DISNEYLAND CALIFORNIA

Four weeks ago our family were lucky to visit and spend five days creating memories in Disneyland in California! We have been to the parks before with our two big kids about 8 years ago, but only for one day (no way near long enough!) so this visit was really exciting for us taking our biggest Disney enthusiast Ruby for her first time! Staying for four nights so we could fully explore both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park was an absolute treat. We have always loved all things Disney I unashamedly have always been caught up in the magic, but this trip has converted our whole family, my husband set off expecting to check this off our bucket list, and has returned admitting that we will definitely go again! a Disney fam for life. So excited to share our experience, pics and a few tips for planning your own family Disney adventure!

Getting there

We travelled with Air Canada because we included a trip to Vancouver. The flights were super easy to manage and we arrived feeling pretty fresh considering we travelled all the way from Australia!

First up! Disney California Adventure Park

Home to Cars Land, Pixar Pier, Pacific Warf, Hollywood Land, A bugs Land, and Grizzly Park, we LOVE California Adventure Park. Because of our base on both visits to Disney being the Disney Grand Californian Hotel, this park is always the first we explore. It’s not always possible but for the most part we found it was best to spend majority, if not all of each day, in just one of the two parks. The travel time between the two, even though super easy and pretty quick, can chew up time especially if you have little ones with sore legs or cop a line up on entry to the alternate park, so planning your days predominantly focused on one park at a time will help you get maximum out of your stay. Speaking of planning….

PLAN PLAN PLAN!

I can’t stress this enough and as a fly by the seat of her pants kind of girl it does not come naturally to me but – it is SO worth it. The Disney FastPass system when we visited years ago involved physically visiting each ride you wanted a FastPass for, grabbing a ticket, and then returning at your scheduled time. Enter Disney MaxPass! The whole system has since gone digital. It’s as easy as downloading the Disneyland App before or when you arrive, and from there you can easily plan out every hour of every day!

More on Disney MaxPass (the supercharged Fast Pass)

This is kind of like house keeping but trust me, so important if you are planning a trip to any Disney venue! They will save you so much time! Digital fastPass are free and included with every ticket but I would highly recommend the Disney MaxPass. These cost an extra $15 per ticket per day, but you can pick and choose which days you need them for, or could even just allocate them to some members of the family if you are planning to split up and the passes aren’t needed for all. For us it was well worth it for all family members and we would never do Disney without splurging a little extra on a MaxPass! Using FastPass via MaxPass you can schedule all your rides, shows and parades all via your smart phone. It also includes a photopass which means if any photos are taken of your family around the park they will appear within the app ready for you to download at the end of the day at no extra cost!

There are a few quirks to the system you’ll get used to and you’ll work this out quickly once you arrive. FastPass via MaxPass can only be booked in (always via your app on your smart phone) once you are physically in the park and you can only schedule one ride per person at any given time. So, you book into a ride at a scheduled time and you can’t book any more fastpasses until you have checked into that initial booking. This is all pretty straight forward but the trick is that the more popular rides have much longer wait times (even using fast pass) so, don’t waste your fastpasses on rides with shorter waits. You’ll get a feel for which rides are super popular and you can book into them and then plan your day around it. It seems organisation heavy but by doing so you will save yourself hours of waiting and it will mean you can then zip around to the rides with shorter wait times (plenty of these!) while you wait for the ones you’ve scheduled! Luckily for us the rides Ruby wanted to spend her time on didn’t have large wait times so we struck a really good balance and didn’t miss out on anything we wanted to do OR get stuck in a single long line the whole time we were there. I’ve found a really helpful article explaining the fastpass / maxpass system and differences and have linked it here.

