Review: Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream – Brisbane show. What dreams are made of!

Review: Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream – Brisbane show. What dreams are made of!

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum

What a weekend!
With one of our 19-month old twincesses rushed to hospital after suffering a febrile convulsion this weekend, and spending a night in hospital (details here but I will say it was THE most terrifying and traumatic moment of my life), our family had to resort to Plan B to be able to make it to the Brisbane show of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream which we had all been looking forward to!

Miss 5 had been counting down the days to see her favourite princesses in action (especially a special young lady who she was lucky enough to enjoy a one-on-one ice skating experience with recently) and Mr 3 was beside himself with excitement to lay eyes on Mickey Mouse.

While I stayed on the Gold Coast looking after a poorly bub, hubby and my sister (our children’s Aunty/God-mother), Miss 5, Mr 3 and Twincess Natalia (19 months) all headed to Brisbane to enjoy the 5pm show at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
(It was actually good timing to take their mind off the terrifying moments experienced over the weekend. A good chance for the kids to be swept up in the magic of all things Disney).

Equipped with a Disney on Ice tiara with flashing lights, and plush Mickey Mouse and Goofy toys, the kids happily took their seats and were eager with anticipation as the show began.

Mr 3 was bursting with excitement when
Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck appeared to ‘host’ the show, taking the crowd on a journey through the stories of Rapunzel, Cinderella and Snow White -  the magical stories played out in real life.

disney on ice brisbane review gold coast mum

The big castle, the talking Magic Mirror and firework displays had the kids entranced, and they loved hearing their favourite Disney songs.

The young – and young at heart – were also captivated when the amazing ice skaters were hoisted into the air – thanks to Rapunzel’s long locks – performing amazing tricks!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs were also a huge hit (and Mr 3 loved singing along with ‘Hi-Ho, it’s off to work we go’!
disney on ice brisbane review gold coast mum

The length of the show was perfect. 
There was an intermission (perfect to allow for snacks/dinner/toilet breaks). 
And the show ended – with much fanfare – just as many children were starting to get little fidgety and ready to join the performers on stage.

While my life-long dream to see Disney on Ice has not been fulfilled, I’m glad my children – minus one – got to experience the magic. 

And hubby (who happily forfeited watching his beloved West Tigers play) and my sister (who was running on not much sleep after helping us out with our medical emergencies and juggling work) also LOVED the show!

Guess it just means I’ll have to take the kids next time the show is in town, so twincess Victoria, who sadly missed out due to being unwell, and I can enjoy the show too!

The show is definitely value for money, I mean, how can you put a price on such a magical Disney experience that will live in the kids’ memory forever?!

However, the price point of the merchandise available at the end of the show was a bit of a concern to many of the parents, making it an expensive day out - especially for those with multiple children.
The snow cones, at $16 a pop, in special Disney containers, were a bit of a shock, as were the $20 balloons.
So, that’s something to keep in mind.
(Maybe an incentive for the kids in the lead up to attending the show so they can save their coins to put towards A purchase of their choice on the day rather than bugging the parents/caregivers for one of everything!)

Have you ever been to Disney on Ice?
Were you in the crowd for the Brisbane performances of Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream?
What was your/your kids’ highlights?
Tickets to other shows in other capital cities are available through Ticketek.

[Gold Coast Mum received tickets to the show for the purposes of review. All opinions/observations are my own/my husband’s/my sister’s]
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Mum fuming after toddler's head shaved at day care

Mum fuming after toddler's head shaved at day care

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum

To most responsible adults, items such as hair clippers/ shavers/ beard trimmers would not be something you’d consider as a suitable toy for toddlers to play with. 

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case at one child care centre…

Julie Muir received the shock of her life when she picked up her daughter from childcare this week, discovering a section of her daughter’s hair had been shaved with clippers.

Yes. You read that right. A toddler had her head shaved whilst in child care.
With clippers. A dangerous electronic device. An unhygienic device that also contained someone else’s hairs in it (ewww!).

