Nov 302018
 

Earlier this year I told you all about the excitement of Santa’s Wonderland, the place-to-be for Adelaide families during Christmas time. It’s only a matter of days until the doors finally open on December 7 and there is so much Christmas magic waiting behind those gates, make sure you mark it on your calendar!

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet there is still time, conveniently book your preferred time-slot online to secure your entry to Adelaide’s favourite Christmas destination. Buying online is super easy (tickets are emailed to you instantly) and you’ll save some welcome dollars compared to door-prices too.

Here’s your last chance to save $40+ on a Santa’s Wonderland Family Pass. Simply buy 4 or more tickets online and enter the code ‘CANDYCANE’ at checkout to get an extra $2 off each ticket. That’s a huge saving of 25% compared to 4 tickets at the gate! Be quick, this last minute offer ends November 30th at 11.30pm.

This year Santa’s Wonderland is going to be bigger and better than ever; boys, girls, young and old will be spoilt for choice with lots and lots of magical things to see, do, hear, try, make and enjoy. Who doesn’t love the sound of unlimited carnival rides, unlimited ice skating (with free skate aids for little visitors), unlimited tobogganing, unlimited bouncy castles and ball pits, unlimited ride-on reindeer fun, a play inside a giant inflatable snow dome, Christmas craft, story time with Mrs. Christmas, a Christmas parade and so much more!

The whole family will love exploring all that Santa’s Wonderland has to offer: drop into Candy Land, join the excitement in Ice Wonderland, browse Traditional Family Christmas Island and go on one of the many rides as often as you like. Make sure you bring your camera as there are amazing photo opportunities wherever you look and those precious memories will be treasured a life time.

As a budget-conscious parent I love that a ticket to Santa’s Wonderland includes pretty much everything there is to do in one single ticket price. The all-inclusive ticket price gives you a massive 3 hours of non-stop festive fun and magical moments for your family to enjoy without you having to grab your wallet and spend more over and over again. Click here for a full list of all that’s included when you visit Santa’s Wonderland (and the few things that aren’t).

Santa’s Wonderland is located at the Adelaide Showground (Wayville, SA) and will be open from December 7 – December 24, 2018. Each ticket allows for 3 full hours of entry during the session-time chosen when booking, that’s a whole lot of Christmas fun! Alternatively tickets can be purchased at the gate at door prices, but sessions can be sold-out so booking in advance is recommended. Children under 2 years of age are free.

To find out more about Santa’s Wonderland and to secure your favourite time-slot online visit www.santaswonderland.com.au.

For your chance to win a Santa’s Wonderland family pass (RRP $160, admits 4) for the time slot of your choice hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page and enter. Good luck!

Nov 292018
 

VTech

Last year Sinterklaas treated our daughter Olivia to a gorgeous VTech electronic diary which quickly became the envy of her younger sisters. They’ve been trying to crack the password ever since but it has kept her secrets safe nonetheless, to great frustration of the wannabe-hackers. It was no surprise Juliet instantly added a lockup diary to her wishlist too and thankfully for her this fabulous new VTech release hit the shelves at the right time:

Not only does this pretty pink VTech Secret Safe Diary (RRP $59.95, ages 6-11) keep secrets safe, it also helps you keep track of your diary, addresses, alarms and more and even protects your favourite little treasures without the need for a key. So how does that work?

There’ll be no unwanted snooping in this special diary, only the true owner can see what’s behind the little heart by saying the magic voice password. Once unlocked the digital diary reveals a large 2.4” colour screen and a proper QWERTY keyboard, ready to record all your secrets, stories, musings and plenty more. At the bottom of the diary a secret little drawer provides a perfect hide-out for small treasures like jewellery or tiny notes.

Using the six cute flower buttons you can access the different modes of play: Diary, Pets, My Friends and Me, My Voice Recordings, My Games and Activities and My Settings. With 20 different learning activities to choose from the diary is a very versatile design that will keep young girls entertained for ages. Juliet loves writing about any special outings or events in her diary and her alarm clock helps her get ready on time (although sometimes she sets the wrong time and wakes everyone up!).

One of Juliet’s favourite features is the virtual pet play, she has created an adorable pet dog named Bella that she can give food and water, bathe and play games with or even give an immunisation. You can also decorate your pet’s living and areas to create the perfect home. If cats or horses are more your thing they are available for adoption too. There are loads of other fun and educational activities to keep young minds busy, like a typing test, crosswords, amazing mazes, maths challenges and logic thinking games.

Another big hit with our little performer is the ability to tape voice memos and songs and edit them to make them extra spectacular. You can listen to your recordings over and over again and practise to become a great singer, news reader or TV presenter. Juliet is forever singing her favourite tracks in her room and admiring her efforts afterwards.

VTech toys are available at major department stores, select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about VTech, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Nov 282018
 

Smiggle

While Australian children are still impatiently waiting for Christmas celebrations to begin, my little half-Duchies are in luck. Every year on December 5th our family honours the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and the weeks leading up to it are filled with excitement and little gifts.

