Monday, December 2, 2013

Road Test :: Disney's Frozen Afternoon Tea

Mr 5’s eyes always light up when l show him our invitation to The Langham Afternoon Tea preview. He was especially excited this time round as the theme was Frozen, which just happens to be Disney’s new summer film hitting cinemas this December. Yep this movie nut household is all over it! We saw the Frozen preview at the cinema weeks ago and has now gone onto the school holiday list of things to ‘see’ this summer. You can check out a cheeky preview of the film HERE.

As per usual The Langham have got the “Frozen” theme down pat. Reindeer Cupcakes, Snowflake Cookies, White Ice Lamingtons & Snowmen marshmallows paired with Fairybread are just a few of the delights that will be hitting your table. And of course they are all served with Icy lemonade or Babychinos.

This time round l decided to bring Mr 3 along for the experience too. I must admit l was a bit nervous taking Mr 3 to The Langham as he does have a tendency to ‘run around’ a bit, especially when he is excited. But to my surprise he actually feel asleep on the tram, which meant l had to lug him from St Kilda Road through to The Langham complex in 30 degree heat. (Oh yeah that was FUN!) Long story short the Langham staff were more than accommodating to help us out and we set him up on the couch to keep sleeping. They even packed us some take away treats in containers so he didn’t miss out on the goodies.


As always Mr 5 was impressed with the sweets selection and his colouring book.

All in all it’s a lovely way to spend an afternoon and l got to thinking that it would be the ultimate Christmas gift to give the kids. So instead of stocking up on cheap stocking stuffers this year why not give the gift of an experience.

Last school holidays it was a sell out so be sure to book your place early.

You can read about our other Langham experiences HERE and HERE!!

$30 per child
$45 per child with take home activity set & Disney Frozen Story Book
$54 per adult

Times and Dates
Monday 2nd January – Friday 31st January 2014
10am – 11.30am
Or 12 noon -1.30pm

Bang for your Buck – What Do You Get!
Superior High Tea Service in a Child Friendly Atmosphere
Themed Children’s Picture Book and Colouring Pack to take home (Optional)
High Chairs on Site
Change Table

Bambini Tips
Close to the NGV - South Bank - Transport available are Trams and Trains
Ideal for out of towner’s looking for the ultimate Melbourne foodie experience
Ideal birthday or christmas treat for your little man or little miss

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Round Up

What’s not to LOVE about this time of year? I love a bit of ‘Christmas’ cooking and crafting inspiration, so without further ado here are some of the things we’ll be making, watching, eating and drinking in the Bambini household this Christmas. 

All of these Christmas ideas along with hundreds of others can be found over on our Pinterest page.
Have fun exploring!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park

We heart a guest review, especially from the lovely Mel and her babes. This week they tried and tested out the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park  for the Hey Bambini blog. 


As the weather warms up, it’s nice to start thinking about somewhere to take the kids that gets them using up energy in the great outdoors. Parks and playgrounds are great if you just want to get out for a short time or catch up with your Mother’s group and the zoo is always fantastic. But sometimes you want to get out of the city and explore somewhere new. Somewhere with plenty of space for the kids to run around, but also with something for the adults to enjoy too. The McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park is just the place.

We recently discovered this gem on a day when a bit of a road trip was in order.

About an hour out of Melbourne, near Frankston, this gorgeous oasis of gardens, sculptures, gallery and café awaits. The 16 hectare property features about 100 sculptures, spread around the beautiful gardens. Take a picnic and explore the area on a sunny day. Guided tours of the gardens and sculptures are available Wednesday and Thursday at 11am and 2pm with a gold coin donation. For groups, tours can be booked on other days. Maybe a novel catch up for the mother’s group?

When the weather isn’t so nice, or you want to get out of the sun, there are three indoor galleries with permanent and changing exhibitions. When we visited, the exhibition was on birds and there was a kids area set up with drawing, origami bird making and tracing. Little Miss and the Little Man could easily have spent hours in there. It was only the lure of babycinos and something to eat at the café that convinced them to leave!