Julie says that when she discussed the matter with staff at the childcare centre/nursery in Battersea, London, “They said accidents happen all the time !!!!”
“The director was the one who said accidents like this happen in the home !!!! She runs the place!”

Photo: Julie Muir Facebook
Photo: Julie Muir Facebook
Photo: Julie Muir Facebook
Photo: Julie Muir Facebook

Julie shared her outrage with friends via Facebook:
“Look what happened to my baby at nursery !! I collected her on Tuesday to find another child had shaved her head .... And how did they come to have shavers ?? Well one of the teachers thought it would enhance their play and brought in her own from home which had power In it !!! Apparently they risk assessed this as safe to play with under 4s !! If u look closely u will see the old dirty beard hair that's been left in from her husbands!! Words fail us as u call imagine, course of action moved nursery immediately, ofsted informed and local council, and a legal advice chat !! 
[NAME REMOVED] KIDS NURSERY !!! In Battersea London 
Share and keep sharing !!”

Toddler's head shaved at child care
Photo: Julie Muir Facebook

Julie shared her story with friends and family and it has quickly spread.
“Julie Muir: 405 shares !!!!! Wow keep it going !!!!”

Many social media users said they found it hard to comprehend how a group of people could have such a lack of common sense, and also commended Julie for confronting the staff and taking photos.

Julie replied: “Thanks guys yes but it was so hard as I'm stood in a nursery with my baby surrounded by baby's wanting to scream WTF !!!!! But couldn't as u can imagine being furious but not wanting to upset my little one !!! So pissed off !”

According to Julie, her daughter is fine, but it happened “just when her hair was growing to”.

Julie told friends: “U can imagine how annoyed i am ! I won't stop till I see some serious consequences served up !”

Her friends, and others, equally outraged, replied with:
“.... I actually can't believe that any responsible ADULT let alone pre-school teachers would give children hair clippers to play with”.

The size and weight of the shaving device would also concern many, not to mention the sharp edges.

Toddler's head shaved at child care
Photo: Julie Muir Facebook

Julie, who says she is shocked and sick by the ordeal, and paid “a fortune to send her there too”, has thankfully found a new childcare centre to send her daughter.
“Found an outstanding one she starts today for Settling in x”

Julie is also in talks with a solicitor and relevant authorities in the UK to pursue the matter.

Julie Muir's toddler's head shaved at child care
Julie and her daughter in happier times. Photo: Julie Muir Facebook.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever experienced anything as shocking?

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Birth photography featuring bloody newborn & placenta shocks social media users. Likened to 'murder scene'.

Birth photography featuring bloody newborn & placenta shocks social media users. Likened to 'murder scene'.

By Lauren - Gold Coast Mum

It's official. Birth photography has reached a whole new level!

Not content with just giving birth in a hospital with a photographer in the room to capture the special moments of a baby being born, it seems giving birth IN A PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO (or could be anywhere really, set up with the backdrop and lighting equipment) is the new thing.

Photos of a woman cradling her newborn whilst covered in blood - and in one photo, with the baby still attached to the placenta that has not yet been delivered - have caused quite a stir on Facebook.

In the next photo, the proud mother smiles at the camera as she holds her newborn who is still connected, via the umbilical cord, to the placenta that has now been delivered and is presented on the floor (thus creating a 'placenta painting' on the white backdrop material).

Image: Facebook. Photographer: unknown. Attempts have been made to determine photo origin.

The photos, considered shocking by many, attracted plenty of criticism when shared by Facebook page Most Adorable Photographs, with many social media users expressing outrage that Facebook permits such images whilst many breastfeeding photos are reported or removed.

While some social media users poked fun at the photos, tagging friends/expectant mothers and suggesting the photos could be inspiration for upcoming photo shoots, most who commented expressed their disgust or outrage.

Comments included:
"Way too much kooky stuff going on these days in the whole birth/pregnancy scene."

"Distasteful. I'm all for birth photography but this is kinda gross."

"[Name tagged] that's what it looks like after labour! A murder scene is a good description. That looks pretty clean compared to my birth with [Name]!"

