Kidding Around the McIvor Farm Autumn Festival, Tooborac

We love supporting local events and businesses and when we heard about the McIvor Farm Autumn Festival that was being held in Tooborac, Victoria we were excited to attend!

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Quite a crowd gathered throughout the day to experience the best the region has to offer!

The organisers were blessed by Mother Nature as it was a gorgeous day! The sun shining and with temperatures in the mid-20’s, it was the perfect weather to enjoy what this wonderful community had on offer. Tooborac is a small town in the Mitchell Shire, the kind of town where everyone knows everyone and country hospitality is alive and well.

We were welcomed at the front gate by event staff and were given a recycled material armband, program and booked onto the McIvor Farm Tour.

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Story time with local author Tai Snaith, was just about to start, so we hurried to the blankets and hay bales underneath a huge pine tree to listen to Tai’s latest stories. Tai was entertaining and interactive and her illustrations are amazing!   Tai has published two popular children’s books; The Family Hour in Australia (2012) and Sticks and Stones, animal homes (2014), both with Thames and Hudson.

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Tai Snaith reading her books under the shade of the huge pine trees!

Kids were definitely on the minds of the organisers as there was plenty to keep them entertained! Aside from the onsite playground and CFA trucks there was play-doh, pencils and paper, chalk for drawing on the concrete verandah and later in the day the older kids were participating in old-school games such as sack and egg and spoon races on the oval.

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Play-doh fun!

A large crowd gathered around fourteen year old Josh, from Josh’s Rainbow Eggs, to hear about how he started his own egg production business at only 9 years old! Alegría and Isaac kept coming back to the three hens that were on display and were lucky enough to be able to have a cuddle with them!

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The crowd listening to Josh speak about his egg production business, Josh’s Rainbow Eggs
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Good looking chicks!

At the Fat Spaniel Nursery stand, it was time to get grubby! Alegría loved planting her nasturtium seed with Jo Anne, drawing on the label and watering it whilst Isaac just loved playing in the soil! His rocket seeds have already sprouted and we are looking forward to enjoying the fruits of his labour! This activity cost $2 per person to cover the cost of materials.

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Jo Anne taking time to nurture some budding green thumbs!

The atmosphere surrounding the Heathcote & District Community Bank Stage was fantastic as local musicians Pat WardSarah Carniegie, Talisa JobeCassJarrod and Sarah played blues/folk/country music whilst everyone tucked into the best food, produce, beer and wine, lunch and grazing plates all grown, brewed, roasted or baked within a stones throw of Tooborac.

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Pat Ward entertaining the crowd!

Georgina Says

The food was so fresh and tasty – the average price was about $10, so factor that into your budget. I had the Food Exchange’s “Tooby Taco” and it was delicious! There wasn’t a huge selection for children so make sure you bring lunch and snacks for the kids. There was free drinking water provided which made filling up drink bottles easy!

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In the hall and on the verandah, cooking demonstrations, workshops and lectures were popular with visitors keen to get some tips and hints from industry experts. The program was extensive with topics such as sourdough baking, craft beer 101, pork dumplings, sausage making, preparing wild rabbit, free range farming and preserving olives at home.

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Nick from Mason’s of Bendigo demonstrating how to make pork dumplings.

Once again the children weren’t forgotten, as the children were all given a chef’s hat and invited to participate in pasta making with Chef Sonia of Mason’s of Bendigo. They say “many hands make light work”, and there was definitely many hands in the pasta dough!! Unfortunately, we had to leave to go on our McIvor Farm tour before the pasta dough was put through the machine so we grabbed a recipe card to make it at a later date!

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Chef Sonia and Alegría making pasta dough!
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Chef Sonia’s home made pasta recipe! You can thank us later!

We boarded a minibus and took a short drive out to the McIvor Farm to see the pigs. The pigs were doing what pigs do (let’s not mention the “piggy-back” that Alegría pointed out!) and we learnt about regenerative agriculture & ethical food production.

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Berkshire pigs at McIvor Farm

By the end of the day, we were all exhausted but very happy! Next year, you should grab your friends and family, pack the picnic blanket and enjoy the best of what this region has to offer. Please check the McIvor Farm Autumn Festival website or Facebook page for 2016 festival details.

