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Sydney school holiday activities for kids

14 Apr

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There are so many things to do in Sydney these April school holidays that we are spoiled for choice.

Even though we are born and bred Sydneysiders we love playing tourist and head into town most weekends to get a dose of colour, culture, food and fun.

Here’s some of the activities the Hungry Family have been up to lately. Some are just on during the school holidays while others are on year-round.

Elizabeth Bay House

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Many moons ago I used to live in Elizabeth Bay, a posh harbourside village in Sydney and used to pass Elizabeth Bay House frequently. Just seeing this stunning mansion, with its multi-million dollar view of the harbour, is enough to take your breath away.

In 1835 the colonial secretary Alexander Macleay was determined to build an iconic splendid home. That he did but there is more to this mansion than just another Sydney-real-estate-is-crazy-expensive story.

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On our recent visit we were extremely lucky to be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the place by a guide. She even took us up the ‘servants stairs’ into the attic where staff used to sleep – an area that is usually off limits.

As part of school holidays activities there was a free craft table with a butterfly focus for kids to get creative – score!

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http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/elizabeth-bay-house

MCA

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The Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay has free entry, with the exception of special exhibits. We visited a few days ago, stopping first on level four to eat at the wonderful MCA Cafe. With a view over to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House it is a great pace to sit and soak up the environs on Sydney Harbour. Find a table – you can sit indoors or outside – then line up to order. Service is relaxed and friendly and you can order a glass of wine or coffee, too.

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After we were satiated – I highly recommend the avocado and tomato cottage loaf – we headed downstairs to the children’s art trail. The gals were given a clipboard, worksheet and pencil and told which art woks to look at it. After they had finished their assignments they were grated access to an amazing room where they made collages. This room had a jaw-dropping view over the harbour, but the little people were so occupied with cutting, gluing and creating that I doubt they noticed.

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www.mca.com.au

The Australian Museum

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This place has long held a special place in our hearts and we have been so many times to ‘the dinosaur museum’ (as Miss8 has dubbed it) that it feels like a second home.

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The recently opened Trailblazers exhibit is a round up of some of Australia’s best and bravest pioneers. The feats these people have undertaken is nothing short of inspirational – in fact, you find yourself wondering what you’re doing with your time when you see what these amazing people have achieved.

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This is a hands-on exhibit that even includes a mini rock-climbing wall. My gals LOVE rock climbing so they were thrilled to have a go – and The Hungry Dad joined them 🙂

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Kids have free entry into Trailblazers on weekends. See http://australianmuseum.net.au/trailblazers-australias-50-greatest-explorers

Other activities:

The Sydney Opera House always has a free creative play event in The Western Foyer during school holidays. The activity changes each hols and some are more engaging than others. We always check it out, even if we aren’t headed there to see a show. www.sydneyoperahouse.com

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We visited the Sydney Harbour Icons Lego exhibition late last year and had a blast, though I have no idea what happened to the many photos I took! I suggest booking online and reserving an early morning spot. Get inspired by the Opera House and Luna Park models, then have a go making your own creation with the umpteen Lego bricks.

http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/exhibitions/sydney-harbour-with-lego-bricks

Speaking of… Luna Park has been thrilling youngsters for generations. It is free to walk through the gates but you will need to buy a pass to go on rides. To be honest, a couple of hours is enough here. I suggest either taking your own food – there are picnic tables on the harbour foreshore – or heading into Kirribilli to eat. Food here is expensive, carnival clichéd, and options are limited. Your best bet is to walk under the Harbour Bridge to the other side of Kirribilli for food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Family outing: Sydney Fish Market

27 Aug

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The Hungry Family loves getting out & about in Sydney and exploring the countless wonderful sights. Despite being born & bred Sydneysiders we as a family could often be mistaken for tourists – every time we’re anywhere near the harbour we snap multiple photos, and often the girls are asked to be in the photos of random tourists.

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Recently we took Misses 6 & 8 to Sydney Fish Market. I hadn’t been there in a decade or so but I lurve seafood so decided to pay a visit.

So much choice. So much deliciousness. So much fresh seafood silently urging me to buy! Buy! Buy!

