EKKA 2014: Should I stay or should I go?

Ekka 2014 - Brisbane

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Ekka 2014 kicked off in Brisbane last Friday – complete with dagwood dogs, show-bags and rides that make you puke. You either love or hate this annual Brisbane event and I must confess I happen to be in the latter category.

In fact I haven’t been for at least SIX years!

There are many reasons I could give for this very un-Brisbane aversion, but the main ones are …

  1. Cost – no matter which way you slice it, it’s an exxy day out for a family of five. The admission isn’t too bad and from what I can see the food is pretty reasonably priced as well. Its the rides and the show-bags that really hit you in the wallet.
  2. Crowds – crowds with small kids are not fun and massive line-ups for everything from the strawberry ice-creams to the loo means that tempers of both adults and kids alike can get pretty frayed

I guess that makes me a bit of an Ekka Grinch!

This year however I am under mounting pressure from the kids to come out of my cave/house and take them to the Ekka.

And as much as I’d like to bah-humbug their pleas away I am running out of excuses. They are a bit older now so less likely to throw a fit while lining up for the “Vomitron” Vomit or whatever is the cool ride this year

I’m also starting to wonder whether I’m denying them precious childhood memories, the lack of which will have them all in therapy by the time they’re 18.

So I’m turning this over to you Brisbane…How does an Ekka Grinch like me survive the day?

Do you have any tried and tested strategies for when to go, what to see and how to not spend your entire month’s wages on fairy floss?

Any/all advice gratefully recieved by me, plus the undying grattitude of my children if you are able to convince me!

My face when I think about going to the Ekka!

My face when I think about going to the Ekka!

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Rachel - Ed

About Rachel

Thirty-something Brisbane lover, trying to find the balance between FOMO and YOLO. Semi-retired party girl who loves planning itineraries for big nights out. Often found dragging 3 boys around your local farmers markets or attempting to sneak out for dinner with my husband, The Chef.

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16 Responses to “EKKA 2014: Should I stay or should I go?”

  1. I am most definitely a grinch mamma!! I would rather cut off my left toe than go! Harsh I know and I know my kids would probably LOVE it but the crowds and the tantrums and the stress and last time we went I spent a small fortune in rides!! Good luck in your decision πŸ™‚ xxxx

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Thanks Robyn πŸ™‚ That’s what it was like last time we went too but since they are all now a fair bit older I don’t know how long i can keep using that excuse πŸ˜‰

  2. I took the kids the Royal Easter Show this year (Sydney’s equivalent) and I’d rather stick rusty forks in my eyes and just flush a few hundred dollars down the toilet than do it again. Guess that makes me an uber Ekka Grinch! πŸ˜‰

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Yeah it’s the $$ that get me too. I think I’d rather take them on a day trip somewhere special that was better value for money. Maybe I should follow your example and take them eating around the world in Brisbane?! πŸ™‚

  3. This sounds like the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I hate it and avoid it as much as possible. Maybe you could put the money towards doing something else with your family? Not sure what exactly but there must be better things to do.

  4. I haven’t been to the Ekka in years. I lived in Brissy until a couple of years ago when I made a seachange and I really only went to the Ekka when at Uni (my first visit) and once or twice when my niece was little and into that sort of thing. (She’s now 18 so it was a while ago!)

    I don’t even go to the local show in my old / new hometown. It’s a combo of crowds (and queues) and lack of interest. I was an avid and fearless ‘ride-goer’ once but now I find myself examining screws and bolts and wondering about human error. Plus little else interests me. Full Half Glass (blog) shared a LaughLinkUp post today about their visit to the Ekka (and being sneezed on by a bull). All the more reason to avoid the place if you ask me!?

    πŸ™‚

  5. I love the Ekka! My tips for saving money and your sanity?
    1) Drive and pay for parking. It’s $15 well spent, when ladened with the spoils of the day you can trudge wearily to the car and drive directly home. You don’t need to be navigating public transport queues in the cold after the fireworks.
    2) Plan your entry. Enter at the OPPOSITE end of the show grounds from Sideshow Alley. Several of my friends have told their children that the Alley doesn’t open til after lunch. I suspect your boys are too old to believe this, but mine are still gullible enough for this to be successful.
    3) Spend your morning doing all the proper Ekka stuff: looking at the chooks, dogs, cows, apples and lambs entering the world.
    4) Visit my blue ribbon winning pickles in the Cookery section of the Fine Arts Pavilion. Take a photo of yourself with said pickles, send it to me.
    5) Fill the kids up on the cheap with CWA sandwiches and samples from the food hall.
    6) Give your kids a finite amount of money each. Let them decide how it is spent, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. Then retire to the arena where you can sit, rest your legs and enjoy the night time entertainment. Long for a time when your children are old enough to be left unsupervised while you slip in a few cold ones at the Stockmen’s Bar.
    End of tutorial.

    The Ekka is such a special part of my childhood memories. I don’t think we’ll make it this year, but I love taking the kids. Hope you have fun! xx

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Amanda that is such EXCELLENT and comprehensive advice that I think I should promote it to a wider audience (with proper accreditation to your good self). Is that ok with you? Let me know Ms Ekka Queen xx

  6. Yay yay! I found the new blog. For some reason I couldn’t connect earlier today. Looks fab! As for the Ekka, oh I just really don’t know. Crowds, bogans, noisy rides, overpriced food vs nostalgia, cute animals and pretty cakes. I struggle with this every year. The kids like it, the husband hates it (passionately). We’ll probably skip it this year but we will go again at some stage. We stuck with the local show this year and it was probably as much as we could take!

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Thanks Lara – getting it to this point has nearly broken me but I’m pretty happy with it now. We did our local show last year and found it almost as expensive as the Ekka. So maybe an argument FOR going this year? Mind you my boys are a lot older than your lot. The last time I went they were toddlers and I think I’m still scarred!!

  7. Oooh this sounds very similar to the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. Lots of crowds and daylight robbery at the showbag pavilion. The only way I’d ever go is if the kids were nagging, which thankfully for me is still a few years away. Good luck adn stay away from those Dagwood Dogs!

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      It is exactly the same – especially the daylight robbery part. Unfortunately my boys (being 11, 10 and 6) have developed quite sophisticated nagging techniques and they are not afraid to use them!!

  8. We have never been but in my defense I don’t think a nearly 3yo will remember and the 6yo can just wait a few more years. Once they are 5-7 I reckon we’ll go, although it is expensive like Amanda says the memories will last them a lifetime. Grinch!!! Thanks for linking lovely – nice to have you πŸ™‚

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      No worries – Ive been meaning to for ages but had lost my funny mojo a bit πŸ˜‰ Yes it’s the mother-guilt associated with robbing them of a quintessential childhood experience that has even made me consider going!! And you are right – the Ekka and children under 5 are a bad combination.

  9. I agree with what Amanda has written, especially the tip to arrive early. I’ve taken the kids the last few years and we’ve had a great (and not overly expensive). Take in the displays, see the animals, pet the animals and don’t forget to check out the fruit and veg dioramas. How could three young men not love Queensland recreated in its produce?

    • Rachel - Ed
      Rachel - Ed Reply

      Look there’s not a self respecting young man out there who doesn’t love a good fruit sculpture. I realise that. And I think your and Amanda’s advice about starting with the less commercially focused parts of the Ekka is the way to go. Cuts down on the time spent in the ‘spensive section!

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