Dec 192018
 

Whether you are a true blue Aussie or a curious tourist, Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill is an absolute must-see these school holidays. Travel back in time and find yourself in the 1800’s, surrounded by thousands of adventurers who travelled to the Australian goldfields in search of fortune. Wander through Main Street and meet the ‘locals’ wearing their old costumes, pan for real gold (and keep it!), visit an old school or theatre, catch a horse-drawn coach and so much more.

Sovereign Hill is a real family destination with great things to see and do (day and night!) for visitors of all ages, it’s an experience that’s absolutely worth the trip. The award-winning family tourist attraction is authentic and offers fantastic value for money. There are so many memories waiting to be made and the photo opportunities are countless! Don’t worry, even if you can’t make it to Sovereign Hill you can still own your own little momento of Australian history as the Sovereign Hill online store is filled with fabulous gifts, here are some of my favourites:

You don’t have to pan for gold to get your hands on a slice of the precious metal. From an adorable Floating Gold Bottle or Floating Gold Pendant to Glass/Gold Plated Native Animals or Wattle Design Jewellery, there are some beautiful gold souvenirs to choose from. My top pick is the Sovereign Hill Medallion, plated with Australian gold and mounted in Australian timber. What a special keepsake!

If you have a sweet tooth you are spoilt for choice with lots of delicious treats that would make a lovely souvenir to share at home (or just enjoy by yourself). Raspberry Drop Fudge, Raspberry Drop Chocolate Frogs and of course the famous boiled sweets that are hand-made the traditional way right there at Sovereign Hill, which one will you taste first? Prices start at just $1.50 so they make a lovely stocking filler for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, Sovereign Hill has put together five wonderful Gift Hampers that are perfect for families to share or as a company gift for the festive season. Each hamper contains a handpicked selection of Sovereign Hill goodies eg. sweets/lollies, chocolates, nougat, chutneys, jams, sauces, candles and more, it’s Sovereign Hill luxury at its best! Hamper prices range from $30-$100, so there is a fitting hamper for every occasion and every budget.

To find out more about Sovereign Hill, to book your tickets and to order your favourite souvenirs online visit www.sovereignhill.com.au.

For your chance to win a Sovereign Hill family pass (admits 2 adults + up to 4 children) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

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!

Oct 252014
 

Maya the Bee

Like all grandmas and grandpas my parents love spoiling our four children, sadly due to the distance they only get to do so when we visit them in The Netherlands (once every 2-3 years) which is when they go all out with lovely outings, yummy treats and cool gifts. A big hit with all of our kids was the big box of Maya the Bee figurines that my mum saved up for them, they love watching Maya the Bee on ABC4Kids and now they can act out their own stories at home too.

Maya and her friends flew in from The Netherlands

Maya and her friends flew in from The Netherlands

If your children can’t get enough of this loveable little bee either you’ll be pleased to hear that ABC shops are now buzzing with an exclusive range of Maya the Bee products. A gorgeous collection of plush Maya toys, Maya collectable figurines, an interactive Good Night Maya toy, bath figurines and Maya the Bee DVDs have arrived in the meadow, go check them out at your local ABC store or online at www.abcschop.com.

Maya The Bee Plush

Maya and Willy off on another adventure

Maya the Bee PlushWhile kids obviously need to stay clear from real bees with nasty stingers, they can cuddle this sweet Maya Plush Toy (RRP $29.99, 30cm) as much as they want. She is soft, round and huggable and had nice long legs and arms that are easy for little hands to hold on to, she even has wings so with a bit of imagination she can fly too. Personally I love the smaller, but just as cuddly, Maya Plush Toy (RRP $19.99, 20cm), it’s the perfect size for backpacks, car trips and doctor visits and our little miss 1 loves carrying Maya around (under supervision).

Maya the Bee Plush WillyWith three sisters our son often has to settle for girls toys so it’s good to see boys can adopt a bee friend too. Maya’s friend Willy is available in two different sizes Willy Plush Toy (RRP $29.99, 30cm) and Willy Plush Toy (RRP $19.99, 20cm) and although Maya is usually the hero of the story he is an excellent helper during their adventures. Yesterday I heard one of the kids ask: ‘Where is your Willy?’, very glad to discover they were just playing Maya! All plush Maya toys are suitable for ages 3+.

Maya the Bee FigurinesLittle Maya the Bee fans will love collecting the Maya Collectable Figurines (RRP $9.99, 2-pack), they’re fun, affordable and compact (ca. 9-10cm tall) and encourage children to use their imagination and storytelling skills. With arms and legs that really move and a head that can turn these sweet figurines are very realistic. There are 4 different sets to collect, each 2-pack contains Maya the Bee and one of her animal friends.

Maya the Bee MovieTo celebrate the brand new feature film Maya the Bee Movie, which will hit cinemas across Australia on Saturday November 1, we have one family movie pass (admits 4) for the Maya the Bee Movie to give away to a very lucky reader. Would your little ones like to see Maya the Bee on the big screen? I know my kids would! Be quick and get your entries in below, this giveaway will run for one week only so we can get the movie tickets out to the lucky winner in time.

