Frankston’s Christmas Festival of Lights is BACK!!!

Get your Santa hats on, because we’ve got proof that Christmas is coming!! Saturday 26th November sees the return of the hugely popular Frankston Christmas Festival of Lights and we are super excited because it’s the news we’ve all been waiting for!

The festival of lights holds a special place in the hearts of both residents and visitors to Frankston and for more than 20 years, the festival has been one of the City’s most significant major events, attracting thousands of people to launch the festive season.  

After a two-year hiatus, (thanks Covid) this much-loved festival is set to shine again with live entertainment, lights, and fireworks on Saturday, 26 November from 5-10pm at Davey Street, Frankston. The event will feature a Santa meet and greet, carols, the Bluey Christmas Live Experience, free theatre shows, various live performances, kid’s crafts, amusement rides, the Little Beauty Christmas Market, food vans and more.

This five-hour event is a bright, colourful and high-energy welcome to the festive season and with it’s dynamic offering, has cross-generational appeal and is enjoyed by children, their parents, grandparents, couples, friends and everyone in between!

“Sharing special moments with family and friends is what Christmas is all about. Finally, after two years of covid restrictions, we’re able to bring this much-loved festival back to the streets of Frankston, so we can share the magic of Christmas with those who matter to us most. I encourage you to get down early and beat the rush – our early birds will see the spectacular Santa’s arrival parade and get a jump start on their Christmas shopping at the market. Frankston Library Christmas activities also kick off at 4.30pm, if you really want to beat the crowd” -Frankston City Council Mayor Nathan Conroy

The iconic 130-year-old Norfolk Pine Tree will also light up Davey Street in a tradition that dates back 50 years and after the ceremony, the lights will be turned on at 8pm each night until early January.

“The traditional lighting of the tree marks the start of the festive season and is a moment that many in our community have looked forward to and missed. It brings joy to our residents and bolsters our Christmas spirit. Frankston’s Christmas Festival of Lights is an opportunity for us to get together as a community, celebrate the year that has been, and look towards the new year with positivity and enthusiasm. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to, I want to personally thank Frankston City residents for their incredible resilience and spirit over the past two years. Let’s celebrate our many achievements in person while we reflect on another successful year.” said Mayor Conroy. 

For more information ON THIS EXCITING EVENT head to www.frankstonchristmasfestival.com.au

Puffing Billy: a truly magnificent way to travel these school holidays!

On Monday we went on an adventure. The kind of adventure we’ve all spent the past two years longing for. The kind of adventure you beam throughout and realise at the end of the day, your smile hasn’t budged an inch. We went flying through the Dandenong Ranges on board the world famous Puffing Billy Railway.

I often wonder what memories my children will have of their childhood. Having moved about a fair bit, I wonder if certain places have felt more like home than others. Have we spent enough time making those moments that will be cherished for years to come? You know the ones. The ones they’ll jump to relive with their children!

With my legs hanging over the side of Puffing Billy, the smoke billowing past and enthusiastic ferns waving us by, I looked across to the children. We were in the throes of life long memory making right there and none of us knew it! We were too busy watching the countryside flying past, waving at dog walkers, pointing out kookaburras and laughing at our feet dangling over the pristinely preserved carriage sides as we crossed trestle bridges and passed long ago landslides.

Since 1900, Australia’s premier preserved steam railway has transported over 11 million passengers through the magnificent landscapes and lush greenery of the Dandenong Ranges, and for more than 100 of those years, Puffing Billy Railway has shared a truly iconic experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world – sitting on the sill of the traditional open-side carriages with your legs hanging out!

Sitting on the sills with your legs ‘overboard’ is a truly magnificent way to travel no matter your age.

“This is a one in a lifetime experience”

We took flight on the 11:15am train from Belgrave and travelled to Lakeside, where the new visitor centre stands proud in amongst the glory of the rainforest, and rightly so! This brand new centre is home to an incredible (spotlessly clean) café, gift shop, local art and the museum which cannot be missed! We loved discovering the steam artefacts and learning about the rich history of Puffing Billy before buying our own body weight in lollies from the gift shop! I quietly wished I had been around in the old days to enjoy First Class and the sumptuous trolley service!

