Highpoint Shopping Centre in Maribrynong Victoria, recently ran a massive discount shopping day with hundreds of our favourite stores offering fantastic discounts to lure shoppers in with endless bargains in the lead up to Christmas.
Now long gone are my day’s of endless strolling around shopping centres, casually browsing at items and scowling at mothers with little monsters hanging out of prams and running amok amongst the stores.
I AM NOW ONE OF THEM…
Shopping in peace is mostly a dream these days and like most parents, I often have no choice but to take the kids along with me, if I want to catch the bargains and get things done.
As overwhelming as it can be to take little ones with you shopping, it doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare. I have put together this little list of what I find helps us when we venture out shopping, especially during the Christmas Season.
Take advantage of the special shopping day activities that are available for kids to participate in. Be sure to allow yourself that extra time to let them do the activities without being rushed. Shopping for little ones can become an extremely tiring and boring affair, rather quickly. If it’s not a special event day, be prepared to offer them a ride on a novelty car round-a-bout thing, or something similar just to break up the monotony of shopping.
Get there early. And by early I mean as early as the doors open. By 10am, Highpoint was buzzing and well and truly in full shopping swing with people here there and everywhere. Even the sheer amount of people can overwhelm me, so it can be very daunting for little ones too.
Bring drinks and snacks for the little pram monsters. Elijah gets restless in the pram as soon as it stops! During busy shopping periods, it’s not unusual to have to wait to be served or line up for longer periods of time to purchase items. As soon as we stop he wants to be out and running so I keep some food on hand like rice crackers, biscuits, small cut sandwiches, non-messy fruit pieces to offer him if he starts getting restless in the queues. I also keep a bottle of milk and a water cup on hand too.
If you’re shopping with a purpose and know what you’re looking for, use the night before to check out the Shopping Centre’s map/layout to minimise the amount of time you spend walking in the wrong direction! HAHAHA. Check up online for alternative stores that may carry similar items, in case your first choice is unavailable and always write yourself a LIST. That way nothing is forgotten, especially when you’ve dealt with 3 tantrums and a climbing monster or two!
It’s always best to take another grown up with you. You never know when you’re going to need that extra pair of hands and the help is never unappreciated when it comes to toilet stops/parents rooms, food courts and unexpected bargain shopping! If that’s not possible, allow yourself extra time, bring plenty of patience with you and always remember that Santa is in the centre and his phone number is pre-programmed into your mobile phone… wink wink!
I knew too well that I would find some super Christmas specials when we visited Highpoint last Wednesday, and I was concerned that having the young ones with me could possibly cause some rain on the Santa parade… Get my drift?
So I put several thick black garbage bags in the bottom of the pram and used these to disguise any and all purchases. It worked like a charm, and made dragging things into the house when we got home fast and easy!
We had a fantastic time at their Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to launch their Merry Shopping Day!
Happy Shopping With Kids!
If you have any great ‘shopping with kids’ tips to share in our Chaos Community, leave them on this blog post.
PS…. Highpoint Shopping Center also has a ‘Sensitive Santa’ for children who have Autism. This is the first year I have seen such a thing and I think it’s fantastic. If you need more details, please click HERE as sessions are only on particular days.
** I was gifted a Highpoint Voucher to say thanks for attending the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on Merry Shopping Day.