HOT: Vjunior at Village Cinemas Westfield Southland, 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham

vjunior southland

Vjunior is Australia’s first kid’s cinema experience and located at Westfield Southland’s Village Cinema.

vjunior southland

Thirty minutes before movie screenings at Vjunior kids can play with Hot Wheels activity tables…

vjunior southland

….a Mega Blocks wall…

vjunior southland

….Scrabble wall…

vjunior southland

and colouring in. A selection of kid’s artworks are projected onto the screen in the foyer and the big screen prior to the start of the movie.

vjunior southland

You can also continue to do the activities after your movie if a subsequent screening is scheduled.

vjunior southland

Then there’s the biggest surprise of all; a huge slide positioned right one side of the movie theatre. Yes that’s right, a slide IN the movie theatre! The slide is manned by a Village Cinemas’ staff member, and is locked up before the movie starts.

Within the Vjunior cinema you can choose to stretch out on a red lounge chair in the front row, sink into a yellow bean bag seat, or choose the more traditional cinema lounge chairs at the rear of the movie theatre.

If the movie is a full length animated feature then there is a 10 minute intermission. It’s a chance to stretch your legs, go to the toilet, grab some snacks from the Vjunior dedicated candy bar…and slip down the slide again!

Personally I think an intermission unnecessarily breaks up the movie-going magic, making it harder to settle kids down again afterwards and stretching out the movie even longer. But an intermission may be a useful feature if your kids get restless.

Vjunior combines movies and play for a fantastic cinema experience for kids. I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance, especially during school holidays, as there are only two Vjunior cinemas – one holds about 50 people and one holds about 100 people.

Click here for more indoor places to go with kids.

Click here for more places to go with babies and toddlers.

Thank you to Erica Louise for this guest post! Erica writes for KidTown Melbourne and Recycled Fashion. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram. 


HOT Tips:

  • Only some sessions of family movies are held at Vjunior cinema – check before you purchase your tickets;
  • tickets are more expensive than standard movie tickets;
  • Book tickets ahead as some sessions can sell out, especially during school holidays. There are only two Vjunior cinemas – one holds about 50 people and one holds about 100 people;
  • it’s worth joining the Vrewards movie club (it’s free) to collect points on every Vjunior/Village Cinemas purchase which you can redeem for candy bar purchases and tickets; and
  • Parking is free at Westfield Southland.

Vjunior at Village Cinemas Westfield Southland, 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham 1300 555 400

From $16 to $24.50. Family packages available.

 

ACMI Family Sundays + Giveaway!

On the first Sunday of every month, ACMI (the Australian Centre of Moving Images and Australia’s museum of film, television, video games and digital culture) offers a day of free family-friendly events and interactive activities called ‘ACMI Family Sundays‘.

ACMI Family Sundays give families the opportunity to interact with screen culture in all its forms, with activities mainly designed for 5 – 12 year olds. There’s a different theme in month with different workshops and experiences, so you can return again and again.

In the coming months families can create stop motion animation, wield a lightsaber, belt out tunes at our winter karaoke to painting a masterpiece in virtual reality with Google’s Tilt Brush. And it’s all free!

Star Wars ACMI

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, on Sunday 7 May ACMI are holding a special Star Wars Family Sunday event. Families can learn to wield a lightsaber at the Padawan Academy, and then put their newfound skills to the test exploring distant worlds in our green screen studio. Lovers of the Millennium Falcon can create their own ship fast enough to make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs at one of our Lego building stations, and direct their own space adventure using stop-motion animation.

Families can also take in the two moons of Tatooine in a one-of-a-kind virtual reality tour, learn coding basics in a series of games using their favourite characters, or sit back and play Star Wars video games in the GamesLab section of Screen Worlds.

Future ACMI Family Sundays themes include:

  • Get into Gameplay (Sun 4 Jun);
  • Stop! Motion Animation! (Sun 2 Jul) to coincide with the opening weekend of Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The magic of Aardman;
  • Winter Fantasy and Fables (Sun 6 Aug);
  • Smart Stories (Sun 3 Sep);
  • Journey to Outer Space (Sun 1 Oct); and
  • Superheroes and Villains (Sun 5 Nov).

In addition to the ACMI Family Sundays activities you can visit the free Screen Worlds exhibition, explore the Kids’ Flicks cinema program and grab a bite at the family-friendly ACMI Cafe.


ACMI’s Family Sundays, ACMI, Federation Square (03) 8663 2200

First Sunday of every month from 11am to 4pm

ACMI open daily 10-5pm

Free entry


Giveaway!

Thanks to ACMI I have 2 x Wallace and Gromit Family Memberships (valued at $147 per membership) to give away.

