Friday, 29 August 2008

Upcoming Events

There are some great and mostly free family friendly events planned for next month so put these in your calender:

7th September (Sunday): Father's Day celebrations at Mt. Annan Botanic Gardens. Entertainment includes slot-car racing, jumping castles, POG circus workshops, vintage car display and stage entertainment with Camden Community Band and "Mad Rhino". The gardens open at 10am and entertainment starts at 11am. Entry is $9 per vehicle. For more details call 02 4635 7935. This is a new one for us so I can't offer a personal perspective but the Gardens are always a great place to visit.

20th September (Saturday): Cinema Under the Stars. This event is also held at the Botanic Gardens from 6pm to 11pm. Two family movies are shown on an outdoor screen. We've been to this for a few years running and it's a great night. There are food and drink stalls (coffee and donuts taste twice as good al fresco). My tip is to wrap up warm because it can get nippy. Take a blanket and cushions to sit on. Entry is free. For more info call: 02 4645 5029. For more upcoming events in the Camden area, including the Camden Festival, see:

28th September (Sunday): Ready-to-Ride Day. We attended this event last year when it was held at Eschol Park. It's a great day out for families that love to cycle. There are fun educational activities and great prizes to be won. Last year there was also a free bicyle check-up (including minor adjustments) through a local bike centre. This year the event is being held at the Ambarvale Sportsground Cycleway behind Thomas Reddall High School. 10am to noon. For more info contact Campbelltown Council on 02 4645 4921.

Also on Sunday 28th September is Our Kids Fun Day at Sweeneys. Sweeneys is part of Scenic Hills near Ingleburn, easily accessed off the motorway. Aimed at kids under 12 there are jumping castles, the Paddle Pop lion, the Hogs Breath hog (that's him in the picture), face painting and rides from 10am to 3pm. We went a couple of years back and had a great day out. Entry is free but a gold coin donation goes towards the Mater Dei School. For more info call 1300 305 802.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Kites for Kids

Kites for Kids is a free annual event held at Koshigaya Park in support of families raising a child with a disability. We went along on Saturday the 23rd of August. It was very gusty so it was perfect weather for kite flying. Perhaps not so much for kite making but with all hands - and occasionally knees - on deck to stop them flying away during the construction process, kids were able to make a kite and then easily send them aloft.

There was also a jumping castle and face painting. The Rotary club were there supplying food and drinks via a sausage sizzle. Volunteers handed out show bags to parents and windmills to those too young to have a kite flying licence.

The event has been running for seven years as a fun way of raising funds for and providing information about local services. Pop it in your calendar to drop by for next year, it makes for a fun couple of hours in between Saturday shopping.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

KU Macarthur Square

Do you shop at Macarthur Square? Ever wished you could shop without fear of losing the kids or listening to demands for lollies? Well you can! KU Macarthur Occasional Care Centre have a child-care facility on level 4 of Macarthur Square. They are open from Tuesday to Thursday, 9 to 3 and take babies/children from 6 weeks to 6 years. Bookings can be made from a minimum of 1 hour to all day (6 hours). Morning or afternoon sessions are available (3 hours) at a reduced rate to the hourly fee.

We've been using the since 2003 both as regular child-care and also casually while attending appointments such as the doctor or hairdresser. The staff are qualified, dedicated and friendly. Bookings are preferred but not always essential though I do recommend you book if using the service in silly season when KU child-care is popular with Christmas shoppers.

The centre can be a little hard to find. From the ground floor, there is a lift (blue doors) between Harmony Natural (the chinese medicine place) and Dusk (the candle shop). Don't be put off by the sign that toilets are currently under redevelopment. From the first floor, the entrance is opposite Best and Less between Fone Zone and 3 Mobile. You can use the lift or go up the stairs. Follow the corridor around and you'll see the centre on the left-hand side.

For contact details see:

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Wirrimbirra Sanctuary - Birds 'n' Bugs

I read in the local paper that both The Bug Man and The NSW Budgerigar Society (Macarthur Branch) were going to be at Wirrimbirra Sanctuary today for their Birds 'n' Bugs event. Not yet having visited Wirrimbirra and having a spider mad toddler, I thought this would be a great opportunity for a first visit. Just so long as the birds weren't eating the spider or worse; spiders eating birds.

Wirrimbirra Sanctuary is a 35 minute easy and picturesque drive from Campbelltown. Lots of cows and horses along the way to keep the little ones looking out of the window. Our initial arrival was disappointing as the car park was full and the volunteer attendant suggested we park out on Remberance Drive but we weren't keen on getting three small children out of the car on a 80km p/h stretch of road. Fortunately just then someone left and made room for our station wagon.

Entry to Wirrimbirra Sanctuary is by donation and on this day the kids also got a free badge. We arrived just as the 'wildlife presenter' - The Bug Man - was finishing up his first show. Fortunately there was to be a second show at 12:30 for us sleepyheads that like a lazy Sunday breakfast. While waiting for that we went through the sanctuary area to see emus, wallabies, roos, wombats and a talkative cockatoo.

Then it was time to lunch and there were plenty of tables available in the courtyard area. There was a cafe serving food including hot chips and ice-cream (not together) but we took our own lunch.

The insect show was popular with the older kids - 7yo especially as he got picked to demonstrate - but the toddler was not happy he wasn't allowed to take the Huntsman out of the box. I even learnt something new; did you know that stick insects have wings?

After the show we wandered around the compact native plant nursery, 7yo had his face painted and we got given balloons by the two nice ladies womanning the Rural Fire Service display.

The Sanctuary is quite small but the paths are well defined and it is suitable for strollers. We intend to visit again when the dingo sanctuary is opened. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, particularly if your kids need a reminder about what constitutes native wildlife (7yo wanted to know if there were any lions in the sanctuary - fortunately for us there weren't).

Wirrimbirra Sanctuary is open from Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 to 4:30. They have a number of events throughout the year. A calendar and more information can be found on their comprehensive web-site: