HOT: Tommy Ruff, 574A Main St, Mordialloc

tommy ruff

Are you looking for Melbourne’s best fish and chips? Tommy Ruff (Elsternwick, Windsor and Mordialloc) is consistently named in the top 10 lists and after trying it out I have to agree. They do excellent fish and chips…and everything seafood!

tommy ruff

The Mordialloc store is decked out like a salty sea shanty with bleached and painted wood, buoys and sea creatures providing fun touches. I particularly like the fishing rods, bent over to hold the banquette lighting!

tommy ruff

Baby 2.0 and I giggle over the fish-shaped water jugs which make a ‘glug glug’ fishy noise when pouring.

tommy ruff

The menu is extensive, starting with sharing plates and moving right through to non-fish items and a kids menu.

I try the fish tacos ($15 for 3), three juicy morsels of house fish Blue Grenadier, tucked into a soft tortilla with salsa and a squirt of chipotle mayo. It’s satisfying and easily a meal in itself.

tommy ruff

However, in the interests of research I also try the salt and pepper calamari ($12). If you like calamari don’t miss this dish – the calamari is extremely tender and the outer coating give it a slight crunch to dip into the aioli (which could do with more punch).

tommy ruff

The main event is the fish and chips and for $11.50 you get a huge beer-battered fillet and a mound of chips. The fish and chips are not greasy and both are impressively crunchy on the outside. The potatoes are not bland and starchy – the thick batons really taste of potato!

Tommy Ruff provides takeaway if you want to head to Mordialloc Beach, the pier or the playground at Peter Scullin Reserve.

HOT Tips:

  • Pram access
  • High chairs
  • Kids menu;
  • Standard menu suitable for kids;
  • Close to Peter Scullin Reserve playground and Mordialloc Beach;
  • Time limited free street parking; and
  • No Reservations. Walk ins only.

Tommy Ruff, 574A Main St, Mordialloc 03 9580 2525

Daily 11.30 AM – 9 PM

What’s On – Friday 24 February to Thursday 2 March

Enjoy the last week of summer with festivals, picnics and outdoor cinema! Weather’s still looking warm for the rest of the week so check out Melbourne’s best beaches for kids and the best places to go in a Melbourne heatwave.

CBD / Docklands

  • Victoria Harbour Pop Up Cinema (Fri 24 Feb) -free open-air cinema, Park Cinema, popping up at Victoria Harbour’s Buluk Park. Last week.
  • Moomba Parade Design Exhibition and Workshop (Fri 24 Feb – Mon 13 Mar) – see this years designs, check out mini models of past Moomba parade floats and take a selfie on the Moomba royal throne!design your own Moomba float and enter your ideas for consideration in the 2018 parade!
  • Invisible Light Garden Artplay (Fri 24 Feb – Sun 26 Mar) – Discover the interaction between digital imagery and physical action in this interactive art installation. Full review. 
  • QV Outdoor Cinema (Fri 24 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – live entertainment, free cocktails, special food, red carpets, instafamous dogs, charity screenings, a film festival and more. Last week.
  • Play Pod State Library of Victoria (Fri 24 Feb – Tue 28 Feb) – free play space inspired by Herman and Rosie. Last weekFull review.
  • Viktor & Rolf For Kids NGV (Fri 24 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – interactive children’s gallery exhibition developed by designers Viktor & Rolf. Last week. FULL REVIEW.
  • NGV Car Wash (Fri 24 Feb – April 2017) – enjoy a neon pink installation in the sculpture garden inspired by a car wash. FULL REVIEW.
  • Lonsdale Street Greek Festival (Sat 25 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – Melbourne’s Greek community street festival with entertainment and food.
  • Family Footy Fun Zone Queen Victoria Market (Sat 25 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – Every Saturday and Sunday until Easter the Vic Market’s A Shed near Victoria Street will be transformed into a footy extravaganza with inflatable kicking goals, a specky-marking zone, handball challenges, footy arts and crafts and more.
  • Summer Pirate Adventure Harbour Town (Sat 25 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – Neverland Adventure Experience and Pirate Craft Village. Last week. Full review.
  • Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival (Sun 26 Feb) – Federation Square will be transformed into a Japanese village with performances and food.
  • NGV Summer Sundays (Sun 26 Feb) – free family friendly concerts in the NGV Sculpture Garden. Last week.
  • Lankan Fest Crown Riverwalkat Queen Victoria Market (Sun 26 Feb) – authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, arts, crafts, music, dance, games, free cooking demonstrations and live performances.
  • Federation Square Book Market (Sun 26 Feb) – Meet author illustrator Judith Russell
  • Queen Victoria Night Market (Wed 1 Mar) – Eat and drink your way around the world one dish at a time with more than 50 street food traders cooking up a global feast plus specialty shopping and entertainment.
  • Play Pod Party (Wed 1 Mar) – Celebrate the launch of the Library’s new Play Pod theme inspired by Mem Fox’s classic tale, Where is the green sheep? with a morning of songs, dancing, craft activities and games.

