Look Who’s Walkin’ - Part Two: Our Top Family Beach-Side Walks in Melbourne

With summer on our doorstep, Melbourne is calling you for seaside walks and sand-filled play. Here are some of our favourite beach-side adventures:

St Kilda 

Not many can resist the fun of Luna Park in St Kilda. If your little ones are just that bit too little then there is a fantastic park to be found at Neptune Street. Sister of Soul is the place to visit for a yummy juice or smoothie to sip on as you stroll along the pier with bubba.

Hampton 

The beach-side suburb of Hampton provides lots of entertainment for families, with it’s parks and swimming beaches. Thomas Street South Reserve has a great wooden playground for the little ones to explore. With plenty of outdoor seating, Cornerstone and Co. Cafe makes a good spot to stop for lunch.

Elwood 

There is a beautiful walk in store for you along the Ormond Esplanade. Be sure to bring your hats, apply that sunscreen and pop on the sunglasses as it gets quite hot and glarey. For lunch, Little Sunflower Cafe is not far up Glen Huntley/Ormond Road. They serve the best buddha bowls in town and there is seating out the front for parents with prams. 

Chelsea 

Chelsea beach is a nice spot to visit. The Bicentennial playground is the perfect place for your little ones to run wild and Soul Press in nearby Edithvale will cure your smoothie craving. 

Frankston Foreshore  

Frankston Beach is a plesant spot to spend the afternoon. Nature Cafe makes a good choice for lunch with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Frankston Foreshore playground is lots of fun for the little ones, or there is the bright and bold Bellam Park further inland on Cranbourne Road.

Mornington Pier   

A nice walk around Mornington Pier is always lots of fun. There is a fantastic playground and reserve for the little ones to run around at Mornington Park. Soul Press is the place to go when hunger strikes with their nourishing açaí bowls and delicious smoothies, or you can try Thanks Albert with a yummy selection of vegetarian burgers to choose from. If you need to do some shopping while you are out and about Natural Balance along the main street has a big range of organic goodies. 

Enjoy your summer! 

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Family Getaways: Byron Bay with Kids

We recently returned from a fantastic family getaway to Northern NSW. It was full of great memories, awesome adventures, costal walks and seaside fun - just what we needed to escape the cold Melbourne winter! 

We ventured to Byron Bay, enjoying the scenery, viewing the stunning lighthouse and brunching at Three Blue Ducks restaurant at The Farm.  

We explored the quiet costal town of Kingscliff, trekking the seaside walking paths with the double pram, helping our toddler hunt for ‘treasure’, playing in the sand with baby and relishing in a much needed latte at the other end of the trail.  

And, we took a day trip to the Gold Coast checking out the views (and cafes!) at Surfers Paradise and Coolangatta. 

Here were some of our top finds on our trip: 

Gold Coast 

Our trip began on the Gold Coast, with our family arriving at the Gold Coast airport to pick up a hire car. Hiring the car made it a breeze to get around and explore the coast with our two little ones as we had baby seats hired, installed and ready to go from Avis the moment we touched down. Also a dream was the double pram we hired from Hire For Baby, who were an absolute pleasure to deal with and even had the pram waiting for us in the boot of our hire car on arrival - too easy!

We left the Gold Coast and made our way down to NSW for the majority of our trip, however we did make a day trip back up to the GC and found a few great cafes along the way - the Cardamon Pod is my absolute fave cafe on the Gold Coast - I wish there was one in Melbourne, Brumbles Cafe in Surfers was lovely - they do a delicious salad and the coffee is stand out (right up there with Melbourne coffee snob standards!). Another must visit if you are in the market for dinner on the Gold Coast is Greenhouse Canteen for it’s amazing take on street food. 

Kingscliff

The sleepy town of Kingscliff, in NSW, is a perfect stop on your seaside adventure, with it’s beautiful beaches, costal trails and great coffee. Our favourite spots to visit for brunch were Mockingbird Cafe for their amazing juices and delicious chia pudding, and Saltbean Expresso for their smoothies. Saltbean is located right opposite a great playground for your little ones to enjoy, and also right near the lovely Peppers accommodation and Salt Spa in Kingscliff.   

Byron Bay 

Heading to Byron Bay with kids presents a slightly different vibe than my formative years, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had! We all enjoyed the stunning views at the Byron Bay lighthouse. The Farm, home to the infamous Three Blue Ducks restaurant, was another massive hit with our little ones. As the name suggests it is in fact a working farm - with animals to see, vegetable crops to admire, a decent sized playground and lots of land to explore. The food at Three Blue Ducks was on point, with some great vegetarian options on offer - and they do a good cappuccino too. Santos Organics is also a must visit to stock up on some delicious organic produce for your trip. 

