What’s On – Friday 15 September to Thursday 21 September 2017

One more week before school holidays -and still lots of fun things happening in Melbourne! I’ll be at Footscray Finds with my store CycleStyle while T learns some hair-styling skills with Lady AB at Beers & Braids!




  • Agent 88 Warehouse Sale (Sat 16 Sep) –  clothing, shoes, ex display toys & furniture will be on sale including Christmas decorations  & trees.
  • Kiddyrock Family Jam (Sat 16 Sep) – Music, drums, singing, dancing, art activities and a special performance by Ally Boom Boom and the Cool Bananas.
  • All for Kids Market (Sat 16 Sep) – baby and kids market for boutique and pre-loved items.
  • BE Block Party (Sat 16 Sep) – DJ, food trucks, coffee.
  • Writing Workshop Ailsa Wild (Sat 16 Sep) – Spend an hour making stories with Ailsa Wild: she promises laughter, way too many ideas, and to answer anything you can think of to ask at this Writing Workshop!
  • Diamond Valley Railway (Sun 16 Sep) – miniature railway and two adventure playgrounds. Full review. 
  • Coburg Farmers Market (Sat 16 Sep) – farmers market every Saturday near Harmony Park playground.
  • Pirate Market (Sat 16 Sep) – Melbourne’s finest sellers of Piratical Wares come together to showcase their range of strange and wonderful things.
  • Darebin Family Fun Day (Sun 17 Sep) – AFL Star Ben Brown, AFLW legend Daisy Pearce, Face painting, Craft Stalls, Photo Booths, Food Trucks, Coffee, Proud 2 Play Sports Activities, Fairy Floss, Popcorn, Book Corner, Silent Disco, Westside Circus, Music, Rainbow Families Victoria, Blackfulla’s for Marriage Equality doing a weaving / yarning circle and much much more!
  • Hermione’s Birthday Party (Tue 19 Sep) – celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest girls in modern fiction: Hermione Granger!
  • Preston Food Trucks French Foodie Festival (Fri 15 Sep – Sun 16 Sep) – vibrant, edgy and attractive venue offering Melbourne’s favourite food trucks on rotation, events and entertainment. FULL REVIEW.
  • Bug Lab Melbourne Museum (Fri 15 Sep – Oct) – exploring the world of bugs. Full review. 
  • National Geographic Photo Ark (Fri 15 Sep – 1 Oct) – exclusive photo exhibition is using the power of photography to inspire people to save animals before it’s too late.

big fish little fish



  • Tesselaar Tulip Festival (Fri 15 Sep – Tue 10 Oct) –  tulip fields, live entertainment, market stalls and tempting foods.
  • Victorian State Schools Spectacular (Sat 16 Sep) – Across the two shows, over 10,000 people will have the chance to see some of the rising stars of today.
  • Schwerkolt Cottage Heritage Family Day (Sun 17 Sep) – Pack a picnic and have a wonderful FREE day out with friends and family enjoying old-fashioned sack races, pony rides, an animal farm, face painting, live music along with demonstrations of spinning, weaving, woodturning and blacksmithing.
  • Yarra Valley Railway (Sun 17 Sep) – take a trip on the historic Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Full review.
  • Box Hill Miniature Railway (Sun 17 Sep) – Every 3rd Sunday the ride this wonderful Miniature Railway, the track winds through the picturesque surrounds of Elgar Park. READ THE REVIEW.
  • Party Time Eastland (Mon 18 Sep – Wed 20 Sep) – Join in the fun with Poppies for Grace’s PARTY TIME. A morning of party craft and games. Free for 3 to 5 years.

Altona Miniature Railway



HOT: Regatta Beach Playground, Cnr Sanctuary Lakes Blvd North and North Shore Dve, Point Cook

regatta park

A beach is already a giant sandpit of fun but when you combine it with a playground then the fun is doubled! Regatta Beach Playground is a gorgeous man-made beach playground, located lakeside inside the Sanctuary Lakes resort and housing estate.

The playground setting is quiet and serene, with a gentle cool breeze and bird life fluttering by the shore.

regatta park

The water is shallow and you can dip your feet in, but it’s not made for swimming. Note the shoreline is unfenced but the water and the playground are quite far apart so you should have enough time to chase down any wandering tots!

regatta park

The playground contains slides, swings, a network of rope climbs, a small water play and sand play digger area and basketball rings.

regatta park

regatta park

regatta park

regatta park

There is also a volleyball net on the sandy beach.

regatta park

Shade sails provide some cover over the picnic tables and the water play and digger area, though not on the main equipment.

