WILL YOU FIND THE $400 NUGGET AT SOVEREIGN HILL THESE SUMMER 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

 

Oink-tastic Peppa Pig High Tea at the Langham Melbourne

We were so excited to be invited to be amongst the first tasters of the Peppa Pig High Tea at the world famous Langham Melbourne, before it arrives later this month!

What a treat to be sitting in the iconic Melba restaurant surrounded by squeals of delight, sweet treats and happy faces!

Don’t be fooled in to thinking that Poppy & Monty are too old for this exciting high tea. Both of them were Peppa Pig super fans back in the day, and whilst ‘nostalgic’ may not be the right word, they definitely loved being able to embrace their old love for everyones favourite piggy and I would say that all children are the perfect age to appreciate the deliciousness that comes with a Langham High Tea, Peppa Pig style!

 

Peppa Pig will swap muddy puddles for The Langham, Melbourne during the summer school holidays. On weekdays from Friday 27 December 2019 until Friday 24 January 2020, The Langham, Melbourne will host a Peppa Pig-themed high tea for little piggies and grown-ups.

Just like our loveable friend Peppa, we all enjoy dressing up and adore a fab day out, which makes thePeppa Pig High Tea at The Langham, Melbourne an ideal outing for families with Peppa Pig fans who love a bit of luxury.
Little Piggies are encouraged to dress up as their favourite Peppa Pig character and have an oink-tastic time tasting Peppa’s shortbread cookie, muddy puddle dip cups with strawberry and marshmallow fruit skewers and more. Yes mums, there’s a lot of sweetness, so be prepared!!

 

Whilst the children ate their way through lashings of fairy bread (I’ll never get used to this Aussie delicacy), cheese and Vegemite brioche, chive and Parmesan quiche and honey and soy chicken skewers (Monty’s favourite), I got to devour the Langham’s signature Wedgwood high tea and sip on sparkling wine! Sounds prefect doesn’t it? It was!!!!

The Peppa Pig High Tea is incredible, however it is not for the faint hearted! Go with an open mind, deck yourself in your favourite pink outfit (not compulsory) hold your sugar rationing at the door, make sure you’re hungry (really hungry) and take your camera as it’s just too cute not to snap! All little Piggies will be given a plush toy, colouring activity and Peppa Pig ears which they will love to take home and cherish!!

This would be the perfect Christmas gift for a little Peppa Pig fan!

 

‘There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea’ – Henry James


All the info

Dates:27th December 2019 and concluding 24th January, 2020 Weekdays only

Time: The Peppa Pig High Tea is available at 10am until 11.30am and at 12.30pm until 2pm

Cost: Child: $69* per child including one plush toy, colouring activity and Peppa Pig ears. Peppa Pig high tea stand and toy items are charged per head. Extra toys can be purchased on the day subject to availability.

Adult: $69* per adult for Christmas with Wedgwood menu including a glass of sparkling, coffee or tea * +$5 on public holidays. Toys can be purchased on the day subject to availability.

Bookings may be made via melbarestaurant.com.au  by contacting 1800 641 107 or by email to rest.res@langhamhotels.com.

 

The Being Brave Book: A Novel And Guide

The following book review was written by me and first published on KidTown Melbourne

The Being Brave Book: A novel & guide about finding courage and strength by Sema Musson and Hester Leung.

I have recently enjoyed this delightful book with my 11-year-old daughter, who herself has moved schools and walked, in many ways, in the shoes of the main characters. Not only did it encourage us to discuss the power of positive thinking, but also started conversations on the importance of being determined, brave, honest, imaginative, and best of all, kind. Lessons that we could all take on board and talk to our children about a little more frequently.

‘Ellie and Alyssa have been best friends since pre-school. One chatty, one shy, one adventurous, the other considered, one Australian, one with Chinese heritage, both supportive and giving. It’s easy together. Then they change schools.’

Being Brave is a novel and personal development guide for young girls with themes on self-esteem and resilience. It’s the first novel/guide we have read and I’m glad we did!

We are all aware of the challenges children face while growing up, but it’s stories like this that teach us all how to put one foot in front of the other regardless of how big the climb! It’s an important read for youngsters as it confirms their feelings are not out of the ordinary, and therefore they’re not alone.

Please grab a copy and join Ellie and Alyssa on this important journey through the everyday pressures of school and family life in this all-Australian girls’ adventure story, where girls triumph and the main characters reflect Australia’s wonderful ethnic diversity.

Get a copy, cuddle up with your girl, and take some time out to enjoy the togetherness whilst learning some positive personal development tips!

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Check out the Being Brave Girls on Facebook

The Being Brave Book: A Novel And Guide By: Sema Musson and Hester Leung is available to buy online at Booktopia and other leading book stores.

RRP $19.95

‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are!’

Liv xxx 

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. 

