After a week of work while the boys were on school holidays driving each other stir crazy between their iPads, Wii, scooters, finishing a puzzle, drawing and TV gazing, I managed to get this afternoon off to take them to the Royal Melbourne Show.
For all those who don’t know… the Royal Melbourne Show was set up for city kids to get a look at the rural life… interact with farm animals, learn about the trading and selling of livestock, discover true country style cooking and appreciate the handiwork of the arts and crafts… but for most kids, it’s about the rides and show bags.
This was always something that I wanted to do, but was always afraid that my work schedules are traditionally horrendous at this time of year, and I just couldn’t take a day off to take them. And now that they are 11 & 9 years old, they are at a good age to really enjoy the best bits of the show. I was going to take them tomorrow, being Grand Final day – a day in Melbourne where most people get together with friends and/or family to watch the big game for the year or just a good excuse for a barbecue, but also a day where those who plan to go on a holiday, or come back from a holiday would be doing it the middle weekend of the school holidays… so my plan was that the show would actually be quiet tomorrow… however the forecast is rail, hail and windy conditions, so I thought tonight might be a better go… and it was good. We did get a bit of rain, but not enough to put a ‘dampener’ on things! And being there at night, is just so much more spectacular! There wasn’t any lines for the rides, we missed all the screaming toddlers and strollers blocking the walkways and the lights were just dazzling!
My boys had pre planned which show bags they were going to buy (with a pre-determined budget set by me!), and were interested in many of the high-adrenalin rides. I had told them that the show was like an enormous school fete, but I think that when they got there, it was much much bigger than they expected. My 9 year old even said “I can see why they call it ‘Royal!'”
We arrived at the ‘Thrill Seekers Carnival’ and were laden with $60 worth of ride tickets in our hand… the first ride the ‘Crazy Coaster’ set us back $30 ($10 x 3)…. these ride tickets weren’t going to last long! It was a roller coaster that went up and down, but also span around in places where it went up and down, so that was pretty freaky! We went on the Ghost Train, the Rock & Roller, dodgem cars, bungee jumping, my 11 year old wanted to go on the Hangover, and they did the racing slide and a few of the carnival side games (which I told them that they can be a bit of a scam).
They were eager to get their show bags, even though I pre-warned them that we would need to carry them around for the rest of the show if we bought them…. but they weren’t phased. I gave them a budget of $35 each to spend on show bags, of which they each bought a bag to do with their latest fad (Domo and Simpsons), and the rest they spent on lolly show bags. But they also bought a soft toy each… a few things to keep, a few things to devour.
After the show bag pavilion, we checked out the Art, Craft and Cooking Pavilion – part of the true essence of the show – where the country women, school children and hobby crafters hold their stalls, and the best decorated cake, or best loaf of bread, or best preserve gets judged by the show elite to get ‘best of show.’ I must admit, the cake decorating was amazing, and some of the school children’s artwork had some incredible talent.