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.

Step into Spring at Puffing Billy Railway these school holidays!

Yassss! It’s almost the end of term three and the start of school holidays and that can only mean one thing! It’s time for a trip to Puffing Billy Railway ! It’s the perfect time to get outside, keep the kids moving and exploring, and make family memories that will last a lifetime.  

Start your outdoor adventure on board Australia’s favourite steam train as you all dangle your legs from Puffing Billy’s traditional open-side carriages; a truly iconic experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Feel the wind in your hair and watch the trees pass by in front of your feet as the train winds through the most magnificent scenery of the Dandenong Ranges, only one hour from Melbourne. This is truly magnificent and the kids will love it!

From Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October, passengers travelling to Lakeside Station will discover a free spring-themed arts and crafts activity zone at the Lakeside Visitor Centre for little ones to enjoy. You can also stop in at the Centre’s free Lakeside Hall Museum, home to a collection of steam artefact displays, including Puffing Billy Railway’s first ever locomotive, 3A, and also see the ‘Animal Tales’ photographic exhibition currently on show from award-winning artist Karen Alsop.

Once you’re all puffed out, take a seat at the Railway Café and choose from a range of tasty treats to indulge in, like satisfyingly crunchy baguettes, sweet and puffy Danishes, delicious beef and chicken burgers or even tender calamari. 

The lakeside views are stunning and the perfect spot for a picnic before you take advantage of the various outdoor activities available in Emerald Lake Park. Families can hire a COG Bikes Australia bike and ride through the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, jump aboard a paddleboat* to play on Lake Treganowan, visit to the Emerald Lake Model Railway & Miniature World* for a look at one of the largest model railways in Australia, or take to one of seven walking tracks through the lush green foliage of the precinct, with plenty more picnic spots along the way. 

Pre-book an adult or children’s picnic pack and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding manna gums, tall chestnut and oak trees, and blossoming tree ferns of the forest, before jumping back on board, legs out and all, for the return journey. 

Passengers aged between 2 – 15 travelling on Friday 23rd September are encouraged to wear their favourite footy colours to celebrate the AFL Grand Final and redeem a special prize from the Lakeside Visitor Centre gift shop. 


Train services available during the school holidays

Monday – Friday 

  • 10.00 am Belgrave to Lakeside return
  • 11.15 am Belgrave to Lakeside return
  • 2.15 pm Belgrave to Lakeside return

Saturday – Sunday  

  • 10.00 am Belgrave to Lakeside return
  • 11.15 am Belgrave to Gembrook return*
  • 12.20 pm Lakeside to Gembrook return*
  • 12.45 pm Belgrave to Lakeside return

*Leg dangling is not permitted from the Lakeside to Gembrook section of the railway line.
*Lakeside Paddle boats and the Emerald Lake Model Railway & Miniature World are operated by separate businesses. Entry fees apply.

About Puffing Billy Railway:

Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s (and the Wilson’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.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE
Facebook – @PuffingBillyRailway
Instagram – @puffingbillyrailway
#puffingbillyrailway
www.puffingbilly.com.au

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

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

Melbourne, stop eating immediately… Grazeland is coming!

TANTALISE YOUR TASTE BUDS AT MELBOURNE’S GRAZELAND THIS MARCH  The permanent foodie’s playground is opening its doors in Melbourne’s Inner-West from March 5   

Hailed as ‘A permanent festival of food in Melbourne’ and ‘A playground for foodies, friends and families’ it goes without saying, I cannot wait to get to Grazeland when it opens in March!

Grazeland is set to reinvigorate the city’s food scene with a wide range of  cuisines and fan favourites on offer from 50 food and beverage vendors in the new permanent playground for foodies from Friday, 5 March. 

Photo credit Sam D’Agostino

Initially set to open in early 2020, Grazeland, like many other new ventures, was forced to push pause last year. The  unique outdoor dining experience is now more fitting than ever – bringing Melburnians a COVID-safe casual dining  precinct that spans across whopping 10,000sqm. 

“Almost two years ago, we hand-picked some of our favourite local establishments to join us at Melbourne’s first  permanent festival of food and we are thrilled to finally be able to announce Grazeland’s official opening date,” says  John Forman, Grazeland Director. “It is more important than ever to be able to offer Melburnians a place to safely gather  together and reconnect over food, discover new favourites, and create memories after experiencing such an isolating  year.” 

Ready to service every indulgence, Grazeland will pay homage to Melbourne’s celebrated hospitality industry and will  offer the rare opportunity to please everyone in a group. Grazeland’s large list of sweet and savoury food vendors will  be complemented by three fully licensed bars, artisan stalls selling locally designed products, and a rotating schedule of  captivating entertainers and live performances on two stages. 

Photo credit Sam D’Agostino

Tailored to those looking to feed their curiosity, diners can expect to choose from some of Melbourne’s favourite dishes.  Menu items include award-winning pizza from 48h, cannoli from Cannoleria by That’s Amore Cheese, Bengali-style  curries from The Calcutta Club, freshly shucked oysters and lobster rolls from Claw & Tail, frozen cheesecake from Stixfamily-favourites from Hooked Fish & Chipper, African BBQ from Tasty Suya, and authentic gelato from Cielo Gelateria among many others. 

Reminiscent of a street party from earlier days, Grazeland’s design was carefully curated by Push Projects. The location features individually designed stalls that bring each offering to life and was created with Melbourne’s weather in mind,  with ample undercover and outdoor seating available – making it a destination for everyone and every season. 

“We’re very excited for people to be able to head to Grazeland in March. It will be a great weekend destination for  families and friends to come together to relax and be entertained. We welcome Melburnians from across the city to  explore more of what Melbourne’s inner-west has to offer,” says Cr Jonathon Marsden, Mayor of Hobsons Bay. 

Photo credit Sam D’Agostino

Visitors can find the permanent festival of food in Melbourne’s inner-west, across the West Gate Bridge next door to  Scienceworks, in Spotswood – just 17 minutes from Flinders St Station and easily accessible via car, boat and public  transport.  

Grazeland will bring together foodies, families, work colleagues, and couples alike to connect over a food-fuelled  adventure and discover some of the best that Melbourne has to offer. 

The festival of food will kick off on Friday, 5 March at 5:00pm, so make yourself hungry and be there!!


Address: 20 Booker St, Spotswood VIC, 3015  

Opening Hours:  

Friday – 5pm to 10pm 

Saturday – 12pm to 10pm 

Sunday – 12pm to 9pm  

Website: www.grazeland.melbourne  Socials: @grazeland.melbourne  

Whiskey tasting packs… Christmas gifts sorted!

I’ve got to admit, Whiskey tasting has never really been at the top of my list of “fun things to do”. Despite being married to an avid Whiskey fan, and being taken round umpteen Scottish distilleries (Yes he even proposed in Scotland) I have never really liked the taste or understood the enjoyment of kicking back after a long day with a glass of Whiskey. Well, that was until now!

Introducing Barley & Malt

Enhancing your Whiskey experience is what Barley & Malt owner Tan lives for. Through his cleverly designed tasting kits, Tan wants everyone to enjoy, appreciate and share Whiskey together whilst learning to understand all the intricate flavours and textures that come with this world famous spirit. Whether you’re a fully fledged Whiskey aficionado or a total novice like myself, Barley & Malt’s insanely good taster kits will teach you the pro ways to taste so that you can really enjoy the good stuff and wow your mates next time a bottle of Whiskey pops up at a dinner party!

The perfect gift for Whiskey lovers & Whiskey virgins this Christmas.

Barley & Malt has something really special available in time for Christmas this year. They have put together the most glorious Whiskey tasting packs which I know are just going to fly off the shelves. Gifting one of these packs is not only a great way to support a local business, it’s also a unique gift & experience for the receiver.