Some really popular rides that we wanted to visit included Cars, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, Guardians of the Galaxy, Incredicoaster, Midway Mania, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and Star Tours. While waiting for these in Disney Land California Adventure we would jump on family friendly rides, Soaring – wow just wow you won’t go on this just once it was one of our absolute faves and barely any wait time at all!, Ariel’s Beginning (Ruby’s favourite of course!) Goofy’s Flight School, Pixar Pal-A-Round are just a few we loved as a family. We also used the scheduled MaxPass rides as an opportunity to do other things around the park. One thing I’ve really worked out about Disney in our years of visiting – it’s not just about rides!!! With our Disneyland App we could then build our day around our rides leaving plenty of time for things like character autographs (ruby lived for these!!) shows (street and theatre) workshops (our fave was the Animation Academy at Disney California Adventure Park! so much fun learning to draw Mickey and something we could enjoy as a family with broad age range and interests!)

Food and drink in Disneyland were abundant! Such a surprise, so many diverse options. One of our favourite spots for a sundowner was the Lamplight Lounge looking over Pixar Pier. Essential break out spot for a bite to eat and refreshing drink for the adults!

Frozen at the Hyperion

Our favourite theatre show in Disney California Adventure Park would have to be Frozen at the Hyperion. For an included show at no extra cost (the ticket price to get into the entire park where I live would equal just this one show in value!!!) was astounding. It was the perfect break from walking and hustling to sit in a dark theatre and watch this awesome interpretation of this musical unfold. Ruby absolutely adored it but honestly so did I! If you loved the movie and your kids are fans, you’ll love Frozen at the Hyperion! If we are lucky enough to get back to Disneyland we will definitely see it again! Other shows we really enjoyed were of course World of Colour (unmissable!) the fireworks and the epic street parades held daily. Hard to miss these and trust me you don’t want to ūüėć.

Elsa on a sugar high at Pixar Pier
with her idols!

Visiting Elsa & Anna

Elsa and Anna are currently located in Hollywood Land within the Disney California Adventure Park. The set up in the waiting area is awesome, huge screens on the walls with Frozen playing and other movies and activities to keep the kids occupied while they wait to meet the princesses. That said the first afternoon we popped in to check the line – it was two hours long. This is not uncommon as, let’s be fair, these are major celebs we are talking about hereūüėúbut with several days ahead of us in the parks we were in no rush to see them so went up and asked the Cast Member at the entrance when the best time to come was to reduce wait time. They told us first thing in the morning or last thing at night! So that is what we did! The next morning we had a character breakfast scheduled at 7am. We were running a tad late leaving that so got to the Elsa & Anna meet and greet at about 8:20 (20 mins after they opened). we were first there! Literally walked straight in, no line at all. Was so fast it almost threw us I wasn’t prepared and was grovelling in my bag for my camera ha ha! It was so awesome though and ten minutes later we were wandering off to our next activity! Once again planning was so important to making this a smooth and efficient activity. Managing wait times as much as we could really did make the trip that extra bit special. Handling it this way meant we did not have one single 5 year old melt down the entire time we were in the park. I would have forgiven many given all the excitement but nope, not one!

Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique

That face ūüėć

Prepare yourself for the most adorable tear jerking memory making moment with your little prince or princess ever!! This experience is so close to our hearts. Those of you following our journey on social media may have seen this on my instagram stories. If not it’s saved to my highlights under “Disneyland” I have linked my instagram page here. If you think your little boy or girl would love this don’t hesitate! Again, plan ahead and book it into one of your days and work around it so that you can make the most of your time. We didn’t plan ours super well because Ruby was so tired that day and we had a night show planned so she went straight to bed in the resort afterwards ha ha! But it didn’t matter, I would honestly take her back just for this. The fairy god mothers make such a fuss, the photoshoot afterwards is just adorable. And included in our package was express entry to visit all the princesses in their castle! No line up! Worth the money for that alone in my eyes lol! We walked straight out of the boutique and into the arms of cinderella, Ariel and Snow White ready for hugs and autograph signings. If you can’t tell from my crazy rambling – we LOVED THIS! xx

…and this is the moment I burst into tears. She was having the best time! Special moment I will treasure forever. ūüė≠

Character Autographs

This was a massive highlight for Rubes. Throughout our entire stay her autograph book was never far from her reach and the excitement on her face when we ran into one of her favourites was worth the trip alone. When we visited Disney Aulani 18 months ago she was a little tentative around characters. This time, a little older – aged 5, she was super confident (albeit still a teeny bit shy which is her nature) in running up and hugging talking and holding out her book to add signatures to her collection. Since returning home i’ve printed her photos and stuck them in next to each autograph and it has become one of her most treasured possessions.

