Your Ultimate Guide to Kidzania Manila

 

Kidzania Manila Review The Urban Ma blogFinish this sentence – When I grow up I want to…

Fly a plane?
Help people when they’re sick?
Look after animals?
Save a burning building?

Or,
Monitor, control and activate clean energy in the city?
Create new ideas for different treats?
Learn different techniques for preserving processed meat?
Examine and care for trees in the garden and around the city?
Or perhaps share the many sights, attractions, and highlights of the city to tourists?

Being a fireman, pilot, doctor or vet might have crossed all our minds at some stage. But how about all the other work that needs to get done? All of the above and more are experiences that kids from 4-14 years old can participate in at Kidzania Manila.

Kidzania is not like any play center I have ever been to. And I have been to a lot. From birthday parties, to mothers group catchups, to rainy day alternative play areas, the kids have explored different play areas from the east to the west and everywhere in between. Nothing compares to the experience we had when my cousins took us to this wonderful world for kids in Bonafacio Global City in Manila.

Kidzania Manila Australia travel blogger
Ignite your child’s imagination and their thirst for learning by accompanying them to a world for kids which has their own currency (Kidzos), own language, and own set of rules and values.

After sailing on the sparkling blue waters of Coron and climbing the famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol, I really wondered if maybe extending our time in the islands instead of heading back to Manila would be a better idea. Thank goodness we wanted to spend time with our cousins because they really took us to some awesome places up in the big smoke.

Kidzania originally started in Mexico in 1999 and since then has spread its edutainment concept to 24 other locations in the world including London, Moscow, Tokyo, Singapore, and Dubai. Kidzania is a kid-sized city complete with its own currency, bank and jobs needing to be done. Adults are not permitted to participate in the activities and the kids are able to experience explore their own interest with independence and develop their confidence.

Initially upon entering Kidzania I was overwhelmed with all that was going on and impatient with having to line up for so long at some of the activities. I’m glad we pushed through it because after only a short while we totally had or Kidzania game on! So below are some things we observed that will hopefully help you make the most out of your trip!

1) Kidzania has their own currency called Kidzos and as soon as you enter your child is given a cheque for50Kidzos which they can bank for some cash or even open an account with a ATM card if they want to save it and earn interest.

2) Kidzos money can be spent at the Kidzos department store and some other places where they can purchase lollies, clothes, toys etc and Kidzos can also be earned by participating in the various “jobs”/activities in Kidzania City!Kidzania Manila Kidzos blogger review

3) You can purchase a passport for your child at 220pesos in which the can get a stamp at every job they complete. There are different rewards depending how many stamps you get so if your planning on visiting Kidzania more the once you should totally get one! We purchased a passport towards the end of the day because there was a bit of a line when we first arrived. We thought that we would be able to go back to all the activities that we completed to get our stamp but they said that’s not how it works – you have to have your passport at the time you do your activity to get it stamped. So purchase one before you go around the place if you’re interested in collecting stamps and extra Kidzos. If you visit Kidzania in other countries you’ll also get a special holographic sticker.

4) As you walk around the world of Kidzania, you’ll see familiar establishments like a hospital, mobile phone shop, gym, laundromat all tailor made for kids. Look for the census plate at each of the establishments as guide to know a) how many kids can participate in the activity b) the minimum age required c) how many minutes the activity runs for and, d) whether you can earn Kidzos or spend Kidzos and how much.

 5) Below are just some of the many different jobs available for the kids to experience:

Automotive
Pit Crew Training Centre
Driving Streets
Gas Station
Car Design and Dealership

Culture Museum
Traditional Jewelry Workshop
Arts & Crafts Workshop
Tattoo Studio

Education 
Driving School
Music Studio
Acting Academy
Disaster Preparedness Training Center
Art & Design Academy
University
Cooking School
Aviation Academy

Entertainment
City Tour Bus
Theater

Environment
Marine Research Lab
Urban Garden

Financial Services
Bank

Health
Dentist
Baby Care Training Center
Hospital – Operating Room
Hospital – Emergency Room
Pharmacy

Media
Newspaper
Magazine Publishing Company
Radio Station
Home Shopping Studio
TV Studio

Private Services
Window Washing
Laundromat
Vet Clinic
Hotel
Beauty Salon
Courier Service
Employment Office
Mobile Phone Shop
Creative Hub
Farm House Store

Public Services
Fire Station
Police Station & C.S.I
Courthouse
Tax Office
Clean Energy Center

Residential
Construction Site
Home Finishing

Retail
Fashion Boutique
Supermarket
Bookstore

Sports
Fitness Lab
Stadium
Climbing Building

Industrial
Bakeshop
Ice Cream Factory
Bottling Plant
R&D Center
Cookie Factory
Product Lab
Snack Factory

6) Being a fire fighter and pilot were extremely popular jobs when we visited Kidzania so make sure you get some snacks and bring along your patience – be prepared to wait even up to an hour or so. The wait is totally worth it though, as the kids take some part in fire fighter training before riding on their own little fire engine with sirens blasting out while they make their way to help put out a fire at the burning hotel. It was an incredible experience for the kids and all the parents loved seeing their little ones so involved and active. Fire fighting Kidzania Manila blog review The Urban Ma

7) You can only enter Kidzania with kids and my cousins had organised all our tickets for us prior to us arriving. We went on a Sunday around 11am after attending mass at Greenbelt. The front entrance area is set up like an airport check in terminal. You can purchase tickets through the Kidzania website and you can also find discounts and deals through websites such as Metro Deal if you want to save and have more money to spend inside!

8) All the jobs seem to be branded with popular current brands so as to make the experience seem more like the big world outside. We were really impressed that there were not only the popular medical and rescue service jobs, but the kids are also exposed to tasks such as customer service at the holiday in and mobile phone shop, as well as the responsibility of delivering important parcels through the Kidzania courier and mail service. It was also interesting to see jobs such as the brand ambassador jobs offering a high pay rate at 12Kidzos for kids who assist customers in their needs and orient them on mobile phone apps! A good focus on customer needs and sales! The kids’ creativity is harnessed in so many of the jobs offered at Kidzania including one where they get to create their own new sweet treat, or write an article to be published in the newspaper.Kidzania Manila Philippines travel blog dentist Kidzania Manila Philippines activities

9) Let your kid explore and check out the activities that interest them. Our 4yo said his favourites were the pilot academy training, the Emergency room where he was a paramedic and the cookie making factory. It was so cool watching the kids in the ABS CBN TV studio that was set up so the kids can host the news or even their own infomercial! The radio station and courtroom also looked super cool however the minimum age was 6yo as they are required to be able to read to complete the activity. In the operating theatre and in the dental clinic, there were life sized mannequins that the kids had to work on. They really try to make it as real as possible for the kids!Kidzania Manila blog review paramedic

10) If you want to eat before heading into Kidzania, there is a McDonalds outlet and a few other restaurants right next door. Alternatively you could purchase some food and drinks from the vendors inside.Paramedics in training Melbourne travel blogger Kidzania

11) There is a parents lounge with free wifi and you can grab a coffee and cake while sitting on the comfy couches reading a newspaper or magazine while your kids earn their keep.