The wonderful thing about landing at Lakeside is you have so much at your fingertips to enjoy. If you love exploring the outdoors, this is the place for you, with magnificent walking trails, swimming (during summer), paddle boats on Lake Treganowan and bike hire at COG Bikes . Now that’s an adventure we’re keen on!! Yes! You can jump off the train and on to two wheels. Simply book your trail bike or ebike, collect them once you arrive, and off you go, even deeper into the Dandenong Ranges at your own speed (or that of your fastest child!). I can almost hear the Kookaburras as I type.

Combine your Puffing Billy Train Trip or your visit to Emerald Lake Park with bike hire allowing you to explore the surrounds of Emerald Lake Park on the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail that runs along Puffing Billy between Emerald and Gembrook.COG Bike Hire

I know you’re thinking.. Wow! Hungry work!! Well, do not despair! We picked up a delicious picnic at the visitors centre which we devoured. This is a fab option for those of you who, like me, love a picnic if it’s made by someone else. This was mega! We had an Adults picnic for 2 and a Kids picnic for 2 which gave us a feast!! We enjoyed a banquet of baguettes, cakes, brownies, yoghurt, fruit salad, cheesy scrolls and freshly made salad with dressing! We even had some leftovers for the car ride home!

If you’re looking for a school holiday adventure, you’re visiting Melbourne and want a truly Victorian treat, or you’re on the lookout for a Spring time Saturday afternoon activity, you must head to Puffing Billy Railway!

This is the place memories are made!


For more information and to book your next adventure head to https://puffingbilly.com.au/

We were invited to check out Puffing Billy Railway and the new visitors centre, however, (as always) this is my honest review of our day out!

‘CIRCUS – The Show’ coming to Melbourne Fringe Festival 2022 

“Roll up, roll up!” The fastest growing family circus spectacular – CIRCUS : The Show – is heading back to Melbourne for an incredible return to the stage, as part of a trailblazing new  festival hub right near Queen Victoria market, for Melbourne Fringe 2022! Who’s excited?  

CIRCUS is an Australian trailblazer in children’s entertainment featuring world-class  illusions, tumbling acrobats, highly skilled jugglers, breath-taking and elegant  aerialists, comedy and an endearing clown. The show has received countless 5 star  reviews as well as winning the award of Best Children’s Show at Adelaide Fringe. 

Following a sell-out debut season at the 2021 Adelaide Fringe, overwhelming  demand for tickets at the Melbourne Comedy Festival – which saw the entire 16  performance season sell-out in just two days – PLUS ground-breaking seasons at Her  Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide and both Theatre Royal and Princess Theatre in  Tasmania – the latest return to Melbourne is bringing with it a star-studded cast that’s simply not to be missed!

For the return Melbourne performances, CIRCUS’s Ringmaster will be played  by Magnus Danger Magnus of Showmen Productions – one of Australia’s most  prominent touring circus companies (The Greatest Magic Show, Adults Only Magic  Show, CIRCUS); while the clowning talents of Simon Wright will be on full display in  a range of hilarious stunts including climbing completely inside a gigantic 6FT  BALLOON! Simon has just completed an invitation-only residency at the famed  Philippe Gaulier clowning school and is one of the most famed clowning talents in  Australia! 

This season will also star several high-class Melbourne-based performers; including  aerialist and hula-hoop extraordinaire, Chelsea Angell, who will be presenting her energetic and unique aerial performances of grace and beauty while keeping  everyone fully captivated with hula-hooping tricks you will have to see to believe!

Also joining them is Bavo Delbeke, an urban circus legend from the Norway who  brings his energetic experimental style of circus in a completely unique display of  basketball juggling which has graced halftime performances at NBA games in the States; alongside one of Australia’s top jugglers – Richard Sullivan – who was trained  by the best in the world in Stockholm, Sweden before returning to Australia to star in  shows produced by companies including Circus Oz, YUMMY, Circus Trick Tease  and now Showmen Productions!   

