HOT: Death to Nuggets, My Son, Joy, 315 Coventry St, South Melbourne

death to nuggets

Death to Nuggets is a fun and bold campaign aiming to combat childhood obesity and the prevalence of processed food in children’s diets. It’s the brainchild of Melbourne father of three and former advertising executive Jonathan Pangu, in collaboration with chef and consultant Laura Neville, formerly of Racine and Soho House in London, and Bistro Moncur Woollahra and Code Black Melbourne.

Death to Nuggets is currently a series of themed pop-up dinners for kids and their adults at My Son, Joy, with the eventual aim to open a bricks and mortar cafe/restaurant. Their mission is to inspire kids with imaginative, nourishing food of the sort that you’re currently unlikely to find in any kids menus, where bland beige processed food like chicken nuggets abound.

death to nuggets

Let me get this straight – I actually have no inherent problem with chicken nuggets! I even make them at home with chicken breast and panko breadcrumbs. Plus if you have a look at my Instagram feed it’s obvious that I am not an acolyte of ‘I Quit Sugar’.

But what I do support is better food choices for kids, minimising food that is high in salt, sugar and trans-fats and improving the relationship our kids have with food. It’s concerning that Australia’s obesity rate has doubled since 1980, with 27% of children now overweight or obese.

As such, I’m curious to experience a Death to Nuggets dinner. I am invited to take Lady AB to ‘Eating Nemo?!’ with a theme – you guessed it – centred around fish.

Lady AB is generally pretty good with food – she’s willing to try even if she may not like the same broad range of food that I do. And she’ll happily sit somewhere for hours wrapped up in a good book.

death to nuggets

The fun starts with a Death to Nuggets red carpet, a nice touch to make the dinner a special occasion. Along with the dinner there are craft activities and books to read – and a seafood-themed playlist in the background (Rock Lobster!).

death to nuggets

Chefs talk to kids as they eat and kids can watch chefs in the kitchen.

death to nuggets

First course is a riff on fish and chips, with crispy polenta chips accompanying a fish and caper mixture that resembles mashed potato. There’s also a large plate of crudites.

death to nuggets

Lady AB eats the chips, the raw zucchini (thinking it’s cucumber) and tries but does not like the fish – capers put her off. The 10 year old boys next to me demolish the crudites and chips too.

Second course is a Japanese-inspired make-your-own seashore!

death to nuggets

On the plate is salmon sashimi, pickled whitefish, parmesan crumb then kids are invited to add other elements to their plate – seaweed, greens, pickled ginger.

death to nuggets

Lady AB loves salmon sashimi normally so eats most of that off her plate then tries the rest of the elements. It is my favourite dish of the night, with an imaginative palette of colour, textures and flavours melding together.

death to nuggets

Third course is the most ‘familiar’ in that its tomato-sauce based and comes with fluffy potato rolls. Inside the sauce are prawn and fish dumplings. Lady AB maintains that she does not like prawn (even though she’s unwittingly eaten prawn before) and refuses to eat the dumplings after an exploratory nibble.

death to nuggets

The dessert course is an edible fish tank! It’s like a trifle layered with cake, jelly, fruit in fun shapes, pearls and garnished with tiny Chinese salted fish. It’s a visual feast and it’s just a shame that I don’t have the appetite to eat more.

death to nuggets

At the end I ask Lady AB what her favourite food is. She says ‘bread’ (sigh). I ask other than bread what she likes and she says ‘salmon sashimi’. Which indicates that maybe with enough constant exposure and an instiling an ‘attitude of trying’ a child just might happily eat raw fish.

I’m not saying that Death to Nuggets has a magic wand. A kid that will only eat chicken nuggets won’t suddenly love sushi after one dinner. But I think food-loving and creative Melburnians are ready to try something different for their kids that doesn’t involve beige, boring and overly processed food. The high-quality food at Death to Nuggets is imaginative, colourful and encourages kids to get hands on.

Death to Nuggets’ next dinner is their most challenging yet – bugs. I’m going to put aside my mental block against eating insects in order to lead by example.  I hope to see you there!

Death to Nuggets: Bugg Power, My Son, Joy, 315 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Saturday 7 October 5-7pm

Tickets are $45 a head including drinks for kids and a glass of wine for adults. Age range is approx. 5-13 but child dependant.


