Gone are the days when I can pass of the local, dodgy fun fair off as the Sydney Royal Easter Show with my kids. They are too old for that now.
At 12, nine and seven they not only are aware the Easter Show is on every year, they have the app and countdown the days until it opens, spending hours scrolling through the list of showbags to choose two each.
I’ve never hated technology more.
All the while, I’m desperately saving as much money as possible in order to get us to the show, entertain us, feed us and then, finally, get our tired, broke butts home.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show began in 1823 as a chance for city dwellers to mingle with country folk. Run by the Argricultural Society of New South Wales, it initially centred around animals and awards, wood chopping competitions and country experiences.
Then the rides were introduced. Then the showbags.
What I've learned from years of being a Sydney parent where the Easter Show is located - which means there is no escaping it - is that it's all about the preparation. The better we're prepared for the day, the better the day runs. That means I have to plan out the day to ensure our money lasts.
Watch Jo Abi share her tips and tricks on how to get out of the Easter Show alive.
I don't just want my kids on rides all day. I want them to experience the country, to try new foods, to see the animals and learn about country life.
Suffice to say I don't actually enjoy going to the Easter Show.
For me it's tantamount to a military seals exercise. Except for the hour my mum and I leave the kids with my husband during lunch and we spend that time in the Woolworths Fresh Food Pavilion, eating all the free samples, talking to food producers and watching cooking displays.
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As well as buying way too many food products than we are willing to carry around for the rest of the day.
To ensure your children enjoy the Sydney Royal Easter Show, it's all about packing and preparing.
There is one other highlight for me other than the Woolworths pavilion. Every year I buy myself a showbag. Don't judge. I deserve 70 showbags but instead I settle for my beloved Darrell Lea showbag which I consume slowly and blissfully over the next month (week).
Never underestimate the medicinal benefits of chocolate.
The Easter Show is now open and runs from 6-19 April at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush. Find out all you need to know at their official website eastershow.com.au.
What are your tips and tricks for surviving the Easter Show? Tell us in the Comments section below.