school holidays and Christmas gifts sorted with Groupon + a giveaway!

brought to you by Groupon

congratulations Danielle who won the giveaway. Thank you everyone for entering

Well it’s official! My big kids are on school holidays which means almost 2 months of having them home. And mums (and dads) everywhere rejoice when the kids go on holidays – a break from ironing uniforms, packing lunchboxes, doing homework and the school run.  You can stay in your jammies until lunchtime and I get some big helpers (or as I like to call them entertainment co-ordinators) around the house. But it also means that I need a few outings up my sleeve. Thankfully living on a few acres means that I don’t hear I’m bored very often these days but it’s nice to get out and about and do some fun things. And as a reward for good behaviour because I don’t have to tell you that having all the kids at home 24/7 means that fights do happen.

Thanks to Groupon’s deal we had a fun trip into the city to Sydney Tower Eye. I know what you’re thinking. A fun trip into the city with the whole family? Yes, it does require some psyching up, some careful planning, organising prams when you realise the double pram needs a new tyre, snacks and a well stocked nappy bag, getting in early and being organised. But we had the best day and kept saying to ourselves we needed to do it more often.

I do have to confess that I haven’t used Groupon before but it was super easy to use and the tickets were emailed to me. You can print out your tickets or just take your smart phone to the venue and have it scanned. And you can buy some great vouchers and tickets for your school holidays and as Christmas presents. And for a big saving, our tickets for the Sydney Tower Eye were $10 with Groupon each compared to $18.55 full retail price. And see Buzz….this is the last photo we have of our much loved Buzz lightyear toy who was chucked out of the pram somewhere on our day out in the city. I was quite possibly more upset than the other kids. Miss you buzz.

Now we’ve done Sydney Tower Eye twice before but it never gets old taking the big lift way up high into the sky and taking a look out at all of Sydney. And it brings back lots of memories because once upon a time I was a little girl growing up in Sydney and my grandma would take us up Sydney Tower (then called Centrepoint) or we had a school excursion and we’d look at the view from the top. And it’s an educational trip for my ‘know it alls’ who needed to know essential facts like the height and history of the tower and then quiz me on it later.

Things have changed a little since I was a little girl….cough cough…… 30 years have passed and there is now a 4D movie to start your experience. But my guys being the old pros and their 3rd visit decided that they are wanted to skip the movie and go straight upstairs to the view. And it’s pretty special. What a clear morning for our visit. This was 10am on a Sunday morning and I think we beat the crowds which was the best thing ever. Especially since there were times when people were staring at us just a little too long and doing the headcount for us.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re my 2 year old or 8 year old, noses are pressed to the glass and there is excitement seeing the harbour bridge, opera house, daddy’s work and if you’re game and not afraid of heights looking down at the little people walking down below.

You can also have your photo taken before you go up and since we were in a touristy mode we bought ours…and a snow globe. The photo is hilarious and the kids love it but I’m going to make the most of us still being able to do these things before our big kids grow up to be too cool for it.

After all of that excitement we did some Christmas windows and the big Lego tree display in Pitt Street Mall which you really must do because we did it twice the kids loved it so much! And I think it’s the best time of year to visit Sydney city with the window displays and trees up. The kids are already asking if we can come in again before Christmas.

Now I also purchased a Groupon voucher for the Lindt Cafe to pick our favourite Lindt Ball Flavours and Christmas chocolates. We have a few chocolate monsters in our house but I thought it would make a great gift to make up and take in for the preschool teachers to share! And by using the Groupon voucher it was half price and a great buy. You pay through Groupon when you purchase the voucher and just take in your printed voucher or voucher on your smart phone to redeem in store. And there I was with my voucher at the wrong store. Yep. Let’s call it baby brain that I had selected the wrong store in the city. So daddy picked out the Lindt balls at the correct store during the week and honestly it was probably the safest way that chocolates were going to make it home.

There are lots of great ideas on Groupon to keep you and the kids busy these school holidays or a gift for that hard to buy for person. Just sign up here and start receiving the emails of the latest specials. To find out what is available just pop in your city, an activity or check out the Groupon Christmas shop here or search for the gift experiences here.  Perfect for the hard to buy person. A couple worth mentioning are Thunder Boat riding in Darling Harbour, Waterworld and Trapeze lessons.

And to spread the Christmas love I am offering one of my readers a $100 credit to Groupon to purchase something special for yourself. Just tell me what city you are in and what you’d be interested in – chocolate, a delicious meal out, a massage, a one off experience or perhaps just playing tourist like us in your own city or on holiday. 

{Giveaway is open to Australian residents only, full terms of my giveaways are here and entries close  15 December 2014.}



  1. Looks like you all had a great day out. I’m in Melbourne and would love a special meal out in the city.

  2. What a fun day! I would love to see the Lego Christmas Tree!

    I’m in Brisbane and would love to indulge in a pampering day, with a massage and a facial, after a busy and full on year!