HOT: Resource Rescue, 1/42 Burgess Rd, Bayswater North

resource rescue

Resource Rescue is a big warehouse in Bayswater North filled with all sort of recycled arts and craft supplies so you can create your own masterpieces. It’s a particularly useful resource for teachers, kindergartens and child care centres but crafty individuals are also welcome to visit.

resource rescue

Resource Rescue reclaim rejects, seconds and factory offcuts in order to sell recycled and reclaimed materials at a very cheap price.

resource rescue

The premise is simple – grab a standard 54L garbage bag (20c contribution), take a trolley and fill the bag up with whatever you like for $30 a bag (fabrics costs $5 a metre).

resource rescue

resource rescue

If you pay for a membership the price per bag is reduced. Depending on the number of bags you want to fill in 12 months it can be as cheap as $8.75 a bag.

resource rescue

I visit Resource Rescue to stock up on materials for Wheelie Good Fun’s next few art-making events. My bag is filled with cardboard, reflective strips, tape, foam squares, plastic circular discs, cotton reels and anything else that might make a good building, car, boat or wearable art.

resource rescue

Other items you can find include wood offcuts, rolls of drawing paper, cork, fabric scraps, cardboard material tubes, buckets, plastic, styrofoam. Popular items like trim and coloured feathers go quickly. Have a look at a selection of the range here.

resource rescue

I love Resource Rescue because the shelves of odds and ends inspire children (and adults!) to make new things by reusing old materials. By using recycled materials, creative experiences affordable and accessible to everyone – plus of course it’s good for the planet.

resource rescue

If you are in need of a regular supply of craft materials it’s worth getting a membership and taking a special trip out to Bayswater North. The stock changes all the time so check out the Resource Rescue Craft Supplies Facebook page to see what’s available now. If you can’t make it into the store they offer mail order memberships but it’s a lucky dip as to what materials you receive.

HOT Tips:

  • new or lapsed memberships incur a $10.00 joining fee;
  • anybody  can be a member of Resource Rescue Inc;
  • You can purchase casually for $30 a bag. The general rule of thumb is that once you use more than 3 bags per year it is cheaper to be a member;
  • Membership runs for 12 months from the time you join.

Resource Rescue, 1/42 Burgess Rd, Bayswater North

Tuesday- Friday 9.00AM – 5.00PM

Saturday 9.00AM – 1.00PM

Closed during Christmas holidays for approximately 6 weeks, resuming on the first Tuesday in February.




The HOT List: Top 14 Spring Festivals in Melbourne for Families

Melbourne is Australia’s festival city any time of year, but the festival season really starts to ramp up for Spring!

Here are the top 14 Spring festivals in September, October and November for families in Melbourne, in date order.

1. Sustainable September

South Melbourne Market celebrates its 150th year with Sustainable September, a month-long festival including kids’ activities, workshops, tours, a Sustainability Circuit and a special Turning Trash to Treasure exhibition.

Sustainable September, Corner Cecil Street and Coventry Street,  South Melbourne

Fri 1 Sep – Sat 30 Sep

2. Melbourne Fringe Festival

Melbourne Fringe Festival is one of Australia’s largest independent arts festivals and this year their families program is huge!

Click here for my top picks for families visiting Melbourne Fringe 2017, with shows ranging from theatre, comedy, puppetry, dance and visual arts.

Melbourne Fringe Festival, various locations

Thu 14 Sep to Sun 1 Oct


  1. Tesselaar Tulip Festival

Be amazed by Tesselaar Tulip Festival and the beauty of a million tulips across 25 acres of farmland, all set in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. There is also live entertainment, market stalls and tempting foods on offer every day.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival, 357 Monbulk Road  Silvan

Thursday 14 September to Tue 10 Oct


  1. Royal Melbourne Show

The Royal Melbourne Show is an annual tradition that brings the country to the city. Spend a fun day filled with rides, entertainment, food, games and a showbag or three. The schedule of events changes daily so plan ahead and click here for my tips on how to make the most of your time at the show.

Royal Melbourne Show, Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington

Sat 23 Sep- Wed 4 Oct

5. Footy Festival

The annual AFL Footy Festival outside the MCG is a fun way to get into the spirit of the AFL Grand Final and it’s all free!

