32 things to see in Melbourne City this Christmas – 2015

Hot air ballooning Melbourne

Christmas time in Melbourne

From beautiful weddings to Christmas decorations, this weekend we could definitely tell that December was just around the corner. The city of Melbourne really brought it this weekend – the weather was just right and everywhere we turned there was something bright and cheery.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne over to attend a wedding of a dear family friend and ended up having an awesome adventure in the city as well! Daniel was so happy (except for the little time we spent in H&M trying to buy him some clothes, he was crying so loud wanting to get out of the store – must’ve been too crowded for him!).

Melbourne public transportDaniel here excited to be catching a tram right outside our hotel!

It’s not often you can be a tourist in your own city and I think this festive season is the perfect time! There were so many things to do and see and lots of them free! Here are some of the things we saw last weekend – it felt like we were on a huge scavenger hunt looking for different Christmas items around the Melbourne!

1. Christmas Square in the City Square – Swanston StreetCity Square Christmas 2015

Just down the road from our hotel was the City Square. A giant Christmas tree, daily visits from Santa and plenty more activities. A nice open area in the middle of the city for kids to let off some steam after being dragged around shopping! 🙂
Melbourne City Square Christmas 2015
The magical Christmas forest on Swanston street’s City Square

2. Melbourne Town HallMelbourne Town Hall projectionsMelbourne Town HallThe majestic Melbourne Town Hall. When the sun goes down you can see amazing projections on its facade. We loved watching them last year! – a must-see during this Christmas season from 9pm each night!

Also, starting today the great Gingerbread Village display is back with new scenes added! A gold coin donation is all you need to get in and all proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Gingerbread Village 2015Photo courtesy of Gingerbread Village, EpicureCafe L'Incontro Swanston street Melbourne We stopped by Cafe L’Incontro for some brekkie before continuing on to see more Christmas sights

3. Bourke Street Mall  
Bourke st Mall Melbourne
Bourke street Mall decorated with the season’s festive colors and the long lines for the Myer windows.

These colorful Myer windows are now in their 60th season and this year showcases a tribute to the children’s book Little Dog and the Christmas Wish. The animated displays this year include some of Melbourne’s iconic sights such as Flinders Street station and the Block arcade. The detail in each scene is impeccable after requiring more than 17,000 hours of work.

You can view the windows from 7.30am-1am each day until January 6th 2016.

4. The Lego Christmas Tree in Fed Square

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How amazing does this pixelated tree look! The Lego Christmas tree in Fed Square weighs 3.5 tonnes and took more than 1,200 hours to build! Look out for a few Aussie touches such as the cricket playing elf and the mischievous kookaburras!

You can even build your own Lego Christmas tree decorations to take home and other Christmas activities in Fed Square until December 27th 2015!

IMG_7695IMG_7696This Lego tree in Fed Square was just awesome!
IMG_7712It felt like there were Christmas decorations everywhere – brilliant!

5. Markit@Fed Square
Fed Square Markit

IMG_7714The Markit@Fed Square happened to be on this past weekend too – it is held twice a year in May and November! Loads of gorgeous things designed and made by local artists. 

Don’t worry if you missed out on this November’s Markit! – The Big Design Market is on this week from the 4th until the 6th of December at the Royal Exhibition Building. Shop exquisite and unique gifts for you loved ones just in time for Christmas. Check out what we purchased at last year’s Big Design Market – we bought a heap of cute jewelry from Aacute!

6. Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Market – Birrarung Marr

Watermelon cake and fried mushrooms from Wonderbao

It was final weekend of the Night Noodle Markets at Birrarung Marr just a short walk from Flinders Street Station behind Fed Square. The markets were just one of the events held in November as part of Good Food Month (we were also at the Brisbane event in August). This year there were 3 different sections that we found a bit hard to navigate as we couldn’t get hold of any map to find the stalls we were looking for.

