Melbourne Hightlights | Our Mini Family Getaway

Do you know that feeling when you've just returned home from a holiday? You may feel a tad tired but overall you're probably relaxed and rejuvenated after taking a well earned break from your daily life. Well this is NOT how you feel when you return home from a holiday with a toddler! Don't get me wrong, we had a great time, but it was HARD work! Read a bit more about our mini-family getaway to Melbourne below. 
{not a sponsored post}
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It's always nice to get away over the Christmas/New Year holiday break. We spent a day at the river with my family, a day at the beach with my in-laws, and a few days in Melbourne. Our goals for this family trip were - a short flight (nothing with airport transfers), a nice hotel with a pool (we stayed at Mantra, Southbank), and a few fun kid friendly places we could visit as a family.

With only two full days, we had a few ideas on our wish list - the aquarium, the zoo, the museum and botanic gardens. But it all depended on the weather (turned out to be really hot!) Kid friendly eating venues are also a must, so I did a bit of research into these as well. It's so nice to be able to have an amazing (almost fancy) meal, but still feel like your children are welcome.

Flight 


It's sometimes just down to luck - but we had a spare seat next to us, so once the 'fasten seat belt' signs were off, Little Miss could have her own chair. We entertained her with mixture of fun new 'mini' toys (she loves everything 'mini' at the moment), some Peppa Pig episodes on the iPhone, snacks and books, and were there before we knew it. Miss M insisted on walking all around the airport on her own (let's rename her to Little Miss Independent).

Day 1


We began with a trip to Sea Life Aquarium and it was magical (I just wished we had have bought our tickets online to avoid the queues). Miss M very much dislikes her pram at the moment, but with a bit of bargaining luckily we managed to strap her in for the 15 minute walk, and let her roam free around the aquarium. It was a bonus too that we could leave the pram at the front desk. We loved looking at the fish, sharks, penguins, turtles, crocodile, frogs and many more. They have lots of interactive things for little tikes to do - hands on rock pools, decorate your own fish (scan and turn into a virtual aquarium), fun little tunnels underneath aquariums and stamps to collect at each area.

{aquarium photos taken by James Hunt - aka hubby}







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The plan for was for me to have some free shopping time while Miss M had her day sleep - but alas she had other ideas (hubby tried to give me as long as possible before telling me!) So they both chilled out in the hotel room for a bit and we met out for a late lunch, and a swim, followed by a great dinner out at Meat & Wine Co. After a day of delightful behaviour from this 22 month old - Melbourne must have been too exciting for her to go to sleep at bed time! zzz

Day 2


We headed out for an early walk to Birrarung Park along the river before it got too hot (this playground was a bit too old for Little Miss but she had fun walking along the bridges). Then a quick bite to eat at a cafe in the Atrium (at Fedaration Square) and a taxi to Highpoint shopping centre (by this stage we just needed to beat the heat). Back at the hotel luckily Miss M had her day sleep and we could relax and a nice afternoon swim followed.

I rarely say anything negative on my blog, but the only disappointment of the trip I must say, was the Ice Bar in Southgate. In my opinion, it really was not suitable for under 3's (which I later discovered it says on their website, but the staff did not inform me of this when I asked). It was quite expensive just to get in, you aren't allowed to take your own photos (you have to pay extra before you've even seen if the automatic photo is any good!) We weren't even in there for 10 minutes, and not that I was after a refund - some kind of gesture would have been appreciated seeing as we had a toddler with us.

Things improved though with a wonderful dinner at Bluetrain in Southgate (upper level). It has everything you need to be child friendly - pram parking, high chairs, children's menus, colouring in and super quick service. Could not recommend it highly enough.

Flight home


Well, all I can say is that Little Miss did the best she could. Alternating between my lap and her dad's, m&ms and Peppa Pig episodes, we managed with only one mini-meltdown when she needed to put her seat belt back on for landing. I made a real effort during the trip to take note of those little moments when she was being good, breathe deep and appreciate them (and her). I think sometimes during or immediately after those epic toddler tantrums, that's all you are thinking about and it's hard to remember the positives.

Here's a snippet of some of my iPhone-ography. If you follow me on Instragram, or Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day, you may have seen some of these before.


Well, teacher types has been rather busy to start the new year. Some exciting things are in the pipe line and I can't wait to share them with you.

Thanks for reading,
Lauren

9 comments

  1. Hope you had a fab time! Love my Melbourne!

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    1. We really did Jody, and our little girl did as well. We were glad to be home though and get back into our normal routine.

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  2. Ah! You were in my neighborhood! I've been meaning to get to SeaLife - looks awesome for kids!
    Flying and traveling in general can be so tricky. You need a truck load of patience but the tantrums and constant watchfulness can wear you down. Fortunately we generally just remember the good stuff in times to come x

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    1. Patience is definitely the key! I find it so tricky in certain situations though - at home you can usually ride out the tantrums, but in public (especially on a plane) - I just needed to whatever was necessary to keep Miss M happy :)
      Definitely check out Sea Life Vicki - it was fantastic!

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  3. Glad to hear our Melbourne town kept you entertained! Oh the joys of travel with a three year old - it sounds like your little girl did really well though!

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    1. She really did the best she could! She's such a busy active girl, and being trapped in an aeroplane seat, pram or high chair are not her ideas of fun!

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  4. Some good tips and ideas - I'm heading down soon with Miss 3. What a shame about the ice bar. Don't you hate when you have limited time and waste it with a bad choice like that?

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    1. Hi Christine - I think your 3 year old would enjoy the ice bar - but wouldn't recommend it for under 3s. It was a bit of a shame, but the rest of the holiday was great!

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  5. That was a great experience you have shared here! The snaps of the animals are just amazing!

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