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Saturday, 25 September 2021

THE PENINSULA FAMILY EASTER PICNIC,

Mornington Racecourse, Sunday 13th April 2014.

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I’m going to let my 9yo introduce this review with the mantra “I’m so happy, I’m so happy, I’m so happy’...because that’s what I got when he bounded out of the easter egg hunt zone, his bucket brimming with eggs and his grin broad!

Today we were guests of Little Melbourne kid-testing the event, and while I knew it would be my 6yo’s dream day out I had my reservations  about her older sibling. I guess I didn’t factor in that when you literally of put all your eggs in one basket, you CAN feel an intense high (or perhaps that was the sugar rush?)

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The Peninsula Family Easter Picnic, is an annual egg-travaganza, allowing children to hunt for mouthfuls and fistfuls of Easter eggs during aged-appropriate hunt sessions.  It was our 1st year attending, and I got the sense from many in the estimated 9,000 crowd that it wasn’t living up to its former glory.  

Back for its 2nd year, the event also featured on-stage entertainment from the Cat in the Hat, Tickey-Toc, Bananas in Pyjamas, Spot the Dog and Kingdom Culture Hip Hop. As well as the star of the show, the Easter Bunny.

Given my kids were on the slightly older, we didn’t last too long at the stage, but there was loads of singing, dancing and interactive games being played.

Popular TV identity Jimmy Giggle hosted this event and was a big drawcard too.

Sell out event

The sell-out event was quiet well laid out, however getting into the event was another story with one rather confused lines waving all over the place and limited gates open. I’m not quite sure organisers had the most effective methods in place of handling  large capacity crowds, and I was certainly glad we arrived for the gate opening at 9:30am.

Once inside however, our brood enjoyed the craft tent where they could create a free Easter masterpiece of their own to take home, though with the strict quota of one item only per kid and the officiousness of the staff, I think  the event press release went a bit overboard calling it a free magical craft village.

We did have a lot of fun once we found a small sporting games area.....with lanes marked out and vibrant hosts giving out ribbons to winners of the sack race, egg n spoon race and three legged races. We spent a lot of time there just having some good old-fashioned fun and preparing ourselves for the allocated timeslot of Easter egg hunts.

Timed egg hunts

The Egg hunts were timed for age appropriateness and set in penned areas, Lines moved quite quickly to them, however it was disappointing for some families with young kids as  the 2 – 6 year old groups had egg hunts on at the same time as the stage shows and lots of littlies missed Spot, Bananas and Tic Toc.

For those up for tall the razzle-dazzle of show rides, they had these in abundance, with the Fun House and Wiggle Worm jumping tunnel very popular. It was the usual line up for tokens affair, and not much change out of $50 if you had two kids, and the lines were ...intense!

A few frustrations

Event host Showtime Attractions had their work cut out for them. This year the sell out event (with extra tickets made available only days before) seemed a little too busy for our liking.

My over-all impression? An event that obviously had all the right intent, but may have gotten a little too large for its family crowd. I felt more like I was at the Melb Show at some stage, battling to keep my kids in sight, hearing tempers fray over purchases and kids crying in endless lines.

Ah yes, the lines. There were so many lines...for rides, for food, and for tent activities. I really felt for parents with babies and toddlers and it became impossible to navigate prams around in some areas.

Event host Showtime Attractions had their work cut out for them, and perhaps next year needs to look at their staffing numbers a little more. In saying that the staff WERE doing a terrific job trying to keep cheerful  and on top of things, and I was pretty impressed with egg hunt staff who let kids pop back in for follow-up sessions quite readily if they looked like they’d missed out on eggs or had a mishap.

I also overheard several families questioning their value for money of their entry tickets, especially when they had to pay extra for rides and toys, and endure the ‘pester power’ of small kids.

Overall our junior egg hunters had a great day and were full of chat about their haul and the races they enjoyed competing in. Our family was well and truly done with the crowds and constant queuing by 1pm and called it quits. There does need to be some changes for next year to help with crowd capacity and management.  Their Facebook is running hot at time of review with feedback so we can only hope they listen to the constructive comments to help them make it a success in the future 

Back home my kids are happily counting their eggs, and sharing them out, while this parent happily enjoyed the chance to make a cuppa without waiting in line.

JUST THE FACTS

What: Peninsula Easter Family Picnic

When: Sunday 13 April, 2014 10am – 3pm (gates open at 9:30am)

Where: Mornington Racecourse, Racecourse Road, Mornington

Website: www.peninsulafamilyeasterpicnic.com.au

Facebook: Peninsula Family Easter Picnic

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Our Little Melbourne Guest Reviewer is The Coast Writer, Andrea Rowe and her 2 children.

Andrea Rowe runs her own boutique Copywriting & PR business Your Coastal Connection between nattering with other parents at the school gate and searching for endless lost property items!

Check her out at: www.yourcoastalconnection.com.au or www.facebook.com/YourCoastalConnection or her Coastwriter blog at http://yourcoastalconnection.com.au/thecoastwriter/  or on Instagram @thecoastwriter

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