Thursday, October 4, 2012

Family Day Trip :: Ballarat

Readers of this blog know that I’m originally a Ballarat girl. Most of my teenage days were spent munching on chips and gravy at Central Square and hanging out at Lake Wendouree talking about boys, as you do.

Being Melbourne based now l usually jump at the chance to head back home, and recently l was invited to a preview of Ballarat in Bloom which was held by Ballarat Regional Tourism. Basically, Ballarat in Bloom will be a festival celebrating the vintage side of Ballarat. The festival will showcase everything from local food, fashion, art and blooms which is planned for the months of October and November.

We experienced a stunning gourmet lunch at The Botanical Gardens and a guided tour of the Capturing Flora exhibition currently on show at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. And while this was all lovely, for a mum without her kids, l got to thinking how Ballarat in Bloom would be appealing for families. And here is what l came up with.

Capturing Flora :: 300 Years of Australian Botanical Art
This exhibition is perfect for the art loving mums with a baby bub. If you want to get out of the house to check some local botanical art history then this exhibition is for you. The Gallery has changing facilities on site with a cute café next door serving tasty eats and treats to re-fuel.

Spring Fest Market (my personal favourite!)
We’ve been going to Spring Fest for many years now with the bubbas. Set on Lake Wendouree foreshore the Spring Fest market has over 350 stalls to visit. From food, fashion, kids clothing, baked treats, ice-cream, face-painting, vintage cars, carnival fares and more. A must visit in my book. Pack the pram along with your best walking shoes. There are toilets available all around the lake with FREE parking on site, plus loads of fun things for the kids to experience and look at.

Ballarat Botanical Gardens
A visit the Botanical Gardens with the Kids is a must. The gardens host a variety of fun activities for the wee ones like the BotaniKids Playgroup and the Great Big Garden Play Day.

The BotaniKids playgroup program welcomes families with open arms, aimed at children between 0 and 4 years of age, they meet up at the Robert Clark Centre in November for music, craft and fun. BYO Kids Snacks. See HERE for dates and times.

The Great Big Garden Play Day celebrates international children’s day in style. With a range of fun activities on offer for the kids, from bug hunting, water fun, dress up’s, treasure hunts, giant spiders and nature story time, there is sure to be an activity your little one will LOVE.  The Great Big Garden Play Day is on the 24th October. See HERE for a full list of more BotaniKids activities.

Kid Friendly Eats
How could we not mention some of our favourite spots to get some good country style family eats. Whether it’s lunch, dinner or morning tea these places will re-fuel your tiny tourists in no time.

The most important thing to pack when planning a day trip is your sense of adventure. The folk are friendly and the weather can be slightly cool, so pack an extra jumper, just in case. To me its home and Ballarat sure is fun for families.

For more information on other events during Ballarat in Bloom see HERE.

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