Ruby’s first character breakfast. We did this a few times. It can never hurt to book in advance but we had no problems getting into this whenever we wanted to. Storytellers is part of the Grand Californian Hotel so super easy if you’re staying there.
Ruby’s very first character encounter on night one, her face says it all!
Meeting Minnie outside her house! xx
Never too old for a photo with chewy!
Highly recommend the Goofy’s Kitchen character dinner. A huge highlight for all of us but especially Ruby. She is still talking about this!

You can easily book into character dinners, breakfasts, and other restaurants via the Disneyland app when in the park, or if you want to plan ahead then via the website before you leave home.

Disneyland Park

Lily gets carried away in Main Street Disneyland! ūüėú

A short walk from Disney California Adventure Park is Disneyland Park. We didn’t get here until day 2 and because of our itinerary we did do a bit of back and forth across the parks. To be honest because we had the four nights it didn’t matter losing a bit of time walking to and fro for particular shows etc that we wanted to see. But if you are on a shorter time frame I would definitely recommend sticking to just one park per day so that you don’t waste any time walking between. It’s worth noting too that for $15 a day you can hire a pram. We actually did this one afternoon for Ruby when she was needing a break and it was an absolute life saver. A good option for people with kids too old for a pram so not worth packing one, but who may end up needing one for a rest when things get a bit much.

Ruby LOVED DL park. Both the girls did. Home to Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, New Orleans Square, Critter County, Frontierland, Tomorrowland and Main street there is soooo much to do in Disneyland! Ruby loved it because she’s really still quite little at heart and her favourite rides were the teacup and carousel ūü§£! She also loved Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan’s Flight (absolute magic!). And exploring Minnie and Mickey’s houses and Goofy’s Gardens were also a hit. I LOVED the pop up Mary poppins show. And like Disney California Adventure Park, loads of awesome restaurants to stop and revitalise.

Map of Disneyland Park and attractions
In her element! ūüėć

Mickey’s Magical Map

This was awesome!!! An essential addition to your Disneyland Park itinerary no matter what age . I was so impressed with the quality of both the street and stage shows in Disneyland. Such a great way to break the day up and experience things other than rides. We packed a lot in but believe it or not there are still things on our list we want to go back and do! The entertainment is non stop. I can’t believe we attempted to do the parks in one day all those years ago. There really is enough to fill five amazing days and more!

Breakfast ūüėÖ
Epic wall in Toon Town next to Minnie Mouse House! ūüėć
Casual with my floss at It’s A Small World ūü§™ūüėā
And we are off! That’s a wrap. Cannot wait to visit again, feeling so grateful to have had this time making memories with our girls xx

Our Video Highlights…

We took so much video on the trip and I’ve attempted to compile some of them into this clip linked below. I think I probably had more success using my instagram story highlights and next trip I will def be purchasing a go pro to make this easier! I’m inspired now! But I’m glad to have these phone memories to treasure all the same.

To book your own trip visit the Disneyland, talk to your local travel agent in Australia – they have all the info available that you will need. xx

*Our visit was hosted by Disneyland and AirCanada. All images videos and thoughts on the trip are my own. x


Beautiful Byron Bay

After a week-long hunt for a lost memory card I’m pressing on with this blog post, and trying not to think about the lost photos – weep! (MUST become an organised adult at some point soon and stop losing super valuable and irreplaceable things! gah). Anyway turns out I’m oversharing with a gazillion photos anyway and have just added some links to the places I don’t have photos of. I’m completely blaming the hectic renovation that has sent our lives into absolute chaos!

Beautiful Byron, one of our favourite family holidays yet. Something for all ages. So much to do but also the perfect surroundings to just kick back and relax. As a wanna be hipster (gimme all the hipster food! just can I also eat soft cheese, and champagne, and the occasional steak?!) the place was total foodie heaven. Vegan everything or just organic home-grown deliciousness. You wont leave hungry!

