victoria

Santa is Coming to Victoria puzzle

Puzzle box of Santa comes to Victoria
It is very exciting to find personalised things, so books about Australia (and more specific areas I know) always catch my eye and make me smile. And I know my kids love seeing Aussie Christmas stories and images.

I have previously reviewed the books Santa is coming to Australia and Santa is coming to Melbourne, but now here is a jigsaw puzzle based on the Santa is Coming to Victoria book of the same series.

 

 

 

 

Santa is Coming to Victoria puzzle

The puzzle comes in a sturdy box with a handle so you can store it fairly easily, which is always handy.

It has big pieces which are also sturdy and made of thick card, so it will survive many uses and the curiosity of little hands.

I had a lovely surprise upon opening the box and finding a miniature version of the book in the box as well (ok, it is written on the box but I hadn’t remembered that!). So we read the story before attempting the puzzle which helped bring the picture alive even more.

Puzzle pieces and the mini book

Putting the puzzle together

Although I expected it was too young for him, I did with the puzzle with my nine year old to see how it went, and whether it was suitable to give to a two year old. We did it fairly quickly but he made some mistakes in the side pieces so it’s not overly simple.

Edges of puzzle all in place

I’ve taught my children to do the edges first in big puzzles

It is harder because the image is a collage of Victorian landmarks so the top of a building, for example, may not be at the top of the completed puzzle.

My son absolutely loved spotting places he knows. And I enjoyed being able to name the places as we put the puzzle together, too.

completed Santa is coming to Victoria puzzle

Overall, this puzzle is probably best for 3.5 and up, but still fun for 8-9 year olds. It will excite Victorian children, and I daresay the equivalent puzzles for the other states and cities are similar in style so they can have their local excitement, too! It is also a nice gift for someone travelling to Victoria now or next year (a good preparation to do the puzzle ahead of arriving!)

Easter comes to Victoria – book review

Happy Easter!

I spotted this book in a shop recently and noticed the connection to some of the Christmas books I have read and reviewed, like Santa comes to Australia. It also looked cute so I grabbed it and will add it to my book reviews here.

The Easter Bunny comes to Victoria

Book cover of 'The Easter Bunny comes to Victoria'by Lily Jacobs
illustrated by Robert Dunn
Lake Press, South Melbourne, 2016

Obviously, this is a bit of a trend as when I looked it up, this book doesn’t just cover the states of Australia and other countries (eg Ireland and Wales), it also covers cities such as Bendigo, Canberra, Newcastle) and areas like the Gold Coast.

Age group: preschool to early primary school

The story

Two Victorian children get a new pet bunny who is actually the Easter bunny for Victoria. The bunny travels the state delivering eggs before returning home with baskets of eggs for his new friends.

My review

Not surprisingly, this is a cute little story with some nice cheery pictures. It includes rhymes so will enthrall young children.

Of course, I have to say it’s a pity the story is about a bunny rather than a bilby, especially as the Easter bunny in this book only had to cover Victoria (implying one bunny doesn’t do the whole world). True, bringing a bilby home from the pet shop is quite unlikely, but in fiction all is possible!

The rhymes are carefully done so specifics can be changed in each version of the book – for example, “Melbourne and Portland and Ballarat got treats” is easily changed into cities or suburbs in other places. And things like visiting a ‘tall building top’ can suit anywhere with a different picture – although I can’t see “He smashed a quick Easter six” suiting everywhere outside of Australia!

Having said that, as long as you don’t get books set in multiple places, that flexibility won’t be noticed.

So if you are after a cute little Easter book, this one does tick a lot of boxes and is a nice addition to a seasonable bookshelf.

Shows a page from the book 'The Easter Bunny comes to Victoria'

Ashwood Santa and lights

There are 2 sets of lights worth seeing in Ashwood, Victoria now…Santa and christmas lights in Ashwood, Melbourne

Arthur St (don’t know the number but on your left coming from Huntingdale Rd, about 400 m form the corner) has a huge Santa out the front and some nice lights.

Corner of Ashwood Drive and Baryn St has lots of lights including reindeer leaping along the roof, blue archways and Santa parachuting.

Being close together (and not far from lights in High St, Highbury Rd and Burwood Hwy), I’d say 3 santas and well worth a look (they’re also not well-known yet so traffic isn’t a problem!)

Dancing lights in Bendigo

Last year we were in Bendigo leading up to Christmas and saw some awesome lights. Not only did they look good – they actually danced in time to music on the radio!

Good enough that we’re planning to drive to Bendigo specifically to see these lights this year!

Address was 11 Greenfield Drive Epsom (north of city centre from memory).

Love Santa Letters 2009

Christmas is very close now, and many children are excited with their letter from Santa. It isn’t too late to order one for the special children in your life – in fact you have until 5pm …

Tuesday 22nd December if you live in Melbourne

Monday 21st December if you live in another capital city or elsewhere in Victoria

Sunday 20th December if you live in other areas (although very remote places may need longer for the Postie to deliver letters in time.)Love Santa letters at $10 each

Ordering is easy – just fill in our online form and we’ll take care of the rest for you on behalf of Santa.

Christmas Lights in Victoria

There is a lot of fun and delight to be had from Christmas lights, for the young and the young at heart! Some homes have lights in their tree, some have  just a few lights visible to the world, but there is a growing number of homes (and businesses) that make a display every Christmas for many people to enjoy.

Next year, when you are thinking about where to go for some Christmas magic, try some of the magnificent light displays across Victoria.

Sharing…

Share the light displays you know of – give an address or directions to find the displays so other people can enjoy those lights, too.

Rank the displays as follows:

4 Santas – spectuclar displays that are an event in themselves

3 Santas – displays that are worth taking a detour to on your way home

2 Santas – displays that locals should know about for choosing the best route home

1 Santa – nice displays that perhaps aren’t worth travelling to, but are enjoyable just the same

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