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Friday, 24 September 2021

Royal Melbourne Show - on the cheap! Think it can't be done? We set out to prove it's possible.

We attended our very first Royal Melbourne Show in 2012 as a family of four and had heard all sorts of things from 'you won't get out of there without spending $300', 'don't drive - train it', plus the usual; it's expensive, crowded, there's pickpocketers, your kids will get lost etc etc....

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Well, now that we've experienced it (and none of the above happened, not once!) we'll give you some tips on how to keep it on the cheap. We spent under $40. How? It helps if you're given show tickets first (massive thanks to RMS). We purchased NO showbags - not because we wanted to deprive our kids of them, we're just personally not a fan of them and you can get enough freebies from stall holders if you're willing to hunt them down! Our toddler was delighted with a free green car from the Fire-engine display!

We decided to drive as buying Myki cards and credit would have cost us way more than parking ($20) which we didn't park at anyway. Free parking does exist as there's a street that doesn't have any parking permits and it's only a 10 minute walk away. Just use google maps and do your homework before you leave for the show. You'll be surprised!

We visited all the free zones as there was so much activity going on. Here's the kids favourites:

  • Kid Zone. You can't miss it as Lightning McQueen is out the front. Inside is a little one's paradise. Fire-engines, Police Force, SES and more. Climb aboard an emergency vehicle, take some happy memory snaps, get a free placemat or colour/stick and fold until your hearts content.
  • Green Zone. We'd booked our little girl into the Flower making workshop at 11.30am (note: this isn't happening this year but there's lots more free activities). This was a huge highlight and comes highly recommended. There were lots of disappointed parents on-looking as they hadn't booked. The area also covers other free activities (no bookings for these) and included digging for a golden carrot and planting seedlings.

Rides for little ones were $5 or you could buy a $20 ticket for 5 rides. Our 4 year old went on the bouncy castle and our toddler had a ride on the roundy-round ride (no idea on its proper name!).

The animal nursery was packed. We highly recommend heading to it asap when you get in the gates.

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For really good coffee (it does exist), you can't beat the cheese shop directly in front of you in the food pavilion.

The Woolworths Pavilion was fun, again, head here early for the trail. You can have a free snack attack here after you line up and taste and sample the goodies on offer. Chocolate, nuts, chips, dips etc.

Our kids wanted to see Sesame Street. The kids won't care but you'll note the Australian Character in it - all too odd and very laughable! This year it's all about Yo Gabba Gabba and Looney Tunes live.

In short and to get the most out of your day:

  • Arrive when the gates open
  • Bring your own food
  • Dress your kids in red or something to stand out in the crowd
  • Read the map to get a rough idea of where you'll head to
  • Write your child's name and mobile number on a piece of paper and slip it in their pocket or shoe because you just never know

Check out the Royal Melbourne Show for yourself and start planning your day!

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