Just in case anyone was wondering about the sudden silence, we were down in Melbourne for the whole of last week. I ambitiously thought I would have time to update the blog. Instead, it was all I could do to keep up with the boys and the activities they wanted to do. This was about all we managed to get done in between the shopping, the eating, catching up with relatives and the weather:
- Puffing Billy
- Melbourne Museum
- Science Works
- Fitzroy Gardens
- Star Gazing
- Crown Entertainment Complex
The week went by too quickly and Aristotle was sad to leave so we promised him a return trip with a brand new list of things to do:
- Lake Mountain – just 2 hours drive out of Melbourne, this mountain is a great place to introduce the children to snow. There is enough snow to make a snow man and to go tobogganing and it can be done as a day trip.
- Souvereign Hill – this is old town dating back from the time of the Gold Rush that has been preserved as an open-air museum to show visitors what it was like back in its time. This was one of my favourite places as a child.
- Bendigo – I’ve been told that this is Australia’s first “Child-Friendly” City and that we absolutely have to visit
- Fairy Penguins
Of course, there’s also the zoo and the aquarium but we decided to give them a miss since we’ve already covered the Zoo in Singapore which is also pretty good, and the aquarium in Malaysia is not too bad either. I’m sure we’ll also make a return visit to the Museum (Aristotle loved the dinosaur fossils) and Science Works which was a real hit with both boys.
If you’re in Melbourne over Christmas, you can also check out:
- Christmas display in the city Myers’ windows – this is always a highlight for Christmas every year and queues of people flock to the city to see the display.
- Christmas lights on The Boulevard in Ivanhoe – this has become another highlight of Christmas. They have even closed off the street so that people can walk freely. Since the first year we visited, roadside stalls have set up to sell glow lights and snacks.
- Christmas light show in the Crown Entertainment Complex – this is another one that draws droves of people. The light show comes on every half hour or hour – I forget which.
What’s the purpose of light shows and christmas displays other than its entertainment value? Well, I believe that early childhood development encompasses experiences that help children create more neural connections and what better way to create neural connections than through daily life experiences? When Aristotle was young – well before I even know about early childhood education programs – I made it a point to provide him with lots of opportunities to see and do new things. It didn’t matter what he learned from the experience, it was all about giving him experiences that were different. Now I’m trying to do the same for Hercules.
The light show at the Crown Entertainment Complex plays everyday so I thought it would still be a nice activity for the boys in the evening. Somehow, I remembered the lights to be a little more impactful. Perhaps I have been spoiled by the Christmas light show because what they had on that evening paled in comparison. Hercules, who has always loved lights, still enjoyed the light show. Aristotle, however, was entirely unimpressed. Then again, Aristotle had also seen the Christmas light show during his last visit to Melbourne when he was one month shy of turning 2. For Hercules, this was his first time seeing a light show.
We took them out to see the fire display afterward. Outside the Crown Entertainment Complex, along the Yarra River, are a series of columns that blow out flames of fire every half hour. That one caught Aristotle’s attention perhaps a little too well. After the big explosion of flames, he got scared. Hercules, who was impressed for the first two bursts, lost interest very quickly. Perhaps because he was getting tired.
The evening was somewhat of an anticlimax since I was expecting a bit more of a “wow” from the boys and didn’t get it. Ah well, at least now they can say, “Been there, done that.”
Here are some relevant links for the Crown Entertainment Complex:
- Getting to the Crown Entertainment Complex
- What’s on at the Crown Entertainment Complex
- What else is there to do at the Crown Entertainment Complex
Entry for the fire show and light show is free. Parking cost us AUD12 per hour.