HOT: Habitots, 217-239 Montague St, South Melbourne

Children’s store and creative art space Habitots closed its Albert Park store in March. However, it is continuing its art and music classes at party venue Apples and Jam in South Melbourne.

We are invited to try out one of the art classes in the new space. We really enjoy the unstructured creative play in a bigger area almost double the size of Habitots‘ previous art room.

The room is set up with different activity stations by a facilitator/teacher Olivia. Every week there’s a different theme – we are there for vegetable week – with similar activities provided in keeping with the theme.

There’s sensory play using a tub of lentils and a tub of water filled with various utensils and toys.

Little kids will enjoy the felt wall.

A painting session allows kids to paint on a wipeable fibreglass window. There’s also an opportunity to paint with veggies!


At the large craft table there’s a choice of pasting, making, stamping and play-doh.



There’s no requirement to do everything (or anything) so it’s a fantastic relaxed atmosphere for under 5s.


To mark the end of each session the kids can play with musical instruments and the bubble machine turns on!


Habitots hold weekly messy play sessions for 1-2 years, creative play for 2-5 years and music classes for babies from 3 months. Both of the art classes offer the same activities, it’s just that the messy play sessions are shorter at 40 minutes and the creative play sessions are 50 minutes. As such, younger/older children than the age bracket are able to attend either session, with a maximum of 12 children per class. You can also book classes for a term, half term or casual drop in for $20 a class.


Click here for places to go and things to do with babies and toddlers 

Click here for indoor places to go with kids. 

HOT Tips:

  • classes are up a flight stairs, so try to leave the pram downstairs;
  • smocks are provided;
  • messy play 2-3 years 40 minutes, creative play 3-5 years 5o minutes;
  • Term 2 classes are all listed below and are available to book as a full term, half term or casually (single class $20);
  • All term bookings will receive 2 make up classes per term;
  • limited free street parking;
  • walking distance to South Melbourne Markets or Albert Park shops.

Habitots, 217-239 Montague St, South Melbourne

Open class hours – check website for info.


Thanks to Habitots I have 5 x casual class spots in Term 2 to give away to 5 lucky readers. To win just follow the instructions below. Competition closes midnight Monday 15 May and winners notified via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOT: Commonfolk, 16 Progress Street, Mornington


Mornington’s Main Street is full of cafes but if you’re after the BEST food and coffee in town it’s worth taking a little detour away from the beach to the gritty industrial side to Commonfolk cafe.


Commonfolk is primarily a roastery and inside the large roasting shed is a fantastic cafe with the sort of hip dishes not out of place in an inner-city bolthole.

Choose to sit inside the airy industrial warehouse (surprisingly cool on a hot summer’s day) or in the back courtyard with umbrella shelters and tables.


We order the ‘Salad of the Year’, an Asian inspired salad by chef Roong who was named ‘SOAR Woman of the Year’. It’s a large bowl of lemongrass, kaffir lime and coconut poached chicken shredded on top of vermicelli noodles and combined with Thai herbs and beanshoots ($18). It is sweet, tangy, slippery and crunchy at the same time and a taste sensation.


Not to be outdone the ‘Le Toast’ is also outrageously good. The bread is dusted with cinnamon and panela sugar which gives it an amazing caramelised crust. It comes with OJ braised rhubarb, macadamia crumble, vanilla creme fraiche and minted sugar ($18).


As for the coffee? Sorry I can’t report back as my body doesn’t deal well with caffeine! But I assume a place that takes its coffee so seriously, and wholesales to other cafes, must know their product from crop to cup. Commonfolk also donates 20 cents from every cup of coffee to support sustainable coffee farming.

For families the cafe offers pram access, high chairs and large menu where you’ll be able to find something for the kids. Baby 2.0 is very happy with his chicken strips and chips, the single item specifically for children ($9.50)


There are no toys but Baby 2.0 spend time pottering around the courtyard garden…


….inside the Snake Hole gallery and store…



… and the adjoining co-working space.


Note the toilets are also located inside the co-working space but there are no change tables. You will be able to fit a single pram inside the long length of the toilet cubicle.

Commonfolk’s reputation for excellent food and coffee makes it a buzzing place to visit even if it’s in the back streets of an industrial area. Once you find it you’ll be telling everyone about it.

Click here for more places to go with kids on the Mornington Peninsula.

HOT Tips:

  • Pram access;;
  • High chairs;
  • Standard menu suitable for kids;
  • Children’s menu;
  • Outdoor courtyard;
  • Free street parking.