12) Everyone greeted us with a friendly and enthusiastic “Kai!” when we arrived at the different activities. Kidzania has their own little expressions so be sure to get in on the fun and greet people with with “Kai!” (Hi!) or say “Zanks/Zank-u” (Thank you). We also heard some of the Kidzania people say “Zaz!” It’s their way to say “Wow!” when they are surprised or impressed!Kai Kidzania Manila blog review Melbourne

13) There are so many jobs to choose from when you enter and if your kid is particularly interested in something, you can head on over to the Employment Center where they can help you match something to your needs. For example if your kid wants to be an athlete, they have a sports stadium with team sports or a gym for some fitness exercises they can participate in! Otherwise your child can take a quiz to see what might interest them.

14) There is also the Kidzania University activity where the kids can participate in a 30min or 15min cycle where they can complete their Masters or Bachelor degree. They receive a certificate and from then on, when they show their certificate at any of the jobs in Kidzania, they get paid a few extra Kidzos, illustrating to them the benefits of ongoing learning and upskilling.

15) When entering Kidzania, each child and adult is given a wristband which only Kidzania staff are able to remove. That way, your kids are able to be tracked and won’t be able to exit Kidzania without you.

16) Kidzania would be an awesome place to have your kid’s birthday party. We saw a few birthday celebrants excitedly exploring their Kidzania world with all their friends. Kidzania has proven popular with even the adults that on certain days and nights, they run private functions where I believe the adults get to join in on the fun!

17) The Kidzania website and social media channels are always updated with special events and promotions so be sure to check them before you go. On the day that we went, I checked their Instagram account in the morning and found out that one of the famous Filipino actors would be there promoting his new movie in the Kidzania theatre. My cousins were sooooo excited to see Piolo in the flesh and so close, it was an added bonus to our already amazing day!

18) Kidzania have their own mascots each representing the rights that Kidzania patrons share together. There is also a sixth right, the Right to Be.

Urbano – Right to Know
Vita – Right to Care
Bache – Right to Play
Beebop – Right to Create
Chika – Right to Share

There are interesting monuments and plaques you can find all around the city so take the time to explore and read them while your kids wait in line for their activities. It gives you a glimpse into the Kidzania culture!

I could go on and on about our time at Kidzania and how happy Daniel was participating in all the jobs he is normally only an observer of in the big, real world. You’ll find a list of all the roles your kid can participate in here and I hope this has been of some help or has encouraged you to brave the traffic and smokey haze of Manila to visit this awesome role play concept!

Kidzania Manila can be found in the modern and sleek area of Bonafacio Global City where is seems brand new shopping malls and attractions have been popping up recently along with some nice street art! We went by car and there is paid parking available at Park Triangle and nearby places such as Market Market. Otherwise they have more information here if you’re travelling by bus, MRT or other modes of transport! Another easy way to get there is to just use a Grab or cab. 

I heard that they might be planning on finally getting one up and running here in Australia so hopefully it’ll be in Melbourne! Have you been to Kidzania? Any tips for first time visitors?

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

-xx-

Kidzania Manila review Tripadvisor Philippines
Daniel had the best time being spoilt by all his aunties and uncles!kid friendly Manila Kidzania Philippines

Travelling with Kids – Philippine Travel Blog

Pinterest Philippines Travel Blog with kids

A Destination of Smiles – The Philippines

It is definitely more fun in the Philippines. And even more fun travelling this country of a million smiles with the kids and our family. From volcanoes and white sandy beaches, to wild but friendly water giants, to towering shopping malls, the Philippines is a country that will seduce you into coming back over and over again. Except maybe to Manila but more about that later.

Having been to the Philippines numerous times in the past, this was our first time travelling there with the kids and also our first time venturing out from our relatives’ homes in Manila and the provinces to the magnificent islands and waters that have captured the hearts of travelers from around the world. With an initial feeling of uncertainty and worry about how the kids would handle the heat and difference in environment, and how us adults would handle the kids, I’m happy to say it was bloody amazing and we are already planning our next visit back to this tropical paradise! So read on if you too are thinking about going on a tropical adventure to this country of over 7,100 colorful islands.

Kawasan Falls Philippine Travel Blog with Kids

We visited the following areas on our three week escapade for my dad’s 60th birthday adventure:

– Cebu
– Bohol
– Bulacan
– Palawan
– Manila
– Tagaytay

What an amazing 60th birthday bash my dad had! – Island hopping, relaxing by the pool, touristy sightseeing, delicious meals, and most of all spending time with relatives. We were a traveling party of 12 – 8 adults, 2 kids and 2 infants and, extra family and friends joined us at some of the destinations so we almost always hired a van to get around.

Traveling the Philippines with kids travel blog

Getting around the Philippines

Hiring a van with a driver was so convenient for us because we didn’t have to worry about anything for the whole day! We hired a van for the full day when we went to Cebu and Bohol.

In Manila we used Grab and taxis and our cousins kindly drove us around. I downloaded the Grab app as instructed by my cousins and found it super convenient and safe to use.

In Bulacan we caught a lot of tricycles and were also driven around by family. We didn’t get to ride on a jeepney during this trip but hopefully we’ll get to hang off one next time!

 – 3500 – 3800php – daily driver and van
– Tricycle fares are per person and I’m not sure how they price it but we paid around 20php for a trip of around 1-1.5kms. Either way it’s a fast cheap way of getting around town if you don’t have too far to go but can’t be bothered walking in the heat of the sun.
– from 15php – bottle of water from Hypermarket supermarket
7php-60php for snacks like biscuits and chips

Tricycle PHilippines travel blog
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his is a tricycle in Coron – they feel so much bigger than the ones in Bulacan. It seems that each different area of the Philippines has a slight different type of tricycle in the way that they are made, however, almost all of them are able to fit around 8 people!

When going to Cebu from Manila we flew by plane which was only about an hour and twenty minutes long. There are quite a few flights per day that fly to Cebu by airlines such as Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Having flown from Melbourne on an 8 hour flight, the one hour flight was nothing for the kids! They happily looked out the window and had a short nap.