Accommodation

Palm Tree Cottage: Owned by the gorgeous Mister Zimi , perfect family accommodation. We are a family of 5, Ed is 13, Lily 10 and Ruby nearly 3 and the size was absolutely perfect. 2 queen rooms and a loaded up kids room with twin beds trundle and a cot. We could have easily fit more children, but probably not more adults as our 13-year-old son took the second queen room and it was a very comfortable set up. If you were keen on a group and each visiting couple had one child only (0r a bunch of toddlers), then two families would fit. Otherwise I’d say stick to one if your family is on the larger size. The styling of the house was PERFECT so clean and bright with pops of colour at every turn with an open plan kitchen/diving/living. Linen was far beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in an air b & b (stunning¬†quality) but probably the best thing of all was the provision of absolutely everything. Sauce, olive oil, salt in the pantry, laundry powder, soap, towels ,beach towels, bikes with toddler seats, toys, games, body boards, literally just pack your swimmers!! You¬†feel instantly at home the second you walk in the door. If you’re after an authentic family Byron Bay experience and appreciate convenience, character (so much better than a stripped back completely sterile holiday home) and reasonable prices, then this is the shack for you. We will be back without a doubt! PS did I mention there is a¬†pirate ship cubby? pardon the posing 3-year-old, I cannot even explain, I ask to take her photo and that’s what she does at the top of the slide ! She’s a trick!

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The Beaches

The Byron Bay beaches are literally as if they were purpose made for families. There is something for literally every¬†age. A point break AND a surf break (I know very little about surfing but the huzz and son tell me this is UN HEARD OF) an inlet (referred to by Ruby as the river, warm, calm, so perfect for babies and toddlers to paddle) tree lined beaches providing so much shade, wild life (bush turkeys, goannas, lizards, kangaroos and wild rabbits were daily sightings at The Pass and/or Tallows) walking trails along the coast line, rocks for crabbing, what have I missed? We are spoilt with amazing beaches in South Australia, but I have to admit, Byron owns¬†the best I’ve ever seen in Australia. Big call but I’m backing it.

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Halcyon House

What a treat, located at Cabarita Beach this former surfers motel has been transferred to luxury and houses Paper Daisy restaurant. Well worth a visit either with or without kids to try the food. We had the prawn salad and home-made magnums – eek! DIVINE. The absolutely stunning fit out reflect everything Australian Summer. I’m already hinting to Andy it would be a nice sneaky couples weekend idea. I could definitely see myself by that pool with a mojito for an afternoon.

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Killen Falls

This is a must. Kids, no kids, it’s a short work (although a decent rocky clamber the last couple hundred metres) and well worth it. People set up for the day with towels and swimmers and soak up the tranquility and cleansing properties in the air. When we looked back at the holiday and I asked the big kids their favourite, this was it (followed very closely by Crystal Castle for Lily) but they just loved this adventure. If we had more time we would have visited again this time with a packed lunch so we could stay longer – because snacks.

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The Farm Byron Bay

We visited twice! Such an amazing set up. Again something for all ages but my girls (3 and 10) just adored it. Well we all did. But they were literally freaking out with joy. But that said you don’t need kids to enjoy this set up. Something for everyone. Food outstanding. We visited twice both times for breakfast. Next time we will go for dinner also for sure. The girls participated in the Farm Kids holiday workshop where they get to go into all the enclosures, get up and close with the animals, collect eggs and macadamia nuts, which they then cook with and up cycle the shells into gorgeous little decorated planters for sprouts! You can see our progress pics below. They were so happy with themselves. And it was an added bonus that it was an activity a 3 and 10-year-old could enjoy together – not always the case. The casual environment, playground, lawns, and open space make it a super enjoyable outing and so easy to visit again and again and always do something different. We pre ordered cheese hampers for the day the girls did the Farm Kids activities. Ruby ended up needing a nap so we took it to the beach with us that night instead of having it there. SO GOOD.