"I don't think it's gross because birth is messy, However I simply don't see the point. Essentially it's a standard unremarkable portrait, poorly executed both pose and light and exposure wise. Chuck in a placenta and some blood and you have instant controversy,"

"I know it's a natural part of birth but this looks like a massacre. Not sweet/tasteful/inspirational or anything positive AT ALL!"

I have so many questions! WHEN/WHERE was this taken/ WHERE did the woman actually give birth - eg there on the studio set-up or in a nearby room or birth pool before shuffling to get into position for the photoshoot? How long did she labour, how long and where did she push, how was the baby, were medical professionals present?

Amazing stuff. For a variety of reasons :-O

What are your thoughts? Connect with Gold Coast Mum at:

Well this is an eye-opener... Are your kids sun safe in WINTER?

Well this is an eye-opener... Are your kids sun safe in WINTER?

While many of us may relax our sun/UV protection and ‘slip, slop, slap’ processes during winter, and may be a tad less strict when it comes to kids and their hats and sunglasses, we’re being warned that UV rays are still present and can still do harm.

Gold Coast residents are being warned to be more vigilant about protecting their eyes in winter as lower sun angles and UV exposure on unprotected eyes put them at greater risk of cataracts, and skin cancers around the eyelids.

A group of optometrists from the Gold Coast is calling on locals to protect their eyes from potentially dangerous UV exposure, even though the sun may not be at its strongest.

“Eyes are exposed to UV radiation every day of the year, especially somewhere that gets year-round sun like the Gold Coast, and winter can be a more dangerous time than any other because of the lower angle of the sun in the sky,” says Andrew Gospos, of Medispecs Optical in Robina.

Children are particularly in danger of UV exposure, according to Andrew Bowden, from Envision Optical in Burleigh.
“Kids are especially at risk because they spend significant time outdoors playing and wear sun protective lenses much less commonly than adults do,” he says.
Children need good quality sunglasses to protect their eyes.
(Image supplied along with the information for Gold Coast Mum's editorial consideration.)

Despite UV levels being higher in spring and summer, eyes are naturally shaded during the hotter months as they are deep set - and thus partially protected when the sun is high in the sky. However, this means there can be more direct exposure on winter days when the sun sits lower.

Another optometrist in the group, Patrick Egan, from Murwillumbah Optometrist, says virtually everyone living here is out and about a lot, leading active lifestyles, “Everyone is at risk of UV exposure.
“Even people who are just out taking a walk on the beach every morning need to be aware of it,” he said.

UV damage to eyes is cumulative and irreversible, and is believed to contribute to several serious eye conditions that can result in vision loss, including cataracts and corneal degeneration.

It is also considered a cause of skin cancer around the eyes and eyelids, which accounts for  5-10 per cent of skin cancer patients.

“You can protect your eyes from UV exposure by wearing high quality sunglasses that block UVA and UVB whenever you are exposed to sunlight all year round,” says Mr Gospos. “Make sure that you get good quality sunnies for the kids too.”

The optometrists recommend looking for UV-filtering lenses that are approved by the Cancer Council of Australia.

With an estimated 3 million people going blind every year due to prolonged UV exposure, it’s important for everyone to take further steps to look after their eyes, they say.

Are you/ your kids sun/UV safe during winter? Are you strict about sunglasses?

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{GIVEAWAY} Dreams really do come true! Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream in Brisbane

{GIVEAWAY} Dreams really do come true! Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream in Brisbane

By Lauren - Gold Coast Mum

The MOST AMAZING thing ever happened recently!

My four children and I got to meet Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled. Photo copyright: Gold Coast Mum blogger, parenting blogger, Disney on Ice, Dare to Dream
Oh look, all four of my children are standing still at the same time. Photo copyright: Gold Coast Mum blogger, parenting blogger, Disney on Ice, Dare to Dream

We were lucky enough to meet Rapunzel and a few of the amazing Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream team at Paradise Resort's Planet Chill in Surfers Paradise, ahead of the upcoming performances in Brisbane.
(My Mum, who came with us, was also excited to see a Disney princess here on the Gold Coast!)