Barley & Malt Whiskey Tasting Packs

We are all about creating great moments and amazing experiences, no matter if you are new to whisky or seasoned enthusiasts – Tan Tran

These beautifully packaged tasting kits are a one of a kind gift for someone special to enjoy, and they’re really fun to share with friends. The pack includes four 60ml bottles of whiskies and expert tasting notes with a section for you to input your thoughts too. We loved sharing this with friends last night. We were a mix of connoisseurs and novices, and we all enjoyed getting our noses in there and really appreciating those flavours. Tan’s expert notes are well written making them easy to understand and follow. We particularly liked Tan’s top tips on how to taste test like an expert which enabled us to feel like slick, adept tasters by the end of the evening. *Did you know coffee refreshes your taste buds so that you’re ready for the next taste?

Whiskey Tasting Notes

Currently Barley & Malt are offering four pack options in time for Christmas which include, selected American Whiskey, Japanese Whiskies, Scotch Malts , and Whiskies of the World. If you want to wow someone this Christmas with the most wonderful gift & experience, get your order in asap as there is limited stock available.

If you know someone who would love one of these, please order online today to avoid missing out. You can find out more about these wonderful Whiskey Tasting Packs by heading to Barley & Malt online, or checking out their Facebook & Instagram .


We were kindly gifted our Whiskey Tasting Pack (Whiskies of the World) however, as always, the words are my own opinion! Trust me, I’ve been converted! “Pass me the Whiskey!”

What Whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for – Unknown

Take your family on a city skyline glamping experience!


Oh wow Melbourne! How many million years has it been since we were allowed to roam the city streets, pick up glorious cups of much needed coffee from the laneways, and visit all the fabulous corners of this city we call home? It feels like forever doesn’t it? However long it’s really been, it’s been far too long and I know lots of us are crying out for some city time. Well, it looks like we may not have to wait much longer, and I have a feeling I’ve found just what you and the kids need to give you all those Melbourne city vibes!

Unique & unforgettable experiences

Just to remind you why our city is so magnificent, Melbourne Marriott Hotel have come up with a glorious city glamping experience for you to enjoy with your family. Imagine their little faces when they see this pre Christmas treat. Awwwww!

When you book this long awaited escape, your 5-star room, which comes with a private courtyard, will feature a glamping teepee for the kids plus all the necessities such as sleeping bags, pillows and outdoor chairs.

The kids get to enjoy a fun night under the stars whilst mama & papa get to snooze in the comfort of a dreamy Marriott bed! We have totally earned this after the year we’ve had! I can picture myself there now. Hotel beds are just the best aren’t they? An added bonus with this package is you get a late check-out up to 1pm, so there’s plenty of time for a lazy brekkie, a little walk and even more fun time in the teepee for the kids whilst you kick back with the paper!

What’s included?

Private courtyard with Tepee tent

Large double bed

Range of custom cushions and blankets

Sleeping bags for 2 children

Fire pit with fairy lights

Individual courtyard mood lighting

Relaxation camp chairs for parents

Picnic table and chairs

Selection of games and board games

Family Picnic Hampers are also available to order to have in the courtyard or take to the park.

Reservations

For reservations or enquiries: Email: mhrs.melmc.ays@marriotthotels.com

Tel: (+61) 3 9662 3900

To book your family’s once in a lifetime adventure under the city stars click here!


About the Melbourne Marriot Hotel

Discover 5-star amenities and an enviable city center location at the wonderful Melbourne Marriott Hotel. Situated downtown, this contemporary hotel is just a short walk away from theatres, shopping, parks, attractions and restaurants. Unwind in stylish, spacious accommodation, featuring plush bedding and complimentary Wi-Fi – many rooms with stunning Melbourne city views. For relaxation, the Marriot offers a fantastic fitness center with an indoor pool and high-tech gym. Grab cocktails in the Elements Lounge and Bar or indulge in modern Australian cuisine at the hotel’s on-site restaurant. The Melbourne Marriot has an ideal downtown location, exploring top attractions with your family couldn’t be easier.

If people slept outside under the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently – Unknown

I’d love to know if you book this adventure, so keep me posted xx Liv