Commonfolk, 16 Progress Street, Mornington 03 5902 2786

Mon-Fri 6:30am-3pm

Sat 8-3pm

Sun 9-3pm

Commonfolk Coffee Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s On – Friday 5 May to Thursday 11 May 2017

There are lots of events happening in the first weekend of May, including ACMI’s Family Sunday, Melbourne Knowledge Week events and the last weekend for the NGV Car Wash and Brickman Melbourne Museum.

Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day next Sunday 14 May too – here’s a list of the best high teas in Melbourne for you to treat your mum (or yourself!).



  • Fiesta Malaysia Fed Square (Sat 6 May) – celebrating and promoting the diversity of Malaysian culture, cuisines, tourism and history.
  • Kids Flicks ACMI (Sat 6 May – Sun 7 May) – smart films for smart kids. 
  • Animal Extravaganza Harbour Town (Sat 6 May – Sun 7 May) – free family activities every weekend until 12 June.
  • Spanish and Latin Festival (Sat 6 May – Sun 7 May) – Latin music and flamenco shows, food from countries right across Latin American, including Colombia, Argentina and Chile at Queen Victoria Market.
  • Markit Federation Square (Sun 7 May) – see the work of some of Australia’s most talented ceramicists, jewellers, fashion designers, illustrators and more while sampling some of Melbourne’s best food and coffee.
  • ACMI Family Sunday (Sun 7 May) – free family activities relating to with screen culture in all its forms with different theme each month. Win ACMI membership.
  • Pirate Sunday at Polly Woodside (Sun 7 May) – Dress as a pirate and come help us search for hidden treasure, play tug of war and have your face painted.
  • Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (Sun 7 May) – CineSeeds youth program for the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.
  • Mini Make Day (Sun 7 May) – Showcasing an array of tinkerers, makers, costume designers, scientists, academics, science fiction nerds, engineers and space fanatics, activities are available for the whole family.
  • Sunday Family Funday Munich Brauhaus (Sun 7 May) – mobile farm experience, face painter, kids’ entertainer and yummy food at Munich Brauhaus.
  • NGV Car Wash (Fri 5 May – 7 May 2017) – enjoy a neon pink installation in the sculpture garden inspired by a car wash. Last weekend. FULL REVIEW.
  • Aladdin the Musical (Fri 5 May – Sun 22 Oct) – Disney film turned into lavish musical. Read the review.
  • Play Pod State Library of Victoria (Fri 5 May – Wed 31 May) – Play Pod is the SLV’s program for children aged under 8 years with activities to read, create and play. There’s a new theme every season for Autumn 2017 it’s inspired by Where is the Green SheepREAD THE REVIEW
  • Fiona Hall: Uneasy Seasons NGV (Fri 5 May – Sun 6 Jun) – new interactive and immersive exhibition for children at NGV International. Full review.

fiona hall ngv





  • Yarra Valley Railway (Sun 7 May) – take a trip on the historic Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Full review.
  • Rocky Road Festival (Fri 5 May – Wed 31 May) – 31 different flavours, a host of Rocky Road infused temptations plus a world record beating block that every visitor can try for free!

Great Ocean Road Chocolate


HOT: Aladdin, Her Majesty’s Theatre, 291 Exhibition St, Melbourne

Aladdin Melbourne

The hit Broadway show Aladdin the Musical wheels a spangly, sparkling caravan of delights into Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne until October 2017.

Everyone who’s familiar with the Disney animated film will know the story of Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the Genie. The stage show reimagines those beloved characters in a joyous, exuberant musical production while staying true to the movie. All the famous songs are there. 

Watch the official trailer here:

The Australian season of Aladdin showcases the talents of young actors Ainsley Welham (of Hi-5 fame) and Hiba Elchike  – but it’s Michael James Scott as the Genie that really steals the show. I didn’t think it was possible to improve Robin William’s iconic performance but Scott takes it up a notch with an amazing 10 minute singing and dancing extravaganza during ‘You’ve Never Had a Friend like Me’. He lifts the roof with his many quips, costume changes, singing and choreography and I feel just as breathless as he does after that number. The applause goes on and on.

Another highlight is the reveal of the magic carpet as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine soar up to ‘A Whole New World’. The audience breaks out into spontaneous applause! The singing bring tingles to my spine as Lady AB whispers ‘how do they get the carpet to fly?’ in amazed wonder.

The bright set and costumes are dazzling in every rainbow hue. I’ve never seen so many sequins in action in a single show. There’s even pyrotechnics!