We were captivated as we watched some of the amazing performers and professional ice skaters showcase their skills in front of us. 

And, best of all, my 5-year-old daughter was fortunate enough to enjoy some one-on-one time ice-skating with a lovely lady who is visiting Australia from overseas, as part of the cast of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream. Photo copyright: Gold Coast Mum blogger, parenting blogger, Disney on Ice, Dare to Dream Photo copyright: Gold Coast Mum blogger, parenting blogger, Disney on Ice, Dare to Dream

Let's just say the lovely lady, who was so graceful and warm, knows Cinderella VERY well.
And... that we will be watching Cinderella with great enthusiasm when we attend one of the upcoming Brisbane shows to see this ice skating extravaganza in all of its glory.

We can't wait to embark on this magical Disney experience for the whole family.

The Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream ice show takes audiences on an action packed journey, celebrating 75 years of Disney Princess stories.

Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream Brisbane performance June 2015

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy will accompany  four of Disney's most popular princesses on their magical fairy tales.

Classic and contemporary Disney songs, brilliant costumes and high-energy ice-skating will have audiences celebrating memorable moments from Disney’s modern-day princesses, Rapunzel and Tiana, and timeless classics with Cinderella and Snow White.

Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream opened in Perth in June and visits Adelaide, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney closing 12 July.


You can enter this awesome giveaway to hopefully win tickets to see 
Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream in Brisbane on Saturday June 27th at 6pm.

GIVEAWAY - Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream!
UPDATE - WINNER has been announced on FB and IG. Congrats to T Lee. 

Terms and Conditions: 
Kath Rose & Associates on behalf of Feld Entertainment (Australia) Pty Ltd will provide a Gold Coast Mum follower/liker/reader with four (4) tickets to Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream, 6pm performance, Saturday 27th June, Brisbane.
Open to residents of Australia only. This is a game of skill not a game of chance.
Entries via Instagram, Facebook and will be considered.
To enter:
1. FOLLOW and/or LIKE
2. TAG a friend

3. COMMENT ON THE Disney on Ice presents Dare To Dream
 image and tell us who your favourite Disney Princess or Prince is & why.
4. Visit for opportunities to score extra entries using the GLEAM competition website. 
The winner will be chosen on originality and creative merit. The Judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The giveaway is not affiliated or endorsed by Facebook or Instagram.
Entries close on 17/06/15 at 11:59pm AEST and announced on this account.
Prizes are not transferable, changeable or redeemable for cash. Gold Coast Mum, Kath Rose, Disney on Ice will not be held responsible for any loss, injury or damage that occurs in connection with the prize or the winner’s participation in the promotion.

Tickets available through Ticketek.

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Oh yay I'm a finalist! Oops false alarm! The aftermath of the unveiling of the top 103 Voices of 2015 finalists

Oh yay I'm a finalist! Oops false alarm! The aftermath of the unveiling of the top 103 Voices of 2015 finalists

By Lauren – Gold Coast Mum
When it comes to blogging, the rewards come in all shapes and sizes.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of great brands and businesses, have enjoyed some amazing experiences and have connected with some wonderful people – readers, new friends and fellow bloggers.

Today, was a particularly good day - I happened to receive a bunch of flowers from a lovely reader/follower of my blog.

I was at a charity market/rummage event where a lovely lady approached me and told me that she recognised me.

‘Oh you’re Gold Coast Mum!?’ she said with a warm smile.

 I was surprised and flattered. This lovely lady (hello and thank you if you’re reading), was beautiful inside and out and was excited to also meet my Miss 5 in the flesh.

This lady was working at a stall at the event, selling bouquets/flower arrangements that she had made and donating all of her takings to the My Gap Year Foundation.
(She said it’s more of a hobby for her and that she doesn’t have a business page or website, otherwise I would be giving her a shout out right now).