CIRCUS brings together years  of experience and skill in the industry. We have some of the most talented family  circus performers on the Fringe circuit on board to help teach children the  importance of celebrating difference. The show concludes with a powerful message  to always embrace your weirdness and never lose sight of your dreams – no matter  how wild!’ CIRCUS producer and performer Sam Hume

“What you have experienced keeps you smiling, wondering and shaking your  head long after the show is over!” The Advertiser ★★★★ 

“This is definitely a winner in family entertainment!”  GLAM Adelaide ★★★★★ 

“A punchy 60-minute fun ride full of thrills, spills, gasps and laughter”  The Clothesline ★★★★★ 

“The Greatest Circus Show Around!” KIDDO Magazine 

Showmen Productions – the creative team behind CIRCUS and The Greatest  Magic Show! – have toured to the Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and  Edinburgh Fringes to critically acclaimed reviews and sell-out seasons in all cities.

Make sure you and the fam don’t miss what promises to be one hell of an extravaganza!!!


All the details!

WHERE

Runaway Festival Hub – Near Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent + The Vault 

WHEN

Saturday 8 Oct, 11:30am & 3:00pm – The Vault Sunday 9 Oct, 11:30am & 3:00pm – The Vault 

Saturday 15 Oct, 1:00pm – Magic Mirror Spiegeltent 

Sunday 16 Oct, 1:00pm – Magic Mirror Spiegeltent 

Saturday 22 Oct, 1:00pm – Magic Mirror Spiegeltent 

Sunday 23 Oct, 1:00pm – Magic Mirror Spiegeltent 

TICKETS

Adults: $27.00 

Concession: $23.00 

Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au 

Social Media: Facebook Instagram

Show Website: www.showmenproductions.com.au/circus-the-show

Duration: 60 Mins

Age suitability: 4+

Event warnings: This event has haze effects, some infrequent/low pressure audience interaction.

The Affordable Art Fair is coming to Melbourne this week!

Great news folks! The Affordable Art Fair is coming to Melbourne this week and it’s not to be missed! From the 1st to the 4th September 2022, the coveted event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Over the next four days, this globally recognised fair will showcase works from 40 Australian and international galleries, featuring a variety of both emerging and established artists.

Affordable Art Fair is a great day out for the whole family, Mini Monets will be able to get hands on in interactive workshops at the Children’s Art Studio with free entry for those under the age of 16 when accompanied by an adult.

If you’re keen to get arty at home, you can download The (super fun) Affordable Art Fair kids’ activity packs herePerfect for your little creatives! 

Art aficionados will be able to browse and buy artworks, have their prized pieces wrapped onsite, and discover something new each day with all works rotated as they sell. A myriad of art forms will be available including painting, sculpture, installation, photography and limited-edition prints. With prices starting at $100 and capping at $10,000, there will be something to suit every taste, space and spend.

Helping to springboard the careers of emerging artists, exhibiting galleries include the Young Talent Victoria exhibition which will offer five local creatives under the age of 35 the chance to exhibit and sell new works to an excited and engaged audience. All artists are handpicked by Fair organisers with the aim of building their profiles and ultimately securing them representation by galleries and museums.

Dates and opening hours:
• Thursday 1 September 2022, 12pm – 5pm (VIP preview)
• Thursday 1 September 2022, 5pm – 9pm (Opening Night)
• Friday 2 September 2022, 10am – 8pm
• Saturday 3 September 2022, 10am – 5pm
• Sunday 4 September 2022, 10am – 5pm
Location: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (enter Door 17)
Instagram: @affordableartfairau
Facebook: @affordableartfairau

Ticketshttps://affordableartfair.com/fairs/Melbourne 

Photo Credit – Reed Photographic

Get Excited!! Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ coming to Melbourne

Exciting news today that none other than Shane Crawford is about to make his musical theatre debut in the role of the Pharaoh in the Australian premiere new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! Yes! You read that right! It’s time to get excited!!

Book Your Tickets Here

Tim Lawson in association with Michael Harrison and The Really Useful Group are thrilled to announce that AFL legend, Shane Crawford will star exclusively as the Pharaoh, in this dazzling new production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, for the strictly limited Melbourne season.