Regatta Beach playground is a lovely quiet spot for some sand and water play, with enough facilities to make it worth a half-day visit…until someone needs the loo!

Click here for more free water play in Melbourne.

Click here for the best beaches for kids in Melbourne

HOT Tips:

  • suitable for toddlers;
  • suitable for older kids
  • some shade by shade sails;
  • water is unfenced;
  • unshaded and shaded picnic tables;
  • water tap;
  • BBQs;
  • no toilets; and
  • free street parking.

Regatta Beach Playground, Sanctuary Lakes, Cnr Sanctuary Lakes Blvd North and North Shore Dve, Point Cook

The HOT List: Top 20 Free Spring School Holiday Events in Melbourne

School holidays can be an expensive time for families, so here’s a list of my Top 20 free events for Spring school holidays.

  1. The Footy District Harbour Town (Sat 23 Sep – Sun 8 Oct) – AFL fun with interactive inflatable goals, training drills, a handball target wall, interactive obstacle course, a game activity cube plus a colouring-in station. Player meet and greets. Full review.
  2. Animals! For Real! NGV (Mon 25 Sep – Fri 29 Sep) – Live in the Great Hall, reptiles, marsupials, and bugs will be on show for children to draw and to find out about their incredible lives and habitats.
  3. Beci Orpin Spring Studio (Mon 25 Sep – Sun 8 Oct) – Beci and her crafty pals host a Spring Studio workshop, featuring a series of free hands-on creative workshops just for kids.
  4. The Great Willy Boat Race (Wed 27 Sep) – free construction play event inspired by Williamstown’s shipbuilding heritage.
  5. Kooky Spooks (Wed 27 Sep) – Step inside the playful and imaginative world of Japanese Butoh. With a smiling shaman as your guide, you’ll jump headfirst into a world of transformation and shape-shifting, unleashing your inner animal, object, kook and spook.
  6. Footy Festival 2017 (Wed 27 Sep – Sat 30 Sep) –  AFL Kids Zone at Yarra Park, Woolworths AFL Playground, with goal kicking, handballing and heaps of fun to be had. Full review. 
  7. Express Yourself (Thu 28 Sep) – Join Double Denim in this feminist party for girls, boys and everyone who is neither, either, both or in-between. There will be games, songs, giggles and special guests to celebrate everything that makes us, US.
  8. Starting School (Fri 29 Sep) – From Andrew McClelland, mastermind of Melbourne’s iconic party Finishing School, comes a dance marathon for kids and adults alike.
  9. Cosplay Day NGV (Fri 29 Sep) – All visitors aged 18 and under who are dressed up in ‘cosplay’ (costume inspired by a fictional character) will receive FREE ENTRY to the NGV’s major exhibition Hokusai.
  10. The Fountain of Youth (Sat 30 Sep) – This participatory art dance party is all performance and no spectators, a chance for you and your little ones to go on a transcendent journey through yoga asanas, creative dance, astrology and the rolling wheel of the year.
  11. Rainbow Paradiso (Sun 1 Oct) – Funky jungle jam full of re-appropriated pop songs, gender-bending folk tales, high-octane group dance numbers and special guests from across the Festival rainbow.
  12. MCG Open Day at MCG (Sun 1 Oct) – free event, allowing sports fans to gain rare access to the hallowed turf of the MCG and have a kick-to-kick with family and friends.
  13. Little Day Out for BIG Imaginations (Sun 1 Oct) –  free family event where everybody is encouraged to let their imaginations run wild as part of Greater Dandenong Children’s Festival.
  14. ACMI Family Sunday (Sun 1 Oct) – day for families to come together and interact with screen culture in all its forms with different theme each month.
  15. Imagined Instruments (Mon 2 Oct – Fri 6 Oct) – Start your own family band in this workshop for kids and grown-ups.
  16. Superhero Hunt (Mon 2 Oct – Tue 3 Oct) – There’ll be craft workshops, face-painting and prizes for the best dressed.
  17. Highpoint (Mon 2 Oct – Fri 6 Oct) – free hands-on science workshops with Skunk Control.
  18. Sounds of the Library (Tue 3 Oct – Fri 6 Oct) – Go behind the scenes to see special musical books and illustrations from the Library’s collection, and join a workshop to make some of your own electronic tunes.
  19. Artplay Backyard (Wed 4 Oct – Sun 10 Dec) – Draw in the dirt, build sculptures with recycled and natural materials or muck about with water. Full review. 
  20. Full Moon Festival Dandenong Market (Sun 8 Oct) – discover the many delicious flavours, aromas, sounds and colours of this traditional festivity.

