Thursday, March 28, 2013

Top 5 tips for taking preschoolers to the Sydney Royal Easter Show

Noo and I went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show yesterday. We went along with an old friend of mine and her son who is the same age as Noo. The day had been weeks in the organising and both us mums and the boys were very excited to head out to Sydney Olympic Park for a day of fun and frivolity.

An awesome day was had by all but I left feeling we could do it better next year with a little planning. Here are my top tips on how to do the Sydney Royal Easter Show with preschoolers:

1. Get to bed early the night before

The night before I tried to explain to Noo that the Easter Show was where the country came to the city. Where farmers brought their livestock and produce into town to show and compete. We talked about seeing the baby animals and Noo was particularly keen to see the cats on show. We talked about the showbags and rides.

I can easily get hyped up on something I'm excited about and that rubs off on to Noo. That's probably not a good idea if I want my little boy to settle down for the night. He'd only just arrived back from a weekend away with his grandparents so he was already pretty excited to be back home with me. Needless to say settling down for bed was very difficult and he didn't get off to sleep until about 10.30.

The showgrounds are massive especially for little four year old legs to walk around in the blazing sun. Make sure you go well rested. You and the kids will need all the energy you can muster!

Top tip: Don't tell your preschooler that tomorrow is the day you are going to the Show. Surprise them. That way they will be more able to settle into sleep the night before.

2. Be prepared for whatever the weather may be

Easter has been very early this year falling on the last weekend of March. Top that off with unseasonably warm weather and we had a scorcher for our day at the Show. It felt like it was about 34 degrees Celsius in the shade but I've just checked the Bureau of Meteorology website and have been informed that the highest temperature recorded at the Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre observation point was 29.9 degrees. Regardless, we sweated.

Noo and I met up with our friends at the entrance where we were greeted by a lovely woman from the Salvation Army. She was armed with a massive pump pack of sunscreen, stick on wrist bands and a permanent marker.  We lathered up the kids with sunscreen and labelled them with our mobile numbers in the event that one of the little scallywags got lost in the crowd.

It was around this time that I realised, in our haste to leave the house to get to the showgrounds by 10am, I forgot to put on deodorant . Forgetting such an essential part of my morning routine always sends my anxiety levels up as I constantly lift my arm to see if I've started to smell. Body odour is something I have no time for. In my extremely limited beauty regime spraying three squirts of Norsca under each pit is as critical to my well being as brushing my teeth. Norsca? You might ask. Yes, the original Norsca Forest Fresh is the only deodorant I use and have used since I was a teenager. I've tried others but I always go back to that familiar and reliable green bottle*. Even when I lived in London I stocked up when back in Australia on holidays... ok, back to the Show!

Top tip: If you forget to pack sunscreen hunt down a lovely Salvo and drop a few coins into the collection bucket in exchange for all sunscreen you need for your family. Provide a public service of your own and never forget to apply deodorant before leaving the house.

Cooling off in the heat at the Easter Show
- Noo with his green ice snowie tongue

3. Plan your route around the showgrounds before you enter

Whoever designed the current layout of the Easter Show had a cunning plan to relieve you of as much cash as possible from the minute you walk through the gate. There are three public entries. The one we came through had us arrive smack bang in the middle of the Kids Carnival. With lots of noise, flashing lights and rides swinging all over the place all four of us were bombarded with a sensory overload and excitement levels started to rise with the heat. In exchange for $22 each we got 20 ride tokens per kid which sounds like good value until you discover that each ride costs between four and eight tokens depending on this size and exhilaration of the ride.

The kids had a few rides and before we knew it it was time to have something to eat. The heat was incredibly exhausting and we stopped constantly for snowies and other icy beverages. When we were finally able to drag the boys away from the rides we headed around the grounds in an anti clockwise direction, missing the farm animals I discussed with Noo the night before. This was a mistake because we never got back there and my plans to educate Noo on the cuteness of baby farm animals importance of the farming industry in Australia were dashed completely.