From Cebu to Bohol we took a ferry which was around 2 hours. I ended up chatting to a lovely lady from Anda the whole way learning all about their beautiful beaches there and mysterious caves! I’d love to visit there next time we’re in Bohol. From Bohol back to Manila we caught a plane which was faster and more efficient.

Philippines Travel Blog jeepney manila

From the gorgeous beaches and resorts of Bohol and whimsical waterfalls of Cebu, we traveled up to Bulacan which is a province north of Manila to visit relatives. There were ate freshly picked fruits and veggies and a roasted suckling pig was cooked for my dad’s birthday celebration.

Bulacan rooster farm to table
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his is my uncle’s rooster farm. Straight organised rows of trees were planted along with the roosters’ houses. It was so eye opening seeing all the animals such as roosters, chickens, pigs, goats, fish etc being grown and eaten so fresh!

There are some awesome things to see around Bulacan however we chose to spend our time chilling out with our cousins and we got to watch a movie in the cinemas at SM Baliwag. We watched Beauty & the Beast as soon as it came out! It was everything I hoped it would be.

We didn’t just used transport with wheels to get around the Philippines – we rode on a lot of boats both big and little. The kids loved being so close to the water and we made sure they wore their life jackets at all times so they felt safe!

Swimming with the whale sharks Oslob Cebu
Here is our party of 13 riding a skinny little bangka in Oslob to see the whalesharks. Hannah wanted to just get into the water since she could see it right at her fingertips. We ended up dipping her in for a bit over the side!

 After swimming through the beautiful turquoise waters of Coron and lazing around on the powdery warm sandy beaches of Bohol, we found ourselves in busy, smokey, excruciating gridlocked traffic and inefficient ways that is Manila. Luckily our wonderfully amazing cousins had some fun things planned for us. I didn’t really know where to go out in Manila except for the shopping malls and gosh there are a lot of them! My cousins took us to some amazing places which I’ll share with you on a separate blog post on Manila. One of the places worth mentioning was Kidzania in Bonifacio Global City. It is a must-see place when visiting the Philippines with kids.Kids travel guide to the Philippines

Other things to note when traveling to the Philippines with kids

1. Shots. We had left it too late for the kids to get immunized

before heading to the Philippines but if I had booked in at the doctor earlier, we would’ve gotten a shot for Typhoid and I think Hep A? I can’t remember now but we came back home feeling well. Hannah had around four mosquito bites while the rest of us hardly had any. I even bought two cans of insect repellent with me and I hardly finished them.

2. Bottled water. Always drink bottled water and never drink out of the taps. Even the water we boiled in the kettle was from a bottle. We ended up buying huge containers of water every time we knew we were going to be at a certain place for more than two days. Thankfully none of us got sick. Mr 4yo got the runs on our second week there but after a day he was fine.

3. Spare clothes. Bring lots of spare clothing for the kids. You never know when a little accident may happen, and you’ll feel so good changing into a fresh set of clothes after a long day out sweating in the heat. You also never know when you’ll come across and cool swimming spot you’ll want to go for a dip in so always have some clothes and bathers with you!

4. Currency exchange. If you withdraw some money before heading to the Philippines, you can get a good rate of exchange at the currency exchange outlets. You can find them in most of the airports and shopping centres. We did that, and also withdraw money from an ATM, which charged us a fee each time. So if you find a RCBC atm or bank, you can withdraw a max of 20,000php from there instead of the standard 10,000php that the other ATMs like BDO allow.

5. Tips. Before arriving in the Philippines I would highly recommend that you have some Philippine pesos ready at hand, and have some smaller denominations like 10 and 20php notes. Tipping is common practice and with the hard working people helping you out, I’m sure you’ll be wanting to give them a little extra for their service and effort.

6. Attitude. Be open-minded, positive and adaptable. There are lots of different dishes to try in the Philippines that can’t be found elsewhere and having an open mind will allow you to enjoy each experience a lot more. The service there is also a lot slower than I’m used to – 45mins wait to get my take away dinner order and 15mins waiting in line at the supermarket. Not all places were like this but I noticed a lot of improvement opportunities in Manila in terms of customer service. It made me feel so happy to be home when I got back to Melbourne! – I was able to visit two banks, Vodafone and get lunch all in half an hour!

No matter how positive I was, I could handle everything except the traffic of Manila – when you’re sitting in traffic for an hour just to get somewhere less than 8kms away, it’s just simply ridiculous. I already don’t drive to work in Melbourne because I hate sitting in traffic – you should see the traffic in Manila. If I didn’t have luggage and kids to carry with me, I’m sure I would’ve just walked to most of the places. Does anyone have the answer to reducing traffic in Manila? It is simply a big waste of time. No wonder a lot of travellers are now bypassing Manila altogether and going straight to places like Cebu and Borocay. Hopefully those other cities can get their infrastructure right before it gets as busy as Manila.

Philippines family travel blog
There, there, it’s ok. You don’t have to put up with the traffic everyday!

7. A Globe mobile SIM – As soon as we arrived in Manila, we walked over to Mall of Asia (MOA) and stopped by a Globe outlet to get a Globe SIM and some credit. We paid 500php ( approximately $13AUD) for unlimited data, sms and calls to other Globe SIM holders for 15 days which is expensive by Philippine standards but it was convenient and easy so that’s what we went with. Since there were a lot of us traveling together, having our mobiles made it easier for us to get around together and apart. And if you want to stay in touch with others that aren’t with Globe, you can just use the data included to contact them via Facebook, Whatsapp or Viber etc! In my previous trips to Europe and Asia I didn’t even bring a mobile phone with me at all – how times have changed.

8. Nappies, wipes, baby food & formula. These 4 items can be easily found in all the SM stores and supermarkets so don’t fret if you haven’t pack enough or have forgotten something for the kids. They have everything from baby nappies and wipes to baby cologne in the toiletries section. I always like to peruse the toiletries and make up section whenever I’m overseas. They always have such different things. In the Philippines it’s all about the whitening of the skin. Whitening lotion, whitening soaps and whitening creams line the shelves. So different to the shops here in Australia where everything is all about getting a tan…getting darker and bronzed up!

9. The people. The people of the Philippines are super friendly and love kids. There is always someone happy to help out and unlike my experience in China, if they see you with a pram or a baby in the Philippines, they almost always let you board the elevators first instead of pushing in front of you! Most people speak English and even just by saying simple greetings and “thank you” in Tagalog (“Salamat po”), it will get you far. I didn’t experience as much beggars begging through the windows of our van as I did in previous visits and there were less people haggling with you on the street. I felt quite safe traveling with the kids despite my initial worrying!