The café overlooks part of the garden and the lake and is a beautiful setting for brunch, morning tea or lunch. The menu is quite limited at breakfast and there isn’t a kids menu as such, but ham and cheese toasted sandwiches, fruit toast, scones or biscuits are likely to go down a treat. At lunch, there is kids lasagne and chips available.  For adults, the gourmet salads, baguettes and hot meals sound lovely. The babycinos come layered in a clear glass and the homemade raspberry and lavender jam with the scones was to die for!

A couple of high chairs are available in the cafe, but there are no changing facilities and no specific activities for the little ones.

All in all, the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park is a great place to visit when you don’t mind a bit of a drive and want to get out in the fresh air and experience something new. We’ll definitely be back!

Where ::  390 McClelland Drive Langwarrin
Opening Times ::  Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm
Entry Fee ::  Donation
Website ::

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

There's No Place Like Home


Well hello gorgeous readers.

I send out my most sincere apologies for my recent absence. It would seem that l’ve been (in the word of Ned Flanders) a bit of a “neglecterino” of late when it comes to the up-keep of my humble blog.

It’s not to say l’m not thinking about blogging, l think about it every day! No it’s more of a time factor for me at the moment.

You see at the start of the year we decided to demolish our quintessential Brunswick town house and replace it with a sparkly new one.

My last blog post was around September. (Boo Hoo!)

Since then all my spare time has been thrown into getting the house finished by Christmas.

Fingers crossed.

Since September l’ve spent many hours in bed shops, lighting shops, carpet shops, furniture shops AND have spent countless hours online researching ridiculous things like shower curtain rods, brick tuck pointing,  how to clean brass, which front loader is the best  and functional storage solutions just to name a few.

I’m REALLY looking forward to moving in and decorating it. But what I’m looking forward to the most is our new home office, which is where  I will be able to throw myself back into my passion, which is my blog and of course writing about eating out with my kids.

We’re still out and about and you can always follow me on Instagram for all the latest snaps.

This renovation has also turned me into a Pinterest junkie so l’m hanging out over there a lot too.

Is anyone else out there renovating?

Would love to hear if you are.

Stay tuned and we’ll be back soon, l promise!!

Love Jolie x

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mini Review :: Tuck Shop Take Away

We heart a guest review, especially from the lovely Mel and her babes. This week they tried and tested out Tuck Shop Take Away for the Hey Bambini blog.


Tuck Shop Take Away is a tiny little place on the corner of Hawthorn Road and Glen Eira Road. It only seats about 10 people, so you might get a seat if you’re lucky. Better to drop in on a nice day to get take away and go for a walk.

There are a few kid friendly touches, like a pile of toys by the door and a retro menu with kiddie sized milkshakes, burgers, chips and sweets. Think milko, redskin and nutella milkshakes in old school milk bottles and ‘school lunches’ served on a tray with burger, chips, drink and cake.
It’s all very cute and likely to become a hit with locals who are looking for something different in the café scene.

I dropped in with the kids just after 11am on a Thursday and we were lucky to grab a spot at the bar overlooking the kitchen. Little Miss and the Little Man were fascinated by the ladies making the burgers, which was great to keep them amused. We quickly ordered our milkshakes and coffee and a donut to share. Little Miss loved her milko flavoured milkshake and the Little Man couldn’t finish his peanut butter one fast enough! Thoughtfully, because we were sitting on the high stools, the staff put the milkshakes in takeaway cups, rather than glass milk bottles, so they didn’t accidentally get broken.

We didn’t do lunch this time, but when we’re next in the area, I can’t wait to try a burger or one of the jaffles. Creamed corn with caramelised onion or baked beans and cheese, anyone!
There is no toilet or high chairs available and with such a small space, it’s probably best to grab food and drink to go and head to the local park. Well worth a visit though, for some old-school nostalgia!

