Where is it: Blackwood Street, Mitchelton
What's it all about: A great little Halloween festival put on with the support of the Blackwood St vendors and elected representatives!
How can I join in: A free event to attend (some rides and activities have a cost), so bring your trick or treat basket and don your best costume and head along to Blackwood St to get involved!
Tell me more: Blackwood Street Halloween Festival is heaps of fun for the little kids! It's a great chance for them to dress up in their best Halloween costume and score some easy trick or treat lollies with plenty of organised trick or treat stalls! Add to that heaps of rides, activities, marching bands, costume parade, competitions and games - plus a wide range of food and drink options and it's a great recipe for Halloween fun! The street gets closed to traffic so that the undead can wander around, but it's very easy to get to if you are on the Ferny Grove train line - the activities start right in Mitchelton Station's carpark! We attended with a couple of little zombies and a little Cabbage Patch kid (still in the box!), who all gave this festival a thumbs up!
Marathon Foods is an Australian owned company that provides premium products for both commercial and household kitchens, and we think that they might just do the perfect camping meal!
Marathon isn’t the biggest and the best for no reason! A family run, Australian business they’ve been around for 55 years. Today, Marathon Foods are still going strong – providing their yummy treats of dim-sims, spring rolls and puff-pastry treats to fast food restaurants all across Australia.
But now, you don’t always have to head down to your local take-away to enjoy these delights, you can pick them up from your local supermarket to cook and enjoy at home. We did just that, grabbing some of their fantastic Minions inspired chicken and vegetable Dim Sims from our local Woolworths! So easy to cook – you can steam, deep fry or microwave, but as the kids wanted to cook them we thought we’d go for the microwave (plus it’s a bit quicker)! With a 4 out of 5 health star rating, these were fantastic little treats for the kids!
And if you’re in the mood for something a little more hearty, Marathon foods have the perfect thing in their Chef Direct range. They are preserved and packed in a way that requires no refrigeration and they keep for up to 12 months, so they are a great option to keep in the cupboard for those nights when you’re a bit short of time! There’s no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and there is no added MSG. They are also a fantastic idea for those camping getaways as you can reheat inside their pouch in boiling water! We tried the lamb shanks and they were so good, and so easy to prepare – just straight into the microwave – and oh so yummy! You can also get a mild chilli beef as well as beef meatballs!
We were so happy with our foods from Marathon, their products are easy to prepare and taste great! The Chef Direct range will definitely be accompanying us on our next camping trip! And all of their products contain Aussie grown ingredients, they are supporting Aussie farmers!
Nintendo Switch coupled with Nintendo Labo might just be the perfect combination to satisfy the curiosity and entertainment needs of our inquisitive little guys. Challenging, rewarding and most of all, fun, this new take on gaming ticks all the boxes!
Nintendo have been entertaining the world for a long time (longer than we realised actually – they were founded in 1889!) – and us personally since the days of the fabulously entertaining ‘Game and Watch’ of the 1980s! The Game Boy, NES, Super NES and Nintendo 64 allowed us to carry our childhood fun through our teens, and Nintendo’s amazingly fun gameplay has always kept them at the forefront of entertainment regardless of the competition that they faced. As young adults we played on the Wii, a console that we’ve held onto to this day. And it was this console that introduced the next generation, our little guys, to the wonderful world of Mario and Nintendo!
Nintendo’s latest offering is called Nintendo Switch which was released in 2017, and like all Nintendo consoles its innovation and super fun gameplay made it immediately stand out in the crowd. For those who haven’t yet experienced Nintendo Switch, it consists of a console which is a 6.2 inch and very much a specific gaming tablet (like phablet sized) that can either sit inside the dock and be played on your TV, or work in handheld mode using the controllers (called Joy-Con) on either side of the console. On some games, you can even remove the Joy-Con and play two-player using the console in tabletop mode! For those of us familiar with the Wii controllers (the controllers react with movement), Joy-Con are motion-sensitive so that they can be used in the same fashion as the Wii Controllers.