MORE INFORMATION

Days and Times: Sunday the 22nd of March 2015 – 10am to 4pm

Location: Tooborac Recreation Reserve, Northern Highway, Tooborac, Victoria

Cost:

Adults                         $12 online / $15  on the day
Concession                $10 online / $12 on the day
Children                     $8 online / $10 on the day (under 3 are FREE)

Family (2a & 2c)      $36 online

Website: www.mcivorfarmautumnfestival.com.au

Please note all details quoted are correct at the time of publishing. All details are subject to change without notice and Kidding Around Australia takes no responsibility for information contained in this post. Please check the appropriate website to ensure that information is still correct and current.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES ON THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA WEBSITE ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA AUTHORS. ALL IMAGES ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA.

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Kidding Around at the … Play School Concert!

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There’s a bear in there …  Alex and Rachael as well… there are Mummy’s with cameras and nappies that smell … It’s PLAY SCHOOL live in concert time!

We are HUGE fans of Play School in this family. Alegría and Isaac love Play School and announce that it is starting at the top of their lungs – every. single. time. Georgina dreams of the day she can be a presenter on the show (hope you are reading ABC!) and Tim loves the peace and quiet he gets when the show comes on!

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This year, the show is called “Once Upon A Time” and it didn’t disappoint. The sets are generally basic (like on the television show) and this year there was a massive book in the middle of the stage. Every time a page was turned and we all yelled “Once Upon A Time” a new story was told.

Alex and Rachael and mermaid Jemima
Alex and Rachael and mermaid Jemima

Alegría Says

I loved Jemima as a mermaid. That was my most favourite part.

For the past 4 years we have gone to the Play School concert in March when they tour Victoria. They are held in halls with minimal seating around the walls and a huge space to sit and/or get up and dance in the middle in front of the stage. There is no designated seating but there is always plenty of room for everyone!

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Isaac cutting a rug on the dance floor!

A great variety of Play School merchandise is available at the back of the hall. Prices vary, however, you will be able to get a book or toy for under $10 AUD.

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A selection of the merchandise available!

Georgina Says

Tickets are cheap which means that every child should be able to experience live theatre (something I am passionate about). Whether they sit, stare and take it in or are up dancing and singing they will love the show. The presenters are familiar, the pace is familiar and the characters are familiar.  It’s a great introductory concert for kids!

Depending on where you live it might not be too late for your family! And if it is, then there is always next year! “Once upon a time” will be touring Australia in 2015 and is bought to you by Kids Promotions. The First tour commenced in Victoria in February and will continue around the country – check the website for more details.

MORE INFORMATION

Cost: $17.60 per person (under 12 months free)

Website: https://www.kidspromotions.com.au/whats-on/45-play-school-live-in-concert-once-upon-a-time/event-info/tour-info

Please note all details quoted are correct at the time of publishing. All details are subject to change without notice and Kidding Around Australia takes no responsibility for information contained in this post. Please check the appropriate website to ensure that information is still correct and current.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES ON THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA WEBSITE ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA AUTHORS. ALL IMAGES ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA.

{Sponsored Post} Kidding Around with … Closer to Nature

When we were approached at the Bloggers Brunch that was run by Kids Business to review the closer to nature® explora range we were excited to see how this range differed from the other baby weaning products that we have used. Alegría has graduated from “little kid” products however Isaac is all about food and feeding himself, so it was great to put these products to the test.

So what items were we lucky enough to review?

closer to nature

closer to nature® explora Pack (for toddlers)

§  1 x explora Blender                                                                               

§  1 x explora Magic Mat                                                                          

§  1 x explora Cutlery Set                                                                          

§  1 x explora Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl Pack                                         

§  3 x explora Active Cups                                                                         

Total RRP $106

So how did they measure up to Master Isaac and his Mummy’s standards?

The explora Blender

Isaac didn’t have a go at the blender, but Georgina did! It is smaller than you would anticipate which made it perfect to take camping and on the road! It is powerful and did the job! Perfect for purees (or “soups” as we call them) and for making homemade icy-poles. We made some with hand-picked raspberries and yoghurt – Yummo!

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Photo credit: Supplied

The explora Magic Mat 

The Magic Mat is fantastic! Isaac put it to the test and even tried to pick it off the table – alas it was to no avail! (Admittedly, it did lift off the first time we used it as I didn’t wet it enough when I stuck it to the highchair, the second time it stuck well!)  It is great to keep the Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl in place which means that Isaac’s master plan of throwing his dinner on the floor has now been foiled. (Insert evil Mummy laugh!)