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Rae’s at Wategos

Gorgeous lunch with stunning views of Wategos Beach¬†. We snuck to this one child free. Beautifully presented amazing quality food. Bookings are essential and lunch and dinner only, if you’re looking for a romantic or¬†relaxed but beautiful meal this is definitely worth a visit. A fave. Lots of beautiful walks close by and if you’re into your architecture¬†there are¬†plenty of celebrity beach houses to try to catch a glimpse of close by! We did the lighthouse walk on other days, but it’s literally right there too. Stunning.

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Harvest

Located in the Byron Bay Hinterland this was an absolute delight. Rustic yet sophisticated ambience reflective of the divine country setting, they showcase some of the regions best produce. We booked for a late sitting for lunch with the kids on a Saturday afternoon. When we arrived it was initially super busy and threatened to be a disaster (I think a wedding party – a big one! had dropped in unexpectedly and thrown a bit of chaos) but within minutes they had us seated and things settled very quickly to be one of the best lunches we’ve ever experienced. Remember this¬†– the lamb for two! pictured below. Just beyond. I hope it’s still on the menu when we return! That said the cocktails the fish, the kids meals everything tasteful, healthy, and just outstanding. Okay you get it, I’ll stop raving now. GO.

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The Lighthouse Walks

An absolute must, if I lived locally I’d go every day. Such a fun way to quickly get in some very decent exercise while on holidays (hello stairs!) spectacular views and several hike options.

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Doma Cafe (Federal)

They don’t seem to have a webpage for me to link in here but look them up. SO worth the drive if you have a car. (I would highly recommend a car for this holiday, so much to do just out-of-town). Fresh Japanese inspired food. Sushi, salads, burgers. A play area for the kids in a casual rustic yet authentic setting. And the drive out was spectacular.

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Other outings:

Crystal Castle

This was sweet.¬†And unfort the photos are all on the missing memory card :(. When I find it I”ll load up some images. Set in the beautiful hinterland its a decent drive. Probably too far to just ‘pop in’ but if you have interested members in the family its worth it. With recent illness in our fam natural healing and health is high priority so it was a great little educational spiritual visit for the girls and I. It’s¬†a gorgeous walk with loads of wildlife, crystals galore (of course) a labyrinth and little play ground for the kids and a nice airy cafe. The boys played golf while we did this and I definitely don’t think it would have been up their alley at all. But Lily (10) loved it so much. She still talks about it and treasures the crystals she’s brought home with her.

Other places to eat

The Tree House – BRILLIANT. ¬†def with kids but no kids? yes yes! go anyway! This casual setting¬†on Belongil Beach is essential. Easy well priced but super nourishing food. Wood fired pizzas, salads, cocktails. We visited a few times for dinner (hence no photos I’m rubbish at night-time photography) but this is honestly just the best casual dining ever. I want it to be my local! Any time of day, any company, anything goes. FAVE casual dining I think!

Byron Fresh – in the main part of the town (I am forgetting streets here) but great casual easy food, delicious cocktails and constant live music. We went once for lunch and once for dinner. Cute quintessential Byron style fit out. I recall hearing from somebody they didn’t love it here but we all loved it! So a thumbs up from me.

Miss Margarita – we didn’t go but looked so great for dinner! Mexican – YUM.

Bay Leaf¬†– Possibly my favourite breakfast! That said , that’s a big call, there were a lot of good breakfast options! But this was epic. I had the quinoa porridge. DELISH. Very busy but if you can get a table its well worth the hustle. I could eat here every day.

Leaf and Grain – next door to Bay Leaf. Great coffee and quick take away breakfast options.

Naked Treaties – I had long time admired these guys (I am not a vegan but so so so love vegan food) via their instagram account. We just don’t have anywhere with such a wide range of raw treats, salads and epic smoothies where I live. Definitely worth a visit to try the latest energy boosting or cleansing formula. We went several times and loved everything.

Combi Byron Bay – spectacular smoothie bowls and raw treats. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and gorgeous fit out. Another one we frequented regularly for healthy treats. I always make an effort to visit them in Elwood when I’m in Melbourne, so was excited to see they had recently opened in Byron.

