HOT: The Funtorium Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Aurora Spiegeltent, Map 57, Palais Theatre, Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda

funtorium mad hatters

The Funtorium Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is one of the great family-friendly events happening as part of Map 57, St Kilda’s newest pop up arts festival precinct next to the Palais Theatre.

The Funtorium Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is showing at the glittering Aurora Spiegeltent after showing at the Sydney Opera House. It’s a high-energy, family-friendly show by former Circus Oz Artistic Director, Mike Finch and the 65 minutes is filled with circus, singing, dancing and of course classic circus tricks.

The show is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic tale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so you’ll meet a familiar cast of characters including the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts.

funtorium mad hatters

The March Hare steals the show with his spinning plates trick which has the audience gasping and laughing.

funtorium mad hatters

Kids are encouraged to get up and dance, throw foam sugar cubes at the stage, yell and sing along! And of course there are bubbles.

Afterwards check out what else is on offer at Map 57 including food stalls and an ice skating rink.

 


HOT Tips:

  • child ticket is applicable to children aged 12 & under. Unless otherwise specified, children 18 months and under can sit on the lap of a carer free of charge. Any child over this age must have a valid ticket.
  • Seating is General Admission and unallocated;
  • There is a snack bar with a Mad Hatter’s Kid’s Tea;
  • suitable for kids age 4+ years; and
  • show duration 65 minutes

The Funtorium Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Aurora Spiegeltent, Map 57, Palais Theatre, Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda 03 8609 1015

Wed 28 June – Sun 9 July 2017 (excluding Mondays)

Adult $38, Children 12 and under $30

Family Ticket $110.00 for 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children

 

 

HOT: The Big Freeze, Westfield Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, Cnr Brechin Drive & Princes Highway

the big freeze

The Big Freeze is a family-friendly Melbourne winter festival set up under the Big Top at Westfield Fountain Gate Shopping Centre from 1 July – 9 July.

the big freeze

The Big Freeze features an affordable snow play experience plus heaps of other wintery activities that will keep the kids amused while sheltered under cover. This year there’s also a free Community Precinct open daily from 9am – 5pm with daily stage shows, food vendors, craft with Phillip Island Nature Parks, soccer and sampling with Milo.

Unlike last year The Big Freeze this year allows snow play any time during your 2.5 hour entry session.

the big freeze

However, Lady AB runs at the first sight of a snowball and heads to the Castle and Cubby ‘snow village’ for imagination play…

the big freeze

the big freeze

….has  multiple goes of the snow slide/jumping castle…

the big freeze

…does some of the craft activities…

the big freeze

…races other kids in the Kids Challenge….

…and becomes a Circus Star in the circus circuit.

the big freeze

There’s so much to do that we don’t have time to try the ice slide – one for little ones, one for bigger people – the construction zone or Lego play.

the big freeze

The biggest queues are for the photo opportunity snow globe so maybe do it at the end only if you have time.

the big freeze

Each session of The Big Freeze lasts for 2.5 hours and you’ll find plenty to keep kids amused. You can have unlimited time with any of the activities and a good balance of active and quiet play.

Note that each child’s ticket to The Big Freeze also includes a Phillip Island Three Park pass (valued at over $21.30), which includes the Penguin Parade, Antarctic Journey, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and Koala Conservation Centre. (Read our family-friendly guide to Phillip Island).

Click here for more winter school holiday activities. 


HOT Tips:

  • Each session goes for 2.5 hours;
  • dress for snow – coat, beanie, gumboots and gloves;
  • Bring a change of clothing for after snow play or wear snow gear. Waterproof pants and gumboots are great for younger children as they will inevitably sit on their bottoms to play!;
  • Ticket provides access to all the festival zones and activities for the rest of your visit;
  • No box office sales will be available for sessions that have sold out;
  • If you plan to purchase tickets at the gate, check the website and social media channels prior to leaving home to ensure that tickets are available that day;
  • The site is next to Toys R Us/Lollipop Play Centre;
  • free onsite parking available and you can get passouts to pickup/drop off snow gear;
  • the entire festival is undercover;
  • food and hot drinks are available on site, though you can bring a packed lunch.

