How to Choose the Best Cruise for a Family Holiday

Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/46157135@N06/

Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/46157135@N06/

More and more Australians are spending their holiday aboard a cruise ship, but how much fun can the little ones have on this type of trip? (The answer is lots, with a bit of forward planning)

Take a look at these top tips for keeping the kids happy on a family cruise holiday:

Choose the Right Ship

Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/pikmin/

Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/pikmin/

You’ll be spending a significant amount of time on-board, so it’s important you find a child-friendly liner with plenty of activities and fun things to do. Fortunately for families, cruise companies are paying more attention to younger passengers than ever. From rope courses suspended 150ft in the air to special DreamWorks Experiences, there’s a growing choice of things to do for kids of all ages.

Many parents will understand the frustration of getting a child to try new food, so consider the restaurant options on board the ships. Many liners will have upwards of 10 complimentary eateries on board so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something they’ll like but aim for a little variety so they’re not eating beef burgers every day for two weeks.

Pack in Plenty of Excursions
Many cruises offer daily excursions, giving the kids chance to run around explore new places. From city breaks to beach days, there are a wide range of different experiences available aboard the world’s top cruise itineraries.

Many of these excursions also offer kids the opportunity to absorb new cultures and countries. Furthermore, there are a range of activities to be enjoyed on the excursions from scuba diving to mountain biking.

Introduce them to New Friends
Almost all child-friendly cruises will have kids clubs operating throughout the holiday, kicked off with a first night party. This is a great chance for kids to meet new friends for the duration of the holiday. After making friends, kids will have the choice of sticking to the itineraries set by the kids club or just hanging out with their new mates. This can give you and the other half a little private time as well to enjoy the cruise in peace.

Even if they are a little apprehensive and nervous on the first night, gently nudge them towards the club. Unsurprisingly, the likes of Disney Cruises have incredibly comprehensive on-board kids clubs.

Find the Best Deals
Cruising can be an incredibly cost effective holiday option for families, especially given the all-inclusive food and drink options. Due to the time-specific nature of cruise holidays, last minute deals in particular can grant families huge savings. Check out sites like Cruise1st for last-minute summer holiday deals.

Visiting many countries in one trip also offers great value for families, effectively fitting numerous holidays into one trip and one price.

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/dansapples/

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/dansapples/

Moving with kids: Packing tips

Moving with kids: Packing tips

Moving with kids: Packing tips

Shifting your entire life from one home to another is a huge undertaking, especially when you have toddlers, tantrums and non-stop energy balls to consider. I know what you’re thinking. How are you going to find time to arrange all the packing and moving logistics, get everything into boxes, transport it all, unpack it again AND still be a good parent in the process?

Don’t worry. It’s very possible. All it takes is a little preparation and organisation. Simply follow this survival guide of things not to forget!

Think of the children

  • Is your child precious about their belongings? Will they get teary seeing things thrown out or boxed up? You need to be wary that acts like this can upset young ones, but that’s easy enough to navigate! (Scroll down to ‘After Dark’ for ideas).
  • Keep your kid’s routines as unchanged as possible. It can be hard when their room becomes a pile of boxes, but bedtimes, school, meal times and extra curricular activities will be like warm blankets of comfort when their world is being boxed up around them.
  • Get them involved! Let them help pack things up, wrap things in bubble wrap, and (if you think they can stomach it) decide which old clothes and toys are able to be given to charity. The more involved they are, the more exciting the whole process becomes.

Think of the pets

Pets are often overwhelmed by all the changes of moving too. It may be easier for everyone to board them during the few days of mayhem, particularly if you have pets that love going on their own little holiday anyway. Make sure you update any pet tags and microchips prior to the move and keep your pets crated, indoors or on a leash until you are sure they are used to the new place.

If you have a transport crate, it is a good idea to get your pet used to this as a safe ‘den’. Set it up with some towels or blankets and make it cosy and make a positive association by giving them treats in there. Once you move this can continue to be a nice safe den that smells like home. Cats will need to be kept indoors for at least 2-4 weeks after a change of address and will be much better if they are initially restricted to one room in the house. You can read more about moving with cats here.

