HOT: Make Me Iconic Ute & Stocking Stuffers

Make Me Iconic Ute

Our toy box is filled to the brim with quality wooden toys from my favourite Melbourne-based homewares designer Make Me Iconic – but this year they’ve tempted me again with the launch of their new Iconic Ute wooden toy ($90). It is definitely the new favourite toy in our household at the moment!

Make Me Iconic Ute

This bright orange vehicle is sure to delight little kids and it certainly brought back memories for the adults – T’s first car was an orange Sandman!

Make Me Iconic Ute

The vehicle comes with three wooden passengers (including a surfer) that have their own seating area in the ute plus accessories such as a toolbox, esky and surfboard. And of course there’s even a kelpie!

Make Me Iconic Ute

Make Me Iconic Ute

It has wheels on the bottom and the lid comes off the top of the front cabin and the boot.

Make Me Iconic Ute

Make Me Iconic Ute

If you’re after unique stocking stuffers for Christmas Make Me Iconic have also got some gorgeous sequinned purses (perfect for pencil cases) and cool wooden babies toys including a donut toy puzzle,  ice cream and watermelon

Make Me Iconic

Make Me Iconic

Make Me Iconic

plus this awesome stacking Burger with the Lot which is currently gracing our dining table. These items were all gifted to me.

Make Me Iconic

Check out my other reviews of Make Me Iconic‘s range, including the Melbourne Toy Tram, Munchies JigsawIconic Sydney FerryMini Tram and FerryMagnets, Iconic Post Box and Iconic Stacking Blocks.

Note that their cut off for guaranteed Christmas delivery this year is Sunday 12 December 2016 – so get in quick! You can also find their stockists all around Australia and online.

HOT: Little Captain, 353 Inkerman St, St Kilda East

Little Captain St Kilda East

Little Captain is a small family-owned cafe in a prime position in St Kilda East/Balaclava – its back area opens out onto Hewison Reserve and a fenced playground.

Little Captain St Kilda East

The cafe itself is a little higgledy-piggledy, with a squashy front room and a back room filled with toys for rummaging.

Little Captain St Kilda East

If the weather’s good I recommend heading down the narrow concrete path towards the courtyard. There’s more space to move, there’s a stash of toys and the tables are shaded with cafe umbrellas.

Little Captain St Kilda East

Plus of course there’s easy access to the park!

 

Little Captain St Kilda East

The menu is simple and includes kids options. None of it is fancy by any means but I’m happy to see that the cheese and ham toasty ($8) uses real, crusty bread (not horrible supermarket sliced white) and my zucchini and mint fritters are surprisingly tasty despite not-very-inspiring presentation.

Little Captain St Kilda East

Afterwards the playground beckons. It’s a popular spot with little kids as it’s fully fenced and has equipment suitable for their age group. There are bench seats inside and public toilets, drinking taps, a BBQ shelter and a short path for scootering/biking as well.

Little Captain St Kilda East

Little Captain’s slightly ramshackle setting and excellent location makes it a hotspot for families. A great cafe if you’re local but not really special enough to count as ‘destination dining’.


HOT Tips:       

  • pram access;
  • high chairs;
  • Kids menu;
  • standard menu suitable for kids;
  • Toys and books;
  • Next to playground
  • Free street parking.

Little Captain, 353 Inkerman St, St Kilda East 9527 5207

Daily 7am – 4pm
Little Captain Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s On – Friday 9 December to Thursday 15 December

whats-on-9-dec-15-dec

Less than 3 weeks till Christmas! This week we have been exploring one of the best places to scoot in Melbourne, the new educational playground at Box Hill Central and the amazing Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery at Melbourne Museum, plus working our way through the TOT Christmas Advent Calendar.

Also don’t forget to have your say in the TOT Reader Survey and have the chance to win a fantastic prize pack. Have a great week!