The large site features live broadcasts, player appearances, kids activities, food and music. Click here for a review of the festival.

Footy Festival, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 120 Brunton Avenue Jolimont

Wed 27 Sep to Sat 30 Sep


  1. Blossom Festival

Cherryhill Orchards are opening their Yarra Valley orchard gates for the first Blossom Festival.  

Wander through rows upon rows of our stunning cherry trees in full bloom or sit back, relax and listen to live local music. Also featuring food trucks in town, cherry beverages, giant garden games.

Blossom Festival, Cherryhill Orchards, 480 Queens Road, Wandin East

Fri 29 Sep – Mon 2 Oct


  1. Moon Festival

Celebrate the second-biggest Chinese/South-East Asian festival in the calendar (after Lunar New Year) at various events around Melbourne.

At the Melbourne Moon Festival the 27th year of the festival will host 60 market stalls showcasing various cuisines arts and crafts cultural activities mooncakes lanterns and more! The main stage will also provide full day of entertainment

At the Full Moon Festival discover the many delicious flavours, aromas, sounds and colours of this traditional festivity during this free day long celebration of arts and culture from Dandenong’s local Chinese community.

At Batman Market’s Chinese Moon Festival the festival is celebrated with dragon and lion dances, traditional games, incense burning, lotus root, wine, and moon cakes!


Melbourne Moon Festival, Main St and Market St mall, Box Hill

Saturday, 30 September

Full Moon Festival, Dandenong Market, Corner Clow and Cleeland Streets, Dandenong

Sunday 8 October

Chinese Moon Festival, Batman Market, 14-22 Gaffney Street, Coburg

Sunday 15 October


  1. Spring Fling

North and West Melbourne are celebrating the 40th annual Spring Fling this year.  Errol Street comes alive with pop up markets, street food, beer gardens, entertainment, the always adorable Spring Fling Dog Show and plenty of exciting offerings from local businesses.

Spring Fling, Corner Errol Street and Victoria St, North Melbourne

Sunday 15 October


  1. Whitehorse Spring Festival

The Whitehorse Spring Festival is a free, fun-filled day that celebrates the vibrant community and offers family-friendly day out, with a variety of activities, performances and workshops to enjoy!

Whitehorse Spring Festival  379-397 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading

Sun 15 Oct


  1. Main Street Festival

In its 22nd year, the Main Street Festival showcases the cultural lifestyle that its peninsula residents enjoy – wine, food, music, art, entertainment, shopping, and fun. A number of stages will incorporate local peninsula based bands, as well as a community stage, roving artists, and musicians.

Main Street Festival, Main Street, Mornington

Sunday 15 October


  1. Sunshine Lantern Festival

The Sunshine Lantern Festival is the largest lantern festival in Victoria and a free cultural community event. Enjoy a full day of family fun, entertainment, rides, street performers, music, food, magical Lion and Dragon Dancing, a Lantern Parade to celebrate the full moon and ending with spectacular fireworks.

Sunshine Lantern Festival Hampshire Rd  Sunshine

Sun 22 Oct


  1. Children’s Week

Children’s Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. This year there are celebrations all across Melbourne from Saturday 21 October to Sunday 29 October.

One of the biggest annual events is Wyndham City Council’s Children’s Week Picnic at Werribee Mansion. This year’s event will feature a performance by Despicable Me 3, food trucks and activities across four precincts.

Children’s Week Picnic, Werribee Park Mansion, K Road, Werribee

Sun 22 Oct


  1. Sydenham Kite Festival

The Sydenham Kite Festival is an annual, free family event with giant colourful and novelty kites! You can BYO kites or buy one on site. The event also features a sausage sizzle and games.

Sydenham Kite Festival, Delahey Recreational Reserve, 80 Copperfield Drive, Delahey

Sun 12 Nov


  1. Bacchus Marsh Strawberries and Cherries Weekend

Every year at the start of the strawberry and cherry season Bacchus Marsh hold a town-wide festival in November- the Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Weekend.

Sample succulent fruits, pick your own locally grown produce and enjoy a wide range of festive activities including entertainment, fireworks and more.

Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Weekend

Sat 18 and Sun 19 Nov



Silvers Circus in Maribyrnong – Giveaway!

Silvers Circus Image

Silvers Circus are pitching their tents in Maribyrnong these September school holidays and you could be in the crowd cheering on the acts!