Get organised early (4 to 6 weeks out)

  • At least 6 weeks before your move, create a “moving folder”… or as soon as you start making any moving arrangements. Use it to store all the details of your movers, box rentals, receipts, as well as your plan of action of “things to do”. Keep a few blank pages in it and a pen so you can jot down any important things you need to remember, whenever and wherever they may spring to mind. (Eg. “Have I made sure the fridge will fit in its new space?”, “Who’s looking after the cat during the move?”. Really, anything and everything).
  • Always be mindful to keep dangerous items (scissors, tools, sharps, and breakables) secure and out of a little arm’s reach at all times. (And remember, even sticky tape dispensers have serrated bits!) Packing is a time of additional perils, so be extra cautious.
  • When packing, start with the rooms and items that get used the least. If you have bookshelves/an attic/ overcrowded garage/ fancy cabinets filled with fine china and unused ornaments… these are all good starting points. Chances are this stuff gets used less often anyway.
  • Other things to do:

o   Research and book a moving company.

o   Make sure you’ve given your landlord notice of your moving date

o   Set aside important documents (birth certificates, insurance papers, vaccination papers, passports) – you never know when you’ll need them! Keep them safe and together.

o   Give kids plenty of warning! They’ll appreciate having time to adjust, come to terms with it, and say goodbye to their friends if required.

o   Do some research on your new area – schools/shops/housing/sports clubs/fun activities – if anything stands out, tell the kids about it so they can start getting excited too.

o   If the new home is far away, plan a moving day itinerary: print out a map and plan for some fun stops along the way.

o   Hold a garage sale to get rid of stuff that is still of value, but that you do not wish to move with you. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so they say.

o   Photograph important furniture and household items so you have a record if removalists damage them at all.

 Closer to the big move

  • Begin to tackle your kitchen. Set aside some pots and pans, enough plates to cater for your meals until the big move (or even go out and buy some plastic ones that can tide you over so you can get ahead with your packing).
  • Make sure all boxes are clearly labeled with what room they belong in! This is very important. You want movers putting them in the right room so that you don’t have to lug everything about after they leave.
  • Start packing children’s stuff up last… like literally one or two days before. They are going to want things like favourite DVDs, toys and clothes right up until the big move.
  • To make boxing things up more fun, give your child stickers and textas to decorate their boxes of stuff – they’ll love it and it’s also then easier to locate where there stuff is upon arrival in your new home.
  • Set aside a “kid’s moving survival kit” – stock with a favourite toy, a few books, maybe a colouring book and pencils, and also put in their pyjamas, a change of clothes and their bedding. This way they’ll have items to entertain them when the packing and moving all becomes too much… and you’ll be able to make their new room feel homey from the very first night’s sleep!
  • Other things to do:

o   Cancel memberships to clubs/programs in your local area that will no longer be used.

o   Get a copy of your family’s medical history from your doctor so that you can hand it over when you find a new practitioner.

o   Notify utility and service providers of your change of address (gas and water company etc).

o   Update the address on your driver’s license (this can also be done very soon after the move).

o   Closer to the move, stop buying so many groceries and cleaning products – you’ll want to try get creative and use up as much of your existing stock as possible.

After dark

  •  Some packing tasks are best left for when kids are tucked up in bed and dreaming sweetly. All handling of delicate items, for example.
  • Once kids are asleep is also the time to chuck out any items they may have a hard time parting with – but will never think of again if not bought to their attention (their broken doll, threadbare two-sizes-too-small t-shirts and such). Be mindful though; you don’t want to start an argument when unpacking because you “misplaced” a favourite stuffed toy!

Moving day

  • When the big day rolls around – you may be feeling overwhelmed, but embrace it and know you’ve done the best you can to get things all in order.
  • Have suitcases of clothes and toiletries packed in your own car (you won’t be able to source all of it easily straight out of the boxes on the first night).
  • You’ll also want a box with you filled with small basic items: toilet paper, paper towels,
  • If your kids are little, plan to have someone looking after them while the trucks are being loaded with stuff – as much as you love them, they can be a slight hindrance in this process.
  • Make sure you have a well kitted out first aid box in your care… a general rule for all drivers, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded again!