  3. When we were in Sydney in January we went to the Tower Eye and Miss (now) Eight loved it! We’re in Geelong and would love to put the $100 towards an overnight stay up in the big smoke of Melbourne.

  4. dianne nunn says:

    Fantastic pics and post. I have not used Groupon before but I am going to sign up. It would be lovely to be a tourist in my own beautiful city – Melbourne.

  5. Christy Kidner says:

    Congratulations on such a successful
    Day out! Looks like lots of fun. Id love a fun activity to do with my husband in Sydney. It’s been a while since we just had some fun together!

  6. I’m from the Central Coast and would love to post tourist with my little family of four in Sydney. We are definitely focussing on family time these Christmas holidays after a very hectic 2014.

  7. I am in Canberra and would love a nice meal as an ‘excuse’ to go on a date with my husband. With a 4.5 year old, a nearly 3 year old and a 10 month old it has been a looooong time since we did something grown up like that!

  8. i live in Melbourne and would love to be a tourist in my own town, to have the chance to explore some of the fabulous things that us locals don’t participate in! What a treat!

  9. That day out sounded like it was so fun much.I went up that tower years ago,Im afraid I dont think I could again ,that lift was scary,lol.Thank you so much for your email too,excited to win something as special as this,my Mum will love the colours

  10. Sandy Norman says:

    I live in Sydney.. I would do as much a I could… from Sydney Eye to eating chocolate.

  11. Katy bryant says:

    What a fabulous day out!!
    We are on the central coast, but love a day trip to Sydney! I have to say, we would do a touristy run to sydney to the Sydney Tower Eye too! None of my kiddies have before and they would love it!

  12. Amy Mcneill says:

    I’m in Brisbane and I would love to make the holidays activities less expensive as its always a surprise how much a day out costs and the kids always have a wish list the length of their arm!! Love the lego tree I’m so jealous you got to have a look at that! It looks incredible!!

  13. Melissa Curtin says:

    I am in Sydney and would most likely do what you did! My two (6 and 3) have never been to the city and would love the whole adventure

  14. I have just been to Sydney for a Katy Perry concert, which is a 1,600 km round trip for us now. I took my daughter 17 and one of her friends, who had only been to the city twice before, once with a school excursion and once when we took her for the 1D concert.. We lived on the Central Coast all my life and I worked in the city for many years until 8 years ago when we had our ‘tree change’. We went up, as I like to call it Centrepoint, and its was just as amazing as I remember it. Though it didn’t seem as high as it used to lol. We saw the Lego and the windows at DJ’s and our country girl was just amazed at all the things we squashed into our weekend away. Its so nice to be able to see your capital city as a tourist and not be rushing around madly in you lunch hour not looking at anything. Both girls had researched lots of things they wanted to do but obviously didn’t see anything about Groupon. There’s no need to put me in the draw as there would be nothing in my town.

  15. Leanne Hawkins says:

    Wow Corrie
    That is sounded like lots of fun. We are heading to Sydney(from Hobart) at the end of February as a special treat for our kids so would love to take them on an experience like the Thunderbolt boat ride.

  16. Carol lee says:

    Melbourne for us. I think it would be great to play tourist in your own city, we tend to go to the sane places. So new experiences need to made.

  17. I’m in sunny hot Brisbane and I would love a meal out with my darling one. Been awhile between us time. Thank you for the chance to enter Corrie !

  18. I’m not in any city at all. Living out here, I miss Christmas in the city – all those lights and windows, and Christmas atmosphere. We are planning a week in the mountains to visit my family in January, and would love to take the family into the city to Sydney tower – my 3 have never been – for a special day out.

  19. Kerryn Flood says:

    I live in Melbourne and I would love a nice dinner out with my husband. There are so many interesting places to go in Melbourne.

  20. I am in Brisbane and a nice meal out would be a treat!

  21. I’m in beautiful Adelaide and I do have to confess that my poor kids never get to be tourists in our own city (we live up in the hills) so I think treating them to something touristy would be fun!

  22. What a fantastic family day out for you all! I have never heard of Groupon before you mentioned it but it does sound like a great idea.

  23. i would use the Groupon to have a meal out with hubby.
    Having a newborn and master 2 results in evey meal being eaten while one of us holds the baby and the other coerces the toddler to eat!!

  24. Michelle Luck says:

    We are in North-West Tassie, although head to Hobart quite often. I would love Groupon for a meal somewhere a bit fancier than the local pub or fish and chips shop where we usually end up.

  25. Tess Vossen says:

    I’m in the Gold Coast or Brisbane & would love a massage to look forward to after the holidays!

  26. Denise Thomas says:

    Corrie, what a lovely day out for the family. We live in Melbourne and If lucky enough would use the Groupon to take my husband to the Vineyards for our 50th wedding anniversary.

  27. I’m in Sydney and would love a relaxing dinner cruise with my husband on Sydney Harbour followed by a walk around The Rocks.