Shane will join an all-star Australian cast that includes Euan Fistrovic Doidge (Kinky Boots, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Joseph, and Paulini (The Bodyguard, Australian Idol)as The Narrator. Enjoyed by over 30 million people worldwide, this reimagined, feel-good musical is sure to enchant new audiences and longstanding fans alike. 

Shane Crawford will play the Pharaoh. Photo Credit – Chris Pavlich Photography

Shane Crawford has a truly diverse and remarkable career which includes his decorated AFL career, his wide-ranging television background, as an author and for his work as an ambassador for Breast Cancer Network Australia. This will be Shane’s first role in a major theatre production, adding to an already impressive career. 

 “To be offered an opportunity like this is amazing. I have done so many different things in my sporting and media career, but I have never performed in a musical, and I can’t wait! To be given the chance to be on stage, working with so many talented performers, entertaining an audience will be a huge buzz. Playing the role of the Pharaoh in this new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is going to be fun – and a little daunting.  Bring on the rehearsals!” Shane Crawford

THE AUSTRALIAN CAST

Shane Crawford is one of the AFL’s most marketable players, with a successful 16-year career at Hawthorn Football Club, he is one of the few players who has made a seamless transition into life in the media. The charismatic premiership player has demonstrated a range of talent that has won him many fans, with his quick wit, empathy with a wide audience, and natural ease on camera.

Having had a long association with Channel Nine as a key member of the Footy Show, Shane has been a presenter on the Today Show, Sport Sunday and Postcards.  In addition, Shane joined the fifth season of Australian Ninja Warrior 2021 sharing the hosting and sideline commentary duties.

In 2019, Shane appeared in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! on the Ten Network and exited the Jungle in third place. 

Shane is an ambassador for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).  In 2010, Crawf – as he is affectionately known – completed an amazing feat to make Aussies proud, walking from Adelaide to Melbourne to raise money and awareness for BCNA.  That’s What I’m Walkin’ About lasted 12 days, raised $620,000, and saw Shane run back onto The Footy Show set through streets lined with supporters dressed in pink.  In 2013, Shane raised more than $1.3 million for BCNA after riding 3,600 kilometres from Melbourne to Perth in 22 days on his marathon Tour de Crawf. Shane is also an ambassador for Just Like Jack.

Euan Fistrovic Doidge as Joseph. Photo Credit – Chris Pavlich Photography

Euan Fistrovic Doidge is well known to Australian audiences having starred as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and as Marius in Les Misérables. He was the youngest ever nominee for the ‘Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical’ for his performance in A Chorus Line.  Euan has also appeared in many other musicals including Fun Home, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pippin, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde and Grease.  In 2014 Euan released his debut album Let It Sing.  Euan is currently appearing in the national tour of Cruel Intentions.

Paulini as The Narrator from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Credit – Chris Pavlich Photography

Fijian born songstress Paulini rose to fame through the first season of Australian Idol, making it through to the final four.  Post Idol Paulini rose to the top of the Australian ARIA Charts with her debut Platinum album ‘One Determined Heart’ and her Platinum smash single ‘Angel Eyes’, both hitting the #1 spot and receiving Aria Number 1 Chart Awards. 

Paulini went on to become a part of the chart-topping group the Young Divas, who had two top 10 albums and two top 10 singles.  On the stage Paulini played the lead role as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard Musical, was a lead vocalist in Saturday Night Fever, and played Dionne in the 50th Anniversary of Hair the Musical.  Paulini returned to television in 2019 in the hit show The Masked Singer, and more recently appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, where fans fell in love with her again for her voice and sincerity.

ABOUT THE SHOW

Released as a concept album in 1969, the stage version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals.  The multi-award-winning show, which began life as a small-scale school concert, has been performed hundreds of times in over 80 countries worldwide.  The show features songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre classics, including Any Dream Will DoClose Every Door to MeJacob and Sons, There’s One More Angel In Heaven and Go Go Go Joseph.

Told entirely through song with the help of The NarratorJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers.  After being sold into slavery by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife.  While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh.  As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.