So I’m sure that leaves you feeling utterly swamped with plenty of things to think about. But I’ve no doubt you’ll handle it just fine and come through it – kids and all – far better and happier than you could ever image.

Good luck and happy moving!

marisa photoMany thanks to Marisa for this post. Marisa is the mother of 2 energetic children who love to hide random objects in her bed to find at the end of a long day. Intensely curious about the world, she has lived and travelled to most corners of the globe with her most recent Expat adventure taking place in Qatar in the Middle East where her youngest child was born. Marisa is an extremely curious person and spends much of her time learning about her favourite topics; health, fitness and saving the planet. As a lover of spontaneity, Marisa is always happy to embrace change and new experiences and enjoys living on the edge.

WIN 4 tickets to Strike Bowling – perfect for the school holidays

Win 4 Free Games of Bowling at Strike Bowling

Thank you to everyone for entering this giveaway. Congratulations to our 3 winners:

A Cleland

N Biviano

S Hinaki-McDade

A great indoor activity for the kids these school holidays is ten pin bowling. No matter what the weather is outside, there is loads of fun awaiting inside.

Strike Bowling Bars in VIC, NSW and QLD offer ten pin bowling alleys, where you and your friends can play a traditional game of ten pin bowling, 7 days a week.

As well as ten pin bowling lanes Strike also have projector screens that play the latest video clips, creating a party atmosphere and keeping you rocking out between turns.

We have 4 games of bowling (to give away to 3 winners) at Strike Bowling so you and the kids can ‘strike’ your stuff these school holidays.

To enter simply tell us your kids favourite indoor activity in the comments below.

Terms & Conditions: Contest open Australia-wide until 9pm AEST Wednesday 25th June 2014, entrants must be aged 18+. 3 winners will be randomly drawn on Thursday 26th June after contest deadline closes. Each winner will win 4 games of bowling at Strike Bowling. We will share the winner’s details on this page, so keep watching. You’ll have 7 days to respond and claim your prize.

Don’t go into hibernation this winter – 4 wonderful winter escapes for families close to Sydney

In winter it’s tempting to hide away inside the warmth of our own home but getting out in the fresh air can really awaken the senses. Some of the best holidays happen in the colder months when the crowds of summer and the high-season prices disappear. Keeping the kids outside and active in winter also helps them to build immunity to fight off the nasty bugs that seem to go around at this time of the year.

Here are four great trips to consider for the winter holidays, perfect for families and within easy reach of Sydney.

Jenolan Caves

Jenolan Caves

Blue Mountains

Don’t run away from the cold, embrace it. The cool climate of the Blue Mountains is perfect for adventure with many children’s activities on offer that you can enjoy too.

Jenolan Caves showcases some of the most spectacular caves in Australia. Dramatically lit and expertly guided daily tours will have the kids feeling like they’ve entered another world. For older kids, check out Trees Adventure at Grose River Park. Climbing, swinging and leaping through the trees will release their inner Tarzan or Jane and burn off loads of energy.

On cool sunny days, there are number of amazing bush tracks to explore but make sure you take some extra water, warm clothes and let someone know where you are going. Or rest your legs and view the mountains from a different angle as you ride the scenic railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world. Get up close and personal with the native animals at Featherdale Wildlife Park.  In rainy weather, the Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum can be educational and fun at the same time.

Hunter Valley Wildlife

Hunter Valley Wildlife

Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley Gardens are stroller friendly and the little ones will love finding their favourite fairy-tale characters in the Storybook Garden. There is also horse riding, Hunter Valley Zoo, Richmond Vale Railway Museum and even hot air ballooning to try. Get back to nature at the Hunter Wetlands Centre with trail walking, canoeing and a children’s discovery playground. You can even warm up on a cold day with a tour of the chocolate factory.

Choose an accommodation option that is close to all the attractions and offers family friendly accommodation facilities and packages such as Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley Resort.

Pacific Coast Drive

If you have a bit of time up your sleeve why not take a few days, the car and the kids, and experience the legendary Pacific Coast Drive from Sydney to Brisbane.