  28. I’m turning 40 soon and hubby & I are planning our first overnight holiday without the kids (which has been almost 10 years!). We’d love a Groupon voucher for Melbourne for a fancy grown-up dinner! :)

  29. Would love to see the Lego tree, had to be content with hubby snapping a few pics for me on a recent work trip to Sydney! I am in Perth, and would use the voucher for the party catering and have a heap of friends around for a meal, without having to worry about the food. Sounds like bliss, and everyone wins!

  30. Susan Leach says:

    What a great time you had. I am in Perth and breakfast is a great treat for he whole family

  31. I am in Sydney and I would love to check out the Lindt Cafe.

  32. I live in Parramatta but a trip into the city sounds great. I had my 21st birthday up in the tower and I loved it. Wouldn’t mind taking the kids on a trip up there. Thanks,Kim
    Oh I’m having a book giveaway on my blog too!!!

  33. I’m in Sydney and would love to do your trip. We’ve been in Sydney for 7 years and have never been up the tower. It looks like a fun day trip : )

  34. I’m near Brisbane and want a voucher to do the touristy stuff around town as I feel I haven’t explored my new home enough yet!

  35. Kevan Sparks says:

    In Perth & would love to tick off my bucket list- Skydiving in Jurien Bay.

  36. Louise Thomsen says:

    What a great adventure! I would love to take my kids to the Aquarium these school holidays :).

  37. Charlotte E says:

    Our closest capital city is Melbourne and I’d love to take the kids to the Aquarium and Luna Park. We were just there briefly to take my mum to the airport and do a bit of Christmas shopping so didn’t get a chance for other activities.

  38. I would love a Groupon pamper session just for me because let’s face it, sometimes we are so busy looking after everyone else that we need to look after ourselves! P.s Feeling this way after chuckling about a insta pic I saw today that said ‘In case of an emergency apply mascara to yourself first!’
    P.s Your photos have inspired me to take my two little ones in to see the Christmas Lego display. Love this time of year in the city!

  39. I’m in Sydney too and I’m always looking for touristy activities to take my children to during the holidays – too many home days make Mummy go crazy!

  40. Sydney is my closest capital city and I would love a Groupon voucher to have a lovely massage or yummy lunch date.

  41. I’m in Melbourne and I’d love to play tourist for the day. Or maybe it’ll be a Christmas gift for the hard-to-buy-for person on my list.

  42. I went to the wrong store too! I felt so silly and was in the store for practically my whole lunch break!

    I also enjoy using groupons many massage vouchers. It feels like the busy, almost 24/7 lives we live thanks to the good old iPhone we can’t really take sometime off (and not look at our phones) I love my fortnightly massage as it gives me an hour all to myself and walk out feeling bliss.

    * looks at groupon for more massage vouchers*

  43. Looks like a great day out, Corrie! I’m in Brissie and I would use Groupon for a Date Day with hubby: maybe a touristy activity like the Brisbane Wheel, lunch in a riverside cafe and finished off with a movie.

  44. Having just made the big “surf change” we have moved to just south of Sydney from Melbourne & have yet to bring our kidlets into Sydney to explore! Would love the chance to pretty much do what you did & do the Sydney Tower Eye!!

  45. I’m in Adelaide, however, I would actually use Groupon to buy my nieces and nephew tickets to Waterworld Central, since they live near Newcastle. That looks fantastic. Have a merry Christmas, Corrie. I have loved reading your blog this year.

  46. I love the Lindt Cafe. Touristy stuff is always a hit with my son.

  47. im in Brisbane and would love a nice meal out with my husband, I’m having baby number 5 and in need of a little pamper!

  48. We just relocated from Michigan USA to Brisbane and would love to win to do something touristy with my 11 & 9 year olds to show them there new city. Thanks for a chance.

  49. What a great idea for a family day out. My hubby proposed to me at sydney tower (then center point) 10 years ago. Would love to go back there and show our little boy.

  50. It’s great to see your family having a fun day out together……I miss those days with little ones :)

    We live in the Blue Mountains, Sydney. A one off experience sounds very mysterious & exciting!!

  51. I live in Perth and I would love to explore my own city as so much is changing over here.

  52. I live in Perth and a night out with my hubby sounds fantastic!!!

  53. I live in Melbourne and being such a foodie and a newbie to this city, I would love to explore what this city has to offer while indulging in the cafes and restaurants.

  54. My nearest capital city is Brisbane and I think some fun with the husband and kids exploring places we haven’t been or seen yet would be such a treat!

  55. We’re currently living in Canberra but are going to Sydney for my son’s 5th birthday next week to see the giant Lego Christmas tree. If I was fortunate enough to win the voucher I would use it in Sydney to give my boys a fun & memorable experience.

  56. Such a gorgeous post Corrie. Love that family pic!
    My nearest City is Brisbane and I would love to use the voucher for a delicious meal out with Zadada. How good is Lindt chocolate, I’ve got 2 boxes sitting in my wardrobe for no particular reason except for the fact they were on special in Cloes a few weeks ago. I’m thinking I need to incorporate them into some baking! :)

  57. Hi,

    Sounds like you guys had an awesome day out!
    I’m in Sydney and would love some chocolate.

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