Saturday, May 8, 2010

Kidaddle Turns Guest Blogger

Head over to Adventures with Kids if you want to check out travel tips for all Australian capitals.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kidaddle to Perth

We've been thinking about driving across the big red land to Perth in winter ... which makes Adventures with Kids and Childhood 101 compulsory reading ...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kidaddle to the Farmyard Nursery

I can understand the desire to avoid large numbers of children careering through the house. I can understand the desire to avoid having to prepare party food. I don't share these feelings, but I understand them. That said, I've not been impressed by the McDonalds or indoor play centre alternatives - it seems expensive for not very much.

This weekend will be second birthday party we've attended at the Farmyard Nursery. For our girl, aged six and obsessed with anything furry, it's her idea of bliss - rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, alpacas, ponies ... you name it to touch ... and lambs, piglets and kids to bottle feed. The boys love all of that plus the (disabled and very safe) tractor to climb on.

The facilities are great too - a barn, covered verandah, grassy play area with equipment - means there's plenty to do even if it's raining. There's a kitchenette and while some things can be provided, you can do your own food. The kids get a different and wholesome experience. Plus it's a family-owned local business - so it feels good to support them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kidaddle to the Canberra Festival - Government House Open Day

I knew I'd leave something out! Tania will be at Government House today for the Open Day. A great opportunity to hear her read Riley herself!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Kidaddle to the Canberra Festival

As the hamster in Bolt said "It begins ..." (Am I the only adult who finds these characters amusing ... the hamster ties with the Penguins of Madagascar for me ...)

Back on subject: Happy Birthday Canberra!

As a Canberra Girl Born and Bred I have to promote the Canberra Festival, but it's not hard to do ... next week and weekend holds more than I could get my head around. For the kids and I, the highlights will be:
  • the balloons taking off at 0630 - any morning you like, 6-14 March, with the Lions Club people providing breakfast;

  • FlipArt in Civic Square, 12-14 March, for street and physical theatre (aerial displays, puppetry, roving acrobats, stilt-walkers);

  • the fireworks on Saturday 13 March;

  • the Lanyon Music Festival, Sunday 7 March with very family friendly timing of 5-7:30pm (take a picnic and enjoy local performing artists as the sun sets over the Brindabellas);

  • the sheep dog trials at Hall, 9-14 March;

  • the kids' fishing clinic in Lennox Gardens, Yarralumla on Saturday 13 March, followed by the Canberra Carp-Out on Sunday 14 March.

Bet we won't manage half of it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kidaddle to the Royal Canberra Show

Ah, The Show.

It took some prior preparation.

Wallets had to be located. Money was handed out. The lecture was given about how the money was finite and once it was gone, it was gone. Separate advice was provided that each child could have one - repeat one - showbag, in addition to the money provided for rides. Another lecture was delivered about how unfortunate the meltdown in the Showbag Pavilion had been last year and if the performance was repeated, there'd be no showbag at all. Final lecture reminded us all that everyone had their interests. If Mum wanted to drag everyone through the Craft Pavilion, and Libby wanted to sit and watch the hacks for an hour, well then that was something that had to be borne with stoicism.

And with that we were off. Despite great intentions about "an early start", we failed to arrive before 1030 on the Saturday and paid the usual price of the furthest car space from anything and the hottest part of the day.

We also failed, for the second year running, to be at the Racing Pigs at the appropriate time.

Negatives aside - we enjoyed the Farmyard Nursery, Sideshow Alley (despite some fear in the fairly benign Seaworld), the Superslide, and a calm and relatively quick decision to go with the Mario and Hello Kitty! showbags. Best of all was the Panning for Treasures - $7 saw each child allocated a pan and a flower pot full of dirt, which disintegrated slowly in the paddling pool as they swirled their pans to reveal a fantastic array of treasures: a Chinese coin, a 1951 penny, a bracelet, polished stones and some gold flakes ...

It may be hot and dusty and crowded and testing, but it is a tradition of sorts and the closest we get in Canberra to a country fair (not counting the Hall Markets). It's just one of those things that has to be done.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kidaddle to the Botanic Gardens

Photo by sridgway.

I was surprised by the kids' reaction when we ended up at the Botanic Gardens by default a couple of weekends ago. I really didn't expect them to be too enthused. We had kitted up for a day on the little kids' water slide at Club Blue. It never occurred to us to check that the slide was open and it wasn't. Canberrans will understand when I say that we are Southside people and really weren't sure what to do as an alternative on the Northside.

Nanna suggested the Botanic Gardens and I had a sinking feeling ... this really wasn't going to be an adequate substitute, but I was so wrong. Why? Heaps of interesting paths and bridges and waterfalls and rocks to discover let the kids' imagination run wild. Nanna and I found a bench, threw a packet of sandwiches at each child and let them go for it. They spent two hours clambering all over rocks, racing leaves down rivulets and watching the lizards swimming in a pond.

I have to say it was paradise for a parent - a decent coffee to be had a few metres away while watching the kids play in the open air, making new friends and coming up with the most fantastic "adventure" scenarios based on little more than some rocks, water and a few sticks.

I'm sure I've though it before and I'll no doubt need reminding again: keep your expectations low and give the kids the opportunity to enjoy the simpler things in life.