5 tips for taking a toddler to the Royal Melb Show – plus loads of photos!

Royal Melb Show The Urban Ma Jacqfruit2014 ferris wheel

 To take or not to take a toddler to the Show. That was the question.
Knowing how excited Mr D gets when he sees animals, trucks, rides, anything colourful or anything new, it actually was a no brainer – I knew he would absolutely seeing all the sights! And as soon as we drove into the carpark Mr D loudly exclaimed “Helicopter! Helicopter!” He sees everything before we do and always loves letting us know!

This year it was so much fun seeing Daniel run, walk, smile, eat, and gawk at everything we walked past – he was in such awe. The Show is a wonderful playground for people of all ages where you get to learn all about agriculture, livestock, locally made products (the relishes, dukkah and caramel tasted so amazing!) plus have some fun checking out all the rides and activities. Mr D found lots of fun things to do so without further ado, here is my photo heavy post for this year’s Royal Melbourne Show experience! (For last year’s Show roundup click here.)

Tasting

Masterchef 2014Mr D was asleep when we got to the Showgrounds (yessss!) so we took advantage of the opportunity and headed straight to the “Tastes of Victoria” Pavilion for some delicious treats and to watch the cooking demonstrations. Mr D woke up by the time we were lining up for the Masterchef kitchen tour – he didn’t want to miss out on meeting the finalists!

My Backyard collageGrassy Hens Royal Melbourne ShowThe “My Backyard” area is a favourite of ours because Mr D can freely run around the bales of hay, watch the little ducks and get busy with different activities for young kids. Last year he took home some herbs and this year he decided to do some rock painting. The weather was gorgeous!
Show ridesRide watching The Urban MaWe didn’t go on any rides this year but Mr D looked like he totally was ready to go on some of the big ones – he was staring at them for ages! 
Woolies PavillionThe Woolies Pavilion was fun for both Mr D and the hubby and I as we got to taste lots of different food and Mr D got plant and make a cress head 🙂 (It has already started sprouting 7 days later!).
IMG_9870IMG_9848Mr D loves getting hands on with anything from coloring in to play dough and at this year’s Show he was so happy to do a few more different things than what he normally gets to do at home 🙂
IMG_9846Obsessed with Disney’s Cars and Planes movies and you can only guess how excited Mr D got when he saw a huge model of Dusty!
Show animals 2014We spent quite a bit of time at the arena and also the animal nursery (I love seeing piglets!!!)
The Showbag pavillionWe survived the line to the Showbag Pavilion (don’t be deceived by its length as it actually moves along quite quickly, thank goodness!), plus I was armed with food for the little man! We got a few showbags for my bro, sis and a Thomas the Tank Engine one for Mr D – he loved opening it and playing with the puzzle, scroll down further to see!
Melb Show foodtrucks 2014Before heading home, we found a nice little spot outside with some nice open space and a few foodtrucks, so we devoured some burger bagels from Round the Way and Mr D enjoyed the lemongrass chicken skewer from Oodlelishious. Check out my Instagram for more pics!

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Heading to the Show!? Here are my top 5 tips when taking a toddler:

1) If possible, time the trip after a nap – they’ll be able use all their renewed energy when they get there!
2) Check out the Royal Show’s website so you have an idea of what you want to see and do (there are some shows and activities that occur at certain times during the day)
3) Wear sunscreen, bring your sunnies and a cardigan/jacket – you know how Melbourne’s weather is!
4) Bring lots of snacks for the little one (and maybe yourself!) so they don’t get bored if you have to wait in any lines – I bought some blueberries, strawberries, rice crackers and water and it totally saved us when we were lining up for showbags!
5) Finally bring some patience if you can. As always there are loads of people but the bustling  crowd is all part of the atmosphere and Mr D used some of the waiting time to make a few friends as we waited in lines and for our food!

The above tips helped us enjoy our day at the Show this year (we were there from around 1-6pm) but I’m sure there are loads more! – what are some of your suggestions for having a great time at the Royal Melbourne Show? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below or on my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Thanks so much for visiting and see you again on my next post! xx
Daniel's showbagTotally chuffed with his showbag!
The Urban Ma Melb show showbagsHe couldn’t wait to open his showbag and check out the goodies inside. Ahhh thank you to the Royal Melbourne Show for another great year and a wonderful family day out!

The 2013 Royal Melbourne Show Wrap Up!

wes and daniel at the show

The 2013 Royal Melbourne Show – Melbourne Showgrounds Epsom Road, Ascot Vale Saturday 21 September – Wednesday 2 October 2013, 9.30am – 9.30pm http://www.royalshow.com.au/

I hadn’t been to the Show in over 10 years so this year I made up for it by taking in the sights over 2 days! I knew Baby D would get excited seeing all the animals and I wanted to take family and relatives visiting from overseas. My parents had taken me as a kid and now as a big kid I found so many new things to see, eat and enjoy that I already can’t wait for next year! – there truly is something for everyone!

