Usually on weekdays I try to stay in the local area, mainly to avoid peak hour Sydney traffic, however, I have been researching baby and toddler playgroups at some of the large museums and art galleries in the city and was really keen to first check out Tiny Tots, the weekly educational playgroup for toddlers at the Australian Museum.
Tiny Tots runs every Friday from 10:30am - 11:30am and each month there is a new theme. We went during the ‘Dinosaur Discovery’ month, while next month will be all about ‘Fabulous Frogs’.
I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it as something fun yet educational for your toddler. The group was located in two large adjoining rooms and the educators had set up a number of dinosaur themed sensory tubs and activity areas that toddlers could explore at their own place. Farley loved the dinosaur footprint paint stamps, the dinosaur bone dig, the water tub with aquatic dinosaur figurines, the clay fossil making and the pre-historic jungle diorama. There was also a group storytime and a little dance session where everyone got to wear dinosaur tails. What I loved most was the limited capacity of the group so the rooms didn’t feel crowded and the kids had plenty of space to either play together or by themselves. My shy little toddler had the most fun once everyone left, she really didn’t want to leave once she had the place all to herself! While the educators where lovely and took the lead during the story time and dance time, it was perfectly set up for parents to supervise their own toddler's self directed play.
I loved it and am planning to attend this playgroup every month or so, to try each different theme.
Tips and Practical Information:
Cost: The Tiny Tots session is $10 for a member child or $12 for a non member child, plus the cost of an adult admission, which is $15 (or free if you are a member). Online booking in advance is highly recommended. For more info and to purchase ticket, go to the Tiny Tots website here
Getting there and parking: The Australian Museum is in the heart of the city with no parking onsite. The museums website recommended parking at The Hilton Sydney on Pitt Street which is a 10 minute walk away. The Australian Museum has a promotional rate with Secure Parking - flat rate of $20. I decided to catch the train in to Town Hall and walked from there, which was approx 10 minutes. For more info on getting to the Australian Museum - check out their website here
Pram Friendly?: If you are walking from the Secure Parking at The Hilton or Town Hall Train Station, I'd highly recommend bring a pram. There is space for pram parking outside the room that Tiny Tots is held in, but be sure to take in any valuables with you as the prams are left unattended. Getting around the Museum with a pram isn't too difficult but the lifts are small and very slow. If you're still able to wear your baby / toddler in a carrier, I'd recommend that!
Baby Change Facilities? Yes! There are two, one located on Level G, next to the double door lift and one on Level 2 in Kidspace. Check here for more info.
There is a lot more on offer for kids at the Australian Museum; it makes for a wonderful day out. While you're there, be sure to check out Kidspace, an area designed specifically for under 5's.
Address: 1 William Street, Sydney, NSW, 2010 | Website: www.australianmuseum.net.au