Shopping

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Oh gosh where to start. so so SO many beautiful options in Byron Bay with a real range in price point so definitely something for everyone. From thrift shops to high-end vintage it’s all there. A¬†week wasn’t long enough to really make the most of what was on offer but here is where I went, I’m sure a have missed a million good places – good reason to go back!

Mister Zimi What can I say. Colour! Byron Bay! Bali! Santorini! Beach! Cocktails! Green Juice! Oysters! This brand screams it all. Everything I love encapsulated in the form of  colour bomb hard-wearing super comfy clothing. Long time favourites. Was so great to visit their new store in person as have previously only shopped online. (next door is the Mez Club, so on point with the Mister Zimi vibes, perfect spot to celebrate your purchase with a cocktail!)

Spell¬†Located so close to Palm Tree Cottage you’ll drive past every day on your way to town or the beach. Beautiful whimsical everything. Worth a visit not just for the fashion but to lust over the quintessential byron boho interiors and shop front. Love everything about them.

Auguste the Label¬†Loved everything about this store. I’ve long time seen bloggers sporting these whimsical threads but never in the flesh. I bought so many pieces. Affordable boho in wearable styles. perfect to wear to the beach or lunch in one of the many nearby cafes.

Ahoy Trader all the cute homeware. They have online too, I have my eyes on so many things for home once our renovation is complete.

Hendrix & Harlow so many cute things!

Byron Bay Hanging Chairs I love them so! Planning a space for one in my home as we speak. Was forever admiring them in shops and accommodation as we passed by.

Tiny People¬†¬†The most lovely owner and divine¬†children’s clothing, decor and accessories. I bought the girls some gorgeous white dresses and sandals here.

That’s it! Our week in Byron Bay. These were really just the places we stumbled on or were recommended to visit. I’m sure I’ve missed a whole bunch of places but if we’d done it all we couldn’t have hit the beach for half of every day. Next time we will stay 2 weeks, for sure. xx


A week in Hong Kong

When the huzz has been on 14 overseas trips this year (and counting) and announces another impromptu sojourn (okay okay admittedly he works extremely hard but details) what else is an exhausted Mama of three to do but stash herself and youngest child in his stowaway luggage. Surprise ! We find you!

I joke I joke, but a mini break was exactly what we needed. Andy¬†had a pretty full schedule and despite being practically local had no time to give me even the heads up on basic house keeping like – don’t drink the tap water. Which, admittedly is common sense. But I just. kept. doing. it. and blaming the fish. Until I finally worked it out. LOL! OH well didn’t need that extra 2kg anyway. Nothing a banana and coconut water couldn’t fix!! In all seriousness only a minor tummy upset and¬†Rubes and I had so much fun exploring this exciting city together. So it turned out, we got a flag to a tonne of conference dinners too – the cheats way to seeing all the best restaurants in Hong Kong without having to do any research !¬†Was not complaining!

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We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel on Hong Kong Island. Brilliant location, so easy to get to everything we needed. Admittedly we chose the hotel¬†for its amazing pool. Remembering our time in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands (you can read about it here) and how much Ruby loved the pool there¬†this was the obvious choice. What we weren’t to know was she decided on arrival¬†completely out of the blue, that she’s petrified of swimming. Thank heavens for the 3 inch decorative fountain surrounding the area, I could atleast have a latte every morning poolside while she rolled around in that like a mini hippo, other parents looking at us strangely, offering up their floating devices and bribes to try and help me get her in THE ACTUAL POOL. Bless. Didn’t happen. But we loved it all the same! And can you even handle the view from our room! We will definitely be back.

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Getting around: This scooter made the trip, 100%. we took it everywhere. I have a Bugaboo Bee. Normally super handy for travel. But with all the air bridges, and a nearly 3 year old with no interest in actually sitting. and the lack of lifts (escalators a plenty) I quickly realised the scooter was the way forward. All the airbridges (pictured below) connect the hotels and shopping centres and so many of the day to day places we visited were easily accessed via scooter. It was also easier¬†to get on the MTR with a scooter than a pram (buy an Octopus¬†card when you arrive – thank me later – the train is so quick and easy to get around on!) and¬†didn’t get even a sideways glance from security in all the lush shopping centres. I just held on to the handle bars when the crowds got busy and steered her through, preventing any side eye glances from shoppers. I will never travel without it!