At the end of the event, while Miss 5 and I were packing up our first ever stall, the lovely reader walked by and presented Miss 5 and I with a gorgeous arrangement of flowers that she had leftover at the completion of the event.

Miss 5 and I looked at each other and smiled. We were thrilled. It made our day.

Photo: Gold Coast Mum flowers, mummy blog

It was one of many nice things that have happened to me since embarking on my blogging journey in early 2013.

For many bloggers, blogging is a journey that starts out by merely sharing personal family photos and thoughts in an online journal, or a place for random rants and outbursts that may gain quite a following. For others, it is more of a business decision with a carefully-executed plan.
(For me, it’s a mix of all of the above, but mainly – a place where I don’t have to stick to the limitations of column inches and can ramble til my heart is content.)

Some of us bloggers have experienced huge growth, while others have been slow and steady.

Regardless of the numbers (whether you have 400, 4000 or 40,000 followers) we all share one thing. 


As a journalist/editor/content writer of 15 years, I have a passion for sharing information that may educate, entertain, empower or inspire.

I love being first to ‘report’ on something, usually in the form of a Facebook share days or hours before other large viral type websites get their hands on it with a click-bait headline.

I also love connecting with my readers – especially when they get in touch to tell me how something I wrote has touched them or has helped them with something (for example, to persevere with breastfeeding through difficulties) or has opened their eyes to issues that may not be in the spotlight.

Campaigns like Kidspot’s Voices of Australia, mean so much to many bloggers.
It’s a chance to reach a wider audience, have your name in lights, enjoy a variety of different experiences, and possibly be named a winner at something.

In a rare moment of peace (okay, okay, I was looking at my phone while on the loo. Please don’t judge - it’s the only R&R I get these days with a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 1-year-old twins snapping at my heels), I happened to come across the announcement of the Voices of 2015 finalists yesterday.

I clicked on the link to see the list and nonchalantly scrolled through - thinking it was the link to the FINALISTS.

When I saw my blog name on the list, I shouted out to hubby: ‘Ooh look, I think I’ve been shortlisted for a blog awards thing’.

Hubby replied: ‘Oh cool, that’s good. Did you see where [one of our twincesses] put the car keys?!’

Photo: Gold Coast Mum balloons, mummy blog
Hope floats ;-)

After a couple of seconds scrolling through the list I realised I wasn’t actually a finalist, but merely a nominee. One of around 878. 
Ha ha. Oh we laughed.
(It's OK though as I won three journalism awards back in my heyday as a young journo so am still on a high over a decade later. Though it would be nice to add something from this decade to the shelf.)

Still, it was lovely to be included on a list that includes many of my favourite blogs/writers/social media creatives.

While some bloggers who missed out on making it into the top 100 list may be disappointed, my message is:

Please don’t be disheartened or discouraged. Please keep doing what you love.

Continue to be you, providing engaging content.

Be proud of the communities and relationships you have, and will continue to build.

Be proud of your engagement.

Even with only a 10th of the readership of some other bloggers/pages I follow, I always find it satisfying to see my reader engagement figures are similar.
In many cases, it’s QUALITY not QUANTITY that should be/is the focus.
Yay for organic growth!

Blogger friends: our voices are all important and we all sing different songs.

There’s always someone out there wanting to listen/ sing along.

And remember…  Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Channing Tatum haven’t won OSCARS, but they’re still loved by many. ;-)

In all seriousness: sending huge congrats to all of the Kidspot Voices of 2015 finalists and fellow nominees!

Let’s connect:

Gold Coast nearcation. Why holidaying close to home is totally awesome!

Gold Coast nearcation. Why holidaying close to home is totally awesome!

By Lauren - Gold Coast Mum

Amazing ocean views from level 54  Circle on Cavill Holiday Holiday self contained apartments Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Photo: Gold Coast

Hubby and I recently celebrated 15 years together. Non stop. No breaks. 15 loooong years. Ha, I love him to pieces, but I can totally relate to that P!NK song 'True Love' some days. Ya feelin' me? ;-)

So anyway, with four children aged 5 and under, date nights are rare (but boy, do we enjoy them) so we hadn't had chance to celebrate our anniversary.
We also haven't had a family holiday in a long time so when the opportunity popped up to enjoy a family getaway at one of the world's most gorgeous destinations, we couldn't refuse.