Make your first stop off at Australian Reptile Park in Gosford where the kids can make new friends, of the scaly and furry variety. By Port Stephens you will all be in the holiday mood. During the cooler months of June and July you can spot the annual whale migration and pods of bottlenose dolphins here.

Port Stephens

Port Stephens

Then you’ve got a continuous line of surf beaches, national parks and rolling green hills to explore up the coast. Highlights here include a visit to Ellenborough Falls near Taree and of course The Big Banana on your way through Coffs Harbour. Byron Bay has a chilled out beach vibe and in winter there are less backpackers and more families. Be sure to take the kids on a walk to the lighthouse.

Queensland – Gold Coast

Add on an extra week after your Pacific Coast Drive and take some time to relax and explore the Gold Coast. Or fast track your trip, skip the drive and pick up some cheap airfares to the winter warmth of Queensland.

With the fun of the theme parks and myriad coastal activities, the Gold Coast is the ultimate family destination. Even in winter it’s warm enough for the kids to run wild on the coast and play in the sea. Be sure to check out Drax for Kids, if they are old enough to visit this gothic park without having nightmares. Glow Worm Caves are amazing and instructive too. Then experience dinner with a unique show the whole family will love at The Outback Spectacular. For a better deal on your family theme park packages visit themeparks.com.au

Instead of moping about the place waiting for summer to show its face make the most of the cooler months and your next holiday. Keep a lookout for the special deals advertised to pull in tourists at this, off peak, time of year and make the most of them. Winter is the time for serious family fun; so pack your bags, strap on some boots, pull on your hats and coats and get out there.

This post was provided by Anna Johnson, a busy mum of 2 boys, a freelance travel writer who still enjoys spending her time-off travelling with her family and loves sharing her experiences with others. Follow Anna on G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AnnaJohnsonOToole

Planning a Trip to Europe with Kids? You need to visit these places!

Ancient Rome. Image source: guides.i-testsite.co.uk

Ancient Rome. Image source: guides.i-testsite.co.uk

Europe is a great and diverse holidaying destination with plenty to see and do. Planning a family trip to Europe can however be difficult simply because different members of the family want different things. The priority however is usually the kids. At the same time, you want to plan a holiday that you can all enjoy together. Below is a list of some of the best places to tour in Europe for a family holiday that will have something for everyone.

Rome
Rome is one of the most beautiful places on earth. As long as you choose your hotel wisely, you and your family can enjoy a great holiday in this world-class destination. The trick is to pick a hotel that has easy access to the beach, but still close enough to the famous attractions. The Roman seaside will definitely be a treat for the family. Everyone likes the beach, so you can be sure to keep everyone happy. The kids and the whole family will also have a great time climbing the Spanish steps and touring the Colosseum.

King’s Cross Station platform 9 3/4 . Image source: images2.fanpop.com

King’s Cross Station platform 9 3/4 . Image source: images2.fanpop.com

London

Although London is known for being a rather pricey destination, it is still a definite must visit for family vacations. There is plenty to see and do in London. The stunning rolling greens of Hampstead Heath is a must-see. The London Dungeon and London Zoo are all great places for the entire family for a day out on the town. Take the kids to marvel at the fire eaters of Covent Garden and they won’t stop talking about the experience. If the kids are Harry Potter fans, the real treat awaits them at King’s Cross Station where there is a platform 9¾. This is one trip that you will all not forget in a hurry.

Disneyland Paris. Image source: feriasbaratas.com.pt

Paris
Everyone loves Paris, from the kids to the adults. The city of love has a little something for everyone. You can enjoy a romantic getaway and the children will still have a great time on the trip. Just like London, there are plenty of treats for the kids. The fountains at the Centre Pompidou will definitely tickle their fancy.

The whole family will love a day out at the top of the Eiffel Tower. This is definitely a special experience especially at night when the lights start to flicker. The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles is another great treat for the whole family. The cherry on the cake however is Disneyland. This is a dream vacation for any kid, and no better place to fulfill a childhood fantasy than in Paris.

Mini Europe. Image source: minieurope.be

Mini Europe. Image source: minieurope.be

Brussels
Brussels really is one of the most family friendly destinations in Europe with something for every member of the family. The kids are especially going to enjoy the Belgian Comic Strip Museum. Here, they will be surrounded by the favorite cartoon characters as well as get to learn a bit about them. The Atomium is also another place the children are especially going to love where there is a scale model of Europe.

Before planning a family trip to Europe
Although Europe is one of the most family friendly destinations in the world, you need to carefully plan your trip, especially where the well-being of you and your family is concerned. Healthcare in Europe is extremely expensive and a family member falling sick can ruin your entire holiday budget, or worse, easily put you into debt. Travel insurance for your family is the way to go. Children are especially susceptible to illness and/or injury which could pose a big problem. Take out an insurance cover for the entire family, and carefully go through your policy to ensure that all the essentials are covered.

This post courtesy of Alex Pejak, a girl from Sydney who loves to travel and later blog about her experiences. She often travels to Europe, where she has a lot of friends and relatives.

16 Amazingly Different Water Fountains From All Over the World

The infographic below, with fun facts provided by Luxe, details 16 amazingly different water fountains from all over the world. How many have you traveled to? Here are some fun, family-friendly travel destinations!

Amber Kingsley is a traveler, writer and designer with a passion for culture and arts. She hopes you enjoy perusing through this graphic and encourages you to travel to all of the wonderful fountains listed!

SW-FamousFountains-Luxe2_1

Family vacation fun to the Gold Coast

family vacation 1

Image credit: car2go.com.au

Going on a family vacation is a big deal for everybody, especially if you have relatively small kids as we do. Sam is two and Michal is five years old, so it takes a lot of planning in order for the holiday to be as enjoyable as it can be for everyone, which usually means the parents, i.e. us, have to get the travelling fever several days before takeoff in order to get everything and everybody ready.

We also like to plan a big part of the visit wherever we go beforehand, as it is inconvenient, to say the least, to wander with two small children looking for a suitable accommodation or a children-friendly site in unfamiliar surroundings. Lack of preparation can and in most cases does constitute an unwelcomed and undesirable adventure, and the parents always get the short end of the stick in these situations, which is perfectly natural.

In any case, we decided upon embarking on a cross-continent journey from Perth to the Gold Coast. We considered it a safe bet in terms of keeping the kids interested at all times, while accurately assuming we will also be able to share some private moments there.

The Plane
Preparing for a plane trip with small kids is a task that requires meticulous planning, as all of you who have travelled with small children surely know very well. Actually, the only way to prepare for every eventuality is simply to bring as much as you can – toys, food, pillows, treats and everything else you think that can help your kid to have pleasant trip. Using some of the services many airlines offer for children is also a good tactic, as it saves your budget and will help you and your kids both to get to your destination relaxed and full of energy.

Image credit: lastminute.com.au

Image credit: lastminute.com.au

Sea World
Lush and green Queensland welcomed us with beautiful weather, which promised for a great vacation. Our plan was simply to hit as many theme parks and great destinations for children, which Gold Coast has aplenty.

After settling in a mid-range hotel apartment and renting a car, our first destination was, not surprisingly, Sea World. Michael had been going on non-stop about it since finding out where we were going to go.

It was hard to explain to Sam he is too small for a tropical-reef snorkel, but he got over it instantly upon seeing the Sesame Street Beach. He got out of the merchandise shop almost in tears, though, as we couldn’t let him buy half of the items in the store like he wanted to. He got over it pretty quickly, though, as kids his age always do.

The Gold Coast Appeal
In the wake of our great and somewhat exhausting experience at the Sea World, we set out to see as many theme parks as it was possible during a relatively short stay, in addition to enjoying the beautiful nature every chance we get. We made a busy schedule that was impossible to meet, but that didn’t bother anyone. You cannot possibly see and do everything there is to see and do on the Gold Coast in the span of ten days, but we didn’t let that fact discourage us from trying.

Places like the always-crowded Movie World are sure to entertain the whole family, although waiting in line for the rides can be a bit tiresome for the kids. It is also almost impossible to see everything in one day, so consider planning a second visit.

Image credit: movieworld.com.au

Image credit: movieworld.com.au

Since Sam is only two, we also tried to choose some calmer places like Tropical Fruit World, where you can take a one-of-a-kind break from chasing entertainment in a truly spectacular setting for any nature lover. Just be sure to bring enough wipes for the little ones, as there will be fruit-juices dripping all over the place.

In addition to these family entertainment hubs, Gold Coast offers a wide array of unforgettable sites impossible to even mention in a short article like this one. A trip to Stradbroke Island and visit to Outback Spectacular are just some of them. Gold Coast offers a great blend of beautiful nature and highly developed tourism that will leave no man, woman or child indifferent.

Disneyland is to Walt Disney World as Snow White is to Cinderella – review

Disney Rollercoaster

Disney Rollercoaster

In saying Disneyland is to Walt Disney World (WDW) as Snow White is to Cinderella, I’m essentially saying they’re both wonderful and a fun family vacation can be had in both places.

Disneyland and WDW are similar in many ways and even have some duplications but there are distinct differences as well.

Location and limited space

Located in Anaheim, California, Disneyland is the result of Walt Disney’s dream to have a place to go where adults could have as much fun as their kids doing the same things. In other words, he wanted a place to go where kids of all ages could have fun together. Though popular from the beginning, it was quickly apparent Disneyland didn’t have the necessary scope to contain Walt’s ever growing and evolving vision for the future. After an initial attempt to locate Walt Disney World in St. Louis, Missouri, Walt chose Orlando, Florida.

Why was space needed?

If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World, there is simply no way to prepare you for the sheer size of the place. I’ll never forget as a child watching the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday evenings and asking to go to Disneyland. My Dad, a regular tightwad, always said “not this year.” As an adult, my husband and I visited Disneyland once but have taken our family to Walt Disney World many times. Why one over the other? Frankly, we live a lot closer to WDW than Disneyland. Florida is a half day’s drive for us versus costly plane tickets to California. One year, we took my Mum and Dad. Upon arrival to our luxury hotel in Orlando within a stone’s throw of the WDW property, my dad looked around and asked, “How far to the rides?” He had no idea what he was in for.

Walt Disney World is the king of theme park land. It’s so much more than a couple of theme parks. It’s four; Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, which stands for (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are all part of WDW. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are exciting heavily themed water parks. For shopping, there’s Downtown Disney and we can’t leave out ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex, also part of Walt Disney World. It’s simply huge. You could stay a month and still not begin to see and experience all there is to see and do at WDW. The theme parks are incredible and maintain classic favourites, such as The Teacups and Space Mountain, while constantly adding new attractions and wonders.

Does size count?

Disney Princess

Disney Princess

I’ve been asked many times if WDW is better than Disneyland because of its size. The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. Like the two animated princess movies, Snow White and Cinderella, each is wonderful but each has its own distinct flavour. Simply basing your like or dislike of either based on one being small and one being large does them both a disservice.

Disneyland, like Snow White was the first attempt. Snow White was released to thrilled audiences in 1937. It was the first full length animated film. Young and old alike were absolutely captivated. The animated Cinderella movie, released later with new and improved techniques, didn’t detract in any way from Snow White. Each film is a classic wonder and are enjoyed as much today as ever.

Disneyland and California Adventure

Disneyland boasts two theme parks with Magic Kingdom being the original. Magic Kingdom was somewhat duplicated at WDW, although larger and with a different castle style. But Disneyland has that touch of nostalgia that only an original can have. The other Disneyland theme park is California Adventure and is specifically themed to all things wonderful about California. Although a few attractions from Disneyland’s California Adventure have found their way to WDW, Soarin’ Over California to name one, the theme park itself will not be duplicated in Florida making it forever distinct to Disneyland.

Favourite?

I can’t say I have an absolute favourite. Certainly, we’ve visited Walt Disney World more often and love it. But when we visited Disneyland, we felt the same joy. Frankly, like comparing Snow White to Cinderella, I find I love them both!

disneyAuthor Bio Michelle Rise is a homemaker and Mother of 5 and Disney enthusiast. With over 20 years of experience trekking through the Disney parks with her Family, Michelle has become an expert on navigating families through Disney. When not writing or teaching her children to drive, Michelle can be found chasing the family dog up Rainbow Mountain with her husband of over 25 years, Ben. Follow Michelle on Twitter, @Rise7up, for her latest blogs and writing!