Luckily we walked over to the stalls just before the lines started to expand to intolerable lengths (an active three year old is not a very patient line-dweller!). We didn’t have to wait long at all and also easily found tables and chairs. My favourite out of all the things we ate was the Bombay Spider Crab taco. The hubby and I had been to Mr Miyagi for my birthday early this year and loved it so we just had to try their tacos at this year’s markets!

If you like the foodie festival type of atmosphere then you can find food, music and drinks at the weekly Night Market each Wednesday at the Queen Victoria Market from 5-10pm.

City of Melbourne council Christmas decorationsCity of Melbourne tourism map of Christmas decorations

When we arrived home on Sunday night look what we found in the mail! A Christmas Festival event guide from the City of Melbourne council. Complete with an illustrated map pointing out 32 locations of Christmas decorations this year! – I want to walk over the Mistletoe Kissing Bridge, meet you there!?

If you didn’t get yours in the mail you can find all the information here.

Merry Christmas everyone! Happy first of December!

xo

#melbxmas

Chugga-chugga choo choo! – Altona Miniature Trains

The Urban Ma blog Altona Miniature Railway

Planes, trains and automobiles. Mr Two absolutely loves everything and anything that is fast, or has wheels or simply goes! So on a lazy Sunday, a third Sunday of the month to be exact, we took him to see some miniature trains for the first time!

He absolutely loved it.

We took him to the Altona Miniature Railway to enjoy the sunshine last month before winter set in. We arrived there after 3pm (it closes at 4pm) and as soon as we had parked, Mr Two was raring to go! He met up with his friends, and us parents loved seeing the kids enjoy the trains. We enjoyed it too!

A lovely breeze, excited passengers and happy, friendly operators filled our afternoon with rides along the railway and toots and whistles as we passed the other mini trains and their passengers. I’d have never had been to this place if it wasn’t for Mr Two – I’m so grateful that he gets us experiencing loads of different things and watching his face light up in the meantime is just pure bliss.

Making memories 🙂

Altona Miniature RailwayThe above two pics are from the Altona Miniature Railway’s Facebook page which you can find here.

As soon as I told one of my workmates the following week where we had been he got excited and told us there were a few more hobby miniature train places to visit like the Altona one! His next recommendation was to check out Diamond Valley so that’s on our to do list since Mr Two has constantly been wondering, “When are we going to the mini trains again?”.

I can’t wait to take him and this time bring his cousins and the grand and great grandparents along for some family fun outdoors.

Where have you been making memories lately!?

Next up…planes!

xx

The Urban Ma blog Melbourne

All smiles and a tick of approval from our little ones!

What: Altona Miniature Railway – hobby club

Where: 1 Blenheim Road, Altona North

When: Every 3rd Sunday of the month from 11am – 4pm

Cost: $2.50 per ride, 11 rides for $25, All day ride pass per person $17.50.

The Details: There are toilets and two bbqs onsite so you can have a picnic while watching the trains go by. You can also book for private parties on their website!

All information is correct at time of publishing.

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Dancing with the mamas

 

The Urban Ma weekend Oct 2014

 Last weekend was so much fun! Here’s what we got up to 🙂

Ain’t nothing like a Wonderland party!

My goddaughter and cute little brother had their joint 1st and 7th birthday held at Wonderland Fun Park in the Docklands. There was an abundance of food, lollies, cake and rides! It was such a perfect day for it too – sunshine and friends all around. Daniel got to ride on the 3 toddler-friendly rides but spent a lot of time watching the dodgem cars wishing he could go for a spin on them 🙁 Don’t worry buddy, you’ll get to go on them next year! More pics here!

Rewind Dance Crew at Passion’s End of Year Concert

With some time to rest in between, we dropped Daniel off at mum’s house for a sleepover while we made our way back into the city for the Passion Dance Studio End of Year Showcase at Hi Fi Bar and Ballroom. It was a proud night for studio owner Vincent Calingasan as he watched all his students take the stage with enthusiasm and confidence. It was also such an exciting for me as I got to share the stage again with fellow mumma Susie and soon-to-be mumma Chaz! So grateful to be part of such a loving dance family. If you want to learn some dance moves and be part of the next concert you can! Click here for more info.