Who :: Tuck Shop Take Away
Where :: 273 Hawthorn Road Caulfield North 3161
Opening times :: Mon – Thurs 11am to 8pm, Fri/Sat 11am to 9pm, closed Sunday
Family Friendly Features :: Mini Milkshakes :: Toys :: Plastic Cups :: One High Chair

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Road Test :: The Langham Little Mermaid Tiffin

Well folks here comes another round of school holidays, they always seem to creep up so quickly don’t they! I’m actually in disbelief that we will be going into term 4 in a few short weeks, which means that Christmas is just around the corner. Yikes!

But enough about how fast the year is flying by, let’s get talking about my latest mini adventure with Mr 4, which just happens to be to The Langham’s Little Mermaid Tiffin. Avid readers of my humble blog will know we love an adventure into the city. Jumping on busy trams, checking out crazy buskers and peeking into colourful shop windows are what makes an adventure to the city just that little bit more fun and exciting, especially for a 4 year old. We especially heart a cheeky visit to The Langham, what a glamorous place to spend an afternoon!

We were thrilled to be invited back to The Langham to enjoy a very special afternoon tea and as always The Langham put on a first class show. Service was with a smile and the staff were very attentive to Mr 4’s needs.

There is definitely no room for calorie counting when you a visit. The 3 tiered serving platters are brimming with decadent cakes, fluffy scones and mini sandwiches, which by the way were devoured within minutes by Mr 4.  From a little boy’s point of view he wasn’t at all bothered by the ‘mermaid’ theme, as there were plenty of ‘little boy’ options available for him to eat like King Triton Cupcakes, Flounder Honey Joys, Ocean Jelly Square, Sebastian Cakepop, Ursula Cookie, Star Fish Fairy Bread and Ham Sandwiches. Yep like l said they were all inhaled in record time!

For us it was a special school holiday treat before all the Christmas bills and craziness comes rolling along.

*The Little Mermaid Tiffin is running these school holidays in conjunction with the DVD & Blu-Ray release of the timeless Disney classic with is available from September 11, 2013*

$30 Per Child an extra $15 if you would like the Little Mermaid Book & 3D Model Set
$49 per adult
*Child Rate up to 12 years of age and must be accompanied by a paying adult

Times and Dates
Weekdays from Monday – Friday 23rd September – 11th October
10am-11.30am OR 12 noon – 1.30pm
More Information click HERE

Bang for your Buck – What Do You Get!
Superior High Tea Service in a Child Friendly Atmosphere
Theme Matched Colouring Sheets – this visit we had Ariel and King Triton.
Themed Children’s Picture Book to Take Home (Optional)
High Chairs on Site
Change Table

Bambini Tips
Close to the NGV - South Bank - Transport available are Trams and Trains
Ideal for out of towner’s looking for the ultimate Melbourne foodie experience
Ideal birthday treat for your little man or little miss

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Road Test :: Tasti D Lite

The Bambini babes and l went on another eating out adventure this week. There’s no mistaking it, we heart to get out and about and l never need to convince the kids to try somewhere new, especially if there is a frozen treat or two involved. This week we found ourselves in the shiny new Fresh Food Precinct at Highpoint Shopping Centre. I have a soft spot for Highpoint, well our family fondly calls her “Knifepoint” and many school holidays were spent down in the cinema complex with my dear old dad. We’d often drive down from the country to take in a Hollywood blockbuster while filling our faces with lollies and popcorn. She’s come a long way in the last 20 years or so and with her recent facelift little miss Highpoint is all grown up and now boasts a very modern and polished food precinct which includes many stylish food venues such as Tasti D-Lite.

I’ve never indulged my sweet tooth at Tasti D Lite before so l was keen to investigate. It seems to me that frozen treats are now becoming quite the trend with a variety of self-serve stores and stands popping up everywhere like mushrooms. It’s a ‘win win’ in my book – the more the merrier! I know the kids love soft serve anything, whether it be yogurt or ice-cream, so l knew they’d be impressed instantly at Tasti D Lite.