Assisi – A breathtaking day in Umbria

From where we were staying at La Pievuccia  (Castiglion Fiorentino) it took us about 55 minutes to drive to Assisi. Once we’d left the motorway, we followed fields full of sunflowers, along winding, tree lined lanes, making our way toward what looked in the distance to be something from a film set. A beguiling destination that many a religious pilgrim has travelled to since the 13th century, in honour of St. Francis. The ancient town of Assisi is a sight to behold.

With it’s narrow streets, steep hills and stunning piazzas you could easily imagine you had stepped back in time whilst exploring Assisi. The views from every laneway are breathtaking, the little ornate doors on every building promising even more beauty behind.

You can’t visit Assisi without making your way to the vast Basilica di San Francesco complex, home to an unimaginable collection of medieval frescoes as well as the tomb of St. Francis.

The Basilica di San Francesco. 

The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi is named after St. Francis who was born here and founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208. UNESCO collectively designated the Franciscan structures of Assisi as a World Heritage Site in 2000, and it’s obvious why. This is absolutely the jewel in Assisi’s crown! The majestic Basilica has to be seen to be believed. The whole complex is magnificent.

The upper church – Basilica Superiore, is decorated with 28 frescoes by Giotto and are the stand out artistry in the church in my humble opinion. Each fresco depicts a scene from the life of St. Francis. They are stunning! It’s hard to believe these vibrant frescos were completed centuries ago, and almost incomprehensible for the kids!

The lower church – Basilica Inferiore, is home to more frescoes, this time by Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti, and Simone Martini. In the lower sanctuary is the Cripta di San Francesco – the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi.

The upper church definitely has a different ambience to the lower, undeniably more about the celebration of life. The lower rooms are darker and seemingly solemn, more of a reflection of the spirit of St.Francis and his Franciscan order.  Note: There are plenty of worshippers and people who have obviously come here solely to pray, so it’s vital that visitors are respectful of that.

Whatever you plan for your day in Assisi, give yourself plenty of time to explore this incredible church. Take your time, breathe in your surroundings, and I promise you will be blown away!

According to the UN, the town of Assisi has a singular importance for its role in the diffusion of the Franciscan Order and for its “continuity of a city-sanctuary” from its Umbrian-Roman origins to today.

Top tip: Out of respect, you mustn’t take photographs or make too much noise inside the The Basilica di San Francesco. 

Like most of Italy, Assisi has a long history of local artisans. You can see throughout the town that many are still going strong today.  **Save your holiday money and spend it on local crafts. There is plenty for the kids to buy too, so make sure you set their budget before going!

Small delicatessens are bursting with regional specialties like local cured meats, dried pasta. Umbrian chocolates are a MUST. We spent a whole day wandering the lanes of Assisi, making our way in and out of beautiful churches, and of course eating our way through some of Italy’s finest nougat, gelato and cakes. Even with young children, Assisi is an easy and ‘must do’ day trip.

Note: Your shoulders must be covered in The Basilica di San Francesco

The town of Assisi is spotlessly clean, and filled with many cafes and restaurants for when you need refreshment. Make sure you find out what the restaurant cover charge is, as it can be really pricey to sit and eat in some places.  We visited in September, which I imagine was one of the quieter times of year, yet it was still hard to get a seat in the restaurants, without a huge surcharge.

Top tip: No matter what, stay in town for an early supper and watch the sun set, overlooking the valley.

I highly recommend Assisi, not only for the incredible scenery, but also for a huge learning experience for all ages. This is a place steeped in incredible history, which you can feel with every step you take.


 

Other highlights in Assisi

Rocca Maggiore – a 12th-century fortress perched high in the hills, and the Roman Temple of Minerva and Roman Forum. The Rocca Maggiore is a majestic castle which dominated, for more than 800 years the citadel of Assisi and the valley of Tescio, constituting the most viable fortification for their defence.

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Rocca Maggiore – Visit Assisi

Duomo di San Rufino – The San Rufino Cathedral or simply Assisi Cathedral is a favourite spot among pilgrims due to its connection to St. Francis’ life.

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Duomo di San Rufino

Santa Maria Sopra Minerva –Not to be confused with the church of the same name in Rome, this church is built inside a converted 1st century BC temple dedicated to the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva.

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Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

Santa Maria degli Angeli- St. Mary of the Angels is a 16th-century, domed church located about 2.5 miles down the hill from Assisi.  We drove down and parked very easily. This Basilica is most famous for being home to the Porziuncola, a tiny stone building believed to be the home of St. Francis and his followers. Today the Porziuncola is a small church on the inside of Santa Maria degli Angeli with qeues of devout Catholics waiting to get inside and say their prayers. This incredibly ornate building is thought to be the house where St. Francis founded the Franciscan order and also where he died. This church is not only a must see for the devout and for pilgrims but also anyone with an interest in history and history of the Catholic church.

