The Sydney Royal Easter Show is one of Australia’s largest annual events, with up to one million people passing through its gates every year. If you’re planning to attend the event with a litter of rug rats in tow, here’s how to get through the day without boring them senseless or going broke.
Pack a lunch
Attach your mobile number to small children
The Easter Show is an extremely large and crowded place. It only takes a few seconds to completely lose sight of children even if you’re being diligent. (Case in point: my seven-year old daughter accidentally walked off in the wrong direction after disposing of rubbish just a few feet away from us – if I hadn’t been carefully watching her she would have disappeared.) For added peace of mind, attach an identity bracelet to your tot that includes your contact number. This will make it much easier for officials to reunite you with your missing sprog.
Bypass the boring stuff
Take plenty of cash
ATMs are in relatively short supply at the show, which means the lines are always huge. Work out your estimated budget and bring it with you (along with an extra $50 as a bare minimum.) You might also want to split the notes between you and your partner or keep some in a separate bag to insure against theft.
Don’t get sucked into buying ride tickets in bulk
Naturally, the system is geared towards making you spend as much as possible, but I found you’re better off ignoring the so-called incentives and sticking to a conservative number. This forces you to choose your rides wisely and frees up extra time for other show pursuits. Also, you’re not actually losing that much money if you decide to purchase more tickets later on – we’re only talking about a few extra dollars here.
Make your way to seated events at least one hour prior
Spend ages at the Nursery Farm
Stay after dusk
Buy show bags at closing time
Only an unusually cruel parent would take their kids to the Easter Show and refuse to buy a show bag – it’s the equivalent of going to McDonald’s and requesting no toy in their Happy Meal. On the other hand, they’re invariably filled with worthless tat that will break within minutes and cost up to $30 per bag. To make matters worse, the main showbag pavilion is a nightmarish maze of human congestion that can take over an hour to navigate.
To save time and money, I recommend bypassing the showbag pavilion entirely. Instead, wait until closing time and head to one of the smaller show bag stalls near the main exits. While the overall selection is smaller, these stalls have all the best-selling bags. As an added bonus, you won’t have to carry them around all day and can keep your kids in line with some good ol’ fashioned blackmail. (e.g. – “If you two don’t stop fighting, you won’t get any show bags!”)