Now as a parent of 3 young children, I understand - I get it!
How do other families afford to go?
Let me give you a run down on our day...
Firstly the day before, both my husband and I worked much later to ensure we could take the day off without the stress of work playing in our minds throughout the day.
We planned ahead and purchased an early bird ticket. Great thinking I thought and surely it will be cheaper...... some $55 later, this allowed the 5 of us to be scanned into the gates of the showgrounds. Oh, I forgot to mention the $15 car parking expense as you drive in.... So already we have spent $70 and we have not gone on a ride or purchased a showbag!
The boys were very excited and loved visiting the animal sheds. The size of the chickens and roosters will blow your mind - they are huge and so noisy. We visited the animal baby nursery and we got to pat many of the animals. So then it was ride time...
The boys are all under 6 so we started in what they call (I think) the kids carnival area. Just a couple of rides for each and $100 gone - just like that.
So then we stopped for a coffee, drink and quick snack for morning tea - yep another $30 gone!
At this stage we had only been at the show for about an hour and we had already spent $200. We wandered around a little more, watching some of the animal shows and rides. You can see the overload of stimulation young kids feel - it's a sensory overload at times.
It was now lunchtime and we found a spot on the grand stand to sit and eat our lunch. A couple of small pizzas, some chips and drinks and another $50 flew out of my purse.
The boys were starting to get tired as you do, so much walking, so we decided to head down to the show bag area and the boys were all allowed to choose a showbag each. So after much pondering (as kids do), they selected a Toy Story 3, Buzz Lightyear and Handy Manny bag each and before my eyes another $72 disappeared from my purse.
Within 3 hours we had spent over $300.
I remember looking around and seeing lots of other mums and dads with their kids and all chock-a-block with showbags - I kept thinking, how can they afford to come to the show and then be able to buy showbags for the kids???
It's sad to think that there are many more kids out there who may never get to experience the joy or surrounds of the show because it's just too expensive for most.....