We met Patrick who is the manager down at Highpoint and he was very enthusiastic to share with us what Tasti D-Lite has to offer. So what is Tasti D Lite? Basically it’s a light dairy based soft serve treat. It’s not ice-cream and it’s not yogurt. It’s in-between! It’s lower in calories, sugar and fat. And guess what? It comes in over 100 flavours! Yep 100. I get quite overwhelmed when there’s too much choice on offer so l asked Patrick to recommend a flavour for me. The kids had no trouble choosing – ‘bubble gum with sprinkles please’ chimed Mr 4. Once you’ve chosen your flavour from the many on offer then you can dress it up with a variety of toppings from chocolaty treats and mixed lollies to healthy stuff like fruit and nuts.

The kids loved it, their frozen goodness was served in a small cup which was easy for them to hold and to eat. I had the coconut flavour which was recommended by Patrick, and this was lovely. My only complaint was l wished l had more of it! The kids swooped in rather quickly and inhaled most of my serving, so beware it’s tasty and delish. I wouldn’t hesitate to return, there was a wide variety of flavours for us to choose from which all included the calorie intake of each serve for those watching their weight, which l thought was a good tool for mums wanting to treat themselves to a healthy, yet indulgent treat.

The other winning feature that l loved was the service. We heart customer service and the staff at Tasti D Lite can create a custom dessert master piece, so there’s no fiddling with bulky soft serve machines for busy parents.  The hardest decision you’ll have to make is choosing a flavour!

Fast Facts

Over 80 Gluten Free Flavours
More than 100 Flavours to delight you!
Lower in calories and sugar compared to ice cream
Tasti D-Lite offer a variety of serving sizes in cups and cones
Range also includes Shakes, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Dairy Free Fruit Crushers, Ice Coffee & Sundaes
Kids Birthday Cakes Available

Where To Find

Highpoint Shopping Centre
L2 Shop 2706
120-200 Rosamond Rd

Chapel St Melbourne
Shop 5 / 450 Chapel Street
South Yarra

*Sponsored Post :: We were invited by Tasti D Lite to sample some of their sweet treats and eats. All our opinions are our very own, to have and to hold!*

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mini Master Class :: Kids Pizza

A few weeks back l was invited by the Keep Left group to a Pizza Master Class. It was a night filled with pizza making tips from some local chefs, foodie ideas from Woolworths and of course a few glasses of wine courtesy of Dan Murphy

After l left l thought to myself that my kids would have had a great time at the master class too.  With that thought in mind l decided to hold my own mini master class at home with the boys. I was going to use all the fabulous products we received on the night from the various brands who attended the evening and teach my boys about healthy eating and making food from scratch.

Little did l know after l had set up all the ingredients for the mini master class that the kids were already rather savvy when it comes to making pizza. I started to explain to Mr 4 about the various ingredients on the table and how to construct a pizza.

He calmly turned to me and said. “Mum l KNOW how to make pizza, Nonno and l make one every Tuesday when he looks after me!”

And with that Mr 4 then started to show ME how to make the perfect pizza.

I can’t believe it never twigged with me that he would’ve known this.  Well no need for that master class l thought!

“Mum the sauce goes on first then the cheese then the basil, like this”

Of course he knows – he’s half Italian after all, pizza making is in his blood!

We had a lot fun creating our own pizzas and because the kids were involved in the preparation it made it even more enjoyable for them to eat. I found that all the products we used were tasty, within our family food budget and easily sourced from my local supermarket.

If  your kids would like to have a mini pizza master class at home here’s what you’ll need.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our Ballarat Mini Break Adventure :: Day 3

This is our last post about our Ballarat Adventure. Over the last few weeks I've been sharing with you my recent trip to Ballarat with the Bambini family. We were invited by Ballarat Tourism to experience the region’s most popular attractions and to sample some of the locally produced food that Ballarat has to offer families.

It was raining cats and dogs on our last day in Ballarat. This city sure knows how to turn on the weather. “Rain, rain go away” Mr 4 sung all morning as we tucked into our breakfast. The only spot left to visit today was Kryal Castle. I was excited and a little unsure what our experience would be like. The last time l set foot into Kyral Castle was about 12 years ago. Unfortunately l wasn’t there on a medieval adventure, instead l was touching the lasers and having a grand time at a dance party! Back in those days Kryal was more known as a fabulous party venue, not as a “ye olde” theme park. Also the park had become quite run down and really wasn’t a tourist destination.