Lady AB loves the show and she her eyes are wide and dazzled, her mouth agape. However, at 2.5 hours (including 20 minute interval) she still gets fidgety regularly. This is despite the fact that she’s a 6 year old who can generally focus for long periods of time and knows the story, characters and songs in Aladdin. As such, given the length of the show and the cost of the tickets, I recommend the show for 6+ years.

You can’t fail to be charmed and dazzled by Aladdin.  It’s a show that’s not to be missed!

HOT Tips:

  • Given the length of the show and the cost of the tickets, I recommend the show for 6+ years;
  • We sat in A reserve, Row S seats 3 and 4. The upper circle blocks the very top of the view but only about 1% of the action actually occurs within that restricted view.
  • Grab a seat cushion on your way in so that your little one can see over adults’ heads;
  • Food and drink are permitted inside the theatre – but please leave eat your crunchy snacks outside! It disturbs other patrons;
  • Go for your toilet stop before you arrive at the theatre. Queues for the ladies bathrooms are loooong before the show and at interval;
  • auditorium doors open half an hour prior to the start time and latecomers are not admitted until there’s a suitable break;
  • No photography or video inside the theatre;
  • If you want to take a photo of the theatre posters outside do so at interval; and
  • The merch stand is very expensive. I bought a notebook for Lady AB and was shocked to pay $35! I think the cheapest items are $15 for keyrings.

Aladdin the Musical, Her Majesty’s Theatre, 291 Exhibition St, Melbourne

Until 19 November 2017

Tickets on sale

Box Office opens 2hrs prior to start of show

The HOT List: Top 20 Mother’s Day High Tea in Melbourne – Sunday 14 May 2017

This Sunday 14 May is Mother’s Day and high tea is one of the most popular ways to celebrate the special day.

Here’s a round-up of the best 20 high teas in Melbourne, some of which are special events just for Mother’s Day.

  1. Langham Melbourne

One of my favourites in Melbourne for the quality of the food and the ambience. The closest to the ‘London afternoon tea’ experience I think. They are running two events for Mother’s Day


The Chocolate Bar High Tea features a contemporary menu of sweet meets savory.

  • Adults $75 including a glass of sparkling wine
  • Adults $99 including free-flow sparkling wine
  • $39.50 per child aged 4 to 12 years


High Tea perched from level 25 with view of the Melbourne skyline. Toblerone trifle, Salted caramel macarons, Pink velvet cupcakes, Oreo waffles, Chocolate-dipped strawberries, Raspberry meringue kisses, our Lindt chocolate fountain, Connoisseur ice creams and more.

  • Adults $125 including a glass of sparkling wine
  • Adults $139 including free-flow sparkling wine
  • $60 per child aged 4 to 12 years
  1. Westin Melbourne

Modern twist on the traditional with an aromatic coffee or herbal Jing tea infusion.

  • $49 AUD per person or $59 per person including a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival.
  1. Mary Eats Cake

High tea with unlimited scones, artisan teas, gift for mum, glass of Chandon.

  • $59-$89 per person
  1. Om Nom

Christy Tania is Head Chef at Om Nom and specialises in pastries and desserts. The weekend high tea includes French sparkling, Lavazza Grand Riserva Espresso and T-Bar boutique teas.

  • $65 per person minimum 2 guests.
  1. Stables of Como

High tea in the historic grand ballroom of Como House with an unlimited mimosa bar.

  • $110 per person
  1. Bursaria at Abbotsford Convent and The Refectory Werribee Mansion

Decadent delights, ‘Paul Louis’ sparkling wine, samplings of ‘Deitea’ boutique teas, our famous Bursaria homemade lemonade and High Tea treats.

  • $75 per person, $25 for children 3-5 years (children under 3 years of age free)

Barbie High Tea Langham Melbourne - 5

  1. The Hotel Windsor

Enjoy this iconic building by indulging in freshly baked scones are served with jam and cream and exquisite pastries sit above delicate finger sandwiches.

One Eleven Spring Street Restaurant

  • $129 per adult; $85 per child 7-12 years; $65 per child 3-6 years

The Grand Ballroom

  • $99 per adult; $85 per child 7-12 years; $65 per child 3-6 years

Bourke Room

  • $99 per adult; $50 per child 7-12 years; $30 per child 3-6 years
  1. Collins Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Melbourne

Scones served with jams, creams and preserves, elegant finger sandwiches, decadent array of desserts and pastries from the kitchen’s patisserie delicately presented on Cristina Re designer tea ware. Sip on a glass of Chandon Brut Rosé whilst exploring the interactive cooking stations. Add the heavenly dessert buffet and a decadent chocolate fountain. Each booking of two will receive a Cristina Re designer tea cup for mum to take home.