Exclusive member benefits include:

Additional family member benefits include:

  • Discounted member prices for ACMI exhibitions, cinemas and programs
  • Discounted member prices for up to four guests
  • Invitations to special member events
  • 15% discount at ACMI Cafe & Bar
  • Exclusive food and drink offers
  • 15% discount at the our Shop
  • Discounted $12 parking at Wilson’s Parking Fed Square (Mon – Fri after 3pm, Sat & Sun all day)
  • Discounts from cultural and festival partners including Member prices for exhibitions at the NGV, and concession prices for MIFF
  • ACMI member e-news.

PLUS, each membership includes a  special Aardman 40th Anniversary DVD collection

To win just follow the instructions below. The competition ends midnight Monday 8 May and the randomly selected winners will be notified via email and must respond 24 hours. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melbourne Dog Lovers Show – Giveaway!

Melbourne Dog Show

Melbourne Dog Lovers Show returns to Royal Exhibition Building from Friday 5 May to Sunday 7 May with the most exciting line-up in the event’s history, a host of new interactive features and more dogs than ever before!

Dr Katrina Warren & the Wonderdogs return to wow visitors with a brand new show with Dr Harry Cooper and renowned Hollywood animal trainer Peta Clarke and the Australian Working DogRescue International (AWDRI) are also returning to educate, entertain and engage the 30,000+ dog lovers expected to attend.

Highlights of the 2017 Melbourne Dog Lovers Show include:

Melbourne dog lovers show

DockDogs

An exciting, high-energy aquatic long jump for canines DockDogs® will see talented dogs of all breeds attempt some of the longest leaps, highest jumps and fastest water retrievals ever witnessed in Australia. It’s the fastest growing dog sport in the world and an absolute must-see at the Melbourne show with dogs launching themselves off an elevated dock into a massive 100,000 litre swimming pool.

Insta-Pooch Zone

Vvisitors will get the opportunity to meet, interact and snap selfies with some of the Australia’s most famous and notable canine Instagram stars.

Rescue Dog Zone

Since 2013, the Rescue Dog Zone has helped find homes for 2,000+ pooches around Australia 30+ rescue groups are taking part to deliver a record number of dog adoptions this year.

Australian Hero Dog Tribute

From Working and Military dogs to Therapy and Assistance dogs, the Australian Hero Dog Tribute will showcase the incredible skills and abilities of our service dogs and the contribution they make to improve the lives of thousands of people in our community every day.

Melbourne Dog Show

Royal Canin Arena

Exciting new demonstrations from the talented UpDogs (Frisbee, Tricks & Agility combined!), K9 Scent Scramble (a whole new ball game with dogs jumping into a massive pit of 30,000 plastic coloured balls!) and a K9 Weave Pole Sprint Challenge will WOW visitors plus the popular ‘Meet the Breeds’ showcase returns with Dr Harry where visitors can discover and learn more about some fascinating dogs.

KONG Celebrity Vet Stage

The KONG Celebrity Vet Stage will play host to an exciting line up of live demo’s, educational talks and reliable advice from the most trusted experts in the country.

Breed Showcase

40+ breeds of all shapes and sizes on show for visitors to see, compare and cuddle it’s sure to draw big crowds again.

Pat-A-Pooch Zone

Visitors will be able to interact with a wide range of dog breeds of all shapes and sizes with a handler on-hand at all times to provide trusted, reliable information on each pooch.


Melbourne Dog Lovers Show, Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

Friday 5 May – Sunday 7 May

9:30am – 5pm daily

Adults $25 ($30 on site)

Child 5-16 years $12 ($15 on site)

Pensioner $17 ($20 on site)

Family 2 adults 2 children $68 ($80 on site)

Kids 4 years and younger – free


Giveaway!

Thanks to Melbourne Dog Lovers Show I have 4 x family passes (for 4 people) to attend the show on any day Friday 5 May – Sunday 7 May.

To win all you have to do is follow the instructions below. Competition closes midnight Monday 1 May and winners will be emailed within 24 hours. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOT: Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Rd, Sunshine West

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

Sunshine Social transforms an old service station into a hip restaurant and bar inspired by old-school charcoal chicken shops.

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

During balmy weather, the outdoor beer garden is the place to hang out. There are lots of picnic tables bedecked with jaunty yellow umbrellas and room for kids to roam under the eaves of the servo where the petrol bowsers used to sit. 

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

A highlight is the timber cubby house filled with books, toys and craft materials.

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

There’s also a single tricycle in hot demand!

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

Inside the space is airy and spacious and allows for pram access. The big open kitchen cooks rotisserie meats and seafood over hot charcoal then barbecues to order for extra smokiness.