Having heard on the grape vine that Kryal had recently undergone a mini makeover l was excited to experience the park through new eyes. The kids were excited as we drove up the cobble stone driveway and looked in amazement, at the large castle, complete with mini bridge and moat. 

Throwing on all the wet weather gear we could possibly manage we entered the park. The kids had fun exploring the Dragon's Labyrinth, sitting at the Knights Round Table, spending pocket money at the Tooth Fairy Lolly Shop and checking out the Fairies and Goblins Wonderland.

It was just too wet to explore the Magical Maze and the Ancient Cemetery. We were also disappointed we couldn’t watch one of the daily medieval jousting shows. It was simply too wet.

Instead we had our face painted, snacked on lollies and briefly ran around the park dodging the heavy rain. On a sunny day l would image Kryal Castle to be a wonderful place to explore. They have an onsite playground for active kids and daily outdoor combat shows.

I was pleasantly surprised how much work had gone into the renovations and l’m sure they are only going to make more improvements as more people come through the doors. The park was clean, and the kids had a brief encounter of medieval life which has left them curious to experience more. I promised them we would return in the summer school holidays. Fingers crossed the rain will stay away!

**Kryal Castle has so much to offer families and l would highly recommend it as a day trip - pack a picnic for extra fun. We struck out with the weather on the day we visited so make sure you plan ahead as there is not much shelter when the weather turns. Check your local weather guide before planning your day! Have fun.**

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Playtime Review :: Bounce Inc

If your kids are anything like mine, then sometimes you need a place for them to use up a bit of energy and have some fun. In winter when the park isn’t the greatest idea, indoor play centres can seem like the only option. But they’re not!

We recently stumbled across Bounce Inc in Glen Iris. This massive warehouse space is filled with trampolines and is a little jumper’s paradise.

With an entire floor and walls of trampolines, a foam pit to jump in to and dodge ball for the older kids, it’s fun for everyone.

Little Miss booked in for the Mini Bounce session, which is an hour-long skills session for 3-5 year olds. The instructor took them through safety instructions, stretches and then a whole lot of fun jumping activities. Bouncing like a kangaroo, a star, a motorbike and a rocket were met with squeals of delight!

Next, jumping along the trampoline into the foam pit and then free jumping and sliding on the walls. Little Miss had a ball!

For bigger kids, but still under 110cm, there is Junior Jumpers, which is really just free jumping in a separate area. Great, so that the big kids can’t scare the little ones.

While all the action is going on, Mums and Dads can sit upstairs and watch from the raised café area or stand around the edge of the trampolines on the ‘grass’ to take photos. The café fare is basic, but the coffee is decent and babycinos come with a marshmallow. Always a hit with Little Miss and the Little Man.

Bounce Inc also do kids parties, with different food and jumping options available.

A new Bounce Inc is due to be opened in Blackburn soon, so Eastern suburbs kids can join in the fun.

We’ve been twice now, and while it’s a little out of the way, it’s a fun way to spend a morning when you need something different to do.

General admission - $16.50 per hour, $10 subsequent (including jumping socks)
Mini Bounce (3 to 5 years) - $16 per hour
Junior Jumpers (under 110cm) - $11.50 per hour (including socks)
Bookings to be made online or via phone

Mini Bounce – Mon to Fri 10am to 12pm
Junior Jumpers – Mon to Fri 10am to 4pm (school term), 10am to 12pm (school holidays)

Bounce Inc was reviewed by the lovely Mel, all thoughts and words are her own and she was not invited to visit by the folk from Bounce Inc. She just loved the experience and had to share!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Interview :: Suzy From JOCO Cups

Well it’s time again to spark up that interview light. This week we’re chuffed to have the talented Suzy from JOCO Reusable Cups. Not only does Suzy juggle a busy work load selling her reusable cups to trendy Melbourne cafes, she's also the proud mumma to 3 gorgeous kids who love to dine out in some of Torquay's finest cafes.