Preparation for our weekend trip away was pretty simple. 
We packed a bag for the kids, packed a bag for us, grabbed packets of nappies, grabbed a washing basket full of other bits and pieces and threw it all in our people mover. We picked up the kids from school/kindy and off we went.

'Off we go, on our adventurrrrre!" The kids shouted (repeatedly) with excitement!

After a 15-minute journey, we arrived in Surfers Paradise, Queensland.
Not a single 'are we there yet?' to be heard.

Such an easy journey. No planes, trains, transfers or taxis. We just rocked up to our accommodation and settled in.

We scored a self-contained luxury 2 bedroom - plus study - ocean-view apartment in the North tower of Circle on Cavill in Surfers Paradise through Holiday Holiday - a holiday letting company providing luxury Gold Coast accommodation. 

We were on LEVEL 54 overlooking Surfers Paradise beach with views sweeping all the way down to Coolangatta!

Miss 5, Mr 3 and our 19-month twincesses were captivated by the amazing view - that we could thankfully enjoy from the comfort of BEHIND the glass sliding doors. 

Amazing ocean views from level 54  Circle on Cavill Holiday Holiday self contained apartments Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Photo: Gold Coast
My twincesses, 19 months, enjoying the views from level 54! Thankfully they could still appreciate
and enjoy the views from behind the glass sliding doors.

We did venture out onto the balcony a couple of times, but our little monkeys put us on edge at 54 storeys high in the sky, so we retreated indoors and felt a whole lot more relaxed once the safety latches 
(positioned high out of reach of curious children) were applied to each of the doors that access the balcony.

[Just so you know - Holiday Holiday provided Gold Coast Mum with accommodation at one of their awesome apartments for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.]

One of the great things about the apartment we stayed in (centrally located between Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise Blvd and Gold Coast Highway) was the fact that we could enjoy the awesome ocean views (and we even watched a pod of dolphins!) during the daylight hours. 

Amazing ocean views from level 54  Circle on Cavill Holiday Holiday self contained apartments Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Photo: Gold Coast

Amazing ocean views from level 54  Circle on Cavill Holiday Holiday self contained apartments Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Photo: Gold Coast

At night, the view was also magical as the surrounding buildings were all lit up - this provided a gorgeous backdrop for hubby and I to enjoy some beverages on the balcony once our children were in bed. We felt like we were 'living the dream' and on top of the world!

Amazing ocean views from level 54  Circle on Cavill Holiday Holiday self contained apartments Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Photo: Gold Coast

One of the things we loved about staying in the privately-owned apartment was that we could keep to ourselves and didn't need to wait at a reception area for anything. 

The complementary secure basement car parking was handy and we could get the lift straight from the basement to our level and navigate it all easily - even with our double pram.

We popped out to get a few groceries from the Circle on Cavill Woolworths on the Ground level, and had the option of cooking our own food (or getting takeaway or dining out), and could do our laundry as required.

Circle on Cavill's facilities were impressive: indoor and outdoor pools, which we OF COURSE tested out (how lucky that we can still enjoy a swim during winter on the Gold Coast!), children's games room, gym, sauna, and steam room.

A West-facing area near the swimming pools was a perfect spot to enjoy the picturesque sunset.
(One of the bonuses of holidaying close to home meant we could invite my Mum and Nanna over for afternoon tea. And Mum returned later in the evening to mind our children so hubby and I could have some adult time in town).

View from Circle on Cavill Holiday Holiday self contained apartments. Photo: Gold Coast
Four generations of females (plus Mr 3) enjoying the gorgeous sunset.

View from Circle on Cavill Holiday Holiday self contained apartments. Photo: Gold Coast

The accommodation is in close proximity to the beach, tram line, Cavill Avenue, Orchard Avenue and the beach foreshore.