Invisible Light Garden Artplay


  • Twilight Supper Market Abbotsford Convent (Fri 24 Feb) – live music, children’s activities and food every Friday night until 24 Feb. Last week. 
  • Pedal Powered Cinema (Fri 24 Feb) – Carbon-Neutral Human-Powered Moonlight Cinema featuring Oddball.
  • Big Pizza Festival Preston Food Truck Park (Fri 24 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) -dancers, henna artists, Indian music and classic bollywood flicks.
  • Zoo Twilights (Fri 24 Feb – 11 Mar) – concert series provides the perfect summer night of entertainment for all ages across Friday and Saturday evenings until 11 Mar.
  • Slavic Pancake Festival Carlton (Sat 25 Feb) – Slavic song and dance, traditional games, mouth-watering traditional food and refreshments.
  • Batman Market (Sat 25 Feb) – food trucks, free entertainment, jumping castle every Saturday until 25 Feb. Last week. FULL REVIEW.
  • Movies in the Park (Sat 25 Feb) – An outdoor cinema set amongst the eucalyots of Holden Street Reserve.
  • Fairfield Summer Series (Sun 26 Feb) – exotic sounds, amazing circus and cultural dance from around the globe every Sun until 26 Feb. Last week.



  • Burrinja Kids Stay and Play (Fri 24 Feb – 31 Mar) – free family activity by local studio artist Andrea Innocent
  • Hank Marvin Market (Sat 25 Feb) – weekly Saturday market with awesome playground at Alma Park.
  • The Creators Market Prahran (Sat 25 Feb) –  support emerging designers and artists from fashion to food and fine arts.
  • Casey Kids Carnival (Sat 25 Feb) – performers, rides, interactive games, roving entertainers, face painters, art and crafts and live animals.
  • Berwick Show (Sat 25 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – agriculture and horticulture displays, arts and crafts, performers and entertainers, carnival rides, show bags, food vans and interactive stalls.
  • Como House Tours (Sat 25 Feb – Sun 26 Feb) – A Como house tour offers a glimpse into the privileged lifestyle of former owners, the Armytage family, who lived there for nearly a century.
  • Ashburton Twilight Festival (Sun 26 Feb) – Ashburton Festival takes over High Street for a family-friendly day of fun-filled activities.
  • Sandsculpting Frankston Waterfront (Fri 24 Feb – Tue 25 Apr) -Twenty sculptors carve out themed sculptures from the sand. 
  • Teddy Bears Picnic at Ripponlea (Sun 26 Feb) – roving entertainment, performances, a treasure hunt and plenty of fun activities to keep the kids and bears occupied for hours.
  • Bright n Sandy Food and Wine Festival (Sun 26 Feb) – cooking demonstrations by leading chefs, children’s activities, live entertainment, and the opportunity to sample or buy from more than 35 food and wine exhibitors.


Melbourne Tram Museum at Hawthorn Depot, 8 Wallen Rd, Hawthorn


HOT: Peter Scullin Reserve, Cnr Centreway and Beach Rd, Mordialloc

Peter Scullin Reserve Mordialloc is popular community park between family friendly Mordialloc Beach and the Mordialloc shopping strip.

The playground is good for kids of all ages and I see school groups and kindergartens using the space.

Baby 2.0’s favourite ride is the pommel bouncer. It only fits 2 children at a time so there can be a bit of a wait to have a go.

The rest of the play equipment is mostly under shelter and has a ship theme with numerous slides, poles, climbing equipment and tic-tac-toe and abacus underneath.

For younger kids there’s an unshaded ship with more climbing, poles and a ladder. The ground flooring is soft matting too so great for crawlers and babies still putting tan bark in their mouths!

The beachside path at Mordialloc is great for biking/scootering and you can also take a walk along Mordialloc Pier to look back onto the city.

Surrounding the playground are seats and tables, barbecues and water tap and toilets close to the car park before you hit the beach.