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The Peak: Worth a look but can be very busy with tourists. We arrived at dusk so we could see it in daylight and also lit up at night. There are restaurants (very casual) and a decent sized shopping centre. Catch the tram up for the whole experience and a stunning view of Hong Kong.

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Shek O Beach: This was one of my favourite outings in Hong Kong. I had no idea the beaches would be so beautiful, the surrounding fishing villages even more so. Everything so lush and green. just STUNNING. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful friend pick us up and take us on the most magical drive through this area. Colourful architecture at every turn. I could move in tomorrow. (Claire wearing Mister Zimi, Ruby wearing Oishi M)

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Victoria Park: located in Causeway bay, not far from Times Square, this lush green park in the heart of the city is a welcome break from the hustle. Ruby was beyond delighted to discover the playground and we visited frequently to break up our shopping trips. (Ruby wearing Oishi M)

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Times Square: Holy moly this was a surprise. Think BUSY. Don’t take your stroller, I would wear baby¬†in a sling, and toddlers on scooters or on foot so that you can make full use of the escalators. Don’t do what I did and try and get a taxi out at 5 pm on a Friday night – didn’t think that one through! but absolutely worth the visit. Diverse range of shops and great food spots too. Atmosphere a plenty.

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Goldfish Market – Tung Choi Street North (Kowloon): Ruby and I caught the train from central and got off at Prince Edward Station. So easy and could walk from here to the Flower Markets (only a few streets away). Streets were lined with more exotic breeds of goldfish than I’ve ever seen. Some with the most alarming price tags! Ruby thoroughly enjoyed this walk, so much to see and a great way to soak up authentic Hong Kong atmosphere away from the plethora of high end¬†shops.

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Flower Markets: appropriately located on Flower Market Road (Kowloon) absolutely beautiful. Not sure I could have gotten away with this one with my older children in tow (boring they would say) but Ruby loved it. Especially the pet kittens wandering around the place! Certainly one to put on your list if you have an interest in photography, or flowers, or both! I adored it and would visit again for sure. But I love flowers. And taking photos of them . So it was a win for me ūüėČ

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Soho (south of Hollywood Road): I LOVED it here. We visited regularly as it was so easy to get to on the airbridge escalators. For this reason I would definitely recommend the Four Seasons Hotel as it was so close by. We loved being in this area. The streets are beyond chic. Full of delightful shops and delicious snacks. Set amongst some of¬†Hong Kong’s most beautiful historic narrow streets you’ll find some of the best bars and restaurants. By day there are shops¬†galore, art galleries, and stunning antique shops. And by night it really comes into its own, upmarket¬†cocktail bars, delicious restaurants. SO much fun to be had. We loved Petit Bazaar¬†on Gough Rd. The most divine children’s fashion and decor boutique spilling with¬†all our favourite brands. Tutu du Monde, Bobo Choses, Numero 74, Louise Misha. This list goes on!

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Disneyland – a total highlight. You can read our Disney post here.

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Ocean Park. Basically¬†Hong Kong’s version of our Aussie Seaworld!¬†If I had my time again I perhaps wouldn’t have bothered going with just Ruby (nearly 3). It’s a big day. She absolutely loved it but we found it pretty exhausting in the humidity. Very large¬†and everything quite spread out. Perfect for a large family outing where you can split up. So much to do for a wide range of age groups. My big kids would have adored it and I would definitely go back with them. If I was in town with just Ruby and had to choose, I’d probably head to Disney again as it’s focused more at her age group.

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Other things to do:

The Victoria Harbour Symphony of Lights Show

Big Buddha We missed out on this due to bad weather on the day we were planning to go. I will be making it an absolute priority on our next visit. Sad to have missed it this time.

Aberdeen Fishing Village Colourful boats galore. I would have loved to have seen this!

Instagram Pier : could be fun !