I have had a pretty hectic few weeks this last month so I am not as organised as I usually am for Easter and the Royal Easter Show …. which translates into I have done nothing. Very naughty of me. But does that mean that the show is out of the question … and the more pressing question … do I want to take the family this year?

First things first … what is possible to do when I have little time to organise

Last Minute Planning for the Royal Easter Show

1. Transport

Driving and Parking – (assuming you have got the Mobility Parking Scheme Permit)
According to the show website … Accessible parking is available at Sydney Olympic Park and can be pre-booked over the phone through Ticketek on 132 849. All vehicles must display a valid RTA access sticker and the RTA Mobility Parking Scheme permit must be shown upon payment to the cashier. Not sure if that would be sucessful at this late stage … but if you have a day in mind might be worth ringing up ASAP

Public Transport
Always an option and the cost includes travel to and from the Show on CityRail, Sydney Olympic Park major event buses, regular Sydney buses services, Liverpool to Parramatta T-way buses and Sydney Ferry services.  As from an economic perspective and the fact doesn’t require any further organisation it is perfect for the last minute show planner. But not always the right decision … how will the kids cope with a full day of being over stimulated and then hop on a train. Hmmm … not sure about this one.

2. Tickets

Tickets for people and children with Autism and other disabilities
If you have looked at the Tickets page for the Royal Easter Show … Yes you can still get special tickets for people with disabilities (PWD) and their carers for the Royal Easter Show. They just don’t communicate it that well on the website. The reason is that you can’t buy them from the website you need to speak to someone on the phone or when you get to the show.

ShowLink PWD tickets are available to those issued with The Companion Carer’s Card, The Disability Pension Card, an RTA Mobility Card, Children’s Healthcare Card or Vision Impaired Travel Pass. One complimentary Adult ShowLink ticket will be issued to the accompanying carer. PWD tickets can be purchased by calling the Show Ticketing line or from the Show entry gates. ShowLink PWD After 5pm tickets are also available and include one complimentary Adult ShowLink ticket for the accompanying carer. For more info, please call 1300 730 631 (option 2). Information from the Tickets FAQ page

Tickets for everyone else
Whatever way you look at it the Royal Easter Show is expensive … and that starts at the gate. While kids 3 and under are free .. YEAH. Adults are $36.00 and Children 4 and up are$ 23.50. Family tickets (2 Adults + 2 children) $107.  

3. Planning for the day …using my tips from last year.

Lockers
A cornerstone to any successful trip to the Royal Easter Show … and IMHO this is for anyone is to make sure you get in early and get a locker. Lockers will be available for hire during the Sydney Royal Eater Show. You can find them:

    • opposite Showbag Hall (my personal favourite)
    • outside Woodchop Stadium
    • outside The Woolworths Fresh Food Dome
    • inside The Woolworths Fresh Food Dome foyer (until 8.30pm only)

Self service coin lockers are $2 each time they are used (IMHO not recommended). You can also hire a locker for the whole day for $8 with a $2 key deposit.

Trust me … at the end of the day you will thank me for this advice. Put the lunch bags in there … anything you don’t need to access during the day. Come back for lunch or whenever you need to add more or take out. They are brillant.

Plan for what you will see and Do
I think this one is a key thing. Make a plan of where you will enter and what you will see and in what order. Study the map. Download the iPhone App. If you want some ideas on what to do the Royal Easter show has a few suggested itineraries aimed at different age groups. I always try to get something that I know will be a big draw card not long after we arrive. I find that really helps to set a positive tone for the day. Also plan plenty of breaks and identify places where you can “check out”. Ideally as far away as possible from the Carnivals (I would even do as far as trying to avoid walking through there at all).

Plan for  all weather contingencies
As with anything that you plan days/weeks in advance bring things for all weather contingencies. However as you will have a locker. This is a great place to put this extra stuff.

Plan to bring plenty of food and drink with you
Not only with this save you money it will make it alot easier. Having food you know your kids can/will eat on hand saves you time (and potentially from tantrums) instead of waiting in line for food that would (in most cases) be inferior to what you would bring yourself. Again … remember you can store some of it in the locker.

Don’t do it alone
My recommendation is to have at least 2 adults and ideally at least 1 adult for every child plus 1. Last year I went to the show with 2 children and 3 adults. This made it alot easier and alot more enjoyable for everyone. It can be a great time to go out with grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Tag your children
While you do everything you can to make sure that they don’t run off. I think planning is always best. Last year I just used bright tags with their names on it but also would consider using the old fashioned marker pen on the t-shirt/arm or mobile number. Not sure … either way I know the key is to make it prominent.

To go or not to go … that is the question

To be honest … I am not sure. I know I love the show. Particularly the Food, Home, Lifestyle & Leisure and Arts and Crafts areas … and not to forget the awesome ladies from the CWA. But I am not sure after such a  busy month … and this being LittleMan’s first school holidays that I should put this in the mix. Hmmm … don’t know. My husband said that we should give the Sydney Family Show a try this year instead … maybe that is an idea.