Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Royal Melbourne Show 2008

This is our plan for having a good day at the Royal Melbourne Show. Use of this method will ensure that nobody, and that includes the adult contingent, has a meltdown.

1. Get Fixit (or similar) to have the day off so he can come too. This ensures the parent / child ratio is even.

catching the train_6545

2. Invite nice friends of the children (along with their nice parents) to come with you. This helps maintain good parent / child ratios, gives you more grown-ups to mind bags or children should you need to separate for toilet trips etc., and ensures that different age group children can undertake age appropriate activities with no whingeing from people who are the wrong height for said activities.

Digging the show 6596

3. Park the car at a suburban train station near the showgrounds, then catch the train direct to the Show, thereby avoiding tiring small persons' legs out before you even arrive.

train besties_6546

4. Get there EARLY. As in, as soon as the gates open. Less queuing, less noise, less contact with scary people. (Like the man on the phone talking to whom we assume was his offspring, who we heard say, amongst a whole other string of abuse f**king get over here now you d**khead. Lucky there were none of our children with us at that point to witness this, see point 10). Less panic attacks induced by over-exposure to large numbers of bogans for me.

sliding climber_6548

5. Pack your own lunch and do not let anyone have fairy floss until they've eaten the nutritious stuff.


6. Insist that they have some contact with livestock even if they really prefer machinery.


7. Limit the number of rides so that the adults are not broke by the end of the day morning and the children are not completely berserk.

mini-ferris ride_6571

8. DO NOT tell children that some families buy their children more than one showbag.

show-goers (aged 5ish)_6575

9. DO NOT tell children that some families allow their kids to select their own showbags.

train ride_6576

10. Sneak off while the kids are watching a free activity to buy them the $5 Freddo Frog showbag and do not let them have it till they are on the train home.

train home from the Show_6599

11. Get out while the going is good. Go directly to favourite cafe and give the adults a decent coffee and a nice lunch. Everyone goes home happy.

Full photos here


  1. That is a seriously excellent plan, and yes, you should write a book. Your showbag technique is masterful and all children should pat at least one sheep per year.

    But guess what...we managed to get through the entire Sydney show this year without a single carnival ride. yeeeee Hah.

  2. I miss the show - I like the really old lady stuff like the produce emporium, and the animals.

    We've not dared to take the kidlets yet ( and the council here arranges 2-3 petting farms per year, so I use that as an excuse :)

    You da bomb !

  3. BTW - you're so popular these days .. normally when I comment i'm commenter no. eleventy-seven.

    I feel like I should be yelling "SILVER" and punching the air at my Stomper-commenting-success on this occasion ..

  4. I have never been to the melbourne show - can I come next year? I won't bring any kids so i will help the parent/kid balance even more.

  5. You have provided us for some very clever tips.

    For when we go to the Bathurst show. Which takes place at roughly the same time as the Royal Easter Show.

    And is so much more civilised.

  6. Never been to the show!! Jodie I am shocked - you have to go!

    Stomper? Is it just me or are showbags now made of plastic and no longer HUGE? (please bear in mind the last time I went to the show and bought one it was circa 1976!)

  7. your tips make me think that the show might even be a good idea, I keep dismissing the idea as insanity - perhaps from seeing tramloads of sugar mad children wearing disturbing masks on the way home from work.

    Still I loved it when I was a kid. As I remember we were allowed five showbags?!?

  8. Very good tips; I hardly dare ask though, what on earth is a bogan? Don't tell me if it's too hideous ...

  9. My tip for the show? Let dad take the kids.
    It's the pits!

  10. Excellent guidelines for ANY outing with small people! You SHOULD write a book! Is "bogan" roughly the equivalent of our "redneck?"
    That one giant slide looks inviting, even to one of my advanced years!

  11. Bogan would equal: really rough, redneck, white trash. That sort of thing. You'd have to meet one to really get it, because of the extra layer of Australian-ism of them, the really nasal whiny voice, the knee-jerk workings of the brain. Some bogans are nice, I know nice ones. Wouldn't necessarily go the Royal Melbourne show with them though.

  12. So Bogan = trailer park trash! I get it.

    You are freaking brilliant. You should right a book. Or at the very least one of those pamphlet thingies.

    Love how Cherub and little monkey are so in tune.

  13. You should write a book because this was very informative!
    I couldn't get over the man n the mobile... holy cow.

  14. You have totally stolen my thunder. I was about to write a near-identical post except with less adults and more children. But bogans and the giant slide, one showbag etc.

    That looks like Crafty's elegant hand and a monkey in the second photo!

    Were you there yesterday then?

    ps. FIVE showbags, Janet?!

  15. I went to school near the showgrounds, so we used to go with our school, with parent volunteers. Five kids per parent or teacher. My mother found it quite stressful when she came one year.

    We also had one showbag (school rule, and unlike some kids, my parents didn't take us again another day to get more showbags) and I don't remember having any rides. Petting animals was compulsory, as was looking at prize winning preserves & cakes, and having tea & scones in the CWA tent. Obviously Shula will be staffing the CWA tea room next year, so we will have to go!

    My neice & nephew were given a showbag catalogue & told they had a $10 budget, so they spent ages planning how they'd spend it.

  16. Previously mentioned neice and nephew had a lovely time. There was compulsory animal nursery time - we missed a lamb being born by 30 seconds! The kids thought this cool but did not enjoy near craziness of other parents and children. Woodchopping received unanimous praise.

    Seriously good tips. We did most of them but did go mid afternoon which I think was a big mistake, since many of the animal encounters were finished by then. We too had forgotten how much of a boganfest the Show is.

  17. Damn straight you should write the book! Brilliant pre-emptive strikes, moma!

  18. Yes, I was there, and I have one more hot tip to add;

    12. Never go to the show without Stomper to arrange everything for you.

    It was a fabulous day when ordinarily the very thought of The Show would strike fear into my heart.

  19. I love the show.
    I used to go as a competitor in the horsey events, these days I just go for the fairy floss and the old lady stuff that H&B likes.
    I do love a cake decorated to look like a doll.
    Glad you had a good day.

  20. Okay, well this looks a bit like our county fairs here in the States. I loves me a good county fair. But WE DON'T HAVE SHOWBAGS UP HERE, as far as I know, and now I feel all ripped off.

    And yes, you totally SHOULD write a book! I'd buy one!

  21. Badger, you're really not missing anything. The bags are crappe.

  22. Badger :

    We get the chocolate-y ones. As opposed to the filled-with-plastic-crappe ones that the bogans were carrying around by the armful.

    One lovely elderly bogan on the train ride home tried to make us feel bad by saying "Only one showbag?!?! That's no good! Look how many we've got etc" May as well have said "your parents don't love you"

  23. Taking notes for coming years (have not yet been brave - silly? - enough to take the little one to a show yet). When I do, however, I shall be following your advice to the letter because it sounds like you all had a great day.

  24. Great tips, it's always good to have an action plan! I have a one showbag rule too.

    Personally, I have to leave my husband at home, cause he's the one saying "can we go yet?".

    He just doesn't get it, but the rest of us love the show.

  25. Oh Bravo.

    And I would totally dig staffing the CWA tent. I'm plotting a takeover as we speak.

  26. That was full of words and concepts I didn't really know (I mean showbags and so on, not child/parent ratio) but you sound like great parents and it sounded like a really good day.


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