“A rip-roaring Joseph for the 21st century” – The Sun, UK

“This is a dream of a production. Go, go, go” – The Stage, UK

“A musical firing on all cylinders . . every performance oozes personality and mischief” – The Guardian, UK

Most recently the Pharaoh has been played by Jason Donovan in this production at the London Palladium and he can still be seen in the role on the current UK tour of the production.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice.  The production is directed by Laurence Connor (Les MisérablesMiss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock), choreographed by Joann M Hunter (School of Rock), with music supervision by John Rigby. The creative team includes Morgan Large (Set and Costume Designer), Ben Cracknell (Lighting Designer), Gareth Owen (Sound Designer) and Richard Mawbey (Hair, Wigs & Makeup Design).

In Melbourne from November, playing at the Regent Theatre, for a strictly limited season.

What a blast … triumphantly reborn”  Evening Standard, London

Book Your Tickets Here

The Dog Lovers Show is in Sydney THIS WEEKENED

Get excited Dog Lovers as the southern hemisphere’s largest doggy-dedicated event returns to Sydney this upcoming weekend (Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August) at the Sydney Showground

One of the pandemic’s surprise legacies has been the unprecedented surge in pet ownership, soaring more than  60% since 2019. In terms of paws on the floor, an estimated 30.4 million furry friends are currently keeping owners company across the country, including one million new dogs welcomed into Aussie homes in the last two years*. 

With so many new pet owners across the country, the return of the award-winning Dog Lovers Show to Sydney  Showground this winter – headlined by Australia’s beloved TV vet Dr Chris Brown – couldn’t be better timed. 

Anyone who loves dogs deeply and wants to better understand  their pets will be rewarded by attending the Sydney Dog Lovers Show this August. The timing is perfect to provide thousands of ‘pandemic pet parents’ with trusted, reliable information from the country’s most trusted pet experts.  Many new dog owners had been thinking of welcoming a new pup and the pandemic gave them the time to be  actively present at home to ‘on-board’ the pooch they have dreamed of for so long.” Show Founder and CEO, Jason Humphris

Over one jam-packed weekend, you can meet and interact with over 800 beautiful dogs, representing more than 100 breeds. (That’s a lotta doggies) The Show’s iconic program has been re-invigorated to cater for a new wave of new dog owners with essential tips on training, nutrition, separation anxiety, puppy proofing, canine mental health and overall wellbeing. 

For the first time since 2018, Dr Chris Brown will return to the Sydney Dog Lovers Show presenting inspirational and  educational talks twice daily. Joining Dr Chris Brown in his Sydney hometown is iconic TV vet, Dr Katrina Warren,  who will be presenting live demonstrations in the Vitapet Arena with animal training extraordinaire Kelly Gill and  The Wonderdogs – who are set to ast-hound onlookers with a slew of new tricks. Crowds will also be wowed by the  new ‘K9 Ninja Championships‘ show which will see dogs work their way through a wild obstacle course hosted by Big Brother star, Dave Graham.  

So what’s on at the show?

  • Over 30 free educational talks will be hosted each day across the PETstock Stage and PETspot Ask-The-Breeder  Stage, by some of Australia’s leading dog and animal experts including Lara Shannon and Rose Horton. 
  • Some of the nation’s biggest canine social media stars will strut their stuff on the PETstock Stage red carpet, while  the NSW Police Force Dog and Mounted Command present an awe-inspiring live demonstration each day. 
  • Outside, the crowd-favourite Black Hawk DockDogs will make a splash with Big Air, Extreme  Vertical and Speed Retrieval competitions as a team of talented canines launch themselves off a raised dock and into a 100,000-litre pool.
  • Meanwhile, the remarkable pups at Australian Working Dog Rescue will soar to new heights in the  Extreme High Jump competition and herd real-life sheep in the Sheepdog Speed Trials
  • Visitors keen to take a break from all the action can unwind in the Pet House Pat A-Pooch Zone, providing a safe and comfortable space to get up close and ‘pawsonal’ with dogs of all shapes and sizes.
  • Budding pet owners can meet dozens of  pups looking for fur-ever homes in the PETstock Adoption Zone, with an A-Z of  breeds to explore throughout the massive PETspot Breed Showcase
  • From dog-friendly clothing to puppy retreats and bespoke kennels, Australia’s biggest canine supermarket will boast stacks of new products and exclusive show specials. Those looking to strengthen their paw-renting knowledge will also have  access to the country’s leading emergency vets and nurses at the SASH stand, offering tips for raising happy and healthy pets. 
  • Future fur-parents can discover the best breed to suit their home and  lifestyle in the Bow Wow Meow Perfect Match Zone with dozens of giant Breed Information Posters and a free ‘K9 matching’ survey.  
  • Kids can channel their favourite breed in the Animal Welfare  League’s new Kids Zone with Free Doggy Face Painting and the chance to snap show memories in the new Glitter Selfie Wall.  