To find out more about Maya the Bee visit www.mayathebee.com.au or get social on www.facebook.com/studio100.mayathebee.

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Jul 052014
 

Thomas the Tank

We’ve seen him on TV, read about him in books, played with him on the track and now the world’s favourite blue engine is about to hit the big screen! Thomas the Tank Engine will arrived at Hoyts Junior cinemas across Australia on July 19 with a fun packed animated film called ‘Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave’ The movie.

Thomas & Friends The Movie

Tale of The Brave showcases Thomas & Friends on a dramatic journey as they discover what it truly means to be brave. After a monstrous storm on the Island of Sodor a landslide unearths some very unusual footprints. Thomas and Percy are eager to find out what could have made these marks but obstacles and danger appear around every bend in the track. With the help of new friends, a little digging and a heap of courage they discover the surprising answer and, along the way, uncover the true meaning of bravery.

Tale of the Brave signals a coming of age for Thomas, as he gains a deeper understanding of perseverance, discovery and friendship in action – all valuable lessons for young and curious minds. The 60-minute movie is the first under direction of HIT Entertainment’s BAFTA award winning Vice President of Global Content, Michael Carrington, and introduces a host of new characters.

To find out more about ‘Thomas & Friends: Tale of the Brave’ The Movie, to view session times and to order your tickets online visit www.hoyts.com.au.

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Jun 202014
 

It’s been quite some time since Frozen first appeared in cinemas across Australia and even after six months it is still hugely popular with children (and adults) of all ages. From Frozen dress ups to Frozen dolls and from Frozen parties to Frozen stationery, lunch boxes and more, kids just love the Winter magic. You may not be able to take them on a trip to Arandelle but you can treat them to a Frozen experience much closer to home these school holidays:

Medibank Icehouse Family

From June 30 until July 13 Medibank Icehouse will be entertaining young Frozen fans with a range of exciting Frozen inspired activities that will have little eye sparkling with delight. Dress up as your favourite Frozen character, put on your ice skates and skate along to the Frozen soundtrack, join the Frozen Karaoke Contest and listen to a special performer singing live on the ice, join the Snowman Building competition and see if you can put Olaf together or win a copy of Frozen on DVD in one of the games, there is plenty of Frozen fun to be had for your little Anna, Elsa or Christof.

Medibank Icehouse Ice Hockey

And there is more, the Winter Skate Festival has got young and old, beginners and experts covered with a fun filled ice skating program. Take part in a free beginners lesson, learn how to skate backwards, try a spot of ice hockey or watch figure skaters perform and you can even explore the ice at night and enjoy the glow.

Medibank Icehouse Couple

Events are on at selected days and times, entry is for the whole day so you can join in multiple activities and make a fabulous day out of it. Entry fees are very family friendly with prices starting at $13 per child (including skate hire) and a family pass (2 adults and 2 children, including skate hire) for $80.

To find out more about Medibank Icehouse, to discover all the exciting programs on offer and to check opening times visit www.icehouse.com.au.

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Jun 142014
 

Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian is based on the much-loved 1965 children’s book which was later adapted into a popular French TV series. Set high in the French Alps during the Second World War, it is the timeless tale of a boy and his dog.

Six year old Sebastian lives on the mountainside with a kindly but gruff caretaker and no real family of his own. As such he is left to his own devices and is often found roaming the countryside. Belle is a wild mountain dog who has escaped from her cruel owner. The villagers have mistaken her for a “beast” that has been killing their sheep.

When Sebastian first crosses paths with Belle he must keep their friendship a secret and the two of them form an unshakeable bond. Their adventures take them through the mountains and ultimately they become pivotal in the successful escape of refugees fleeing Nazi Germany for the safety of Switzerland.

Belle & Sebastian was the second highest grossing French film to be released in France last year and has also captured the hearts and mind of movie lovers at the Alliance Française French Film Festival earlier this year.

Belle and Sebastian is showing at selected cinemas across Australia from July 3, 2014.

To find out more about Belle and Sebastian, to browse sessions times and order tickets online visit the website of a participating cinema near you:

Queensland:
Palace Centro
Dendy Portside

New South Wales:
Dendy Opera Quays
Dendy Newtown
Event Tower Cinemas Newcastle
Hoyts Collaroy
Palace Norton Street

Victoria:
Village Cinemas Rivoli
Palace Balwyn
Palace Kino
Palace Cinema Como
Palace Brighton Bay
Sun Theatre Yarraville
Classic Cinemas Elsternwick
Cameo Cinemas Belgrave
Regent Cinemas Ballarat

South Australia:
Trak Cinema Toorak Gardens

Western Australia:
Palace Luna On SX
Palace Cinema Paradiso

Australian Capital Territory:
Dendy Canberra
Event Cinemas Canberra Manuka

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