Travel to Melbourne – Moonlit Sanctuary (The Mornington Peninsula)

This is a continuation of our Melbourne travelogue in Sept 2014. Yes, it took me ermm.. that long to blog this down!

This is the start of our road trip leg  which we rented a car to drive from Melbourne city towards Philips Island and back. We choose to do a pit stop at Moonlit Sanctuary en-route the way to Philips Island. And I am so glad we made this choice instead of heading to some caged zoo. This place is located in The Mornington Peninsula and some visitors might choose to plan a few nights stay in this location but we didn’t as we didn’t have enough nights.

I simply love this place because many of the animals are roaming freely in this conservation sanctuary. It was not difficult to navigate to the location with the use of a rented GPS from the car rental company.

There is a cafe within the same premise and we had a simple lunch here. Food was really simple staples and nothing to shout about. But it fills the stomach.

It will be advisable to have proper meals somewhere else before reaching here. But if not, at least the kids won’t go hungry.

We paid for our tickets at the counter which doubled up as an ordering counter for the cafe too. This is also the place where some of the caged animals are displayed. E.g. a python, reptiles, fishes and more. Honestly, these are not my favourites and so we whisked fast past these enclosures and went into the park inside.

There are “encounters” which you can pay a fee to experience. E.g. with a snake, a moment with the Koala and etc. Xi En saw a visitor with a ranger “encountering” a snake and he cannot resist but asked if he can touch the python too! I was miles away when he did that! Daddy took the following photo while I was standing really far away. The kind ranger and visitor allowed him a feel of the reptile which really thrilled him.

Oh, do remember to buy a pack of feeds from the same counter before you entered the park. Children and adults will enjoy feeding the wild animals later.

Some of the animals we saw upon entering:

Most of the kangaroos are actually as tall or even taller than an adult when they stand on their hind legs. They are mild in nature but just be careful of their powerful legs when they make a hop/jump! Eizac adored the kangaroos and till today, one of the few things he remembered about the Melbourne trip is “Eizac feed kangaroos”. 😀

Travel tip: It is a little difficult to navigate a pram/trolley in the park due to the uneven grounds. Best to leave it in the car and let the children walk or baby-wear for the younger ones.

We really enjoyed this place and will highly recommend it for children (and adults) to have close encounters with animals.

Do visit their website for ticket pricing and opening hours: http://www.moonlitsanctuary.com.au/default.aspx

The rest of our Melbourne travelogue:

Flight to Melbourne, accommodations and how to survive travelling with young children

St Kilda, Melbourne city, Puffing Billy, Queen Victoria Market, South Melbourne Market

Melbourne – Phillip Island (Penguins and Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate)

Travel to Melbourne – Moonlit Sanctuary (The Mornington Peninsula)

Barney’s Jukebox Party “Live” at City Square Mall

Media Invite

We are coming to the end of June holidays real soon and if you haven’t been to any mall’s event, you might like to check out Barney at City Square Mall!

Ending this Sunday (21st June 2015), you still have time to catch Barney and his friends “Live” at City Square Mall.

We had some fun times grooving to Barney tunes earlier this month and the boys enjoyed seeing the purple dino coming to life in front of them. We didn’t managed to get the front-row seats, but rest assured there are many good aerial view spots from the 2nd and 3rd stories. If your kids are huge fans, spend a minimum of $60 in the mall to redeem a photo opportunity with Barney!

There are also fringe activities at the entrance of the mall. The theme is Good Ole Fun In the Park. As the name implies, you will find old school amusement park rides. Super nostalgic to me!

Prices start from $5 per ride; wished it’s old school prices too. 😀

As it was drizzling a little, we didn’t managed to try most of the rides. But when the rain was lighter, Xi En was challenged by his Daddy to try this out.  I was not surprised he readily agreed to take the Viking together with his Daddy. Xi En always enjoyed thrill rides and height phobia doesn’t seem to exist in his dictionary.

And not forgetting the Smiley Train which is back this season too. The boys enjoyed it last Christmas and wouldn’t say no to another ride.

Barney’s Jukebox Party “Live” on Stage is a free 15 mins show. So do catch it if you are in the area.

Details as below:

Date: 6 – 21 June (Daily except Mondays)
Time: 1pm & 7pm (Tue – Fri); 1pm, 4pm & 7pm (Sat & Sun)
Venue: Level 1 Atrium

And with a minimum spending of $60, shoppers can redeem an exclusive pass for the Meet & Greet session (photo opportunity with Barney!) and a carnival ticket one hour prior to each show. Limited to 50 sets per show.

Details on other activities:

Barney’s Jukebox Cookie Art Session

Date: 6 – 21 June (Daily except Mondays)
Time: 2.30pm
Venue: Level 1 Atrium

Children aged four years old and above are invited to come in their Barney clothing and decorate their own delectable cookies in this exciting activity where creativity meets delicacy! Furthermore, you’ll get to bring home a Barney gift, free cupcake and your cookie. With a minimum spending of $100, shoppers can redeem a limited pass for the Barney’s Jukebox Cookie Art Session one hour prior to each session. Limited to 40 passes per session.

Good Ole Fun In The Park

Date: 29 May to 28 June
Time: 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri); 12pm – 10pm (Sat, Sun & P.H.)
Venue: Level 1 City Green park

Be prepared to be in for a treat at the Good Ole Fun In The Park retro carnival, with loads of fun-filled activities for the entire family; spanning from exciting rides to carnival games!