It wouldn’t be Nintendo without Mario, and one of the key software launches for Nintendo Switch was Super Mario Odyssey, all new but unmistakably Mario and fantastically fun. And probably the most enjoyable racing game is back again – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is visually amazing and it’s still just as much fun as ever. Even though there are already over 1,000 titles for Nintendo Switch, we haven’t spent too much time with others – our little guys are absolutely crazy for Mario so they are quite content with these two titles (for the time being, at least)!
But we just had to introduce them to a fantastic new experience (and one that probably wouldn’t have come out from anyone other than Nintendo) called Nintendo Labo (pronounced Lab-oh). Nintendo Labo really is an amazing idea and one that squeezes even more fun out of this fantastic console. It’s also kind of ironic that one of the most impressive and fun bits of technology you might have in your house can team up with something completely inert – pieces of cardboard – and evolve into such an impressive hands on, thought provoking and constructive experiences!
Nintendo Labo is essentially cardboard sheets that you (following fantastic and simple on-screen instructions) construct into shapes, creations and tools, which interact with the console and the Joy-Con to create something new. Although your Toy-Con creations look really cool, it’s important to note that you need Nintendo Switch to use them. It’s a similar principal to turning your smart phone and some cardboard into a VR experience (which a lot of us might be familiar with), but Nintendo Labo does this on a different level to create fishing rods, cars, robots, a toy piano and heaps more!
Due to the great layout and instructions, the Toy-Con models are not too difficult to construct, but can become quite complex and time consuming, so a little focus is required at times. The kids will have a great time doing it but the younger guys might need a bit of patience and maybe some help from an adult (or should that be the other way around?)! It’s best to take a bit of care with construction so that you get the most out of your Nintendo Labo! And it’s a fantastic activity to engage the whole family! As these amazing Toy-Con creations are cardboard, they are easy to personalise and the kids will love getting to them with colours or stickers!
Make, Play, Discover is the motto and once built, more opportunities for fun open up! And it’s not just the fun in playing a game, or making music or driving a car – it’s the fun of exploring and discovering just what your new creation can do – like making your own race track by moving a Toy-Con Motorbike through the air, or designing your own fish to include in your fishing game, or interacting with the House that you’ve just made! And that, for us, is the real draw in Nintendo Labo – the fun just keeps on evolving!
Where is it: All over Australia (and New Zealand) – check the website for times!
What's it all about: X-Race is a race where you have to team up with your kids (6 - 14 years, or the Nippers race for the under sixes!) in order to complete a series of physical, mental and mystery challenges - competing against other families!
Tell me more: Teaming up with your little guys to compete in a race is such a fantastic bonding opportunity! And in this race, it’s not just about running the fastest – it’s a combination of physical and mental challenges – so it’s a race where teamwork is really important, perfect for bonding even closer with your kids! Secret handshakes, memory challenges and correctly following instructions will make all the difference and correctly completing these challenges will save you time penalties – there are 10 challenges as well as 3 – 4 km of running to get through! The under sixes don’t miss out either with the ‘nippers’ race which is shorter and great for getting the little guys involved! So much fun, and the best part is, it's all about competing rather than winning, so everyone has fun! It's a fun and friendly atmosphere at the race and all of the kids (and their partners) looked like they had a fantastic time!
Where is it: Spencer Park, Newmarket
What's it all about: Brisbane's official Italian festival! It's a really popular celebration and a great way to experience Italian culture!
How can I join in: Festitalia has been running annually for the last 10 years! Check the website for the next dates and buy your tickets online or at the gate!
Tell me more: After having a sneak peek of the Sbandieratori Sansepolcro flagthrowers while they were practicing in the city, there was no chance of us missing the main event, Festitalia! Held at Spencer Park in Newmarket, there's heaps of room for all of the exhibits. Italians are known for their love of good food, and food stalls lined the perimeter of the ground. There were heaps of yummy and authentic options, and you could even sit in on an Italian food masterclass! Traditional Italian dance performances were held on the main stage, which was also the location of the international act, Sbandieratori Sansepolcro, whose flagthrowing performance had everyone entertained! A large area was set aside for children's activities, including a baby animal farm, lots of rides and activities and heaps of room to run around! We had a really nice time at this fun, family-friendly festival!
Media launch 2018
Brisbane Family Explorers