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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