So before my stream of photos begins here are some tips if you’re planning on making the most of the last day of the Show:

#1 Events and show times schedule: Check out the Royal Melbourne Show’s iPhone app  or their website if you’re planning on making the most of the events, free cooking masterclasses, show times, celebrity appearances, blue ribbon competitions etc.
#2 Pack some drinks: Keeping hydrated will see you through the queues and crowds if the day is busy. There are plenty of food stalls and also many free samples to keep your tastebuds happy! (See below)
#3 Set a budget: With an 11 month old baby we didn’t really spend much on rides or showbags and we were lucky to have media passes to take care of the entrance fee. If you’re coming with older kids setting an expectation of how many rides and how many showbags they can purchase is a good idea. There are so many free things to do and take home – you’ll be pleasantly surprised! I came home with my own bag of free goodies! – mostly from the My Backyard area and the Woolworths & Tastes of Victoria Pavillion! See below.
#4 Bring a  camera and some patience 🙂 Being Baby D’s first time at the show, I was so happy to capture his expressions and wonderment as we watched the goats in the Animal Nursery, watched the rides spinning around and all the people having a great time. We went on both Sundays and the first Sunday was perfect! We arrived at around 2:30pm and didn’t have to line up for most of the activities. Even with all the queues on the second Sunday, Baby D loved it! He loved watching all the different faces, prizes, showbags, and stuffed animals walk by. I learnt a thing or two from my little one that day –  Don’t rush. Take it easy. Everyone will get their turn and meanwhile, enjoy a bit of people-watching to pass the time! Ahhh the things our kids can teach us at such a young age!
#5 Cash out: There are plenty of ATM’s around the Showgrounds and when buying showbags most places do take EFTPOS but cashing out beforehand will help you avoid unnecessary queues 😉

Here is my photo-heavy blog post including my top 40 things to do at the Royal Melbourne Show! I hope this helps you take advantage of the last day! 😀

The Urban Ma jacqfruit visits My Backyard

My Backyard

1) Check out Animals of Oz were you can meet some of Australia’s native animals. 2) Bring home a grassy caterpillar and watch it grow (free). 3) Plant some seedlings to take home – we got some basil, coriander and parsley (free). 4) Check out the chook enslosure and pat-a-chook! 5) There are also some ducks to see (this was Baby D’s favourite, ahhh the simple things!) 6) You can even dress a scarecrow! (free). 7) Check out the salvage and permaculture gardens for ideas for your own backyard! – the better half still owes me a herb wall from Mother’s Day so we got some ideas from this area of the Show! 😉

The Urban Ma at The Royal Melbourne ShowMY Backyard free jacqfruitmy backyard collage MY Backyard collage 2 The Urban MaThe Urban Ma grandma with Daniel

The Tastes of Victoria Pavilion

8) Visit the pop up restaurant of the day on your left as you enter the pavilion. We were lucky to taste the delectable desserts of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, when we got to this stall it was close to the end of the day and the desserts ranged from $3-$5! Mum & I loved the coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint tube and the caramel chocolate hazelnut choux (bliss!!!). 9) Stop by the Caramelicious stall and taste their salted caramel butter! 10) I also tried some goat chorizo and sausages! 11) If you get there early, check out Kids’ Food Fun with Alice at 11.30am! 12) There are lots of Masterclass sessions and the one we caught was the beer tasting session. 13) Right next door to the Masterclass stage are the cooking demonstrations where you can learn how to cook a variety of dishes and maybe even get to taste them at the end!

 

IMG_0364 IMG_0368Tastes The Urban MaTastes The Urban Ma blog

Masterchef Kitchen

14) We visited the Masterchef Kitchen late in the day so we didn’t have to line up. It was so cool to see the set up and it was quite warm inside. 15) There are some Masterchef celebrities to meet and greet and on the day we went Lynton was there at the front of the building greeting fans. 16) Outside at the front of the Masterchef Kitchen are all the little gardens of veggies and herbs! 17) Right next door to the Masterchef Kitchen was the Advance Dog Pavilion but we didn’t have time to check it out.

IMG_0285Masterchef collage The Urban MaKale and Masterchef The Urban Ma

The Animal Nursery

18) We visited the animal nursery late in the afternoon and there was a line to get in but it moved pretty swiftly. I suggest you come in early at 9.30am if you want to visit the animals when it’s not so busy! Baby D was in awe of all the animals walking around! We didn’t spend too much time in here as it was so crowded but it was lovely to see all the little ones so enthralled by all the farm animals as we walked through the big shed. 19) You can get your photo with a little lamb as you exit but my camera was full of pics of Baby D that we skipped this one.