Kids Day Out – Errington Reserve

After a nice sleep in until almost midday (that hasn’t happened in a while!), we took Daniel to Kids Day Out at Errington. We missed this amazing event last year so this year we made sure we didn’t miss all the free rides, face painting, activities and performances. We also dug into some good food truck dishes from Big Cook Little Cook. I’ll post more about the event this week so stay tuned!

If you have any favourite places to visit or things to do, let me know – I’m always on the look out for new experiences to share with the fam 🙂

xx

merry go roundDaniel absolutely LOVED going on the rides at Wonderland! Loved seeing him so happy 🙂

Foodie Friday – Gami in my tummy!

Gami in my tummy (1)

A couple of weeks ago I had a nice night out with my bro, my sis and our loves and bubs at Gami. Well known for its KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), I’d been to Gami only once before with friends and loved it. I didn’t know there were multiple locations in the city and with my auto pilot on (tsk tsk tsk) we ended up at the opposite end of the city at the King st restaurant rather than the Lt Lonsdale one where we were booked. Nevertheless we made it just in time as the food came out and yet again Gami filled our tummies with fried chicken goodness.

We ordered:

Half half: Fried chicken with two flavours (you can choose from sweet chilli, spicy, sweet soy garlic, sweet mustard. Mmmmmm mouth-watering! You can also choose boneless)
Kim chi pancake
Fried dumplings
Mae Hwa Ju (plum wine) and some beer

For a cheat day, you can’t go wrong with KFC!

P.S Look out for the cabbage salad and pickled radishes that come with all chicken dishes…I couldn’t stop eating them – a perfect mix of crunch and salty sour flavour! Make sure you book ahead as it gets quite packed out.

Gami at Lt Lonsdale on Urbanspoon


Kim chi pancake The Urban MaKorean style fried chickenThe Urban Ma blog at Gami Melbourne

Gami collageThe Urban Ma Melbourne

Dinosaur Adventures with Daniel


Dinosaur AdventuresDinosaur high

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Dinosaur Adventures, Gate 20 Caulfield Racecourse
Open now until July 20, 2014

Last night I drove straight from work, picked up Toddler D and headed excitedly to Caulfield Racecourse for a dinosaur adventure. Greeted with a grand tent and loud roars we entered this year’s must-see kids holiday event with big smiles on our faces; and when we got inside there were smiles and wide-eyed kids and parents exploring the well laid-out dinosaur land. After a jam-packed week at work, it was so nice to be able to spend some quality time with Daniel seeing his eyes light up with both amazement and a little fear!

Dinosaur wooden

 We were kept occupied for hours with:
– 3D dinosaur making
– sandpit digging
– fossil digging
– jumping castles
– games and displays
and more IMG_4353IMG_4354IMG_4362

As we rushed straight from work to see the dinosaurs, we were happy to see food and drinks for sale, ATM’s readily available and easy access to clean bathrooms. Staff were friendly and we also hung out with the Flinstones! 🙂 With all this going on the true stars of the night were the giant, moving and roaring dinosaurs – with facts about each one accompanying the displays the event was not only great fun, but also educational. Make sure you get in and book your ticketshere before all the sessions sell out!

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Dinosaur story time proved popular with the older kids and they were seated quietly listening to the ranger absorbing interesting stories and facts about these prehistoric giants. There were also guided tours of the arena and couple with effective lighting, wind and sounds all made for a fabulous Friday night out with our little one.

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IMG_4418IMG_4424Some happy Urban Ma comp winners 🙂

IMG_4427Dinosaur montageCan’t pass up a photo opp!

Dinosaur Daniel sandWhat is up with kids and sand!?

IMG_4375Daniel was happy to see Fred and Barney Flinstone – maybe because they didn’t have as big, sharp teeth as all the other characters he’d been seeing all night!

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IMG_4363 IMG_4369The Urban Ma at Dinosaur Adventures