EVENT LOCATION Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park  

DATES & TIMES Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th August 2022, 9.30am until 5pm daily

TICKETS + WHAT’S ON dogloversshow.com.au/sydney (pre-booking essential as tickets will sell-out) 

The Dog Lovers Show will also return to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 14th until 16th October 2022.

Puffing Billy Railway lights up the night in an Aussie first!!

Victoria’s iconic steam railway presents a must-see travelling light show spectacular this winter.

Get rugged up in your warmest winter woollies these school holidays and experience the magic of Puffing Billy Railway at night with the Train of Lights; a mesmerising train travelling light show and the first of its kind in Australia! 

From Friday 24th June – Sunday 10th July 2022, the Train of Lights will take passengers on a return journey that departs from Lakeside Station to Gembrook, immersing guests in bright colours, hypnotic patterns, and native wild animal projections that leap from open-side carriages and onto the passing dark Wright Forest, historic timber trestle bridges, and open rolling hills of the Gembrook countryside. 

Partnering up with acclaimed lighting specialists, Resolution X (White Night, VAMFF), this special evening experience is the perfect way to view the Dandenong Ranges from a different dimension as the passing forest and open farmlands transform into a Technicolor feast for the eyes.

With the journey beginning at Lakeside, passengers will have the chance to explore the new Lakeside Visitor Centre and all its state-of-the-art amenities, including the Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside Hall museum, licensed Railway Café, and unique gift shop.

Ticketholders wanting to make a day of it can visit the Emerald Lake Park precinct early to enjoy the photographic art exhibition, Animal Tales, inside the visitor centre, before stopping in at the Railway Café for some dinner ahead of their Train of Lights trip.

Once arriving at Gembrook Station, passengers will enjoy a 55-minute stopover, where they can warm up by the open fire with a hot chocolate and other winter warmers and capture a quintessential selfie of the lit-up train and station.

Pairing Puffing Billy Railway’s iconic whistle with a rainbow of dazzling lights that play on the surrounding scenery, the Train of Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all to enjoy. 

Train of Lights tickets go on sale Wednesday 25th May with limited numbers. You must book online at https://puffingbilly.com.au/events/train-of-lights/

  • Adult (16yrs+) – $75.00
  • Child (4-15yrs) – $38.00
  • Toddlers (1-3yrs) – $25.00   

For those parents looking to keep the kids busy throughout the day during the mid-year break, Puffing Billy Railway’s general excursion trains depart daily from Belgrave to Menzies Creek and Belgrave to Lakeside. With two daily services on offer, passengers can choose to visit the Menzies Creek Museum or stop and enjoy the Lakeside Visitor Centre, Emerald Lake Park, and the many outdoor activities in the surrounding precinct, including hiring a bike and taking to the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, or jumping in the paddleboats on Lake Treganowan for a peddle around the lake. 

Here’s a little more about Puffing Billy Railway:

Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway, which commenced operation in Australia on December 18, 1900, is a genuine relic of more leisurely days.

The historic steam train ran regularly in the Victorian mountain district and was built to serve at the turn of the century to transport goods and passengers throughout the district. The railway travels 24kms through the forests and fern gullies of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook – the original terminus of the line – and is one of only two survivors of five experimental narrow-gauge lines used to develop rural areas in Victoria during the early 1900s.

Make sure you check out Puffing Billy on Social Media here:
Facebook – @PuffingBillyRailway
Instagram – @puffingbillyrailway

www.puffingbilly.com.au

Master Wu Needs You these school holidays for LEGO® NINJAGO® fun!

Look out folks, an awesome, activity-based experience is already underway at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne and if you’re not Ninja fast you’re gonna miss out!