Also don’t forget to check out what’s happening at your local library and click on the following HOT lists for free inspiration:

Click here for school holiday events in Melbourne’s CBD.

Click here for school holiday events in Melbourne’s north south east and west.

Horrible Histories: The Best of Barmy Britain – Giveaway!

horrible histories

Horrible Histories is a British sketch comedy television series, part of the children’s history franchise of the same name based on the books written by Terry Deary.  Dreary himself has a background in theatre and has helped write and produce the TV shows.  It’s aired here on ABC Me and is very well loved and viewed.

The special one-hour theatre production of Horrible Histories is coming to Melbourne for the spring school holidays. Here’s your chance to meet the most famous, infamous and dangerous characters in British history!

The acclaimed West End show uses songs, audience participation, fun, facts and farts to tell the stories of the people who made Britain barmy! While it’s directed at children, the adults tend to learn a lot as well.

Don’t miss this horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in!

Horrible Histories

Clocktower Centre Moonee Ponds

Saturday 23 September 11AM, 1.30PM

1 hour no interval

Tickets from $32.90


Frankston Arts Centre Theatre

Sunday 24 September 11AM

1 hour no interval

Tickets from $34


I have 2 x family passes (4 tickets) to give away for the Clocktower Centre show on Saturday 23 September 1:30pm and 2 x family passes to give away for the Frankston Arts Centre show on Sunday 24 September 11am.

To win just follow the instructions below and don’t forget to state in the comments whether you’d like to attend the Clocktower Centre show or Frankston Arts Centre show.

The competition closes midnight Monday 18 September and randon winners will be notified by email within 24 hours. Open to Australian residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOT: The Tradesman, 1/260 Wickham Rd, Moorabbin

The Tradesman Moorabbin

The Tradesman is a bright beacon of culinary hope in amongst the greasy cafs and takeaway joints of  industrial Moorabbin.

It’s a simple one-room affair with a smile and a toy box greeting you at the front door.

The Tradesman Moorabbin

I scan the menu while Baby 2.0 is amused with the toys, colouring-in the kids menu and ABC3 for Kids on mute on the overhead TV.

The all-day menu demonstrates the chef’s inventiveness.

Baby 2.0 and I share the fish tacos – three large parcels of panko and oat-covered flathead tails, purple cabbage, carrot and corn slaw and a saffron mint aioli ($18.50). He also enjoys his ham and cheese toastie on multigrain from the kids menu ($7).

The Tradesman Moorabbin

For dessert we share the red velvet pancakes, a signature dish of the cafe ($18). It’s three fat and fluffy pancakes topped with a ball of ice cream and brownie soil and surrounded by  vanilla marscopne and a garnish of berries, edible flowers and miniature greens. Definitely worth saving room for it!

The Tradesman Moorabbin

The coffee is supplied by Code Black, tea from Tea Drop and hot chocolate from Mork Chocolate.

Without being prompted the waitress brings a plastic bowl for Baby 2.0 so that he can share the pancakes. There are bright plastic cups and crockery for little hands as well as high chairs and the aforementioned toys. I just wish they didn’t have the TV on – Baby 2.0 is hypnotised and I struggle to get him to focus on eating. It does mean that I have a quiet meal though!

The Tradesman is a great find in Moorabbin – a modern cafe in an area that’s sorely lacking in good coffee and food. It’s inner city sophistication while still maintaining a family-friendly vibe. They are open for breakfast, brunch and lunch 7 days a week, with Friday night dinners (and alcohol).

For more cafes in Melbourne’s south-west suitable for families try Franks.  

Click here for more cafes with indoor play.

HOT Tips:

  • Pram access;
  • Toys and books indoors;
  • Kids menu;
  • Standard menu suitable for kids;
  • Free street parking.

The Tradesman, 1/260 Wickham Rd, Moorabbin 03 8525 0110

Monday – Thursday: 6:00am – 3:30pm

Friday: 6:00am – 8:00pm

Saturday – Sunday: 6:00am – 2:30pm

The Tradesman Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What’s on – Friday 8 September to Thursday 14 September 2017

This week I’ll be at Mastermind Highpoint for free creative workshops for kids with Book Swap Bike as well having dinner with Death to Nuggets and visiting One Fine Baby.

