I am a world traveller & a mom of two, (8 & 6). I love to meet people, and am fascinated that there are 7 billion stories out there to be explored. I think Melbourne is the most happening city to live in with all the fun activities around town.
Are you ready for kid fun and Fun 4 Kids?
Warrnambool in July is a host to children from not only around the state of Victoria but from around the country as the children's festival "Fun 4 Kids" sets up floor. Three factors make it a huge success: School Holidays, Winter Blues and Fun, Fun, Fun. 2013 was the first time we took our children to the Fun 4 Kids festival, and needless to say it was enjoyable even for the parents. If you are planning to go this year, and if it is your first time, there are a few tips I would like to share with you, which may come in handy.
The Fun 4 Kids Festival in Warrnambool is fun for kids and adults alike
1. PLAN AHEAD: When you register for the tickets, make sure to get a printout of the layout of the festival along with the list of activities and events. Mark the events that you want to attend and prioritize them in a "Definitely want to attend" to "I won't throw a tantrum if I give this a miss" order. According to this list that you formulate, study the map and know where you need to be at what time. Time passes at a much faster speed while you are inside the festival, and planning ahead will make your visit more efficient and worthwhile. You may have a group of kids with you who want to do totally different things (perhaps due to age/interest differences). That's when two parents come in really handy. Divide the kids into two groups and plan the above for each of the two groups. This will save you a lot of time and headache during the festival.
With so many activities and events to choose from, planning ahead will save time and energy and make your trip worthwhile
Warrnambool is not a big town. Chances are that the festival will be accessible by a short walk from wherever you are staying. Perhaps a bus service is also available from the motel where you are staying. Try to use your legs or the bus, as parking is scarce and needless to say, expensive, especially if you are visiting for more than one days. Arrive early. The lines build up really quickly. Be ready for masses of people and little people and prams and strollers. If you have a stroller (or two) yourself, you will find yourself wriggling between tight places, as the swarm tries to make way through the entry gates. Another place where you will find huge crowds are the dining areas, and the events room fills up really quickly too. Therefore, timing is of the essence. My tip is that for example, if your children like face-painting, get that done first as the early children will have to wait less, and get a good job done. By mid-day, the lines are long and the face-painters are a bit tired as well.
Dress your Princes and Princesses in layers if possible
Warrnambool is known as Windy Warrnambool to the locals. It can get windy, rainy, cool and quite wet quickly. Dress appropriately. My tip is to dress in layers because as soon as you enter the festival, it will get really warm inside, as the myriads of people will add to the regulated indoor heating to raise the temperature.
If you have a fairy princess in your family, don't forget to dress her up in her favourite dress and of course the wings as there will be plenty of other fairy princesses around the festival. If you have younger children, bring a change with you, as there is sure to be a spill or two. Wet wipes come in handy in all sorts of icky situations even when there are no nappies involved. If your children are into animals, you may want to keep some sanitizing lotion for after the visit to the farm area. Keep extra plastic bags, in case a trash-bin is not easily accessible. Sometimes, extra bags even come in handy if a child suddenly decides to throw up (been there, done that). Tip is to be prepared for all types of situations, as you will be spending a fair bit of time at the event.
Being organized and self-sufficient is a great idea, especially when it comes to food, snacks and drinks
4. BRING LOTS OF FOOD/DRINKS This point is something I cannot stress enough. Bring sufficient food, snacks & drinks to last you through the day. Yes, there is food available inside, but it's not the best quality nor is there a wide variety of food. There are really long lines to purchase the food, and it is very expensive. I was a bit shocked at how over-priced the food items were because the entry to the festival for the whole family is not cheap either. So you've just spent $130 on family tickets, and now you are expected to dish out exorbitant amounts to eat as well. The worst part for us was that the food that our children like to eat was not available, but we had to feed them something. We ended up buying the food, which pretty much ended up in the trash. Bringing your own food will be another time and money saving tip. If you have a grocery cart, put everything in there and drag it behind you. This way, you won't have to carry the food/drinks on your back.
Get ready for hands-on action while at the Festival
5. PARTICIPATE WITH YOUR CHILD Depending on the age of your children, be ready to participate with them, whether that means dancing to Peppa Pig's song, using a hammer in the Bunnings workshop, hopping on a bouncy castle, strumming a ukelele at a demonstration, or whatever else your children are into. One of the most popular workshops are the Lego creations workshops. Be sure to visit, as it is age appropriate for almost all children (except the smallest ones). Musical concerts and science workshops are also quite popular and will require some adult supervision.
In conclusion, you know your children best. Make them part of the pre-planning and guide them along as to what sounds like the best of the activities. This will get them excited for the visit. Be prepared to have fun, ready to face some disappointments, and come out of the festival with a smile. While in Warrnambool, go sightseeing and don't forget to see the Southern Right Whales at Logan Beach.
And if you have any tips of your own that you would like to share, I welcome you to leave a comment.