The explora Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl

The Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl works with both the Magic Mat and by itself. It has a unique triangular base which makes it easy to get every last mouthful out. Fantastic! We don’t like to waste food around here! Isaac loves to feed himself and has loved using his special bowls! We love that the bowls are dishwasher, microwave and (if you’re so inclined) sterilizer safe. The pack we got was a 4 pack however they are also available in 2 packs that come with lids and spoons as well.

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The explora Magic Mat and Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl

The explora Cutlery Set

Isaac has been using a cutlery set for a while now, and judging by the amount of food that went into his mouth and not down his front, he liked the explora set! Perfect for little hands and mouths!

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Photo Credit: Supplied

The explora Active Cup

Isaac was excited to try this one! Georgina was crossing her fingers that her handbag was not filled with water after throwing it in there as we headed out the door! Luckily, the explora Active Cup received two thumbs up! The straw bends over and the cap holds it in place. The cap was stiff to start with so Isaac couldn’t open it – annoying for him and us – but it has since loosened up and he can help himself to a drink whenever he likes – Happy Days!

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The explora Active Cup

We were very happy with the range and would recommend trying these as a budget conscious alternative to other brands.

ABOUT CLOSER TO NATURE

Closer to nature® is the number one baby feeding accessories brand in the UK and one of the top brands of infant products and accessories in the global market. Loved by parents and little ones, closer to nature® receives numerous awards and accolades year after year globally. The closer to nature® range is available at stockists nationwide. www.closertonaturebaby.com.au | www.facebook.com/closertonaturebaby
MORE INFORMATION

Website: www.closertonaturebaby.com.au

Disclaimer: We were given these products to review. As always our opinions are honest and our own.

Please note all details quoted are correct at the time of publishing. All details are subject to change without notice and Kidding Around Australia takes no responsibility for information contained in this post. Please check the appropriate website to ensure that information is still correct and current.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES ON THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA WEBSITE ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA AUTHORS. ALL IMAGES ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA.

Kidding Around… Muddy’s Playground, Cairns

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What a gem Muddy’s Playground in Cairns, Queensland is! Muddy’s is a splash playground and parkland that is well maintained, safe (there are areas that are completely fenced so kids can run wild and Security Officers and CCTV cameras monitoring the area at all times) and, above all, it’s FUN!

Muddy’s Playground is themed “Life in Trinity Bay” and the playground includes water play areas plus a flying fox, sound chimes, track ride, rope bridge, slides, play houses, story telling areas, see-saw, trick track and puzzle games.

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The Rope Bridge

Tim Says

There are so many different areas that when the kids get bored in one area, you just move onto the next, and the next and the next!

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Alegría and a new friend race leaves in the stream at the Southern end.
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Plenty of fun for all ages!

When tummies start to rumble head to the on-site barbeques (the Curlew BBQ is available for private hire), picnic tables, lawn areas or the on-site café that provides refreshments and light meals.

You can definitely spend all day at Muddy’s – don’t forget to bring your bathers, sunscreen, hats and towels. If you want to play in the sand areas there are no buckets or spades so bring your own! IMG_4519 Muddy’s playground is open every day of the year although be aware that sections of Muddy’s are closed for maintenance on Tuesday and Thursday mornings until noon. Even when maintenance works are being carried out, the Council aims to have at least half the playground operational.

There is no doubt why locals and visitors alike take their children to Muddy’s Playground to play and enjoy the benefits of the waterfront. It is a fantastic area and we wish there were more spots like this around the country!
After all this playing, if you haven’t had enough water and would like to fully submerge or do some laps, its just a short walk to the Cairns Lagoon for a free swim.
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Cairns Lagoon

MORE INFORMATION

Days and Times: Open everyday from 8am – 8pm during October – March and 9am – 7pm during April – September.

Location: 174 Esplanade, Cairns QLD

Cost: Free

Website: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/esplanade/facilities/playgrounds/muddys

Please note all details quoted are correct at the time of publishing. All details are subject to change without notice and Kidding Around Australia takes no responsibility for information contained in this post. Please check the appropriate website to ensure that information is still correct and current.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES ON THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA WEBSITE ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF THE KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA AUTHORS. ALL IMAGES ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT AND CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM KIDDING AROUND AUSTRALIA.