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Fun fact: the Porzuincola isn’t the only building within a building owned by the Catholic Church. The Holy House of Loreto is a structure that was brought to Italy, with some difficulty, all the way from Jerusalem because it was thought to be the house of the Virgin Mary. Like the Porziuncola, it’s a major pilgrimage site.

Spot : The gold-plated statue of the Madonna degli Angeli (“Madonna of the Angels”), will watch over you as you enter the square.

 

Whatever time of year you decide to visit Assisi, make sure you do your research online beforehand. There are many religious festivals, which increase visitor numbers hugely.

Have a beautiful time!

Liv xx


 

Getting to Assisi

Flights – We flew Royal Brunei from Melbourne to London (approx. $4,500 for us all), then British Airways, London Heathrow to Bologna (approx. £500 for us all). Flights to Italy were hard to come by as we left it fairly close to lift off before we booked. We checked our luggage in when we left Melbourne, and it went all the way through to Bologna which was awesome, and saved us the hassle of checking in again!

Drive – We hired a car with Budget/Avis and collected it at Bologna airport. We drove from our Farm Stay in Castiglion Fiorentino which was a little under an hour away from Assisi.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – St. Francis of Assisi

The Reject Shop brings wheelchair-inclusive costumes for Halloween 

 

Australian retailer The Reject Shop has just launched it’s fab range of wheelchair-inclusive Halloween costumes for children, part of a mission to become more inclusive and allow children of all abilities to be a part of special occasions. Can we get a “Hell yeah!!”

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Partnering with national charity HeartKids, the range features two costumes that fit over a child’s wheelchair, and easily attach to it with velcro. With the puff of a magic wand, one of the costumes transforms the chair into a gorgeous princess carriage, while an ‘Ahoy Captain’ will see the other transform into a pirate ship. As every wheelchair is different, multiple velcro pieces are included with each costume to ensure that it fits. 

“The Reject Shop has long been known as the place for affordable Halloween costumes, but we wanted to ensure that all children were able to join in the fun of Halloween celebrations,” says The Reject Shop’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dani Aquilina. 

For the launch, The Reject Shop is collaborating with their charity partner, HeartKids, who is dedicated to working with children with congenital heart disease, who often find themselves in wheelchairs post-surgery and throughout their recovery stage.

“Our wheelchair-inclusive range is the first step in ensuring that inclusion and diversity are inherent in our organisation. We’re excited to introduce the range to parents and children this October, as part of our broader strategy to help more families live on a budget.” 

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“We’re thrilled to partner with The Reject Shop on such an important initiative,” says Rob Lutter, CEO of HeartKids. “These costumes will allow wheel-chair bound children a much needed distraction from their time in hospital, and the chance to simply be kids again and enjoy Halloween celebrations.” 

Along with The Reject Shop’s full range of kid’s costumes, the Halloween wheelchair range will be available in selected stores nationally, just in time for Halloween.

Retailing for $49 each, it’s hoped that the range will make children in wheelchairs feel every bit a part of the Halloween celebrations. 

Further information on the range can be found at www.rejectshop.com.au 

 

 

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

The MSO performs Disney’s The Little Mermaid in Concert

Get ready Melbourne families as this September we get to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s classic 1989 animation, The Little Mermaid live in concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Yes, that does say 30th anniversary! If you weren’t feeling old a minute ago you sure are now!

Showcasing the Academy Award winning original score by Alan Menken and featuring the beloved characters of Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, King Triton and Ursula up on the big screen,  this uplifting score will be brought to life by the MSO in three magical performances, conducted by Nicholas Buc.

‘The Little Mermaid was responsible for reviving the animated musical genre, with Alan Menken’s Academy Award-winning score and songs playing such a huge part. Every kid who grew up with the film knows Under The Sea by heart, and they’ll get the chance to relive their childhood through this wonderful live experience,’ – Mr Buc.

 

The story… if you need reminding

Mermaid princess Ariel (Jodi Benson) has a dream of being human.  Much to her father’s dismay, Ariel frequently makes the journey to the surface. It doesn’t matter that Atlantica King Triton forbids her from doing so, Ariel is determined to visit the humans because some dreams can’t be overcome.

When Ariel finds herself drawn to a human – Prince Eric – during one of her forbidden trips she makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula (Pat Carroll) to become human for three days… But when plans go awry for Ariel she must use her charm, wits and resilient heart to set things right.

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Book your tickets now, take your children, and all of you can enjoy the beloved songs from the iconic film! The performance will include, amongst others,  Under the Sea, Part of Your World and Kiss the Girl so, you can absolutely re-live this classic tale of Ariel and her magical world under the sea.


Tickets go on sale at 10am on Wednesday 19 June.

The Little Mermaid – in Concert
Friday 6th September at 7.30pm and Saturday 7th September at 1pm
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
mso.com.au | 03 9929 9600