In a fit of parenting madness, I agreed to take the kids to The Ekka on Peoples' Day.
I knew it would be noisy and crowded, but Peoples' Day is the one day the kids get off school for Brisbane's iconic royal show. And I figured it would be better to go on a public holiday than pull them out of school for the day. (Just call me Mother Of the Year.)
The kids were way too excited to wait until the weekend, and besides, thanks to the last giveaway of a family pass to the Ekka, (which was won by Kimmie), I wanted to review the show for my dear readers.
In a stroke of genius, we caught the train in. Which meant no battling for expensive and/or legal parking spots, and ended up with us arriving being right at the centre of all the action. (The Ekka train station opens specially for the show).
That saved little legs and feet from too much walking, and left more time for fun.
We hit sideshow alley first, and as usual, were assailed by carnies offering for us to part with our money. Many of them had lovely accents - a lot of workers appeared to be backpackers - and were actually really nice.
And the kids actually won some toys too!
In awe of one of the many 'haunted' rides
Harmonie gamely strikes a hammer down as hard as she can. It didn't quite make it to the top!
They took home a couple of tiny stuffed toys for their troubles
Chase had more luck popping balloons with darts. He was thrilled with his blue alien!
And Harmonie was delighted with her cuddly blue hedgehog
It wouldn't be The Ekka without Dagwood dogs for lunch. At $5 a pop, I was glad they only wanted one each!
It took us ages queuing to get into the showbag pavillion, and there were lines for the popular bags. They even had security people rostered on to stop people from jumping the queues! Crazy!
We then saw a few baby animals and a little of the Woolworths Pavillion before the kids, particularly Aspie Mr 11, got tired and overwhelmed from the noise and being bumped into by the crowds of people.
We were lucky enough to nab what I think is this year's best value showbag first though, the South Cape Fine Foods bag. The bag was a small cooler bag complete with ice-pack to keep the contents cold, a cheese tray, knife, crackers and three of your choice of cheeses. All for $15 and afternoon tea at home was sorted!
Checking out our goodies on the way home.
Was it worth it? If you can afford it, I'd go.
Personally I found the Ekka hideously expensive, and it was a pity we couldn't stay longer to see more of the free entertainment and activities. Ideally, we'd love to go back to see the night program and fireworks, and perhaps we should have got a pass out on the day, gone home for a rest, and returned later.
We'll know next time.
On the way home, both kids kissed me and thanked me for taking them.
"It was the best Ekka experience ever," said Miss 9.
"I loved everything about it," said Mr 11. "Can we go again?"
And that made it all worthwhile!
You can't argue with the smile ...