Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published September 13th 2010
When's the last time you went to 'the show'? Many haven't been to the Royal Melbourne Show since they were kids. Others have never been, and others still might have memories of dragging demanding, tired littlies around, deterring them from re-visiting. Then there are those who think it's too expensive.
Well, you know what? It is well and truly a fabulous day out. I look forward to it every year, as it means I get to simply have fun for a whole day.
You know what else? It can be done on a budget with a little forward planning. (My mum would pack salad rolls before heading to the show with five kids in tow – madness, but I'm thankful for it today!)
If you have an idea of what you'd like to see and do before you go, and maybe circle things of interest on the Show Map, you're way ahead of the game already. It makes a lot more sense than wandering around like a lost sheep and missing out on the stuff you'd enjoy.
If you haven't been for a few years, you'll also discover that the place has been re-developed, is less sprawling and much easier to negotiate with designated paths and good signage.
Now, of course, the kids will want to stretch the budget with showbags and rides. The answer? Leave them with someone, tell them you're off to a very long dentist appointment, and go and have yourself a fab, relaxing day out.
If you don't like that answer, set a dollar limit on what they're allowed to spend – and encourage them to nominate two or three things on the free list they'd like to do. You might also suggest they make some contribution to costs by doing some jobs around the house.
You might also let them know in advance that you'll be doing some of the things you enjoy. That way, they're less likely to tantrum as you browse cake after scone after lamington in the Art, Craft & Cookery Pavilion – if that's your cup of tea.
Entry fees are: Adults $29; Kids $14; Concession $19; and Family Passes ranging from $54 to $68. There are various packages and offers to help you save on entry fees.
Last, but definitely not least, allow plenty of time to explore the striking Grand Pavilion. This impressive 'big top' is jam-packed full of all things food, with plenty - and I mean plenty, to buy or simply sample at your leisure.
You might not even need to pack those salad rolls after all.