Have I been hiding under a rock or is it just that my boys are still little, has anyone else heard of Ninja Warrior programs?
Let me save you all the hard work as both my boys did class’ last week at Fighting Lyons in North Essendon. All I can honestly say is WOW! A program run by dual Olympian Paul Lyons what more could you ask for.
My two little Ninja’s whipped their way through age appropriate obstacle courses which included balancing beams, rope walls/ladders, trampolines, zip lines and more. What kid wouldn’t have fun and all while staying active and making friends. What made me love this place even more is that parents don’t need to participate and they have a coffee machine on sight. win/win in my eyes.
Fighting Lyons offer parties, school holiday programs, a range of other kids programs and also class’ for adults – get on it people https://www.fightinglyons.com.au/
My three year old and I were lucky enough to visit the lovely Linda and Alison who are the operators of the Craigieburn Mini Maestros!
If you haven’t been, or even heard of a Mini Maestros class, I’ll give you a quick run-down.
Through music, these guys run structured programs for pre-school kids. They use music beats, rhythms and different dynamics to get kids focused on their development while they are having a bit of fun. Things like singing, dancing, playing instruments and musical games all stimulate creativity and imagination, while encouraging speech development, listening skills, social skills and physical skills.
Their programs are based on children from 6 months to 5 years of age and classes are generally limited to around 10 kids, which is great as so everyone has a go! They run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but with the growing amount of interest in the area I understand they’re adding more days/classes from 2018.
It’s more than a bit of song and dance too – their programs are literature based and not simply thrown together! Their website has all this information and is definitely worth a read. Also, there’s a café right next door which serves great coffee for the mummy’s or daddy’s.
Check out their website for information about all their program and session times https://www.minimaestros. com.au/find/classes-by-locatio n/?location=367
I’m convinced this is one of Melbourne’s BEST kept secrets!
Driving an hour to Somerville meant I did have to hear the hubby complain on the way as to why we were driving so far for the kids to ‘do something’. That quickly changed when he saw a full-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex at the gate! At that point, I didn’t know who was more excited, my hubby the Jurassic Park die hard, or my boys!
This place was really cool and even though it was compact, there was a heap to do. From the entrance, the place is pretty structured and puts you on a path which you follow to find dinosaurs nestled amongst the trees! The actual dinosaurs themselves were impressive with soft, scaly skin that was pretty life-like (I’m guessing!) and they even come to life and roar when you walk past.
The park accommodates kids of all ages, including a little toddler (there’s really nowhere to run other than the path you’re meant to follow). Walking is pretty minimal so doubling back to see your favourites is easy.
Food-wise, there’s ‘Dino Bites’, a place inside the park to get some lunch or nibbles! The hot food was home made by the owners, so had a real homely feel to it. If you want to get real fancy and spend half a day there, there’s a BBQ area too!
In terms of other activities, there’s a cute little dinosaur-themed playground which my boys loved, of course, and for a small fee kids can ‘dig and discover’ fossils in a decent-sized sandpit, which they get to keep! There’s a free tractor ride and if you’re lucky you might even see Wilson, a real life dinosaur who walks the park everyday (this was literally just a guy dressed up in a dinosaur outfit, which was cute for the younger ones – if you’re kid is likely to point out the human-feet popping out the bottom of the costume, maybe avoid this part so not to spoil!).
They do parties and are only open at certain times of the year, so check out their website before going http://www.dinosaurworld.net.au!
I love my coffee. Actually, let me rephrase that – I need my coffee!
So when i came across a ‘craft’ cafe that kept my boys engaged long enough for me to actually finish one while it was hot, I had to share the love with you guys!
Wether you’re looking for an indoor activity on a ‘wet weather day’ or just want a coffee and something to eat while keeping the kids mind active, Crafternoon might work for you.
Painting, pasting, playdough, badge making, Frozen-themed headbands, flower crowns and even mask making are some of the things you and the little ones may enjoy.
For me, craft play isn’t something I do a lot around the house so to see the kids enjoy themselves so much was nice. I spent about an hour and a half there!
You might even be lucky enough to sneak in a cheeky biscuit without the little ones noticing – I said might!
They do kids parties, functions and catering too. Check out their website for more details http://www.crafternoon.cafe/.
The name speaks for itself and this place is going to be a lot of fun!
Last week we were lucky enough to have a sneak peek at Funtopia Maribyrnon, which is one of those places that could excite the inner child in us more so than the kids!
Funtopia’s concept is all about active entertainment, where kids of all ages can do both physical activities, while putting their minds to the test!
At face value, it appears to be a playcentre, but once you stroll through, it’s clear that it is much, much more. Funtopia has two cool worlds, the playground world and the climbing world! if it weren’t for our own awesome guide (more on that in a second), we wouldn’t know where to start!
Firstly, the playground world is great! It’s an Australian themed play centre that will have the kids playing on an iconic Melbourne tram, running across and below the Sydney Harbour Bridge, climbing Ayers Rock and having a play in the Great Barrier Reef! With a heap of slides, tunnels, mazes and a kids under two area, you’ll get a kick out of seeing your kids playing amongst some locally themed culture and scenery.
Second, the climbing world (the showstopper for me), is an indoor rock climbing area for kids! My eldest just got on his safety harness and started climbing! Each ‘wall’ has its own theme – we checked out all the options and some of the ‘walls’ that stood out included the exploding volcano, their own Gotham City, a glow in the dark elevator shaft to climb up and even Jack’s beanstalk!
So basically, two cool worlds side by side and something to try for all ages (the climbing was a hit with my four year old, more so because he could sail down safely using his harness). Getting into the climbing area is taken seriously, with a pre-briefing for all kids and parents and the entire session fully supervised by a cool guide! The playground world also has friendly staff supervising and walking the floor too, so no more having to get in tight spaces to free a crying child who is stuck!
Before and after the action, you’ll be able to get a meal and coffee from Mr Spriggin!
For more details on their opening dates and to follow their progress, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FuntopiaMaribyrnong/
We recently visited Animal Land Children’s Farm and what a hidden gem it was!
Located about half an hour drive North West of Melbourne in Digger’s Rest, it was probably the most authentic farm experience that my kids have had, mostly because it was a real farm and not just animals in cages!
What set it apart from other farms I’ve been to was the structured program, which went for about two hours and included a personal guide who knew the farm inside out! She was able to keep the kids entertained with stories about the farm, the history of the animals that lived there and even some of their names! For the little ones, it held their attention and by the end of it, kids were walking alongside her and bombarding her with questions, which she was happy to answer! Even my ‘threenager’ was100% engaged – I suppose there’s a first time for everything!
Of course, the tour included the obligatory tractor ride (weirdly named Tommy) and pony ride (appropriately named Goldy) – if your little one doesn’t love wearing a helmet, be prepared for an argument or meltdown). We collected eggs and fed the ducks by a lake (not just one patient duck I might add, which was funny for adults but probably a touch overwhelming for tiny kids). The centrepiece of the tour is that the kids get to hand milk ‘Lucy’ the cow!
The final part of the tour was in the nursery, where cuddles with adorable baby animals were on offer, including ducklings, chicks, guinea pigs and bunny rabbits!
Overall, a great morning outdoors that was more than just 5 minutes of farming fun. We centred our weekend around it and it ticked all the boxes for a day out! While we waited for the tour to start, there was a pretty decent playground for the littlies to play on and while we didn’t use it, there was provision for a BBQ, picnic and even organised birthday parties!