The Big Freeze, Under the Big Top at Westfield Fountain Gate Shopping Centre Cnr Brechin Drive & Princes Highway

Saturday 1 July 2nd to Sunday 9 July

Community Precinct open daily from 9am – 5pm with FREE entry to the general public. Features include daily stage shows, food vendors, craft with Phillip Island Nature Parks, soccer and sampling with Milo.

Winter Festival runs three sessions daily: 9am – 11:30am, 12pm – 2:30pm, 3pm – 5:30pm

Child SuperPass to Winter Festival (includes 4 Park Pass to Phillip Island Nature Parks valued at $28.50) – $29.50.

All Adults (13+yrs) at concession prices – $19 (includes access to snow pit)

Tiny Tots (12mths – 23mths) – $19 (includes access to snow pit)

Family (2A + 2C) – $92

Family (2A + 3C) – $117

Group Bookings – Pay for 10 children, get 4 adults for free

Late Play Discounts – save $5 per ticket for the afternoon session on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

HOT: Afternoon Tea, Windsor Hotel, 111 Spring St, Melbourne

windsor hotel afternoon tea

These winter school holidays enjoy a very special treat with afternoon tea at the Windsor Hotel where kids aged 3-12 years only pay the price of their age when one full paying dines on a weekday. Usually, children aged 3-6 years pay $25 and 7-12 years pay $40, so it is a significant saving.

windsor hotel afternoon tea

The historic Hotel Windsor has been serving traditional afternoon tea every day since 1883. The restaurant 111 Spring Street where the high tea is served is a bright and light formal dining room, with big stuffed chairs, starched tablecloths and shiny silverware.

windsor hotel afternoon tea

windsor hotel afternoon tea

For the school holiday promotion for weekday afternoon tea sittings adults pay the standard rate of $69 for a glass of sparkling wine, unlimited tea and a three tiered stand. There’s a rainbow of thick, freshly made finger sandwiches and dainty savoury and sweet treats.

windsor hotel afternoon tea

The scones come separately (one vanilla, one fruit) accompanied by jam, lemon curd and double cream. I like how the scones are brought out only when you want them, fresh and warm from the oven. They are light and crumbly in texture with a soft crust.

windsor hotel afternoon tea

Children receive their own special stand, a juice and hot chocolate.

windsor hotel afternoon tea

 

windsor hotel afternoon tea

Both adults and kids also get plus unlimited visits to the towering Chocolate Fountain!

windsor hotel afternoon tea

Both kids love their experience, with Lady AB describing it as ‘very velvety, grand and fancy. Even the toilets are fancy!’.

windsor hotel afternoon tea

Afternoon tea at the Windsor Hotel is an indulgent treat and if you enjoy that sort of thing with your kids then school holidays is definitely the time to go. For reservations call 9633 6004 or email reservations@thw.com.au. For online bookings, please indicate children’s ages under “Special Request”.

 

 

Click here for more school holiday ideas in the CBD.


HOT Tips:

  • pram access;
  • high chairs;
  • toilets are down a set of stairs;
  • standard menu suitable for kids; and
  • children’s menu;
  • promotion applies to children aged 3-12 years. Limit of 2 children at promotional price per adult;
  • Reservations must be made at least 1 day in advance; and
  • No alterations or additions can be accommodated on the day to receive this promotional price.

Afternoon tea at The Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring St, Melbourne

Seating Times

Monday-Tuesday: 12 noon – 2pm
Wednesday-Friday: 12 noon – 2pm & 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Prices
Mondays-Fridays:
$69 per adult
$40 per child aged 7-12 years
$25 per child aged 3-6 years

From Mon 3 July to Friday 14 July children under 12 just pay the price that equals the age of the child (with one paying adult dining Monday – Friday)

HOT: Lego City Play Zone, Harbour Town Melbourne, 440 Docklands Dr, Docklands

The LEGO City Play Zone is open for every day of the school holidays Monday 3 July to Sunday 16 July at Harbour Town Docklands. If you’re looking for something free and fun to do with the kids then check it out.

Lego City Harbour Town

I was invited to get a sneak peek of the activities and can report that it’s a great place to relax, learn and play with kids. There’s lots of fun photo opportunities too!