If you’re visiting this beautiful part of Australia with your little people I wish you a fantastic time! It sure is a beautiful part of the world. 

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Family Getaways - Phillip Island

A fun-filled seaside adventure awaits you just a short trip from Melbourne. With plenty to see and do, Phillip Island is the perfect destination for families.

We share our top highlights and must-do’s when exploring Phillip Island with kids.  

Sleep

There are many great AirBnB options to suit families of any size, so you can enjoy your stay on the Island with the comforts of home. Our pick is the centrally located ‘Seacluded’. The property, run by hosts Brendan and Ella, is located in a quiet court in the heart of Cowes, allowing you easy access to the towns cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping. Keen to eat in for a night of your stay too? This property is literally just around the corner from Coles supermarket, so you can pick up a quick meal - and also restock on necessities for baby. 

Eat

For the foodies you can’t go past Island Wholefoods. The buckwheat pancakes are perfect for brunch, coupled with a delicious smoothie - or a much needed coffee - this top menu pick will provide you with much needed fuel before you get on your way to one of the Island’s many attractions. Another must visit is the Cape Kitchen, offering stunning views of the seaside and equally stunning meals. 

Play

There is so much to see and do on the Island - there are many attractions to suit the whole family such as the famous Penguin Parade, the Koala Conservation Centre and the Churchill Island Heritage Farm. For older kids there is the quirky Amaze ‘N Things, now with the daring SkyTrail - a short trip from the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. For the little ones, there is a neat little playground near the Cowes pier, and also a fun nautical themed playground in nearby Rhyll. A relaxing walk along the beach is also a must-do!

Phillip Island sure makes for an easy family getaway. 

 

 

 

Amazing Autumn Florals at the KaBloom Festival

Looking for somewhere different to explore during the school holidays? Nestled past the Dandenongs, Silvan - in Victoria’s east - is usually known for it’s amazing Tulip Festival, but this year they have an exciting new adventure in store with the Tesselaar KaBloom Festival.

Showcasing many beautiful flowers, such as foxgloves, sunflowers and begonias, there is plenty to see. There are also the all important food trucks (and coffee!) to visit, gorgeous animals at the petting zoo, live performances to enjoy, and a tractor ride that takes you on a magical journey through the flower fields. During our visit we even got to spot a fairy in the Fairy Forest - and if you look hard enough, you might be able to find her too!

The festival is open at the Tesselaar Farm in Silvan from 10am til 5pm daily, and runs until 15 April 2018. It’s a fun day out for all at the Tesselaar KaBloom Festival.

Melbourne with Kids - Best Kid Friendly Cafes and Adventures in Melbourne

Melbourne has so much to offer families it’s hard to know where to begin, so let us help you start your journey by sharing some of our top picks for meal time, kid friendly fun activities and adventures. 

Top Picks for Child Friendly, Plant Friendly Cafes in Melbourne (and surrounds):

Top picks for fun family activities in Melbourne (and surrounds):

  • Visit the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
  • Explore the Melbourne Museum  
  • Experience the Melbourne Sealife Aquarium  
  • Partake in ArtPlay by the Yarra
  • Check out the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) 
  • Visit the Melbourne Zoo
  • Experience Collingwood Children’s Farm
  • Check out Scienceworks  

Top picks for free family adventures in Melbourne:

  • Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens  
  • Jog around the tan with the pram
  • Stroll down Anzac Avenue (St Kilda Road)
  • Pay a visit to the Melbourne City Library  
  • Walk along St Kilda pier with baby in the carrier  
  • Explore Melbourne’s CBD by foot

Top playground picks in Melbourne (and surrounds):

  • Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne 
  • Ron Barassi Snr Park on Docklands Drive, Docklands  
  • Royal Park Nature Play in Parkville (right near the Royal Children’s Hospital)
  • Middle Park Community Playground on Canterbury Road, Middle Park (Albert Park) 
  • McNish Reserve on Court Street in Yarraville
  • Coburg Lake Reserve on Murray Road in Coburg North  
  • Skinners Adventure Playground in Dorcas Street, South Melbourne 
  • St Kilda Adventure Playground in Neptune Street, St Kilda 

Want more cafes to choose from in Melbourne? Read about them here.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy our beautiful city! 

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Family Getaways - Road Trip to Mornington

The bustling beach side town of Mornington is only an hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD. With plenty on offer for the family, it makes for a great destination for your next road trip. 