Day Job/Occupation :: I am Sales Manager for JOCO Glass Reusable Travel Cups, selling nationally and also around the globe.  I also wear a Real Estate agent hat selling luxury beach homes in and around Torquay.

Kids :: Otis 6, Sunni 3 and Frankie 9 months old

Tea or Coffee? :: Coffee – flat white, no sugar if it’s a good brew.  Also partial to a spicy Chai, with a dash of honey and soy.

Sweet or Savoury for Breakfast :: Breakfast – what’s that?! I usually have a berry smoothie on the run if I’m lucky!

How often do you dine out with your little people? ::  Every few weeks if we’re lucky.

Keeping it local! Where do your family hangout out the most when dining out? :: Café Moby – which is located in the heart of town across the road from the beach.  It was originally a weatherboard beach home, it's now been converted into a café which boasts a huge backyard complete with a fantastic fully enclosed playground. It's a mum’s heaven!

What is the ultimate family friendly feature you love in a kid friendly café? ::  An enclosed yard where I can sit back, read the paper, read emails and enjoy a hot coffee knowing the kids are safe.

What do your kids love to eat when they go out? ::  We’re lucky enough to have kids with a varied palette, depends on what’s on offer from but anything on the kids menu usually floats their boat.

Best thing about eating out with kids :: Having someone else do the cleaning up!

Worst thing about eating out with kids :: The emotional breakdown if they’re tired

Your BEST eating out tips for new parents  :: Always ask for kids drinks in a cup with a lid and a straw to avoid those embarrassing milkshake and babycino spills. A JOCO Reusable cup with lid is a perfect solution for this situation!

Describe eating out with kids in three words :: Fun  Messy  Bribery

Thanks for sharing a slice of family life Suzy, we’re most jealous your 'local' is opposite the beach! For more info on JOCO Cups and Stockist click HERE. x

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Ballarat Mini Break Adventure :: Day 2

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing with you my recent trip to Ballarat with the Bambini family. We were invited by Ballarat Tourism to experience the region’s most popular attractions and to sample some of the locally produced food that Ballarat has to offer families

The best way to start a cold Ballarat day, in my book, is with a warm hearty breakfast. We popped into the Pancake Parlour early Saturday morning with hungry children who were eager to get their hands on some pancakes. I adore the Pancake Parlour, it’s not a place l visit regularly but when we do go we make sure we order a load of pancakes for the table, along with a few large glasses of frothy milkshakes. The Pancake Parlour offers a fantastic kids menu and with dishes like Alice’s Wonderland Surprise and the Mad Hatter’s Special it's sure to make any child excited about the most important meal of the day.  The kid’s meals also come with colouring sheets and crayons which is an added bonus. I found the service to be warm and friendly and the restaurant has a rustic yet cosy vibe to it. The Pancake Parlour is set over 4 levels so it’s not wise to bring the pram or wait for a last minute toilet dash. They are situated right on the top level as Mr 2 and l discovered. And, be warned, the serving sizes are huge. Not ideal for those who are counting calories!

After a fulfilling breakfast it was time to throw the kids into the car and head out to the Creswick Tangled Maze which is about a half hour drive from the main town of Ballarat. We were a little disappointed the day we visited the maze as it was raining quite heavily so we didn’t get to take advantage of the beautiful grounds. We did however take a walk around the maze, luckily we’d brought our gumboots as there were lots of puddles to jump in, much to the children’s delight. Also the maze offers an onsite mini golf course for older children and a life size chess board for the thinkers. On a sunny day this would be the perfect spot to hang out for a few hours with the family.