Aguinid Falls Philippines family travel blog
Our friendly and knowledgeable guides at Aguinid Falls in Cebu. Mark and Meyer not only helped us navigate and climb the falls, they took pictures of us with our cameras while they were at it! 

We met some absolutely gorgeous people with big, welcoming hearts on this trip, and I always leave the Philippines so sad but excited to come back because of all our relatives and friends that live there.

10. Kids life jackets and water shoes. We traveled with a 4yo, 3yo and two 1 year olds in tow and visiting the gorgeous places that we did meant that we were constantly in and out of water. Whether it was in the open seas or in the hidden inland waterfalls, having brought our own life jackets from home made it so easy for us when it came to swimming with the kids. You can purchase them from stores like Big W and any of the outdoor shops like Anaconda.

If you’re thinking about adding a stamp from the Philippines to your passport, just do it! Snorkelling, shopping, swimming, eating and partying – don’t you know it’s more fun in the Philippines? You’ll be forever in awe at the sights, sounds and smells of this vibrant country and its people.

It is the perfect place to discover the truly amazing natural wonders of this world but also on the flip side, it is an essential trip to be made in order to come back home to a feeling of immense gratitude, and humbleness for all the blessings we have here. Clean water supply, working toilets, less polluted air and efficiency are just some of the simple luxuries  we take for granted on a daily basis.

 
Temple of Leah in Cebu – built by Mr. Teodorico Adarna to show his endless devotion and undying love for his wife, Leah.  Kawasan falls Cebu Philippines travel guide
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alking along rickety wooden bridges and blue flowing rivers on the way to Kawasan Falls. Passing lots of locals, travelers and people coming back from Badian canyoneering!

Have you traveled to the Philippines with kids? What were your favourite and least favourite travel spots?

philippine trails travel guide map blog

For more info on Cebu, Bohol, Palawan and Manila be sure to subscribe to my blog to be the first to be notified when a new post is published!

Thank you so much for your continued support here and on Instagram and Facebook. It’s been so nice chatting with readers and answering questions about tours and things to do in the Philippines especially on Instgram. If there are any other topics or places you would like to read about please let me know. In the meantime hope you’re having a great week! x

Weekend Edit – Portarlington

 Weekend Edit – Portarlington

As a fresh sea breeze caresses your face and you wake up to uninterrupted views of beautiful blue water, you know you’re in the beautiful bayside town of Portarlington. Having never been here before I was immediately seduced by the sea as we drove into town and up the rolling hills to our Airbnb accommodation for the weekend. A family weekend getaway was underway with the inlaws, cousins, aunties, Snoopy and new addition to the family Biggie Smalls, the kitten.

Where is Portarlington?
Only 90 mins drive from Melbourne, or just 30mins drive from Geelong, Portarlington is situated on the north east point of the Bellarine Peninsula. We’ve been to Geelong so many times, I have no idea why we’ve never ventured out that extra bit to visit this place. Now that it’s on our radar we’ll definitely be back for more.

Things To Do in Port Arlington

1. Wander along the pier

Down the main area of town is a long wide pier where you could happily spend quite some time wandering up and down with kids. Our 4yo was enthralled by the stingray, starfish, and little fishies swimming in the water and he got super curious after seeing a puffer looking fish stranded on the rocks. There were people fishing and others simply enjoying the sun and sea breeze. A sense of calm and appreciation comes over you as you take in the views. The curvy shape of the You Yangs and Melbourne’s skyline are both visible from here.

2. Eat Mussels, plenty of them!
It was the call of the famous Australian Blue mussels that led us to Portarlington. My mother in law loves mussels and seafood and she picked Portarlington as the go to destination for our family getaway. Good call! We ate our way through bowlfuls of them for both lunch and dinner, at both cafes and at the holiday house where we cooked them simply with ginger, garlic and onion. There’s a mussel truck at the pier and another place along the main road that you drive past as you come into town where you can buy fresh mussels at $5kg but I recommend visiting and enjoying your mussels at The Little Mussel Café.

3. Enjoy lunch at the Little Mussel Café

There was a big sign on the main pier showing the address of this place so the hubby put it into his phone and off we went. We arrived at 11:30am and there was no one there but as soon as we had placed our orders, people started coming just in time for lunch. What a gem of a place! As you drive away from the sea and up into the hills, the open fields welcome you and only a few minutes up Queenscliff road on the right side of the road are some signs inviting you in. A big shed is accompanied by a little shop front selling glorious seafood both fresh and smoked, and scallop and mussel pies – I always look out for pies I can take home because my dad loves a good, well made pie! If this wasn’t enticing enough, as soon as we walked around to the outdoor dining area, we were greeted by a charming little set up. A huge communal table stood at the far end of the little courtyard, shaded by a sale and surrounded by big, sturdy benches. There was a little veggie patch (oh how I love veggie patches!) with bright red roma and cherry tomatoes looking so juicy on the vine. There were interesting  arty garden structures made from old farm tools and bits and bobs and underneath the main marquee area where more tables and chairs were waiting for their customers, long garlands of mussel shells decorated the roof line. To top it off the sun was shining, the kids were smiling and everyone was just happy to be together looking through a menu filled with sensational seafood options. Everything was a hit from the mussels to the super friendly and down to earth staff, to the oh so creamy homemade vanilla slice we had for dessert!

4. Go berry picking at Tuckerberry Hill Berry Farm and Café

After having a squiz at the tourist map, my father in law saw that just around the corner a few minutes away was a place called Tuckerberry Hill farm and cafe where we could pick some blueberries and strawberries. We decided after being so full from lunch, walking around and stretching our legs would be a good idea! Being the end of the berry season, the blueberry bushes weren’t overflowing with berries but we still managed to pick quite a few! – it just required a little bit more effort. It was my first time going blueberry picking – we normally go strawberry and apple picking down in Baccus Marsh. The kids loved it and Daniel and his cousins had plenty of space to run, explore and play. I like taking them to places like this because it’s good for him to know where food comes from and to just spend time running free in the great outdoors. There were a few handfuls of ripe red strawberries for the picking but most of the good ones had all been taken. A lot of half eaten strawberries we left. Those damn slugs! We had some milkshakes and coffee at the café and got straight into our berries – they were so juicy and sweet. Nothing like fresh fruit! They also sell fresh farm produce and we came home with some extra veggies in hand.