WIN – A Tiger Tribe Gift Set

win a tiger tribe gift setCongratulations to Marika for winning our Christmas Tradition Competition. Thank you to everyone for sharing their traditions with us all.

With Christmas around the corner we are giving away a gorgeous Tiger Tribe Gift Set worth nearly $150 – perfect for Christmas presents!

To enter simply let us know below your favourite Christmas Tradition, maybe something you have done since you were a child and are now doing with your kids. We always visit the Christmas lights Christmas Eve, Andrea receives coloured popcorn every year from her parents (even as a 40 year old) and Donna makes her grandmas chocolate mint balls only at Christmas time.

We would love to hear your special Christmas tradition.

1.    To enter comment below ‘What is your favourite Christmas Tradition?’.
2. The competition is open until 5pm Tuesday 26th November and will be randomly drawn at 9am Wednesday 27th November.
3. The prize includes 1 x Tiger Tribe Boxset Beach Villa, 1 x Kit Pax Pirate Ship, 2 x Piccolo Colouring in Sets and 2 x Piccolo Magnet Books. Total value of the prize is $148.70 plus shipping within Australia.
4.The competition is open to Australian Residents only over the age of 18 years.

See following a link to the Competition Terms and Conditions.

Rome with Kids: 5 Fun Things to Do

Visiting the Eternal City is one of the biggest dreams of many travelers all around the world. Rome is a vibrant city and there is always something one can see or do, such as visiting the ruins of the Roman Empire, or an art exhibition in one of the many galleries studding the city. But if you are traveling with kids, would they enjoy all this as much as adults? Here is a list of 5 fun things to do in Rome that will keep you and your kids entertained.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

1. Discover the Colosseum

When you arrive at one of Rome’s airports, or to the Civitavecchia port, get to the Rome city center, you can easily do so by taking advantage of Cabs4Rome Civitavecchia shuttle express, for example.

The first thing you should do when you get to Rome is to visit the Colosseum. It is probably the most famous landmark of the city and it tells the history of the Ancient Rome. Hire a tour guide or join a group tour at the entrance to learn all about gladiatorial fights, sea battles and animal hunts. Afterwards head outside and take fun pictures of your kids with Roman gladiators!

The Bioparco in Villa Borghese

The Bioparco in Villa Borghese

2. Visit the Bioparco in Villa Borghese

Take your kids to Villa Borghese, the second largest park in Rome, and have a stroll around these enchanting gardens while eating delicious gelato of different tastes. Then visit the Bioparco, which is located right in the Villa Borghese park. There are more than thousand different animals like turtles, bears, vultures and crocodiles that will surely catch your kids’ attention.

the Explora Children’s Museum

The Explora Children’s Museum

3. Head to the Explora Children’s Museum

In Rome, there is also a museum dedicated to kids. Explora interactive museum is built to child-scale and children can play and pretend to be adults in different settings such as supermarkets, a TV studio, a real kitchen and even a fireman truck!

At Explora, children can also learn many things by attending educational events and workshops that are held at the first floor of the building, situated near Piazza del Popolo.

the Largo di Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

the Largo di Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

4. Pet cats in the Largo di Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

It seems that even cats are fascinated by the history of Rome and many of them have been living on the ruins amongst its oldest temples in Torre Argentina, since the site was uncovered in 1929.

Today Torre Argentina is home for more than 250 cats that are all vaccinated, fed and cleaned by a non-profit organization of volunteers. If your kids love animals, you can also decide to adopt one at distance or buy gifts for your friends in the Cat shop.

The Burattini del Gianicolo

The Burattini del Gianicolo

5. See the Burattini del Gianicolo

Climb the Janiculum Hill with your family and then stop to watch a show at the most famous and authentic puppet theatre in Rome. Although all the shows are in Italian, your kids will be enchanted by these traditional hand-crafter puppets, called burattini and their funny antics will keep them entertained. The shows are held every Sunday morning.

These are only a few of the things one can do in Rome with kids, so don’t waste your time and organize a trip to Rome that will amuse and cheer up not only you, but also your kids.