The apartment (which had two portacots for our twincesses) could sleep 6 adults with a queen bed in each of the two bedrooms and a fold-out sofa bed in the study.

Photo: Holiday Holiday

Photo: Holiday Holiday

The apartment was in great condition and had everything we could need. One of my highlights (as a mum of accident-prone toddlers ha ha) was the provision of plastic cups and plastic plates for the kids – rather than risking good china etc that some hotels provide!

Our children made the most of the bath in the master bedroom - from where ocean views could be enjoyed - enjoying approximately four baths in two days because it was such a novelty to be able to look out to the ocean and other sky rise buildings.

During our weekend getaway, hubby and I, along with our twincesses, enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe in the heart of Surfers Paradise, overlooking the iconic beach - just a short stroll from our Holiday Holiday apartment.

The staff at the funky cafe (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner) were super helpful and even provided paper and pencils to help keep our twins amused.

Our meals were absolutely divine and it was a really enjoyable experience, having a family-friendly dining option with such a great view, service and food, being able to kick back and enjoy the surroundings.

The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe, Gold Coast Queensland. Photo copyright: Gold Coast

The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe, Gold Coast Queensland. Photo copyright: Gold Coast

Why holidaying on the Gold Coast/ close to home is totally awesome:

* Travel time:

With 4 young children, we were thankful that we didn't have to spend hours in transit. Instead, we hopped in the car and arrived at our destination within MINUTES.

* Familiar surroundings:
A nearcation is a great opportunity to explore the town/city you live in and treat yourself to activities or experiences that you might not normally do, for example, dine at different restaurants or get into the tourist spirit by participating in the tourist activities on offer.

* Close to home:
If you've forgotten to bring something, it's no problem to duck home to retrieve. 

During our nearcation, we managed to make it to hubby's game of footy nearby before returning to our accommodation.

Photo copyright:

Photo copyright:
Watching Daddy play footy - one of the benefits of our 'nearcation'.

For those with family in the area, a nearcation may also prove handy as you may be able to call in a babysitting favour from a grandparent or two.Thankfully for us, my Mum lives in the region so, once our little ones were asleep, hubby and I ducked out to catch up with friends (who had also arranged for grandparents to mind their children) so we could have a long overdue anniversary/birthday/nearcation/new job celebration beverage and some adult time. A boogie at The Avenue (one of my favourites due to the great song list!) was also THOROUGHLY enjoyed!

* Unwind:
For me, I found it really calming to be away from the daily grind/ housework that awaits every day. (But thankfully, there was a fully-equipped laundry so we could still wash and dry the school uniforms and business attire ready for the week to come).
I also put the i-devices down and really soaked in the experience.

* Something different:
Even though we're pretty flexible and are happy to juggle events, catch ups, play dates and celebrations around nap times, it was nice to go with the flow and break the routine.
We embraced the opportunity to explore our own area and appreciate it as if we were tourists.
On our first night, after we had cooked dinner and bathed the children, we ventured down into Cavill Avenue to have a wander and stopped to enjoy the street performers which the kids thoroughly enjoyed.

* Central location:
One of the best things about staying in the heart of Surfers Paradise, was that everything was in walking distance - groceries, chemist, restaurants, shops, entertainment, the beach and more.
Also, at the end of hubby and I's night out, we didn't even need to wait for a cab. As soon as it was home time, we strolled home and relieved Mum of her babysitting duties. Too easy!

We had a wonderful time and would definitely recommend the privately-owned Holiday Holiday self-contained apartments to anyone wanting to enjoy a Gold Coast getaway, a family friendly holiday, romantic getaway or even a 'nearcation'.
With so many friends and family visiting the Gold Coast from interstate and overseas, this is also a perfect option as it really is a home away from home.For further details about Holiday Holiday and their luxury accommodation options, visit:

Check out the videos I posted on Instagram:

Have you/ do you holiday close to home? Where are your favourite weekend destinations for family getaways?


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