5. Sit back and enjoy the view from your cozy abode
My sis in law booked a comfortable place via Airbnb for all 14 of us to stay and with a huge verandah wrapped around the house, a table tennis and fusball table, fireplace (not that we used it), big backyard and a short walk to the main town area, we were in total holiday mode. It was nice to just sit back on the balcony looking out into the distance. So quiet and peaceful.
6. A visit to St Patrick’s church

Just a couple of blocks up from the main town area of Portarlington on Harding street is St Patrick’s Catholic church. Whilst everyone was slowly waking up on the Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but get out into the morning sun to take Hannah for a walk and check out the local parish. As soon as I walked up to the front door I was greeted with a smile and “Welcome!”. This beautiful hospitality continued as I walked inside and sat down on my own with little Hannah – a lady came up to us bearing gifts of a maraca and some books to keep Hannah occupied. She made us feel welcomed and at ease not having to worry if Hannah made too much noise – luckily Hannah sat down quietly for most of the mass and I was able to listen to this week’s readings and homily about money and anxiety – topics that I really think a lot of people today would relate to. A reminder to not worry about yesterday and not stress about tomorrow and just live in the moment. They had pancakes in the hall after mass which everyone was welcome to share but I headed back to the house just in case my 4yo had gotten up from his sleep in. Leaving the church I felt happy and grateful to have shared a beautiful morning with such a nice community.

7. Fun time, beach time

As you look at the shoreline from the pier, you can see a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach with clear blue green waters lapping its shores. Both our kids love the water and blessed with gorgeous sunny weather on the Sunday as well as on Saturday, they went for a quick dip in the ocean before we started heading back home. I could see further out from the town an area on the beach where caravans were stationed. Note to self, book a weekend away at that camp spot!

8. A big fat almond croissant from The Portarlington Bakehouse

Needing some sustenance before the drive home, we took a walk along the little shopping strip and headed to the Portarlington Bakehouse. Again this place was like the Little Mussel Café where there was an absolutely gorgeous outdoor courtyard round the back. A sloping landscape led to dining table areas spread about the place in between trees and plants and garden ornaments. Towards the back end of the courtyard stood some playground equipment complete with a slide, swings, rockclimbing wall and some chalk supplied for kids to draw on the fence walls! Rustic and cozy, we devoured our pastries while the kids played happily. My almond croissant was huge and so scrumptious! The hubby had a cream bun and strong cappuccino. What a gorgeous little spot!

We arrived in Portalington on the Friday night and drove back home on Sunday afternoon and I felt like there was still so much more to do and see!

Take a ride on the Portarlington miniature railway

Stroll through the weekend market along Newcombe street in WG Little Reserve

See, taste and discover the wine region and visit the Bellarine Estate, Jack Rabbit Estate or the Terindah Estate

Attend their annual festivals – the Portarlington Mussel Festival (January) or their National Celtic Festival (June)

Visit the fully restored original steam-powered flour mill which was built in 1857, includes displays of local history

Try taking the ferry from Docklands to Portarlington, it’s about an hour and a half trip! You could even make your way to Queenscliff and take a ferry to Sorrento

Sit back and enjoy the quiet surroundings

With its mouthwatering mussels, calm beaches and rolling hills with fresh local produce, Portarlington has that village charm that will make you feel at home and keep you coming back. Lots of family friendly activities at this destination that is an easy weekend roadtrip away. What do you love about Portarlington?

If you’re after a weekend roadtrip destination why not visit Warburton or some of Melbourne’s exciting parks.

 

January favourites 2017

It’s been an interesting start to the new year. Lots of things have happened and rather than dwelling on the not-so-good, I thought I’d share my favorites for the month! The hubby and I started the year off spending less time holding onto our phones and more time holding onto each other and creating memories with the kids and it’s been amazing, so below are something of the things that have brightened up the first few weeks of 2017.

Hot air ballooning with Global Ballooning 

With January being my birthday month it’s always such a hectic end of the year/start of the year period. So this year I absolutely loved that the hubby planned something for just the two of us for breakfast and dinner. I  was surprised with a hot air balloon ride! It was like we were watching a live Google Earth flying high over the houses, golf courses, freeways and parks. It was so peaceful up there that I think it would be the perfect place to get away on your own. No noise and beautiful views of our world. We watched as the sun rose and the beautiful changes of colour in the morning sky. I would highly recommend trying out this experience if you haven’t been already! We flew with Global Ballooning Australia and they were brilliant. So friendly and knowledgeable.

Dinner dates – Nieuw Amsterdam & The Graham

We spent most of this month feeling like we were in holiday mode and the evenings were filled with either family movie nights and relaxing at the beach, or enjoying dining out with friends. The hubby booked birthday dinner for me at one of our faves – Nieuw Amsterdam. This place has amazing food with vibrant service and there’s just something comfortable about being there. This time round some of the dishes we enjoyed were the zucchini flower poppers, the pork and scallops and the fresh tasting salmon ceviche.

Sharing a meal is always such a great way to bring about conversation and get to know each other better and we did just that with some friends from the parish at a sophisticated yet casual place in Port Melbourne called The Graham. I had the pork belly for entree and it was so delicious and generous in serving, I wondered how I would finish the mushroom risotto I had ordered for mains. I needn’t worry as the risotto was so tasty, I easily cleaned up the plate. The wine and conversation was never-ending which made for another great night out. We didn’t have to worry about parking as there were plenty parking options around and the beach is just a walk away. Great for a no fuss weeknight dinner I say!

 How much clearer are these two pics above compared to the previous ones? These two were taken with the hubby’s Samsung S6 andriod phone. So much sharper than my iPhone 6S.

Kikki K – Wellbeing Diary

A new year means a shiny new diary. I love opening up books to fresh, clean, white pages. A blank canvas to write new stories and capture wandering thoughts. This year the hubby bought me the Wellbeing Diary from Kikki K. So apart from keeping up with appointments, to do’s and generally organising my life, this diary also has weekly prompts that encourage me to reflect and improve on things like health, nutrition, exercise and overall wellbeing. There’s a different focus theme for each month of the year and so far I’m hooked!

January – Dream Then Do (bucketlists, dreams and goals)
February – Exercise
March – Nutrition
April – Sleeping Habits
May – Mindfulness
June – Time for Me
July – Relationships
August – Attitude Audit (Self Esteem)
September – Surroundings (Enhance your sense of wellbeing by surrounding yourself with the things you love. Simplify. Declutter. Creativity)
October – Technology Detox (Technology has the power to improve lives in so many ways but it can also provide endless distraction which can negatively impact your productivity, relationships and sense of wellbeing)
November – De-stress
December – Gratitude

I also love how the diary has a yearly, monthly and weekly view set up. Easy to plan dates and have an overview of what’s coming up.