The Urban Ma and Daniel in the Animal Nursery Animal Nursery The Urban Ma Paddock to Plate, Weekly Times Livestock Pavillion and the Arts, Craft and Cookery building

20) Check out the award winning livestock in the Weekly Times Livestock Pavillion. We got to this pavilion quite late in the night so we just walked around to see the animals up close! We saw the Merino studs and beef cattle. 21) Next door to the livestock pavilion was the Arts, Craft and Cookery Building. Check out the yarn car and caravan as you walk in – so colourful! 22) Again we visited this shed quite late in the day so there were no arts and craft workshops taking place so we walked around admiring all the works of various competition entrants. 23) Check out the cake decorating entrants! Ranging from Christmas themes to Disney characters these cakes had so much detail! 24) The Paddock to Plate building is in between the Masterchef Kitchen and My Backyard and there we saw some cows being milked. 25) There are also some interactive activities like grain grinding and an activity to get the kids thinking about where their food actually comes from.

The Urban Ma visit the Royal Melbourne ShowLivestock and ArtsPaddock to Plate

Coca Cola Arena and the CommBank Entertainment Dome

This year was the first time I had visited the show in the evening and it had such a great vibe! 26) Check out the Commbank Entertainment Dome for a DJ dance party at 5pm and Looney Tunes and Yo Gabba Gabba shows throughout the day! We got to this dome late so we didn’t get to see the Looney Tunes show but the Comic Daredevil and DJ Dance party rocked it! 27) In the Coca Cola Arena we saw some polocrosse action (lacrosse on horses!) and the fireworks lighting up the Melbourne skyline.

The Urban Ma entertainment dome djThe Urban Ma arena

Woolworths Pavilion

28) The Woolworths Pavilion offers many different cuisines and as we visited this Pavilion around dinner time there were people everywhere! We weren’t too hungry so we had some Kaiser sausages. There were gozlemes, donuts, po boys, pies, and plenty more to choose from!  29) Mum and I also bought the two for $15 Taste showbags and we got some great samples of food, snacks, and household goods to try out at home (oh how our tastes change as we get older LOL!! Now I’ve got dinner sorted out for 2 nights! – Malaysian Chicken Curry and Tacos!) 30) The $2 Cheese Toasties were a hit with the crowd, with lines at this stall on both days we were there! Who said eating at the Show had to be expensive!?) 31) We also tried some free samples of Beechworth honey and saw some busy bees working hard. 32) If you get a little tired and need a massage or some timeout, the Smooth FM stand is for you! With comfy couches and smooth tunes playing, let the kids go crazy on the rides outside while you mind their showbags and put your feet up! 33) Baby D was excited to see Thomas the Tank Engine so we took a picture with the big blue train and the Controller! 34) If your kids are wanting to get their face painted, there’s a stand just outside the Woolworths Pavilion.

Woolworths The Urban Ma Woolworths The Urban MA dinnerThe Urban Ma showbag

Showbag Pavilion

35) The Showbag Pavilion or “crazy hall” is the must stop pavilion for almost everyone that attends the show and looking around at all the showbags there seems to be a showbag for every age, gender and taste! You have to line up to get in but like the Animal Nursery the line moves along pretty quickly. If you don’t want to line up you can pick up a showbag just outside the Showbag Pavilion and also some food showbags in the Woolworths Pavilion. When I was a kid I remember eagerly reading the weekend newspaper and circling the showbags I wanted within the budget my parents gave me. I bought my sis a Nerds showbag and didn’t buy Baby D anything – he’s happy with me just blowing bubbles! 😛

The Urban Ma at the Showbag PavillionShowbags galore with the Urban Ma

The Rides – Thrill Seekers Carnival, Family Carnival, Kids Carnival and the Adventure Zone

36) The Thrill Seekers Carnival is buzzing with people, rides and lights. We didn’t go on any of the rides in this section but my cousins went on the Sky Flyer and tried their hand at winning a huge stuff toy! 37) The only ride I went on this year was the Giant Sky Wheel ($8). It has the best view of the Showgrounds and Melbourne’s surrounds! The carriages fit 6 people in each so we spent some time up there chatting to the family we share a carriage with 🙂 Try playing Where’s Wally while you’re up and look for the giant crocodile and giant shark! 38) On the way out with some vouchers left for a few last rides, my cousins used them up on the fun slide 🙂 39) For one last sweet hit on the way out to the car there are vendors selling fairy floss and ice cream etc for the ride home. 40) Don’t forget to check the number of the area that you park in if you are driving to the Show! The car park is huge and I always forget to check! (Car parking $20).

All in all we had such a fantastic time at this year’s show and can’t wait for next year!

What were some of your favourite sights and activities this year? What tips do you have for those planning a trip to the Show today?


The Urban Ma ridesIMG_0243