Festival of Sails, Redcliffe
Where is it: Suttons Beach, Redcliffe
What's it all about: A dual purpose festival - partly to celebrate Easter, and partly to celebrate the passing of the yachts as they commence the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race!
How can I join in: It's free (some paid events)! So head along (parking is at a premium, so consider your options) at any time throughout the day and prepare to have fun!
Tell me more: Every Good Friday, Redcliffe and the Moreton Bay Region puts on an amazing free and fun event in the Festival of Sails! This beach is a lovely place to visit at Easter time, so to hold a festival here as well means that there's no end of fun things to see and do! Heaps of market stalls, games on the beach for the kids, amusement park rides, live music and heaps more! The highlight (for us, at least!) is the skydiving Easter Bunny! There are heaps of food options as well and as expected there are Easter Egg hunts on all day! There are even watersports activities - paddleboarding and peddle boats. Wow! So much to do. This is one of the few events that we can actually burn up all the energy in our boys. Highly recommended!
Australia Day means different things to different people. For us, we enjoy going out as a family and spending a nice day out together. We always like to get involved in any one of the Australia Day events, complete with all the clichéd stereotypes of what being Australian is all about! It may not always be genuine, but we think that it's fun! Typically, it means going to the beach and having a barbeque, which is not really what either of us (mum and dad) experienced often at all, but we're not complaining! Maybe the little ones will grow up thinking that this is what being Australian means? Who knows, but for now we just want to see them have a nice time, and when they are ready to think about it for themselves, then they can decide what Australia Day means to them!
This year, we went along to the Fish, Fun and Aussie Sun Australia Day party at Sutton's Beach, Redcliffe. Redcliffe is one of our favourite places for dipping or toes into the saltwater - it's great for the little kids as it is generally very calm and the water is warm, although we can see in the oldest boy (he is 5 now) that he is sometimes searching for the excitement of a bigger wave! The foreshore at Redcliffe can get reasonably busy on a warm summer day, so throw in a free festival and you can be assured of some parking anguish – not as bad as Christmas shopping, but be aware! Our kids are early risers (especially in summer...) so we got in early and managed to secure a park.
Things kicked off reasonably early with the all-day program (the official program started at 2pm). We weren't too concerned at getting there early as it's a great spot in its own right with a really fun playground; and it gets warm so early here so it's great for an early dip. Along with the parking, finding a spot on the grass to settle for the day can also be a bit challenging, so again, another good reason to get in early! Summer at the beach generally means plenty of sun! So we were vigilant in slopping on copious amounts of sunscreen and keeping our hats on as much as we could. We also planned on a barbeque lunch, so we packed our little lunchbox barbie and a few snags and drinks. It's amazing what a difference frying some sausages and onion can make to a day out at the beach! There were plenty of food and drink options available, however today we just wanted to cook up our own food.
We've got our event routine reasonably down pat now, we seem to be able to pack up so much onto our pram (sometimes it surprises us how much it can carry)! Swimmers, a change of clothes, towels, a little esky for food and drinks, our barbie and our picnic mat all finds a spot in, under or hanging off our pram. Sometimes we even have space for a baby! Packing up after a day out is at times a little more of a challenge, but we seem to manage (just!). And of course, plenty of sunscreen!
The biggest issue for us on days like toady is deciding what to do first! There was so much going on! As we had to walk past the playground to get into the action, the kids couldn't resist! A quick play and we continued on our way. What to next? Maybe a jump on the jumping castle! Got to get that one out of the way before things heat up too much. Mini train rides, check out some music, climb some trees and then a little bite to eat! Now onto the beach. The beach was generally just fun of our own making, however they did have the Australia Day-standard fare of a thong-throwing competition and some lifesaver challenges going on!
Once again, a great event put on by Moreton Bay Regional Council and partners! We are lucky here in the south east to have such great events teams on all the councils as there seems to be a never-ending run of things to see and do that are planned and put on by the councils! We didn't stay for the afternoon's events (we are not giving up our kids' afternoon nap time - it's too valuable!), and given that the official program didn't open until 2:00pm, we may have missed out on the bulk of the entertainment, but we had a great time anyway! Maybe in the coming years we will stay the night close by and enjoy the whole day!
Amenities: Permanent toilets plus plenty of port-a-loos for the added crowd! 👍👍👍👍
Cost: No cost to enter but hard to resist the food stalls! 👍👍👍
Parking: Plenty of street parking, but plenty of traffic as well - can be a challenge! 👍👍
Access: Concrete paths throughout the park, easy to get around with a pram. Did get a bit crowded at times! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: Heaps of things to do and see! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Families of all ages! 👍👍👍👍
Wildlife: Not too much here, but this wasn't the place for it anyway! 👍
Summary: A nice day out at the beach with lots of entertainment! We didn't stay for most of the Aussie-themed activities, but had a great time nonetheless! 👍👍👍
Hints: You will have to get in early if you want to lay down your picnic mat!
Brisbane Family Explorers