Skin Naturale’s Me. range – Pink Clay and Jojoba Exfoliant

Spending so much time outdoors in the sun, sand, park, garden etc means slathering on the sunscreen, moisturiser and make up. After a long day out, exfoliating with this pink clay and jojoba medley makes my skin feel oh so squeaky clean and smooth. Gentle enough to be used daily but thorough enough to stimulate blood circulation, even out complexion, reduce pre mature aging and tighten pores. I’m sure I’ve included this in a previous favorites post I’m so obsessed with it!

 

How was your start to 2017? What were some of your favorite places, products or moments that brightened up your January?

7 favourite Christmas traditions plus Santa’s Magical Kingdom – Giveaway!

Christmas is such a magical time of year when everyone seems so cheerful, decorations brighten up the place and a sense of hope and togetherness touches us all. The year draws to close paving the way for a new year of discovery and learning. Whether it’s staying up until midnight on Christmas Eve, cooking and eating your favourite dishes of the festive season or, spending some thoughtful, quiet time in reflection, we all have our different Christmas traditions that we love to share. Here are some of ours!:

1. Seeing the Christmas projections on Melbourne Town Hall and various Christmas decorations around Melbourne cityMelbourne Town Hall

2. Driving around to see the local Christmas lights

3. Attending Simbang Gabi – the traditional Filipino dawn masses leading up to ChristmasSimbang Gabi Resurrection Kings Park

 4. Donating to canned goods or clothing to St Vinnie’s

5. Baking gingerbread biscuits with Mr DChristmas gingerbread man

6. Decorating our Christmas tree whilst listening to our favourite carolsChristmas in Melbourne

7. Sharing a meal with all the relatives on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

The great thing about family traditions is that you can always create new ones together and there are so many amazing ways to share the joy of the silly season! In the past couple of years the kids (and us big kids alike!) have absolutely loved visiting the wonderland that is Santa’s Magical Kingdom. It has been a must-see for us leading up to Christmas with sessions being sold out annually.

Santa's Magical Kingdom 2014 The Urban Ma

Where else can you experience dreamy snowfalls, creative activities for the kids, jaw-dropping performances by the awesome International Spectacular Christmas Show crew and keep the kids happy and enthralled for three hours where everything is organised for you (Mums join in with me as I heave a sigh of relief!)?snow fall The Urban Ma blog SMK

Santa’s Magical Kingdom this year will include:

• A magical Christmas walk-through wonderland
• Snowland the Snow Queen
• A free gift, when you meet Santa
• A brand new International Christmas Show Spectacular
• Roving Christmas characters
• Christmas Craft Village where you can make your own Christmas tree decoration
• Gingerbread Land, where you can decorate your own gingerbread man (this is always a favourite of ours and we end up eating our gingerbread on the car ride home!)
• Interactive Letter Writing area and Storytelling area with Mrs Claus (Mrs Claus is a darling!)
• Amusement Rides & Games, including Santa’s Sleigh Ride, the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of the Largest Super Slide’s in the country, The Elves Magical Train Ride and more (love the giant Super Slide!)
There’s so much fun for the whole family

Help Celebrate Rudolph’s Birthday!
In addition this year, Rudolph will be celebrating his birthday at Santa’s Magical Kingdom. Rudolph loves parties, so we need to impress him and celebrate in style! Rudolph will be joined by Mrs Claus, the Snow Queen, as well as Trolls: Poppy and Branch to celebrate his birthday. You will be able to meet and greet Movie Stars – Poppy and Branch. Every child will receive a special gift. All activities are inclusive with your Santa’s Magical Kingdom Admission Ticket. Rudolph’s Birthday will be celebrated on specific dates during the season.

Mon 12 Dec: Session 1: 10am – 1pm
Tue 13 Dec: Session 1: 10am – 1pm
Wed 14 Dec: Session 1: 10am – 1pm
Thu 15 Dec: Session 1: 10am – 1pm Session 2: 2pm – 5pm
Fri 16 Dec: Session 1: 10am – 1pm Session 2: 2pm – 5pm

The above times are the sessions where Rudolph will be celebrating his birthday and there are also more session times available for you to choose from! Tickets are now on sale so get in early to avoid missing out.

Santa Melbourne blogger

Santa’s Magical Kingdom will be open from November 18th to December 23rd, 2016 with the big top at Caulfield Racecourse being transformed into an unforgettable event to suit all ages. I think it would even make for an awesome early Christmas present for those of you who have started planning early and are thinking of what to get for those on your Christmas list!

Mrs Claus the Urban Ma blog Melbourne

Santa’s Magical Kingdom Giveaway (This giveaway is now closed!)

++++++++++AND THE WINNER IS….NICOLE! (Updated 20/11/16)+++++++++++

Please email theurbanma@hotmail.com with your postal address and the ages of your kids by 5pm 22/11/16 in order to claim your prize otherwise another name will be drawn. Congratulations and thank you so much to all who entered. We look forward to sharing more events and products with you in the future.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thanks to Santa’s Magical Kingdom, we have a Family Pass (2 x adults and 2 x kids) worth $140 for Friday 25th of November 6pm session to giveaway.

To enter, simple leave a comment below on this blog post and let us know one of your favourite Christmas traditions. Competition closes November 14th, 2016. The winner will be randomly selected and will be given 48 hours to respond via email with their name and address. Good luck and have a great week everyone.

P.S Thank you so much for your support throughout the year. It is because of you that am given the opportunity to give away such fun, awesome experiences like this. So if you like discovering new places and experiences, check out the latest on my Instagram and Facebook pages and follow along with our adventures!  Much love, Jacqui.

-xx-

Road tripping – Warburton Valley

Go the Doggies Western Bulldogs AFL Grand Finals SeddonOff to get some coffee just around the corner from this super cool wall of bulldog. Congrats on the win!

Little Miss H has been waking up ridiculously early lately. Yesterday, out of all days (a public holiday), she woke up at 5:30am. Really? Is life really that amazing that you have to get up so early? Turns out it is 🙂 Four hours later when the hubby awoke, we started on what turned out to be a beautiful day out with mother nature.

10am Off to get some morning coffee, we headed to Fig and Walnut, a charming little cafe in Seddon. The kids had fun in the courtyard out the back. There were veggie boxes and a wooden cubby house that kept them occupied while we soaked up the sun and enjoyed a delicious almond croissant. Mr D must have worked up an appetite in the short while we were there because he asked to order some food and drink – he had a slider and babycino which he gobbled up quite quickly. It must’ve been the effects of the beautiful sunny morning coupled with the hit of coffee that we decided to just get up and go on a roadtrip.