  • $99 Adult, $49.50 Child (6 – 12 years old)
  1. Marriot Melbourne

Buffet of freshly baked scones, ribbon sandwiches, delicate pastries, sweet desserts, live crepe station, glossy chocolate fountains, selection of boutique teas and freshly brewed coffee.

  • $79 per person unlimited sparkling
  1. Hotel Lindrum

Assortment of savoury morsels, sweet treats, 15 different T2 loose leaf blends or Padre espresso coffee

  • $70 per person including a glass of sparkling wine on arrival
  1. Stamford Plaza Hotel

Sweet and savoury bites, fluffy homemade scones and traditional finger sandwiches served on an elegant three-tiered stand. All mums will receive a complimentary gift.

  • $65 per adult including glass of sparkling wine
  • $25 per child (5-12 years)
  1. Myer Mural Hall

High tea in the heritage Myer Mural Hall. Sparkling wine on arrival as well as sweet and savoury items for the duration of the afternoon tea.

  • $70 per person

Little Langham High Tea

  1. Damon Bradley

Ribbon sandwiches, scrumptious fluffy scones, a selection of petite desserts and delicate treats. High Tea includes a glass of wine and a take home 5 piece truffle gift box.

  • Adult: $68 per person, Child: $35 per child ages 12 years and under
  1. Sheraton Melbourne

Treat your mum to a Parisian Affair with our Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea session; featuring delicate teas paired with delectable treats from The Crux & Co Patisserie.

  • $89 per person including glass of Bollinger
  1. Mamor’s Chocolate

High tea in a chocolaterie with an Eastern European sensibility.

  • $65-$75 per person.
  1. Mossgreen Tea Rooms

Sweet and savoury petit-fours and homemade scones with lashings of raspberry jam are showcased by the delightful Butterfly Bloom by Wedgwood fine bone china Teapots, cups and saucers

  • $55-$70 per person
  1. Overnewtown Castle

High tea in a historic Scottish Baronial Castle in Keilor! You can also enjoy a Mother’s Day breakfast for $50 per adult/$30 per child.

  • $70 per person, $30 per child under 12.
  1. McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery

Elegant ribbon sandwiches, traditional scones served with cream and preserves, and a range of savoury and sweet delights will be accompanied by a glass of Peninsula sparkling wine and a pot of premium tea.

  • Tea only: $35 Members / $40 Non-Members
  • With sparkling wine: $45 Members / $50 Non-Members
  • Children $15
  1. Ganache Chocolate Lounge

Chocolate high tea featuring sweet and savoury treats, paired with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or for only an extra $10 a chocolate cocktail.

  • $35-$45 per person
  1. Fancy Nance

Adriano Zumbo’s specialty high tea restaurant with imaginative treats. Their Mother’s Day event is a choice between 2 or 3 courses (including vegetarian and gluten-free options) with one non-alcoholic beverage.

  • $49-69 per person

Sovereign Hill ‘The Story Lives On’ – Giveaway!

Sovereign Hill Ballarat is an open-air museum that recreates the goldfields town and the lives of its people during the 1850s gold rush.

To bring more of the history to life Sovereign Hill has just launched a new campaign called ‘The Story Lives on’. As part of this, they have created three beautiful, cinematic films, depicting the hopes, dreams and struggles of people who lived on the goldfields.  

The first film has been released, and the remaining two will be launched soon:

Sovereign Hill

The Bounty (first release): tells the story of a young girl and boy on the goldfields, admiring the sweet treats of the lolly shop. Suddenly, we see the girl rushing out the door with the boy in tow, dodging and weaving obstacles as they rush down the crowded main street and alleyways. Reaching their school, the girl triumphantly pulls out a heaping bag of lollies from her pocket, and the children stare wide-eyed at the bounty of sweets!

The Nugget: tells the story of a female gold prospector, panning for gold, and dreaming about the riches that it might bring.

The Struggle: tells the story of a miner, living in squalid conditions, desperate to support his wife and child.

Sovereign Hill

Click here for my tips on visiting Sovereign Hill


To celebrate the launch of The Story Lives on I have 2 x Family Passes to Sovereign Hill (valued at $136.00 and valid for 2 adults and up to four children) to give away.

To win you must watch the The Bounty at answer a question within the comments as per the instructions below. The giveaway ends midnight Monday 15 May and the two winners will be contacted via email.  Australian residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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