HOT Tips:

  • Suitable for toddlers;
  • Suitable for older kids;
  • Public toilets;
  • Picnic tables and BBQ areas;
  • Paid parking;
  • Close to Mordialloc Beach and Mordialloc shops;
  • Every year over summer the Mordialloc Summer Festival is on the foreshore and other community events are often held in the reserve..

Peter Scullin Reserve, Cnr Centreway and Beach Rd,  Mordialloc

The HOT List: Top 11 Tips for visiting Ocean Park Hong Kong


Ocean Park Hong Kong is a major theme park with an aquatic and conservation theme. It’s a must-do for families visiting Hong Kong, particularly for children under 5 years, with animal exhibits, rides and a play area that’s perfect for little ones.

Here are my top 11 tips for visiting Ocean Park Hong Kong with young kids.


  1. Go off-peak

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong is particularly popular with Chinese mainland visitors, even those without kids (lots of elderly people wandering around). So if you can arrange it it’s better to go on off-peak days. Hong Kong residents have annual passes which means on weekends, public holidays and school holidays it’s a popular destination for locals.

We visit first thing on New Year’s Day because it is our only free day. We are worried about the potential crowd but it seems that most of Hong Kong is still asleep from New Year’s Eve festivities the park is not crowded at all.


  1. Get there no later than 10am

Ocean Park Hong Kong opens at 10am and it’s worth being there when the gates open so that you can beat the crowds. Tour buses and mainland tourists don’t seem to arrive until 11 or later.


  1. Book your discount tickets ahead of time

Ocean Park Hong Kong

To save queueing up at the ticket office book your tickets online. We buy discount tickets via Klook. The tickets arrive immediately and you don’t need to print them out, just scan them from your mobile.


  1. Travel by MTR

The new South Island MTR line opened 28 December 2016 and the Ocean Park stop is right at the front entrance. There’s no easier way to arrive and our trip from centrally located Wan Chai to Ocean Park takes 25 minutes.


  1. Download the app

Before you go download the Ocean Park mobile app. You can check wait times for attractions, browse maps and see schedules.

Ocean Park offers free wifi though I find it more convenient to carry a pocket wifi instead.


  1.  Go up on the train, down in the cable car

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park is split up into two levels – the Waterfront level where the main entrance and MTR stop is, and the Summit level where the thrill rides and seals are located.

You cannot walk between the two sites and can access only them by cable car or train.

The cable car at Ocean Park is the iconic ‘ride’ and it’s definitely worth trying if you’re not afraid of heights. The views of the steep mountains and the water are spectacular. The only problem is that it’s the first thing people head for so queues can get very long very quickly.

A better approach is to take the Ocean Express train up to the Summit then ride the cable car down to the Waterfront. The train is less crowded in the mornings and they can pack in more people per trip. Conversely the cable car is less crowded in the afternoons (except towards closing time).


  1. Visit the Grand Aquarium, Asian Animals and Whisker’s Harbour first

Ocean Park Hong Kong

If you have little kids you will find that you spend most of your time in the Waterfront level. Visit the Grand Aquarium and wind your way through tunnels and tanks, see pandas and Chinese Alligators at the Asian Animals exhibit and then play at the Whisker’s Harbour play area.

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Our kids could have happily stayed in the Waterfront level, particularly Whisker’s Harbour all day. There’s a carousel, miniature train, carnival games (extra cost), a small ferris wheel, jumping castle and playground.

Ocean Park Hong Kong

  1. Thrill rides are at top level

Ocean Park Hong Kong

The thrill rides are at The Summit and most of them are too advanced for under 5s. The only ride we thought suitable was the bumper cars but the wait was 30 mins.

The seals and sea lions home and the marine life theatre are also at The Summit but we are too tired to visit at that point.

Ocean Park Hong Kong

When you leave The Summit and take the cable car down you will walk through ‘Old Hong Kong’ which is modelled on the streets of 1950s Hong Kong. Great for photo ops!


  1. Bring a hat, sunscreen, snacks and a water bottle

My tactic for dealing with queues is to use the time to go to the toilet, apply sunscreen and eat snacks.

There’s not a lot of shelter while you’re lining up so bring a hat for hot days.

Ocean Park Hong Kong

  1. It’s ok to bring a pram

Ocean Park covers a large area and if you have young kids it’s worth taking a stroller just so they can have a rest while you cover longer distances.

The site is very pram-friendly, with wide paths and accessible ramps/lifts where necessary. Sometimes we get to go to the front of the queue because we have a stroller – for instance, at the entrance head far left where there’s a separate stroller entrance. The only time we have to fold it is in the cable car.

