On the 31st of October 2013 Woodgrove Shopping Centre celebrated their recent expansion and make-over with a 4 day, Grand Opening Extravaganza!
With the promise of a ‘family friendly’ shopping environment, I was itching to head down to Melton to check it all out.
We live in country Victoria, a good 100kms from any of the big name stores, and until now, a good 3-3.5hr drive from the major shopping centres around Melbourne.
You can only imagine how frustrating this is for me, who grew up in and around Melbourne, frequenting major shopping centres several times a week!!! Argh! It’s a nightmare. Although I love the country, they’ll never take the city out of me!
So on Sunday morning, MonsterSquad Dad, MonsterSquad Grandma, Myself and 6 little Monsters all piled into our big bus and headed down the Western Highway to see what all the fuss was about!
I will be the first to admit that shopping with our kids is not really ever a pleasant experience. Between the ‘I want’s’ and the ‘I’m busting to pee’s’, there’s usually a whole lot of whinging about how unfair life is and how bored they all are. It truly is a major dampener on my shopping parade!
The first thing that enticed me about Woodgrove was the fact that they have included a medium sized Adventure Playground area just outside the parents retreat room and toilets. So while the MonsterSquad still whinged and moaned a little about how boring shopping is, our sneaky bribe of allowing them 20mins on the playground before and after lunch seemed to tide them over to some degree.
Afterall, they are just kids and they do like to use that endless energy up, so best they use it on a playground and not up the aisles of Kmart! HAHAHAHA.
I totally loved that there was both Kmart and Big W in the one shopping centre. Where we usually shop, there’s one or the other and it’s fairly typical of me to need both!
On top of the big name stores and supermarkets, there are over 150 specialty stores catering for all your shopping needs. I may have spent 90% of my time in the TYPO store and I may actually have a stationary addiction….. hmmmm, shoosh, don’t tell anyone!
The food court looks fantastic, and has so much to choose from. If the food court isn’t what you’re looking for, they’ve also opened 6 restaurants in their dining precinct! Yum!
Here’s my biggest tip for eating whilst out shopping with a large family (or any amount of little ones really), DO NOT attempt to eat at ‘lunch time’. That’s just pure craziness.
Get their early and have lunch at 11am or hold the kiddies off until after the mad rush and eat around 1.30-2pm.
Because tables are impossible to get for a large number of people in peak eating times, that’s why! 😉
And lastly, despite rumors that car parking was going to be impossible, we scored a ‘parents with prams’ park right near the front door in our big bus almost instantly! There’s heaps of new parking available, and the best part for us was that it was open air parking – our bus is often too tall to fit into shopping centre car parks!
We had a blast at the Grand Opening of Woodgrove. They had heaps of entertainment for the kids which really made the experience super fun.
I can’t wait to travel down there once again before Christmas to pick u a few bits and pieces, and we’ve also discussed having a family movie outing at the Reading Cinema in the centre sometime in the future too.
If you’re on the western side of Melbourne, I urge you to go check Woodgrove out. It’s not the kind of massive where you need to pack a picnic lunch to get from one end to the other, but it’s just the perfect size to drag the kids around and please the parents too!
Happy Shopping Chaos Friends!
* This post is sponsored by Woodgrove. All opinions are that of Jac @ Common Chaos Chronicle, and yes, she really does have a TYPO Stationary addiction….*