trees and the lemon balm, and I adored the conversations it brought about in our house.

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Monty’s imagination was ignited when he was wildly telling me about the footprints he thought he’d find in his ‘Track Trap’! I was a little unsure we would find crocodile tracks in the morning but he was full of hope!

A letter from Ash & Indigo would be the perfect gift for a little person in your life. How magical for your child’s long distance friend overseas to open the letter box and see an envelope all the way from Australia, teaching them some of the wonders of life Down Under. There’s nothing quite like receiving a letter that someone has taken time to pen, and these letters sent from the bush, are not only well written, they are well thought out, fascinating and encourage exploration of the outdoors (winning).

The fun tasks included are designed so that children of all ages can enjoy them. This makes a subscription the ideal birthday gift for a classmate, a Christmas gift for a relative or just a darn good gift for a jolly good soul!

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Just to clarify, this isn’t a ‘paid ad’, this isn’t a friend of mine whom I’m celebrating. This work of genius is brought to you by two nature loving, Aussie mums, who have created something that I truly think deserves your attention. These letters will not only teach your family about the wonders of the Aussie bush, will not only encourage your family outside, it will give you a beautiful reason to sit down with your child and spend some time focussing on mother nature and the precious gifts she gives us all.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better – Albert Einstein


 

The Adventures of Ash and Indigo🌱
🌳Gift Certificates Available🌳Perfect for Birthdays, I Love You’s, Christmas, or just because. Get in touch to order your gift certificate!

~3 Month Subscription $30~
~6 Month Subscription $55~

*If you are looking for a subscription for a child overseas, please contact Becky for pricing!

You can find The Adventures of Ash & Indigo on Facebook & Instagram

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I hope you can give this wonderful gift to someone special! xx Liv 

Build and play with Playgroup Victoria to celebrate 50 years of DUPLO

The Ultimate DUPLO® Playgroup is coming to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre® and you’re invited!

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Your little builders are invited to LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre on Wednesday 11th  September for a fun and inspiring morning with Playgroup Victoria to celebrate 50 years of DUPLO® fun!

The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup will take place from 8:30am-10am, giving families with kids aged 0-4 the opportunity to enjoy building activities, storytelling, a visit from Emmett from The LEGO Movie (YAY!!!!), and enjoy the arts and crafts in the centre’s new DUPLO Farm Adventure zone at a discounted rate.

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Playgroup Victoria and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre are hosting the special event to mark 50 years since LEGO created DUPLO, the big bricks for small hands.

DUPLO was designed to inspire toddlers to unlock their full potential through interactive, creative and playful experiences.

According to the LEGO Play Well Report, 95% of parents believe play is essential for children’s well-being and is a vital educational tool.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre supports the important role Playgroup Victoria plays in bringing young children, parents, families and communities together to learn and develop through informal play and social interaction. DUPLO Farm Adventure (1).jpg

“Participation in playgroup positively impacts so much of children’s development as well as parent’s capacity to engage with their children through play,” Danny Schwarz, Playgroup Victoria CEO.

“LEGO is a wonderful tool that allows children to practice their fine and gross motor skills. Moreover, it encourages them to create, be curious, be innovative, share, imagine and play – all which feeds into their greater understanding of the world and its concepts,” Sinead Halliday, Playgroup Victoria.  

The new DUPLO Farm Adventure zone at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is an interactive experience where toddlers can let their imaginations run wild. Behind the giant barn doors, children can explore a multi-level farmhouse where they can build with DUPLO and climb, crawl, slide and swing!


To purchase tickets to the special event, enter the promo code “ultimateplaygroup” at www.LEGOLANDDiscoveryCentre.com.au. Families can stay at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre after The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup concludes.

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As well as DUPLO Farm Adventure, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is also home to two thrilling rides, a 4D cinema and 11 LEGO build and play zones to keep kids of all ages entertained!