CBD/Docklands

  • Basket Making Christmas Stall (Fri 9 Dec) – Find the perfect Christmas gift at this bespoke market stall held by Basket Makers of Victoria.
  • Christmas at Stamford Plaza (Fri 9 Dec) – Market offers Christmas gift ideas like homemade ginger breads, an exclusive range of loose-leaf teas, gift certificates, handcrafted Christmas cards and much more. Also Christmas carols, coffee and ice cream pop-up carts.
  • MPavilion (Fri 9 Dec  – Sun 18 Dec) – An event hub, a meeting place and an invitation to experiment, each MPavilion brings creative collaborators together to present a free, four-month program of talks, workshops, performances and installations from October to February.
  • Royal Croquet Club (Fri 9  Dec – Fri 23 Dec) – food, entertainment and croquet at Birrarung Marr. READ THE REVIEW.
  • Christmas Projection Show (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 25 Dec) – This Christmas will see City of Melbourne’s annual Christmas Projection Show at Melbourne Town Hall extend to Fed Square, decorating the Swanston Street facades with festive cheer.
  • Christmas Cringe at Melbourne Central (Fri 9 Dec – Sat 24 Dec) – Deck yourself in Christmas jumpers and so-bad-they’re-good accessories, snap a pic in front of the classic Christmas backdrops, and share them with your friends and family on social media using the #ChristmasCringe hashtag. On 30 November is Melbourne Central is also hosting Christmas Shop the City with 12-hours of offers and events from 10am to 10pm.
  • Gingerbread Village by Epicure (Fri 9 Dec – Sat 24 Dec) – Admire iconic Melbourne landmarks and locations all made out of gingerbread. Entry is by nominal gold coin donation and all proceeds go to the Royal Children’s Hospital. FULL REVIEW.
  • QV Outdoor Cinema (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 26 Feb) – live entertainment, free cocktails, special food, red carpets, instafamous dogs, charity screenings, a film festival and more.
  • Viktor & Rolf For Kids NGV (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 26 Feb) – interactive children’s gallery exhibition developed by designers Viktor & Rolf. FULL REVIEW.
  • NGV Car Wash (Fri 9 Dec – April 2017) – enjoy a neon pink installation in the sculpture garden inspired by a car wash. FULL REVIEW.
  • Smurfs Exhibition Harbour Town (Fri 9 Dec – Sat 24 Dec) – Meet Smurfette, Lazy Smurf, Clumsy Smurf, Papa Smurf, Painter Smurf and many more.
  • Christmas Square (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 25 Dec) – Discover nutcracker soldiers, interactive candy canes and get a free photo with Santa. As part of the TAC’s #BePresent campaign, a giant interactive present will find a home in Christmas Square. Deck yourself out in festive decorations for a free, personalised photo and Christmas card!
  • Crown’s Christmas Spectacular (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 1 Jan 2017) – Watch the Crown Towers Atrium come alive with our magnificent Christmas tree and a spectacular lighting and musical display. Shows begin every 30 minutes. Plus, get a free photo with Santa from 12-6pm until 24 December.
  • Christmas at the Old Treasury (Fri 9 Dec – Thu 5 Jan) – The Maynard family’s basement home is decorated in period-appropriate 1920s decorations, some lovingly handmade just as mother would do.
  • Myer Christmas Windows (Fri 9 Dec – Thu 5 Jan 2017) – The 61st Myer Christmas windows is based on the book ‘One Christmas Eve’ with a particularly Melbourne and Australian flavour. FULL REVIEW.
  • Myer Giftorium and Santaland (Fri 9 Dec- Thu 5 Jan 2017) – Your one-stop Christmas shop plus meet Santa and ride on his train.
  • Santa’s Christmas Spectacular (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 18 Dec) – See the crazy acrobatic elves get themselves into all sorts of mischief in Santa’s Toy Workshop. FULL REVIEW.
  • Christmas Village Wonderland (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 18 Dec) – Live shows at the Spiegeltent, Christmas markets, live entertainment, festive food and more.
  • Recycled Christmas (Fri 9 Dec – 13 Jan 2017) – See the Galleria Shopping Centre’s Christmas display, with decorations all made of materials recycled off the site.
  • Christmas at Melbourne Library Service (Fri 9 Dec – Wed 14 Dec) – Jolly storytimes, parties and craft sessions at Melbourne Library Service branches.
  • QV Outdoor Cinema  (Fri 9 Dec – Sun 26 Feb 2017) – It is back for a second season with more dog friendly screenings, themed weeks and pre film entertainment.
  • Santa’s Christmas Academy (Sat 10 Dec) – Join us for Breakfast with Santa and his friends in Santa’s Christmas Academy.
  • African Music and Cultural Festival (Sat 10 Dec) – music, dancing, diverse arts, cultural performances and authentic African food.
  • Koorie Kristmas (Sun 11 Dec) – Come along for an appearance from Koorie Klaus,  as well as activities for the whole family, the best Koorie performers in town and more.
  • Markit at FedSquare (Sun 11 Dec) – Approximately 100 designers setting up for this unique one-day market.
  • Queen Victoria Night Market (Wed 14 Dec) – 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.