1:00pm Destination Warburton Valley. About an hour and a bit drive from Melbourne City along the M3 there were lots of things outside the window that kept Mr D entertained from animals to cars to the artwork along the Eastlink. I love seeing the shades of grey with white centrepiece at Mullum Mullum tunnel. So pretty!

2pm The kids fell asleep by the time we got to La La Falls so the hubby stay in the car with them while I hiked up the 3.2km return trip through the lush Mountain Ash Forest. It was actually a good thing because we didn’t have the baby carrier with us and it would’ve been a hard walk having to carry Little Miss H the whole way. So it ended up being “me” time!

Since it was such a spontaneous drive, I think I was a tad bit inappropriately dressed with my super white Converse sneakers – everyone I walked past was commenting that they’d be brown by the time I walk back hahah! Surprisingly they weren’t! The track wasn’t flat but it was pretty family-friendly with lots of families with school-aged kids and people walking their dogs. With the babbling streams being heard and seen here and there and small stone bridges along the way I just kept thinking Mr D would love it here. It was like I was expecting to bump into an elf or hobbit along the way.

 So peaceful and picturesque this is a wonderful walk with sights and sounds to soothe the soul.

3pm We stopped by Warburton’s town centre to grab some pies from the local bakery and check out the handy information centre along the main strip. They were knowledgeable and friendly sharing other wonderful attractions to visit. Armed with some maps and info sheets we drove only about 7km until turning off left onto Cement Creek rd. The road was unsealed and we drove over a one-lanes wooden bridge that Mr D loved! Within only a few minutes we were at the car park.Warburton BakeryWarburton Bakery Pies
Passing through the gates was the fascinating Redwood Forest. Over 1457 Californian Redwood trees (sequoia sempervirens) were planted as part of the hydrology research program on canopy interception (read more about it on this information site). Planted in a grid arrangement the trees so tall, between 20-55metres in height, stand in appealing straight lines and it was captivating being amongst them. We felt so small and fully enveloped by nature. There were no echoes when we talked to each other – it was like the air was cushioned like a well-sound proofed theatre room! Mr D was engrossed in it all and loved the open grassy area just to the side. A perfect picnic spot. Like with La La Falls there are no toilets at Redwood Forest but the town centre close by has all the amenities.Redwood forest warburton Redwood Forest Warburton tall trees Victoria Redwood Forest photography Victoria tall trees road tripkid friendly Melbourne forest walks Redwood forest warburton

Warburton is absolutely beautiful and it was such a lovely way to spend the public holiday. Next time we’ll have to leave earlier in the morning or even better, stay over night to see:

– the Rainforest Gallery where you can walk among the tall Mountain Ash treetops along an elevated walkway. Some of the beech trees also found in the area are up to 400 years old!

– the summit of Mt Donna Buang

– the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail. Bring the bikes along and ride this 40km iconic trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders!

– so many walking trails around the area where you can take it all in and get active amongst the greenery.

Tip: If you need a quick pit stop, check out the cute, little Thomas Avenue playground in between the main road and the Yarra River. A great place to stretch out after a long drive. There are toilets on site and the playground has many stepping logs, some swings and animal sculptures including a big wombat and tortoise. Walk a little bit further down and the banks of the river boast ducks and other wildife – you may even see a platypus if you’re lucky!

Family day trip Warburton tall trees Vicotira Redwood ForestLoving being among all this fresh air and soothing surrounds.
Warburton Redwood forest

What’s your favourite road trip destination? Hope you’re having a great long weekend so far whether it’s being out and about or relaxing at home enjoying watching the Doggies win!

Night! -xx-

Travel Diary – Family Itinerary Hong Kong + Cruise

First family holiday overseas? We’ve got the perfect itinerary!

Hong Kong Travel Diary Royal Caribbean Cruises

Happy Thursday everybody! I hope you’re having a fulfilling week so far and the weekend is right here so it can only get better. I apologise for my absence and lack of posts in the past few weeks. I’ve missed posting for you but if you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll no doubt know that we’ve just come back from our first family holiday overseas with Little Miss H. First time taking a toddler overseas = planning, preparation, may a little strees? = lack of blog posts. This is just a quick little post to give you an overview of our itinerary and then I’ll  have some separate posts for you on each different places. Hopefully this info will be of help or interest to you if you are visiting Hong Kong or Okinawa, Japan soon, or if you are embarking on your first family holiday!

Our son Mr D is three years old, almost four, and Little Miss H was ten months at the time of our trip so packing a bunch of nappies and carrying around a pram as well as our luggage was just one of the extra things to think about when planning for our trip. All in all it was one of the most happiest and amazing weeks we’ve had yet and I can’t wait for the next one.

Hong Kong cruise Family Travel Diary

Day 1: Hong Kong sights & board ship
Day 2: Xiamen, China
Day 3: Cruising
Day 4: Okinawa, Japan
Day 5: Cruising
Day 6: Hong Kong & Dinsey’s Hollywood Hotel
Day 7: Disneyland
Day 8: Disneyland & depart for Melbourne

Depart MELB 14:30 Arrived in HKG 21:00
We flew Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong which was around a 9.5hr long flight and arrived at ten in the evening. We saw the bright city lights as we had a taxi take us to our hotel (we stayed overnight at L’Hotel, Causeway Bay) where we checked in and slept ready for the next day.

Day 1: Hong Kong sights then cruise departs for Xiamen at 17:oo
We checked out the areas of Victoria Harbour and Causeway Bay seeing the sights, doing a little shopping and, enjoying the cuisine before catching another taxi to the Kowloon side to board our cruise ship Voyager of the Seas, which is part of the Royal Caribbean fleet. We had never been on a cruise before and were in awe as we walked through the check in terminal at how huge the vessel was that stood there docked in front of us. It was all happening on the pool deck where vibrant music played and a dance party greeted everyone as the ship left Hong Kong.egg waffle Hong Kong food Discover

Day 2: Xiamen – Day 3: Cruising – Day 4 Okinawa, Japan – Day 5: Cruising
Our cruise was the 5 Night Okinawa and Xiamen Cruise that alternated between days of cruising and days at the ports in Xiamen, Okinawa and of course, Hong Kong. There was such a great variety of activities on the ship and without spoiling my upcoming blog post, let me just tell you that from sports, to music, the ship had it covered. We were spoilt for choice when it came to which experience to pick from each day. We were even so spoiled for choice when it came to the food (I’ll talk more about this in the coming posts!). One thing I hadn’t expected was how much we all loved and missed the staff/crew on the ship when we had to disembark. Imagine if we went on a cruise longer than five days! I think I’d be crying having to leave everybody that made our trip so special. (Or maybe I’m just a tad bit too sentimental!).Royal Caribbean cruise Family travel