Lego City Harbour Town

There are several different play stations. Starting with building challenges…

Lego City Harbour Town

…Lego City iPad games…

Lego City Harbour Town

…and free build zone at the back where you can display, photograph and share your Lego creations.

Lego City Harbour Town

Lego City Harbour Town

There are also opportunities to meet and greet the Lego City Policeman and to win a Lego Prize pack valued at $1000!

Lego City Harbour Town

Lego City Harbour Town

These school holidays the LEGO City Play Zone ensures that everything is awesome!

Click here for more free winter school holiday activities.

Click here for more winter school holiday activities in the CBD and Docklands.


HOT Tips:

  • there are facilitators but adults still need to remain on site to supervise;
  • it’s not fenced or gated;
  • site is undercover;
  • free entry, no time limit for play;
  • best for 3+ years as only Lego (small parts) are used so little kids will need to be supervised to ensure they don’t put the pieces in their mouth;
  • LEGO City Policeman will meet and greet for 20 minutes and rest for 20 minutes;
  • Le Cirque cafe is next door though please be careful with food and drinks inside the play zone of course;
  • closest parking is West carpark off Pearl River Road.

LEGO City Play Zone, Harbour Town Melbourne, 440 Docklands Dr, Docklands (Located at Kids play area next to Le Cirque cafe) (03) 9328 8600

Monday 3 – Sunday 16 July 2017

12pm – 4pm daily

Free entry

HOT: Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

If you’re looking for a perfect nature play + cafe combo that’s not too far from Melbourne…then Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and The Piggery at Burnham Beeches in Sherbrooke is it.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

The gardens is one of the jewels of the Dandenong Ranges. It is particularly stunning in Autumn, with the changing colours of maples and beeches, and in spring the park blooms with azaleas and cherry trees.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

The large garden was part of the historic Burnham Beeches Estate, home of Alfred Nicholas, developer of the Aspro formula. It is over 13 hectares but you shouldn’t miss the ornamental lake with boathouse at the bottom of the hill.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

Make it your first stop as what goes down must come up….and it’s better that you tackle the uphill climb while little legs still have energy.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

On the upper levels of the garden you’ll find a small pond with sculptures as well as many paths leading under the canopy of mountain ash trees.

Alfred Nicholas Gardens

Take a picnic and while away a day away from the bustle of the city or head next door to The Piggery at Burnham Beeches for food and drinks and a child-friendly venue.


HOT Tips:

  • Toilets and water available near entrance.
  • The car park is situated opposite the main entrance, no vehicle entry into the gardens.
  • Walk next door to The Piggery at Burnham Beeches for food and drinks and a child-friendly venue.

Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke, Dandenong Ranges, 13 1963

Open 10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day

Admission free

 

 

 

 

 

HOT: LightTime at Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood

Be immersed in Scienceworks latest temporary exhibition LightTime, which explores the different phenomena of light, optics, sound, movement and perspective through the display of eleven art installations.

Adults and kids alike will be mesmerised by these stunning works!

lighttime scienceworks

LightTime includes an infinity room that will challenge your sense of space  by Kit Webster….

….floral arrangements that open and shut with moving colours and light inside by Skunk Control….

lighttime scienceworks

lighttime scienceworks

…double-handed drawing with light by Eiichi Tosaki and Steve Stelios Adam

lighttime scienceworks

…there’s even one that explores how our senses cause motion sickness by (((20hz)))!

LightTime is a chance to engage with art and science in a different way – take some time out to appreciate each work slowly and carefully to engage your senses. While you’re there check out the interactive Laser Maze and Forest in the Pumping Station created by Monster Studio. I got a sneak peek while they were installing the works and I can assure you it’s amazing!

Join the LightTime facebook event to stay up to date with special programming, artist news and behind the scenes content.


HOT Tips:

  • The exhibition is displayed in dim light, with some smoke, strobe and lighting effects that may not be suitable for very young children;
  • pram-friendly as each display is set out in a separate space; and
  • For adult adventurers, there will be NightLight an after hours event at LightTime on Friday 18 August.

LightTime at Scienceworks, 2 Booker St, Spotswood

$5 plus eumeum entry

From 1 July 2017 10am-4:30pm

 

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