The Details:

What: The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup

Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Chadtsone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone, VIC 3148

When: Wednesday 11th September from 08:30-10:00 (families can stay after the event)

Cost: $25 per adult; $20 per child 3yrs and over, free for children 2yrs and under

Bookings: www.LEGOLANDdiscoverycentre.com.au

 

***Adults will only be admitted to The Ultimate DUPLO Playgroup with a child and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory is ‘Gobstoppingly Glorious’

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perhaps Roald Dahl’s best-known story and has proved to be one of the most enduring children’s books of all time. The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture since it was first published in 1964. Conservative estimates suggest the original book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 61 languages. That’s pretty incredible!

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory The Musical has landed at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre following a hugely successful six month season at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. 

We checked it out last night and I know you’re going to love it. Whether your children have read the book or not,  now is a great time to introduce it it in truly delicious way!

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If you’re die hard Roald Dahl fans, be aware that this show tweeks the original story a little, to fit the stage. Having said that, the magic is still there in glorious Wonka style!

The orchestra create musical wizardry (and lots of goosebumps) with brand new numbers, alongside the classics of the 1971 movie,  like Pure Imagination, The Candy Man, and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket. You can’t help but sing a long..

The staging of this classic Roald Dahl story is incredible.. Yes there’s a chocolate river, there are plenty of Oompa Loompas and Mike TV gets shrunk! I know right!!!

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Lenny Thomas as Charlie

Charlie Bucket (played by Lenny Thomas last night) stole everyones hearts from the moment we met him. Lenny is obviously a talented all rounder, who enchanted the entire audience with his tenderness and his pitch perfect voice! We were all desperately willing him to get his little hands on that Golden Ticket!  Paul Slade -Smith kept all of Gene Wilders kookie traits, whilst creating a brand new, (more believable than Johnny Depp) Willy Wonka. This is a man who’s talent seems endless and who’s onstage presence is electrifying!

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The nitty gritty!

The stage adaption of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory seemed a little confused about the era it was set in. The original little Bucket shack appeared to be set a long while back (like the original story), then the other characters are introduced with Mike TV on an iPad with a mobile phone, Violet Beauregard being a YouTube sensation addicted to social media.. (Yawn). Lots more references to the modern day were thrown in too, in a rather irksome ‘pantomime-esque’ way. I thought this was a shame. Must we really modernise EVERYTHING?? LOL! IMHO!

I was also a little disappointed that adults were playing the Golden Ticket winners meaning Charlie was the only child on stage. That’s just me though!  Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregard, and Mike Teevee have been thrust into modern day life in this adaption, still as vile as ever, but managed to create a new, vibrant and interesting take on the story!

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Charlie & the Chocolate Factory the Musical is pretty long for smaller children… 2hrs and 30 mins! The first half is a little slow to get going, however once the second half rolls round, and we enter the factory, the true Wonka magic hits the stage! We were wide-eyed when we spied the chocolate waterfall, oompa loompas and all of Wonka’s awesome imaginings! The special effects are stunning, and not like anything I’ve seen in a huge musical like this! I won’t spoil it for you… although I really really want to tell you about…. No! I can’t…..! You’ll have to go and see it for yourselves!

Despite the little modern additions, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical is huge fun for the entire family, and a must see!!!

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Poppy wanted to keys to the Wonkamobile! 

SEASON DETAILS

MELBOURNE

Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne

Season Performance Times & Prices:Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm and 6pm* From $59.90** To 3 November

Bookings: Charliethemusical.com.au or ticketek.com.au
Groups 12+ call 1300 364 001

BRISBANE

Venue: Lyric Theatre, QPAC From 20 March 2020
Season Performance Times & Prices: Tues 7pm, Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm and 6pm* From $59.90**
Bookings: charliethemusical.com.au or qpac.com.au or phone 136 246
Groups 12+ call (07) 3840 7466

 

* Performance times vary weekly ** Transaction fees apply