Silvers Circus is a household name has been touring Australia for almost 40 years with their brand of family entertainment and fun. Their latest 2 hour show features artists from around the world, Las Vegas style illusions and captivating production techniques. Expect sparkle, glamour and death-defying acts from Australia’s premier circus.

To book tickets to Silvers Circus go to or call the circus direct on 0413 880 044 or 0413 844 241

Silvers Circus, Corner of Wattle Rd and Rosamond Rd, Maribyrnong

Wednesday 20th September – Sunday 15th October

Tickets from $20-$45


Thanks to Silvers Circus I have 4 x Family passes (each pass admits 4) to give away for any session in Maribyrnong.

To win, just follow the instructions. The competition closes midnight Thursday 21 September. The winners will be selected randomly and contacted via email for box office collection. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Horrible Harriet at Arts Centre Melbourne – Giveaway!

Horrible Harriet is a wickedly funny theatre adaptation of Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs’ much loved book and it is playing at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse during the September school holidays from Wednesday 27 Sepember – Saturday 30 September.

Families are invited to join Harriet’s search for identity and friendship, with songs, humour and mischievous fun.

Harriet lives in the roof of her school and keeps teachers chained in the cellar to do her homework. She doesn’t see eye to eye with the other children but really wants a friend. When Athol Egghead lands in his hot air balloon, Harriet finally meets someone who understands her. But then Mr Chicken arrives to disrupt the whole show.

Horrible Harriet is the work of CDP Kids Productions, the team behind the hit stage shows The 13, 26, and 52-Storey Treehouses, The Gruffalo and Mr Stink.

Leigh Hobbs will be signing copies of Horrible Harriet in the foyer at 12pmWednesday 27 September and 1pmFriday 29 September. Bring along your book and have it signed, or you can buy one when you get here!

Horrible Harriet, Arts Centre Melbourne, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Wednesday 27 September: 11am & 2pm
Thursday 28 & Friday 29 September: 10am, 12pm & 3pm
Saturday 30 September: 10am & 12pm
*Auslan interpreted performance: Friday 29 September, 3pm
*Relaxed performance: Thursday 28 September, 12pm

Recommended for ages 3-8



I have 2 x family passes (4 tickets) to give away for Horrible Harriet at Arts Centre Melbourne Wed 27 September 2pm show.

To win just follow the instructions below. The competition closes midnight Monday 25 September and the random winners will be notified by email within 24 hours. Open to Australian residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOT: Waratah Hills, 20 Cottmans Rd, Fish Creek

waratah hills

Waratah Hills is an award-winning Prom Country winery in Southern Gippsland on the road to Wilsons Promontory.

It is one of Australia’s southern-most wineries and thus specialises in pinot noir and chardonnay.

waratah hills

All Waratah Hills and Prom Road wines can be tasted and purchased at the vineyard cellar door. As well as a cellar door they serve lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The best way to approach the menu to order a lot of plates to share and enjoy it with a glass of wine!

waratah hills

I recommend the savoury pastries, the calamari, spicy chicken wings and of course don’t miss the cheese board with local cheese.

waratah hills

While you’re there admire the stylish decor, including this stunning bespoke wine and cheese trolley produced by the owners’ son Nick Travers (director of Techne Architects and Interior Design, responsible for many of Melbourne’s most famous restaurant fit outs).

waratah hills

waratah hills

waratah hills

From every dining room there are views overlooking the vineyard and the Hoddle Ranges.

waratah hills

Waratah Hills is a must-do destination if you’re in the area, with beautiful wine and food in a stunning, relaxing setting.

Click here for more places to go with kids in Gippsland

HOT Tips:

  • High chairs;
  • Standard menu suitable for children;
  • Few outdoor toys;
  • Outdoor gardens/vineyard;
  • Free parking;
  • Bookings are available for groups 8+ and recommended on busy days.

Waratah Hills, 20 Cottmans Rd (Off Promontory Rd), Fish Creek 03 5683 2441

Friday 12 noon to 4pm

Saturday 11am to 4pm

Sunday 11am to 4pm

Open every weekend and Public Holidays 11-5pm

Daily from end of December to end January 11-5pm

Lunch served until 3pm.

Cheeseboards available from 3pm to 5pm



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