The gals will eat fish but that’s about it for their love of seafood. The Hungry Dad is happy to eat almost anything [the exception being smoked salmon, which means more for me. Huzzah!] and I love it all – except mussels. Don’t ask me why…

The gals loved sussing out all the creatures, including crabs, oysters and scampi. I think they were horrified by some of it 🙂

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So we bought fish, prawns, and squid to take home. And of course, fish and chips.

Things to know: in winter it is cold here! We were rugged up but the bitter wind meant there was no chance of us dining in the large al fresco area. We ended up eating the F&C in the car, which was not really great.

Also, the floors are slippery, despite the many slipmats. Flat shoes with good grip are a must, people.

Aside from the fish merchants there’s also bakery, a deli and fruit shop. And soooo much food to eat! Everyone sells amazing food – I felt 10kg heavier just looking at it all.

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We drove but you can get there via light rail from Central Station. An hour was plenty for us and parking is just $3 if you can be in and out within 59 minutes.

A swanky makeover is in the works for the markets and to be honest it is needed. The area, so full of potential, would really benefit from some TLC.

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Sydney Fish Market is also home to the Seafood School, where you can take hands-on cooking classes with a focus on seafood. I’d love to do a class here one day…

See sydneyfishmarket.com.au

Great kid’s day out in Sydney – Powerhouse Museum

10 Jul

The Hungry Family loves a good museum and the Powerhouse in Sydney is one of our all-time favs. It was the first museum both gals went to as babies – Miss8’s first visit was to see an exhibition of costumes by Kylie Minogue [fan gal!] while Miss6 was so tiny that she was transported via baby carrier.

Recently we explored the Games Masters exhibition, dedicated to the art and history of video games. I’ve never been a fan but the Hungry Dad was positively drooling at the sight at row after tow of everything from old school arcade games like PacMan and Sonic the Hedgehog to Minecraft and more.
On our way from Parking at Darling Quarter [hint – there are clean toilets near the entrance to the car park and also a myriad of places to eat] we stumbled across the very pretty Winter Wonderland scene, complete with ice rink. Miss8 especially thought it was divine.

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Then it was to the Powerhouse, were we took in the Strictly Ballroom exhibition, which made me fall in love with the classic Oz film all over again. The feathers! The costumes! Arms, Clary!
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Next stop was the free science talk where Miss8 was pulled from the audience to be a volunteer to help make slime. What a wonderful assistant she made, creating gooey sticky green mess ☺
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Finally it was time to check out what we came for – video games. Try as I might I just can’t get excited by them but the gals enjoyed exploring games created waaaay before their time.
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Miss6 and I lined up to have a boogie to one of those dance games [you can tell I’m just not that into it] and we also hit a small room to jam to a Faith No More song [thanks, Hungry Dad]. Miss6 loved getting her riffs on.

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See powerhousemuseum.com/gamemasters/

The Hungry Mum Out & About: Adelaide and South Australia

24 Sep

I have *the* best mum-in-law in the world. So many people have strained or difficult relationships with their mother-in-law but I’ve been really blessed to score such a wonderful, generous, intelligent woman. Recently she organised a weekend away in Adelaide for the Hungry Dad & myself AND babysitting! Yes, it was a child-freeImageree break and it was fab! Must see places [for those planning a trip] include Chapel Hill vineyard, Woodside Cheese, Shaw & Smith vineyard, Adelaide Central Markets [farmers market that is huge & full of lovely stuff. Sydney could do well to emulate it] and the gorgeous German village of Hahndorf. Making a good thing even better was the chance to catch up with the beautiful Rebecca Dettman, AKA @MissPsychette. Here’s a random selection of pix of my weekend away.

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Hungry Mum out & about: New Ikea catalogue launch – I wait all year for this

19 Aug

I am an Ikea junkie and my home is a shrine to flatpack Swedish furniture. It is no exaggeration to say that each year at around this time I peer hopefully into my letterbox, waiting for the new catalogue to be delivered. So you can imagine my excitement when I was recently invited to the Sydney launch of the 2013 Ikea catalogue. And when I was given a copy of the ‘style bible’ to take home before it was released to the general public, I almost had kittens.

Here are some snaps from the night. Keep an eye out for this lovely little booklet, which should be winging its way to you very soon.

Colouring in the fabric at the Ikea 2013 catalogue launch

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