Little Melbourne Reviews
We recently explored the pages of our favourite Story-time classics through the art of sand sculpting. The Frankston Waterfront hosts the annual ‘Sandstorm’ exhibition with renowned international and Australian sand sculptors creating some amazing works of art.
Thousands of tonnes of sand have been creatively transformed into some classic children’s stories like Spot the Dog, Mr Men, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Angelina Ballerina and our favourite, Where the Wild Things Are. For the older kids, there’s great reads represented though works like Jumanji, Harry Potter and The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.
We adults actually left the exhibition feeling like we’d wandered through a sandy library!
The kids? They loved naming every Mr Men / Little Miss character in the giant sandcastle tower, and were distracted from climbing up the sand-sculptures by the lure of giant sand pit where they could get their hands sandy and make their own creations.
Best suited for
I’d d say it’s more suited to the younger or more arty kid... my 9yo boy enjoyed it but was keen to keep moving or hanging in the sandpit, while my crafty 6yo daughter wanted to stay and create.
There was a group of intellectually disabled teens / young adults there when we visited and it was wonderful to witness their sense of awe and joy at seeing their favourite stories brought to life. They were made very welcome and had a ball recounting their favourite stories.
Rest & re-charge zones
The exhibition space is easy to get around and the staff was very obliging with our questions. We loved the chance to rest our grown up feet in the Ch9 Chill out beach chairs zone, which was right next to a giant sandpit, and the (gold coin fee) sand diggers for the kids to have fun in.
This was adjacent to a cafe set up in a giant marquee featuring free face painting and lego zone.
A Craft Tent gave you the chance to carve and create your own sand sculpture, with baskets of tools and instructions to go at it yourself. This was free and set at kid’s height on trestles tables, and they were a much enjoyed addition to the exhibition.
For those wanting to take a memento home , there were additional activities that you paid for, such as create your own coloured sand bottle, sand necklace and sand frames which varied in price from $5 - $12.
Entertainment and information
While the program talks about roving entertainers on the weekend we didn’t see any in the two hours on a Sunday were there, but there was a schedules talk that my 6 & 9yo were too impatient to sit through.
We did however spend quite some time watching one of the sculptures at work mending the Beatrix Potter animals’ faces and learnt a lot about techniques by just observing his patient approach.
We enjoyed the free face painting, and Lego play zone as a nice change of pace.
There is also an activity program you could enjoy, with a chance to submit your sheet to win a prize.
For take-home information, there’s also a souvenir program for $2.
I did notice that the Guest book comments on the value for money versus the cost weren’t that complimentary, esp. with the extra craft activities costing money. It’s the usual debate of not wanting to put your hand in your pocket again and again, and the battle of the wills with small kids can take its toll! But I planned ahead, prepared my kids for what we would do when we got there thanks to Sandstorm’s website, took a packed lunch and we enjoyed the giant sandpit and free play zones.
We were a little disappointed that the website / facebook wasn’t updated with some information – for example only the day before their facebook site featured the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car you could climb aboard and be photographed in. The next day when we visited it was no longer available for public access, though still able to be viewed. I had two Chitty Bang Bang mad fans a bit disappointed.
Tickets entitles you to all-day entry into the Sand Sculpting exhibition (pass outs are available). A great option if you want to go out, wander the nearby waterfront and play on the beach, then head back in again for more inspiration!
- Adults $12.50pp
- Concession $10pp
- Children 3 – 12 $(pp
- Children *3 Free entry
- Family (2 ads, 2 ch) $39 with extra children $6pp
We were there for 2 hours, like many other parents with a few kids, however some people were in and out in 40 minutes.
We took the opportunity of the free pass outs and popped in before we headed home for a quick walk around after a nearby picnic lunch in the park.
Clean portaloos on site, though I didn’t see any change table facilities for bubs.
The cafe / kids hang out area was really welcoming, and a lego play / book reading zone was really comfy and adorable. Even the nearby cafe tables had fresh flowers in them and bubbly staff attending to you. They have put a lot of thought into what parents need to extend their stay and re-charge.
Where, what, when
It’s been running from 26 Dec to 27 April 2014
Open 10am – 6pm
Frankston Waterfront, Frankston, Mornington Peninsula.
Frankston Waterfront is just under an hours drive from Melb CBD. Parking is nearby, or catch the train to Frankston and it’s an easy 10 min walk on foot to the exhibition.
Our Little Melbourne Guest Reviewer is The Coast Writer, Andrea Rowe and her 2 children.
Andrea Rowe runs her own boutique Copywriting & PR business Your Coastal Connection between nattering with other parents at the school gate and searching for endless lost property items!
Check her out at www.yourcoastalconnection.com.au or www.facebook.com/YourCoastalConnection or her Coastwriter blog at http://yourcoastalconnection.com.au/thecoastwriter/ or on Instagram @thecoastwriter