Until the 25th April uber Ninja, mentor and leader, Master Wu, is opening the doors to his exclusive Ninja Training Camp as he looks to train and recruit a new crew to join his Ninja team. 

LEGO® NINJAGO® is under threat and Master Wu needs more Ninjas than ever to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from the evil forces that threaten it’s very existence. Young Ninjas can enroll to attend LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne, join the Ninja Training Camp and level up their Ninja skills to master the six Ninja virtues – courage, balance, honesty, generosity, curiosity and wisdom. 

Your kids are going to have so much fun as they adventure through a series of exciting challenges! The new recruits will be taken on a journey to prove their Ninja skills and make it into Master Wu’s elite team of Ninja: 

Level Up BALANCE – Make your own Ninja stop motion video 

Level Up HONESTY – Make a pledge to be truthful 

Level Up GENEROSITY – Build a unique gift for Master Wu 

Level Up CURIOSITY – Join the Ninja hunt and search MINILAND for our missing Ninjas

Level Up WISDOM – Show quick thinking and play our Ninja Bingo 

“The journey to Ninja mastery continues, and we are excited to bring Master Wu’s Training Camp to  LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne. Focusing on the six Ninja  virtues – courage, balance, generosity, curiosity, honesty and wisdom – the children will be immersed  in a real-life LEGO® NINJAGO® master class, an exciting Training Camp Experience, helping to train the  body, heart and mind and to help save LEGO® NINJAGO® from looming threat. We can’t wait to open  the doors to our Master Wu Training Camp and inspire kids to experience the values that LEGO  NINJAGO represents and create some fun memories at the same time.” ” General Manager Katie Isaac.

Take your kids to this exclusive event and see them revel in an engaging, enjoyable and rewarding experience that will leave them bursting with a fantastic sense of accomplishment. They will earn a Ninja certificate, a Ninja headband, and a virtual gift from Master Wu. Plus, as part of the entry into the LEGO® NINJAGO® experience, guests can go on to enjoy everything else within the LEGOLAND  Discovery Centre too. We’re IN!!!! Who’s coming??

Buy Your Tickets Here

Welcome the year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour at Sovereign Hill

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Victoria’s iconic living museum, Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill, is celebrating the goldfields’ rich Chinese history this Lunar New Year with a food festival fit for an emperor.  Held in collaboration with the Chinese Australia Cultural Society – Ballarat, the weekend of the 5th & 6th of February will see a riot of colour, noise and movement as the Year of the Tiger is welcomed with a bang. 

Bursting with multi-cultural life, Sovereign Hill’s iconic streetscape will come alive with Chinese lantern decorations, lion dancing, parades, outdoor activities, music and an abundance of Chinese inspired food created by the renowned Peter Rowland Group

In celebration of the Year of the Tiger, Trudi Gray, Head Chef, Peter Rowland Group at Sovereign Hill, has infused her own history and heritage into this year’s Lunar New Year menu. Trudi’s grandfather was born in Hong Kong where Chinese food and family banquets have been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Having worked in Asia, learning from local chefs, Trudi mastered the skills, techniques and special flavours that now layer her own cooking.

Open until 9pm on Saturday 5th February, visitors will be able to experience all Sovereign Hill’s much-loved experiences during the daytime and bring in the Year of the Tiger with a feast of flavour in the evening.

Head to Main Street in the evening for ‘LNY@Night’ and indulge your cravings. There’ll be steamed dumplings, roast pork buns and classic sweet tarts, then for a more substantial second course, head further up the street to the Universal Transit Office or Charlie Napier’s Hotel, venture inside and choose from a range of delicious noodle and rice dishes to take you to the goldfields of old.

If you prefer a unique, sit-down dining experience, the New York Bakery is hosting a Lunar New Year Banquet on Saturday 5th February with pre-booking and payment of tickets required to secure a limited place at the table. Excellent value at $59 per adult, $25 per child, the banquet will celebrate the culinary traditions that Chinese migrants brought to their new home with a moving feast of soup, starters, roasted and traditionally prepared meats, fish, rice, desserts and a range of classic Chinese teas to choose from.

