Sydney Royal Easter Show; our 2012 experience

 Yesterday we headed off to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. We go every second year as it is such an expensive day. 

No matter how old the kids, they all love the animal experience, year after year.

We went this year with another family, S is the same age as J (both pictured here, J on right showing his feminine side!) and S' younger brother C, who is 7.

 The big slippery dip has increased in height from previous years and was a winner with all four 'children' (the fourth being David who raced them to the bottom). The spinning top contraption was their favourite ride. I was happy to have a brief sit and scream for them on Terra Firma!

 What little girl wouldn't be excited by a clip-in, long beaded / braided pony? The boy's found ridiculous 'Angry Birds' winter beanies to buy and wear on a scorching hot day. As you do. 
They also found somewhere to play a video game. Hello!!!! Not today guys....

 I found another take on my mantra....I think I need this for my sleep-in mornings!

So much to see and do in one day!

 There were tears because we stuck to the rule of 'one in, all in' and C wasn't old enough for the Haunted Castle so the others had to forgo this one. And the fruit and veggie displays didn't quite cut the mustard with the troops at the tiring end of the day. (The adults loved them)

The best thing for J was meeting his T.V idols Bajo and Hex from Good Game TV and getting their autographs! Exciting stuff indeed! (Oh, to be 10 again! LOL!)

So.... here's my general breakdown:
Entertainment factor for children:  10 / 10
Food quality and variety:  0 / 10
The food was seriously revolting. The most edible things we found were cheese toasties (at a Dairy display), strawberries on skewers (yum) and corn on the cob. Everything was poisonously expensive.
Seating availability: 3 / 10
OK availability in  proximity to food outlets but non-existent elsewhere. There were many grandparents and disabled people attending and no seating near rides or in display areas.
Cost: $410 
Entry  $96 for D, J & I. (My friend paid $83 for 1 adult & 2 children)
Rides $65
Food and drinks $100 
Show bags $100 (The World's Biggest Show bag $18, Snakes Alive $12, Trash pack Bag $15, Crusty Demons $25, Bertie Beetle Mega pack $10 (brought home for A),Hello Kitty $20 (brought home for S)
Novelty hat for J $20
Novelty T for Davo $20
All Day Parking $20
Worst aspect: Value for entry fee.
The entry fee supposedly covers all the free entertainment that is featured and the fireworks display. We saw a brief 15 minutes of motorcycle stunts (a longer performance was held only at night) and two large 'kangaroo' street performers. J and David saw the tail end of the High dive show. (We were in the wrong place at the worng time). Ultimately though, I'm not sure what we paid for??? We missed out on milking a cow (more takers than spots) and couldn't fit into the stands to watch the dog trials or sheep shearing as their smaller pavilions were full to capacity.
(Other years we were thrilled by watching a woman being shot from a cannon, hour long Freestyle motorbike displays, Holden racing teams Precision driving show, Monster trucks, fire-breathing vehicles , mini-diggers playing soccer, street performers galore and the list could go on....where were you all this year?) The performances of the day are usually repeated at night so if you go home early with exhausted children you miss only the fireworks. Very disappointing this year.
Best aspect: Parking and attendants
The low, $20 flat fee was very reasonable and we found parking easy and close to the showground. Entry and exit was a breeze and there was no queuing to pay. Heaps of attendants were on hand for anyone with problems. There were staff throughout the showground too, easily identified by their fluro jackets to assist with navigating the show or assisting where needed. This was great!

Personally, though I wouldn't attend again. I'd much prefer a weekend away for my money but I'm positive that J will want to go.... it is after all, a special day for children and seeing him tear up (Shhhh...) and be so speechless meeting his TV idols made the money well spent in this family so I may reconsider; perhaps in two years time again? My friend and her children had never been before and without better years to compare, loved every minute though were quite overwhelmed by the experience.

Did you go this year? What was your verdict?

x KL

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