You can eat in or takeaway, the menu is the same. The highlight is obviously the chicken, with a choice of half a chicken with two sides ($28.50) or a whole chicken with three sides ($38.50).

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

The whole chicken feeds 2 adults and 3 children easily. For our sides we choose the charred corn on the cob, crunchy thick cut chips in ‘Sunshine’ seasoning and a light and crisp slaw that is thankfully not smothered in mayo.

The meat is juicy and tender and there’s a smoky char to the skin rubbed in a marinade of onion, garlic, paprika, cumin and oregano. 

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West

We round out our meal with an ice cream sanga ($7.50) – two balls of vanilla bean ice cream between McVities Digestive biscuits.

Sunshine Social’s speciality is definitely protein from the grill, so if you’re vegetarian stick to the salads. A salad plate for three salads is a very reasonable $15. There are also burgers and small snacks, including crumbed chicken nuggets using proper chunks of chicken which the kids might enjoy ($9.50).

Note that the bar is well-stocked, particularly with local tipples, but its licence only applies to the restaurant inside.

Sunshine Social is a great addition to Melbourne’s west, with its classic, finger-lickin’ menu presented in a relaxed, family-friendly vibe.


HOT Tips:

  • Pram access;
  • High chairs;
  • Standard menu suitable for kids;
  • Toys, books, colouring-in, cubby house;
  • Toilets are small, may not fit a pram; and
  • no bookings for groups of under 10.

Sunshine Social, 64 Glengala Road Sunshine West 3020 (03) 9312 0223

7 Days 11am-11pm

 

HOT: Sebastian’s Food and Wine, 303 Hampton Street, Hampton

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

Sebastian’s Food and Wine holsd prime position for train enthusiasts and commuters in Hampton – on the corner of the strip shops of Hampton Street and facing the railway crossing. As such, most of the outdoor pavement tables are taken up when we visit on a weekday and as we’re with train-spotting Baby 2.0 we decide not to sit in the leafy courtyard instead.

The menu includes all day breakfast and  lunch from 11am plus a few dishes just for kids.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

We try the Marrakesh salad ($16) with roasted cauliflower, poached egg, lentils, almonds, dates, spinach, chickpeas. I opt for a slab of grilled haloumi ($3.50) as well. It’s a crispy, healthy mix though the tahini-lime dressing could do with more oomph as it’s barely discernible.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

The freekeh salad continues in a similar vein ($18) with freekah, tabouleh, grilled haloumi, broccolini, roasted cauliflower. The pickled grapes are an unusual addition and give an interesting sweet/sour tang to the bowl.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

The Straight Outta Hampton burger ($14) is straight out of a burger textbook. The wagu beef patty does lift it beyond the norm but otherwise it’s a fairly standard stack of lettuce, tomato, pickles, barbecue sauce and mustard.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

From the kids menu Baby 2.0 is very happy with his fish and fat chips ($12) which comes nicely presented on a wooden platter. Just a little care with presentation goes a long way!

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

Speaking of presentation, the buttermilk hotcake is an artist’s palette on a plate. The fluffy pancake is one single tall stack with stone fruit, berries and edible flowers.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

For kids there’s also high chairs and colouring-in on request, with pram access mostly at the front of the cafe and in the courtyard. Note that a smiley face biscuit costs a killer $4 in Hampton!

Sebastian’s Food and Wine is a convenient option for local families, with a strong focus on healthy food, enough entertainment for kids with the passing trains and colouring-in and other family-friendly features.


HOT Tips:

  • Pram access;
  • High chairs;
  • Outdoor courtyard;
  • Kids menu;
  • Standard menu suitable for kids;
  • colouring-in and trainspotting; and
  • Limited Street parking.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine, 303 Hampton Street, Hampton 03 9533 475

Open 7 days a week from 7am – 4pm
Sebastian's Food & Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s On – Friday 21 April to Thursday 27 April 2017

First weekend back at school and the calendar is jam-packed with fun (including the last weekend of Nature Play Week events). Plus of course ANZAC Day is Tuesday 25 April, find the list of all the ANZAC Day services happening in Melbourne.

Note on ANZAC Day and many shops, cafes and public institutions eg libraries will be closed, at least in the morning. The museums (Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, Immigration Museum), zoos (Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary, Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium) and galleries (NGV Australia and NGV International) will all be open.

If you’re wondering how to share the Anzac story with children, here’s a list of recommended picture books and my failsafe Anzac biscuits recipe.

CBD/Docklands

NORTH / NORTH EAST

Children's Garden Royal Botanic Gardens

SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

 

EAST

Little Red Train, Werribee Park Mansion, K Road, Werribee South + Giveaway!

WEST

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