So what do you do when it’s pouring rain in Ballarat? You go look for a spot to have lunch! After a busy morning the kids were hungry – again, so we popped into The Forge Pizzeria for a quick and easy meal. I do love visiting country restaurants, there is always an open fire on offer and service is friendly. The kids were especially excited as there was a dedicated kids’ corner for them to amuse themselves. Mr Bambini was also excited as Forge Pizzeria offer a fantastic gourmet beer list to choose from. The pizzas were amazing, in fact l’d go as far to say they’re the best in Ballarat. The wood fired pizzas are topped with quality local ingredients, there is not a slice of plastic processed ham or chunk of tinned pineapple in sight. Their menu is fresh and has loads of options for all including gluten free and vegetarian. Our personal favourites were the Margheritta pizza topped with fresh stringy bocconcini and the scrumptious Wild Rocket Salad with Wood Fired Pumpkin. It would have been lovely to stay inside all day grazing on food and gourmet beer but the kids need to be entertained.

The next activity l had planned to do was to swing past the Ballarat Wildlife Park, which is a well-known family run Ballarat attraction. Again we were greeted with rain but we pushed on knowing the kids would get a stack of enjoyment from this visit. We arrived just in time to see a Koala show, complete with a mini cuddle and pat! The boys loved feeding the friendly resident wallaby, peering into the Tassie devil enclosure, chasing emus and checking out the reptile enclosure. l think we went into the enclosure 3 times!. It’s not a huge park but it’s very clean, well-managed and it's an excellent spot to let the kids have a run. I think the wildlife park was the highlight for the boys, that and ice-cream for breakfast at the Pancake Parlour.

To cap off a busy day we decided to pop up to the lake for a tram ride and a spot of dinner. The kids enjoyed exploring the tram museum and l enjoyed learning a bit of history about the Ballarat trams and why they don’t operate around town anymore, daggy but true! We had a ride on the tram which is short 20 minute trip around a small part of Lake Wendouree. Mr 4 even got to see how a whole vintage tram seat is pulled apart thanks to his clumsy ways. He was so excited about looking out the window of the tram that he dropped his wallet between the seat and the wall of the tram, which had to be removed by our conductor, a friendly local gent and a helpful Japanese tourist. You just can’t take us anywhere! After a few red faces and apologies the Lightening McQueen wallet and its contents of $4.25 were safely retrieved.

After the tram drama we stopped into The Boat Shed for a well-deserved glass of vino and some eats. The kids selected a few meals from the kids menu while Mr Bambini and l re-hashed the busy day over a few share plates of nibbles. All in all, we had a fabulous day and even though the rain dampened the ground and our coats it didn’t dampen our experience, Ballarat had put on another fantastic day for us and our family.

Visitor Details

Pancake Parlour - 2 Grenville Street South Ballarat
High Chairs - Kids Menu - Colouring Pages - Crayons

The Tangled Maze - 2301 Midland Highway Springmount

The Forge Pizzeria - 14 Armstrong St Ballarat
High Chairs - Kids Eats - Change Table - Kids Corner - Crayons - Blackboard

Ballarat Wildlife Park - Corner York & Fussell Streets - Ballarat East

Ballarat Tram Museum - Wendouree Parade - Ballarat

The Boat Shed Restaurant - 27a Lake Wendouree Foreshore Ballarat
High Chairs - Kids Menu

**We were guests of Ballarat Tourism. This post reflects my experience of Ballarat and this story is my very own, to have and to hold!**

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Ballarat Mini Break Adventure :: Day 1

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing with you my recent trip to Ballarat with the Bambini family. We were invited by Ballarat Tourism to experience the region’s most popular attractions and to sample some of the locally produced food that Ballarat has to offer families.

Friday morning saw me pack the car to the brim with coats, gumboots, scarves and woolly hats, 2 excited boys, a snack bag and some tunes. The trip up the Western Highway is a no brainer really and l found that we made good time and reached Ballarat in around 90 minutes.

Our first stop in Ballarat was to fill hungry little tummies at Such N Such café on Sturt St. We’ve been to Such N Such before so it was fun for us to re-visit, especially now that the boys were a little older, they could really appreciate the indoor cubbyhouse. For lunch we had home-made sausage rolls - complete with saucy smiley faces, red lentil soup and of course 3 iced chocolates. I do believe l had about ten full minutes of absolute silence to enjoy while the boys inhaled their chocolaty beverage.