 

NORTH  / NORTH-EAST

christmas wunderland highpoint

SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

  • Twilight Christmas Festival Ripponlea (Fri 9 Dec) – Christmas carols, games, artisan market stalls, Christmas craft workshops and mansion tours.
  • Santa’s Magical Kingdom (Fri 9 Dec – Tue 23 Dec) – magical Christmas walk-through wonderland, Snow Castle and Activity Land, Christmas craft area, Ferris Wheel, Santa’s Sleigh Ride and Australia’s largest super slide. FULL REVIEW.
  • Hank Marvin Market (Sat 10 Dec) – weekly Saturday market with awesome playground nearby.
  • Carols in the Park Bentleigh (Sat 10 Dec) – Justine Clarke, special surprise visitor! Including roving performances by The Bouncing Elves.
  • Christmas at Central Park (Sat 10 Dec) – A Christmas celebration for the whole family, with craft activities and unique performances for the kids until 6:45pm, including the Mik Mak’s Christmas Show! Carols follow for those who can stay up a bit later.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (Sat 10 Dec – Sun 11 Dec) –  When Charlie Brown starts to doubt the true meaning of Christmas, his neighbourhood chum Lucy suggests he should become the director of the Christmas pageant.
  • Carols by Candlelight Jells Park (Sun 11 Dec) – free children’s activities including Scouts Australia adventures, face painting, a jumping castle and Santa’s Reindeer.
  • MSO Jam for Juniors Chadstone (Mon 12 Dec – Tue 13 Dec) – 30-minute workshops designed for children up to five years and their parents.
  • Habitots Christmas workshops (Mon 12 Dec – Fri 16 Dec) – Christmas cookie decorating and gingerbread house making.

EAST

WEST

HOT: Children’s playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

Children's playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

Box Hill Central shopping centre has undergone a major redevelopment and in the new North precinct they have created a cool indoor play space for kids with a space theme.

We were invited to see it first hand and were there for almost 2 hours!

Little astronauts will love the rocket ship (that lights up) with climbing boulders and a mini slide….

Children's playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

 

…take your photo in an intergalactic costume….

Children's playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

and play with the touch screens for learning and fun. The multimedia system currently features over 20 games and applications focusing on creativity, reaction and logical thinking.

Children's playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

There’s a quiet nook for snuggles and reading, including Chinese language books.

Children's playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

Children's playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

The whole area is fenced and the soft flooring means that it’s suitable for babies and toddlers. There’s a small pram parking area within the gate too. Note no food, drinks or shoes are allowed in the area.

In the main food court area the space theme extends to a long table with decorative elements and more touch screens.

Children's playground, Box Hill Central Shopping Centre, 1 Main Street, Box Hill

It’s great to see Box Hill Central consider the needs of its littlest patrons and the new educational play space provides a respite for kids and parents alike. Entry is free.


