Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Show business

Mr Rosanna and I took the boys to the Royal Melbourne Show on Monday for the first time.  I was very kindly given tickets to the show by my client Avant Card and it was a big day out.  After training it in from Clifton Hill, we went straight through the gates and headed for the rides.  First stop was the Giant Sky Wheel where the views from the top were fantastic.  Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be the quieter days of the show which I was thankful for after nearly losing sight of my boys one year in the Moomba crowds.  It was still busy but not manic.


We also had a go on the dodgem cars, the haunted house (probably not such a good idea in hindsight in terms of age-appropriateness) and the giant Euroslide in the Thrillseekers Carnival area (which is crazy loud and busy) for the over 6 years olds.  I cast a longing look at one of the scariest rides - the Freestyle - but Mr Rosanna doesn't handle dizzy rides well and there was no-one else to look after the kids so I'll save that for another day.


By this stage we were starting to get pretty hungry despite downing a couple of buckets of chips (hey we were at the show!) so headed to the Winning Tastes Pavilion - the hipster food area - as we also had a food voucher to spend.  We actually headed indoors into the Masterchef set as the sun was starting to blaze by this stage and there were no umbrellas covering the outdoor tables, which was a criticism of mine.  That ended up being a wise idea as it was air conditioned and more low key inside, which allowed all of us to chill for a while.  That's also the secret to having a good time at the show with kids - regular stops sitting down in quiet areas to recharge.  We had some pretty tasty food from the Brew Bar and BBQ as well as a couple of coffees from inside where you could also find the speakeasy cocktail bar and pop up dessert bar.
We'd come relatively prepared with backpacks of drinks and snacks but the really organised families had brought those market trolley bags on wheels full of packed lunches.  It is an expensive day out at the show - it's easy to burn through money very quickly so a BYO lunch is a very good idea.  After lunch, we ventured to the ever popular Jayco Animal Nursery where we hand fed the lambs and baby goats, which were adorable, before washing our hands at the end where you exit.  It's a good opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals and I even had one errant lamb follow me right out of the enclosure - it was a good thing the boys at the next door jumping castle were onto it!  My boys also loved the Magic Circus House with the internal obstacle course in the Kids Carnival (under 6 years) area which was cranking out the cool tunes - 'Fame' by David Bowie was playing at the time.

Sadly no wood chopping was taking place in the nearby pavilion, although we did see some of the working dogs show in The Farmhouse area.  The show's heritage comes from the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) and is a great opportunity for city kids to have exposure to farm life.  If you are a member of the RACV or RASV, there are also discounted tickets/free entry to the show depending on your level of membership.  I didn't get a chance to visit the CWA Kitchen but that would also have been worth visiting if you're a traditionalist like me.

We ended the day queuing with hundreds of other people in the stalls leading into the Showbag Pavilion so felt like a sheep ourselves at that point in time!  Luckily it was fairly free flowing but pretty hot and crowded inside.  The boys were lucky enough to be given one Minecraft showbag each as well as a food showbag to share, along with some fairy floss for the ride home.  We deliberately decided to leave the showbags to the end given we didn't want to carry extra things around with us during the day but some people may want to buy them first thing as part of their show strategy to avoid the late afternoon queues (and tantrums!).
We had two happy but tired children on the train, along with two exhausted parents, as we headed back home - I'm glad I wore sneakers given all the walking we did.  There's no business like show business...

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