Top 10 Free And Low Cost Things To Do In Sydney These School Holidays – Updated


School holidays are upon us! I’m cheering as I love the change of pace. Mind you, after a couple of weeks I’ll be booing, desperate for a bit of silence and solitude.

Anyway, here’s my updated list of our family’s Top Ten cheap and free activity ideas.

Hope you enjoy it and get some penny-pinching inspiration.


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A Professional Photography And Design Course – What I’ve Learned So Far

Now here’s a post I have been meaning to write since February, when I started an online course. I’m studying ‘Create. Shoot. Publish. A TAFE Cert IV in Design, specialising in Photography. ‘

This course is delivered entirely online, so can be studied at my own pace. Some people can do it in six months, the maximum time allowed is two years and so far I’m shooting for the latter.

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Keeping Mothers Day Simple

My Mum used to tut tut about Mother’s Day when myself and my sisters and brother were little.

‘It’s just commercial, too American,’ she’d say. And look, she had a point for sure.

But celebrating motherhood, and cups of tea in bed, has always sounded good to me. But I hope that we generally enjoy Mother’s Day in a simple, low key way. 


We’d had a huge week. The twins turned 8 on Friday and they had a massive bowling and laser party on Saturday. We were all excessed out by today. So simply enjoying the gifts the twins had made at school were joy enough.


Love the colours… these aren’t butterflies by the way, they’re caterpillars with wings.


In truth, I would never wear yellow trousers, but apart from that this is a true representation of my little lass and I.

I was completely thrilled with the notes that the little darlings had written in their cards. Can’t think of higher praise… thrilled!


And this picture drawn by Rusty Rocket is just the bees knees.

‘It’s the story of the day you were swimming in the sea and you saw the shark underneath you,’ he told me. So it is. And yes, indeed, so I did! Well, that brought back a startling memory. (Don’t panic, it was a grey nurse shark, and swimming in the opposite direction. Whew.)


How splendiferous to be thanks on paper for cooking dinners. Something that RARELY happens at the dinner table.

The teenagers were pretty helpful round the house. I’d asked them just to go for a wee bushwalk with me today, but we never quite got round to that. Held in trust.

 So I’ve said my goodbyes now, asked all the family to be kind to each other when I’m not there. Asked the kids to look after their old Dad.

It’s a wrench to leave the family. It’s a relief in many ways too.

I told the dishwasher that I wouldn’t miss her over the next 10 days. Not in a mean way.

Catch you next from Bonnie Scotland.

Love from your jetsetting amiga,



PS You might like this post: Happy Real Mothers’ Day

Strike Bowling Chatswood Review – And 5 Top Tips for Surviving Bowling and Laser Tag With Kids

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Ten pin bowling and laser tag can provoke a range of emotions in my household. All of the four Smith kids love them dearly, and to find both in the same place leaves them giddy with anticipation.  For myself it’s more of a love and hate thing… the noise, the banging and crashing, the bright lights, the expense of the arcade games… hmm…. my poor brain….

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Billabong Camp at Taronga Western Plains Zoo – Our Family Review

Billabong Camp Dubbo Zoo-17

It was all ‘westward ho’ for myself and the twins last week.

We went on a four day, three night expedition to Dubbo, with the main focus being a trip to Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

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What are you doing over Easter? Some School Holiday Ideas, Activities and Outings

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Do you tend to make a few plans well before the school holidays arrive?

I do, especially for the school holidays when my husband will be away at work. He arrives home a week after the kids go back to school. So handy. Not.

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Rusty Rocket – You’re The Boy I’m Worried About Today

SONY DSC Do you find that your children seem to take it in turns to be the one you are preoccupied about?

Maybe we just can’t cope as parents with worrying about more than one at a time? [Read more...]

Oriental Spa Sydney – A Little Bit Of Bali in Chatswood

Oriental Spa 4-shot 2 It’s always given me great pleasure to spread a little love and luck around from this blog. I enjoy some lovely experiences  and it’s great to share them with readers.

Because all of us mums deserve a treat, don’t we?

And a little luxury can go a long way for mums.

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Aussie Family Holiday Friday – Travel News, Ideas and Inspiration for Aussie Families

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Sunrise over Point Perpendicular at Jervis Bay last weekend – click to see photo at full size.

Happy Friday to you!

Here’s my weekly round-up of news, ideas and inspiration for Australian families planning a holiday.

Or a visit, or a school holiday activity because Easter is coming very fast. Can you feel it?

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The Grounds of Alexandria: Sydney’s Best Family-Friendly Cafes

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Please say g’day to Maxabella who’s guest posting on the blog this fine morning.

Maxabella Loves was one of the first blogs I ever read and loved. The quirky sense of humour, the warmth and humanity and wit, and the beautiful images on Maxabella Loves make it one of Australia’s finest. It’s a delight to have this post here today, I laughed out loud when I read it and you will too.

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Jervis Bay Beach Walks: The White Sands Walk And A Bit More

20131203-8 Jervis Bay-017 It’s not often that I get to escape out of the beach side garden gate alone… so when the chance came recently, I grabbed it with both… well, with both feet really.

I fancied a walk… and I had a good few hours’ ticket of leave… so I thought I’d walk over to Hyams Beach; why not?

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Logitech case+ Review

case+ drive review Logitech This is sponsored review and giveaway for Logitech.


I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned my phone is not a phone.

It’s a mini-computer in my pocket, the phone is the part I use least.

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In Search Of The Perfect Washing Basket – A Rant!!

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Now you don’t often have the pleasure of reading a rant on this blog, so please enjoy this one to the max.

Laundry baskets!!!

They are so crap, they fall apart so fast, they’re utter rubbish – why do we bother??!!

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A Big Thank You and Some News From Smith Towers

040214 Thank you blog readers

Hello and how are you this very fine morning?

I’m getting all emotional here as this little Sydney travel blog has had a huge month in January.

So many new readers and heaps of regular readers returning.  I am so thrilled that the handy posts on the blog have been read so much and found useful by so many people.

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Happy 50th Birthday To Me! Birthday Bash at the Bay Of Fires.

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50 years ago today, my Mum was hopping about on the kerb, having painful contractions and wishing my dad would hurry up.

He was late, of course… literally out to lunch.

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Sinbads – The Kids Club at The Jumeirah Beach Hotel

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Doesn’t your heart just sing when your little kids love the hotel kids club?

Mine does absolutely.

It’s not that I don’t want to have fun with my kids, just that travelling solo with them 24/7 means that time together can be too much of a good thing.

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Here’s To A Happy 2014 – Have You Resolved Your Resolutions?

new year resolutions 2014 edinburgh

Well it’s the morning of the 1st of January here in Edinburgh, and I’m just up after a much-needed lie in. The teens and I were down on Princes Street last night to watch the fireworks from Edinburgh Castle.

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Panasonic Lumix GM1 Review + Vlog

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So last week I showed you some photos I’d taken with a brand new tiny camera that will hit the stores next week.

It’s a bit of a breakthrough camera, packing a whole lot of image quality punch into a very tiny body.

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Panasonic LUMIX GM1 – Some Photos Taken This Past Week

20131122 Photo Workshop-087-blog A moody day down at Dee Why …. one of a bazillion photos taken this past week.

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Some Good News On Postnatal Depression – The Opening of Gidget House

gh_launch_openhouse_invite_lr Happy Postnatal Depression Awareness Week… and yes, I do feel happy. Not that I experienced postnatal depression – I’d much rather not have – but that it was treatable and well treated.

And that I have found myself in such excellent company.

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