On several nights we’ve had six little shoes lined up in front of the fire place filled with drawings, craft, wishlists and even a carrot for Sinterklaas’ horse. These are some of the little shoe-stuffers lined up for my girls this year:

So far this has been the biggest hit of them all, this Bow Alphabet Keyring (RRP $9.95) was a major success with my girl. She absolutely adores her glitter keyring and was so proud to show her friends at school. She instantly attached her to her schoolbag and has mentioned over and over again how much she loves it. This is a real sweet and personal gift and a good size to tuck in Christmas stockings (and shoes!). You can buy the Bow Alphabet Keyring in (almost) all letters of the alphabet.

If pink is not your colour and glitter not your thing, do not worry. There are loads of different alphabet key rings to choose from to suit both boys and girls.

The unicorn craze is still going strong here so this cute Bath Fizzy (100g, RRP $5.95) was a perfect pick. Nothing like a bit of fizz and fragrance to make bath time fun! The bath fizzies are available in unicorn, mermaid, star and heart shape and smell like strawberry, blueberry and berry vanilla. At just over $5 they’re a fantastic price and a great little add-on for birthdays too. If your girls enjoy a spot of DIY there is a great Make Your Own Bath Fizzies kit too, it would make a cool school holiday activity.

I’ll be honest, this pretty Time to Shine Clock (RRP $34.95, ages 6+) is a bit of a selfish gift. I’m secretly hoping that this sparkly sequin alarm clock will help my early risers stay in bed a little longer on weekends. It’s probably a Christmas wish that won’t come true but at least it looks awesome. When you press the button it lights up the room with a beautiful glow and even tells the time, day and temperature out loud! Our ideal ‘Time to Shine’ is 7am or later, what about you?

Just like their mama my girls don’t leave the house with a tube of lipgloss in their bag. They are always looking for different scents so this Shine Gift Pack (5-pack, RRP $19.95) is sure to be well received when it comes to unwrapping time. Raspberry, bubblegum and ice cream, balm, roller and gloss, it’s a fabulous haul for little beauty queens. You even get some cute hair chalk and nail stickers to complete the look!00

Hip Tip: There is no better time than today to stock up on stocking fillers, with a fabulous 3 for 2 offer on all Smiggle goodies. Be quick, offer ends November 29, 2018!

To find out more about Smiggle, to locate a Smiggle store near you or to order online visit www.smiggle.com.au.

Nov 272018
 

I don’t know about you but I am absolutely loving this spring weather. Not too hot, not too cold and the perfect temperature to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Every morning I take the little two for a big walk in the reserve and in the afternoon/weekend the big kids explore the neighbourhood on their bikes and scooters. Miss 10 has really shot up this year so she has just traded her old scooter for a new set of wheels from Grit Scooters:

Designed specifically for active girls (Ages 6+) and built to perform the coolest of tricks the new Vibes collection is street smart in every way. The colour range is totally on-trend and the designs are eye-catching and full of personality.

I was not at all surprised that Olivia instantly fell in love with the Grit Vibes Dreamer. She’s quite the dreamer herself and loves to escape to another world with a good book but she also likes to get outside and go on real adventures. This scooter is her perfect match and together they are bound to travel far…

Grit Scooters prides itself in outstanding quality and durability to ensure their scooters stay strong and safe ride after ride, corner after corner and jump after jump. All Vibes scooters feature a sturdy heat treated, non-slip alloy deck, practical Grit flex footbrake and hi tensile steel hip fork to enable smooth moves at every angle. The ABEC 9 wheel bearings allow excellent flexibility, you won’t find better than that!

Young riders can ride the streets in class (the Vapor chrome colours are a real standout) and comfort (thanks to pleasant soft feel handle grips). Park or city, calmly cruising or racing off the ramp, these light weight scooters will take you anywhere with ease.

There are currently 7 different Grit Vibes scooters to choose from: Misty and Angel (20.8″ high), Dreamer, Destiny and Glam (21.6″ high) and Wild and Squad (23” high). The taller the scooter the wider/longer the deck, so there is a perfect scooter for every rider.

To find out more about Grit scooters and to take a closer look at the Vibe range visit www.gritscooters.com.au.

For your chance to win a Grit Vibes Scooter of your choice (subject to availability) enter our giveaway below:

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Nov 262018
 

As always after returning from a holiday I am feeling a little blue, I just love the excitement of counting down and looking forward to something special so I am trying to focus on the Christmas season that’s rapidly coming closer. The big day is still 4 weeks away but there is plenty of Christmas joy to be had in the lead-up to that. From Friday November 23 up to Sunday December 23 Melbourne families can get into the spirit at Caulfield Racecourse:

santa

No matter how young or old you are, everyones smiles a little brighter and feels a little warmer at the sound of Christmas carols and the sight of sparkly lights, shiny baubles and crisp white snow. Every year thousands of Australian families make their way to Santa’s Magical Kingdom for a true Christmas spectacle and this year visitors are in for a real treat. The best part is: You don’t even need to travel to the Northpole!