SEA Games Carnival @ Sports Hub (2015)

We happened to stay some 800m away from the Singapore Sports Hub where many activities are taking place due to the Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games) 2015 held in Singapore.

And so I just have to bring the kids to this FREE admission fringe activity – the SEA Games Carnival! Located near the main entrance of Kallang Wave Mall, stretching towards the Kallang Leisure Mall, there is endless fun for everyone, especially the young ones! Personally I think the 3 to 12 years old will really enjoy the carnival but there is no stopping the older folks getting immersed in the whole SEA games atmosphere!

I don’t prefer crashing with the crowd on weekends and thus choose a weekday morning to troop off with a neighbour family.

Here’s sharing some survival tips and activities we tried:

1) Choose the right time to visit – early morning or late afternoon (preferably)

The summer heat is unbearably; thus choose to visit at cooler hours if you can. The carnival is open daily from 10am to 9pm. We choose to go in the morning and by 1pm, we retreated indoors for lunch due to the sweltering heat. I believed late afternoon should be better as you get longer play hours minus the heat but possibly with a bigger crowd. And with a later closing time of 9pm, working parents will have a chance to bring their children after hours.

2) Arm yourself with water, drinks, food and a comfortable footwear

My survival backpack includes Ribena for the children and more water. Some light food such as bread, cakes and biscuits will be good if your kiddos do get hungry along the way. Go prepared with hats, sunglasses, sunblock, sun-block lotion and wear a comfortable pair of shoes. I was in slippers and imagine walking 11,000 steps (as clocked on my fitbit) without proper support; yes – I ended up with blisters!

There are many eateries in both malls, so you won’t need to bring lotsa food; just enough for hungry pangs.

3) Start off at the (air-con) registration booth

Register and sign off an indemnity form for your children at the registration booth. You will get the lanyards and tags to collect stamps/chops. After you obtain 5 stamps, you can exchange for a special SEA games merchandise pin and a lucky draw coupon. Good for the kids to have a sense of “completing” activities. You can continue playing even after collecting 5 stamps.

4) Start with queuing at the popular activities (if you are early!)

The more popular ones are the Zorb Bowling (a human bowling ball), the flying dunk, the rocky mountain and the Giant Slide!

Thankfully it was almost noon and thus the Q wasn’t that long. Less than 15 mins wait, we “boarded” into the translucent giant ball and peddle away! This sure is fun not just for the kiddos but the adults too! 🙂 My first experience in such activity.

Next up is the junior play zone. The children didn’t waste a min heading up the giant slide! And I was all too paranoid and asked the staff if all is safe; they assured me no issue at all.

Adults are not recommended to be up the slide due to our weight. Then again, I am not keen; not keen one bit.  The kids had loads of fun and had a few rounds up and down! Highly recommended if your children can take heights.

There is a ball pit, “NILA” Castle (a bouncy maze) and another bouncy castle for the younger ones. One word – no short of bouncy structures to keep children entertained. The crowd is very manageable on a weekday; so we didn’t need to Q at any of these structures.

5) The sheltered and shaded place (REST)

To avoid the heat and pause for a rest, go to the sheltered art and craft place next to the bouncy structures. Here, the children can participate in some colouring, make a SEA games torch, face painting, temporary tattoos and even collect a free canvas bag for DIY painting!

Don’t leave without taking a phot! There is a small corner in the same zone for the photo-loving Singaporeans. Some props are nearby; just pick them up and pose away! A photographer is also available to help take a photo and print out one free photo for keepsake. Nice touch I say! 🙂

6) Another photo taking opportunity!

There are a few mascots and interesting characters walking around for you to take some photos with. They are all really obliging and friendly. 🙂

7) Let the kids try out the ball games!

There are a variety of ball games in the main zone (nearer to Kallang Wave Mall); just with a little twist to cater to the younger crowd. 🙂

8) Attempt the outdoor/un-shaded activities when it is not so warm

We didn’t try the Rocky Mountain nor Flying Dunk (which are suitable for ages 4/5 and above) because they are both located in the open area where the sun was blazing hot. But they sure look fun! We might just head back to try these 2 activities.

9) Don’t forget to visit Samsung and the Milo truck!

Swing by Samsung booth for a super-posed shot like this:

Do you know what they are advertising in this photo? Not my Fitbit but their Samsung watch on our hands! For a moment, I thought why we need to wear those watches for the shot. 😛

They will pass you some Samsung balloon “clappers” (I am not sure what you call them); which are easily inflatable and great for cheering your favourite teams!

And of course, the ubiquitous Milo Truck and booth! It is the most welcomed icon in my school’s runs; and we were too thirsty to take any photos. A pity it is limited to 1 cup per person (for tasting only). I remembered it was unlimited supply at my school runs. 😀

10) Lastly, go back another day!

Don’t fret if you can’t finish all the activities in a day as it really do get exhausting. The carnival runs from 31st May till 16th June 2015, 10am to 9pm daily. Come back another day to try those you missed.

We couldn’t find the Laser Tag, it was too hot for the Mega Boxing, the Union Pay Hot Air Balloon wasn’t ready and we could do another round at the Zorb Bowling if not for the queue. So head back as there are different spontaneous performances and shows everyday too!

More details on https://www.seagames2015.com/get-involved/28th-sea-games-carnival/carnival-activities

Till then, have fun and enjoy SEA games 2015!