Top tip: Print out the Easter Show map and plan your trip before you enter the showgrounds. Avoid getting hypnotised by carnie rides causing your family to miss out on what the Easter Show is all about - agriculture!

Don't spend too much time in the carnival zones or you too might miss out on the baby animals

4. Set a budget and leave your cash card in the car

If you're a spendaholic like I am and are easily sucked in by colourful plastic bags full of junk promising joy and laughter for your foreseeable future leave your ATM debit card in the car. Only carry the amount of cash that you actually want to spend. Everywhere you turn at the Easter Show someone is trying to get your money off you. Whether the demo guy showing off the latest steam mop or the carnie with no teeth but enough charm to twist your arm into parting with $10 for a carnival game ("Every kid wins a prize!") there are folk everywhere trying to get you to spend your cash.

By the end of the day I actually felt quite grotty about it all. This is the worst aspect of the Easter Show. It is laden with cheap tacky merchandise that has been packaged up as new or different when really you can get most of it anywhere. I solved my deodorant debacle by spending $6.95 for a small can of Linx for men (it was cheaper than the $9 BO buster for chicks on sale at the chemist on site). I felt completely scammed but at least I didn't stink.

The showbag pavilion was amazing in just how much junk there was available. But god it looks good when all that stuff is displayed up on the boards. I got suckered in and dropped $100 on 10 showbags. That sounds like a good deal but some of them were really small without much in them at all.

Food onsite was also very exy. I regretted not getting a pie in the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome. They looked bloody good and not from a commercial supplier. Noo and I ended up sharing a gozleme from one of the greasy takeaway food trucks. It was OK but nowhere near as good as the ones we get from the markets that are made fresh before your eyes. The ones at the show came from a packet I saw taken from a freezer. Ewww.

Top tip:  Take as much cash as you want to spend and leave your ATM debit card in the car or at home. 

$100 in these here 10 bags of junk

5. Love the cake and art comps? Leave the kids at home

I love checking out the cake competitions but the boys were not that keen. Fair enough too. How many fruit cakes does a four year old boy need to see? Noo got a bit stroppy going through this display. He was tired and hungry and even declared he wanted to go home.

Top tip: Leave the preschoolers at home if you really want to look at cakes and art on display. 

That pig was the only animal we saw all day.

The Sydney Easter Show is great fun

Noo and I had a great time catching up with our friends and even though it was uncomfortably hot and I spent a huge amount of money we are looking forward to going again next year. We'd just do it a little differently.

On the Ferris wheel above the show.

Are you from Sydney and planning to go to the Royal Sydney Easter Show? 

What are your favourite things to do at the show?


*This comment is not sponsored. I just love, love, love Norsca Forest Fresh and should they want to work with me I'm available.


Grace said...

Great tips, V! I tend to underestimate the importance of a good night's sleep - both for the kids and parents.

Emily @ Have a laugh on me said...

How awesome you had such a great day out with your boy!!! LOVE shows, but with 3 kids it's a mission, esp while so young! :) Em x

Anonymous said...

Probablemente no hay dieta ms popular en los ltimos tiempos
que la dieta a todos con su cuerpo delgado! Dieta de zanahoria es muy til y sencillo!
El plato principal es una ensalada de zanahorias. dieta para diabeticos El anterior segmento fue
patrocinado seguir una dieta lquida rpida.
Pero ojo, esto no quiere decir que esta es la dieta correcta para
ti. Las dietas liquidas rpidas son dietas extremas.

Despus de una dieta debes comer sanoPara una salud ptima, nuestros cuerpos tienen que ser alimentados con alimentos nutritivos.
Si beber refrescos o cortar azcares adicionales para lograr
una dieta saludable. dieta de la luna El dicho: Despus de una dieta Si no puedes planear, puedes de forma rpida
y sencilla? Quieres ms consejos sobre quemar grasa y acondicionamiento fsico?

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