Don’t forget it’s Australian Reading Hour on Thursday 14 September – check your local library for events. Have a great week!


  • ‘I see you like this’ Artplay (Fri 8 Sep – Sun 10 Sep) – Exhibition – “I see you like this” A strange and beautiful exhibition of professional photo portraits art directed by children.
  • Celebrate Studio Ghibli (Fri 8 Sep – Sun 24 Sep) – A celebration of one of the world’s most beloved animation studios.
  • Aladdin the Musical (Fri 8 Sep – Sun 22 Oct) – Disney film turned into lavish musical. Read the review.
  • Lego Friends Play Zone Harbour Town (Sat 9 Sep – Sun 10 Sep) – Speed Build Challenge, Team Build, Imagination Free Play, Digital Interaction, LEGO Friends Boards, LEGO Character Meet & Greet, Face Painting and more.
  • Viva Brazil Festival (Sat 9 Sep – Sun 10 Sep) – Celebrate all things Brazilian, including food and entertainment, coinciding with Brazil’s Independence Day over two days at Queen Victoria Market.
  • Queen Street Plaza (Sat 9 Sep – Sun 10 Sep) – A place to sit, eat, have a drink and enjoy free family entertainment right in the heart of the city.
  • Winter Night Market Queen Victoria Market (Wed 13 Sep) – best of winter food, design and theatrics to the market every Wednesday during winter. FULL REVIEW.
  • Fiona Hall: Uneasy Seasons NGV (Fri 8 Sep – Sun 10 Sep) – interactive and immersive exhibition for children at NGV International. Full review.
  • Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman  (Fri 8 Sep – Sun 29 Oct) – take an extraordinary trip from sketches and models through to elaborate sets as these beloved characters take shape on screen.
  • The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity ( Fri 8 Sep – Thu 1 Feb 2018) – A multi-sensory installation of water, light, scent and sound, The Pool is an interactive space, complete with wooden decking and pool lounge chairs
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  (Tue 12 Sep – Sat 30 Sep) – Follow Alice down the rabbit hole into a world of colour, fun and fantasy in this dazzling, internationally acclaimed production.




  • Heide Makers Market (Sat 9 Sep) – find an eclectic mix of art, design and handcrafted goods all made with skill by a curated selection of stallholders.
  • Melbourne Tram Museum (Sat 9 Sep) – Visit a Melbourne icon at this quirky museum. FULL REVIEW.
  • Belgrave Big Dreams Market (Sun 10 Sep) – discover original and bespoke design pieces, some of the yummiest and freshest produce the area has to offer, live music, bouncy castle and face painting  for the kids.
  • Yarra Valley Railway (Sun 10 Sep) – take a trip on the historic Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Full review.
  • Party Time Eastland (Mon 11 Sep – Wed 13 Sep) – Join in the fun with Poppies for Grace’s PARTY TIME. A morning of party craft and games. Free for 3 to 5 years.
  • Tesselaar Tulip Festival (Thu 14 Sep – Tue 10 Oct) –  tulip fields, live entertainment, market stalls and tempting foods.

esselaar Tulip Festival, Tesselaar Tulip Farm, 357 Monbulk Rd, Silvan


  • GLOW (Fri 8 Sep  – Sun 10 Sep) – Hundreds of little handmade creatures and a great big, glowing light, artist workshops and make your own creatures, the Ugly Bug Ball with music from New Orleans brass band and dance in the Glow.
  • Ethiopian New Year Festival (Sat 9 Sept) – Nicholson Street Mall in Footscray will radiate with the sights, sounds and smells of Ethiopian culture.
  • Pirates Family Fun Day (Sat 9 Sep) – pirate themed craft activities and games for the kids, balloon swords, face painting and dress ups.
  • Little Red Train Werribee (Sat 9 Sep – Sun 10 Sep) – take a trackless train ride through picturesque Werribee Park. FULL REVIEW.
  • LightTime Scienceworks (Fri 8 Sep onwards) – a collective of 11 Melbourne based artists who have created hypnotic and mesmerising works. Full review.
  • Essendon Traffic School (Sat 9 Sep) – mini road set up for kids aged two to ten years, complete with road signs, railway bells and traffic lights.
  • Sunshine Leisure Centre 10th birthday (Sun 10 Sep) – pool inflatable, kids disco, and outdoor kids obstacle course.
  • Mastermind Highpoint (Mon 11 Sep) – free creative workshops for kids with Book Swap Bike.


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