Children’s playground, Box Hill Central 1 Main Street, Box Hill

Mon-Wed 9-5:30pm

Thu 9-7pm

Fri 9-9pm

Sat 9-5pm

Sun 10-5pm

The HOT List: Best Places to Scoot #1 – Altona Beach

Micro Scooters Altona Beach

This year Christmas has come early for Baby 2.0! He was gifted his dream green Mini Micro Deluxe Scooter so that we could share with you one of our favourite places to scoot in Melbourne – Altona Beach.

Altona Beach is a gloriously wide beach on the western side of Port Phillip Bay framed by huge Norfolk pines on the shoreline. Running all the way along the long sand line is a smooth bike/walking track that’s just perfect for scooters. 

Micro Scooters Altona Beach

We like to start our scooting at the Millers Road end of the beach with a babycino from child-friendly cafe Bezirk. They have a small play area at the back of the cafe for kiddies.

Bezirk Altona

Then it’s a smooth path straight to Pier Street, past the rock pools…
Micro Scooters Altona Beach

…pass the historical wooden pier (we had a short scoot on it – not sure that’s allowed!)…

Micro Scooters Altona Beach

then another pit stop at the beach kiosk Norfolk.

micro-scooter-altona-beach-32

You can divert off the path with some sand play, a quick splash in the calm, shallow and safe water, discover marine life at the rockpools or play at the beachside playground at Logan Reserve.
Logan Reserve Altona

If you are in Altona on a Tuesday explore the weekly Altona Beach Market with fresh food stalls and local arts and crafts with a bit of a trash-and-treasure feel.

Altona Beach Market

Every time we visit the beach is calm and uncrowded and it really feels like a local, hidden gem. No fake tans, no lycra speed demons, no pretension. 

Speaking of locals – they are particularly friendly here! Everyone is very accommodating of Baby 2.0 as he learns how to handle and manoeuvre the Mini Micro Deluxe Scooter on the path. Everyone smiles, waits and ding their bike bells merrily.

Micro Scooter Altona Beach

We think that Altona Beach is one of the best places to scoot in Melbourne – a fantastic beachside destination that provides all the facilities for a fun day out.

Where are your favourite places to scoot in Melbourne? Baby 2.0 loves his Mini Micro Deluxe Scooter so much that I’m going to start compiling a list!

Click here for other best places to scoot all around Australia.

For more information about the Mini Micro Deluxe Scooter click here. 

 


Micro Best Places to Scoot – Win a scooter Competition

  • Upload a photo or video of your favourite place to scoot and tell Micro why it’s the best to be in to win a kids Micro Scooter!
  • Micro are making an interactive map of the best places to scoot in Australia and New Zealand and they want you to be a part of it. Either fill in the form or use #bestplacestoscoot on a facebook or instagram post to enter. Winning entry will have a great photo of your favourite place to scoot and a description that makes us want to scoot there! Entries close midnight 23 March.

TOT: HOT OR NOT Reader Survey + Warner Bros Products giveaway!

Warner Bros Christmas

This year the blog has been growing exponentially so I thought it was time to take stock and connect with readers with my first reader survey.

Some of you have been reading the blog from the start (when it was a bit different to what it is now) and some of you have just discovered it. I would love all your feedback and I will use the information to help me plan and make improvements for the blog in 2017.

The survey only takes 3-5 minutes, I promise!

And if you include your email at the end you go into the draw to win an awesome pack of Warner Bros Christmas products valued at over $150 (Australian residents only). I was a guest of Warner Bros. Consumer Products at their Christmas Showcase at Lucky Penny, and I came home with this bag of goodies to share with you!

The pack includes something for everyone, from Peter Alexander Superman boxers, Batman: A Visual History, the adult colouring book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and kids toys. They will make perfect presents for under the Christmas tree!

You can complete the survey for a week until midnight Monday 12 December so that I have enough time to get the gifts out to you in time for Christmas.

Go to the survey HERE or complete below.

Thanks so much for your time and for reading the blog.

Joyce

Create your own user feedback survey

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