Such N Such serve up home-made locally sourced eats from soups, baguettes, pies and quiches. If you’re not up for a meal then they can certainly help you out with a hot coffee and a slice of cake. Such N Such is definitely a country café with a twist.  The café also boasts a wonderful home wares store and shoppers could potentially find a ‘little piece’ for each room of the house, even the kids! I was desperate to have a good poke around but I’m afraid the boys wouldn’t sit still long enough for this mama to do some damage on the credit card. Next time! The staff are brimming with good old fashioned friendly service, and with a warm fire to sit by and good wholesome eats Such N Such is a must visit in my book. You can also see our previous review here from 2009.

Next stop on our booked itinerary was an afternoon at Sovereign Hill. The kids were very excited to run up the main stairs to collect our tickets. The first stop was to check into the Hope Bakery to decorate Gingerbread Men (forever the foodie family eh!) At $4 per child we thought this was a fun activity for the boys, especially Mr 4. Kids get a small tub of coloured icing and a small tub of sprinkles, then it’s up to them to create the ultimate Gingerbread Man. The boys loved it, although l don’t think Mr Bambini was too thrilled about carrying them around for the next 20 minutes while the icing set!

Other spots we visited at Sovereign Hill were the Sweet Shop, Tinsmith, Grocer, Candle Shop and of course we threw a few balls down the bowling alley. The boys were probably still a bit young for this but they still had fun throwing the heavy ball down the lane. Although l think Mr 2.5 had more fun skidding in the gravel and the brown dirt streets of Sovereign Hill. Mental note to self – don’t dress the kids in the ‘good clothes’ when we next visit!

And of course no visit is complete without popping down to the creek to pan for gold. Mr Bambini and Mr 4 had a fun time doing this together until Mr 4 fell in the creek. Again mental note to self – don’t dress the kids in the ‘good clothes’ when we re-visit! I’m sure he is not the first or the last kid to do this. On the upside we found some GOLD, after that we had to leave as Mr 4 was a tad wet.

We did however return in the evening with the children to experience the Blood on the Southern Cross sound and light show. We rugged the kids up and re-entered the park and headed to New York bakery for our dinner. It was quite eerie being back in the main street - there wasn’t a single person to be seen, where only a few hours before it had been jammed packed with tourists. I liked the fact that we came back after dark with the shop’s windows dimly lit and not a sound to be heard.


Dinner at Sovereign Hill was a rustic set menu in a dimly lit kitchen hall which by the way was filled with families. The kid’s meal consisted of a chicken schnitzel and vegies, which was gobbled up in record time and the adult’s dishes were much the same – meat and three veg with gravy! So country. They also offered us a complimentary drink on arrival, as well as a sweet treat from the dessert bar. Dinner for us was simple and fun, the kids enjoyed the ye-oldie atmosphere and we enjoyed a cheeky wine before the show.

Even in ye-oldie times folks needed a coffee!
Now let’s talk about the show. The Blood on the Southern Cross show was an amazing light and sound experience set under the stars within the grounds of Sovereign Hill.  Make sure you wear warm clothes as you travel around the park to various locations to take in stages of the show. The show is based on the dramatic 1854 Eureka rebellion between the gold miners and the government. There is loads of gun fire, lighting effects, incredible sounds of daily life from that era and loud scenes of shouting men and a building gets burnt to the ground. Mr Bambini and l really enjoyed it and we were quite impressed on the quality of the show and the special effects. I only wish the kids had stayed awake to enjoy it!

Stay tuned! More Ballarat adventures are heading your way......

Visitor Details

Such N Such Café :: 809-811 Sturt St Ballarat
High Chairs :: Change Table :: Kids Indoor Cubbyhouse :: Toys :: Kids Eats
Sovereign Hill :: Bradshaw St Ballarat
Open Daily :: Change Table :: Kids Eats & Activities

*Please note cameras we not permitted before and during The Blood on the Southern Cross that is why we don't have pictures*

**We were guests of Ballarat Tourism. This post reflects my experience of Ballarat and this story is my very own, to have and to hold!** 


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