The playground at Mornington Park is the star attraction for families, offering little ones the chance to be a pirate for the day on a big wooden pirate ship. The large reserve nearby is the perfect place for a game of lawn soccer or a nice picnic. 

If picnics aren’t your style then the Burgers at Thanks Albert hit the spot for lunch - especially the aptly titled ‘No I Wasn’t Vegan - and YOMG do a delicious salted caramel frozen yoghurt that makes for a special treat for dessert. 

Mornington is a fun day out for the family filled with laughter, sunshine and fresh sea air.  

Where is your top pick for a quick family road trip?  

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Family Travel - New Zealand with Baby

In February we embarked on a family holiday to New Zealand - and this was baby’s first time on a plane, and her first time overseas. 

We share our top recommendations for family friendly travel in New Zealand’s South Island... 

Our Top Travel Tips for Travel with Baby 

  • If it is baby’s first time overseas, organise the passport well in advance  - and make sure all family members passports are still current!
  • Breastfeed your baby on takeoff and desend - it helps with the pressure in their ears, it worked for us so much so that our bubba fell asleep! Offering a bottle of formula (or some water if your baby is old enough) would work in the exact same way - fed and sleeping baby for the flight is a win win! 
  • Pack hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes for the flight so you can wipe the area down and clean little hands before they eat - the last thing you want to deal with on your fun family holiday is illness
  • Bring on board a change of clothes and spare bibs for baby and a fresh top for yourself 
  • Carry a couple of small books and small toys on the flight if you have the room, they are great for distractions
  • Pack one of baby’s comfort items to ease the transition to napping and sleeping in a different cot and unfamiliar environment  
  • Try to plan activities and sightseeing around your baby’s routine if a routine is what they are used to
  • For Mum and Dad, invest in a local pre paid SIM card to pop in  your phone, this will come in very handy in the event you get separated from a family member, experience an emergency when out and about or you need to access WiFi to find details of a local doctor. And don’t forget to pack your charger and an international power adapter or two!   

Our top picks for baby friendly cafes in South Island NZ

  • Joe’s Garage in Christchurch  
  • Water Drop in Christchurch
  • Fergburger in Queenstown
  • Bespoke Kitchen in Queenstown
  • The Spice Room in Wanaka
  • Maggie's Kitchen in Greymouth

Our top picks for family activities in South Island NZ

  • Hop on the gondola, stroll the bontanical parks or visit the fascinating Orana Wildlife Park or the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch
  • Stroll around historical Arrowtown, taking a visit to the Lakes District Museum, Dorothy Brown’s Cinema and the famous Remarkable Sweet Lolly Shop
  • Visit the Kiwi Bird Wildlife Park, take a Jurassic Safari of the Highlands or embark on a scenic family cruise in Queenstown
  • Stop by the Shantytown Heritage Park in Greymouth
  • Take in the view of the beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit nearby Mount Cook
  • Walk around the stunning lake Wanaka with baby in the ergo carrier or pram
  • Visit the UNESCO world heritage listed Fiordland National Park
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Close by - check, stunning scenery - check, plenty of family friendly fun - check...New Zealand certainly is the perfect family friendly destination - especially for those travelling from Australia with baby for the first time! 

Lovely Spring - Part Two

What better way to celebrate spring than to visit the Tesselaar Tulip Festival?! Held at the tulip farm on Monbulk Road, in Silvan Victoria, the festival runs from 8 September to 4 October this year (2016). Mummy Green visited the festival with Itty Bitty Green and her family (Daddy Green, Nana Green and Grandpa Green) - there was something for all the family.

There is plenty to do at the festival - from wandering the gardens and many tulip displays, to listening to live music, enjoying train rides, shopping the market stalls, and local wine and cider tasting. Aside from the stunning tulips, Mummy Green's fave part of the festival is the food! There is a big variety on offer, including dutch pancakes (poffertjes), baked potatoes, wood fried pizzas, dutch sausages and potato cakes, gourmet potato wedges, deep fried cheese, dutch donuts, roasted nuts, home made ice cream, and every festival fave - fairy floss.

The festival gates open at 10am (last visit 4pm). Tickets are available on the day and are $26 for adults or $22 for concession. Children under 16 are free! The festival itself is pram friendly, however carriers are recommended as many of the grounds are muddy and on a steep incline.

Children's week at the festival runs from 19-22 September and also from 26-29 September, so be sure to get in quick to enjoy loads of fun entertainment with your little ones!