ginger-bread-men

Watch the snowflakes fall down in a amazing walk-through Snowland, meet the Snow Fairy, the lovely Mrs. Claus and of course Santa himself, create a pretty Christmas tree decoration or make your own Gingerbread man (and eat it!), see the Christmas International Spectacular Show, watch a Christmas movie, write a letter to Mr. Claus, enjoy a ride on Santa’s Magical Sleigh or board the Elves Magical Train and much more, this is what real Christmas dreams are made of.

mrs-clausHip Tip: Want to get even more bang for your buck (or should I say magic for your money or Christmas for your coins)? Make your visit to Santa’s Magical Kingdom extra memorable and join Rudolph’s Birthday celebrations. Get up close with the famous Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, meet some very special guests and even receive a free party gift to thank for you helping make Rudolph’s birthday a success. Rudolph’s birthday will be celebrated on selected dates/times only so plan your trip carefully.

Don’t miss out on this amazing experience, book your visit to Santa’s Magical Kingdom today and order your tickets online using Ticketmaster. Concession, Junior and family tickets are available.

To find out more about Santa’s Magical Kingdom, to browse the activities and to check dates and times visit www.santasmagicalkingdom.com.au.

For your chance to win a Santa’s Magical Kingdom family pass (RRP $142.68, 2 adults/2 children) for Friday 7th December 2018 (6pm) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page and enter. Good luck!

Nov 252018
 

From when she was very little miss 8 has always loved picture books, but it has taken her a while to warm to novels. Our bookcase is full of great novels (the twins can’t ever have enough books) but nothing really grabbed her. Until she discovered Judy Moody that is…

In this wonderful kids’ book series author Megan McDonald, together with illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, sends 8-year old Judy Moody on all kinds of exciting adventures that young readers will love. In Judy’s latest adventure she takes a closer look at her family tree and discovers something VERY interesting…

Grandma Lou comes over to help Judy with her family tree homework assignment. After hearing about her British ancestry Judy, with her big imagination, believes she is actually related to the queen and instantly adopts her new royal status. From now on everyone will know her as, and treat her like, a real queen. She is so excited to tell the class!

But just before Judy’s big reveal her biggest class enemy Jessica shares her family tree and there are an awful lot of similarities… So who is the real queen? Find out the truth in Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party (RRP $11.99).

Juliet (whom we sometimes nickname Judy Moody or Judy Attitudy) really enjoys the Judy Moody books and they’re a great bitesize book for a rainy afternoon. Long enough to use your imagination and really dive into the story and at the same time short enough to hold the attention of a young reader while the illustrations keep it fun and light. We have quite a few already and will definitely keeping adding to our collection.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at the Judy Moody series visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

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Nov 162018
 

EK Books

It may feel like there are still plenty of weeks left before Christmas, but when you have to send Christmas presents overseas you’re quickly running out of time. As a foreigner I have to make sure I get all my shopping and shipping done on time or my family and friends back in Europe will be left empty handed on the big day. Thankfully I recently discovered this gorgeous book by EK Books‘ Tania McCartney and it’s the perfect Aussie parcel gift:

Australia: Illustrated is an absolute treat for readers of all ages. It packs all the best bits (well, most of them) of Australia into a beautiful picture book that will be read over and over again. One look and it will become your favourite go-to gift for both true blue Aussies and those who are yet to learn all about the Land Downunder. (Bonus: A book is the perfect size for flat pack envelopes making it airmail friendly too!)

There is just so much to love about Australia: Illustrated and it covers so many different aspects of our beautiful Australia: its animals, its foods, its eye-catching nature, its language, its icons and so much more. With almost 100 pages chockfull of Aussie greatness you’ll be making new discoveries on every single page. After the initial introduction author and illustrator Tania McCartney visits each Australian state and you get to come along for the ride…

In New South Wales we learn about famous places and beaches, food trucks and ferries, sheep and snowy mountains. In Victoria we travel along the Great Ocean Road and take a look in the Murray River, we try out street food and take the trams. In Queensland we taste gelati, see a proper Queenslander home and dive into the Great Barrier Reef. In South Australia we explore the Cooper Pedy Dugouts, go to the Country Show and watch the Adelaide Kite Festival. In Western Australia we learn about the cutest furry animals, enjoy the Perth beaches and admire pretty wildflowers.

Across the water in Tasmania we visit a chocolate factory, walk along the Overland Track and try a range of seafood and cheese. Up in the Northern Territory we ride on the Ghan, are warned about dangerous creatures and learn about the beautiful birds of Kakadu. Last but not least in the Australian Capital Territory we wander around the National Arboretum, watch the hot air balloons and slurp a delicious monster shake.

Of course this is just a small taste of all this stunning picture book has to show, and no matter how Aussie you are you are likely to still discover new facts, places or words that will make you fall in love with Australia even more. This book is a must-read but also a must-see as the detailed illustrations are simply divine. Australia: Illustrated, it’s a beauty!

You can find ‘Australia: Illustrated’ (RRP $32.99) in leading book stores across Australia.

To find out more about EK Books, to browse the range and to order your favourite titles online visit www.ekbooks.org.

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