No one seems to worry about leaving prams around if you’re going on a ride. You can also hire a pram if you don’t want to bring your own.

If you are lugging around lots of gear, near the entrance after you pass the ticket gates there is a room on the right with storage lockers.


  1. Eating tips

Ocean Park Hong Kong

There are both Asian and Western restaurants in Ocean Park and we opt for a sit-down lunch at the cafeteria style Panda Cafe. The food is surprisingly decent and the kids meal is a huge selection of spaghetti bolognese, chicken nuggets, chips, jelly, soy milk AND ice cream.

There are also Asian snacks within Old Hong Kong and next time I might try the Tuxedos restaurant where you can look right into the penguin’s water tank!

Note: This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase via affiliate links there is no extra cost to you and we receive a small commission.

What are your tips for making the most of Ocean Park Hong Kong?

HOT: NGV Under 4s,National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

NGV Under 4s,National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

The National Gallery of Victoria is a fantastic family-friendly destination and every month they run ‘NGV Under 4s‘, a specially developed program for kids 2-4 years where they get to discover the gallery through look and making activities with their parents/carers.

The theme changes every month and three 60 minute sessions at 10, 11:30 and 1pm are generally held on the first Wednesday of each month at NGV International.

Baby 2.0 and I attend the first session of 2017 which is based on the temporary painting exhibition Shut Up and Paint.

The session starts with an in-gallery visit where around 20 kids and their carers are asked to pick a colour swatch and then to spot the colour in the works around them.

NGV Under 4s,National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Then we all troop off to the education centre on Level 1 where a painting session is set up. The kids match their colour swatch to a pot of paint and then start dabbing paint on the wall – right behind a (replica) Degas. It’s like a rainbow of cuteness!

NGV Under 4s,National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

So that everyone has a chance to take artwork home the kids then free paint on A4 sheets.

The session ends with a storytime while we wait for the paintings to dry. It’s Herve Tullet’s ‘Mix It Up’, a fantastically interactive picture book all about mixing colours. We also leave with a coupon for a free babycino with any tea/coffee purchase from the Gallery Kitchen.

At $15 per child ($12 for NGV members) the NGV Under 4s sessions are a good value introduction to the world of art in a professional gallery. My only niggle is that there’s a significant amount of time is spent waiting around (the sessions always seem to start 10 minutes behind as we wait for latecomers) and schlepping around the gallery, particularly if you have a pram and have to use lifts.  This waiting and schlepping can be trying on the patience of little kids and means the actual doing part is only about 30 minutes long.

The next session of NGV Under 4s is Wednesday 8 March and bookings are essential. While you’re at the NGV also visit Atelier: Viktor & Rolf for Kids and the NGV Car Wash.

HOT Tips:

  • suitable for kids 2-4 years;
  • Only children need a ticket ($15 per child), adults do not need a ticket;
  • bookings essential;
  • includes a free babycino with any tea/coffee purchase from the Gallery Kitchen; and
  • also visit Atelier: Viktor & Rolf for Kids and the NGV Car Wash.

NGV Under 4s,National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne +61 3 8662 1555

Generally first Wednesday of the month, bookings required.

$15 child / $12 members, including free babycino with any tea/coffee purchase from Gallery Kitchen

Gallery open 10am–5pm daily


Jubilee Display Village Grand Opening – Saturday 25 February

Jubilee is a new master-planned community in Wyndham Vale and it’s celebrating the grand opening of its Display Village next Saturday 25 February with a fun-filled family festival.

The Jubilee Display Village Grand Opening will feature a giant waterslide and water balls to beat the summer heat, a Ferris Wheel, jumping castle and carnival activities.

After all that activity head to the food trucks handing out complimentary treats plus burgers, ice creams, fairy floss, tacos and a classic sausage sizzle!

Have some fun, grab your food and a beanbag then relax with local performances in the newly landscaped Linear Park.

In the Jubilee Display Village you can visit thirty-two homes from some of Australia’s most renowned builders. These homes provide the perfect option for all households; from first home buyers, families, downsizers, to purchasers who need a little extra land for their dream home. Jubilee‘s friendly team who will be onsite to answer all your questions and everyone is welcome to join in the fun and festivities!

Jubilee Display Village Grand Opening, Welcome Parade, Wyndham Vale

Saturday 25 February 11am to 4pm

Free entry

This post has been published in partnership with Jubilee. To find out more information about Jubilee call William on 03 9684 8185 or head to the Jubilee New Land Sales Office at the corner of Memory Crescent and Welcome Parade, open 11am – 6pm 7 days a week.


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