We are so excited to announce our new monthly column, Welcome to My World. Every month we will be showcasing a new blogger from all around the world – discovering the hidden and unique attributes about what makes their location so special. This month we are kicking off the series with Christine Knight of Brunch with My Baby who resides in Sydney Australia with her family. Check out some of her go-to places that she enjoys with her daughter and husband.
The Shopping Mama: What is your favorite FREE thing to do with your kids in your city/town?
Christine Knight: Go to the beach! Sydney is full of gorgeous beaches all within a short drive of the CBD. The beaches are all clean and stunningly gorgeous, open year-round and completely free. Eloise will play for hours in the sand in the middle of winter. During summer, we swim and explore rockpools. Our favorite beaches are Balmoral and Bondi.
Christine Knight: Sydney is all about gelato, and the best place to get a scoop is Gelato Messina. They have over 40 flavours at any one time in their stores, and every gelato or sorbet is made from scratch, from raw, natural ingredients. The flavours are full of fun, like the Dulce & Gabanana – banana gelato smashed with dulce de leche jam.
The Shopping Mama: Where is the best place to eat with kids?
Christine Knight: The Grounds of Alexandria. It’s a family-owned and operated cafe built inside an old pie factory from the 1900s. The food is delicious (try the Avocado Smash on sourdough), and the coffee expertly brewed. A petting zoo in the garden is home to a pig named Kevin Bacon, chickens, and a sheep. There’s also a little fenced-in play area for kids to enjoy.
The Shopping Mama: What is your favorite museum?
Christine Knight: The Museum of Contemporary Art. They always have exhibitions that feature cutting-edge artists, plus a great program of hands-on activities for kids from babies up. I’ve seen some really inspirational works there, from Jeff Koons huge puppy installation to Annie Leibovitz’s photography. The MCA’s location is also fantastic – right on the Sydney Harbour with breathtaking views. Their cafe and restaurant are a gorgeous choice for weekend lunch or an after work drink.
The Shopping Mama: What is your favorite kids store or toy store in your town?
Christine Knight: I usually shop at Kidstuff for toys. They stock brands from all over the world, including lots of educational toys.
The Shopping Mama: Where is the best place to take pictures?
Christine Knight: Sydney is so full of natural beauty that there are too many places to list. Balmoral Beach always looks gorgeous in photos, as does the Three Sisters lookout in the Blue Mountains. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair has amazing views of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Shopping Mama: What is your favorite street in your town/city and why?
Christine Knight: Darling street in Balmain and Rozelle. It’s home to my favourite pastry chef, Adriano Zumbo’s, bakery, so we stop there for the most delicious macarons and cakes at least once a week. The strip is also full of adorable cafes (such as Bar Contessa, where you can get one of the best babyccinos in Sydney) and little boutique stores for a shopping fix. There are playgrounds nearby and you can catch glimpses of Sydney harbour down the side streets.
The Shopping Mama: Tell us about one of your favorite go-to spots that you won’t find in any tourist book.
Christine Knight: We love to drive up the coast to enjoy even more stunning beaches for a weekend break. Our go-to is the Port Stephens area, a few hours drive north of Sydney. It’s a quiet coastal district, with a small town and marina, and white sand beaches that stretch for miles. The water is a stunning turquoise, with gentle waves perfect for little kids. There are so many beaches that you can easily find yourself in an area with no one around. It’s simply paradise.
Christine Knight lives in Sydney, Australia. She’s a writer, marketing strategist, and mum to three-year-old Eloise. Christine blogs about travel and parenting at akissgoodnight.co, and about kid-friendly places to eat, play and explore at brunchwithmybaby.com.