Day 6: Hong Kong sights & Disney hotel check-in
After saying our goodbyes to the amazing staff on board, we made our way to Disney’s Hollywood Hotel on Lantau Island at around . We decided to explore more of Hong Kong and spent the rest of the day in Central and Causeway Bay eating and shopping our way through the busy and wet streets (it was pouring rain!). We made it back to our hotel in time for to see the nightly fireworks show (upon our arrival at the hotel we upgraded to a room with a view of the fireworks). The kids were squealing with excitement seeing the explosions of colour in the dark night sky. 
Hong Kong Causeway Bay Family travel blog

Day 7: Disneyland – Day 8: Disneyland and departed HKG 19:10, arrived in MELB 06:25
The next two days were dedicated to the magic and happiness that is Disneyland. Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest of the six Disneyland parks around the world and it was such a great one to visit with Little Miss H and Mr D. We spent one and a half days there and still didn’t get to see all the things we wanted (we missed out on watching the Lion King show and seeing the Paint the Night parade as it wasn’t running due to Halloween preparations) so we will definitely be coming back to catch Lightning McQueen in the night parade. With shuttle buses running every few minutes between the two Disney hotels and the Disneyland park, it was so convenient traveling with the kids to the character breakfast and Disney dim sum we had booked. I’ve posted a few photos of the most adorable little buns you’ll ever eat on my IG feed and I’ll post more here in my upcoming posts!Hong Kong Disneyland

Our flight back home was a night flight and with all the wondrous things the kids saw at Disneyland during the day, they both slept through almost the entire flight They were still sleeping when we landed in back in Melbourne.

How the cruise and trip to Hong Kong ticked all the boxes on First Family Holiday Wishlist
The above itinerary totally hit the spot when it came to all the things we wanted to do and see. The hubby and I love trying new things and visiting new places together and having Mr D and Little Miss H there with us made everything even more unforgettable. When planning the trip we had a few things on our wishlist and below is how the above itinerary ticked all our boxes.

1) Somewhere we’ve never been – We wanted our first ever holiday as a family of four to be somewhere we’d all never been before. That’s the thing about traveling. When you’re in a place that’s new, unfamiliar and far from home, it immediately brings you to the present moment. No routines, no auto-pilot, no pre-existing behaviours allows for total immersion into something new and, either exhilarating or terrifying. And with that something new shocking your system, it brings about learning and growing as you are forced to learn about and adapt to the environment around you. With the cruise we were able to unpack just once and visit multiple destinations. You’re traveling and covering ground (or water!) while you’re asleep so it’s a great way to get from one place to the other. Okinawa’s Shuri castle was grand, Hong Kong Disneyland was a dream and we took the obligatory pic with Bruce Lee’s statue. Somewhere we’ve never been? Tick!

2) Warm and sunny – We wanted to go somewhere that was summery and bright. It was hot in Hong Kong (although it did rain there during our time at Disneyland) but not as hot as it was in Okinawa. The suns rays helped us to defrost from Melbourne’s winter chills. It was just so nice to lay around in the sun all day and the kids coped rather well with the change of climate. They didn’t complain and Mr D loved covering himself with sunscreen.

3) A bit of shopping and trying out the local cuisine – The hubby loves city destinations and Hong Kong with it’s amazing food, shopping and bustling city vibe was just the ticket! When the hubby had booked our trip and I had started Googling things to do and see in Hong Kong, I couldn’t believe we had never been there before. And now after having been, I know we’ll totally be back for more!

4) Ease and Convenience – Haha I did say “wishlist” right? But yes, we wanted to go on a holiday that would be as fuss-free and as relaxing as you can get with two little kids. Hong Kong is not too far away but still far enough to feel like you’ve gone somewhere totally exotic. The time difference is only two hours so none of us experienced any jetlag and we were able to get straight back into the swing of things when we arrived home! The availability and options of food on the cruise was perfect for our little ones – they could have ice cream whenever they wanted and they could pick from so many different types of dishes (our kids love to eat!). Swimming pools open 24/7 and meet and greets with the Dreamworks characters were another things the kids loved. With everything organised, all the hubby and I had to do was relax and just show up. Ease and Convenience? Big tick!

I think one of the biggest things that surprised me was how much we were able to do and see in such a short amount of time however our energy levels stay high and we weren’t ending each day feeling exhausted. I think what helped with this was that we stayed right near the Disneyland theme park and it was super easy to get back to the hotel and relax. And the other thing that helped was the cruise. Cruising has never really been something that’s on my bucketlist. I never had the urge to really want to go on a cruise ship, but my parents had recently been on one and raved on and on about it when they got back from their trip. The hubby also spent a lot of time trying to find something that would suit what we wanted to accomplish during the short amount of time he had off work that wasn’t too expensive. With all inclusive packages and super friendly crew on board, I now see why cruising is such a crowd favourite.

I think one thing to think about before booking a cruise is to check that the cruise line you’re inquiring with are actively doing something to combat the impact that they have on the environment. It wasn’t something I had thought about before but after spending time staring out at the beautiful big ocean on our trip, and seeing such a huge vessel carrying thousands of people to different destinations across the seas, I wonder how air pollution, waste management and fuel consumption is being addressed. I’m so new to the world of cruising and would love for everyone to enjoy a holiday on one as it was so incredible – all the more reason for us to be aware and choose wisely.

We had the most wonderful experience traveling as a family overseas for the first time and we can’t wait for the next adventure! Royal Caribbean were amazing and we’ll definitely be looking into cruising with them again. Hong Kong has just way too many things for us to see and do so we’ll have to come back for more! Next time I really want to see the life-size replica of Noah’s Ark. We didn’t get to visit it this time round because we didn’t want to cram too much into our days but it looks ginormous!

Hong Kong Noah's ark Family travel blog

The hubby and I are very similar in the way that we are quite open to trying new things, cope well with unexpected situations and are organised but also flexible – thank you Wes for being such a good travel buddy, baby daddy and all round companion. Thank you for carrying  Little Miss H so close to you even though the sun was scorching down. Thank you for looking after our kids while I waited in line to try the FlowRider hahah! Thank you choosing the cruise and the places you did! Our holiday wouldn’t have been as fun as it was if it weren’t for you!

We celebrated our wedding anniversary while we were away and here’s hoping we have many more adventures to come! I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions at all leave me a comment, or if you are going to Hong Kong soon let me know what sights, restaurants or shops you’d recommend to visit!

Night! xx

Hong Kong Disneyland Family Travel Blog the Urban MA Avenue of the Stars Hong Kong Family Travel Blog The Urban MA