Tips for surviving the EKKA with kids
I actually made it to the EKKA again this year, which was only possible with the help of my mother. Once I made the decision to actually head to the big smoke for the long weekend, I tried my hardest to convince The Farmer to join me. You know how it goes… farm will go into melt down if he leaves for a few days, such a long way etc. Once my mother decided to accompany me and the children we were ready to go!
Having made it through the day – barely – here are my tips for surviving the EKKA with young children.
1. Start early. Avoid the huge crowds and make it onto rides with little to no fuss before lunch. The same rule applies for the showbag pavilion. Which leads me to point number 2.
|The kids and I on a ride together. Sam and Darcy didn't love it as much as Olivia and I did! ;)|
2. Get yourself a locker (and if you have more than two children and plan on getting show bags) get yourself two lockers. You can ditch all your gear until you need it and then you are freed up for most of the day. We left showbags and cold weather gear (like jackets) in ours, but other people left baby gear in there as well.
3. Make sure you grab yourself those police ID tags for your kids. Crowds are crazy at the EKKA. Good crazy.
4. Pack as much food and drink as you can, without taking away from the EKKA experience. You will still need to score yourself some show food (whether it be a Dagwood Dog, strawberry sundae, or some Queensland fresh produce) to complete your family day out. My kids were like bottomless pits however, so some nibblies and water were particularly handy.
|Mum and I sampling the amazing and iconic Strawberry Sundaes!|
5. It can get pretty warm in the middle of the day. Pack sunscreen, hats and extra water! And remember to use them.
6. Get to shows early. We arrived at the Racing Pigs display about an hour early. It gave us a base for lunch (in the shade), and we managed to score great seats for the show – which packs out at least half an hour early.
|The kiddies and I waiting for the Racing Pigs show to begin.|
Having said all of that, my kids were completely exhausted by 4pm, and we made an early departure. So my final tip for the day (which completely goes against my number one tip) is:
7. Pace yourself. We peaked too early. Start with displays, walk around, visit pavilions, and shows (whatever floats your boat), and the rides and showbags will still be there later. I’m thinking if we’d arrived at about lunch, we could still have seen everything we wanted to see, and then we could have stayed to see the night show and fireworks display.
In any event, we came, we saw, we conquered. My plan for next time is to make it to the fireworks. We all had a ball and I didn’t manage to lose any children in the progress. I’d call that a win!