Head to https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au/event/lunar-new-year-banquet/ for more information and bookings (Sovereign Hill entry is not included).

If you’re a dedicated lover of Sovereign Hill’s Hope Bakery and the New York Bakery you’ll love the Chinese-inspired pie, available for a limited time only, from late January until the conclusion of the Lunar New Year festival.  The Chinese Char Siu pie delivers a flourish of flavour, and is chock-full of Char Siu pork, bok choy, mushrooms, baby corn and with a sprinkling of good year luck, it’s sure to be a roaring success.


Visit https://summer.sovereignhill.com.au for information and bookings about Sovereign Hill’s Lunar New Year Festival and Summer Series.

Sovereign Hill is located at Bradshaw Street, Ballarat and sits on Wadawurrung Country.

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Serious flippin’ fun with Acro Kids

Honestly, school holiday fatigue is kicking in. I know it’s only week 3 but the struggle is real. Christmas is over, the presents are rapidly sinking to the bottom of the toy box, and we are inching toward unacceptable levels of screen time whilst mama works!

Thankfully Acro Kids have come to the rescue with their exceedingly good holiday program at their incredible new venue, and as I type, the freshly showered children are curled up on the sofa, well and truly exhausted! #Thankyou

Develop your child’s acrobatics and parkour skills, fitness, coordination, stability, strength and confidence!

Acro Kids offer fun, energetic, non-competitive, recreational gymnastics and parkour programs designed for children aged 1 all the way to teenagers (school holiday program is from aged 3.5), from beginner to advanced.

My children haven’t done anything like this before. Acro Kids has been their first foray into parkour and gymnastics, and from their very first class, they were hooked. Both are buzzing when I pick them up, and are tripping over each other to show me their newly learnt skills and tricks, which today included nailing a walkover and perfecting their flips and aerials. All these newly accomplished skills are honed by the gentle and supportive guidance of the fabulous coaches & Mr.D.

The pride, the sense of achievement and the desire to improve are what makes Acro Kids one of the best activity programs available for youngstersLiv Wilson

If you’re looking for a fantastic way to get your children active this summer, and into the new school year, you must must must check out Acro Kids! Trust me, you’ll have all the feels when you pick up your hot, sweaty, proudly cartwheeling children!!


All the info

My children are 8 (boy) and 12 (girl) and both love these classes equally.

ACRO KIDS SUMMER HOLIDAY PROGRAMSJanuary 2021

Mornington & Mordialloc

Let the Acro Kids team entertain your kids at their Acro and Parkour/Ninja workshops and full day holiday programs these holidays!

2 hr Workshops – $30 per child

The popular Acro, Parkour and Acro/Ninja workshops are designed by qualified and experienced Gymnastics coaches for children aged 3.5 – 16 yrs of all levels of ability from beginner to advanced. Children will learn and practice gymnastics and parkour fundamentals including tumbling, cartwheels, handstands, walkovers, flips, aerials and much more! Circuit style program with fun games! 

Parkour workshops include super fun obstacle courses where the aim is to use both mind and body to run, climb, jump and vault from one station to the next.

Full Day Holiday Program – $85 per child

A combination of the Acro Kids popular acro and parkour/ninja workshops in an epic all day program. Designed for school aged children of all levels of ability and experience. Children will learn gymnastics and parkour fundamentals including tumbling, flips, aerials, cartwheels, handstands, barrel and commando rolls, fence jumps and much more! 

The program will run from 8.30am-3pm. We have extended care available until 5pm for an additional $20 per child. Children staying for extended care will have afternoon tea, supervised free play and a movie to keep them entertained!

Places are limited so avoid disappointment – BOOK HERE (link to https://www.acrokids.com.au/school-holiday-program/ )

Term time program information and fees can be found here, or you can contact Acro Kids directly via info@acrokids.com.au or by calling 0477 079 970.

All of ACRO KIDS qualified coaches have Working with Children checks and First Aid training. Parents can drop off and pick up. There will be 1 trainer to 9 children ratio during the acro and parkour activities. Children will need to bring snacks, lunch, a water bottle and lots of energy! 
Read Acro Kids Covid Safe Plan here